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MDUSD board to meet tonight to appoint an elementary principal, vote on Northgate aquatic center

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 4:40 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The teachers’ union is planning an rally tonight before the school board meeting to protest the district’s last, best and final offer before impasse was declared. Union members and their children will participate in fun activities from 4-6 p.m., followed by a rally from 6-7:30 p.m. outside the Dent Center and Monte Gardens Elementary.

Here is the agenda for the meeting, which is slated to begin at 7:30 in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. However, it could be moved to Monte Gardens Elementary next door in the event of a large crowd. Interestingly, one of the elementary principals has been moved from an action item to an information item/report since the agenda was originally posted. Yet, there is no indication on this agenda that the item was changed.

“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 6:00 p.m.
4.1 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
4.2 Readmission of Student #32-12 Action
4.3 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding matter of D. Reynolds v. MDUSD Info
4.4 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding Rhinehart v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. C13-00297 Info
4.5 Pending Litigation – Confeence with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding I.H. (a minor) v. MDUSD, OAH Case No. 2013090182 Action
4.6 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(1) regarding N.M. (a minor) v. MDUSD, OAH Case No. 2013080665 Action
4.7 Pending Litigation – Conference with Legal Counsel pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9 (1) regarding Bay Area News Group, et al v. Mt. Diablo Unified School District, et al, Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. N13-1551. Info
4.8 Potential Litigation based on facts and circumstances regarding various J.Doe claims pursuant to Gov’t Code Section 54956.9(3)(c) Info
4.9 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint – Three (3) Cases Info
4.10 Public Employee Performance Evaluation. Title: Interim General Counsel Info

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 Out of Closed Session Info

8.0 Student Representatives
8.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

9.0 Board Member Reports
9.1 Board Reports Info

10.0 Superintendent’s Report
10.1 Superintendent’s Report Info

11.0 Consent Agenda Action
11.1 (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
11.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
11.3 (Item #3) Request to increase Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-2014 school year Action
11.4 (Item #4) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
11.5 (Item #5) Internship Agreement between Brandman University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
11.6 (Item #6) Approve contract/purchase order with Marie Wyman, SLP for Speech and Language services for the 2013-14 School Year Action
11.7 (Item #7) Approval of Non-Public School Contracts/Adjustments Action
11.8 (Item #8) Approve Independent Services Contract with Sacramento Childrens Home Action
11.9 (Item #9) Approval of independent contract with Carol Teltschick-Fall for $55,000 as S3 Grant Coordinator for College Park High School. Action
11.10 (Item #10) Fiscal Transactions for the month of October 2013. Action
11.11 (Item #11) Williams Quarterly Summary Report Action
11.12 (Item #12) Approve submission of the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant to support secondary schools. Action
11.13 (Item #13) Increase to Independent Services Contract with AA Medtrans Action
11.14 (Item #14) Disposal of District Surplus Vehicles Action
11.15 (Item #15) Request contract approval for design services Action
11.16 (Item #16) Final Change Order to LLB #1617 – S-Wing Modernization at Mt. Diablo High School (XL Construction, Inc.) Action
11.17 (Item #17) Final Change Order for LLB #1593 – Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
11.18 (Item #18) Award of Contract with McGrath Corporation dba Mobile Modular Management Corporation for the Lease of Interim Housing Units Necessary for Projects Being Implemented through the 2010 Measure C Facility Improvement Program Action
11.19 (Item #19) Notice of Completion for Lease/Leaseback #1617: Science Wing Renovation at MDHS Action
11.20 (Item #20) Notice of Completion for L/LB #1593: Window Replacement at College Park High School Action
11.21 (Item #21) Contract Amendment: LSA Associates, Inc.: Provision of Requisite Environmental Consulting Services Related to the Revised Stadium Lighting Improvement Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action

12.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
13.0 Public Comment
13.1 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

14.0 Communications

14.1 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
15.0 Reports/Information

15.1 Annual Report on Schools Identified in the Williams Settlement for Fiscal Year 2013-14 Info

15.2 Appointment of Principal, Elementary School Info

16.0 Business/Action Items

16.1 Appointment of Principal, Elementary School Action

16.2 Appointment of Program Specialist, Categorical Programs, Site Based – Rio Vista Elementary Action

16.3 Appointment of Program Specialist, Categorical Program, Site Based at Bel Air Elementary Action

16.4 Public Hearing Regarding the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Action

16.5 Adoption of Resolution Accepting Final Initial
Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Northgate High School Aquatic Center Action

16.6 Approval of Northgate High School Aquatic Center Project Action

16.7 Request to Approve Tentative Agreement between Public Employees Union Local 1 (CST) and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Action

16.8 Chabot-Las Positas Community College District contract with Mt. Diablo Adult Education and related MOU’s with Pittsburg, West Contra Costa, and Liberty Adult Education. Action

16.9 Pearson Vue contract and agreements for GED testing. Action

16.10 Firedoll Foundation Grant Action

16.11 Adult Education Board Policy and Administrative Regulations 6200 Action

16.12 18.10 New and Revised Technology Policies – BP 3513, BP/AR 4040, BP 6162.7 Action

16.13 Adoption of Textbook for Sports Medicine II – Principles of Athletic Training: A Competency-Based Approach, Prentice, 15th Edition Action

16.14 Resolution 13/14-23 regarding accounting of development fees for the 2012-2013 fiscal year in the Capital Facilities Fund pursuant to Government Code Sections 66001(d) & 66006(b) Action

16.15 Adoption of Resolution of Dedication of Easement at Shore Acres Elementary School Action

16.16 RFQ/RFP 1627 – Award of Lease-Leaseback Agreement to Taber Construction, Inc. District wide security improvements. Action

16.17 RFQ/RFP 1631 Approval of Preliminary Services Agreement with Meehleis Modular Buildings, Inc. for the Coordination, Constructability Review, Value Engineering and Recommendations related to Building a new Modular Gymnasium at Concord High School. Action

16.18 Award of Independent Services Contract to Enviro-S.T.A.R. for Pre-Construction Hazardous Materials Survey and Specification Preparation for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Renovations for Group III sites (El Dorado MS, Highlands ES, Pine Hollow MS, Wren Avenue ES, Pleasant Hill ES, Sequoia MS, Valhalla ES and Walnut Acres ES) Action

16.19 Meeting Extension Action

17.0 Future Agenda Items
17.1 Future Agenda Items Info

18.0 Closed Session
18.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action
19.0 Adjournment
19.1 Adjourn Meeting”

Please note that I will be covering the Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting vote on the controversial Summit Charter School proposed in El Cerrito and will arrive to the MDUSD meeting late.

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164 Responses to “MDUSD board to meet tonight to appoint an elementary principal, vote on Northgate aquatic center”

  1. g. de la verdad Says:

    11/13 agenda item “16.12 18.10 New and Revised Technology Policies”

    re: BP 1114, number 7 may fly in the face of Constitutional Rights to Freedom of Speech. While the general intent may be honorable and most of the wording would be agreeable (and probably legal), students, parents, taxpayers and YES, even district employees are afforded a constitutional right to express not only facts but also their personal opinions, even if they may be “derogatory” or “disparaging” or in some manner ‘hurt the wittle feewings’ of some staff.

    Of course the owners of those “social media” sites have a right to monitor and revise comments on their sites, and unfortunately have been known to occasionally kneel down before the whiners [AKA good buddies from the local chapter of ‘whatever’ organization] that don’t like to see negative comments about themselves. Bottom line is — elected officials and people gorging themselves at the public tax trough do not–should not have censorship privileges.

