UPLAND - One of the city government's most outspoken critics will soon have an official role to help effect change.

The City Council has approved the appointment of Hal Tanner to the City Council Advisory Committee, which reviews proposed ordinances before making recommendations to the council.

"I would consider it a privilege to serve this city, and I can promise every member on this council that I would serve with decorum and dignity and recognition of peoples' rights," Tanner told council members during their meeting Monday.

Councilwoman Debbie Stone appointed Tanner to replace Glenn Bozar, who was elected to the City Council in November.

Stone said she chose Tanner because she knows he will provide a "watchdog" perspective for the committee.

"He is honest and wants to do the right thing for the citizens of Upland," she said in email.

Stone said she was disappointed that Councilman Brendan Brandt voted against the appointment.

"Hal has long been watchful of the council, and I believe he will provide a needed perspective on issues referred to the committee," she said. "Hal has the time and demonstrated commitment to researching issues that could negatively impact the city."

Brandt voted against the appointment because of concerns over Tanner's methods of getting a response from the city.

In the past, he has threatened to report the actions, or lack of action, of the council to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office and the Grand Jury.

"I think everyone is free to do that. I encourage everyone to do that, but I know that part of working on that committee is working cooperatively with your fellow committee members," Brandt said.

Tanner has been pressing the city to be more open and transparent since 2005, after he was fined by the city when his house alarm was falsely activated while he was out of town.

He has since devoted much of his time to sending emails and letters to council members asking them about their responsibility to uphold the legislative intent of the state's open-meeting law, often getting little response.

City Manager Stephen Dunn has been working with Tanner to get answers to his questions.

Tanner has also made numerous requests for public records and demanded the city go public with contracts, salaries and benefits of city employees and elected officials.

Tanner made some headway with city officials when in December 2011, he and his concerns were the topic of a committee meeting at the request of Councilman Gino Filippi.

As a result of the meeting, in which Tanner participated, the committee recommended adding language to City Council meeting agendas making it more clear what actions are allowed to be taken by the council during public comment.

Tanner said he's worked well with others, even those in disagreement, throughout his career and will work with his fellow committee members.

"I work well with a variety of people. I do not support silence and back door or underhanded dealings, and I'll be the first to stand at the podium and say what my concerns are win, lose or draw," he said.


Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow.