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MDUSD board to act on two “Cure and Correct” Brown Act allegations, review district safety plans Monday

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, January 12th, 2013 at 1:01 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board’s Monday meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord promises to be very interesting, with several hot topics on the agenda including: action on two Cure and Correct Brown Act violation allegations related to contract extensions for the superintendent, general counsel, CFO and two assistant superintendents; superintendent reports regarding the theft of the CFO’s laptop that contained confidential information related to 18,000 MDUSD and Berkeley district employees or former employees and a review of the district’s school safety and security procedures in the wake of recent school shootings; discussion around how to videotape and archive board meetings (which was discontinued after former Trustee Paul Strange left the board and former Trustee Gary Eberhart took down their blog, which contained the archived videos); a board retreat and crossing guards.

In light of recent school bus accidents, it’s possible the board may want to also discuss consent calendar item 8.15 – replacement of a district school bus. Will more bus replacements be needed as a result of the recent accidents? And more importantly – why are these accidents happening and what can the board do to improve bus maintenance and school bus driver employment practices to ensure the safety of students?

The public can comment on any item on the agenda, including closed session and consent calendar items, as well as topics to be discussed during the superintendent’s report. Board President Cheryl Hansen pointed told me she has included the topics to be discussed by superintendent on the agenda to be more transparent. Previously, the superintendent often reported on items of general interest to the community, without any advance public notice.

Here is the complete agenda:

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info

2.0 Announcements

2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info

3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 5:00 p.m.

4.1 Superintendent’s Performance Evaluation Info

4.2 Readmissions Action

4.3 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action

4.4 Anticipated Litigation Info

4.5 Request for second extension of District Administrative Panel Hearing Action

4.6 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action

5.0 Reconvene Open Session

5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info

6.0 Preliminary Business

6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info

7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session

7.1 Report of Closed Session January 14, 2013 Info

7.2 Superintendent’s Performance Evaluation Info

7.3 Readmissions Info

7.4 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Info

7.5 Anticipated Litigation Info

7.6 Request for second extension of District Administrative Panel Hearing Info

7.7 Negotiations Info

8.0 Consent Agenda Action

8.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action

8.2 (Item #2) Minutes of the meeting of December 10, 2012 Action

8.3 (Item #3) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action

8.4 (Item #4) Approval of Variable Term Waiver Requests Action

8.5 (Item #5) Request to increase and decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2012-2013 school year Action

8.6 (Item #6) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action

8.7 (Item #7) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Positions Action

8.8 (Item #8) Resolution 12/13-27 regarding accounting of development fees for the 2011-2012 fiscal year in the Capital Facilities Fund pursuant to Government Code Sections 66001(d) & 66006 (b) Action

8.9 (Item #9) Approval of Contract with Marin County Office of Education Outdoor School at Walker Creek Ranch for Valhalla Elementary School Action

8.10 (Item #10) Approval of Contracts with The YMCA at Camp Arroyo for Meadow Homes Elementary and Rio Vista Elementary Action

8.11 (Item #11) Approval of contract with Exploring New Horizons for Silverwood Elementary School Action

8.12 (Item #12) Contract for Architectural/Engineering Services for New Modular Gym and Multi-Use Room Modifications at Concord High School Action

8.13 (Item #13) Approve contracts with Resource Development & Associates (RDA) for evaluation services for the School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools for the 2012-2013 school year Action

8.14 (Item #14) Membership Recommendation for Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Action

8.15 (Item #15) Purchase of Replacement Special Education School Bus Action

9.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

10.0 Student Representatives

10.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

11.0 Public Comment
11.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

12.0 Communications
12.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info

13.0 Superintendent’s Report

13.1 School Site Safety Plan Info

13.2 Security Update – Computer Theft Info

13.3 Graduation Requirements Committee update Info

14.0 Business/Action Items

14.1 Membership Recommendations for 2010 Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Action

14.2 Brown Act and Cure and Correct General Overview: Namita Browne Info

14.3 Consideration of Two Cure and Correct Demands a) Consideration of Wendy Lack’s Cure and Correct Demand b) Consideration of Alicia Minyen’s Cure and Correct Demand Action

14.4 Board Committee Assignments & Descriptions Action

14.5 Graduation Schedule – Board Assignments Info

14.6 Broadcasting and Archiving Board Meetings Info

14.7 Public Input and Informational Meetings Info

14.8 Board Retreat 2013 Info

14.9 Crossing Guards Info

14.10 Meeting Extension Action

15.0 Future Agenda Items

15.1 Future Agenda Items Info

16.0 Board Member Reports
16.1 Board reports Info

17.0 Closed Session
17.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action

18.0 Adjournment
18.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Trustee Brian Lawrence has promised to try livestream the meeting. I also plan to try to videotape portions of the meeting.

