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MDUSD Bond Oversight Committee meeting Thursday

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 at 11:47 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Here is the agenda for the Mt. Diablo school district’s Bond Oversight Committee meeting on Thursday:

2010 Measure C Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee
Thursday, June 21, 2012
1936 Carlotta Drive
Board Room, Dent Education Center
7:00 PM

• Call to order

• Public Comment

• Review/approval of minutes of March 15, and April 19, 2012 meetings

• Introduction of new member: Jim Walsh

• Organizational Meeting: Election of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

• Review of member terms

• Committee Vacancy

• Solar Project: status report

• Mechanical (HVAC): status report

• Technology Infrastructure: status report

• High School Projects/Accelerated Implementation Schedule

• Quarterly Report: Financials

• Other Committee concerns/topics

• Adjournment”

It will be interesting to see if anyone asks about the $150 million bond issuance in the works or the IHTA kitchen and Prop. 55 funding priority changes.

Do you think the district should post attachments or PowerPoints to be presented, before the meeting begins?

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46 Responses to “MDUSD Bond Oversight Committee meeting Thursday”

  1. Dan Says:

    Another pathetic agenda from the double dipper Pedersen. He either thinks this is all a funny joke or he is incompetent.

  2. Jim Says:

    Who is John Walsh and how did he become a member of this committee?

  3. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Walsh is the new senior representative, approved by the board on May 21:

    On another note, the newly formed Contra Costa County Chapter of CaLBOC will meet Saturday and discuss the grand jury’s May 11, 2012 report “School Bond Oversight – Raising the Bar”:

    I see that the MDUSD BOC has not placed this grand jury report on its Thursday agenda, despite the fact that the district is required to respond to it.

  4. Alicia Says:

    It is disappointing to not see the Grand Jury Report 1208 on the Agenda. The district should have provided the Chair of the CBOC with a copy of this report so it can be discussed among CBOC members.

  5. Been Down That Road Says:

    I’m sorry–I’ve completely lost track of what money is coming from where so I apologize if this question doesn’t pertain to BOC business

    There is $46 million or so floating around as improvement money set aside for high schools within MDUSD. It appears that MDUSD does not want to include Clayton Valley in their improvements with this money even though those within the attendance area both voted on and are paying for all the bonds approved in the past 50 years just as every other resident in the District is doing. Additionally, while the property becomes the general responsibility of CV on July 1, the District is the landlord. Prop 39 allows that, if a high school in the district has an amenity, then the charter high school should have it as well.

    Theresa–can you find out if CV will, in fact, be able to participate in the improvements planned for the $46 million?

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I thought Pete Pedersen had said before that CVHS would be included — for the reasons you state. But, I’ll check. If so, they should have been asked to create a list of priority projects. Do you know if that has been done?

  7. Been Down That Road Says:

    While a list was created and submitted to the District, there has not been, to my knowledge, any acknowledgement that these projects are being considered.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Since High School projects are on the agenda tonight, that should be discussed.

  9. Been Down That Road Says:

    It should be mentioned, however, that some of the projects on the list are being handled as a matter of course. That is, they are maintenance projects that should have been done on an ongoing and regular basis and were not–chipped and crumbling concrete, broken fencing, rusted and broken partitions in locker rooms, etc.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#3 The BOARD is required to respond to the Grand Jury Report — not the generic “district”. In order to meet the Brown Act, it must be put on an Agenda for discussion. As you pointed out before, it does not meet the legal requirements for a “closed session” but even if it did, the actual response would have to be voted upon and reported out at the closed session. There are two outstanding Grand Jury reports for MDUSD Board — did the Grand Jury receive responses to either one yet ? If so, lets get them posted so the public can once again complain about Brown Act violations. BTW, where was Eberhart at the last board meeting ?

  11. Alicia Says:

    @9-Been Down That Road..

    For CVHS planned projects, see the Quarterly Report pages 40 to 42. However, I can’t tell if this is part of the $40 plus million allocated for high schools.

  12. Alicia Says:

    Theresa…I noticed the 2002 Measure C Agenda on the website. The 2002 Measure C – CBOC meeting starts at 6pm tonight.

  13. Doctor J Says:

    @Alicia#12 — 2002 CBOC agenda not posted until yesterday at 2:47 pm — another clear violation of the Brown Act requirement of posting on the website 72 hours in advance ! AB 1344. But Pete doesn’t give a damn.

