Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD board to discuss budget, school safety, bullying and other issues tonight

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 7:01 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board meeting tonight is likely to last much longer than the last meeting, which was over in about half-an-hour.

Here are highlights from the first part of the agenda (which is normally not discussed):


Item 4.5: Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint related to six certificated employees (info only):


Item 9.3 Certificated personnel actions: Includes some teachers having workloads reduced, along with temporary teachers being rehired, including two at Oak Grove MS:

Item 9.12 North Coast reps for MDUSD schools does not include CVCHS (since it will be a charter) and lists Steven Brady as the Northgate vp rep:

Brady was appointed as a vp of YVHS, where he worked this year:

It looks like he may be another superintendent “reassignment,” but it’s unclear who he’s replacing:

Item 9.31 authorizes the superintendent to enter into contracts over the summer without board approval:
Interestingly, one attachment has been clearly updated since the agenda was posted, with the original attachment still available for comparison. It looks like the district may be implementing a new policy to make revisions transparent! :)

Item 9.33 Disposal of library books from closed schools:

9.36 New board policy and administrative regulation prohibiting use of cell phones:
(The BOC may be interested in this, since it was specifically discussing at its meeting, wondering if such a policy existed.)

9.38 Measure C high school projects lists for MDHS and alternative schools:

9.39 Cost of issuance for Measure C bonds:

Do you think the board should authorize the superintendent to approve contracts without its approval over the summer?


I arrived a bit late, during discussion of items pulled from consent calendar for discussion. They were:

10.1 (item #16): Food and nutrition

10.2 (item #30): Approval of contract with Lincoln Pools

10.3 (item #31): Authorization to award summer contracts
(I arrived during this discussion): passed 5-0

10.4 (item #38): Measure C High School Project Plan: MDHS and alt. ed.
Passed 5-0.

10.5 (item 39): Confirming costs of sale respecting issuance of MDUSD GO bonds, 2010 election, 2012 Series E
Hansen asked about use of bond premium to pay costs of issuance.
Superintendent Lawrence said staff had given the board a thorough analysis of the Poway letter (sent by Attorney General’s office to Poway Dist.) He said it’s a common practice.
Hansen said she pulled this from consent because there continues to be that question.
Eberhart said the board received “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.” He said it’s an important issue and it’s important for the public to know that the district is operating appropriately.
Passed 4-1; Hansen against.

After the meeting, I asked Greg Rolen for a copy of the letter referenced by Lawrence and Eberhart. He said he wasn’t sure he needed to give it to me because it could be attorney-client privilege. I pointed out to him that the district is assuring the public that it’s perfectly fine to use bond premium to pay issuance costs, without actually telling the public the basis for that decision. Furthermore, the board specifically relied on this legal analysis in making its decision to approve the expenditure. I’ll be speaking to our company attorney about this. When the bond counsel spoke to the BOC, she said she and other attorneys didn’t know what the Poway letter meant. If they now have a better understanding of it, the public deserves to know what it is.

10.6 (item #41): Joint use lease agreement between MDUSD and Anova Center for Ed:
Hansen questioned the plan and pointed out that the revenues were minimal.
Lawrence said the district would receive about $84,000-$94,000 in rent, plus would reap solar benefits and Pawar Transportation savings.
Rolen said Anova pays 95-cents a square foot now and the district got them up to $1.50.
Lawrence said Anova approached the district. He said Measure C staff will be on the Holbrook site for 5-6 years, but after that, the district could see if anyone wants to rent the whole site. He also said the district is holding onto the property for when Concord develops the Naval Weapons Station property.
Eberhart said the deal is better for district students and makes better use of the facilities.
“To say that there has been no planning is void of reality,” he said, “so I would encourage people to look at the planning that has been done.”
Hansen asked: “Where is that plan?”
Passed 5-0.

JUNE 26 UPDATE: Here is the link to video of the bond cost of issuance discussion:

Here is my story about the meeting:

Since I didn’t finish the live blog, here is a synopsis of the rest of the meeting (please note that video clips are posted at and will be posted later at


Three people spoke about a composting program at Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill, which they would like to serve as a model for other schools. One said Pleasant Hill Middle School’s Earth Club is “disenfranchised” because the school has resisted composting and sustainability efforts there. It spends more money on waste disposal than any other Pleasant Hill school. Superintendent Steven Lawrence promised to bring this back as an agenda item.

No district communications.

CAC Annual Report: Dorothy Weissenberger delivered the annual report, including references to disproportionality and the FCMAT reports. She said the CAC is very concerned about cuts to special ed and reminded the board of its legal obligation to provide a free and appropriate education. She said the group would hold a planning meeting in August.

Superintendent’s Report: Lawrence invited Jeff Adams of UMDAF to speak. Adams presented the district with a check for $250,000 as a contribution toward athletics.

Lawrence also praised SASS for offering several courses to teachers and said more will be offered in August.

Board unanimously appointed Lisa Caswell as program specialist, categorical programs, to work at Oak Grove MS.

Board unanimously apppointed Ann Tirrell as program specialist, ed tech.

Board unanimously agreed to reinstate database admin. position.

Board unanimously adopted 2012-13 budget, but Mayo said she regretted the reductions to Delta View bus service.

Board unanimously adopted resolution regarding maintenance of fiscal solvency.

Board voted 4-1 to approve school site safety plans. Eberhart opposed, saying there didn’t seem to be any consistency from school to school.

Board unanimously approved items 15.8 through 15.11.

Board voted 3-2 to approve 21012-13 nonpublic school and agency master contract. Mayo and Hansen voted against. Mayo was concerned about abandoning collaborative in contract language. She also mentioned school class size discrepancy.

Board unanimously approved items 15.13 through 15.20.

Board voted 3-2 to authorize superintendent to enter into new administrator contracts over summer without board approval. Eberhart and Hansen voted against, saying they didn’t want to relinquish the board’s authority to approve appointments.

The remaining items were presented for information only. There were no board reports, due to lack of time.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

132 Responses to “MDUSD board to discuss budget, school safety, bullying and other issues tonight”

  1. Nonnie Says:

    Has the board ever rejected a candidate? If they always approve the contracts it doesn’t really matter when they formally give approval.

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I don’t believe the board has rejected a candidate, but it has had split votes, such as for Bill Morones’ appt. as secondary director. Also, one candidate withdrew after board approval, when reports of a DUI and his accidental posting of private student info online came to light.

