Saturday, November 18, 2006

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST THE BOE BY A BOARD MEMBER

Ms. Margaret Young has filed an official complaint to the Open Meetings Compliance Board against the Board of Education regarding a variety of concerns including discussions amongst Board members that took place behind closed doors on August 8, 2006, the Boards failure to record executive session official minutes, and evasive "boilerplate" language on public minutes regarding executive session agenda topics.

8 comments:

3291asiber said...

I am very pleased about this. When I attended Board of Ed meetings, I often felt as if I were walking in long after the fact -- that the members had all discussed whatever the issue was (and I'm not talking about personnel, real estate, or legal topics), and all that was really left was the public vote. Or not -- there were also times when I expected issues to be on the agenda, or assured they would be topics of discussion...but there was no mention of them at all.

As other parents would tell me, "Why bother? They've already decided anyway." That's NOT the way it's supposed to work!

3291asiber said...

I've been doing a little homework on this, and noted that on the October Minutes, Ms. Young stated that the Board had been told in September that there were some changes to the Open Meetings Act. I went back to the September Minutes, but I couldn't find any report or discussion regarding these changes. There was mention of her frustration about a July 24, 2006 "executive session" meeting with the Commissioners (which Bailey and Wade attended) of which she (and apparently, the other Board Members) had not been made aware.

How was the Board informed of the changes to the Open Meetings Act? How are parents and other interested parties to be made aware that such changes to a law are being/have been made? I don't consider that a "legal" issue to be discussed in executive session -- I consider that an information item of direct interest to the public. Don't you?

Perhaps the September Minutes of the public session are just poorly written and don't reflect the full discussion -- specifically with regard to any mention of the Open Meetings Act, at least. Or did this take place in executive session?

Anonymous said...

3291asiber :

Hello. My name is Jacqueline Rabe from the Maryland Independent and I am interested in getting your input for an article that I am doing concerning this complaint. If you could give me a call as soon as possible that would be much appreciated. (301) 764-2860 or my cell is (419)494-9388

HeatherBartlett said...

3291 - I will try and scan in a letter to the commissioners and space school proposal I have that was probably presented at the mysterious executive session with the commissioners that none of the school board members seem to know about and post it on my blog.

It's too late tonight, I'll have to dig it up and do it tomorrow.

I would have done it already but don't you ever feel like you're just spinning your wheels?

I guess I figured nobody would care if I did, but I will, for the hell of it. Maybe it will strike a nerve with somebody. Who can say?

Jennifer Abell said...

Young files complaint with open meetings board, Md. Indy, 11/22/06

"---there is no need for a paper trail" said Turner Coggins Jr.

Bah hah hah hah! Bah hah hah hah! LOL

Did he just say what I think he said?

Jennifer Abell said...

Young files complaint with open meetings board, Md. Indy, 11/22/06

“Everything we do is available to the public. We have not violated any laws...We are public servants, and we make all our decisions public...I was at the meetings; I know how I voted...” Col. Wade.
I don't know what meetings he's been at, but everything is not available to the public. And he was at the meetings so he knows how he voted (uh hum...yeh right!). What about me? A board member who wasn't at the August meeting. I couldn't receive the minutes of the Executive Session so I don't know what the heck happened in the meeting unless I rely on other members rendentions. Great! wonderful! I guess that's what I get for taking a vacation. Geez! Be for real people!

HeatherBartlett said...

What a load. I haven't seen the paper yet today, I don't normally get a chance until about 2:30 to read it. I will surely check this out.

I am going to post the letter and the stuff I have once I get it scanned.

I'm glad at least board members are talking about this.

Did Col. Wade offer up where we might find these minutes?

Does ANYBODY else remember the August session and what was voted on? Where are the minutes?

By the way, could you do a fresh post, on the salaries of the Superintendent and such? It is public knowlege, right? Who voted him in, who voted for the 25k increase? Etc.

I don't know if you are allowed, but I thought I'd ask - I'm working on a blog about it.

We'll also have a chance in the new blog that will be coming out :)
to talk good and loud about all of this.

Jennifer Abell said...

Heather - This was in regards to Executive session minutes which doesn't get released to the public, or the Board , or anyone! They are not even official minutes because the Board does not vote on them. They are simply Executive Session notes. I have been told, and I might be wrong, but I was told that since they are not official minutes that anyone can request them. I'm sure that CCPS would deny your request but if someone pursued their case they would have to release them.
Superintendent Salary - His official contract is confidential, at least from what I can see. Other than what was in the article in the Washington Post which I believed he personally released. Sorry. I will double check this and get back to you.