Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD 11-5-12

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 7:17 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Tonight’s board meeting appears to be very light on agenda items, with only two easement dedications listed under action items.

But there are a few interesting items on the consent calendar:

Item 8.8: Recission of bid for ethernet cabling (bidder says it’s too risky at $70,000 per day on a $1 million contract): http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/com/print_item.aspx?itemId=6010

Item 8.9: Award of same bid to another contracter, who apparently accepted the risk (although the attachments don’t spell that out): http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6011&mtgId=352

Item 8.10: Inspector fees of more than $8,000 to be paid from developer fees for IHTA gourmet kitchen at MDHS: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6012&mtgId=352

I had a call from a Bay Point/Pittsburg resident today who alleged the district is spending developer fees from new homes constructed in that area on schools on the “other side of the hill.” In this case, MDHS does serve Bay Point students, but this resident argued developer fees should remain on the other side of the hill to accommodate overcrowding there by building a new school.

Item 8.11: College Park Measure C improvements: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6017&mtgId=352

It looks like the school is finally getting the paving and drainage improvements that former Principal Barbara Oaks asked for back in March, 2010.

Items 8.12 are is also for College Park improvements.

Item 8.13 is for interim housing (but doesn’t say that on the agenda).

We’re back to College Park again with Item 8.14, for environmental services related to athletic facilities improvements.

The board also plans to approve more YVHS improvements related to the controversial field expansion in item 8.15: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6022&mtgId=352

Item 8.16: Leasing interim housing (as opposed to the other interim housing item at 8.13).

Item 8.19: Translator support: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6020&mtgId=352

The district intends to contract with Marisol Rolen (Greg Rolen’s wife, among other contractors)

I will try to do a live blog and videotape the proceedings.

8:20 p.m. UPDATE/LIVE BLOG:

I got here a bit late and didn’t hear the complete report out of closed session, but I believe I heard that trustees intend to go back into closed session after the meeting is over.

I believe the board approved all of the consent calendar items except 8.19, which was pulled. (I will confirm this after the meeting is over.)

NOV. 6 UPDATE: Here is a link to the meeting audio: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/audio/2012/110512.mp3

Per the audio, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh announced that the board voted in closed session to send one student to Diablo Day School. She also said trustees would go back into closed session after the meeting to discuss employee discipline/release/complaint.

Trustee Cheryl Hansen pulled item 8.19 from the consent calendar and the board unanimously approved the rest of the consent calendar.

Here are video clips of the discussion and votes regarding translator services:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G11XH7FzxLg&feature=share&list=ULG11XH7FzxLg

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV3mnYVRiFU&feature=share&list=ULTV3mnYVRiFU

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvLZMQtuSbs&feature=share&list=ULtvLZMQtuSbs

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E640jYIkshY&feature=share&list=ULE640jYIkshY

The board voted 3-2 to negotiate contracts with three of the four vendors presented by staff (Eberhart and Whitmarsh against).

The board then voted 3-2 to also negotiate with AIS (Hansen, Mayo against).

Deb Cooksey said the second vote put the board right back where it was before the first vote, with all four vendors in the running for contracts.

Student reports: http://youtu.be/39ssvOP2Dfw

Superintendent’s Report: http://youtu.be/GnahOWRHTvA

College Park HS easement: http://youtu.be/xO2M_R5cht4
Board unanimously approved easement.

Sun Terrace Elementary easement: http://youtu.be/RzwHkWuANyM
Board unanimously approved easement.

Trustee Cheryl Hansen’s board report: http://youtu.be/O_bqChkrMog
Hansen reported on an upcoming Iron Chef competition Wednesday at Concord High School, which she will help judge.

Trustee Lynne Dennler’s board report: http://youtu.be/n2fRImJoYmg
Dennler reported on an autism task force meeting she attended.

Trustee Gary Eberhart’s board report: http://youtu.be/ISJVIrWkj10
Eberhart thanked staff and the community for the support he has received over the years and wished the board well as it tackles difficult decisions in the future.

Trustee Linda Mayo’s board report: http://youtu.be/XREkBE_6o_w
Mayo thanked Eberhart for his years of service and reported on her recent activities.

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh’s board report: http://youtu.be/b8OmXcTadSM
Whitmarsh reported on what she is thankful for, then called for a break before the board went back into closed session to discuss employee complaint/dismissal/release.

Interestingly, no one mentioned the election. Whitmarsh is up for re-election and the board has endorsed Props. 30 and 38.

Do you agree with the board’s decision to allow AIS to renegotiate its contract bid to retain a portion of MDUSD’s translation services work?

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

  • g

    The Bay Point complainer might want to check exactly which Developer Fee income is being used–not that it matters–from what the public can tell, it all goes into one pot, and Jack Schreder gets a goodly amount of it to suggest closing Concord Schools, in favor of building Bay Point Schools.

    On the other hand six or so years ago, MDUSD sold its soul to Pittsburg in exchange for Developer Fees; partially for a loan to pay for that $Million Dollar per acre wind and dust bowl on the Alves site in Bay Point.

    Hopefully you reminded the Bay Point/Pittsburg person that if we had kept all of the Concord, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Pleasant Hill Developer Fees on “this side of the hill” for the past 40 years, they’d probably all be trekking down Willow Pass/10th Street to Pittsburg schools.

    Of course, it’s still not too late for Bay Point to vote to secede from the district. Pittsburg has a lovely new high school!

  • Doctor J

    Any reports on last night’s CAC meeting ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I haven’t heard any, but would like to know if there was any discussion of the translator contracts. Surely, some long-time CAC members must know about the “incident” with CTI that caused the district to switch to AIS two years ago.
    Also, with two new board members, trustees could overrule Rolen and release the third party analysis mentioned in the FCMAT report, if they are truly committed to transparency.

  • Doctor J

    @TH, not just the Third Party Analysis, but also get the Transportation Report published by FCMAT and immediate release of the FCMAT Special Education report. Who is setting the Agenda for the December meeting ? As for the “incident”, has it occurred to anyone that it is “fiction” invented by the legal department to be able to put AIS in “play”. The timing fits perfectly with Diane’s book review commentary.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It’s also interesting that despite Eberhart and Whitmarsh’s continued push to cut costs in special ed — and their mantra to keep cuts away from the classroom — that they have allowed inflated translator costs to go on for two years, while cutting special ed assistants and now pushing to cut transportation costs.

    And I wonder if Eberhart’s decision to offer AIS the opportunity to match the other bids will set a precedent in this district where all vendors will be able to ask to re-bid when they are not the lowest responsible bidder.

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, you need to look at ALL the puzzle pieces to get the clear picture. Gang of Five raises; Rolen gets $27,000 and title of “Transportation” czar [Nov 2009]; “one” of his girlfriends gets a lucrative contract for translation under suspicious circumstances; every Rolen memo is claimed to be “attorney privileged” even when about his transportation czar title. BIG5 raises; illegal so they don’t draft the contracts. Addition of Carolyn Patton and now Kerri Mills; I am hearing “implied threats” of discipline and poor evaluations for not being “team players” — same language that Steven Lawrence used back in 2010 when he intimidated administrators to accept furlough days. So how is Special Ed going to control the ‘transportation costs’ ? Its complicated because they can’t do it directly because of the IEP rules. Think back to Carolyn Patton’s presentation when Greg Rolen told her to stick to the script. Carolyn Patton has instructed administrators NOT to put in the IEP’s specifics about transportation — like many parents are insisting on [and should !] Carolyn Patton, as the pawn of Steven Lawrence and now Kerri Mills, want the tranportation portion of the IEP’s left vague so that Carolyn Patton can choose a cheaper form of transportation than the family is accustomed to. When specifics are inserted into the IEP’s, the district is bound by them. This requires the parents to stand up and be firm in the IEP’s about the SPECIFIC transportation to be used — not some generality that will be dumbed down and result in unsupervised clustering.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Eberhart, Whitmarsh and Strange also orchestrated the change in Rolen’s reporting structure so that he now reports directly to the board and can circumvent the superintendent.
    But with a new board, he is now stripped of possible protection by the superintendent – especially since Mayo and Hansen have made it known they are not Rolen fans.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have just spoken to the superintendent’s secretary regarding the contracts that were approved in April, but never presented to the board (instead, the board was presented with the contracts that were set to expire). The secretary said she had sent the contracts to Rolen’s office for review, but she was unsure whether they have been signed yet.

  • Doctor J

    So are you saying that Lawrence, not Rolen, drafted the contract extensions ? How irregular is that ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    No, I it’s my understanding that the superintendent’s secretary typed up the new contracts using the same language that was in the previous contracts, changing the dates to reflect the board-approved extensions. But, as has been previously pointed out, those contracts may have needed further revisions, since it’s unlikely the board wanted to give the superintendent another housing allowance. And, cost-of-living increases may have exceeded what’s currently allowed by law.
    It will be interesting to see if all the contracts get signed by all the trustees before the next regular board meeting.

  • Doctor J

    The new Board may want to hire an Educational lawyer, independent of Rolen, to review that whole thing. It smacks of impropriety.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The whole thing didn’t make sense when it was presented to the board in the first place. The board and the public deserve to see the contracts that are being approved — not the contracts that are expiring.
    Yet, only Cheryl Hansen said that she would not approve new contracts sight unseen. She even pointed out that the superintendent’s contract included a housing allowance that should not be added to the new contract.
    The rest of the board didn’t see a problem with the district’s failure to produce the actual contracts that were ostensibly being presented for approval.

  • Theresa Harrington

    In unrelated news about moves by other school districts and attorneys that didn’t make sense, the Moraga school board now apparently realizes that it shouldn’t have relied so heavily on its legal advice in its aggressive response to a lawsuit related to sex abuse in the district: http://www.moraga.k12.ca.us/

  • Doctor J

    Make sense ? Just like Deb Cooksey standing in for Rolen the other night because Rolen has a conflict of interest. Since Cooksey works for Rolen, if he has a conflict of interest, so does she — he is her supervisor. BTW, watch Eberhart read his computer screen during the issue — I suspect he is getting emails from Rolen on what he should do and say !

  • Doctor J

    @TH#13 I like a Board that tells its attorney to apologize ! Statement from the Moraga School District
    “The Governing Board has directed its attorney to withdraw the defense of comparative fault and any assertion of carelessness or negligence on the part of Ms. Cunnane.
    The Governing Board and its attorneys, Stubbs and Leone, apologize to Ms. Cunnane for any anxiety or distress caused by the inclusion of this defense in its response to her pleading.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that MDUSD HOPE is seeking donation for homeless and foster youth for the holidays: http://bit.ly/Ulgpi7

  • soooo frustrated

    Just wondering why Doctor J didn’t run for the school board.

  • More Frustrated

    Just wondering why Sooooo Frustrated won’t use their real name.

    Which one are you? Eberhart? Whitmarsh? Strange?

  • Doctor J

    @#17 I thought maybe you were one of the people who wrote Doctor J in ! I wonder if I got more write-in votes than Eberhart ? :-)

  • Doctor J

    State Board of Education posts links to several Power Point presentations made today. Sorry, but I have to do the links one at a time.

  • Doctor J

    Item 9: Overview of Special Education presented by Fred Balcom at the California State Board of Education Meeting on November 7, 2012. The direct link to this presentation is: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr12/documents/nov12item09presentation.pdf

  • Doctor J

    Item 4: Adoption of newly revised English Language Development (ELD) standards for public schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve presented by Karen Cadiero-Kaplan at the California State Board of Education Meeting on November 7, 2012. The direct link to this presentation is: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr12/documents/nov12item04presentation.pdf

    This might require MDUSD to further modify its master plan for ELD

  • Theresa Harrington

    In addition to everything reported by students at the Nov. 5 meeting, here’s a short story about Olympic High winning $3,000 in a recent “Got Milk?” breakfast challenge: http://bit.ly/Sx9UTP

  • anon

    Why must MDHS have such long staff meetings?