    *** “7. Posting inappropriate threatening, harassing, racist, biased, derogatory, disparaging or
    bullying comments toward or about any student or employee, on any website, learning management system, and social networking website is prohibited and will subject an
    employee to discipline.”

    Sorry Staff, but “any (non-district) website” and “any social networking website(s)” are the personal and political soapboxes of the 21st Century. Get used to it.

    Keep yourself and your job performance above reproach or deal with the citizens’ online backlash.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Sounds like the return of the Eberhart.

  3. Doctor J Says:

    Proposed BP 1114 has not been approved by the CSBA. Its clearly unconstitutional. No “biased” opinions ? Uh, opinions are biased by definition. Did “educators” really draft these up ? Drafters: Julie Braun-Martin, Deb Cooksey, Lois Peterson, Felicia Stuckey-Smith, Ann Tirrell, Lorie O’Brien, Joe Estrada and Joshua Wittman. Two attorneys are on this list and they don’t even value the US and California Constitutions. All of the drafters have sworn to uphold the constitutions — I guess this is their attempt to be the test case — by proposing this Board Policy, they have broke their oath. Drafters, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for such narrow-minded and selfish attitudes towards the Freedom of Speech, constitutionally guaranteed to every person in these United States of America.

  4. g. de la verdad Says:

    Yes, they did leave in “…district reserves the right to…delete any electronic communication or file…”

  5. Doctor J Says:

    Destruction of “public records” is a crime and that includes electronic records.

  6. Doctor J Says:

    There seem to have been a variety of deletions and additions within the last 72 hours — which violate the Brown Act and Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.

  7. Doctor J Says:

    I guess there will be a new department created to “monitor” all emails and turn in the offenders. “Users should have no expectation of privacy regarding their use of District
    property, network and/or Internet access to files, including email. The District reserves the right to monitor users’ online activities and to access, review, copy, store, or delete any electronic communication or files and/or disclose them to others as it deems necessary, and in accordance with the District’s retention policy.” I hope they ask for public input on the name of the new Department — I have a suggestion. It starts with a G and ends with an o and is 7 letters. G______o. I guess its time to read “1984” by George Orwell again.

  8. Doctor J Says:

    Rose Lock refuses to look at all the speakers supporting Dan Reynolds, and instead keeps typing emails, showing total disrespect to the public speakers. And Julie B-M and Kerri Mills also seem to be engrossed in paperwork rather than listening to the public. They are not used to being shown on camera. I consider their conduct disrespectful and rude.

  9. g. de la verdad Says:

    One speaker said something the board needs to take to heart. They may have been speaking on behalf of their bargaining unit, but what they said rang very true in general. ‘This Staff stands in the way of the board doing the right thing.’ I would say many on this arrogant, giggly, whispering, paper shuffling, emailing staff form a roadblock to the board even knowing what the right thing might be. Ten staff members sitting there and only one pair of eyes and ears paying attention–Jayne Williams. She must be appalled at the disgraceful attitude of staff!

  10. g. de la verdad Says:

    Brian L. (and the board) should be appalled at the whispering from Bryan R. and the JBM eye rolling following his request for more agenda information on hiring.

  11. Steve Says:

    See that CTA is once again giving us wonderful advice. Let’s see….we have three former MD teachers- Oaks, Dennler, Hansen- on a board that offered us the first salary increase in six years and the beginnings of health care benefits since 2000 and MDEA declares Inpasse? Good thinking. I pay agency fee, I want to vote on this offer. I can remember sitting at board meetings in the past and people like Eberhart would stonewall and do nothingl Mayo would always fall back on the canard that we, the teachers, voted to drop our benefits in place of salary. I got news for the my leadership; Be happy you got what you got and let us vote on it. MDEA sold me out once before. I don’t want them to sell me out again. Let us vote!

  12. g. de la verdad Says:

    Our Renowned Staff has taken weeks to put this tech policy before the board twice, and it is “a word for word copy of the LA policy” ???? WTH?

  13. Doctor J Says:

    Julie B-M’s eye rolling in response to Brian Lawrence’s comment, caught on camera, is disrespectful, uncouth, and she should be disciplined along with Bryan Richards concurrence and laughing with her at Brian L.

  14. Doctor J Says:

    Staff finally admits, after repeated questions and staff avoiding the questions, that the district doesn’t have a records retention policy. Have you heard of the California Public Records Act ?

  15. Doctor J Says:

    Did I really hear the first public speaker say “the corrupt former general counsel” ??? I wonder what he was referring to ?

  16. tmharrington Says:

    Julie Braun-Martin is one of the key people who should have reported Martin in 2006 and who should have been enforcing his disciplinary plan. It was interesting that Joe Estrada specifically referred to a current criminal investigation and other legal requests for district documents when commenting on the need for district staff to be able to access employee e-mails so they can be turned over to authorities (and, although he didn’t specifically say it, these are also subject to the PRA request by BANG). As I have previously mentioned, in other employee disciplinary actions for which I received emails from the district, there were MANY emails documenting meetings and follow-up. Braun-Martin should have been in the loop on most, if not all, of the emails involving Martin.
    Regarding Richards, I have received a copy of an email to a teacher from a board member apologizing for the impasse, saying it is based on what trustees are being “led to believe” about the budget. It appears that at least one board member is starting to question the information being provided by staff.

  17. Doctor J Says:

    I was impressed that Lynne Dennler said that teachers were afraid that staff was reading their emails and Dennler questioned staff repeatedly if someone was reading teacher’s emails. Staff’s denial appeared weak to me.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    @Steve, Don’t despair — the District bargaining team gets the same raise you do. They drag this out so the Board will increase the offer to MDEA which translates into their own raises. The Board is quickly figuring out that Bryan Richards only tells the Board what Bryan wants them to know — its time to bring in Admiral Bill to unravel the tangled web and expose the truth. BREAK THE LINK BETWEEN MDEA RAISES AND DMA RAISES.

  19. Doctor J Says:

    Interim Gen Counsel’s contract ends Nov 29 without being renewed — what happens on Nov 30 ? Will Crooksey be elevated to General Counsel ?

  20. g. de la verdad Says:

    Bite your tongue! Certainly not if Nellie Meyer considers legal acumen important.

  21. Doctor J Says:

    Last night’s “shame on you” moment came when staff, after repeated questioning by the board, finally made an “admission”: the district had no records retention policy — yet the committees proposed policy said we should follow the district’s records retention policy — sort of the cat chasing its tail. The “highly educated” district committee identified in Agenda 16.12 of “Julie Braun-Martin, Deb Cooksey, Lois Peterson, Felicia Stuckey-Smith, Ann Tirrell, Lorie O’Brien, Joe Estrada and Joshua Wittman” apparently could not find MDUSD Board Policy 3580 [a CSBA policy] adopted by MDUSD in 2003, just ten years ago. Why did it take me just 5 minutes of google to figure that out, and the above 8 individuals, including two attorneys — one being the so called “expert” on District policy, the Associate General Counsel Cooksey, could not figure it out ? Whoever was on the Board back in 2003 — that would be Linda Mayo — apparently did not have a Board procedure to follow up on making sure that policy was enforced, and implemented. What I also discovered was that a local law firm has recommended some additions to BP 3580.