    Please note that I am adding a meeting live post update to this blog post.

  3. g Says:

    Does anyone have a plausible explanation for the screwy way they are presenting usage of the “special $40million” that was set aside from Measure C for the high school wish lists.

    Tonight for example, Item 10.4 they get the vote for Mount’s project request with science labs as their #1 priority for use of that money.

    However, on just the previous Item, they agreed to let Lawrence approve science labs funding using Lease/Leaseback terms, (for who knows how many years of payments!) and they say they’ll use Prop 55 funds. —-

    So, the Measure C “high school wish list $40mil money”—it goes where?

    Pedersen’s planning/spending contortions reminds me of fishing; you look into that can of dirt, plunge your hand in and just pray that you come out with the biggest wiggliest worm.

    Big worm or little worm, you can’t count on what you might catch, but you can guarandamnty there is a lot of slimy wiggling going on, and the little slimers are all wrapped around the big slimers.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#2, I only recall NO votes on Morones and Sue Brothers. The vote for Dr. Nugent was 100% in the affirmative, but before the Board had arrived home, various bloggers quickly uncovered his unflattering mugshot and conviction for DUI out of state, and the issue of leakage of private student information during an academic study he was performing. As I recall Eberhart took it upon himself to “chat” with Dr. Nugent, and for whatever reason, Dr. Nugent withdrew his name after board approval. As far as I can determine he continues to be an administrator in the Elk Grove USD south of Sacramento. Coincidentally, that is the same district Bill Morones worked in at the time of his appointment to be an administrator in MDUSD.

  5. frustrated Says:

    Why isn’t live blog updating?

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Sorry, sometimes I have trouble updating quickly because I’m also shooting video and taking notes. Will post synopsis later.

  7. Doctor J Says:

    Rolen needs to be put in his place — he promotes secrecy from the public. Both Lawrence and Eberhart said the staff report GIVEN TO THE BOARD, including the legal analysis, allowed the practice. SHOW US THE DOCUMENT !! Why is it that I don’t believe hardly anything Rolen says ? I guess it goes back to his character. Time for another book report.

  8. Anon Says:

    Just curious, who voted “no” on Morones and what was the stated reason?

  9. g Says:

    We’ve been there, done that! They like to refer us to the Ed Code to make everything SOUND fine, but then they assume that we either won’t read it, or won’t understand basic English!

    This particular regulation is grammar school simple!

    Note My ()”” and CAPS for emphasis:

    15146. (a) The bonds shall be issued and sold pursuant to Section 15140, “PAYABLE out of the INTEREST AND SINKING FUND” of the district.

    (f)(last line) …..”Any PREMIUM or accrued interest received from the sale of the bonds SHALL BE deposited in the INTEREST AND SINKING FUND of the district”.

    (notice–that’s a SHALL BE–not just a MAY BE!)

    (g) …..The governing board MAY cause to be deposited proceeds of sale of any series of the bonds in an amount not exceeding 2 percent of the principal amount of the bonds in a “COSTS OF ISSUANCE ACCOUNT”, which may be created in the county treasury or held by a fiscal agent appointed by the district for this purpose, “‘SEPARATE from the

  10. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#8 It was all reported in the blog of the June 4 Board meeting. Various blog posts beginning at #11 commented on it and lists his sorted history, one without a record of success. I think this link will take you there.

  11. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: Yes, the evidence showing that the practice is illegal is clear. So, it would behoove the district to produce its evidence that it is legal, despite the attorney general’s letter to the Poway district warning that it is against the law. Instead, the district appears to want the public to trust it based on secret documents, while saying publicly that everyone else is doing it and the attorney general hasn’t actually gone after a district for it yet.
    Last time, the way the bond counsel got around the laws you reference is that the district FIRST deposited the money into the sinking fund, then promptly transferred it out to pay for the cost of issuance. Obviously, that appears to be completely skirting the spirit of the law, based on a loophole. Perhaps the law should be rewritten to say that the money should be deposited in the sinking fund and cannot be transferred out to pay cost of issuance.

    Anon: Hansen voted against Morones, saying he had moved positions so many times in the last six years that she didn’t believe he could demonstrate a clear record of achievement. YVHS’s API just met its growth target of 7 points in the first year after he took over. SASS is supposed to be staffed with former school administrators who have a strong track record of turning schools around, so they can coach other principals to do the same.

    Dr. J: Rolen did not appear to know for sure if it was attorney-client privilege. That was his knee-jerk response. Underwriting reps were at the meeting to answer questions. It’s too bad no one asked any. If someone had asked a few questions about the secret legal rationale that they were relying on, then public might have been enlightened about why it’s okay to ignore the attorney general.
    These are the same legal advisers who apparently told Lawrence that saying after the fact that the bond purchase agreement and preliminary official statement were “presented to the meeting” on April 23 was the same thing as Lawrence secretly having one document and Jon Isom hurriedly handing the other document to Lawrence’s secretary after the meeting began, without any public disclosure that the documents were “available” for review. Once again, they are telling the public that they don’t need to reveal important documents, as long as Lawrence has them and the board has access to them. This flies in the face of transparent government.

  12. g Says:

    1) “Lawrence said staff had given the board a thorough analysis…”

    2) “Eberhart said the board received “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.”

    3) Rolen-FLMAO said BOND spending assessments or study documents might be “privileged information”???

    4) How about, instead of searching for ways to slither around the laws, they all just step up and “Do the Right Thing” -for the students-for the schools-for the taxpayers.

  13. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Now that Alicia Minyen is no longer putting public pressure on them, they appear to believe no one cares.
    Later in the meeting, when Hansen suggested a new procedure for alerting the public when agenda attachments are changed after the agenda is published, Mayo asked what prompted this. Hansen explained the confusion that resulted when the bond resolution was changed at the last minute on April 23, without any public announcement, saying she was trying to correct a problem.
    Whitmarsh said, “Interestingly, I have not received a single email about that.”
    It appears that emails to the board president carry more weight with her than public comments at board meetings and Brown Act complaints to the DA.

  14. g Says:

    Theresa, was that discussion around the “Amendment to Board Bylaw 9322” item?

    They put this up for “info and discussion” as if everything they listed in there weren’t already Brown Act/Sunshine Law requirements.

    Why not just change the Bylaws to read: “We ignore Brown Act Laws–unless someone sends a bended-knee plea to Madame Sherry.”

