Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD board meeting June 4, 2012

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 5:49 pm in Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board expects to vote on several items at tonight’s meeting, including the appointment of a director of secondary support, third interim budget report, continued use of the KVHS radio station, post-retirement contract renewal for Pete Pedersen, several special education contracts, and a proposed format for public input and informational meetings.

The board also expects to discuss several information items, including the athletic budget, transportation changes next year, leasing space on the closed Holbrook Elementary campus to a special education school, forming an employee unions council and revising two job descriptions.

In addition, the board expects to approve 23 items on the consent calendar (without discussion) including personnel actions, contract awards, two new courses of study, and a “choose civility” initiative promoted by County Schools Superintendent Joe Ovick, which calls for the board to promote the importance of civility.

Other information items include recognition of a regional middle school National History Champion from Sequoia Middle School, a state Energy Quest contest award winner, and a report on a “Teaching American History” grant.

Do you believe MDUSD trustees demonstrates civility in their interactions with each other, staff and the public?

7:40 p.m. UPDATE/LIVE BLOG OF MEETING: The board is now voting on student expulsions.

There was no report regarding the public employee discipline/dismissal/release/complaint

MDEA president Mike Langley told me privately that the union has endorsed Brian Lawrence and Attila Gabor for the November election.

Debbie Hickey said item 9.24 should be a cst job, not a csea job.
Item was pulled and board unanimously approved rest of consent calendar.

9.24 Board had a glitch regarding the EBS voting, but I believe this was unanimously approved after Julie Braun-Martin explained rationale for it being a csea job.

11.0 Recognitions: Supt. Lawrence recognized a Concord HS team for winning a championship, Sequoia MS student David Leynov for qualifying for Middle School National History Bee and Bianca Nunez from Riverview MS, a state Energy Quest contest award winner.

13.1 Dist. Orgs.

1. Mike Langley introduced his successor Guy Moore.

2. Lorrie Davis of CAC thanked district for recent special ed parent meeting.

14.0 Teaching American History grant.
Presenters said board was given a thick packet of materials and Powerpoint doesn’t seem to be working.
No packet or Powerpoint has been attached to the agenda:
Powerpoint has shown up unexpectedly.
Streamed up to this point on
More info is at

15.1 Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Steven Lawrence presented a Powerpoint showing where grads are going after they graduate:

Here’s a sampling of the info:

Clayton Valley High School 2012 graduates:
 150 students will be attending a four year college
 38 are going to a UC
 59 are going to a CSU.
 222 students are planning to attend a two year

16.1 Appointment of Director, Secondary Support: Bill Morones
Trustee Cheryl Hansen says she does not support because he’s had such a record of change over past six years, so there is no clear record of achievement.
Passed 4-1 (Hansen against)
Morones thanks board.

16.2 Third Interim Report: CFO Bryan Richards present Powerpoint:

Here are highlights:

 The mid-year trigger cuts have been consolidated into one additional cut of $441/ADA to the revenue limit (raising deficit factor to approximately 28.853%)

 The mid-year trigger cut comes into play if Governor Brown’s tax measure does not pass in November

We are still declining in enrollment
We declined 113.92 ADA in 2011/12 from 2010/11
We project we will decline 270.50 ADA in 2012/13
This does not include effect of Clayton Valley charter school conversion
 An additional decline of 1,777 ADA

 3% one time off-schedule payment
 Formula to address mid-year cuts:
 For each $38 drop in the funded Base Revenue Limit per unit of ADA from the current Governor’s projection of $5,208.57 in 2012-13, one furlough day will be implemented (up to 11 days)
 For each $38 gain in the funded Base Revenue Limit per unit of ADA from $5,208.57 in 2012-13, an
ongoing salary increase of 0.54% will be implemented.
 Changes to teacher hourly rates:
 Non Standards based instruction from $20 to $25
 Standards based instruction from $25 to $31

Although MDEA hasn’t yet voted on this agreement, it has been built into the Third Interim Budget Report.

 Net Available Revenue $ 157,031,702
 Net Expenditures 166,758,321
 Net (decrease) fund bal. ( 9,726,618)
 Beginning Balance, July 1 45,543,431
 Projected Ending Balance $ 35,816,813

 Revolving Cash $ 300,000
 Stores Inventory 419,478
 Economic Uncertainties (2%) 5,978,577
 IRS Assessment Resolution 533,500
 Tier 3 Balances & Site carryovers 4,870,743
 Undesignated 23,714,515
 Ending Balance $ 35,816,813

 Total Revenue $ 131,557,650
 Total Expenditures 137,149,595
 Net (decrease) in fund bal. ( 5,591,945)
 Beginning Balance (Carryover)
as of July 1, 2011 13,180,548
 Projected Ending Balance $ 7,588,603

 Form AI: Average Daily Attendance decrease of (113.92) in 11/12 will decrease funding for 12/13.
 Form CASH: Cash Flow – Ending GF cash will be positive but projecting a decline of $16.9M
 Form RLI: Revenue Limit Calculations

 Revenue Limit decrease $ (10,996,076)
 Rent on CVHS property 450,649
 Certificated Salary decrease 4,591,659
 Classified Salary decrease 510,091
 Benefits decrease 1,525,846
 Books & supplies decrease 71,152
 Services & operating decrease 307,349
 Tier 3 pass through ($127/ADA) (225,679)
 Net effect annually $ ( 3,765,009)
 Based on 1,777 units of ADA

Taxes Pass TA with MDEA
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/12 23,714,512
Operating Deficit 2012/13 -11,878,320
Adjust reserves 2,148,016
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/13 13,984,208
Operating Deficit 2013/14 -10,477,160
Adjust reserves 1,838,042
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/14 5,345,090

Taxes Pass TA with MDEA
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/12 23,714,512
Operating Deficit 2012/13 -11,878,320
Adjust reserves 2,148,016
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/13 13,984,208
Operating Deficit 2013/14 -10,477,160
Adjust reserves 1,838,042
Unappropriated Ending Balance @ 6/14 5,345,090

Taxes Pass Certification* UEB 6/30/13 UEB 6/30/14
TA with MDEA Positive 13,984,208 5,345,090
Taxes Fail
TA with MDEA Qualified 10,226,355 -2,962,486

*Note: There is no certification on third interim, this is what the certifications would be if we were at second interim.

 The Legislative Analyst agrees with Governor’s office that the budget problem over 2011-12 and 2012-13 has grown to $15.7 billion.
 There are concerns about the estimations of Redevelopment Agency Funds being overestimated.
 The budget relies on enactment of the Governor’s tax initiative in November.

 Third interim does not require a certification. However, we are happy to report that after implementing the proposed settlement with MDEA, the district is positive through June 2014 if the taxes pass.
 We have a significant gap between revenues and expenditures that must be addressed going forward as we will not be positive through June 2015 at budget adoption if we keep on our current trajectory, even if the taxes pass

Passed unanimously.

Moved up item 16.20: Transportation Changes for 2012-13
Superintendent Lawrence explains that transportation would be cut for Delta View Elem. students and overflow students within a five-mile radius.