    WHY ARE WE PAYING MYERS NAVE TO REINVENT THE WHEEL ? The best quote of last night was by Brian Lawrence when Joe Estrada finally admitted that this “committee” just plagiarized the policy of LA Unified: “I don’t think we should be modeling our technology policies after LA Unified.” It drew laughter from a more astute audience than the “educated” committee. Even Dr. Nellie chuckled. Anyways, here is what I found in just 5 minutes on Google that was published in 2012, just last year:

    Dr. Nellie: you really need to get better performance or clean house. These types of embarrassments — twice the Board refused to put forward a motion on this item — question the integrity and intellect of the leadership you inherited. And for heavens’ sake, why would you even consider a General Counsel who can’t find a Board policy in effect for ten years ??

  22. tmharrington Says:

    Estrada promised to bring the entire committee to the December board meeting so others who were responsible for the proposed policies can answer trustees’ questions directly. I agree Lawrence’s comment hit a nerve. I’ll see if I can get into this week’s “Eye” column.

  23. tmharrington Says:

    I heard from one teacher about an incident involving a supervisor reading emails. However, it was unclear whether this was sanctioned by the district.

  24. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s MDEA’s version of the Last, Best Final Offer:

  25. g. de la verdad Says:

    It does seem pretty simple. The ‘committee’ could have simply included, as stated in the Lozano Smith recommendation, “…Electronic records, including email, may qualify as Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 records depending on their content and the determination of the Superintendent, or his or her designee.”

    Lozano Smith recommendation is based on CA Ed Code: California Code of Regulations, title 5, subchapter 2, “Destruction of Records of School Districts,” commencing with section 16020, classifies records into Class 1-permanent; Class 2-optional, and Class 3-disposable, and gives directions on how to classify records. Class 3-disposable records shall not be destroyed until after the third July 1 succeeding the completion of the audit required by California Education Code (EC) ection 41020, or any other legally required audit, or after the ending date of any retention period required by any other agency other than the State of California.”

    In other words, the board can determine that emails not classified as “permanent” Class 1 by law may be immediately classified as Class 2 or Class 3 — but must still retain them either electronically or in a paper copy file for three years before moving them to the “purge” file.

    The law isn’t really that difficult to read. Although it was written before we had “electronic” communications, any adjustments now merely require some copy/paste of this law under the heading of Electronic Communications. And apparently the “committee” is well schooled in “copy/paste.”

  26. Doctor J Says:

    Who is telling the truth ? Guy Moore or Deb Cooksey ? The other is telling a lie. As for Joe Estrada bringing the committee to justify their plagiarizing LAUSD policy — most of them were present for the meeting and remained silent with their heads down. I just love the wide angle ! And who pray tell is the common denominator in both ImpasseGATE and PolicyGATE — one Deborah Cooksey. She has a long sorted history that has followed her from Oakland Unified to MDUSD — remember last February when she went on vacation without submitting the revised Board Policy on AB 1575 to meet the legal deadline of March 1 — then she backdated the policy revision to Feb 25, but it wasn’t heard and adopted by the Board until March 11. Integrity and Credibility need to return to MDUSD. Dr. Nellie needs to take swift and decisive action.

  27. Doctor J Says:

    A supervisor could not read emails unless it was sanctioned by the district since email access is password protected.

  28. tmharrington Says:

    Here is my story about the meeting, which includes a link to a comparison of the contract offers created by our database manager (who also did the BART contract comparisons), as well as several video clips from the meeting and rally:

  29. Doctor J Says:

    @TH, the CCT calculations do not include the cost to the district of the “automatic” pay increases to administrators of DMA to “match” the increases to MDEA — a very important factor to the Board. One unanswered question the district needs to address to the public, is whether the district will increase DMA administrators by just the salary increase, or will the District lump both the salary and benefits increase and give that total percentage increase to the Dent and site administrators under the “secret” DMA agreement of “me too”. Cooksey vaguely mentioned the DMA “meet too” as other “bargaining groups”, a little illegal slip of the tongue, since the district is prohibited by the Ed Code from negotiating with groups of administrators. BTW, interestingly and perhaps coincidentally, Cooksey is rumored to have promised Cindy Matteoni , as President of DMA, a full percentage increase to DMA salaries, which would include both the salary increase and % increase for benefits — with the later being added to their salaries. I doubt the full Board has been told about Cooksey’s promise. That makes the MDEA offer and the District offer much more expensive than the CCT calculations. You can confirm with Cindy as she sent an email on district email to all DMA members after meeting with Cooksey and perhaps Julie B-M that “we get what they get”. Since district email was used, its a public record.

  30. tmharrington Says:

    I know that the calculations don’t include the “me toos.” The CST contract also includes a “me too” provision. Also, it’s worth watching the video from before the closed session (part 1) to hear the Local 1 rep asking trustees not to leave classified employees behind. Cooksey also said she was wearing blue in solidarity with unions and that she hoped to get a raise, along with everyone else.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    Other labor bargaining units, like CST, are free to negotiate a “me too” but DMA is prohibited by law from doing so. Cooksey ought to hope she still has a job instead of dreaming for a raise.

  32. tmharrington Says:

    While many district employees are dreaming of raises, James Wogan recently reminded the board and public that homeless students and foster youth are dreaming of holiday gifts or even food to keep from going hungry:

  33. g. de la verdad Says:

    Cooksey must be warn out from running circles – representing BOTH sides at the bargaining table. That would make a good SNL skit.

  34. g. de la verdad Says:

    Are we surprised that Cooksey would say “it’s off the record” and then PUBLISH it?

    Let’s follow some of her dust trails.

    Roy Combs, currently with law firm FFF was hired by the district to advise and rewrite the 5 very questionable and expensive contracts for Lawrence, Rolen, Braun-Martin, Lock and Richards — after that same law firm advised that behind closed door signing of falsified versions was ‘probably’ OK.

    This is the Roy Combs that was Cooksey’s boss when she made her (first) of two hasty departures from OUSD. Some said she lost that job because it was discovered and reported (by her friends–who will come back into the story later) that OUSD had illegally moved million$ from Facility Funds into the district’s operating budget — funds the district had to repay — causing them to have to cut (legal) staff. Combs said she left ‘for other reasons’.

    Three years later Cooksey is hired back at OUSD.

    What transpired next is fun to read. I doubt if many in our neck of the woods kept up with it, although I did refer to the whole stink back when she was hired here, stating that she was obviously the kind of lawyer Rolen needed and would like to have doing his bidding.

    As Katy Murphy put it: “So is Cooksey an axe-grinder or a whistleblower, or something in between?”

    1/13/09 Katy’s News article:

    1/13/09 Katy Murphy’s blog:

    and here’s how it turned out:

    Bryant and Brown did not loose. The parties settled. OUSD settled for about 1/3 of the money they had sued for [possibly and very likely] in exchange for Bryant & Brown dropping their countersuit against the district and Cooksey. OUSD had to pay their own legal expense, which I doubt the settlement would have even covered.

    Just before that settlement agreement was made, Cooksey made her second Very Hasty departure from OUSD.

    Thanks a bunch, Lawrence and Rolen.

    Katy Murphy’s 10/9/09 News Article

    In the years between being part of the legal team that OK’d pillaging facility funds for the OUSD general fund, and going after the throat of her one-time friends, OUSD decided to hire her back — maybe they had a particular type of counsel in mind. One whose ethics were somewhat ‘flexable’.