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I videotaped that discussion and will post it to my YouTube account later today. The bond discussion should be available on my Qik account, but I haven’t yet double-checked to make sure it uploaded.
    Here are Hansens’s suggestions:
    Lawrence balked at #6, saying it might be too cumbersome, especially if a change to an attachment is minor.
    “The idea here is to solve a problem and to be proactive and move forward,” Hansen said. “Not to learn from past experience is dumb.”
    She said she was trying to inform the public and build trust.

  16. g Says:

    Lawrence would be correct on this being “cumbersome” if the change of wording did not, in any way, change the meaning or outcome.

    For example: “Staff recommends renting goats to eat the weeds around school grounds,”

    Change that to “Staff recommends renting goats to eat weeds around the fence-lines of schools”==probably not a big deal.

    But change it to a typical Lawrence/Pedersen wording of:

    “Staff, acknowledging the unsightliness of tall weeds on our school grounds and looking for a remedy for said weeds on said school grounds, especially and more precisely the weeds with burs that cling to socks (most notably seen around the fences in the back of the various football fields,) and having the funds available through Measure A, and Proposition 55, as well as finding goat rental and the transport of same to and from the fields to be a valid use of Measure C facility improvement funds, we do hereby recommend renting goats to eat.”

  17. Michael Langley Says:

    It appears that Sue Brothers brought Jose Espinosa with her from Clayton Valley. That would bump a VP out of YVHS and it seems Brady was chosen to fill in the NGHS position held by Jon Campopiano. Mr. Campopiano was considered one of the better administrators in his guidance of teachers and great communication skills. I don’t know where he has gone.

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, “Campo,” as he is called, is widely respected at Northgate. As a former teacher who was well-liked by students, he appears to have the skills necessary to be an effective instructional coach. He was also a popular sports coach. He appears to embody the 3R’s – rigor, relevance and relationships.

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have added a June 26 update to this blog post with a synopsis of the rest of the meeting.

  20. Theresa Harrington Says:

    There was an interesting discussion about the Pawar Transportation contract, in which it was revealed that the FCMAT study questions the district’s practice of transporting special ed students from home to their home school:
    It also suggests “clustering” students instead of picking them all up at their homes. This appears to imply that they would be picked up at some sort of bus stop. Apparently, a letter will be sent to parents informing them of this and the district hopes to implement the plan in the winter.
    Mayo and Hansen chastised staff for bringing them an invoice for services that had already been rendered. Mayo was especially concerned that the cost was about $250,000 for “a few students.”

  21. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The “Mayoral Council” discussion was also interesting:
    Hansen said she put this idea forward, based on requests from mayors.

  22. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, do you have FCMAT study yet ? It will answer a lot of the public’s questions.

  23. Doctor J Says:

    Why wasn’t the Director of Transportation, Greg Rolen, answering the questions ?

  24. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, I don’t think it’s been finalized, but Lawrence and those answering the Pawar questions referred to it, as did the CAC rep in her annual report.

    Regarding the transportation questions, Trustee Linda Mayo said the staff was there because she had so many questions. Apparently, they were the ones who were able to answer them.

  25. District Parent Says:

    I can’t get the video to play. Do I need an account?

  26. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, it should work. Do you have adobe flash or shockwave?

  27. Anon Says:

    Linda and Sherry show why MDUSD has no public trust, no strategic plan and no parcel tax. It’s amazing how quickly they shot down an excellent idea from the mayors for community partnerships and coordination. There are many issues that the district should be discussing with all of the cities and unincorporated areas: how to pass a parcel or sales tax for the school district, crossing guards, police presence and safety at the schools, traffic to and from schools, reducing school buses, school closures, plans for Concord Naval Weapons Station development, after-school and summer programs, homeless and foster students, and the list goes on. The meetings could include the Bay Point MAC, County Supervisors, and any other entities. REALLY, WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM???

  28. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yet, during the budget discussion, Whitmarsh was bemoaning the fact that the city of Concord plans to cut funding for crossing guards tonight. Eberhart said he wasn’t aware of that and pointed out that cities get Safe Routes to Schools funding. This is something they could discuss with city leaders, if they chose to.

    In the previous agenda item (which I believe I shot on my flip cam, so will post to my YouTube account), Mayo, Whitmarsh and Eberhart proposed the idea of voting down another board member’s agenda item suggestion, thereby not allowing it to move forward to an agenda at all.

    Also, although Whitmarsh previously said she intended to bring the strategic plan back to the June 25 meeting, it was not on the agenda.

  29. g Says:

    Isn’t it unfortunate that the majority school board feels that collaboration with the within its jurisdiction would be just too much work?

    Apparently the City of Concord is willing to take the first step (and do the extra work).


  30. g Says:

    Make that collaboration with the “cities” within its jurisdiction.

  31. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: Your link doesn’t seem to work. What is it about?

    Other topics that come to mind for city-district discussions are the Farmers Market at Concord High, the Concord High sign that doesn’t comply with the city’s sign ordinance, and the YVHS stadium lights project, which is bypassing city approval processes. Interestingly, when De La Salle and Carondelet have construction projects, they have to be approved by the city and residents have an avenue for expressing their concerns. But in MDUSD, even though the stadium lights project has not yet been approved by the board for construction, the district has already authorized the superintendent to enter into contracts for it.
    And speaking of trust, the board made a point of saying the busing cuts to Delta View would be brought back June 25 for public comment. Instead, the cuts were built into the budget with no agenda report that specifically outlined them. So, the Delta View bus cuts appeared to be nearly hidden in the budget presentation because they were a foregone conclusion. Trustee Linda Mayo, however, did point out that they were included in the budget.

  32. District Parent Says:

    I got it to work, looks like I needed to update my adobe.

  33. g Says:

    OOPS, Sorry. It is (The Memorandum) on Item 7 on tonight’s City Council Agenda.

    Instead of creating a new committee, they decided to integrate it within the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee. Also, Mayor Leone advised that he has formed a “local” Mayor’s Commission of the 6 local Mayors to work on items of mutual interest, with our Schools being high on their priority list of concerns.

    They also agreed to “phase out” the crossing guards so that MDUSD has a year to come up with their own solution.

  34. vindex Says:

    any updates on agenda item 10.5?

