Please note that the Mt. Diablo school board’s closed session meeting originally scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. tonight has been changed to 8:30 p.m. to accommodate the schedule of one trustee who couldn’t make it at the earlier time, according to Board President Cheryl Hansen.
In a voicemail message, Hansen said the meeting is an extension of the closed session held March 27 involving two contracted employees.
Here is the agenda for the meeting, which takes place at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord:
“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
1.2 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
2.0 Public Comment
2.1 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
3.0 Adjourn to Closed Session
3.1 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action
4.0 Report of Closed Session
4.1 Report out on Closed Session Info
5.1 Adjourn meeting Info”
I received copies of two emails sent to the board today regarding this meeting, which is widely believed to be related to Superintendent Steven Lawrence and General Counsel Greg Rolen, whom three of the district’s five trustees have expressed an interest in replacing.
One email urged the board to retain Lawrence and Rolen, while the other asked the board to seek new administrative leadership.
The public is invited to comment before trustees go behind closed doors. The board expects to report out any action taken after the closed session.
I will attend and videotape the public portions of the meeting. I will also file an online story if it’s not too late, or blog and tweet the outcome.
At Monday’s board meeting, Trustee Brian Lawrence (who is no relation to the superintendent) publicly announced that he is interested in seeking new district administrative leaders. He said it was his idea to go into closed session after the March 25 meeting to discuss personnel issues. He also cautioned the board against making personal attacks.
Here’s what he said:
“Two weeks ago, I made a statement that I believed it was the job of this board to always be questioning the leadership of this district, that it was the most important job that a school board has. And, two of my colleagues have stated that they believe that it is in the best interests of the district to have a change in leadership. I’ve refrained from speaking about that publicly because, partly I felt that that should be taking place in closed session.
What I’ve heard over the last few weeks — there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding that. So, I do want to just state very briefly I too have great concern that the district is not heading in the right direction and needs a change in the top leadership. And because of that, I requested prior to our last meeting that we — the board – enter into closed session for consideration of personnel matters at the end of the last meeting. And that is not something that I did lightly. It has very large repercussions.
And, at the same time, I wanted to take a moment because — what I’ve seen in the last several weeks is there have been a lot of personal attacks. And I truly believe every single person in this room is here because they’re doing what they believe is in the best interests of children. And we might have different views of how we achieve that…”
He stressed that employees are human beings with families.
“So, I hope that even as we figure out what is the best direction to move forward in the district, that we can do it in a constructive and positive manner. Thank you.”
Do you believe it is appropriate for trustees to state the reasons behind their decisions to replace or retain district leaders?