    Cooksey told OUSD board member Chris Dobbins, who she was investigating, that if he would give her his private, personal emails they would be protected under the attorney-client priviledge — then she gave the emails to the other board members to use to censure him and try to make him resign!

    Her ethics may have been a match with Rolen’s but are they a match with Nellie Meyer’s or this board’s?

    Did our board seek Cooksey’s advice in selecting FFF and (her old boss) Roy Combs to declare closeted contract signings legal, and to advise that new/ratified contracts, followed by a firing — with full pay — was the best way to go?

    Coming full circle: Bryant & Brown are still in business; Dobbins has been reelected once or twice since Cooksey abused his trust; The three board members who voted to censure him are long gone; Lawrence and Rolen, who hired her at MDUSD have bitten the dust….

    Personally, I wouldn’t want her within a mile of me –!

  35. Doctor J Says:

    Cooksey is the poster for the phrase: A zebra can’t change its stripes as pointed out by la verdad.. Remember when Cooksey had her “Al Haig “moment” and tried to assume the power of parliamentarian from Board president Cheryl Hansen ? Remember when . . . .Remember when . . . Remember when . . . and the list goes on and on. Frankly, its time for Cooksey to move on and on and away from MDUSD — it would be in the best interests of the children, of the staff, of Dr.. Nellie, and the Board. Please Deb don’t force the issue — and for heavens sake, quit playing both sides of the fence — after all . . . wearing blue in solidarity with MDEA so YOU TOO can get a raise. Please . . . .its the oldest trick in the book. .

  36. Doctor J Says:

    Where are the Board minutes, both public and closed sessions, to justify Board member’s attendance to entitle them to their monthly stipends ? Some have missed meetings, and apparently still get their monthly pay.

  37. tmharrington Says:

    In the past, the board used to vote on giving the monthly stipend to trustees who missed meetings (due to illness or other reasons). I’m not sure why that practice has been discontinued.

    On another note, here’s an interesting story about delay tactics and high legal costs to fight special ed concerns:

    I have been hearing from special ed parents this year who are unhappy with services.

  38. Doctor J Says:

    Ed Code 35120 prohibits ‘full salary” for Board members who do not attend ALL meetings — so where are the official attendance logs ? Looks like some Board members may have received illegal payments ! Ed Code 35120 says in part: “(3) In any school district in which the average daily attendance for the prior school year was 60,000, or less, but more than 25,000, each member of the city board of education or the governing board of the district who actually attends all meetings held may receive as compensation for his or her services a sum not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) in any month.
    “(8) Any member who does not attend all meetings held in any month may receive, as compensation for his or her services, an amount not greater than the maximum amount allowed by this subdivision divided by the number of meetings held and multiplied by the number of meetings actually attended.”
    Should Board members and former Board members rebate excess amounts ?

  39. Doctor J Says:

    Board Bylaw 9250 limits Board member benefits to: “Each member of the Board shall be entitled to health benefit coverage for the Board member and dependents equivalent to that provided by the district for its employees.” The Board for years has been taking MDV for the ‘full family rate” — even though the district does NOT provide MDV for ALL of its employees. Against which employees does one judge whether or not Board members get MDV and if so, at what rates ? Should Board members and former Board members rebate excess amounts ?

  40. tmharrington Says:

    Board members should rebate money for meetings not attended or else the board could vote to allow them to keep the stipends. In the future, the board should vote immediately after the missed meeting, as it did in the past.
    Regarding benefits, Board President Cheryl Hansen previously suggested that the board do away with its own benefits. At that time, however, she was overruled by a board that included former Trustees Gary Eberhart and Sherry Whitmarsh. I don’t know if Brian Lawrence is accepting the family benefits, but Oaks and Dennler are already getting MDUSD retiree benefits, so they don’t need board benefits. Hansen is a county retiree, so she doesn’t need district benefits either. LInda Mayo, on the other hand, does collect benefits for herself and her husband. Perhaps the teachers’ union could suggest that she accept the same 2010 Kaiser single rate benefit that the board offered them. Or, CSEA could suggest that if she is working less than four hours a day for the district, she forego benefits entirely, as CSEA members have been forced to do. Or, her benefits could be prorated based on how many hours a week she works for the district, as their benefits are. At that rate, she could end up owing money to the district, as Annie Nolen said some of her members are starting to feel like they may.

  41. tmharrington Says:

    On another note, I see that the Santa Clara County Office of Education has hired Maribel Medina, of Meyers Nave, as its new general counsel.

  42. tmharrington Says:

    An on the subject of the Woodside Elementary principal appointment, the Woodside Howl announced today:

    “Woodside Elementary is happy to announce the appointment of Mrs. Cindy Matteoni as our new principal. Mrs. Matteoni has been an elementary principal with Mt. Diablo USD since 2005. She was at Sequoia Elementary from 2005-2011 and then at Mt. View Elementary from 2011-Present. Before that, she was an elementary teacher in Antioch USD from 2004-2005, Elementary Vice Principal in Antioch from 2002-2004 and elementary teacher again in Antioch from 1982-2002. Mrs. Matteoni will be formally introduced at our November PFC meeting tonight at 7:00 pm in the Woodside Library.”

  43. tmharrington Says:

    And now, for something completely different, the ichicken:

  44. Doctor J Says:

    What is the MDUSD procedure for withholding pay for Board members who do not attend all meetings ? Interestingly Cheryl Hansen never put forward a motion to modify BB 9250. I wonder why a taxpayers group does not seek to recover for the district the illegally paid board stipends and benefits ? I think they could go back four years at least.

  45. g. de la verdad Says:

    Linda Mayo: Stipend, $8,724. MDV, 14,371. Other, $701. Total, $25,387

    Lynne Dennler: Stipend, $8,724. MDV, $11,716. Other, $525.00. Total, $20,965.
    (just in it for the money? that extra $11grand ‘cash in lieu’ will pay for a few vacation trips)

    Cheryl, Barbara and Brian took NO benefits, although each did claim ‘other’ expenses.

  46. Doctor J Says:

    When you go back four years, and that would include Eberhart and Whitmarsh, the total would easily be over $200,000, making it worthwhile for a tax crusader firm to get it back for the students !

  47. Doctor J Says:

    No wonder Lynne is always phoning in from Hawaii ! Is it really true that Rose Locke and her husband stayed in Lynne’s condo with Lynne and her husband recently ? Wouldn’t that be some kind of conflict of interest or illegal gift ?

  48. tmharrington Says:

    It appears from the Pleasant Hill website that the Career Night on Wednesday at College Park High is only open to students who attend the school:

  49. tmharrington Says:

    MDEA’s latest message to members accuses the district of trying to divide and conquer members, pitting salary increases against benefits increases:

  50. tmharrington Says:

    In other news, one Acalanes HS teacher and two WCCUSD elementary teachers will be honored Thursday with Warren Eukel Teacher Trust Awards:

  51. Doctor J Says:

    Is this a vote by the Board of “no confidence” in Bryan Richards ? Who is the leaky Board member ?

  52. guest Says:

    No more than the contract work Eberhardt did on Rolen’s house; but that flew under the radar, and even if known, who cares?

  53. Steve Says:

    He’s a male

  54. g. de la verdad Says:

    MDEA is not without some fault of its own if the CFO is being forced, (currently) due to many-many pending legal cases, to project a conservative budget.

    In the MDEA contract there is, and has been for many years some ‘standard language’ indicating in every single job description that each member is a “Mandated Reporter.”