  35. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, as you point out in #31 the Delta View parents were promised by the Board to have an agenda item with more public input on the “proposed” bus cuts and once again were lied to by Lawrence and the Board — no wonder Principal Nancy Baum ended her career prematurely. On July 1 I hope she spills the beans to the public.

    There continues to be back room Board plans and deals going on that are concealed from the public — even Linda Mayo usually gets secret staff input that she doesn’t share with the public, and noticably last night she would only “share a little” instead of really getting to the heart of the problem of a bus plan that has so little thought that it is doomed to failure. What happened to that $2000 consultant that said every board member should have a bumper sticker that says: “The Board does it in public”.

  36. Anon Says:

    Hansen had reason to question the use of bond premium to pay cost of issuance. The California Association of Treasurers and Tax Collectors and Mark Saladino, LA County Treasurer, agree that bond premium should not be used for cost of issuance since it will cause school districts to receive amounts that exceed what was voter approved. Who do we believe? MDUSD or the California County Treasurers and Tax Collectors?

  37. anon Says:

    So are you who are criticizing the district for using bond proceeds to pay for the cost of bond issuance advocating that instead the cost of issuance be paid out of the general fund? If that is what you want, what programs should be cut to pay for that? Its a simple question, I suspect that you all will refuse to answer it though.

  38. g Says:

    I’m happy to answer Anon@36. The Education Code (law) states that the Cost of Issuance should come from the proceeds of the Bonds themselves. Not from an inflated cost to the taxpayers derived from “Premium” built into the sale of the Bonds.

  39. Seriously... Says:

    @37…I really hope you are not a Board of Trustee. As G has said, cost of issuance should be paid from the bond, specifically, the money kept in the “Building Fund”, NOT the General Fund. The Building funds cover costs of projects disclosed to voters. We all want the most funds for our kids, but such funds should be raised lawfully. Taxpayer’s have been financially harmed. Hasn’t the district heard the phrase ” you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you”?

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Yes, the “Transportation Changes” item at the June 4 meeting specifically stated: “If supported by the Board this item will be brought back as an action item at the June 25th Board meeting”

    Yet, this was not done. The board never actually voted on these changes as an action item. Instead, they were lumped into the budget. This shows a complete lack of transparency, accountability and follow-through.

    Another issue of trust is looming with the YVHS neighbors, who were told there would be a special meeting July 18 for a board vote on the stadium lighting project. Yet, the board has already authorized the superintendent to enter into construction contracts for that project. Could this, too, move forward without an actual vote of the board approving the project?

  41. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Please refer to the link that the previous anon provided, which includes a May 16, 2011 white paper from the LA County Treasurer that states he will not support the practice of using bond premium to pay cost of issuance, in light of the attorney general’s letter to the Poway district.
    The LA County treasurer writes: “The views expressed in this letter from the Attorney General provide clear guidance that Government Code Section. 23903 and Education Code Section 15146(f) do not allow for costs of issuance, including underwriter’s discount and bond issuance, to be paid from bond premium.”
    Lawrence and Eberhart claim to have an opinion they believe is more authoritative, yet Greg Rolen doesn’t want to allow the public to see it. If it’s such a slam-dunk, why isn’t the district showing it to the public?

  42. Jim Says:

    This is truly one of those “read it and weep” threads.
    #13 — Hansen suggests that the informational support materials that the board uses to make decisions be reflected in the agenda, and Whitmarsh seems unable to grasp the simple wisdom of that otherwise commonly accepted practice, commenting that, “Interestingly, I haven’t received a single email about that.” The only “interesting” thing there is that it evidently takes an avalanche of emails to convince her to adopt a simple process that almost ANY OTHER decision-making group would already be following. (What is it again that she gets paid to do for a living?!?!)
    #28 — Whitmarsh bemoaning lack of financial cooperation from Concord, when the board of which she is president slammed the door in the face of the last iniatiative from area cities to collaborate with MDUSD.
    #35 — Some Board members receiving inside info from staff that is apparently unavailable to other board members. (This has been going of for years, of course, but for the board members to have the gall and stupidity to be so blatant about it!).
    And then, of course, there is the continuing amateurish confusion (or outright deception — take your pick) that the board exhibits about the legal uses of cash from the issuance of bonds at a premium (the idea apparently being that if the proceeds “help the kids” then it’s ok to break the law).
    This board and district are broken, perhaps irreparably. There is no impetus internally for any kind of “turnaround”. And after seeing the disdain with which these clowns subject member Hansen, what other sane, competent individual would want to run for election and subject themselves to the antics of this group?

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Mike Langley mentioned to me that Whitmarsh appeared to exhibit a double-standard when board members spoke after she called for a vote.
    She allowed Eberhart to speak, but chastised Hansen when she tried to do the same thing. Hansen also pointed this out.
    Shouldn’t the same rules apply to all board members?

  44. Doctor J Says:

    @#43 Sherry WHitmarsh should be called to her face what she really is: HYPOCRITE.

  45. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#40 You really should ask both Whitmarsh and Lawrence point blank when they are going to bring the “Transportation Changes” back on the agenda as an “action item” as promised.

  46. Anon Says:

    Michael Langley,
    Can you tell us why MDEA did not endorse Debra Mason? Conversely what were the compelling reasons for MDEA’s endorsement of Attila and Brian?

  47. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Now, it appears to be a done deal. Just like the bond sale.

    Anon: Mike Langley is no longer president of MDEA. He is now attending board meetings as a private citizen. The new MDEA president is Guy Moore. In case he doesn’t see your comment, I believe you can contact him at

    The MDEA Facebook site mentions the endorsement and includes links to the Facebook pages of the two candidates endorsed, but does not specify why those two men were chosen:

  48. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, I still think you should hold their feet to their promises: “When are you going to keep your June 4 promises to Delta View parents to bring the transportation changes back as an “action item” ?”
    Its time to publish the whole FCMAT report — its done and has been shared with staff and the board.

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    If it has been shared with the board, then it should be available to the public. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll ask for it.

    There did not appear to be any Delta View parents at the meeting hoping to speak on the bus issue, so it could be a moot point. But, it certainly doesn’t appear to build public trust.

    Now, for some good news: MDUSD’s graduation rate jumped 9 percentage points from 2009-10 to 2010-11, while its dropout rate declined more than 7 points:
    Now, the district is beating the state averages. It is just slightly below the county grad rate and slightly above the countywide dropout rate, however.