Public comment:
1. A mother says she relies on the transportation for her children since she works in San Francisco and drops her children off at another person’s house.
2. Willie Mims says public should be able to see FCMAT report on which recommendation is based. He says the decision to cut transportation for Delta View could be viewed as hurting minorities.
3. Another Delta View Elem. mother urges board to maintain busing, since she also works in San Francisco.
4. Another mother pleads with board to retain Delta View busing, saying many parents are waiting for such good news.
Lawrence says FCMAT report may not be ready until August.
Whitmarsh asks Lawrence to proceed and bring back to next meeting. She says parents can come and speak again.
This was an information item and will be brought back as a vote as part of proposed budget reductions.

16.3 Public hearing utilizing flexibility authorized by SBX3 4 and SB70:
CFO Bryan Richards says public hearing is required.
No speakers.

16.4 Resolution #11/12-48 on Utilizing Flexibility Authorized by SBX3 4 and SB70
Mayo reads off list of affected programs and says: “I don’t like it.”
Passes unanimously.

Pulled item 16.5 and did not discuss or vote on it.

16.6 Declaration of need for fully qualified educators: Passed unanimously.

16.7 Food and nutrition services purchases 2012-13: Passed unanimously

16.8 Post Retirement Contract Renewal for Peder Pedersen:
Eberhart says his knowledge of construction, etc. in the district is “second to none.” Says he was not happy at the prospect of Pedersen retiring. “When we pay Mr. Pedersen half-time, I’m sure that we are getting more than half-time.”
Hansen also praised Pedersen for his integrity and hard work.
Passed unanimously.

16.9 Resolution #11/12-50 Specification of Election Order
Carries unanimously.

16.10 Revise 2012-13 School Calendar
Lawrence says revision would allow a furlough day at end of school year if governor’s proposed taxes fail.
Guy Moore supports and says it would give maximum flexibility and preserve a school day.
Passed unanimously.

16.11 Public hearing to adopt the Mt. Diablo school district Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) annual budget plan, etc.
Passed unanimously.

16.12 Approve Independent Service Contracts for Cherri Duffy and Deiredre Ryan Booth
Passed unanimously.

16.13 Approve NPA Behavioral Service Contract – PLAY
Passed unanimously.

16.14 PULLED at request of staff, according to Mildred Browne

16.15 Approve adjustments to non-public school purchase order/contracts
Unanimously passed.

16.16 Approve adjustments to independent service contracts/purchase orders
Passed unanimously.

16.17 Approve adjustments to non-public school contracts/purchase orders for residential/mental health for 2011/12
Passed unanimously.

16.18 Public input and informational meetings.
Hansen moves approval as presented and Dennler seconds.
Whitmarsh amends to have first two input meetings for strategic plan and not address the other four. Eberhart seconds.
Whitmarsh says could take place at next regular board meeting.
Passes 5-0.

Eberhart asks if it would be appropriate to move to eliminate the other four meetings. Rolen says he would not be comfortable with that. Eberhart says he wants to bring that back on the next board agenda.

16.19 Athletic Budget
Eberhart says the board should consider contributing more money to help low-income students participate.
Whitmarsh asserts that Clayton Valley Charter High would no longer be part of UMDAF, but Lawrence says he believes CVCHS would continue to participate in UMDAF for at least one more year.
This is for information only and will be brought back as part of the budget at the next meeting.

16.21 Joint Use Lease Agreement Between Mt. Diablo Unified School District and Anova Center for Education:
Rolen says school would serve high-functioning autistic students.
Director says school is limited to 14 students per class and would look at about three or four classrooms.
Mayo says school serves six district students.
Hansen says district should come up with long-term plans for the closed schools.
Lawrence says district realized savings by bringing in special ed program to Glenbrook and placing Measure C team to Holbrook, which helped reduce number of schools closed from two to three.
Eberhart says it will help the six families by bringing program closer and will give district additional oversight.
Hansen asks for continued dialogue with public regarding how programs work together on same campuses.
This will be brought back at the next meeting.

16.22 MDUSD Employee Unions’ Council
Hansen says this was her idea. Lawrence says some meetings are already happening and he will work on calendaring future meetings with individual unions, along with some joint meetings.
Eberhart objects to the idea of having the superintendent reporting what is said at those meetings to the public.
Mayo says it sounds like it’s done.

16.23 New job description for Coordinator of After School Programs:
Debra Mason questions rationale and asks what salary would be.
Info only. No one responds to Mason’s questions.
Will come back to next meeting.

16.24 Revise Job Description for Administrator, After School Services
Info only.

17.0 Board Member Reports:

Hansen speaks about a touching Bridge Program graduation, then complains that she was interviewed by the District Attorney regarding an anonymous complaint based on a comment by an anonymous blogger. She asks Rolen to contact DA and get to the bottom of it, saying it seems like a thinly-veiled attempt to threaten and intimidate board members. Eberhart says an individual board member cannot direct the general counsel and says perhaps it should be placed on a closed session agenda.

Eberhart asked to bring back the censure policy for action at the next board meeting.

Mayo talked about graduations and asked that the meeting be adjourned in memory of Mary Butler, a former English teacher at CPHS.

Whitmarsh invited the public to Centre Concord to see Grad Night decorations and reminded everyone about upcoming graduations and the Tuesday election.

She adjourned the meeting in memory of Mary Butler.

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125 Responses to “MDUSD board meeting June 4, 2012”

  1. g Says:

    16.18 At least Rolen seemed to know that if they are going to follow Robert’s Rules, only Hansen could agree to have her ‘moved and seconded’ motion “amended” prior to a vote.

    Whitmarsh is way out of her league!

    They make this mistake all the time, but I haven’t seen anyone have sense enough to question it before. Looks like Eberhart’s been studying, but quit before he finished the paragraph. Otherwise he wouldn’t have even seconded on Whitmarsh’s attempt to keep the public at bay.

  2. Seriously... Says:

    17.0 – According to the District Attorney’s compliant form, they will not accept anonymous complaints. So why would the DA be acting on an anonymous complaint by an anonymous blogger?

  3. g Says:

    Because he reads the local blogs himself.

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Hansen said she wanted to bring back the other four meetings and Eberhart said he wants to bring back the motion to eliminate them. Perhaps there will be one staff report with two options: redefine them or eliminate them.

    After the meeting, both Mike Langley and Debbie Hickey said they were embarrassed by the board’s discussion on this item. More on their reactions later…

  5. g Says:

    Theresa, maybe you could forward this link to Whitmarsh. She could have moved to amend by “striking” (not deleting)a word or words.

    What she did, in effect, was alter the “entire meaning” of the original motion. Rolen should have stepped in right then with his legal advice.

    It looks like they voted to agree to the amendment, but then never got around to voting on the actual primary motion…?

    There should have been two votes!

    “When one understands the means to amend a motion, one will be able to calmly defend oneself from all tyrannical group leaders.”