    I would hold that in addition to clear guidelines and training by the district, MDEA has some responsibility to each and every one of their members to make sure those members UNDERSTAND– not just what rights they have — but EVERYTHING they have been committed to in their contracts– including specifics IN THEIR JOB DESCRIPTIONS.

    Their leaders may prefer to only pull their heads up when it comes time to bargain for money, but is that a union’s only responsibility to their members?

    I don’t think so!

  55. guest Says:

    TM, did you realize Cooksey was working under Medina as Assistant General Counsel at SFUSD when Rolen brought her in at MDUSD? I’ve seen the posts about her being at OUSD, but she went to SFUSD after her last stint at OUSD, and was second in line under Madina when she was hired at MDUSD.

  56. g. de la verdad Says:

    The loose lips of a board member speaking totally out of turn — offering information, aid and fodder for argument with the union — is unconscionable and I consider it equal to financial and possibly “illegal payback” for election campaign financing!

    Having said that, whether false information is being given to and/or by district or union negotiators is one thing — and needs to be brought out and exposed. We are talking about millions of dollars, year in and year out, payable now and in retirement funds for many years.

    No third party would advise on budget projections without being paid or promised $omething in the future, and for the board to seek outside audit advice without bringing it before the public also needs scrutiny.

  57. Doctor J Says:

    Work done by a licensed contractor, Eberhart for a Board member, must be reported on both their FPPC Form 700’s. Since Theresa has or soon will have those, it would be interesting to see if it was. There should be a Building Permit on file for the construction.

  58. guest Says:

    Don’t expect to find it on a FPPC form; he was paid under the table. It was repair work that did not require a permit, like painting, moldings, drywall, etc.

  59. Doctor J Says:

    Is that the same house that Rolen filed bankruptcy to try and save the home from foreclosure ?

  60. g. de la verdad Says:

    Income tax evasion by an elected official, solicited and abetted by legal counsel for MDUSD? Say it isn’t so….

  61. Doctor J Says:

    Hey guest, not sure why you would edit your post to delete the kinds of repair work that did not require a permit done by Eberhart for Rolen “under the table” I think you mentioned dry wall work, painting.

  62. g. de la verdad Says:

    and molding, “stuff like that.”

  63. guest Says:

    Dr. J, he sold the house on 8/31/12, during Eberhart’s last two months on the Board. Check Zillow. My timeline fits perfectly; GE does a little under the table work just as he is not running for reelection.

  64. guest Says:

    It’s just so unthinkable isn’t it?

  65. guest Says:

    Yes, you got me. Trying to keep it lean. Yes, dry wall, painting, basic stuff to get a house ready to go on the market.

  66. Brian Lawrence Says:

    You are incorrect.

  67. g. de la verdad Says:

    That is a MAJOR relief and I hope you will consider taking my concerns to the board President and Superintendent.
    While none of us are against employees being given a fair deal, the taxpayers need a fair, and ‘aboveboard’ deal too. We already have Cooksey playing both sides of the table, we don’t need it from a board member too.

  68. Doctor J Says:

    Who is the Board leak since Brian denies it ? Could it be Cooksey ? The MDEA statement was telling: “MDEA’s ongoing concern that Boardmembers are being misled by the District’s Bargaining Team” — the district bargaining team is led by Cooksey, Julie B-M, and Bryan Richards. Will the real Board leaker please stand up and take responsibility ?

  69. g. de la verdad Says:

    Yes, the district’s bargaining team apparently told one or more board members what MDEA has called “patently false.”
    Since the ‘team’ twisting or falsefying facts does not surprise me, it does not upset me very much.
    That a board member would then correspond and relay bargaining room or board room conversations, on their own – outside the perameters of a full board approval to do so — that is disturbing!
    Which member has taken her sense of self importance too far?

  70. Doctor J Says:

    @g Also, which Board member does MDEA not mind “outing” — probably Dennler since she won’t run again and therefore won’t be around for the next round of talks. Starting today, many Dent powers that be will begin using vacation days — so we won’t see much if anything happening on the bargaining front.

  71. Doctor J Says:

    Some principals skeptical of wishy-washy Board statements on “me too” matches for salary increase for administrators — not sure Board will match total percentage of increases to MDEA for DMA. Coming from this mornings all principals, K-12, meeting with Dr. Nellie. Ask your principal for more details. Cooksey seems to have a different version for each group she talks to — I wonder why ?

  72. g. de la verdad Says:

    When you tell the truth first, you don’t have to remember anything but the truth….
    End the “me too” policy with DMA and the truth will come out.

  73. Doctor J Says:

    @g I agree with you: “End the “me too” policy with DMA and the truth will come out.” Not sure even the current Board could handle the truth. Remember the great lines between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholsen in “A Few Good Men”:

    Col. Jessep: *You want answers?*

    Kaffee: *I want the truth!*

    Col. Jessep: *You can’t handle the truth!*

  74. Guy Moore Says:

    For the record, one of the winners of the Eukel prize Natalie Moore is an excellent English teacher who used to teach at northgate HS. She has an amazing ability to reach her students on many levels especially intellectual curiosity. I taught with her and her husband Ed Meehan for many years at Northgate. Ed was a Northgate graduate who came back to take over for his mentor Jack DeReiux for whom the Little Theatre is named. Ed is also a great teacher. Sadly, Natalie and Ed left MDUSD because they wanted to raise a family and someday dreamed of owning a home. MDUSD could not keep them with its substandard pay and benefits.

  75. tmharrington Says:

    On another note, I have received several photos of flooding at Cambridge Elementary, along with an allegation that the district does nothing to prevent this year after year except send sand bags. Shouldn’t repairing dangerous conditions such as this be a top priority for Measure C?

  76. tmharrington Says:

    I was VERY impressed by Natalie Moore when I interviewed her on the phone. She appears to be exactly the kind of teacher MDUSD wants to attract and retain. I’ll be at the awards dinner tonight and will try to videotape the speeches and upload them to

  77. Doctor J Says:

    Why doesn’t it show up on the SARC and Williams reports ?

  78. Doctor J Says:

    Guy, MDUSD’s “substandard pay and benefits” has kept you and thousands of others. Hmmmm. I don’t know why you had to demean Natalie’s recognition of excellence with political polemics concerning the labor negotiations. I guess you didn’t check the county recorder’s office to see when they bought their first home.

  79. g. de la verdad Says:

    Speaking of graduates who return to teach at their alma mater, another excellent, well loved English teacher was FORCED to move to Northgate. He didn’t run to another district for ‘better pay and benifits’ and he didn’t ask to go to a school where teaching English is a cakewalk. He pleaded to stay at the far more difficult school.
    What did the union do to help him?

  80. Guy Moore Says:

    I assume you are speaking of my friend Dan Reynolds. MDEA and Mr. Reynolds met with a high level CTA attorney and we filed both an unfair labor practice and a grievance arbitration with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) against MDUSD on behalf of Dan Reynolds. The District discussed this pending litigation in their closed session last week. We will see them in court soon and we have every reason to believe Mr. Reynolds will prevail.

  81. Doctor J Says:

    Would you please either post those or provide them to Theresa for posting. I think the public would be much more on your side if it knew the facts and names as to why Dan was involuntarily transfered.

