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Recap of MDUSD 12-21-12 special meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 4:50 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board held a special meeting Dec. 21, including one public meeting to vote on a construction contract and two closed sessions — one before the public meeting and one afterwards.

During the first closed session, the board discussed the following, according to the agenda:

“Anticipated Litigation – The board will receive information and advice from outside counsel (Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost) on the following matters:
• Anticipated litigation regarding Wendy Lack’s charge of alleged Brown Act violation.
• Anticipated litigation by five (5) District administrators (Superintendent, General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Superintendent-Personnel, Assistant Superintendent-Student Support) for potential breach of employment contract.”

I was unable to attend the open session before the board went into closed session, but here is a link to audio of the meeting:

I arrived in time for the open session and am posting links to video clips of that below:

Report out of first closed session:

Public comment from Greg Enholm, recently elected Community College District Board member:

District resident Wendy Lack reads letter from resident Alicia Minyen expressing concerns regarding the proposed lease-leaseback contract with Taber Construction:

Here is the text of the letter, which was provided to me by Minyen, who was unable to attend the meeting:

“Dear President Hansen and Board of Trustees, I’m unable to attend tonight’s meeting and ask that you read this letter as public comment regarding the $17 million Taber Construction Lease Leaseback contract. As you know, Measure C bond funds will be used to pay for this contract and such bond funds are restricted to only authorized uses stipulated under California’s Constitution under Section 1 of Article XIIIA. Lease leaseback arrangements are not explicitly authorized uses under the law. Bond proceeds should not be used to pay interest (debt service) and the district should be proactive in preserving bond proceeds and staying away from contracts that appear to be pay to play. By approving a contract that appears unlawful, you subject the district to litigation under the School Bond Waste Prevention Action under Education Code. The work Taber will perform is not unique and should accordingly be competitively bid. I hope that you will reject this unnecessarily costly contract that is essentially open ended allowing change orders (see clause for additions), and allowing for interest costs, which can be avoided . Sincerely, Alicia Minyen. Board member of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees”

Here is the staff report regarding the contract (it does not include the PowerPoint presentation, which has still not been posted):

Part 1 of Pedersen’s presentation:

Part 2 of the lease-leaseback presentation, with Tim Cody going over some of the details:

Part 3 of PowerPoint presentation, in which Supt. Steven Lawrence mentions need for middle school science labs:

Board unanimously votes to approve Taber Contract and adjourns to closed session in memory of a Rio Vista Elementary food services worker:

The board adjourned to its second closed session to discuss the superintendent’s evaluation. I did not stay to hear the report out, but understand that it was continued to Jan. 14.

Do you agree with the board’s decision to approve the Taber lease-leaseback construction contract?

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