  6. Doctor J Says:

    Wow, what a discrepency between Theresa’s version and the official Board agenda on #16.18 Public Input and Informational Meetings. The official agenda never even reports Hansen’s motion, seconded by Dennler !!
    Theresa reported: “Hansen moves approval as presented and Dennler seconds.
    Whitmarsh amends to have first two input meetings for strategic plan and not address the other four. Eberhart seconds.
    Whitmarsh says could take place at next regular board meeting.
    Passes 5-0.”
    The Agenda reports: “New Motion
    Member (Sherry Whitmarsh) Moved, Member (Gary Eberhart) seconded to approve the New motion ‘Two meetings for input on the Strategic Plan to bring it to closure so it can begin implementation in Fall 2012
    ‘. Upon a Roll-Call Vote being taken, the vote was: Aye: 5 Nay: 0.
    The motion CARRIED 5 – 0 ”
    G is right — the motion to amend passed but the original motion was never voted upon !! Whitmarsh really knows how to lead a three ring circus.

  7. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: It’s not my role to instruct the board president in Robert’s Rules of Order.
    But, you’re right that she did appear to completely change the original motion and that the board never voted on the original motion.
    I believe that Hansen originally accepted the amendment, saying: “Two meetings is better than no meetings.” But she also originally said the board would vote on the amendment, then the first motion.
    It appeared that Hansen originally thought Whitmarsh was talking about two community meetings, since Hansen asked how those dates would be determined. Whitmarsh then said she believed the “input” sessions could be integrated as part of a regular board meeting. Hansen appeared blindsided by this, saying that was not her intention. However, she did not refuse the amendment. Could she have refused it at that point, after Whitmarsh clarified her intentions, which Hansen said were not clear in the amended motion?

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: I believe the audio will support my version (not to mention the fact that there were several community members in the room who remember what happened, including Mike Langley). In fact, Hansen actually commented on how nice it was to finally get a second to one of her motions.
    I also believe I videotaped it. But, as usual, I was having space issues with my video equipment, so I’ll have to look at what I got to see if I captured the entire discussion.

    On another point, Hansen said she is still waiting for a ruling on the Points of Order she made several meetings ago, regarding the Board President’s failure to place committee assignments on the agenda. No one responded to this.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    This District Attorney interview is worthy of follow up — the complaint must be public record !

  10. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I will definitely follow up.

  11. Doctor J Says:

    Does Bill Morones meet the criteria set out for Director of Secondary in SASS ? On May 11, 2010, Lawrence set the job standard: “As the expectations and demands increase on all our schools, we need instructional leaders who have successfully moved schools forward to help support and coach other principals and school staffs.” Hansen said he has had a “record of change” over the last six years and no clear record of achievement. What is his “record” over the last six years ? What are his achievements ? P.S. This is no time to talk about what a nice guy he is — what is his “Record of achievement” ?

  12. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Another confusing thing was what happened with the closed session public employee/discipline/dismissal/release complaint. When Whitmarsh began her report out of closed session, she said the board had voted to “table the meeting.” Then, she proceeded to report out everything except the public employee item. So, maybe she meant they voted to table that item.

  13. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is video of the public input discussions:
    Unfortunately, I didn’t catch Hansen’s original motion, but Whitmarsh clearly says her motion is an amendment to the original motion. She also says she is not eliminating the other four.

  14. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Wasn’t Morones along with NorthGate principal, the two principals trying to help Lawrence defeat the CVCHS charter?

    Maybe this appointment is the beginning of some payback promised by Lawrence?

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, both Morones and Northgate Principal John McMorris spoke against the charter, as did MDHS Principal Kate McClatchy.

  16. Wait a Minute Says:

    Oh yeah Dr J,
    Morones supported Stevie and now we see why!

    Is this the kind of change that Morones is known for:

    this is a cause for concern to say the least.

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is the link to video of Hansen’s board report, including her concerns regarding the District Attorney’s phone interview based on an anonymous complaint:

    Here is the link to Eberhart’s comments about Hansen giving direction to the General Counsel:
    He also asked to see a list of all post-retirement employees who have contracts, as well as work hourly (except subs).

  18. g Says:

    Theresa @ 7. No, Hansen could not “refuse” the amendment as I made it sound. I didn’t take time to explain. And the person making the motion can not “officially” amend her own motion anyway.

    Generally, in polite circles, out of courtesy in the debate phase, if someone says they think this or that should be changed, the chair will ask the person who made the motion if they would like to restate their motion to include, or delete the questionable wording.
    That is the simplest way to amend without calling it an amendment.

    In less than polite circles, such as ours, the person who made the “primary” motion may “argue” against the proposed amendment, and even come back with a proposed amendment to the amendment, and again and again till they hash it out.

    BUT each proposed amendment to the amendment, to the amendment, ad infinitum, must be voted on, (in reverse order). Then, they MUST go back and vote on the Primary motion (as amended) last. By that time it is generally unrecognizable. Unless they have amended themselves right back to its original form. Parliamentary procedure is fun!

    If they fail to find their way back to the Primary motion to vote on it, it generally remains an open item of “past business” at the next meeting.

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Whitmarsh made it clear that: “This is MY motion,” even though it was an amendment to Hansen’s original motion.
    It was somewhat surprising that Hansen voted for it, after she knew that Whitmarsh intended to bring it back as part of the next meeting (instead of having community meetings, as originally approved by the board).

  20. g Says:

    In 2006 both Morones and McMorris were asst. principals at San Ramon Valley HS. — In 2007 Morones was Principal at Newark Memorial High — where he got McMorris hired on as a Vice Principal — In 2009 Morones was (count’em-three districts) 1) Principal at Florin High School, and still 2009 was 2) Asst. Superintendent at Antioch Unified SD. (wow-not much staying power–because by later that same school year he was 3) hired by MDUSD as Principal at YVHS!!!)

    While Morones was jumping ship at a handful of districts, McMorris left Newark and came to Northgate and apparently paved the way for Marones to then come here too.

  21. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is more info on MDEA’s endorsements of Brian Lawrence and Attila Gabor:

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I wonder if the DA will also investigate why the district submitted a bond resolution to the County Board of Supervisors that included false statements and a clause that was never authorized or approved by the board.

  23. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Regarding Morones, YVHS’s API score met its growth target of 7 points last year, rising from 665 to 672. However, the school dropped to last when compared to other comprehensive high schools, since MDHS had much higher growth and passed YVHS, soaring 24 points from 653 to 677.
    These are the only two comprehensive high schools in the district with API scores below 700.

    He was appointed principal of YVHS on June 15, 2010, according to the minutes (page 9):

  24. g Says:

    Yes, before he finished the 2009-10 school year in Antioch, he had applied, interviewed and been hired at MDUSD. Then, in June he was approved by the Board.

    While we know that no district will say anything negative about a past employee, it would be very interesting to know why he was an Asst Supt in Antioch for just a matter of, I believe, a mere two or three months, and chose to ‘demote’ himself to get to MDUSD.

    Is Antioch a dreadful district to work for?

  25. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Regarding the informational meetings discussion, Lawrence told Hansen that the district had held a second Bay Point Master Plan meeting and that the community had asked him to convene a task force of district administrators and community members, which he had done. Hansen said she was unaware of this and she would appreciate getting that kind of information from the superintendent.