  • District Teacher

    @ Anon 24: Because Principal Kate McClatchy can. She seems to relish in holding teachers hostage for her pointless meetings upon meetings, as well as meetings to discuss the meetings. Of course, the meetings would be half as long if every other word out of McClatchy’s mouth wasn’t “um” while she drones on and on. But as long as the other half of what comes out her mouth is whatever the superintendent tells her to say, her job is secure. It’s a pity the same can’t be said for administrators and new teachers at the school.

  • Doctor J

    looks like Steven Lawrence didn’t make the final cut in Desert Sands USD — interviews were on Monday evening, and of course he was at the MDUSD Board meeting.

  • Wait a Minute

    Doctor J,

    Stevie Lawrence isn’t going to make the final cut ANYWHERE because he’s such a joke, especially in California.

  • anon

    Too bad he did at MDUSD

  • g

    Theresa #5: ADVANCED INTERPRETING SERVICE,

    FIRST SIGNED 6/29/10

    SCHOOL YEAR 2009-10 summer:

    1 ]—a)–THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT: June 29, 2010 for $20K prog code 5045, to cover period from 7/1/10 thru just 8/30/10–TWO MONTHS! ((found no evidence of this one ever coming to board (slick- it was under $25K).))

    There is also NO EVIDENCE of another contract until – mid school year 2010-11 (but she kept working and getting paid)

    b)–Dec 14, 2010 board approved an increase to the “existing contract” of $20,000. raising it to $75,000-”to get thru the end of the 10-11 shool year”. (25k to prog code 5045 and 50K to prog code 1300) (NO new contract–just hand written adjust on same ‘never approved’ contract)

    c)–May 11, 2011 board approved ANOTHER increase $17K prog code 3122, bringing total to $92,000.00-”to ‘really’ get thru the end of that school year.”

    TOTAL $92k FOR FIRST YEAR July-June, 2010-11

    —–

    d)–Aug 9, 2011 board approved a NEW (unsigned) contract for $83,990 DATED TO RUN FOR THE 6/30/11-6/30/12 school year–BUT –

    d–1)–June 4, 2012 board approved an increase of $16k to THAT 8/9/11 contract for $83,990–bringing it to $99,990.00-”to get thru the end of that 11-12 school year.”

    HOWEVER–

    d–2)–June 30, 2011 (NOTE WE’RE STILL/OR BACK IN 2011) there is YET ANOTHER NEW-BUT CONCURRENT contract in the amount of $118,990.00.

    HOWEVER–

    Some later pencil adjustments CODE some of this one to item 2c (below) and some to prog codes in 1a,b,c,d above—(note: bad addition) and totals that seem to align totals on this one with the “other” board approved contract for $83,990.00–obviously this is where it gets REALLY screwy–because from what I can tell–AIS was in posession of MULTIPLE AND CONCURRENT contracts for 11/12:

    A–one for $83,990 that grew to $99,990.

    B–One for $118,990 (6/30/11). NOT the pencil revised contract for $83,990.

    C–THEN the $118,990 contract was used again, but pencil revised down to $83,990. — making it appear that dept. code 1300 would not be charged the full amount ($68,990) originally charged to that dept,but would only be charged $43,990.

    BUT–keep in mind this is NOT the same contract as the other contract for $83,990 that grew to $99,990.00!

    NOW, DURING THIS SAME TIME, WE HAVE:

    2 ]—a)–Dec 1, 2011, SEPARATE CONTRACT SIGNED ONLY BY CARMEN GARCES, FOR THE EL&SCE DEPARTMENT FOR $10,000 prog code 3825.

    b)–July 1, 2012, NEW CONTRACT SIGNED BY CG and others FOR ‘not to exceed’ $24,500 prog code 1300, SAYS IT’S FOR ENTIRE 12-13 YEAR.