Which items interest you the most?

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

81 Responses to “MDUSD board to act on two “Cure and Correct” Brown Act allegations, review district safety plans Monday”

  1. g Says:

    Item 12.1 and subsequently 15.1 could be used to great advantage in the interest of both transparency and community involvement.

    Under 12.1 each committee or sub, sub, etc. could give a brief report (they could even be required to report ‘openly’ on a regular basis). Each could then request that more time for a more thorough report be added under 15.1.

    15.1 also opens the door for the public to assert their rights and ‘openly’ request particular subjects be added to future agenda. This ability for public input has been greatly lacking, and frankly discouraged by prior boards.

    You are correct that we need more discussion than is evident on the agenda regarding buying one new school bus. Currently, there is one (substitute bus driver involved) law suit that appears might end up with a jury trial after a full year of the district and outside counsel piling on the legal paperwork. Certainly they are simply doing what is allowed in legal matters, but at what cost? Will we, once again, end up paying more in Rolen ‘extras’ and court costs and outside legal fees AND settlement than we would have if we had simply looked at settlement in the first place?

    At least, unlike with prior boards, we may even get a closed session report with dollar figures in it–someday.

  2. g Says:

    Piggy back bus purchase. Thanks for the attached links–but; The first two docs are duplicates-both 11/10/11 Waterford meetings (pretending to be Nov and Dec 2012 on our agenda)

    Are we penny wise, but pound foolish?

    One doc indicates the piggy-back bidding had to be done by 10/19/11–so did we actually bid at that time–and are just now buying the bus? Or should you have given us more up-to-date docs?

    One doc clearly indicates this is a 2010 model, although bid specs indicate all will be 2011 or newer–?

    One indicates the price was only guaranteed until 12/31/12-but in order to unload that 3yr old bus, they gave us the old price–or did we sign a ‘future’ piggy-back agreement (like, in 2011), but left the bus sitting there until we needed it, and are just now (2013)bringing it before the board?

    Just a couple of up-to-date documents, and a quickie staff comment might have answered these simple questions.

    Just one more not so simple question—Who takes care of making sure all of the below items were addressed/fixed while the bus(s) sit in Waterford for 3+ years?

    http://www.recallrecord.com/auto/microbird/

  3. Wendy Lack Says:

    Given the length of Board agendas, perhaps they should meet with greater frequency, as cities and other public agencies do.

    It’s tough on the public, Board and staff to have long meetings that run late.

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    This would especially make sense if the board decides to start discussing items more thoroughly than it has in the past. A shorter agenda might also make it easier to staff to get PowerPoints posted BEFORE the meetings begin.

  5. Anon Says:

    With the amount of damage that this board does at meetings, maybe the best course of action would be fewer meetings per year. If they don’t meet, they will hurt our students and district less.

  6. Anon Says:

    #5 That is absolutly CRAZY! This new board needs to meet more.

  7. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    I can only think that #5 was talking about the old board.

    Or else Gary or Sherry are back to posting.

  8. g Says:

    Thank you Dan Willis for the birthrate maps. 94519, North Concord where schools closed– Up 3.14%; 94521, where most of the schools are, and all were spared, Down 14.35%

    With the exception of Bay Point, all other district populations (including the Monument) are down–some way down.

    Yes, schools needed to be closed, but Schreder and Ebermarsh’s padded committee didn’t look at demographics from sidewalk level. This data only runs from 2000 to 2010, but it is a trend that will most likely continue for the next ten years as well.

  9. Wait a Minute Says:

    The bottom line is that Schreder, EberhMarsh, Stevie Lawrence, Greg Rolen are all self-serving idiots and the damage they have inflicted on our once proud district will take years and maybe decades to reverse.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    Why no discussion on the four buses out of commmission due to bus “accidents” 2 crashes and one fire — especiallly Friday’s claim that one bus intentionally slammed her brakes due to mis-behaving children and caused the second bus to crash into the first bus causing six childre to go to the hospital ?

  11. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Dr J,

    Rolen’s first rule of bus club is, NO ONE talks about bus club!