    I was also unaware of this, as I assume was anyone else who did not attend the second Bay Point meeting, which was not publicly noticed on the district’s website. It’s unclear when or how Lawrence originally planned to disclose this information, since the district did not post any minutes from the meeting and the task force was not mentioned in the Powerpoint:

    Here is the timeline for Bay Point planning, according to the Powerpoint:

    “I. School Site Visits: December 2011
    II. Demographic Study: February 2012
    III. Community Input: March‐June 2012
    IV. Data Analysis & Planning: June‐July 2012
    VV. Findings Findings Report: Report: August August 2012”

  26. g Says:

    It’s that Data Analysis & Planning that the rest of the District might need to pay close attention to.

    If they don’t just cull the Bay Point information for use at that time, I suspect there will be a lot of interest for all the elementary schools within 3-4 miles of Meadow Homes.

    Those neighborhoods that are even semi-close to a boundary line shouldn’t count on anything like “neighborhood school” spirit.

  27. Doctor J Says:

    After listening to Cheryl’s statements about the irregularity of the DA’s questioning, I agree that it is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate her in particular. Noteworthy that Whitmarsh seemed prepared with her response — none of the other trustees seemed surprised — was that because Whitmarsh and Eberhart, and perhaps Rolen had more knowledge about the annonymous informant ? Hmmmm. Isn’t intimidation of an elected official a federal crime ?

  28. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I spoke to DA Mark Peterson today about the complaint and will post more later. He said the complaint was not “anonymous.” However, he declined to elaborate about how it was filed — or by whom.

  29. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is my story about the board meeting, which includes reactions from Mike Langley and Debbie Hickey regarding the board’s back-tracking on public input meetings:

  30. Doctor J Says:

    Mike Langley’s description of “double-talk and subterfuge” matches up keenly with the conduct of Eberhart, Whitmarsh and Lawrence. Well, now Mark Peterson spills the beans — not an annonymous complaint. I guess whatever DA talked to Cheryl didn’t tell her the truth. Hmmm, wonder if Lawrence is in the same Rotary Club as Peterson. Perhaps Peterson ought to start his investigation with ButtercupGATE and the mountain of Brown Act violations since.

  31. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Peterson said he wouldn’t characterize it as an “investigation,” — more like an inquiry.

  32. Doctor J Says:

    Speaking of Brown Act violations, where is the Agenda for tonight’s PAC that is supposed to be posted on the website 72 hours in advance ? Theresa, since its not an “investigation” the communication to the DA would be public record and subject to a PRA — are you pursuing this ?

  33. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Peterson said he would not divulge the source of the complaint. Also, other reporters — who work with the DA’s office regularly — told me they don’t believe the DA has to produce it. But I can ask again.

    I also asked Peterson whether he was aware of a Brown Act complaint filed by Alicia Minyen regarding the April 23 bond resolution. Peterson said he was not aware of it, but he could check into it.

    I asked him if the district violated the Brown Act by: including false statements in the resolution submitted to the County Board of Supervisors, falsely asserting that the “foregoing recitals are true and correct,” failing to present the bond documents to the MDUSD board on April 23 as stated in the resolution, and adding an indemnification section without authorization from the board.

    It seems somewhat ironic that Rolen, Lawrence and the board say they are so concerned about not wanting to violate the Brown Act that they are hesitant to hold community meetings, but they don’t seem to mind approving resolutions that include false information.

  34. Doctor J Says:

    “somewhat ironic” or hypocritical ? Mark Peterson apparently released the complaint made in November about the Discovery Bay Community Services District alleged violations of the Brown Act.

  35. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Oh, that’s interesting. I’ll ask him about that.

    Yet another irony is that the board extended the contracts of Rolen and Lawrence during the same meeting where trustees relied on the recommendation of Rolen and Lawrence to approve a resolution that included false statements, along with a board docket that omitted the Preliminary Official Statement and the Purchase Agreement, which the resolution stated the board received.

  36. Wait a Minute Says:

    It is always ironic when whistleblowers or truth-seekers like Cheryl Hansen or Alicia Minyen suddenly find themselves under investigation or inquiry or whatever you want to call it.

    By the way, there are extensive protections under the law for anyone coming forward with critical information as a whistleblower!

    Theresa I think the story here will be very telling and emblematic of the HUGE issues facing the MDUSD and its community.

    I hope you and the CC Times does an extensive investigative story about this potential harassment of Cheryl for doing her job and of Alicia’s Brown Act complaint and I hope it appears in the daaily Times as well as here on the blogs.

  37. Theresa Harrington Says:

    WAM: I have already discussed the resolution with Dan Borenstein and he has encouraged me to “sunshine” the information, which I intend to do in the CC Times, as well as my blog.

    I have sent an email to Superintendent Lawrence asking him to provide me with the missing bond documents (which the resolution states are on file with the Clerk of the Board) and to explain why he signed the resolution, which included false statements and an indemnity clause that the board did not authorize. I also asked why there is no restriction on acquisition of land/property, which the board directed him to include. So far, I haven’t received a response.

  38. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, sounds like its easier for you to get ahold of Mark Peterson than Steven Lawrence, eh ? I guess Lawrence never denied applying for or interviewing for the Sacramento area job.

  39. Theresa Harrington Says:

    On another note, here is a very comprehensive look at how school bond and parcel taxes fared in last night’s election (as well as other measures statewide):
    The WCCUSD and New Haven district parcel taxes failed, along with Antioch’s bond measure. But Dublin’s bond measure passed.

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Yes, in fact it is easier for me to get a hold of Mark Peterson than Steven Lawrence.

  41. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is the agenda for tonight’s PAC meeting, which I received this morning:

  42. Theresa Harrington Says:

    CalBOC will discuss the county grand jury’s Bond Oversight report on June 23:

    I wonder if they will discuss “raising the bar” on drafting and approving accurate, transparent bond resolutions.

  43. Wait a Minute Says:

    Thank you again Theresa and the Free Press.

    Sunshine is the necessary disinfectant for these types of abuses by our public servants!

  44. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Uh Oh! The Gary must be in a dither right about now. Probably irrationally screaming with Paul Strange about enemies of the kids of MDUSD.

  45. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have received the following email response from Superintendent Steven Lawrence:

    “I wanted to let you know I received your voice mail last night and reviewed your e-mail which cover the same questions. We will work on gathering the information and responding.”

  46. Doctor J Says:

    The PAC Agenda was NOT published on the District website 72 hours in advice as REQUIRED by the Brown Act. AB 1344.

  47. g Says:

    I would like to remind Lawrence, staff and the Board: When you tell the truth, you only have to remember half as much!

    We are watching, and doing our own “inquiries”.

    When you try to get by with “accurate but not honest”, sooner or later we will call you on it. So go ahead and ‘fess up’ now and save yourself the embarrassments later.

  48. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Also, it still is not posted on the district’s website:

    Trustee Gary Eberhart has repeatedly asked Superintendent Lawrence to post links to committee and council agendas and minutes on the district’s website Home Page.