    — BUT JUST TWO MONTHS LATER, and coinciding with the pencil revision of the $118K contract, (see d-2-c above, there is:

    c)–Aug 27, 2012, ANOTHER NEW CONTRACT AWARDED FOR $68,990.00 prog code 1300 for the 2012-13 school year. (Remember that $68,990 they penciled out, because they only needed $43,990 of it?)

    NOTE:

    Best case: AIS has two contracts running for 12-13 ($99,990.00 and $68,990.00 TOTAL $169,980.00

    Worst case: There are actually 3 OR EVEN 4 “LIVE” CONTRACTS overlapping? $99,990. – $83,990. – $118,990. – $68,990. ????

    NOTE: AIS, aka PADILLA-ROLEN, in just two years has raised all rates (except Spanish) $10 per hour, and increased minute/formatting/ rates as well.

    PROBLEM IS: DENT is looking at (1st time ever) RFPs to award MORE/NEW contracts this same year 12-13. It appears they only “invited” responses from existing/past companies–there are several in the area they could have offered this to.

    The ploy: This is A NECESSARY formality to prove if/when THE @%IT ever hits the fan over CONFLICT OF INTEREST–COLLUSION TO OUST ONE COMPANY IN FAVOR OF AN EMPLOYEE’S GIRLFRIEND, showing that the Board approved it and the ‘people’ did not complain to them about it.

    11/5/12 the board voted 3-2 to drop AIS from contention. But, soon-to be-voted-out Whitmarsh backed ‘lame-duck’ Eberhart when he faught tooth and nail to keep Padilla-Rolen/AIS in the running—he knew he wouldn’t even be around—what is in it for him? What is in it for Whitmarsh?
    – What was Dennler thinking when she voted against her own 1st vote?-(never mind–she wasn’t thinking) What were they ALL thinking when Cooksey, ever so demurly, said “you are back where you started,” but failed in her duty to advise them that the “losing voters” could not make a rescinding motion to overturn what they had just “lost”!

    —-

    HAS ANYONE, for instance the ‘committee’ who presented their findings at the 11/5/12 board meeting, QUESTIONED WHETHER MDUSD IS/AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN AIS’s “ONLY” CONTRACT!

    In 2010, MDUSD DROPPED California Translations International after 30+ years at just about the same time Marisol Padilla:

    1) left that company;
    2) started her own company, using contacts she garnered from CTI files;
    3) whispers start flowing (leaking from Dent) that she is having a relationship with our General Counsel, who had very recently become embroiled in a nasty divorce– (after his ‘then current’ girlfriend ratted him out to his wife — because he was caught cheating on BOTH of them!)

  • g

    Darn, I got so distracted by thinking about the dirty divorce, I left out the Concurrent $24,500.00 active contract when I gave the Best and Wort Case totals!

    Corrected Best case: Current active contracts are: $99,990.00 and $68,990.00 and $24,500.00 for new TOTAL $193,480.00

    I don’t even want to think about the Worst Case totals!

    No wonder AIS doesn’t even have a website to attract more business—who needs it?

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @G29-30: Is “G” for gumshoe?

    Good detective work!

  • Theresa Harrington

    I am working on a story about this, but thanks for the references. It was interesting that the potential conflict was not even mentioned at the Nov. 5 meeting. Rolen was absent for the consent calendar, then he appeared for the action calendar, with no public announcement about why he was replaced by Cooksey during the consent calendar vote.

  • g

    Ah, but Rolen wasn’t absent for the previous two years worth of Calendars–he even signed Agenda recommendations!

    We’ve been talking about this issue here for a year. It seems that only after we bring his actual marriage to the public’s attention, Lawrence and the board majority ‘suddenly’ find out about it?