  12. g Says:

    Dr. J: Let’s look at total cost (not even counting frightened and injured students and parents that will be afraid to put their kids back on a bus.

    I have to think in addition to the ‘fire’ bus, the one that lost a wheel and was hit by the big rig in the middle of the freeway is a ‘total’ loss, although, with scrutiny, some inside equipment may be salvageable—but this district will not do that–they’ll scrap everything.

    Now, even if bus 1 and bus 2 from the rear-end crash in clayton are body shop repairable, body work is only half of it. Every seat floor bolt and, if equipped with seat belts, both hooks and anchor bolts will have to be inspected and may even require replacement.

    Can we count on M&O to do all that on their own?

  13. Anon Says:

    G @ 12,

    I bet the village idiot Greg Rolen is on his hands and knees inspecting the floor bolts himself as we speak.

    Tonight’s board meeting should be a whopper!

  14. Anon Says:

    TH. Are you going to the meeting tonight?

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I’ll definitely be there! I’m testing out a new ipad for work, so I may experiment with videotaping using that and possibly even taking pictures. So, I’m not sure whether I’ll also be able to live blog, but I’ll try.

  16. anon Says:

    Watching online, but no sound!
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/briantlawrence

  17. Anon Says:

    I never thought I’d say this, but it appears that Ms. Dennler has the clearest thought about how to proceed regarding the clear and correct agenda item. I wonder when this new board is going to begin to realize that they are there to do the business of the children and families of the district. I’m very sorry to say that the board seems to have no idea of who they have responsibilities to. Not a very good example for our students. And did I hear board member Mayo right? She requested a closed session meeting with an attorney to get advice on the subject of clear and correct and board member Hansen refused to allow that? I would think that the board would be very angry about that. Allowing board member Mayo’s request could have greatly improved the meeting tonight by providing the board with the information necessary to make a solid decision. Very nice move board member Hansen? I’m shocked.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    The video was great — loved watching Steven Lawrence twitch during the tense discussions and so was Greg Rolen. I almost thought they were rocking in unison waiting for the cops to show up. Anyone get the audio ?

  19. Anon Says:

    Anon #17 – You mean Mayo asked for another meeting with an attorney? The board has already had a closed session meeting with legal counsel to discuss the cure and correct process; a meeting that Mayo had asked for and was given. There is no reason for her to ask for a second meeting. She’s probably just trying to delay, delay, and delay. Of course, considering the number of times she’s violated the Brown Act, she should be seeking legal counsel.

  20. Doctor J Says:

    The video just came down — last shot of Brian approaching the camera to take it down. Brian, the video was great — but how do we hear what is being said ?

  21. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I recorded most of the meeting and will post it at http://www.qik.tharrington and youtube.com/tunedtotheresa.

  22. g Says:

    Anon 17: Please try to keep up. On Dec 21 they held a closed session with FFF to get advise on the Cure and Correct issue. Tonight, Namita Brown from FFF was brought back a second time to explain the issues to the board again and to the public.

    Time is of the essence in settling these issues, not to mention expenses in the neighborhood of $245.00 per hour plus travel time and expense, for multiple visits from a partner of an outside legal firm.

    Ideally that outside firm wouldn’t be needed at all if we could count on our own inside legal counsel to be forthright and honest in his dealings with his own employers.

    If Mayo couldn’t find a scapegoat or loop hole in two meetings, she wouldn’t likely find one in three meetings.

  23. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Mayo and Dennler appeared to be concerned about the fact that the board may have reviewed Minyen’s Cure and Correct letter during its previous closed session, even though it wasn’t on that closed session agenda. Mayo also brought up the timelines for the Cure and Correct, saying they were passed. Dennler shocked the FFF attorney by saying that the board had been told in closed session that trustees had not violated the Brown Act. This brought the FFF attorney quickly to the microphone to admonish the board that it was against the law to reveal information received during closed session. This was the most vocal I have ever seen Dennler. She and Mayo were clearly takiing a stand against Hansen, while Brian Lawrence and Barbara Oaks sat on the sidelines for the most part. The FFF attorney said the board needed another attorney present to remind it about motions on the table. Rolen remained silent during questions around Roberts Rules of Order during the contract discussion because he had a conflict. It’s somewhat surprising that he continued to sit at the dais at all, since he wasn’t giving any legal advice. The FFF lawyer said she thought the board should continue its discussion when Deb Cooksey could sit in. But, Brian Lawrence said he thought Cooksey would also have a conflict.

  24. Doctor J Says:

    If Dennler willingly revealed closed session information last night, it is likely that she had already revealed it to others. I wonder if any of the BIG5 had already been told by anyone what had transpired during the closed session with FFF. I wonder if CoCoCo District Attorney Mark Peterson will have any of his goons try and intimidate any Board Members about Dennler’s Brown Act violation of closed session information like previously Cheryl Hansen was interrogated.

  25. Anon Says:

    The board is being led by a member who doesn’t understand which motions are on the floor for discussion and which are not. When politely challenged on that fact, Hansen not only was unwilling to admit her inexperience with Robert’s Rules, she insists that she does know and is correct. Hansen has a basic inability to take direction and allow her fellow board members to help her through the process of running the meeting, despite her obvious lack of experience. It’s amateur hour in the mdusd board room.

  26. Brian Lawrence Says:

    I’m glad that the video was useful. I had to swap computers so that is why there was no audio this time. Also, it looks like I didn’t get a recording- only the live stream. I’ll work on both of those at the next meeting.

  27. Wait a Minute Says:

    Amazing the legacy of the former board majority and their 2 holdovers!

    Dennler is so out of her league here that I wonder if EberMarsh/Mayo or Rolen put here up to saying that?

  28. Vindex Says:

    How does Rolen still have a job? I will not be sending my child to that district till Rolen is fired.

  29. Brian Lawrence Says:

    Thanks for the feedback on the video stream- glad it was useful. I ended up having to switch computers- that is why there was no audio. Also, it didn’t record the broadcast so there won’t be an archive of last night’s meeting. I should be able to correct both of those issues for the next meeting. Definitely a work in progress.

  30. g Says:

    As if Mayo hasn’t sat quietly by for years while closed sessions were used to discuss things that were not on the agenda. Let’s see, what has been hidden under Supt Evaluation or generic mention of Anticipated Litigation: Transportation and Spec Ed planning; Grand Jury reports; executive compensation…and a whole lot more that we don’t know about.

    As to rocking back in his chair while his employer speaks out of turn–regardless of the topic of discussion, if he is present, it is ALWAYS Rolen’s job to guide the board on Proper Protocol.

  31. Wait a Minute Says:

    Not surprising that Dennler, a willing part of the former board majority, would continue that legacy of Brown Act violations.

    Of course, Dennler is so out of her league as a board member that I wouldn’t be surprised if EberMarsh/Mayo or Rolen put her up to this stunt.

  32. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I received an email from Brian Lawrence stating that he was unable to post this comment, so I agreed to post it on his behalf:

    “Thanks for the feedback on the video stream- glad it was useful. I ended up having to switch computers- that is why there was no audio. Also, it didn’t record the broadcast so there won’t be an archive of last night’s meeting. I should be able to correct both of those issues for the next meeting. Definitely a work in progress.”

  33. g Says:

    I wonder if Mayo would be willing to sit before a Grand Jury and swear that she has never been party to Closed Session discussions that were not specifically listed on the agenda.

    A couple recent ones come to mind:
    FCMAT reports and legal opinion on SpEd Transportation; at least two Grand Jury responses.

    What did they really discuss under the guise of seven or eight (alleged) Superintendent Evaluations and seven or eight (alleged) Legal Counsel Evaluations last year?

    In for a penny, in for a pound Mayo–let’s have all of it!

  34. Doctor J Says:

    @Brian A valiant effort that was appreciated. I was hoping that maybe I could play it at the same time with the audio from the district. I so enjoyed Steven’s incessant rocking. Reminded me of when he was at the state board meeting, and his leg just shook and shook. I wonder if a valium would help him ? Or maybe a trip to the confessional ? :-)

  35. Doctor J Says:

    I guess that “Trustees” Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler are willing to bet the public money, but not their own, that the two complainers, Wendy Lack and Alicia Minyon, will not file lawsuits. Show us your stuff, ladies.

  36. Doctor J Says:

    Brian Lawrence’s questions about a district wide “safety plan” probably should be more properly classified as a District wide crisis response plan — whether it be criminal activity or natural disasters or mankind created disasters. There are lots of resources on the CDE website. Also local county disaster plans should include school districts. Here is just one letter giving lots of resources. http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr07ltr0419.asp

  37. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that there have been technical difficulties with the blog and several people have informed me they have been unable to post. Our webmaster is working on it.

    Also, please note that I have uploaded the Cure and Correct videos to YouTube.com/tunedtotheresa (along with others from the meeting). A few of the early agenda items are at qik.com/tharrington.