  82. Steve Says:

    Maybe he will fare better than the NHS soccer coach whom the princpal illegally fired last year and replaced with an off campus coach – a direct violation of state law. MDEA did a real nice job of defending her interests.Yeah, she has left the school and the off campus coach who is a close friend of the off campus NHS athletic director is still there.
    And from what we hear NHS can’t wait to rid themselves of the aforementioned teacher Mr. Moore referenced and MDHS isn’t planning any welcome back party if he is allowed to go back.
    Solidarity people…it’s your dues money at work. Vote on the contract now!!!!!

  83. guest Says:

    Maybe Northgate needs him, or those like him at least. Not sure teaching English there is a “cakewalk” anymore. Will this District ever have a truly high performing high school again that can compete with SRVUSD, AUHSD, Lowell High and the likes? Northgate and College Park used to be symbols of academic excellence. It speaks volumes when parents who can afford it are sending their kids to private high schools instead of Northgate. Will we ever see a MDUSD high school with an API above 900 again?

  84. g. de la verdad Says:

    You are correct. I should have said “a comparative cakewalk.” Also, I have no doubt Northgate at least thought they wanted/needed Reynolds and Bernard thought he could give McMorris what he wanted — and settle a squabble by sending the kids to separate rooms. What he got us was yet another legal battle and expense to add to the other dozen or so lawsuits.
    And of course he got a long term contract for his firm at the same time.

  85. teacher Says:

    They don’t come when it rains.

  86. Doctor J Says:

    File a Williams Complaint — your union will stand behind you, won’t they ?

  87. Doctor J Says:

    SARC inspection 9/17/2012 – No problems. Meas C — no flooding improvements requested or planned.

  88. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a blog post with excerpts from Warren Eukel Teacher Trust Awards winners:

  89. tmharrington Says:

    Pleasant Hill Education Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled:

    Next commission meeting is Dec. 11, the same night as the next MDUSD meeting:

  90. tmharrington Says:

    WCCUSD board to hold a special meeting tonight to look at school climate – including anti-bullying efforts – and create a new “Title IX Educational Equity Director” in response to the recent OCR report that found rampant sexual misconduct in schools and the district after the Richmond HS rape:

  91. tmharrington Says:

    MDUSD TK and K registration for 2014-15 is Feb. 5:

  92. tmharrington Says:

    Here is the WCCUSD superintendent’s December message to the community, which details how LCFF will change the district’s funding priorities, the district’s transition to the Common Core and its strategic plan implementation timeline:

    Although MDUSD Supt. Nellie Meyer has been at the helm since September, we still haven’t seen these kinds of regular, comprehensive messages yet from her keeping the community informed about important ongoing issues. The one message she has sent out is undated:

  93. tmharrington Says:

    WCCUSD policies re student conduct, positive school climate, sexual harassment and hate-motivated behavior will be discussed at the special meeting tonight (pgs. 6-14 in agenda packet):

  94. Doctor J Says:

    I guess we are now going to hear that Jonathan Roselin is underpaid even after his recent promotion — go ahead Jonathan and take the WCCUSD job.

  95. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD should refrain from spending millions on I-Pads — I think Trustee Brian Lawrence would agree.

  96. tmharrington Says:

    Whoever takes that job will have his or her hands full. In MDUSD, we only hear about student trauma when James Wogan speaks about homeless students and foster youth. At last night’s WCCUSD meeting, speakers said student trauma is common districtwide. It may be more common in MDUSD too, but since most schools in MDUSD don’t even have counselors, it’s harder to know.

  97. g. de la verdad Says:

    But then Roselin’s job should be so much easier. Because MDUSD has consultants, speech makers, talking head programs for 6 ‘target’ schools, and of course, the ever elusive “Climate Surveys” from the district and MDEA.

    I’m sure everything will be just ‘fine’ at the other 45 schools if we just wait long enough.

  98. Doctor J Says:

    And Roselin has kept his “public meetings” fairly secret with no published minutes, scant agendas, inconvenient times for parents to attend, and Mary Bacon acting as the puppeteer.

  99. Doctor J Says:

    I guess that at the CAC meeting last night, there is no controversy about Special Ed in MDUSD ? No minutes posted of prior meetings, and no postings of current issues.

  100. Doctor J Says:

    Bottom line: Districts don’t want parent participation in how funds will be spent — California law requires it. EdSource conducted a revealing poll just out this morning.

  101. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD method: “Only a small group of parents are offered the opportunity to participate in school decision-making, while most are excluded.” Exactly what the EdSource survey found statewide. Administrators don’t want parents interfering with administrators decisions.

  102. g. de la verdad Says:

    And if you aren’t already part of the dozen or so in the hand-picked Clique that sits on and rotates through every district committee, you’d better be a very strong personality with a very thick hide. Otherwise, that bunch is going to make you feel like an ignorant, ugly stepsister.

  103. Doctor J Says:

    How about the continued bus transportation issues that seem to linger like a bad cough. Hey, parents, its December, and they haven’t got the bus routes fixed yet ?

  104. Doctor J Says:

    Virtually no parent input in how individual school funds are spent — several new electronic Marquees have sprouted at a cost of around $7500 each — money that could have gone to the classroom. Parents want money spent on substance not spritz.

  105. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my brief on the survey:

    As I recently mentioned, the most recent report I have heard about LCFF in MDUSD was a board report from Trustee Linda Mayo informing everyone else about the SBE timeline. Although the district has started getting information out to parents about Common Core, it seems to still be keeping plans for soliciting LCFF parent input under wraps.

    The EdSource survey also found that low-income parents are far less likely to participate in school and district committees than high-income parents, so deliberate efforts need to be made to involve low-income parents in LCFF decisions.

  106. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my story on bullying in WCCUSD:

    That district wants to become a leader in addressing bullying and its root causes. Already, the WCCUSD board president said, WCCUSD is the only district in the county that has site-based health centers, where counselors can help deal with students’ emotional and physical issues, including emotional trauma.

  107. tmharrington Says:

    College Park HS will host a presentation on TEENS & SUBSTANCE ABUSE – HOW ALL TEENS ARE AFFECTED, Tues, Dec 10 at 7:30 pm, in the CP Library:

  108. Doctor J Says:

    Extra: Sandy Bruketta suddenly retires as principal of Hidden Valley. This afternoon a job posting for Hidden Valley Principal was made public. In her monthly newsletter, she says she submitted her retirement papers on November 25 and her last day will be Dec 20. Sandy said: “The district will mostly likely assign an experienced retired principal to take the lead until a permanent replacement can be found. I apologize for this short notice, but I feel this is something I must do now for myself and my family.”

  109. g. de la verdad Says:

    Nearly halfway thru the school year, it is shocking the number of teacher openings listed with Dec. file dates.
    Why does MDUSD have so many openings mid-year?
    No regional LEA is even proportionally close in teacher shortages.

  110. Doctor J Says:

    Why is it so hard to fill principalships in MDUSD ? Sudden retirements mid year ? And the rumor mill is that more Elementary principals are “fed up” with Rose and her paper pushing SASS. No VP’s. Think about the burn out by principals like Sandy with over 750 students, and other elementary schools with enrollment in the 300’s like Fair Oaks and Silverwood. There are a half dozen in the low 400’s. But don’t forget Rose has time to “escort” Trustees Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler around campuses several times a month — that has to be the most expensive escort service in CoCoCounty. Really Rose, I think they know their way around.

  111. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s Bruketta’s message to the school community:

    She says there are 784 students at the school.