    I don’t think so!

    I also question everyone playing “three monkeys” 11/5 like no one there had any idea at all why CTI was dropped in 2010. Some “mysterious” incident? Didn’t Lawrence start in Jan 2010. Weren’t Eberhart, Whitmarsh AND Mayo on the board for years before 2010?

    If the public knew about all this by 2011, a few of the big cats knew about it too.

    The Tahoe area may not be a good place to try to keep secrets.

    Don’t let them get by with it!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a blog post about the MDUSD HOPE program’s annual holiday donation drive for homeless students and foster youth: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2012/11/12/mdusd-seeks-holiday-donations-for-homeless-students-and-foster-youth/
    James Wogan, who directs the program (and who was previously featured in our newspaper as a Hometown Hero) asks those who read the appeal to please forward it to five people.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a great slide show featuring the Kids’ Cookoff competition that Trustee Cheryl Hansen mentioned in her board report: http://photos.mercurynews.com/2012/11/12/twitter/mount-diablo-school-district-kids-cook-off-competition/#name here
    Along with Hansen, the other judges were Superintendent Steven Lawrence, Trustee Linda Mayo and Gretchen Jacobs. But, Lawrence didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony. “He’s a very busy man,” explained the contest coordinator.

  • anon

    @TH 35
    That looked wonderful! Unfortunately, just another glaring example of the communication, or lack thereof in this district. I am thoroughly involved in my child’s elementary school, but heard absolutely nothing about this opportunity.

    Sheesh, the fun continues!

  • Theresa Harrington

    It’s unclear whether all schools were invited. Based on this Concord Transcript story, it looks like only four schools participated: Bancroft in Walnut Creek, Mt. Diablo Elem. in Clayton, Gregory Gardens in Pleasant Hill and Westwood in Concord: http://www.contracostatimes.com/concord/ci_21889496/elementary-students-from-concord-walnut-creek-pleasant-hill

    On another note, the state has designated November as California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month:
    http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr12ltr0803.asp

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: It’s unclear if there were really two separate concurrent contracts in 2011-12.

    It’s possible the board was presented with one version of an unsigned contract for $83,990 on Aug. 9, 2011: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/34d44b0a-7356-4428-b144-349be4e37414.pdf

    But, a separate version of that approved contract was the one that was actually signed: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/5d81a210-4802-4ff4-82df-59a4c5875d43.pdf

    The signed contract shows that AIS initially intended to charge the district $118,000 instead of $83,990. But, the board never saw that version of the contract when it approved the $83,990. If this is what happened, it obviously raises the question of why there were two different contracts floating around and why the board never saw the version with the higher amount crossed out (but not crossed out on pg. 4 of the contract).

    The unsigned version was presented with an Aug. 9, 2011 agenda report signed by Bryan Cassin, Felicia Stuckey-Smith, Mildred Browne, Greg Rolen and Steven Lawrence. The signed version with the crossed out higher amount was presented with a June 4, 2012 staff report signed by Christian Patz, Mildred Browne, Bryan Richards and Steven Lawrence.

    Based on this sleight of hand, the board should insist on seeing all contracts AFTER they are signed, to ensure that they match the unsigned versions they approve.

    And the contract approved Aug. 27, 2012 doesn’t match the agenda report. The contract is for $24,500. Yet, the board unanimously approved an allocation of $68,990: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=5637&mtgId=347
    Which is correct?

    Which reminds me, we still haven’t seen the signed contracts approved in April for Lawrence, Rolen, Richards, and co. The superintendent’s secretary told me she didn’t think they needed to go back to the board as an agenda item, since they were already approved. But, based on the fact that the board NEVER saw the new contracts when it approved the contract extensions, trustees should insist on bringing the contracts back for public presentation to the board.

  • g

    There is a lot wrong with records of these two contracts! The Unsigned $83,990 contract that was, (or at least ‘now’ is) published with the Agenda Item for 8/9/11 definitely went through someone’s hands in order to get those penciled codes–and now we have no way of knowing if it was ever signed or went through accounting. We just know the board approved a blank contract.

