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MDUSD board to hold governance workshop Saturday

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The public can get a rare glimpse of Mt. Diablo district trustees talking with each other less formally than usual during a board Governance Leadership Development Workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday in the district office board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

Although the posted agenda gives virtually no information about the meeting, a more comprehensive overview can be found under Item 16.11 of the board’s Dec. 13 agenda.

Here’s what it said:

“In a continued effort to improve Board governance skills, we are requesting to hold a Governance Leadership Development Workshop on Saturday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Attached is the overview of the training.”

Here is the link to the planned California School Boards Association training outline: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/ebaef8f1-2b2b-4b29-9c7e-3dd819088b7d.pdf.

When the board discussed the workshop in December, Trustee Cheryl Hansen voted against spending $2,000 for a facilitator. Other trustees, however, voted in favor of the expenditure.

I videotaped most of the discussion using my cell phone, then had to switch to my Flip Video camera when I ran out of storage space.
Here is a link to the first portion of the discussion: http://qik.com/video/46579073.

Here is the second portion of the discussion, including comments by trustees Gary Eberhart and Cheryl Hansen, followed by the 4-1 vote: http://youtu.be/PkUKA0szzr0

Do you agree with the board’s decision to spend $2,000 for a facilitated governance workshop?

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  • g

    Maybe if we pay over and over and over it will sink in? Apparently they have forgotten everything from last year and the year before, and….

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a link to my blog post about last year’s board governance workshop: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2011/02/14/school-board-relations-101/

  • Dan

    Did an anonymous donor make and offer to pay for them to go out of town to a nice hotel and have the meeting there?

    Which is completely against the law, I guess the “anonymous” donor didn’t know any better.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I assume you are talking about last year’s meeting, which was originally scheduled at a San Ramon hotel. After someone pointed out that the meeting had to be held within the district, the venue was changed to the district board room. This year’s meeting is at the district office.

  • g

    “Ultimately, he (Berger) said, the public is in charge. The best time for public comment, he added, is after the staff presentation and initial discussion by the board.

    This way, he said, the public understands what trustees are considering and can comment on the direction trustees appear to be heading in”.

    Now there’s an idea!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Hansen first suggested making such changes in protocol for action items at the Dec. 13 board meeting, but some trustees said it would be better to discuss these ideas during the governance workshop. Her idea died for lack of a second Jan. 9: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=4831&mtgId=335

  • g

    I’m sure there must have been several complaints about the board attempt to hotel it up out of the district last year.

    In response to a letter from me last year:

    Steven Lawrence lawrences@mdusd.k12.ca.us
    2/11/11

    The mistake of location has been rectified. The meeting will be held at the Dent center on Sunday. Thank you for sharing your concerns.

    Sincerely,
    Steven Lawrence

  • g

    Theresa, that last tape is very interesting, and very telling. Eberhart says the public out there knows what the issues are, and why the board is having problems, and how they need to learn to be “respectful” of each other. Then after Cheryl says she thinks 5 adults should be able to figure out how to work together on their own, Eberhart SNAPS back with “you’re the only one”, at which time Lawrence buts in and calls for a ruling.

    Eberhart is rude (again/still), and Lawrence is out of order! I do not believe it is Lawrence’s place to call for a ruling. Isn’t that call supposed to come from a board member?

    Yes, Gary—the public knows exactly where the problems are.

  • Theresa Harrington

    County Superintendent Joe Ovick is trying to encourage elected officals to “choose civility” in his new initiative (item 7.1.1): http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/12mtgs/ag120201.pdf

    g: It sounds to me like Eberhart called for the vote, not the superintendent.

  • Theresa Harrington
  • g

    Theresa, it was Eberhart who called for the vote, but I’m pretty sure (start at about 2:05ish) after Eberhart said “You’re the only one”, and Hansen said, “That may be, but…” you will see and hear Mayo mumble something toward Lawrence as he sits forward and says “let’s go with the move”. Immediately, Eberhart calls the vote without asking if they want further discussion, or if they are ready to vote.

    Is Lawrence Sergeant at Arms as well as Secretary?

  • g

    They may not like it, but Hansen has every right to talk for an hour if she wants to. I do think she generally has a tendency to belabor the issue when she is giving her reasoning on things, but it is her right to do so, without interruption.

  • Doctor J

    @G, the exchange is exemplary of Gary’s bulliness, his making thinly veiled accuasations against Cheryl suggesting she is the problem and “everyone knows it”, and her powerful retort that she many times “has been on the receiving end” of the disrespect . . .
    It is also exemplary of Mayo’s attempt to bring “civility” by appeasing the bully, rather than to engage in an exchange of ideas in a public conversation. Remember that after I engaged Gary about his micromanaging a year ago, Linda Mayo was heard muttering to Gary “that’s micromanaging” and he backed off. Mayo appears to believe that the exchange of ideas should occur between staff and individual board members outside of the public discussion — well, that is not democracy in action, and the public has the right to know the different views of our elected officials and have debates and decisions made in public, and not behind closed doors.

  • Doctor J

    Live blog ?

  • Linda L

    Seems very biased toward the majority. Talking about Citizen Governance right now. Everything status quo so far. Still blaming a lack of funding and the complexity of the District.

  • Linda L

    Simply school board 101. Waste of time. Gary shaking his head “yes” on showing a united front as a school board. Hmmmmm Is that what happened in 2008? Can’t stand the idea of staying any longer, going home.

  • Anon

    So Cheryl was right again. Importing an outsider with no knowledge of MDUSD’s continuing crisis situation and re-hashing last year’s workshop was going to be questionable benefit. Would have been a better idea to bring back the same moderator from last year who immediately could see that there’s been no progress. Linda’s public comment gave a list of MDUSD’s 2011 debacles but fell on deaf ears. Think about how this $2,000 could have been better spent, maybe to pay for some Glenbrook busing.

  • Anon

    seriously mdhs needs to find a good candidate for school board . . .