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City releases income disclosure report

• Document indicates council members must report income of $10,000 or more.

Posted: April 25, 2008 3:11 a.m.
Updated: June 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
The Santa Clarita City Council this week voted to release to the public a city attorney report outlining the income disclosure requirements for City Council members on the state-required disclosure forms.

City Attorney Carl Newton compiled the report after a local activist pointed out that Mayor Bob Kellar had not disclosed some of his income information on his State of Economic Interests forms since he began on the council in 2000. The report had been kept confidential due to the attorney-client privilege.

Kellar, who ran as an incumbent candidate and won in the April 8 election, is also a partner at real estate sales company Kellar-Davis Inc. in Canyon Country.

Newton's report indicates that a council member must report a particular source of income to his or her business entity if the council member's share of the gross income is $10,000 or more.

A council member must also report a particular source of commission income to his or her business if the council member received $10,000 or more in commission income from that source through the business during the reporting period.

Newton's report, dated March 6, also included an attachment of two of the Fair Political Practices Commission's Form 700 reference pamphlets.

Kellar initially announced on March 7 he would file amendments to his forms disclosing his income information. Although he filed amendments disclosing gross income totals, The Signal reported that he had not included sources of income of at least $10,000, which would include most of the commission earnings he had made since 2000. The FPPC began reviewing his previously filed forms to look for omissions that could have constituted violations of state law, a misdemeanor charge. Kellar had said he did not disclose the information because he was concerned that releasing the names of his clients' would be a breach of confidentiality. On March 25, Kellar filed amendments that included the required list of clients. At the March 11 City Council meeting, then-Councilman TimBen Boydston requested that an item be placed on the next meeting agenda for the council to decide whether to release Newton's report to the public. The four other council members did not respond to his request. At the following meeting, Kellar requested that the item be placed on the agenda for the April 22 meeting. At Tuesday's meeting, the council voted 4-1 to release the report, with Councilman Frank Ferry dissenting.

"It's going to set a very bad precedent," he said. "I think we as a legislative body have every right to have private confidential attorney information which we take into account and make decisions before and on behalf of this public."

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