  38. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting on line comment by Brian Lawrence to Tom Barnidge’s editorial from yesterday.

  39. Doctor J Says:

    Special closed session posted for tomorrow Jan 18 — agenda still “hidden”; time unknown.

  40. Doctor J Says:

    Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler calling the bluff of Wendy Lack and Alicia Minyen on their “cure and correct” letters will be expensive, costly and backfire on public perception of transparency and honesty.

  41. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, here is Barnidge’s column: http://www.contracostatimes.com/twitter/ci_22388581/barnidge-search-transparency-continues-mt-diablo-school-board

    Trustee Brian Lawrence also emailed me his comment, as follows:

    “Tom, you are incorrect. The irony of discussing transparency behind closed doors did not escape me. However, I believe the Board should receive outside legal counsel precisely because this is an important issue. I believe that receiving legal advice from the Deputy General Counsel about the contract of her boss presents a conflict of interest. That’s why I requested an outside legal opinion.

    You chose not to contact me for this article. In the future, if you’d like to do so, I can be reached 925-526-5354 or at brian@briantlawrence.com.”

    Please note that I have found that comments are being routed directly into the “spam” portion of the blog. So, if you post a comment, please email me at tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com so I can approve it. I will also periodically check the spam folder, while our webmaster tries to figure out why this is happening. Thanks.

  42. Doctor J Says:

    As I see it, the biggest problem for MDUSD & the BIG5 is that the “extensions” voted on at the Apr 23 meeting never made it to “paper” as then existing contracts [not even complete since they lacked the Exhibits] were the only documents presented to the Board and the public — instead it wasn’t until Dec 6 that the “revised” or “amended” [but not merely extensions] were presented for Board signature. As they figured out after Apr 23, they could just not “extend” the contracts due to the changes in the law since 2010 [Rolen wasn’t paying attention apparently]. So this conspiracy took nearly 8 months to try and pull the wool over the public’s eyes. In the meantime, two new board members show up, and are not just willing to willy nilly ratify past actions of the prior board that may have been inappropriate. Of course as the public we don’t know the extent of the legal advice to the new board, but it does appear that the new members want more legal advice than they got on Dec 21 — who has been advising Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler is unclear but it sure sounds like the words of Greg Rolen or Deborah Cooksey [remember her sorted history from Oakland Unified]. I am hoping that the legal advice they will be given tomorrow will deal with the main issues: (1) what are the consequences of denying or approving the “cure and correct”; (2) if the cure is denied, what are the estimated legal expenses to outside legal firms to defend the lawsuits anticipated to be filed by Wendy Lack and Alicia Minyen ? potential outcomes and liklihood ? How many years to resolve the lawsuits ? ; (3) if the cure is granted and “extensions” are revisited as a public agenda item in the future, are the “revised contracts” from Dec 6 even legal ? Are the BIG5 willing to negotiate new contract terms and is the new Board willing to give new contract terms ? Will the BIG5 negotiate as a “block” or as individuals ? Who will the Board appoint to do the negotiations ? (4) if this matter remains unresolved, what happens on June 30, 2013 ? My personal opinion is that Cheryl Hansen wants to pursue the “cure” and revisit each of the contracts as the safest course; any that are extended will be done on “legal terms” not as currently drafted. Personally, it would be surprising for the Board to extend Rolen’s contract as he is so very complicit in this whole fiasco and had his undisclosed conflict of interest with his now spouse getting huge contracts from the district, all approved by himself. I got the distinct impression that FFF gave the advice to the Board in a general way to let the Board sort it out. Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler didn’t like the generalized approach — they want to be told what to do. Sorry ladies, you were elected to make the choice. Oh if I were a fly on the wall in closed session. I hope someone sweeps the room for bugs before the meeting.

  43. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting that Brian Lawrence’s blogspot has disappeared with copies of the all the BIG5 contracts and finance information.

  44. g Says:

    Some board members need to be helped to understand, and to give/get a full picture of the issue, someone should also point out to the outside legal counsel, that when 3 and finally 4 board members were given the “Oct” contracts for signatures–it was NOT something that should be construed as “merely ceremonial.”

    Whether there was, or wasn’t, some back room collusion between one or two of those old board members in the ‘administrative process’ of changes that were made on the contracts–the board as a body had never seen THOSE contracts, THOSE revisions, THOSE strangely altered dates. Dates that gave a totally false picture of the history of the contracts.