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: At this point, the bond resolution does not appear to be accurate or honest.

  50. Doctor J Says:

    Amazing how the keyboard “clack-clack” has disappeared from the audio of the Board Meeting — interesting how it finally got fixed when Board members had to listen to the April 23 Board meeting. Hope they didn’t submit their Tylenol as an expense !

  51. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I wonder if trustees will be able to use the new “censure” policy to reprimand each other for failing to adhere to their bond resolution.

  52. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The superintendent’s secretary told me the board did not discuss item 4.4 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint in closed session, because they ran out of time. She said she had crossed it off the list that Whitmarsh was reading from, which probably explains why Whitmarsh did not report out that the item was not discussed.

  53. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting that Eberhart asks for “censure policy” to be on the table AFTER Cheryl discloses the District Attorney “inquiry” as a “thinly veiled attempt at intimidation”. Eberhart’s “censure policy” is pure unadulterated intimidation.

  54. Jim Says:

    It seems that accusations of school district Brown Act violations are in the news a lot lately, in Santa Rosa:
    and in Palo Alto:

    But as the LA Times reports, these accusations almost NEVER result in prosecutions:

    Why? Because elected politicos are loathe to go after one another. There’s just too much self-dealing among the officials and their supporters. District attorneys can get a lot more political traction from going after “greedy businessmen”, “profit-hungry corporations”, and all of the other usual suspects. Those kinds of enforcement actions generate sympathetic coverage in the media and serve to warn everybody in the private sector that they had better be “supportive” in the next election.

    But going after an irresponsible public monopoly like MDUSD? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  55. Doctor J Says:

    The Brown Act according to the Attorney General — not updated to conform to AB 1344.

  56. g Says:

    The DA’s “inquiry” would only intimidate the Board for two reasons that I can think of.

    1) He is looking at an “allusion” of suspected misconduct by a board member.

    2) He decided to bring forward his own questions “under the guise of a public complaint”, that, in and of itself, might influence the boards decisions on a matter of personnel retention.

  57. Doctor J Says:

    The Attorney General says the report of “closed session” should include, and its not happening in MDUSD: “Once a closed session has been completed, the legislative body must convene in open session. (§ 54957.7(b).) If the legislative body took final action in the closed session, the body may be required to make a report of the action taken and the vote thereon to the public at the open session. (§ 54957.1(a).) The report may be made either orally or in writing. (§ 54957.1(b).) In the case of a contract or settlement of a lawsuit, copies of the document also must be disclosed as soon as possible. (§ 54957.1(b) and (c).) If final action is contingent upon another party, the legislative body is under no obligation to release a report about the closed session. Once the other party has acted, making the decision final, the legislative body is under an obligation to respond to inquiries for information by providing a report of the action. (§ 54957.1(a).)
    With respect to litigation, approval given to the body’s legal counsel to defend, to seek or refrain from seeking appellate review, or to appear as amicus curiae in any case resulting from a closed-session meeting held pursuant to section 54956.9 shall be reported in open session. (§ 54957.l(a)(2).) The report shall identify the adverse parties and the substance of the litigation. Where the body has decided to initiate litigation or intervene in an existing case, the report shall indicate that fact but need not identify the action, the parties, or other particulars. The report shall specify that once the litigation or intervention has been formally commenced, the body must, upon inquiry, disclose such information, unless to do so would jeopardize service of process or existing settlement negotiations. (§ 54957.l(a)(2).)”
    All we get is pure generalities, and not the specifics as required by the Brown Act. “Potential litigation” is never specifically disclosed as to the authorization to defend, settle, etc.

  58. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: I will do a blog post soon about the nature of the DA’s inquiry.

    Jim: In this instance, the district board’s resolution misrepresented facts to the county Board of Supervisors, who ostensibly relied on it when they approved their county resolution approving the bond sales.
    This may have put the Board of Supervisors in the position of being duped by the district.

  59. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Would the DA be willing to respond to a citizen’s request for inquiry into the board?

    I would bet my last dollar that it was The Gary or Whitmarsh that requested the DA conduct a little “intimidation” on their behalf.

  60. g Says:

    Thanks Theresa, I’m looking forward to it!

    As to Jim’s point; I believe he is correct in that formal action has been rare, and I believe there has been only maybe one (or none) successful litigation in CA on a Brown Act violation. That’s why the “average Joe” can’t see the value in pursuing claims independently and on his own dime.

  61. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDUSD Board Watcher: You can always contact the DA’s office yourself:

  62. Doctor J Says:

    Closed session frequent discussion of “potential litigation” but never a public report of “approval given to the body’s legal counsel to defend”. So how is it that the Board authorizes the defense and settlement of lawsuits without public disclosure coming out of the many suits identified in the public records, including the infamous Rolen defense in Small Claims Court of the Fajardo bus incident ? Did we ever get to see the final bill of the outside lawyer review ? Any settlement agreement ? Why was none of this reported as Board action ?

  63. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Re: The Brown Act: Trustee Gary Eberhart, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and General Counsel Greg Rolen also used the Brown Act as the reason they refused to discuss Trustee Cheryl Hansen’s Points of Order regarding Whitmarsh’s failure to place board committee assignments on a board agenda. This issue has still not been publicly addressed or resolved.

  64. Doctor J Says:

    Discrimination: when Eberhart requests something be placed on the agenda — it is; when Hansen requests something be put on the agenda — its not, its delayed, and she is harrassed about it.

  65. Theresa Harrington Says:

    What, if anything, do you think will come of Dennler’s impassioned speech about “educational malpractice?” This week, she seconded Hansen’s original motion regarding the six public input meetings, but didn’t say anything when Whitmarsh and Eberhart attempted to quash the meetings. She also didn’t report anything this week during Board Reports.

  66. Doctor J Says:

    Despite a heartfelt impassioned pre-written speech, she is way out of her league and is viewed as a pushover by Eberhart, Whitmarsh, Lawrence, and even Mayo. She can’t think on her feet nor while sitting.

  67. Doctor J Says:

    Any word on who will be assigned as Principal at YVHS ? Previous posting on this blog indicated it would be Sue Brothers. Any confirmation of this internal reassignment ?

  68. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    I suspect Sue was originally slated to go as the Director. Probably The Gary advised Lawrence that this would create some problems for him with the election coming up. Lawrence promotes the sycophant Morones and what do you know a position opens up for Sue.

    Can anyone find a flaw in this logic?

  69. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: I have also heard that rumor, but have no confirmation. When I saw Brothers at the Solar Dedication, she said she didn’t know what she would be doing next year.

    Residents in the YVHS neighborhood are eager to find out who the new principal will be, since they have been meeting with Morones to air their concerns about the planned stadium lighting. Now, they’re not sure whether their concerns will be communicated to the new principal.

    One resident told me that Whitmarsh said she wants to postpone the public hearing for the stadium lights until July 18 (instead of June 25). Some residents suggested that the board wait until after the election, to let possible new board members make the decision. But, one resident told me Whitmarsh was not receptive to that idea.