  112. tmharrington Says:

    Has SASS recently updated its website? It looks pretty snazzy:

  113. tmharrington Says:

    It looks like MDUSD has finally decided to seek teacher input into Common Core implementation and spending:

    Meanwhile, WCCUSD and many other districts have already got their spending plans developed. WCCUSD has already entered into an agreement with its teachers’ union about the spending plan, which is explained on Page 3 of the WCCUSD Common Core “Monthly Reporter”:

    Is SASS similarly letting people in the district know what is going on with Common Core?

  114. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, that chart has been up there for several months.

  115. Doctor J Says:

    MDEA demanded it as required by law — MDUSD was forced to acquiesce to the legal requirements. As a counter measure, MDUSD is now surveying administrators as to where they think the common core money should be spent.

  116. g. de la verdad Says:

    3:30pm = overtime pay for a handful of MDEA members – versus – input from working and low income parents, and students spread across the district…. Cool!

  117. g. de la verdad Says:

    SASS is too busy trying to figure out where to put the desks for all the new desk jockeys.

  118. Doctor J Says:

    Don’t forget the most prolific “double dipper” in MDUSD history — Doris Avalos — who will max out her days she is allowed to work under retirement for the 3rd or is it the fourth year in a row ?

  119. Doctor J Says:

    SASS continues to expand its bureaucracy: a new monthly newletter called Academic Press. You can feel warm and fuzzy that after the SASS ridiculously contradictory presentations to parents on Common Core, that “six of the SASS department staff receiving CCSS training certification:
    Christine Richardson-ELA
    Chris Holloran-ELA
    Aurelia Buscemi-ELA
    Sasha Robinson-ELA
    Marie Schimer-Math
    Brianne Whiteside-Math”.

  120. tmharrington Says:

    OK, thanks!

    The latest MDEA memo says some teachers and students may now be enduring COLD classrooms, with one allegedly 41-degrees:

    Yet, HVAC is a Measure C priority.

  121. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of Measure C and district maintenance, I have heard a rumor that two portable buildings have been illegally dumped on the old Glenbrook MS site and that the district may have to pay to remove them.

  122. g. de la verdad Says:

    Well Thank Goodness Lisa Boje knows it all and doesn’t need more in-depth training herself. That wasn’t the impression I got from the presentation she and buttinski Holloran gave to parents.

  123. Doctor J Says:

    When is the district going to publicly disclose the TOTAL financial effect of its proposal to MDEA as required by AB 1200 ? From FCMAT: AB 1200: “Legislation passed in 1991 that defined a system of fiscal accountability for school districts and county offices of education to prevent bankruptcy. The law requires districts to do multiyear financial projections; identify sources of funding for substantial cost increases, such as employee raises; and make public the cost implications of such increases before approving employee contracts. County offices review district budgets, and the state reviews countywide school districts. “

  124. tmharrington Says:

    Once again, the Pleasant Hill Ed. Commission will meet on the same night as the MDUSD board to discuss MDUSD and its city ed initiative:

  125. g. de la verdad Says:

    Rather than direct teachers to “ask the office manager for an Adverse Working Condition Form (PER 01 056 10/98)” I would suggest Moore advise them to just copy and use Attachment G from their contract and attach it to their email documentation.

  126. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post about Computer Science Education Week starting Dec. 9:P

  127. Doctor J Says:

    Creation of the MDUSD Gestapo is back on the Agenda for Dec 11, item 18.14. Did you know that making a “biased” or “derogatory” or “disparaging” comment about an administrator is “is prohibited and will subject an employee to discipline.” I guess none of these alleged ‘educators’ have heard of the First Amendment or NY Times v. Sullivan: Julie Braun-Martin, Deb Cooksey, Lois Peterson, Felicia Stuckey-Smith, Ann Tirrell, Lorie O’Brien, Joe Estrada and Joshua Wittman. Shame on you.

  128. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting that appointment of a General Counsel [Agenda 18.1] has no financial effect [really?], that apparently the General Counsel’s position will report to the Superintendent rather than the Board [contrary to the Grand Jury report of several years ago], and that there has been no prior public discussion, nor agenda items on the closed session to discuss filling of General Counsel position, nor has there been any job postings for the position of General Counsel as required by Board Policy 4111 which says: the Superintendent “shall disseminate job announcements to ensure a wide range of candidates.” Why is the district not following proper procedure and board policies ? Secret meetings ? The Agenda item is not even proper since it was only endorsed by one real live person who works for the district — Dr. Nellie. Pssst. Loreen Joseph has not worked for the district in 8 months !

  129. Doctor J Says:

    Expenditures Nov 2013: $549,735 & $549,735 [Total $1,099,470.] for “Deductible Liability Loss” to Caspar, Meadows & Swartz on Nov 26 [there appear to be two payments in the same amount on the same day: warrant #AP987361 (Acct: 000-2616-53-5868 and AP#987151 (Acct: 000-2616-53-5868). What case or cases are these ? $250,265.00 for “Deductible Liability Loss” to New York Life Insurance Co on Nov 26 — which case is this ? $7,000 for deductible liability loss” to Liberty Mutual Ins. on Nov 26. What case is this ? What is total cost to district to date of Martin case ? Over $30,000 to auditor Christy White on Nov 7 for “water” ? Hey, Bryan, another marshmallow PowerPoint won’t cut it not qualify to meet AB 1200. Let’s get some answers !

  130. g. de la verdad Says:

    I also wondered why Item 18.1 wasn’t an Info only Item. General Counsel is a very strategic position, and Nellie Meyer could not possibly know anyone currently on staff well enough to make a hiring decision without FULL board input and public discourse.

    18.1 appoint General Counsel AND designate senior manager for classified AND appoint employee AND set salary — just how many positions are we talking about in this one Item???

    Are they really suggesting that the General Counsel will be senior manager of classified staff? Nowhere does it say a new GC has been interviewed/selected. Are they talking about Cooksey? If so, surely they jest….

  131. Doctor J Says:

    The Board announced in 2009 that: “The District’s General Counsel now reports directly to the Board, with a dotted-line reporting relationship with the Superintendent.” this was after criticism by the CoCoCounty Grand Jury.,%20response.pdf

  132. Doctor J Says:

    Fensterewald to School Boards: BEWARE ! Your neighboring school districts may be getting more money than you so don’t prematurely spend the money.

  133. tmharrington Says:

    Although the district hasn’t yet posted it, the Measure C BOC agenda has been distributed:

    Dec. 13 quarterly report has also been posted:

  134. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s the link to the Wednesday MDUSD meeting agenda, which also includes more lease-leaseback agreements:

  135. tmharrington Says:

    Kudos to Ygnacio Valley HS for keeping its community informed about school happenings through its own blog:

    Interestingly, I noticed that the amended board bylaws say that trustees with children in schools should inform the superintendent before volunteering in their child’s classroom. But, they don’t say anything about informing the superintendent before running for PFC or PTA president!

  136. Doctor J Says:

    Latest Tim Cody shell game: 6 of 7 pages of Alisha Jensen’s $173,000 contract are ‘MISSING’ along with the “Exhibits”. Also there is a claim of “no less than 3” [why not just tell us how many?] proposals received, but they are not compared, evaluated and disclosed to the Board or public. Tim must be related to Buffalo Bill Cody and thinks he can continue to “Buffalo” us. I guess that could give new meaning to the term: BS. Come on Tim, this is really getting old.