    In April, in opposition to requests from the public and another board member, President Whitmarsh asked her board to vote on “nothing more than a theory” of what a contract extensions might end up actually being.

    In October, they were asked to sign contracts that had NOT been “previously” voted on.

    They were, for the most part, very “similar” to the stale contracts. But neither the smallest of changes, nor the major changes were reflected as Revisions to old contracts.

    Total changes of start-end dates throw a whole different perspective on the contracts.

    It is important to point out that while outcome may have been the same even without noting the contract(s) ‘revisions,’ the board wasn’t just signing/approving some little ceremonial thing for themselves ==they were approving a million dollars worth of Legal Public Documents for posterity== something that may be looked at and relied on and referenced at some point in the future. THAT must be voted on prior to signing.

  45. g Says:

    The second issue that is now costing us even more legal fees:

    As for “they may have discussed Minyen’s C&C letter without it being on the agenda”–THEY should keep in mind that “urgent” matters may be discussed when they have been brought to the board’s attention too late to go on the agenda. Most certainly it was prudent to take advantage of the situation that very night.

    Yes, ideally, along with the announcement that “we will go into closed session now” it would have been good if Hansen had thought to say, “and we may look at Tonight’s C&C as well, since outside legal counsel is already here.” Unfortunately, taken aback at the last second by a second complaint, she failed to think quickly enough to make that extra announcement.

    We could have saved a good chunk of money if the board had simply done what Hansen only alluded to in her Barnidge response. The best solution would have been for the board to agree among themselves to send responses to the C&C stating that ‘while they do not believe any perceived errors in handling the contract renewals were either intentional or egregious, they have decided that the best course of action is to bring “properly annotated–revised” contracts to the board again for a new vote’.

    Simple, done, next item on the agenda is….

  46. Doctor J Says:

    Board rejects legal fees for Superintendent. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/16/san-ysidro-school-board-rejects-defense-fees/

  47. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have removed several comments from spam and approved them. Some of them were posted as early as Monday. My apologies for the problems with our blog commenting system.

    If it’s any consolation to readers, my own comments are going into the spam folder too!

  48. g Says:

    I can still open Brian’s Blogspot -briantlawrence (dot) blogspot (dot) com – and even if it should disappear, at least the contracts are (currently) still available on Scribd: http://t.co/FA0aQRqO

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The contracts that were sent to me Dec. 6 are on the CCT website at: http://www.contracostatimes.com/education/ci_22208605/document-mt-diablo-unified-school-district-contracts?source=pkg

    As previously noted, Trustee Lynne Dennler had not signed the contracts at this point. Neither had the employees. By the time Trustee Brian Lawrence received them, Dennler had signed them, but the employees hadn’t.

    Dennler said Monday that she considered the content of the contracts to be minor details that amounted to minutiae, although she admitted they weren’t “perfect.” Yet, if Board President Cheryl Hansen is correct that some clauses in the contracts actually violate the law, shouldn’t trustees be willing to talk about that?

  50. Brian Lawrence Says:

    @43 I didn’t take my blog down and I didn’t remove anything from it.

  51. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, the agenda for Friday’s meeting has been taken down so another item could be added, according to the superintendent’s secretary. She said it should be reposted by 3 p.m., since that’s the time the meeting will start on Friday.

  52. g Says:

    If President Hansen, members of the board and the Supt. continue with this high level of agenda preparation and public disclosure I may find myself out of a ‘watchdog’ job.

  53. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, this agenda is very thorough: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=394

    Most notably, the board plans to act on the cure and correct demands at 7:30 p.m. Friday!

  54. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#53 Can’t wait for your live blogging on a Friday night !

  55. Frank Says:

    I’m a resident in PH and a teacher in the MDUSD. I’ve been very critical of the board and superintendent in the past and I continue to be since I do not believe the superintendent or board counsel should be retained because the superintendent is, candidly, not up to the job and the board counsel is both ethically challenged because of his conflicts of interest and his lack of due diligence in overseeing district legal matters.