  50. g Says:

    Theresa, did you happen to ask Eberhart to elaborate on the who, where, when; or provide a copy of the “extremely definitive assessments of the process we’re using.”

    Considering that “He said it’s an important issue and it’s important for the public to know that the district is operating appropriately”; perhaps he might consider giving “the public” a peek at the “important issue” assessment documents that led to his choice of vote.

  51. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Eberhart left pretty quickly after the meeting, so I managed to stop Greg Rolen before he got out the door. That’s when I asked him to provide the document, since — as you point out — the board received it and considered it in its deliberations before voting. So, the public has a right to see it.

    I have since consulted with our attorney and have been advised that the document is not protected by attorney-client privilege since it was distributed to a majority of the board for an open session item and it is not related to litigation. Based on this legal advice, I submitted a PRA to Rolen yesterday and have not heard back.

    It appears that Lawrence and Eberhart want to the public to trust them instead of trusting that the public would come to the same conclusion they have, if the public reads the analysis on which they are basing their assurances.

  52. Doctor J Says:

    Has Eberhart ever “manned up” yet to his deceptions of his employment termination in October 2011 and his failure to disclose until this month ? Sounds like a character issue that carries over to his Board conduct.

  53. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Eberhart has declined to speak on the record about his employment.

  54. Doctor J Says:

    Of course, what is there to speak of ? :-)

  55. Anon Says:

    Theresa #49
    I love hearing the good news but just curious… did the graduation rate increase, and dropout rate decrease, because we have found better ways to engage students and make school relevant or did we simply lower the graduation requirements. :(

  56. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: I have left messages for Superintendent Lawrence and Rose Lock to get their reactions to the numbers. I will ask that question, if one of them returns my call or email.

  57. Doctor J Says:

    With Eberhart involved in the construction business, and being entrusted as a Board member with approving the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars in MDUSD money from the taxpayers, his sources of income are extremely relevant — yet he refuses to be honest about “who, what, where, how” as to his income. Its just as relevant as Rolen’s alleged personal involvement with a $100,000 MDUSD vendor. One would think they both would want to clear up any concerns of the public.

  58. g Says:

    Perhaps questions to would be answered.

  59. Anon Says:

    Anon #55 and Theresa, I do believe the standards have been lowered. We only require 200 credits to graduate. I believe this has been the case for the last 2 years. I really wish I could believe the news is good but, I have very little faith in the district.
    This is going to sound like a crazy accuseation but they also cheat on testing. I know for a fact that they cheated on my son’s star testing. If they cheated on his I can only imagine how many others they have done the same. Our graduates are less prepared to enter college or the job market then any other surrounding district. Very sad :-(

  60. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, here is a link to the CAC’s annual report, which includes notes from a meeting with the FCMAT rep at the end:

  61. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#59 If there is cheating on the STAR test and you have knowledge, you should report it to the California Dept of Education. That is a very serious situation.

  62. Doctor J Says:

    Who approved the dumbed down “FCMAT Scope of Study” from the Board approved scope ? Once again, the Board agrees to pay taxpayer money for a “comprehensive operations analysis” and instead someone dumbs it down to “address the necessary balance”. Who agreed to that ? I hope the board refuses to pay just like they shouldn’t have paid when the vendor exceeded his contract without advance approval.

  63. Doctor J Says:

    Read the notes from the FCMAT rep meeting, then ask yourself: If Spec Ed is this dysfunctional in MDUSD, why would Asst Supt Rose Lock nominate Asst Supt Mildred Browne for California Spec Ed Administrator of the Year ? And why would it be awarded to Mildred ?

  64. anon Says:

    Have either Gary or Sherry formally announced their plans to run again? It’s obvious Gary is but Sherry doesn’t seem interested. She runs board meetings in an inpatient and strident manner and seemingly wants to get them over with as soon as possible

    For MDUSD to have any hope of improving its rapidly diminishing reputation, lack of public trust, and dismal academic record, specifically at the high school level, it is imperative that a new majority be elected to the board.

  65. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Neither has formally announced, to my knowledge.

  66. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Anon #64,

    Neither has announced, but a committee stands by to run an anti-Gary/Sherry campaign if either one does stand up. We have a pretty impressive budget also. I think our posters may “outshine” the candidates if we are needed. Hopefully both of them will save the community having to go through a very negative election season though.

  67. Anon Says:

    Dr. J. I did report to the state. Nothing came of it.
    Dealing with the state is not easy if you don’t know your way around.

    The Q & A the cac put up is not helpful at all. Most answers say refer to your IEP team or program specialist. How is this an answer? This is more of the same BS they have already put out.
    I now have that sinking swirling feeling….oh wait that is the District going down the toilet.

    @64 you are right….I just hope the average person has learned their lesson and does not vote for the people the teachers and union have backed. We need people who are not in the districts pocket. Look what happened when everyone got behind the Union and teachers we got EberMarsh.

  68. Anon Says:

    Dr. J. Rolen does not have an “alleged” relationship with a $100k MDUSD vendor. The two are engaged. Do we need a marriage license to show the conflict of interest? I don’t understand why no one out there cares about such unethical behavior.

  69. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It looks like MDUSD has missed out on the latest round of funding for “shovel-ready projects”:

  70. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Regarding the FCMAT study, the CAC minutes clearly state the scopes were requested by the superintendent. However, the seven items are not clearly identified in the minutes and it’s a bit difficult to try to figure out what they are, since the conversation appears pretty free-flowing.

    Also, there were some positive things said about some programs and Mildred Browne:

    “Programs and sites that are working, and a good example of how to support students with IEPs are: Gregory Gardens, Pleasant Hill Middle, Woodside Elementary, Foothill Middle.

    Parent- Dr. Browne is appreciated, but seems to not get the support she needs to do her job. Other parents agreed with this statement. Specifically mentioned was Dr. Browne’s work to support the mental health collaborative when AB 3632 was destroyed.”

  71. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s my story about grad and dropout rates:

    But, it looks like some of you may have been right to be skeptical of MDUSD’s dramatic gains. I didn’t include them in the story because Rose Lock told me the data may not be accurate. She said the state will let the district make corrections in July, but she hopes it’s a true reflection of what is happening in district schools.

  72. Doctor J Says:

    @#70 If Lawrence dumbed down the FCMAT Scope of study, he either did it rogue or if he got Board approval, it was in violation of the Brown Act as the April 23 scope was very specifically defined in the approval of the agreement. Yes Theresa, some nice things about Mildred were said, but the way she functioned as the “Asst Supt” over such a dysfunctional department shows a lack of leadership and hardly deserving of a “California Administrator of the Year” accolade.