  70. g Says:

    Theresa; Any idea how soon Danny will have the new salary data up for us? I surely would like to see it before I lose track of who’s been around the whole year -v- part year.

  71. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Sorry, not sure.
    I have been meaning to do a blog post looking at the top 10 in total compensation from 2011.
    They were, in order: Lawrence, Rolen, Cooksey, Browne, Richards, Lock, Braun-Martin, Silvia Esteban, Timothy Cody and Joanne Durkee.

  72. Doctor J Says:

    Gov Brown promised to expedite the STAR test results so we should see API gains/losses sooner than August. If Morones at YVHS only gained 7 points, chances are good [unfortunately] that there will be a loss, keeping the school at under 700. He would need a 28 point gain just to get to 700; 700 not being exactly a great score anyways, but under 700 stinks. I agree with Cheryl Hansen, Morones has no record of stellar achievement to qualify him to be “Director of Secondary”. In fact, as they interview the new SASS “principal coaches”, you won’t find they meet the standard set by Lawrence for a record of achievement to qualify them to coach other principals on “how to turn around a school”. Really, the only SASS person with such a record appears to be former Delta View Principal Sue Petersen, who had over 150 API point gains in two years. Last year Toby Montez achieved a 58 point gain at Meadow Homes and got canned. It will be interesting to see if Mary-Louise Newling builds on that or it regresses. If MDUSD has a second year in a row under Lawrence with low API gains [last year 2 point gain], it will spell disaster for Eberhart’s re-election campaign.

  73. g Says:

    Thanks Theresa. It’s those darn mid-year promotions and job/title reclassification and changes that makes it nearly impossible to figure out who is really making what.

    It’s seems clear that Measure C is being really good to Tim (and crew). He jumps from 16th to 9th. Go Tim! You’re on your way to Pedersen’s old #3 spot.

  74. Doctor J Says:

    What was interesting was that Pete Pedersen’s “new contract” [on a $5000 max form] has him reporting to Greg Rolen, who is identified as an “administrator”. Yet Rolen’s primary role is the “General Counsel” to the Board and therefore not subject to Lawrence’s oversight, and therefore Pete isn’t even responsible to Lawrence, yet he claims he always needs orders from the Supt as to what to do. It never lists his “hourly” just gives an annual maximum. Such sloppy legal work.

  75. g Says:

    $360+million to spend, and you only have to drop by to report in once a month to the guy that ran the buses off the proverbial cliff. Good planning!

  76. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The top 10 in terms of gross salary for 2011 were slightly different and did not include Cody or Durkee.

    In order, top gross salary earners in 2011 were: Lawrence, Rolen, Browne, Lock, Cooksey, Braun-Martin, Richards, Susan Petersen, Silvia Esteban and Michael Giambona.

    Esteban is an integrated systems project manager and Giambona is a psychologist.

  77. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, you have two lists for 2011. What’s the difference ? Can you list the amounts please.

  78. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have uploaded several video clips from the June 4 meeting to my YouTube account at:

    Here is the initial motion regarding the public input meetings made by Hansen:

  79. Anon Says:

    Giambona is an idiot. I am not sure where all the bodies are buried but someone knows.

  80. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Total compensation includes benefits. Gross salary is base salary plus any additional payments. It’s all one list, but it can be sorted in different ways.

    The top 10 total gross salary ranges from $114,622.27 to $248,612.10.

    The top 10 total compensation ranges from $147,925.87 to $292,323.60.

  81. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting gross salary report. When you compare the Lawrence financial analysis in May 2010 to justify SASS creation, he listed the Directors of Elementary and Secondary at $114,517 but you list Susan Petersen 8th overall, with the 10th being $114,622.27, and I believe that would be with several days furlough subtracted for end of school year 2011, and 3 more days subtracted for beginning of year 2011-12. So her gross salary must be significantly more than the reported $114,517, which was necessary in order to achieve a savings of $45,000 which Lawrence later boasted exceeded over $50,000, but no records were ever produced to verify any of the actual savings. From the May 11, 2010 Board meeting:
    Just more evidence that time after time Lawrence’s figures cannot be trusted.

  82. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Gross salary includes overtime and other payments. You appear to be referring to base salary.

    Here is the top 10 according to base salary, in order: Lawrence, Rolen, Browne, Cooksey, Lock, Richards, Braun-Martin, Esteban, Susan Petersen and Joanne Durkee.

    These base salaries range from $108,780.88 to $245,982.18.

    Petersen’s base salary was $118,436.29. Her gross salary was $120,696.25. Her total compensation was $141,768.96.

  83. Doctor J Says:

    Take her gross salary, and add about 6 furlough days @ roughly $600 per day, and that will put her contract base salary amount at approx. $122,000, significantly over the $114k used by Lawrence to justify the $45k in savings. Her perks are about $21,000 and she had a couple of thousand of expenses — probably included the MarriotGATE expenses in Sacramento with Mildred and her entourage. :-)

  84. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Petersen received $2,259.96 in “other” expenses; $9,392.66 in Medical, Dental and Vision; $9,957.39 toward her pension and $1,722.66 in misc. benefits.

  85. Doctor J Says:

    @TH #37 & 45 : Simple questions for Lawrence, but he refuses to supply the documents which should be readily available and is cooking up answers — just remember Steven that we have already copied the recordings of the meetings — they aren’t going away. Theresa, its now been nearly 48 hours — when do you follow up ?

  86. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The resolution states that the board approved both bond documents and that they were on file with the clerk of the board. As previously mentioned, the resolution also falsely states that the bond documents were presented at the April 23 meeting.

    Yet, Alicia Minyen told me that Greg Rolen denied a PRA submitted by someone she knows for the bond documents, saying they were in “draft form.” Obviously, this is an unacceptable response. How could the board have approved them if they weren’t ready to be reviewed by anyone? And what, exactly was “on file,” as claimed in the resolution? The public has a right to see what the board ostensibly approved. And it is very surprising that no one on the board appeared to have read the resolution. Certainly no one except for Hansen asked to see the documents that they were blindly approving.

    I will follow up with Lawrence and Peterson today.

  87. Anon Says:

    I believe Hansen voted against approval, didn’t she?

  88. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, Hansen was the lone vote against approval. She wanted the superintendent and general counsel to incorporate the changes to reflect the will of the board and bring it back for approval, saying it didn’t make sense to approve a document without seeing it first. Eberhart, however, said that wasn’t necessary. And Lawrence and Rolen assured the board that they would make the changes. However, they never pointed out that the resolution stated the bond documents were being presented and approved, as part of the resolution. And they never mentioned that they planned to secretly insert an indemnification clause without board authorization or approval, while omitting any restrictions on land or property acquisition, which the board directed them to add.

  89. g Says:

    Question: If the bond funds are released by the County, first to Stone and Youngberg (I believe), How long can they sit on, or use the funds themselves before the bonds are sold to the public?

    I may not be asking the right question. It may not even be relevant, but it seems that from the time the documents were put through, to 6/20 when the bonds go out for sale to the public, would give Stone and Youngberg a long time to “play with” the money.

    Does that make sense?