    Then there is the “tried to look like a photocopy” of that same Agenda item that is now attached to the signed, and very edited, contract for $118,990—to make that look like it ‘was’ only for $83,990. WHY the bogus ‘photocopy’?

    Geesh–white-out and word wrap and line spacing barely come close! That folks is NOT a photocopy of what is ‘now’ the permanent record-published Agenda item.

    Why is that the only contract in 2+ years with a Purchase Requisition # assigned? Because it was intended to be approved for more than $100K, and needed a PR.

    So, it’s a chicken/egg question. Did “someone” eventually sign a copy of the $83,990 copy the board approved?

    Did AIS get a signed copy of the $118,990 sometime in the 10 months “before” accounting (or somebody) got hold of it and altered it and fooled the board into thinking ‘that’ was the contract they approved 10 months earlier?

    In June 2012 when they increased the $83,990 to $99,990, WHY didn’t they use the original 8/9/11 copy?

    Too many ‘why’ questions. Just sloppy-sloppy work that would get a student in the district a ‘D’ or maybe an ‘F’?

    Too many C(r)ooks stirring the pot?

  • Theresa Harrington

    The handwritten budget program codes were also changed from the version the board approved. The unsigned contract says that $15,000 will be charged to Budget Code 010 5045 42 5800.

    But the signed contract shows that this was instead allocated in a completely different way, with $10,000 charged to 010 5045 48 5800 and $5,000 charged to 010 5045 48 5700.

    So, it appears that the board cannot rely on staff to follow through on contracts the way they are approved.

    And you’re right about the crossed out numbers. The board and the public have no way of knowing whether someone signed the contract with the higher number and then later crossed it out, or whether it was crossed out before it was signed. Either way, the number should have also been changed on page 4, but it wasn’t.

    This does help explain why a $16,000 increase was needed in June, since it appears everyone knew the $83,990 number was low to begin with. In fact, when you factor in the $10,000 contract approved in January (after-the-fact) for translation services rendered during parent-teacher conferences in December, Padilla ended up only $9,000 shy of getting the $118,990 she was expecting all along.

  • Doctor J

    Two pieces of the puzzle missing from the analysis: the Amazon book review; and the divorce file. I suspect both not only put the facts into context, but also reveal more facts. Also, the sudden “marriage” strikes me as odd. I can’t believe that he would have done it unless there was some “advantage” to it. I wonder who is protecting him, and why ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Divorce was initiated 1-21-10. Amazon book review was dated Sept. 2, 2010 and mentions the arrival of the book in May, 2008. Divorce appears to have been finalized 9-30-11.

  • Wait a Minute

    Dr J,

    People who are married do not have to testify against about their spouse by law.

  • Doctor J

    Divorce on-line case record indicates Diane Rolen asked for child custody and support and visitation on May 26, 2010 supported by her affidavits — wonder what they say ? Diane asks court for Temporary Restraining Order on September 9, 2010 and Greg asks for the same that day too ! Wonder what they say ? That is just a week after she publishes her “book review” detailing the infidelity. I wonder if they “name names” ? District employees ? District vendors ? More pieces to the puzzle. Sept 23 & 24 Diane and Greg file their responses to each other. The plot thickens. Diane files new motion for orders on custody and visitation on Sept 24 — Greg files his reply on Sept 28 and another on Sept 30. Court docket lists the hearings on Oct 1 as “Domestic Violence”. Greg seeks modification of custody and support on Dec 8, 2010. Response and counter responses filed and hearing on Jan 19, 2011 and again on Feb 14 [how appropriate]. Orders filed. Settlement Conference statements filed April 18. While divorce seems “final” in Sept 2011, Diane files for modification Sept 24, 2012 INCLUDING “CHANGE SCHOOL DISTRICT” !!!! Greg files his reply on Oct 29. Hearing is set for November 19, just 6 days from now. Not knowing what each Diane and Greg have said about each other — its in the public court file — the Nov 19 hearing might top the ratings for Skyfall. It seems almost every twist and turn involves MDUSD !!