    The new board is faced with many challenges, not of their making, but ones they inherited from the previous board. Unfortunately, there is still one member, Linda Mayo, who was an integral figure as part of a former board majority that routinely ignored board policy and violated the Brown Act. She has acted and still acts as a district employee representing the interests of the superintendent and board counsel rather representing the interests of the public that elected her. I regret having voted for her in the past; now I would support her recall as, in the past two years, I consider her to be the most divisive and destructive board member in recent memory, far more than both the unremarkable the unlamented Eberhart and Whitmarsh as she always, without exception, was their reliable third vote but did so hiding behind them. By herself, she is an argument for term limits.
    I’m hoping that this new board with two new members show the political courage to do the right thing. This district, the district I and members of my family have put many years into, is in trouble and we need leadership that is open, courageous, and willing to make tough choices. I followed my union’s endorsement and voted for Oaks and Lawrence. I now expect to see action, not words,from them. The campaign is over, time to produce.
    I applaud the efforts that the new board leadership under Ms. Hansen, is taking on the employment contract extensions the previous board, Mayo and Dennler among them, so arrogantly and hurriedly approved without public comment or notice.IN this matter, I’m hoping, like many of my colleagues ,that Oaks and Lawrence do the right,and not the easy,thing.

    I also thank the CCT for their ongoing coverage of the MDUSD and reporting out to the public and community. Perhaps, the Times might want to do an in depth investigation of the district’s personnel and business practices. It would prove very enlightening.

  56. Alicia Says:

    The board should read the newly effective Brown Act enforcement bill, SB 1003, which now extends the time to submit a complaint to within nine months of the alleged Brown Act Violation.

    http://www.cnpa.com/legislative_and_legal/legislative_bulletin/article_9fe259bc-ee36-11e1-b4a3-0019bb30f31a.html

    Within nine months of an alleged violation, SB 1003 would allow a district attorney or interested person to submit a letter to an agency setting forth the circumstances of the violation. The agency would have thirty days to issue a commitment letter stating that it would cease its conduct that gave rise to the allegation. If the agency continues the conduct after the issuance of the letter, or if the agency refuses to issue a commitment letter, the interested person would have 60 days to file an action in court for declaratory relief or a writ to enforce the law for the past violation.

  57. g Says:

    Right on Alicia. As of Jan 1, instead of “Cure & Correct” with its short time frame, this bill’s requirement is to send a “Cease & Desist” letter and allows up to 9 months to find and act against questionable issues.

    The Gov signed it and here is full text for those like myself who love this stuff:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120SB1003

  58. g Says:

    Frank: Welcome to the club! Well said. Your last sentence seemed like a hint to go above what we’ve already been doing here. Can you give a bit more of your hint without getting censored?

  59. anon Says:

    @55 Well said

  60. anon Says:

    Thank you, Alicia, for that information. I’m sure the board can look forward to a number of new demands based upon the clock starting December 6 with release of the written contracts to the CCT. That really is the first time the public knew the contracts existed. The CCT could file the complaint as part of their demanding an investigation of MDUSD practices through the DAs office. The Brown Act does not limit who may make a demand of a public agency.

  61. g Says:

    anon: Close, but, acts committed prior to 1/1/13 still fall under the original Cure & Correct protocol. Cease and Desist is not retroactive. It may be that unless they trip up really something awful, this board will not have many claims.

  62. Doctor J Says:

    Looks like the Supt better get all of the standing committees that Linda Mayo so aptly identified in the motion to approve the committee assignments to start obeying the Brown Act, specifically the agenda posting requirements. Hello CAC. The Board can issue its unconditional committment letter within 30 days on an “open session” but that’s not much time. And I don’t see any reason why the “cease and decist” letter cannot be sent by email to any of the Board members or the Supt. G, thanks for the nice pick up on the Brown Act changes, and this should prove very powerful for citizens against bully governmental agencies.

  63. Anon Says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the special Ed FCMAT report? As I recall it was being done around the same time as the transportation one. If the public paid for it why can’t we see it?

  64. Doctor J Says:

    @#63 Do a PRA request to both MDUSD and FCMAT as they are both public agencies. Ten days and you should have it.

  65. Wait a Minute Says:

    Very well said Frank@55!

    The new and vastly improved board majority needs to take advantage of the old board majority and Rolen’s failure to comply with the applicable laws on the Big 5’s illegal (and immoral) contract extensions and tell Rolen and Stevie Lawrence–NO THANKS–go be incompetent and unethical somewhere else on someone else’s dime.

    As far as the old board majority holdovers, they each have a vote and I am sure they will vote to protect the imcompetent, unethical, secretive, and plain wrong decision making of the past against the interests of the children, taxpayers and true stakeholders of this district.

    Hopefully the new board majority after doing their due diligence will seize this opportunity to bring positive change to the district.

    Let the healing begin!