  73. lc Says:

    #46 MDEA STRONGLY supported Eberhart/Whitmarsh the last time.

  74. g Says:

    Yes, Lc. Perhaps that is the answer to #46’s question. MDEA has, it seems, come to regret their decision to back EberMarsh in 2008.

    What better message could they send than a very early announcement of who they will back this time around.

  75. Theresa Harrington Says:

    lc: You are correct that MDEA was a driving force — with lots of money — behind the election of Eberhart and Whitmarsh and the defeat of April Treece. At that time, Linda Mayo was part of the “board majority” that Eberhart was railing against. Now, he and Mayo seem to be working amicably together.
    Although MDEA reached out to Eberhart and Whitmarsh to see if they wanted to participate in their endorsement interviews, Langley said there was no response.

  76. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have uploaded several video clips from the June 25 meeting to my YouTube/tunedtotheresa account, including one about transportation changes labeled “Pawar Transportation Increase.”

  77. lc Says:

    Anyone go to Meet and Greets for new principals?

  78. g Says:

    Theresa @53. Isn’t it strange that Gary doesn’t wish to “speak on the record” about his employment?

    His most recent DBA, filed with the County on 11/15/11 shows him off so well.

    Of course just about everything he says on his new website is just about as true as his picture—what is that…about 20 years old?

  79. Doctor J Says:

    @G#53 Gary’s “employment” is “on the record” by his own doing. Missing from that link are several pages that were there last week, notably the “team” of his wife, brother, and father-in-law. They sure jumped ship quickly after G outed them. Did he remove reference to his employment that abruptly ended in October 2011 ?

  80. Jim Says:

    My favorite part of Gary’s website is the “Core Values” page, listing “Honesty, Respect, Diligence, and Preparedness”.

    What a hoot! Could anyone possibly be less self-aware?

  81. g Says:

    I wonder if Cadence McShane Construction would object to Eberhart using a picture of Patterson Elementary School in Houston (which they built) apparently trying to make it look like he had some connection with building it.

    Lets face it. That’s a beautiful school; built to last for generations. Under Gary’s and Pedersen’s guidance, MDUSD spends many millions every few years or so to put up what can, at best, be described as “trailers with desks” on concrete pads; designed to be replaced every 20 years or so.

  82. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: I have not spoken to Eberhart about his employment recently. However, if he intends to seek re-election, he would be expected to be open and honest about what he does for a living. I note in the site that you linked to, he lists the solar training he received at UC Berkeley at Mt. Diablo taxpayers’ expense quite high in his introductory remarks.

  83. Anonymous Says:

    g: How did you make the connection to Patterson Elementary School? I had to google image Patterson Elem. to see that yes, that is the Texas school, and does make me curious – why *is* it on G.E.’s business page? Perhaps he was a consultant in some fashion on it.

  84. g Says:

    Yes, Theresa, it seems that his main message is to help sell solar, and lead school districts in maneuvering taxpayers into paying for systems that will be useless/redundant before they ever pay for themselves in energy savings. Just like the ‘pig in a poke’ he sold this district!

    I tried to find a link to the excellent story that Matt Kuprick and you did in August of 2010 about that solar class reimbursement, but it didn’t come up in archives. I thought this was a good time of year to revisit that issue.

    I wonder if he has given the books to the district yet?

  85. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: I’m not in the office today, but I can look that up in our archives. Eberhart had posted his email exchange with Krupnick on his blog, but he has since taken that down. In it, he said the class was a legitimate district expense, since he was developing expertise for oversight of the district’s solar project.

  86. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Wow, the Oakland school board reversed cuts to special ed after members of the public complained they had not been involved in the decision:

    That’s responsive government.

  87. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#86 Responsive government or legitimate threat of recall ?

  88. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The interesting thing is that the district is accepting accountability for failing to adequately inform and involve the special education community and staff:

    The district spokesman admitted that communication about this important decision was lacking — both internally and with the public.
    “In a real-world context,” he said, “I think we failed here.”

    It’s refreshing to see the district accept accountability, instead of trying to defend its actions or blame someone else.

  89. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#88 Which “districts” are you referring to ?

  90. g Says:

    Dr J: I’m pretty sure from ‘It’s-to the comma’ is Oakland, and from ‘instead-to the period’ is MDUSD! Sad isn’t it?

  91. g Says:

    Anonymous @83: Sorry, I almost missed your post. Google has an “image identifier”. It doesn’t always give what you’re looking for, but is pretty good.

    Look under Google “more” and then “even more”.

    You right click the image you want to check, copy the “image URL”, then on Google image, (click on the camera icon) it brings up address bar with another camera to click on, which gives the place to enter the URL for the image–voila! It gives you close, similar or exact image-if it has been published on the net previously!

    Love my Google!

  92. District Teacher Says:

    Just out of curiosity, it seems no probationary or temporary teachers remain at MDSH next year. Were they all replaced? Or are they all fired or will they work elsewhere? And what responsibility does the principal of MDHS have for any of this or for any other debacle at her school? Is anyone overseeing any of this? Who is McClatchy’s supervisor? If that person is the superintendent, all the better – or worse.

  93. Doctor J Says:

    @#92 McClatchy’s supervisor is Steven Lawrence, the Supt. Neither Rose Lock nor her underlings have much to say about secondary principals.

  94. District Teacher Says:

    I should add that my previous post was based on the June 25th minutes. Many temporary teachers were rehired from several other schools, but none were listed for MDHS. Considering the high teacher (and administrator) turnover at that school, I found the absence of temporary teacher renewals rather odd.

    Given McClatchy’s history of sacking anyone who dares to disagree with or challenge her in any way (note the parade of VPs at both district schools she’s “led”), and the no-confidence vote held this year, I have to wonder if the temporary teachers were used as scapegoats. Perhaps someone else can explain what happened.

  95. anonymous 5 Says:

    Apparently some teachers (permanent, probationary, temporary) were/are better at kowtowing to the MDHS principal. They got/get what they want while others who have more integrity and question her decisions are targets.

  96. Theresa Harrington Says:

    WCCUSD is considering putting a parcel tax or another bond measure on the November ballot:

  97. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a blog post that shows what MDUSD projected for property tax growth versus what is actually happening:

  98. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a look at how the Oakland USD Supt. is doing after three years:
    His board has extended his contract to 2015.