  14. Anon Says:

    This is “speculation” on my part regarding Eberhart’s abscence:

    Eberhart likely has realized that he erred in getting his buddy THE DA to try and bring some heavy handed tactics to intimidate Hansen. He now knows the gig is up and he is probably trying to distance himself from the board.

  15. Anon Says:

    @ Been down that road,

    Take a look at the April 23rd Board agenda and minutes. I was at the meeting. The $42mil was to be split with $2mil going to alternative programs and the remainder being divided amongst the 6 high schools including Clayton Valley. The list of projects is to be determined by a group representative of the school community and approved by the school site council. The project list is then submitted to the Board for approval.

  16. MoMx3 Says:

    Brothers refused to work on the 6 mil for the charter, and didn’t have any site council meetings the last couple of months of the school year. The charter staff is said to be working on it. I hope they don’t screw it up!

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    On another note, the Pleasant Hill Education Commission will meet Wednesday and discuss a fall candidate’s forum, among other things:

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The website now says the 2002 committee meeting has been canceled:

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Agenda for Monday board meeting is posted:
    It includes request from supt. to fill positions without board approval, but doesn’t include any censure policy. It also includes new anti-bullying policy updates.

  20. Doctor J Says:

    Oh where oh where has Gary gone ? Perhaps he will be missing next Monday’s meeting since his censure policy is not on the agenda as HE requested. Strange that a man who has never missed any meetings that I can remember, might miss two meetings in a row. Where was he last Monday, and where will he be this coming Monday ? Add to that his taking down his email address from the District website, and its all very “strange” ! He’s our elected official and the public has a right to know !

  21. Seriously... Says:

    Dr. J…Was Eberhart at the bond oversight meeting yesterday?

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, Eberhart was not at the meeting. Neither were Hansen or Mayo, who often attend. I don’t think Dennler or Whitmarsh have ever attended regularly.
    Although Hansen continues to ask Whitmarsh to address her Points of Order regarding committee assignments, those are not on the board agenda either. Neither are the two grand jury reports, to which the board is required to respond.
    One BOC members said she wished a board member was present to hear the discussion, which included questions about technology and the use of social media.

  23. anon Says:

    Oh Dr. J,
    Your speculations are getting more and more ridiculous!

  24. Flippin' Tired Says:

    “Doctor” J @13:

    The agenda is only required to be posted, not necessarily on the website. You’re at the Dent Center – why don’t you toddle on down the hall and see if it’s posted on the wall?

    The webmaster is not a full-time position. He’s not sitting idle, waiting for someone to come up with an agenda.

    Breathe. Seriously. You’re going to have a stroke.

  25. Doctor J Says:

    At Flippin Tired: Please read AB 1344 enacted a year ago, and in force as of Jan 1, 2012. You shouldn’t get your information from Greg Rolen.

  26. Giorgio C. Says:

    I believe this is the response to previous Grand Jury report

  27. Jim Says:

    Flippin’ Tired — Are you serious? You would rely on the precise wording of some obscure regulation, rather than just doing what is right — and sensible? Why would a public organization NOT post an agenda on its website? Are members of the public supposed to drive down to the Dent Center before every meeting to see if, maybe, this time, an agenda has been posted?

    FYI for people stuck in the ed world time warp — it no longer takes a “webmaster” to post an agenda on a website. Inexpensive web software has been available to schools for years that allows anyone with a password and basic MS Word skills to post content on a district website. If MDUSD is relying so much on their part-time “webmaster”, who is doing such a bang-up job NOT posting things on other parts of the web site, maybe they need to rethink how they handle web content. Oh, that’s right. It doesn’t matter. They’re not accountable to anyone. So why bother?

  28. Doctor J Says:

    @GiorgioC#26 That GJ “response” was never authorized by the Board in either open or closed session agenda items. It appears that Rolen either went “rogue” or there was a blatant Brown Act violation. I believe the Grand Jury should start requiring evidence of Brown Act compliance in open sessions of the responses from public agencies.

  29. Doctor J Says:

    @Jim#27 FT simply refers to an outdated website for an organization that no longer exists. AB 1344 passed in 2011.