  90. Wait a Minute Says:

    I believe that Eberhart, Lawrence, and Rolen could be charged with CONSPIRACY on this matter and it probably goes much deeper then this.

    This is not simply (one of many) Brown Act violations, this is a conspiracy to defraud the public plain and simple.

    It would behoove the CC Grand Jury and DA to thoroughly investigate these matters and let the chips fall where they may!

  91. Doctor J Says:

    If they are on file with the “clerk of the board” aka Steven Lawrence, one should be able to walk into Dent and get a copy. I wonder what our attentive DA Mark Peterson says about that ?

  92. Jim Says:

    G. — If I understand your question and follow this thread correctly, there are no funds for anyone to sit on until the bonds are sold. Selling the bonds generates the cash. I believe that the process is that the county approves the sale, Stone and Youngberg (and other banks in the syndicate) then start selling the bonds, and then sale proceeds are delivered to the issuing agency’s account. Bond sales typically settle within two business days, I believe. (Although not all of the bonds in a given tranche may sell within two days. As they sell, it generates proceeds within the two-day settlement dates.)

  93. Theresa Harrington Says:

    WAM: I asked Peterson if the false resolution violated the Brown Act or was illegal in any other way.

    Dr. J: You are correct. No one should need to file a PRA to get these documents, since they should have been attached to the resolution or presented separately at the meeting, as the resolution stated. And since they are “on file,” they should be immediately accessible.

  94. g Says:

    Thanks Jim. That makes sense. Somehow it crossed my mind this morning that we were negotiating an initial sale to Stone & Youngberg at, perhaps, a real low percentage rate and they were then eventually “reselling” them, in our name, to the public at a higher rate that we would have to pay.

    While the bonds were in S&Y’s hands, they could “use” them, like cash, for their own leverage, credit sheet, bottom line, etc.

    Screwy thinking, huh?

  95. Doctor J Says:

    When is the Board’s response due to the Grand Jury ? I believe the Board must discuss it in open session as it is not “potential litigation” — even if it was, it would have to be noticed on the closed session, and then a report given on the “action”. The response is public record.

  96. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The board never discussed its response to the grand jury report regarding Measure C. Instead, Rolen responded on behalf of the board, stating that the financing had been discussed before trustees voted to place the measure on the ballot. I don’t recall any such discussion and I have written previously about the fact that no discussion about the financing took place. Also, the minutes didn’t reflect such a discussion. But, since Eberhart and Strange dismantled their blog and removed public access to videos of the meetings, there is no way to prove that no such discussion took place.

    Since the board didn’t seem to mind allowing Rolen to respond on its behalf to that grand jury report, it will be interesting to see if trustees request the two most recent Grand Jury reports be brought before them: one regarding trustee salaries and benefits; and one regarding bond oversight.

  97. g Says:

    As to other items on Monday’s Agenda. I take great exception to the phrase, “It was Explicitly Addressed” in regard to Anova being given a lease at Holbrook.

    It may or may not be a good move. But when they suggested that they might use Glenbrook and/or Holbrook to combine some Alternative Schools or District programs, NOTHING was mentioned publicly about leasing to Anova “explicitly” or otherwise.

  98. Doctor J Says:

    Yes Theresa, there are TWO outstanding responses due — one GJ Report filed April 18 and one filed May 14. As for the prior response, it was not on behalf of the Board as the Board never considered it — see the Agendas and Minutes which never reflect discussion, vote or approval. That also was a violation of the Brown Act. Perhaps you should ask the Board President when she intends on putting these on the Agenda for public comment, Board discussion, and a vote as to the response of the Board, not just one individual. If the response time is 60 days, then there are no board meetings before that time expires on #1204 and only one Board meeting before 60 days is up for #1208.

  99. Theresa Harrington Says:

    This is unrelated to this blog post, but I am posting a link to a very sad story about a former MDUSD custodian who was brutally beaten in Oakland and is now a quadriplegic:

  100. Alicia Says:

    @86…i did not make a records request. However, on April 23rd, I did mention during public comment that those documents referenced “as presented” were not provided in the Agenda.

  101. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Alicia: I corrected post #86 to show that you did not make the PRA request, but that you know someone who did.

    I still have not heard back from Lawrence in response to my email asking why the bond documents were not presented, as falsely stated in the resolution. I also have not heard back from DA Mark Peterson regarding your Brown Act complaint and my follow-up questions regarding the false resolution submitted to the Board of Supervisors.

  102. Alicia Says:

    #101 – The resolution pertaining to the decision to approve the first $110 million of 2010 Measure C bonds has many attachments, some of which appear to be in draft form. See

    Nonetheless, the April 23rd resolution had no attachments. Theresa, it just may be that staff made a mistake and the referenced documents did not exist at the time, and so there is nothing to produce.

  103. Alicia Says:

    @96…Theresa, that is interesting. Grand Jury reports are addressed to the Board, not staff. So isn’t it the Trustee’s duty to respond to the Grand Jury? Is there something in the Board Bylaws giving general counsel full discretion to act as Agent of the Board without the Board having to grant him such authority in a public meeting?

    The response to the Grand Jury may have been different if the Board had carried out its duty to respond to the Grand Jury themselves.

  104. Doctor J Says:

    Wonder why Alicia and Theresa can’t get a straight answer from Lawrence ? Is this lack of compliance with the Brown Act sound familiar in MDUSD ? Lawrence has a track record of non-adherence to the Brown Act. From Lawrence’s record as Supt in West Sacramento [along with Sue Brothers, Asst. Supt.], as reported by the Yolo County Grand Jury: “State law requires schools to post site council meeting notices 72 hours prior to the meetings. The school and District office staff were unable to produce any site council meeting notices. There was no documentary or credible oral evidence that site council meetings were held, including agendas, minutes or sign-in sheets. In October 2009, a YHS document (SPSA) was developed, purportedly approved by a valid YHS school site council and was submitted in January 2010 to the WUSD and sent to the State. The SPSA contains an attestation that it was
    adopted by the school site council at a public meeting on January 13, 2010. The Grand Jury determined a valid YHS school site council meeting did not occur in January 2010.”
    As Board Secretary and School Supt, Steven where is the documentary evidence that MDUSD is in compliance with the Brown Act in giving 72 hours notice, posted on the website and at an available public access, of its meetings ? Show us the documents Alicia and Theresa seek.
    You can read the Yolo County Grand Jury report yourself on pages 33-36 at BTW, the Board response, after Lawrence left to MDUSD, was to admit the findings of the Grand Jury. Shortly thereafter Sue Brothers’s duties as Asst. Supt. were “reassigned” by the School Board to undetermined duties. Shortly after the reassignment, Lawrence offered her a job in MDUSD as the last principal of CVHS. Her position for next year remains a closely held secret.

  105. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Alicia: That would be a pretty big “mistake” to forget that you didn’t have the bond documents that you claim in your resolution are being presented to the board and approved. As has already been mentioned, it is likely that the County Board of Supervisors relied on this misrepresentation when it approved its own resolution approving the bond sales. Perhaps in the future, supervisors will demand to see these documents for themselves, instead of believing that the MDUSD board, superintendent and general counsel have actually reviewed them and approved them — or even drafted them.