  99. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a column by Tom Barnidge about County Superintendent Joe Ovick’s “civility” initiative, which the MDUSD board adopted on its consent calendar with no discussion:

  100. Doctor J Says:

    State again recommends denial of MDUSD waiver petition to reduce costs of CVCHS: “Application of current law results in a gain or loss of funding for any unified school district, which is the sponsor of a conversion charter school (whether it be a county office approving a charter school is the authorizer or a; the district that initially denied the charter school is the sponsor). The loss (or gain) in school district apportionment as a result of this law is not an unintended consequence.

    “A petition for a charter school cannot be denied due to the fiscal impact on a school district.

    “Mt. Diablo is one of 14 districts that lose have lost funds due to the approval of a conversion charter school; the statewide adverse fiscal impact for these districts is $8.4 million. (Thirteen districts actually gained state funds as a result of the conversion charter school.)

    Accordingly, CDE is recommending denial of this waiver request because legislation is the appropriate remedy, whether retroactive or prospective, for the following reasons: 1) current law contemplated a negative fiscal consequence;, 2) to approve the request is tantamount to the SBE making an appropriation of Proposition 98 funds, which would either increase the Proposition 98 guarantee in the current and future years, or more likely to result in less funding for other local educational agencies,; 3) approval would also create a precedent, wherein 13 other districts would likely immediately be requesting a similar waiver at a statewide cost of about $6.7 million;, 4) all future adversely impacted unified school districts, due to conversion charter schools, would apply for a waiver;, 5) it is conceivable that other apportionment matters may be brought before the SBE unless specifically exempted from the waiver process;, and 6) under the constitution, only the Legislature may make an apportionment, thus the approval of this waiver, or future similar waivers, may subject the SBE to litigation.”

  101. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Regarding the cost of issuance document provided to trustees cited by Lawrence and Eberhart, Jon Isom just told me he was not asked to provide anything to the board regarding that and he did not attend the meeting.

  102. g Says:

    Am I not understanding this correctly? 1) Did Isom, or did he not, do an analysis of the Poway Letter? 2) If Isom did not, then who did? 3) If he did not, then exactly how could he think a copy of such a document might be construed as “attorney/client” privilege?

    Also, I am very disheartened by comments being edited, for no more apparent reason than just because some slippery guy complains about them.

  103. g Says:

    Sorry: How could Rolen consider it an “attorney/client” privelege? Unless it was Rolen himself who did the analysis…?

  104. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Isom said he did not do an analysis of the Poway letter for the cost of issuance resolution approved by the board. It’s unclear who did, but it would appear it may have been the bond counsel, since Greg Rolen claimed it might fall under “attorney-client privilege.”

  105. Theresa Harrington Says:

    As noted in my previous post, it could be the bond counsel.

  106. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Greg Rolen has denied my PRA, saying it is a legal analysis provided by the bond counsel to the Board of Education and is exempt from disclosure. I have forwarded his response to our attorney to see if she agrees with his legal rationale.

  107. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#106 Was the legal opinion actually given to the Board ? Didn’t the Board, Lawrence or someone disclose the substance of the legal opinion in the public meeting — if so wouldn’t that have destroyed its “confidentiality” ?

  108. Wait a Minute Says:


    Theresa, this is a smoking gun. The way these so-called “leaders” are operating here is criminal and they must be exposed for what they are.

    Rolen can pretend to be President Nixon all he wants but if the CCC Times pursues the story to its end then Rolen, EberMarsh, Lawrence, etc will be toast.

    Go for it Theresa!

  109. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Rolen specifically stated in his denial letter: “The request seeks a legal analysis provided by bond counsel to the Board of Education.”

    Lawrence and Eberhart alluded to the substance of the legal opinion without actually revealing what it was. Basically, they said that many other districts are using bond premium to pay cost of issuance and the attorney general hasn’t prosecuted anyone for it. But, they DIDN’T reveal the basis of their opinion that it was legal, despite the attorney general’s admonition to the Poway District that it was illegal.

    As I have previously stated, the bond underwriters were there to answer questions, but no one asked any. So, the public was left in the dark.

    This is why I requested the document in the first place. I told Rolen that the board is expecting the public to believe that trustees have definitive proof that the district is acting within the law without disclosing what the proof is. This obviously flies in the face of transparency.

  110. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Peter Scheer said the bond counsel and underwriters appear to have a conflict of interest, since they are being paid with the bond premium. I will see what he thinks about the district’s refusal to reveal the basis for their advice to the district.

  111. g Says:

    It would seem that under the “narrow” meaning of the Brown Act that:

    1) If a majority of the Board was presented with a written copy of this “advisory” document as a means of recommendation for how they might/should vote, that “advisory” must be made public BY THE BOARD, since it could well be construed as a “serial meeting”.

    2) If only a minority of the Board (Gary) was presented with the “advisory”, even if it was only an “oral advisory”, but the information was then verbally (or in writing) passed on to the rest, or majority, of the board, to garner a decision on how to vote–that would also be considered a serial meeting, and must be made public.

    3) Perhaps everyone involved needs to be reminded that the law of attorney-client privilege actually “belongs to the client”, and not the attorney. It is NOT Rolen’s place to claim the privilege–it is up to the client to claim that privilege!

    4) It is the job of the Board, by vote, as a UNIFIED SINGLE BODY, to decide if something is privileged or not.

    Under a more “broad” meaning of the Brown Act, such an advisory could only be construed to be privileged, if public knowledge of the content of the advisory might have some effect on the outcome of either existing or potential litigation.

    Perhaps Rolen is aware of some existing or potential litigation that (also) has not been publicly disclosed?

  112. Anon Says:

    My two cents is this is not “attorney-client privilege” which protects statements by THE CLIENT, but rather would be “attorney work product doctrine” which protects THE ATTORNEY’S research for litigation. Attorney work product is not a privilege and doesn’t seem to apply anyway.–client_privilege

  113. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Rolen also threw in that the document is “…protected by the attorney work product privilege, and other judicial privileges including, but not limited to the deliberative process privilege.”

    But, as you state, the document was not prepared for litigation, since no one has sued the district. Therefore, according to our attorney, that privilege cannot be invoked.

