Householder challenged over alleged open meeting law violation for only allowing 3 of 200+ public comments to be read

Former school board president also threatens complaint with Fair Political Practices Commission

The following public comment was submitted to the Antioch School Board for the meeting on Jan. 13, 2021 and shared with the Herald:

Public Comment – Item # 2, Closed Session, #A. Superintendent Evaluation

This public comment also serves as a notice that unless the president of the board corrects the Brown Act Violation that occurred at the December 21, 2020 meeting regarding the same item, I will be filing a Fair Political Practices Complaint. I encourage anyone who did not have their comment read or are as outraged as I am that this has occurred, the complaint form is online at https://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/fppc-v2/fppc-www/enforcement/electronic-complaint-system.html.

Only three of over 200+ submitted comments regarding the superintendent evaluation were read and nearly 2,000 Change.org comments were not acknowledged. The situation was summarized in a Weekly Update (available on line at AntiochSchools.net) and I hope that the president follows advice of the attorney and the urging of the employees to “cure and correct” the Brown Act Violation.

Friday Weekly Update, January 8, 2021,

It appears that a Brown Act violation occurred that must be corrected. While the Board can limit public comment from time-to time, it is problematic to limit public comment as drastically as occurred at the December 21, 2020 meeting. Additionally, according to legal counsel, limiting public comment prior to closed session is especially problematic as the public’s only way to meaningfully participate in a closed session item is to make public comment unlike an open session item wherein the public can meaningfully participate via public comment and observing the Board’s deliberation. In an attempt to cure and correct the violation, all comments will be read at the next Board Meeting, January 13, 2021. AEA, AMA, CSBA Petition At the request of Trustee Hack, attached is a copy of the signatures from the online petition posted by AEA, AMA, and CSBA regarding the evaluation of the Superintendent

This was the first meeting with a new president, let’s hope she acknowledges and corrects this basic understanding of how the Brown Act applies and how important it is to listen to constituents. I also hope that union leaders, staff members and community pay attention to the actions of the new board president.

Diane Gibson-Gray

Antioch

 

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