Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tonight and Some Questions: New Board Members to Be Sworn-In, Followed by GB Meeting

New board members Norma L. Hernandez and Tim Nader and re-elected Terri Valladolid will be sworn-in tonight at 6:30 as part of a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The reception and ceremony will be held in Room L238 North and South (the "big room" opposite the library). All are welcome to attend.

The regularly scheduled board meeting will follow at 7:00 p.m. in Mayan Hall (which provides far more seating than the usual board room 214). So come on down!

On the swearing-in: Some observers have raised questions about the pre-meeting ceremony. Why, they ask, not have the swearing-in on the regular meeting agenda as has been done in the past? Isn't this required by Brown Act rules of public notification?

A search of California Government Code, Elections Code, Education Code, the Brown Act, and board policy suggests the answer is no. In fact, if the freshly-elected board members aren't sworn prior to the meeting, there's no quorum. The outgoing members would convene the meeting, and the new members wouldn't be seated until swearing in. Clearly, this could be awkward.

(Relevant code sections: Ed Code sections 60, 5000, 5017, 5300, 72000; Elections Code 10554; Government Code 1302, 1360, 1362, 54952.2)

Some agenda items do warrant questions, however. Item 11D, page 6: Why does Alioto want to pay outside consultants over $4,000 for Opening Day presentations? Item 16C, pages 11-12: Why is Chopra requesting agreements with ten different law firms? (Hopefully, with his departure, this item will be tabled.)


  1. I disagree about the Brown Act notification. Clearly, if Roesch, Aguilar and Valladolid are to be there at the outset, and once the new members are sworn...there will clearly be a quorum both 'going and coming' so to speak.
    In the past, none of the outgoing board members have been reluctant to preside at what might be 'awkward' changing of the guard. Sometimes politics is in fact, awkward. However, outgoing US Presidents manage to be civil as they leave the White House to make way for the new occupant. Too bad that Yolanda and what's-his-name couldn't conjure up a bit of professional courtesy.
    With regard to the Brown Act, it is always best to err on the side of caution. This event should have been officially noticed to comply with the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.

  2. We agree that at the very least, there should have been an announcement on the college's home page. (Leave it to Bender: it's not even on the college's twitter stream.)

    "Too bad that Yolanda and what's-his-name couldn't conjure up a bit of professional courtesy." This is really the crux the matter, isn't it? And they're gone, so let's move on.

    Quite possibly, we've all been in battle mode so long that it's hard to shift gears. But if the college is to survive, that's what we must do. There's too much at stake and too much work ahead of us to get sidetracked by red herrings.