  30. Giorgio C. Says:

    @Doctor J#28: Looking at some Grand Jury reports regarding Brown Act enforcement. It does’t sound promising. It appears this is the jurisdiction of the DA and AG. However, if a Grand Jury verified such violations, such a Grand Jury report would go a long way for purposes of recalling elected officers.

    Here is one example of a Grand Jury’s report with another school district regarding Brown Act violations, etc.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    @GiorgioC#30 While Lawrence was Supt in West Sacramento [Washington USD] the Yolo County Grand Jury issued two reports on incident during his short tenure there: 2009/10 and 2010/11. Here is the report for 10/11 at pages 33-35. Thought you would enjoy and you can also read the actual report of Winters instead of the press version.

  32. Giorgio C. Says:

    @Doctor J#31
    Thanks. Very informative. I recently complained to the WASC accreditation agency that the WCCUSD (my district) were not completely filling out the School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs), specifically the item regarding the number of non-credentialed teachers employed.

    Most of this information for each school and the district total is absent. In fact, I used your district as an example of completed SARCs. The state law requires completion of this yearly report. The WASC Ex Director replied that they usually have folks rewrite these when they discover this during the survey.

    I’m sorry, but this isn’t good enough for me. The law requires that these be published and that they be complete and accurate for ME, not for the purpose of pleasing the accreditation team. So perhaps this is also a potential Grand Jury item.

    By the way, I hope you don’t mind my jumping in on your MDUSD district issues. We are dealing with some of the same issues, except that I don’t think our Superintendent is a bad (corrupt) guy. He just needs to be reminded to ensure that our district adheres to all laws. Maybe at a later date, we might want to bring a group of concerned folks from the entire county of Contra Costa together for purpose of tidying up our districts.

  33. Giorgio C. Says:

    One more thing. For two successive Performance Audits, the auditor noted that the WCCUSD did not have job descriptions for the district staff. Again, this is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts because I equate lack of job descriptions with poor management. I attended a district “oversight” meeting and I requested these job descriptions and was told they are “ancient.” But no one is making them do it. I want to see job descriptions and org charts.

    There is truly an argument for requiring that school districts be accredited.

  34. Anon Says:

    If you all would spend as much time and effort helping the administration and the board as you do attempting to destroy the district because of the administration and the board, the district would be one of the best in the state. What your doing is truly shameful and destructive.

  35. Anon Says:

    @anon 34. I have personally spent many hours (upwards of 100) trying to help them only to have the door slammed shut. If they are unwilling to listen and stop fighting then the problems won’t ever be solved. It seems more and more that they care about themselves and not the children.

  36. Giorgio C. Says:

    My community had a devoted, extremely qualified citizen who was voted off of the WCCUSD CBOC. I believe the Grand Jury report states that the selection method of CBOC members is one that contains an inherent conflict-of-interest as they are appointed by the school board, those who we are overseeing. This person has been shut out of the process.

  37. Giorgio C. Says:

    Let me repeat something POSITIVE about the management of the MDUSD. The SARC reports are complete-they are not missing chunks of critical data! This demonstrates a commitment to transparency-accountability that I do NOT see with my district.

    To the MDUSD staffer(s) responsible for these complete reports-great job!!!!

    I apologize for hijacking this thread with my own district issues. In response to Anon34, I believe we should give credit where due.

  38. Jim Says:

    Anon #34 — Oh please. Every petty tyranny since time began has used that argument. “Quiet down, be a good little citizen, and everything will get better.” You have no idea how much time, effort, and money some of us have devoted to our local schools. Yes, at the site level — IF there is proper leadership — one can have a positive impact (which, by the way, often involves overcoming the effects of the central administration’s indifference and incompetence). But thinking that residents can reverse this district’s ingrained dysfunctional culture, or have much impact beyond the site level is, well, simply delusional. They are a monopoly, unaccountable to almost no one. Get it?

  39. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Giorgio: Alicia Minyen, who was the taxpayer rep. on the MDUSD CBOC, has resigned after being frustrated by the district’s lack of responsiveness to her requests for information. She is also frustrated by the DA’s slow response to her Brown Act and misuse of public funds complaints.

