What can you say about a Board meeting that - 2 1/2 hours in - wasn't even halfway done? And the speaker list wasn't even full?
First, you have one speaker who is a long-time public annoyance and got up and proceeded to make racist remarks to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and then, when Cheryl Chow asked him to stop, made racist remarks to her. Cheryl asked him to stop, he shouted about his First Amendment rights and Cheryl called an intermission and the entire Board left. Then he goes on and on with Security who are then forced to call the police who had to drag him out. I wouldn't have any problem banning this guy from speaking. He's done this numerous times and it just gets old.
One interesting thing I learned from one speaker is that AE II is now called Thornton Creek School (and they want the Assignment plan to give them an "in" to Salmon Bay).
I myself was speaking against an Action item to take all the 15% contingency fees that each BEX III project has and put them into one big fund. I really worry that this will allow Facilities to hide any cost overruns. They are already dipping into the $20M Program Reserve - now - for Hamilton and New School. I hate to think what will happen for projects on the tail end of this bond measure. (The Board approved this measure.)
Also, I pointed out that I had learned that Hale will stay on-site for their rebuild. This is something that Facilities said - and continue to argue against in the new draft of the Facilities Master Plan -that they wouldn't do but are doing. And, the smokestack at Hale that was a "critical seismic problem "which Facilities told the Board before the election? Not so critical now so it won't be coming down.
I told the Board and the Superintendent that it is my belief that someday, either because of internal pressure or external pressure, there will be an audit of Facilities and it will probably surprise and dismay many people. I don't believe at all there is anything illegal going on but I do think there has been movement of money hidden and cost and time overruns that no one wants to admit to.
Then, all the Board members (except Darlene Flynn who was in Hawaii - this was the last Board meeting for the current Board) were saying public goodbyes to each other with one particular Board member taking almost 20 minutes. Of course, Brita was the kindest and most gracious in her remarks, remembering to thank many people.
But there were some bright spots. It looks like the School-Family Partnership Committee has really got a lot going on and is hoping for a larger budget (or maybe the Alliance for Education could kick in here) to get many of their initiatives going. Also the National Conservation Update was really great - they have saved about $272,000 this year at the headquarters and at many schools. I think the district is really serious about going green (to some extent) and I hope they have some ideas for schools to implement.