During its special meeting earlier this evening, the board voted 4-1 to direct staff to review its policy related to responding to Public Records Act requests and to come back with recommendations for openness. Trustee Linda Mayo voted against the motion, saying she believed it was out of order, since it wasn’t on the agenda as an action item.
The board then voted 3-2 to authorized Board President Cheryl Hansen and Vice President Barbara Oaks to contract with an outside attorney to review the documents that General Counsel Greg Rolen withheld from Contra Costa Times columnist Dan Borenstein.
In closed session, trustees discussed negotiations and readmitted two students, and admitted one student to MDUSD, and discussed expulsions.
Board is voting on expulsions. General Counsel Greg Rolen just entered the meeting.
Motion carried 4-1.
Here is a link to the agenda: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=373
Board is voting on second expulsion. Motion carried 5-0.
Did not discuss public employee discipline and dismissal, but there was a board discussion regarding a response to a uniform complaint and board took action on that item.
Hansen pulls 10.2 (minutes of Jan. 28 meeting) and Lawrence pulls 10.12 (adjustments to position control for 2013-14).
Motion to approve all other items passes 5-0.
10.2 Hansen moves to approve minutes with amendment on page 7 under public comment by Ron Hansen, remove the word “not” in sentence about board is legally or morally obligated to approve contracts.
10.12 Adjustments to position control
Public comment by Willie Mims: pg 2 of 4, assist. supt. on special assignment. Who is this person? If he or she was on special assignment, when was last date. Another position is being created that appears to be replacing that person. Who was this person on special assignment and when was this person’s last date of employment?
Braun-Martin says Mildred Browne was on a leave of absence and that was the assist. supt. on special assignment and interim assist. supt. Kerri Mills has been acting in that position. She said positions can be brought back with categorical funding in the spring.
Carmen Terrones, Local One CST Unit President: I have a few concerns for my members. The interim assist. supt. for special ed. services is being eliminated, so the current person is being placed into the position. Has she been evaluated? Once again, we are paying an assist. supt. on leave her regular salary and we are also paying more money for an interim assist. supt. The message we receive is we are hiring more administrators at higher salaries, but classified employees get nothing. It’s not fair. (Applause).
Supt. Lawrence says evaluation of Mills is supposed to be conducted in May. The position is budgeted as a place-holder for next year.
Braun-Martin says district has until end of May to do administrator evaluations, but paperwork can be turned into personnel in June.
Bryan Richards says position is being budgeted with no person assigned to it.
Motion carries 5-0. Greg Rolen walks back into the board meeting.
12.1 Public Comment:
1. Willie Mims: Complains about how cold the board room was during the last regular meeting. Says board agendas need to be streamlined. He says the board should not take up all the people’s time with long reports. Says trustees repeat themselves too much when they are trying to make their points, making circular arguments. “You go round and round, but you’re not moving forward. You should not waste the people’s time by repeating the same language. I’ve been watching this board for some time and until there’s a positive working relationship between all of you, you’re not going anywhere. Streamline your agenda, because the people should not have to be here until 12:30 (a.m.), and then freezing too.”
13.1 District Organizations
1. Ernie De Trinidad: Says tonight is a special night for DELAC, which is pleased to see the English Learner Master Plan, which will improve services and help the district reach its goals. Urges board to approve the master plan.
Hansen praises the work of Jeanne Duarte-Armas, Rose Lock and others involved in the creation of the plan.
No superintendent report.
15.1 Amended contract for Rose Lock: Oaks praises Lock. Dennler and Mayo apologize for what she’s had to go through.
15.2 Contract for Julie Braun-Martin: Oaks compliments Braun-Martin on her hiring and retaining of employees.
15.3 Amended contract for CFO Bryan Richards:
Willie Mims: says Lock represents color and he also supports Richards. Says district should work toward diversity.
Hansen: I have some concerns about the current state of our fiscal services dept, including lack of oversight, security and accountability, so I will be giving this contract some serious thought as we move forward to March 25.
Dennler: What do you mean?
Hansen: This board has to take action on these contracts. Last April, I asked that this vote be postponed until the new board was seated and I did not get a second. I asked that it be delayed and it was rushed through in April. The idea was those contracts had to be revised and cleaned up and at this point, this current board must take action on these contracts and this current board is entitled to vote any way this current board wants to vote. Our names will be on these contracts. It is not a rubber-stamp situation. Today is not the time to go into how we might vote, but it’s to discuss concerns.
Dennler: These contracts are legal and the only thing we will be doing is cleaning them up. They are legal until 2014. That’s what we were thinking in January when we voted and now all of a sudden we’re talking about new contracts.
(NOTE: Video of the remaining conversation will be uploaded to www.YouTube.com/tunedtotheresa.)
15.4 Amended contract for General Counsel Greg Rolen:
Hansen: I’ve brought Exhibit A for review.
Oaks: I’ve been on this board a few months and have found there is a lot of controversy, which I didn’t expect. Morale is extremely low. There’s a lack of trust and I think it’s time to seek new leadership.
Hansen: I will not support this contract.
15.5 Amended contract for Superintendent Steven Lawrence:
Classified union rep Debbie Hickey: I’m disheartened by district leadership and lack of responsiveness from this board. It is disheartening to know we are not getting any support.
Hansen: I think enough is enough. It’s time for new leadership. We need a superintendent who builds trust. We need to cut our losses. I’ve heard from so many staff about the need for change.
15.6 FCMAT report on special education
CAC Chairwoman Lorrie Davis voiced many concerns about the recommendations, followed by CAC parents Dorothy Weisenberger and Denise Lambert, who also expressed concerns about the recommendations.
District resident Willie Mims expressed concerns about why the district invited FCMAT to create a report in the first place.
FCMAT staff presented report and board agreed to bring back in March 25.
15.7 Questions on FCMAT report
Carmen Terrones, Local 1 union rep: It’s my understanding there was a draft and the recommendations were slightly different from what’s presented. CI would like to know if Dr. (Mildred) Browne was part of this study, because some of the recommendations, I can’t see that they would come from Dr. Browne. My members are concerned about more upper management and the draft being a bit different. It makes us wonder how trustworthy higher management is.
Hansen: I did see a draft. It was different. Hopefully we can build a culture of trust and make sure we’re forthright about the info.
I will continue blog tomorrow.