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#GPSBoard Top Happenings 10Jun2014: A Night of Power Trippin’ Power Grab #GilbertSchools – POINT OF ORDER!

override_rally

In this post, we noted 4 key agenda items to watch for in the recently completed Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board meeting:

  • Results of the SpringBoard Survey
  • Approval of the Proposed Budget
  • Motion to approve an Override Resolution
  • Motion to change language in the policy for setting of the agenda

As always, you can view the meeting archive by going here.

The SpringBoard presentation went without a hitch with only a few questions coming from Julie Smith related to how the survey was conducted, the questions asked and the small sample size. It is notable that the sample size at least from our perspective seems very small to really come up with a viable conclusion.

As for the proposed budget, Teddy Dumlao provided the required presentation for public hearing of the proposed budget. Mr. Dumlao fielded several questions from Staci Burk, who asked for why there is an increase in the Fiscal Year budget for 2014-2015 as compared to the previous year. The subsequent vote to approve the proposed budget was 4-1, with Ms. Burk as the lone nay. There was no explanation as to why she voted no.

LET’S TALK OVERRIDE

If you’ve been following the local media, our friends in Social Media (Save our dedicated GPS employees, Parents for a Fair School Board and Unite for Education) or our Tweets, you already know how this turned out.

Media Coverage:

Karen Schmidt (AZ Central): Gilbert Public Schools won’t turn to voters for funding

Breann Bierman (CBS5/KPHO): Override fails to pass Gilbert school board

Tanya Mendis (AZFamily): Fewer Teachers, more students in Gilbert classrooms

Eric Mungenast (East Valley Tribune): Gilbert Public Schools board votes down override attempt

The so-called board majority ignored the plea of:

  • Over 1000 taxpayers who signed the petition
  • Over a dozen speakers (2 of whom current candidates),
  • Community leaders (including Mayor Lewis and Councilman Cooper),
  • School finance experts and school administration leadership (including Dr. Christina De Jesus-Kishimoto, Dr. Jim Rice and Consultant Jeff Gadd)
  • Over a hundred citizens who conducted a peaceful rally in support of the motion.

This board majority, consisting of three misguided ideologues: Julie Smith, Daryl Colvin and Staci Burk, took it upon themselves to gamble on the future of our children by taking away the one power that the citizens of this community have every right to exercise, the power to decide the direction of this district via the ballot box: the power to vote.

These three in their biggest display of power trip yet (whether they know it or care to admit it or not) voted to not approve the motion to support the resolution for an override despite the surmounting evidence that the district needs it, despite the obvious overwhelming support for it and despite the fact that it will not result in any tax increase. They have instead ignored their constituents, and followed the whims of their political bosses and made the decision to lead the district to a much darker road.

Three individuals took it upon themselves to decide for over 200,000 residents of this district.

Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson

This move of course came as a no surprise. As Mike McClellan noted in his opinion piece in the East Valley Tribune, it was preordained. Mr. Colvin even hinted on the upcoming power grab as he seems to threatened the audience prior to the start of the request for comment session, stating that disrupting public meetings can be deemed as a felony.

Is disrupting a public meeting a felony? Find out here.

Despite it all, however, there was a faint glimmer of hope within most of the folks in attendance that perhaps one of the three will see the light. Unfortunately, the board reminded all of us that it was over a hundred degrees outside in the middle of summer and as such it is way too hot for Santa Claus to show up and give us a Christmas miracle.

santa_surfin

 

MORE POWER TRIPPIN’ POWER GRAB

The dynamic trio also voted (3-2) to include Robert’s Rule of Order in Policy BDB. Jill Humpherys requested that the matter be tabled and discussed further, however the majority pushed forward with voting for the change. For clarity, we believe that the spirit of implementing the Robert’s Rule of Order by in itself is good, but the cynic in us sees some ulterior motive afoot with the move. Why steamroll the vote while as Ms. Humpherys noted, there are some in the board that may need to further understand the implications of the rules and in addition the introduction of the Robert’s Rule language was not part of the original agenda?

The issue of changing the language in Policy BEDBA, from:

The Superintendent will prepare board meeting agendas in consultation with the Board President.

To:

The Board President will prepare board meeting agendas in consultation with the Superintendent.

Apparently, the change was proposed by Ms. Burk and Mr. Colvin. By proposing this change, Lily Tram indicated that this will give the Board President too much power over other board members as no other board members can now unilaterally enter items in the agenda.

Ms. Burk noted that Dr. Rice was surprised that the president was not responsible for the agenda. She also noted that during training that they have learned of this discrepancy. Ms. Tram noted the difficulties of having a volunteer board president setting the agenda. Ms. Smith noted that the board is the voice of the constituency and as such the agenda should be set by the board president. Ms. Humpherys noted that Ms. Burk’s and Ms. Smith’s arguments were not accurate as to what is in the policy and what was done in training. Dr. Rice in essence supported Ms. Humpherys and Ms. Tram’s arguments.

For all accounts in purposes, the majority may be right in their arguments on this one based on the Arizona law. However, this is a good example of how this majority has engendered cynicism and controversy within the district as every move they make seem to present an ulterior motive in the eyes of the concerned public. Ms. Smith in her statement to oppose the override, she noted “that there was a lack of trust in the district.” That is something we can agree with. There is great distrust within the district as to the true motives of this board majority and thus resulting in the challenges that the district now faces.

Finally, it is also notable at how many times Julie Smith yelled out “Point of Order” to interrupt Ms. Humpherys. And hence the Robert’s Rule of Order has been put in place.

AND AS ALWAYS WE’LL END THIS POST WITH SOME OF THE TWEETS

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