    Anon: As previously noted, no board member showed up to the BOC meeting, where there was a lively discussion by dedicated district residents who said they wished a board member had attended to hear their concerns about technology and the use of social media. These people are trying to help the district. Chairman John Ferrante advised at least one CBOC member to bring his concerns to the board. But, that takes time. So, that person said he would likely send an email. However, emails are private communications that may or may not influence a board member to take action. Even those who make public comments are often frustrated by the board’s lack of responsiveness. This is why Trustee Cheryl Hansen wanted to hold community meetings where there could be more informal discussions between board members and the public. But the rest of the board appears to be resistant to that idea. Although Board President Sherry Whitmarsh said she thought the strategic plan could be addressed at the June 25 meeting, it is not on the agenda. At a strategic planning board study session months ago, Trustee Gary Eberhart said he wanted to make discipline one of his top priorities. However, there has been virtually no discussion of this topic since he made that comment. Now, teachers and parents are starting to speak out about the need for a comprehensive discipline policy. It remains to be seen whether their attempts to “help the board” understand community concerns will result in action by the board.

    Also, FYI, Trustee Cheryl Hansen said in an email that she didn’t attend the BOC meeting because she received an email from Pete Pedersen telling her the 2002 BOC meeting was canceled. She didn’t realize there were two separate BOC meetings and that the 2010 meeting was still moving forward.

    She also said she never received copies of the bond preliminary official statement or purchase agreement and that she was never told they were available for review at the April 23 meeting. Superintendent Steven Lawrence, on the other hand, has claimed that trustees knew this, even though he failed to make any public announcement stating that.

    The board and administration could help itself — and help build public trust — by improving transparency and being more responsive to residents such as Alicia Minyen, when they point out that important documents are being withheld from public view.

  40. Flippin Tired Says:

    Jim @27 and “Doctor” J @25,

    I don’t post Site Council agendas or minutes on our school website. It’s not required. Plus, I don’t have that ability at site level. We POST them at the site; those who give a damn read the board. Our parent group doesn’t, either. Why must the district? Again, TIS isn’t sitting around waiting to post an agenda. Dent has had staff cuts too.

    “Doctor,” since you work at Dent you know that employees can only do what’s in their job description; if you deviate and do anything outside your department, there’s Hell to pay. How about YOU volunteer to post all the meeting agendas? Go down the hall and tell Steve you want to add agenda postings on the web as one of your duties. Then there will be no more Brown Act violations for you to complain about. Put up or…well, you know the rest.

  41. Alicia Says:

    @24 Flippin Tired –

    FYI: When it comes to posting meeting agendas of the Citizen Bond Oversight Committee (“CBOC”), the district must comply with the Brown Act in addition to Education Code 15280(b). Ed Code 15280(b) requires the CBOC meetings to be posted in the same manner as Board Meetings. MDUSD Board meeting Agenda’s are posted via the Internet and so the CBOC meetings must be posted in the same manner, on the Internet. Further this Code mandates the CBOC have a dedicted Internet Site to make CBOC correspondence, such as meeting minutes, available to the public.

    “15280. (b) All committee proceedings shall be open to the public and notice to the public shall be provided in the same manner as the proceedings of the governing board. The citizens’ oversight committee shall issue regular reports on the results of its activities. A report shall be issued at least once a year. Minutes
    of the proceedings of the citizens’ oversight committee and all documents received and reports issued shall be a matter of public record and be made available on an Internet website maintained by the
    governing board.”

  42. Alicia Says:

    @39 Theresa – An email by the CBOC to the Board would have to be made available to the public on the CBOC website (See Ed. Code 15280(b)). The designated CBOC member should make sure to “cc” the committee members and the board on the email. This email should then be immediately uploaded to the CBOC website.

  43. Giorgio C. Says:

    @41 Alicia-The MDUSD CBOC Bylaws (7.1.a) also state this requirement regarding posting of notices

  44. Flippin' Tired Says:

    Then y’all need to start filing Brown Violation paperwork hand over fist. This board will never do what’s required, in the time frame you and everybody else want. It. Will. Not. Happen. Not as long as the current regime reigns.

  45. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is a new state document on Educational Technology that the district’s Ed Tech committee — which is looking at how to spend Measure C funds at school sites — may want to review:

    There were no representatives from Contra Costa County on the state’s Ed Tech task force, as far as I can tell. It looks like the closest task force member was Alexander Zwissler, Executive Director/CEO, Chabot Space and Science Center. (The district uses the TechBridge program that is available through the science center.)

  46. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that the board expects to approve a list of $6.7 million in Measure C improvements for Clayton Valley Charter HS tonight:

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