    Regarding the Grand Jury response, I agree that it seems odd that the board allowed Rolen to respond on its behalf and I don’t know why he assumed he had the authority to do that. It would seem logical that it should be brought before the board so the public can comment on it and hear the board deliberate about its response.

    Dr. J: This also reminds me of when Superintendent Lawrence repeatedly claimed to me that the 2010 Measure C bond resolution included the fact that the district planned to extend the 2002 tax rate. As I’m sure you recall, that detail was not revealed until after the board vote and it was not in the resolution, as Lawrence claimed. And of course now, we’ve come full circle. Since it wasn’t actually in the resolution, the board was not bound to keep its promise to maintain the 2002 tax rate.

  106. Doctor J Says:

    Am I right that the April 23 Agenda attachment to 16.5 has been doctored from the proposed resolution considered at the Board meeting ? Looking at the footer, it appears that it is Version 3. What version was attached to the original Agenda and considered by the Board ?

  107. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, it looks like the same version that was submitted to the County Board of Supervisors. The first version posted with the agenda says: “Mt. Diablo USD 2010 G O bonds District Reso V 2.DOC” in the footer.

  108. g Says:

    As far as I can tell, the only notable change from Version 2 and Version 3 is the addition of “…, however, the Bonds shall be issued as current interest bonds only.”

    The term “… ‘acquisition’ and
    improvement of certain real property,…” was left in, which leaves us wide open to new real estate being purchased.

    However, as it might pertain to the City of Pittsburg loan for the Bay Point property; that, I believe, is a zero interest loan, so hopefully no one will be ignorant enough to use Bond funds to “prepay” any of that debt.

    On the other hand, the terminology leaves it wide open that taxpayers from as far away as Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Pacheco and Concord/Clayton will foot the bill for, yet another, new school in Bay Point.

  109. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The other major change is the unauthorized addition Section 13, which says:

    “Section 13. Indemnification. The District shall indemnify and hold harmless, to the extent permitted by law, the County and its officers and employees (“Indemnified Parties”), against any and all losses, claims, damages or liabilities, joint or several, to which such Indemnified Parties may become subject because of action or inaction related to the adoption of a resolution by the County Board of Supervisors providing for the issuance and sale of the Bonds, or related to the proceedings for sale, award, issuance and delivery of the Bonds in accordance therewith and herewith. The District shall also reimburse any such Indemnified Parties for any legal or other expenses incurred in connection with investigating or defending any
    such claims or actions.”

  110. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that the Concord Transcript and Pleasant Hill/Martinez Record newspapers incorrectly printed in their meeting calendar sections that the MDUSD board would meet Monday, June 11. The next meeting is actually June 25.

  111. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#107, v2 was attached to the posted agenda before the meeting and the one considered by the Board. V3 was not created until following the meeting, and surepiticiously substituted on the Agenda sometime after the Board meeting to make it appear that it was the one considered by the Board, but it wasn’t. V3 on the agenda looks like the one submitted to the County. Section 13 was never considered by the Board. I don’t know how Lawrence is going to get around this when the documents are out there and printed. Board member’s copies will tell the truth.

  112. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, this is what I’ve been saying all along. Also, obviously, the bond documents are missing entirely.

    I have still not heard back from Lawrence or Peterson, after leaving Peterson a voicemail and sending Lawrence a follow-up email yesterday.

    I have asked Lawrence to provide the bond documents to me immediately, since they are reportedly “on file” with him.

  113. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#112 Time to get the Times legal beagles on Lawrence’s trail of deception as he runs from the truth. The ten days of the PRA does not apply where the documents are readily available — its not a stall tactic. Perhaps the Transcript and Record got notice of a Special Meeting for Monday night [AB 1344], and you are being excluded ?

  114. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have not submitted a PRA because the documents are reportedly on file and were erroneously reportedly presented at the meeting. Also, I have not received a response, so I don’t know if the district is stalling or plans to reject my request. The “legal beagles” don’t usually get involved unless a request is rejected (such as Rolen’s past refusal to provide Measure C voter poll results, saying it was not in the public’s best interest).

    However, as you know, Alicia Minyen and I have alerted the DA about the missing bond documents. Soon, I will contact other county officials about the district’s misrepresentations.

  115. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, here is the clause that STILL allows for the acquisition of property, in violation of the board’s direction to Lawrence and Rolen (RELEVANT PORTION IS IN ALL CAPS):

    “Section 2. Purpose and Authorization. This District Board hereby determines that general obligation bonds of the District in the aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $150,000,000 be offered for sale, in one or more series (the “Bonds”), as more particularly described in Section 3 below, the proceeds of which are to be used for the ACQUISITION AND improvement of certain REAL PROPERTY, equipping and furnishing of facilities of the District, as set forth in the bond proposition approved at the Election.”

  116. Theresa Harrington Says:

    As a side note, a YVHS resident told me that Sherry Whitmarsh assured the neighbors that she would ask staff to pursue mitigation to the field lights project, if it is approved, after the board votes to approve it.

    He was skeptical, so he asked her to give him her word, which she did, according to the resident.

    How likely do you think it is that the board would pursue mitigation to a project after it is approved?

  117. Doctor J Says:

    Here is a great list of “legal resources” provided by the First Amendment Coalition about PRA requests. It would appear that any request, verbal or written, is considered a PRA request.

  118. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, that’s true. However, sometimes the district fails to respond to informal requests. When this happens, I follow up with a formal PRA. But I always remind the district that the initial request should have been honored as a PRA.

  119. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#115 The lie of all lies: “acquisition . . .of certain real property . . . as set forth in the bond proposition approved at the election.” Not a word about acquisition of real property in the bond proposition. Read it for yourself:

  120. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s the announcement of MDEA’s approval of the tentative agreement:

  121. g Says:

    Dr. J: Really! Didn’t you understand from 2002 that “add classrooms” was the exact same thing as “buy acreage, build entire schools”! Really!

    They got by with it then. Only Pedersen and Eberhart are significant as carry-overs from back then. Who do you think is “advising” Lawrence and Rolen on the subtleties of diversion tactics?

  122. Doctor J Says:

    3% Bonus to Lawrence, the BIG5, and all other Dent and site administrators according to the secret management agreement with DMA that matches any raise or bonus given MDEA.

  123. Doctor J Says:

    @G Just because a bank robber gets away with one bank roberry, it doesn’t mean he can’t get prosecuted with the next one. I think DA Mark Peterson opened a can of worms and he is now trying to figure out how many worms are in the can. If he doesn’t pursue Eberhart and Lawrence now, its going to look like collusion and corruption, and start a federal probe — oh that could be ugly for the 2014 election. Besides, conservative special interest lawfirms like the Pacific Legal Foundation, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and maybe even the First Amendment Coalition might be eager to make a test case out of Measure C.

  124. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have received Lawrence’s response and will post it shortly. I still have not heard back from Peterson.

  125. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have posted Lawrence’s responses, along with my original and follow-up emails:

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