NEWARK — The school board is negotiating a new superintendent’s contract this week as a question arose over whether the board violated the state’s open meeting law.
On Friday, board members rejected Superintendent Dave Marken’s attempt to rescind his resignation, then refused to reveal how each member voted. That refusal violated state law, an open meetings expert said this week.
But the district’s attorney, Lou Lozano,¿ said his view “at the time” was that trustees only need to report votes on motions that pass.
However, the board’s attempted secrecy violated state law, said Terry Francke, founder of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government. The Brown Act says local government boards must report how each member voted on any action taken, Francke said.
“What (the board is) saying is it’s all in how you formulate the motion, and I don’t believe the Brown Act puts up with such exercises in semantics,” he said. “The public has a right to know who did what on that issue, no matter how the motion was framed.”
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