  66. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is Brian Lawrence’s tweet about the meeting, which he will again attempt to livestream: “‏@briantlawrence
    #MDUSD will have special mtg at 7:30 tomorrow to resolve Brown act allegations. I am webcasting at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/briantlawrence

    Here’s my news brief about the meeting: http://www.contracostatimes.com/twitter/ci_22398027/mt-diablo-school-board-act-friday-brown-act

  67. anon Says:

    Thought this might be helpful – from the preamble to the Brown Act.

    The nature of the Brown Act is fundamentally political. It is about nothing more or less than self-government. Its purposes are to ensure the accountability of government officers and to enable citizens’ oversight of government agencies by keeping official decision-making processes as open as possible to public knowledge and participation. As stated in the Act’s preamble:

    In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. (Government Code § 54950)

    Any questions?

  68. Theresa Harrington Says:

    When the board holds its retreat and discusses the Brown Act, I hope they keep this in mind when discussing PRA requests: “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.”

    This gets at the heart of the issues many people have with Greg Rolen. He has decided that it is up to him to determine what to share with the public and what to tell the board is “privileged” information. Why did the board discuss Grand Jury responses in closed session instead of in open meetings, like most other districts? Why does he insist on withholding the Poway analysis, while the superintendent cites it as the reason the district is sure it’s okay to pay bond cost of issuance with the premium? Why did he crack down on FCMAT when they were ready to turn over the “third party analysis,” since the district had given it to them without any restrictions?

    It’s pretty clear that Rolen is trying to adapt, however. At one point Monday, Board President Cheryl Hansen said: “I don’t want to put you on the spot, Mr. Rolen.” He replied eagerly: “I’m happy to be on the spot, Madame President!”

    What would he say if the board told him to release the documents he’s been steadfastly withholding from the public?

  69. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#68 Its not the documents he has been holding back that put him on the “spot” — its the truth about Marisol P. that he has been concealing.

  70. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Hansen was putting him on the spot regarding the laptop theft, I believe.

    But, you’re right that he has refused to respond to any questions regarding his relationship with Padilla.

    I found out that one of the translation vendors discussed by the board has received a contract for just under $25,000 – without the issue ever coming back to the board. I thought the board had asked that all of the vendor information be brought back before new contracts were signed.

  71. g Says:

    More importantly, Eberhart (who voted on the “losing” side in the first translator motion) was allowed, by Cooksie-who was sitting in, to make a second (invalid) motion to reconsider, and allow Padilla-Rolen to resubmit a new bid. Cooksie sat there and allowed a second vote–although she did mumble: “Your’re right back where you started.”

    Let’s reexamine Robert’s Rules while we’re at spending money on this legal shtuff!

  72. Doctor J Says:

    @TH Its scrabble: C O R R U P T I O N

  73. g Says:

    This is only Jan 18, 2013. Maybe we’ll have the Nov. 5, 2012 minutes published ‘sometime’ soon.

  74. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Appears another break in happened …

    Reported: weds 01/16/13 – 0646
    case #: 1300752
    Class: 459s
    Description: burglary / school institution
    Address: xx34 Concord Blvd

  75. g Says:

    HFO–not certain, but I think that was at the church/school where our Concord City Council member, Dan Grayson is pastor.

  76. g Says:

    Sorry, it’s Tim Grayson.

  77. Doctor J Says:

    The big new — so far — of the week, thanks to Linda Mayo and Cheryl Hansen, are that the approved Board Committees are now subject to the Brown Act: attention CAC and the Equity Advisory Team, with the new Brown Act requirements you will immediately need to be in compliance or face “action” under the new Brown Act requirements.

  78. Doctor J Says:

    The big news — so far — of the week, thanks to Linda Mayo and Cheryl Hansen, are that the approved Board Committees are now subject to the Brown Act: attention CAC and the Equity Advisory Team, with the new Brown Act requirements you will immediately need to be in compliance or face “action” under the new Brown Act requirements.

  79. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    G @75 – appears so.

    Concord Patch is reporting it is Calvary Christian Preschool.

  80. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post about Mayo’s admonition to the rest of the board not to communicate with the press or the public via social media: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2013/01/18/mdusd-trustee-urges-rest-of-board-not-to-talk-to-press-or-public-via-social-media/

  81. Anon Says:

    Theresa, do not be duped by Rolen. He is not adapting, he is calculating. He only cares about projecting am image of being receptive toward Hansen. In ttruth, he despises her. Everything Rolen does is self-serving.

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