  • Doctor J

    Add to the timeline, Marisol Padilla filed on September 2, 2008 [consistent with Diane Rolen's timeline] her Ficticious Business Statement that she began her Advanced Interpreting Service on September 2, 2008. Looking at the orignial and comparing the signature with her signatures on the “contracts” might be interesting. http://www.criis.com/webtemp/76.14.172.31/fbn_detail.html

  • Theresa Harrington

    I spoke to the owner of CTI and she said the district never informed her about any “incident” that prompted it to discontinue its contract. The only incident she knew of, she said, was the departure of her secretary Marisol Padilla, who started her own company after working for CTI 14 years, obtained the MDUSD contracts and subsequently married Rolen.
    I also spoke to Board President Sherry Whitmarsh, who said she was told the CTI incident involved inappropriate conduct by a translator at a meeting that did not involve students. She said she had also been told that a CTI translator didn’t show up to an assignment at least once.
    Jeanne Duarte-Armas said Bryan Richards is responsible for negotiating the contracts and she thinks they may come forward at the next meeting.
    Whitmarsh said she will not sit at the dais at the next meeting. She said Brian Lawrence and Barbara Oaks will be sworn in during closed session and will take their places on the dais. She said she expects Linda Mayo to conduct the initial portion of the meeting, as vice president, before officers are elected.
    When asked if she had any comment about the election results, Whitmarsh said “no” and joked that her blood pressure has gone down.
    Richards said purchase requisitions are different from purchase orders and that neither needs to be over $100,000. He said he changed that when he came to the district.

  • g

    ‘scuse me—sworn in in Closed Session? Isn’t this something that should be ceremonial, and in public, for the public that elected them?

    Sherry was on the board for two years and had voted for at least two contracts with CTI before AIS was favored over CTI–and the best she can do is say “she heard” that someone didn’t show up (once) in 30 years!

    Someone “acted inappropriately” in a room of adults at MDUSD? What; did they turn down a pass?

    Theresa, did the owner of CTI mention any ‘other’ sort of relationship she might have had with Padilla?

  • Doctor J

    Clearly neither Sherry, nor Steven Lawrence, nor Greg Rolen care one whit about observing the Brown Act and want the new memebers to violate it on their first meeting. Closed sessions are only permitted for very limited purposes and administering the oath of office is not one of them — to quote the First Amendment Coalition: “Government Code § 54962. Except as expressly authorized by this chapter, or by Sections 1461, 32106 and 32155 of the Health and Safety Code or Sections 37606 37624.3 of the Government Code as they apply to hospitals, or by any provision of the Education Code pertaining to school districts and community college districts, no closed session may be held by any legislative body of any local agency.” However, the oath of office does not have to be administered in a “public meeting” — it can be done privately. If they want their family members or friends present, it must be done outside of “closed session”: “As the Attorney General has observed, meetings are either open or closed, not “semi-closed” (46 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen 34 (1965)). Those permitted to remain in the closed session with the body must serve some function essential to the confidential communication, not just sit in as convenient or desired observers.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    I agree that the new trustees should be sworn in during open session. When I covered the Walnut Creek City Council, their swearing-in was a celebrated public event.

    Regarding CTI, Whitmarsh did not provide more information about the “inappropriate” conduct. And, no, the owner of CTI did not mention any other sort of “relationship” with Padilla. What are you getting at?

    I also spoke to Hansen. She said the district’s decision to allow AIS to renegotiate its contract does not guarantee that the board will approve it.

  • Doctor J

    CSBA article on what new Board members need to learn in the first 100 days ! http://www.csba.org/en/NewsAndMedia/Publications/CASchoolsMagazine/2012/Spring/InThisIssue/QAGovern_Spring2012.aspx