  137. g. de la verdad Says:

    Speaking of MDUSD games. Has the district begun to “settle” on the Andrew Martin case lawsuits? One Doe suit seems to have been “Dismissed, with Prejudice.” Or, in other words — Settled?

    Maybe they should look at the story in the Times today — a PRA precident setter if I ever saw one.

  138. Concerned13 Says:

    Re: MDUSD and Martin lawsuits – no, no settlements have been reached thus far. One suit was removed, as they were not actual victims.

  139. guest Says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe the “lawsuit” has been filed yet by Stan Casper on behalf of the (13?) alleged victims. The Times article used the word lawsuit, but that was incorrect because Casper has only filed a government tort claim with MDUSD under Government Code section 910, which is legal requirement before filing a “lawsuit” against the District (or any public entity). Has anyone found out if the tort claim has been rejected yet by the District, which will allow the lawsuit to be filed? The lawsuit, when filed, will likely take months if not years and involve a lot of civil discovery.

  140. Steve Says:

    Theresa, Surely you are not suggesting that a board member would serve as an officer on a school’s site council, PFC, or PTA board! That would be a classic conflict of interest;one that would require the offending board member to resign from the board immediately or disassociate herself from the school posts. But no one is that stupid!

  141. Doctor J Says:

    Does the district have to pay a separate $549,735 “Deductible Liability Loss” for each of Martin’s victims just to “defend” the case — not including settlement costs? If so, costs to the district just to defend, would be around $7,000,000. Wasn’t Guy Moore counting on that money to fund the teacher’s raises ?

  142. Concerned13 Says:

    Casper only represents a few of the victims; there are at least two other attorneys involved. You are correct, the Notice of Claims were filed – and, yes, they were rejected. Lawsuits are soon to follow.

  143. tmharrington Says:

    Steve, It is my understanding that former Board President Sherry Whitmarsh was president of the Ygnacio Valley HS PTA while she served on the board. She was also a strong advocate for the stadium project. When I mentioned this to new Supt. Nellie Meyer, she was surprised and said there could definitely be an appearance of a conflict of interest in such an instance. So, I’m surprised the new policy doesn’t even mention this possibility.

    On another note, I see the board has scheduled a special closed session to deal with Dan Reynolds’ complaints:

  144. g. de la verdad Says:

    This is exactly why I tried to get a conversation going about maybe “settlement” being reached on some case(s). That’s a bucket of dough to pay to the opposing attorney before something even goes to trial. In addition to the amounts you listed above, there are a couple more (pg 20) made out to individuals (attorneys?) adding another $6grand of deductable liability loss.
    Concerned 13, were you aware that the attorney’s received these amounts weeks ago?

  145. guest Says:

    Unless….she’s hiring someone she already knows…and General Counsel is not a position requiring public discourse.

  146. guest Says:

    See above; Casper Meadows and Schwartz represents several of the families of the alleged Martin victims.

  147. g. de la verdad Says:

    I disagree. If a new GC is to be appointed — and given a contract similar to the last GC and the Asst. Supts, etc, that person should be named in the agenda, and the contract should be presented in the agenda for public disclosure and discussion.

  148. guest Says:

    I doubt you will see public discussion about the appointment; and I doubt it is Cooksey.

  149. Concerned13 Says:

    These expenditures were NOT related to the Martin case. I know that the Casper, Meadow and Schwartz represented another case against the MDUSD…. I believe it was some type of pool accident. Perhaps these were related to that?

  150. Doctor J Says:

    A late addition to the Closed Session is a discussion of negotiations with the new general counsel.

  151. Doctor J Says:

    Next Board Pres & VP ?? Will Linda Mayo make her play again this year in her last year as a Board member ? Actually, the signature card still carries the name of Cheryl Hansen as President. Interesting.

  152. Doctor J Says:

    I wonder why Guy Moore isn’t commenting on the millions being paid out in settlements mostly due to his union members’ actions. Speak Guy, or forever hold your peace.

  153. Doctor J Says:

    I am concerned for the little children in freezing temps being left in the cold by late bus drivers and those children who are picked up early and dropped off before school opens due to drivers doubling up on their routes. Apparently no one at Dent cares. The bus phones were not even being answered this morning.

  154. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my brief about tonight’s MDUSD meeting:

  155. g. de la verdad Says:

    Is the rumor correct that Local 1 M&O is being given a 9% increase? Nine percent? And they’ve known about it for over a month? Cutting services to kids apparently pays off for some…?

  156. Brian Lawrence Says:


  157. Doctor J Says:

    Brian, why is the public continually kept in the dark on items set for a vote ? Julie B-M continues to stonewall on the names of appointees to the public; full contracts are not attached; Bryan Richards NEVER posts his marshmallow power points ahead of time [and often not afterwards either], and the list goes on and on. If the Board is going to vote on it, the public ought to be able to scrutinize it for at least 72 hours — that would be one step forward in GENUINE TRANSPARENCY.

  158. g. de la verdad Says:

    And do you have even a remote idea how many employees who have known for over a month about the 3% increase (retroactive 6months) and the 3% overtime (also retroactive 6 months) plus a one time 2% give away, are just waiting for their big payoff checks to be cut before they move to the jobs they’ve accepted in other districts? Approve the contract (which of course the board will do) and you will find out somewhere around early Feb., unless your ‘negotiators’ hold off on publishing the personnel openings and changes on the agendas until March.

  159. Brian Lawrence Says:

    I believe that we should post the names of appointees to the public and will continue to advocate for that. Superintendent Meyer indicated she wanted to test the current system first and then make a recommendation. I’m looking for that in the early part of next year.

    I agree that PowerPoints should be posted for the public to see.

  160. g. de la verdad Says:

    Writings must be made available to the public at the time of distribution to a majority of the legislative body meeting.

    Of course, that’s just according to The Brown Act. Nothing says they MUST publish contracts or names on the internet. So now that we know the board has been given the who/what and at least much regarding a new General Counsel, for example, should publish at least the basics of that information.
    A transparent board would not, and would not allow their staff to, avoid public participation by refusing to post such writings as part of the 72 hour agenda.

  161. Doctor J Says:

    Brian, Do you really believe that any member of the public could walk into Dent on Monday morning before the Board meeting and be handed the full background materials that the Board has received [excepting of course the Closed Session] ? If so, please ask the Superintendent tonight where the public should go to at 8:00 am on Monday to get their copy, and that would include the items Julie B-M doesn’t want disclosed. And if this information is truly public information, is there any reason you would not post it ?

  162. g. de la verdad Says:

    This is link to an example of what gets posted WITH the agenda in San Diego.$file/Management%20Appointments%2C%20September%203%2C%202013.pdf
    After 30 years in the business, and the last half of that in some management capacity, one should be able to assume Dr. Meyer has formed opinions of how agendas should be presented.

  163. g. de la verdad Says:

    Or maybe a copy of one she would certainly have paid attention to:$file/Management%20Appointments%2C%206-18-13.pdf
    Apparently no contracts were shown, but at least the public knew who was being given a specific job with enough advance notice to decide if they should attend a meeting and comment. Parents knew in advance if they needed to be the early worm asking to move their kids to new schools if they did not like new Principal assignments. The list of reasons to post this info early is endless.

  164. tmharrington Says:

    Here is a new blog post with tonight’s agenda, for those who wish to comment on the meeting:

    As mentioned in the post, I won’t be attending the meeting, but will try to watch some of it online. I will also report on the general counsel appointment, Local 1 contract and reorganization.

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