  114. g Says:

    Rolen is proving he is a dolt! A) Work Product protections are based on rule–and are not “Privileges”. Work Product rules speak directly only to cases involving known litigation.

    B) Deliberative Process Privilege–are you kidding? This equals protecting the public from itself!

    We aren’t asking why we went to war for Pete’s sake (pun intended)—we just want to know what advise was given to OUR elected officials that encouraged them to vote to break Prop 39 Bond financing laws.

    This is beginning to look like some back-woods school district.

  115. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: The main reasons for denying the request were exemption under Gov. Code Sec. 6254(b) and (c), along with the claim that it was a “confidential communication between the district and its attorneys pursuant to Evidence Code Sec. 954.”

  116. g Says:

    Gov. Code Sec. 6254. (b) and (c):

    (b) Records pertaining to pending litigation to which the public agency is a party, or to claims made pursuant to Division 3.6
    (commencing with Section 810), until the pending litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled.

    (c) Personnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    And he claims Evidence Code 954????

    Ask him what he has to say about Evidence Code 956.

    Evidence Code 956:
    There is no privilege under this article if the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit
    or plan to commit a crime or a fraud.

    (as in crime and fraud under the Bond Financing Laws of the State of California!)

  117. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: Thanks for the interesting analysis. I’ll see what our lawyer says.

  118. Doctor J Says:

    Bottom line Theresa is that Rolen, Lawrence and Eberhart are running circles around the Times. Do you think the New York Times would have ever published the Pentagon Papers if they had put up with this kind of ‘caca’ ?

  119. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No one is running circles around us. Our attorney is very busy and she didn’t have a chance to look at Rolen’s response today, but she told me over the phone that if the document was distributed to the entire board, there are only a few exemptions that could apply. I told her Rolen admitted in his response that it was distributed to the entire board.

    FYI, our lawyers also pressured the CDE to release raw graduation and dropout rate data early so we could post it online. They originally wanted to wait two weeks to release it.

  120. g Says:

    In the Watergate Case that Dr. J references, Justice Stewart in New York Times v. United States, while encouraging the press to do even more to aid The People in their pursuit of the truth, states:
    “The only effective restraint upon executive policy and power… may lie in an
    enlightened citizenry—in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can protect the values of a democratic government.”

    Perhaps he borrowed that from one of our founding fathers, James Madison, who said: “In a republic, the people are the ultimate sovereigns; they depend for their information on the press, which must therefore be free to “canvass the merits and measures of public men.”

    Those statements of opinion should not be taken lightly.


    There may be a “few exemptions”? Except for some ongoing “litigation”, or security of privacy for “personnel”, I can find no other possible exemption.


    I refer frequently to Florida’s Sunshine Law opinions, simply because those Sunshine Laws are just as valid in CA as our Brown Act Laws, and the Florida opinions are generally far superior to, and easier to find and to understand, than most opinions written by our CA Attorney General.

    I offer the following “school board/superintendent/attorney-client privilege” case as an example:

  121. g Says:

    Sorry Dr. J: I meant to say (LIKE the case that you referenced) but over-wrote on my own notes. 😉 I do know the difference between the two!

  122. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDUSD approved “The Hunger Games,” along with four other books as core and extended high school literature:

  123. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It looks as though the YVHS field lighting project may have hit a snag. It was pulled from the list of contracts the board authorized the superintendent to enter into:

    However, Superintendent Steven Lawrence told trustees he didn’t think it was necessary for a public announcement to be made explaining why the agenda attachment was changed, as Trustee Cheryl Hansen suggested in her proposed changes to agenda notifications.

    Although one YVHS resident said he was told there would be a special board meeting July 18 to approve the lighting project, Mitchell Stark told me he is not aware of such a meeting. He said General Counsel Greg Rolen has gotten involved in the project.

  124. Anon Says:

    So happy to see that MDUSD approved The Hunger Games for High school. My kids read them in 5th grade. Most 5th graders i know have also read them. Some of the other books my son read in 6th and 7th grade. I should add that he had a very good understanding of what the books were really about. The social issues and government.
    Wonder if middle school kids will get the reading counts credit for reading them now?

  125. g Says:

    Theresa, perhaps they should also pull Item 13? They can’t inspect something they don’t build—well, I suppose this group could…!

  126. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I thought it was odd that that was left on and that it didn’t specify a school.

    I just spoke to a YVHS neighbor who said he found out on June 25 that the board expected to give the superintendent approval that night to enter into a contract for the project. Then, it was abruptly pulled from the agenda. He also said no residents who submitted comments on the environmental study have received responses, which are required.

    The district is certainly handling this differently than it did the Northgate project. For that, the board held at special meeting at Northgate, complete with a presentation of the project and ample opportunity for public comments.

  127. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s the response I got from Pete Pedersen in an email regarding the YVHS stadium lighting environmental report:

    “We are still reviewing the project scope and hope to have a meeting with the neighbors soon.

    Any environmental report, along with the comments and responses must be placed on a public agenda, posted in compliance with Brown Act requirements and must be acted upon by the Board. Individuals or groups/entities who submit comments are not provided personal responses. Rather, the responses are incorporated into the final, posted document. There is no ‘deadline’ associated with this process.”

  128. Doctor J Says:

    Based on Pedersen’s comments, Rolen’s late involvment, the sudden unexplained pulling of the project from the agenda, it would appear the neighbor’s lawyered up, Lawrence then coward out, especially with his fair haired future Asst. Supt. being the new principal, afraid of a public humiliation . . . .once again.

  129. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It definitely appears that the neighbors are making more waves than the district may have initially anticipated.
    I was told by a resident that he met with Sue Brothers on June 25, the day of the board meeting, and that she told him she would like to have an independent analysis of the lighting and sound impacts.
    He said the neighbors want the sound and lighting mitigated and that Brothers seemed receptive to working with them to resolve their concerns.

  130. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#129 The operative word is “seemed” — Sue Brothers is an accomplished placater with no record of follow up, especially where she doesn’t make the decision. Of course she can say “she would like” because she doesn’t make the decision. Can the neighbors “pin down” Lawrence to the same statement ?

  131. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Based on my conversations with neighbors, I don’t believe Lawrence has spoken to them.
    They said Sherry Whitmarsh and Pete Pedersen have met with them.

  132. Doctor J Says:

    I wonder why King Lawrence has chosen not to meet with the serfs ? Instead, he sends his minions, Sue Brothers and Pete.

Leave a Reply