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Guest post regarding MDUSD Bond Oversight Committee

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 at 12:39 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The following guest post was submitted to me by g. de la verdad regarding the Mt. Diablo school district’s Bond Oversight Committee. Please note this post is the opinion of the guest poster.

“The board is due in January to assign board members to their committee assignments.  As it is, without minutes we cannot tell if those assigned last year have even attended the meetings of their assigned posts.

To Brian Lawrence, Linda Mayo:
RE: Bond Oversight Committee(s) 2013.

Knowing how difficult it is to find volunteers, it is not too soon to start recruiting (and installing) new members for our Bond Oversight Committee(s).  ALL original 2yr (X two terms) member Terms will expire in AUG 2014.

Question:   Of those recruited after June 2010, (who actually attend) whose seat did they fill – which should determine their official ‘term’ of membership? Please don’t tell me “no one kept track of that.”

Bylaw:  ‘5.4 Term. Except as otherwise provided herein, each member shall serve a term of two (2) years, beginning August 10, 2010. No member may serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. At the Committee’s first meeting, members shall draw lots to select a minimum majority for an initial two (2)-year term and the remaining members for an initial one (1)-year term.’

That Bylaw is NOT to be interpreted by the ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ of either staff or the existing members on any given day, for any given cause. Either follow the Bylaws, or hold a public hearing and then ask the Board to vote to change them. Keeping those Terms in mind, please note:

Some members held themselves to their initial 1 or 2 year terms, and have stopped attending. However, possibly to ‘by-step’ Prop 39 mandates, some names are being kept on the roster long after they stopped attending, and some far beyond their legal term, and some without attending for two or more years.

Some with a 1 yr term, automatically extended for another 1 yr but, in fact, are still on the committee 3.5 yrs later. Some were placed on the committee, by ‘staff’ recommendation to the board, only to fulfill certain Prop 39 criteria — but have attended, at best, one meeting a year, if ever at all.  Some may have never actually attended more than one meeting in over three years. This is NOT the intent of the law.

Board Member(s) assigned to the BOC are to, on a regular basis, report back to the board – and taxpayers – on the activities of the BOC – Not the bond, but the committee!  That is especially important when dealing with Measure C Staff who seem not only reticent, but in fact rebellious in adhering to the Prop 39 requirements. In this case, that minutes be posted in a timely manner. It is not enough to have the BOC Chair annually regurgitate a STAFF engineered PowerPoint, spilling out data that is more than a year – or two – old, just to ‘fulfill the requirement’ and ‘fill the allotted space on the board calendar.’  That too, is not the intent of the Prop 39 law.

NINE months:  On 12/13/2013, at 3:05 pm, the minutes of March 2013 were posted for the 2010 measure. None for 2002. With that, we are still waiting for June and Sept minutes, and fear that they too will take nine months to post for the public/taxpayer benefit.

Please take the time to read, carefully, the March minutes. Please go back and read the older ones too.  You will see a pattern. A pattern that is often repeated when questions are asked at Board Meetings.  Then, ask yourself: ‘If I were the person asking staff these questions, would I be satisfied with these answers, or in many instances, non answers.’

Example: You/the board recently asked Tim Cody if Alisha Jensen carried insurance on any workers she might hire as subs or assistants. His answer was: ‘I don’t think she will need that on this project.’

Was that really an answer to the question?  Not even close. But the board accepted it – as if it had come from some higher authority. I remind you that the board didn’t hire or even ratify Tim Cody’s position. Pedersen ‘bequeathed’ the job to him.

With this new board I had hoped that the dogmatic Staff control – and the board’s lax oversight – of the mandated requirements of G.O. Bonds-Prop 39 would be addressed and corrected when needed.  That has not happened. Specific to this problem, I hoped the BOC would, as mandated by Prop 39, be given a proper ‘secretary/clerk’ to handle quarterly minutes and upkeep of the BOC’s portion of the Measure C website. Sadly, after a full year of waiting, I and many other taxpayers are very disappointed.

That takes us back to the huge dilemma. We have a scant handful of dedicated volunteers on the BOCs). How shall we handle their mandatory departure in just a few months?

Aug, 2010 ORIGINAL BOC MEMBER and TERMS:
Jay Bedecarre -1 yr
John Burke    -1 yr
Rick Callaway -2 yrs
John Ferrante -2 yrs
Brent Hayes   -1 yr
Pat Howlett   -1 yr
Bonnie McDonald-2 yrs
Faye Mettler  -1 yr
Susan Noack   -1 yr
John Parker   -2 yrs
Jenney Reik   -1 yr
Tina Seagrove -2 yrs
Mark Weinmann -1 yr
Jack Weir     -2 yrs
Marc Willis   -1 yr
Larry Wirick  -1 yr

Evident that they either chose 1 or 2 yr terms incorrectly, or minutes were typed incorrectly—and should have never been approved. There should have been a ‘simple majority’ of the initial ‘2 yr’ members.”

Do you share g’s concerns?

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