Grand jury recommends president be replaced on ‘dysfunctional’ school board | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-05-28 00:23:00 –

A Kern County grand jury report released Thursday states that the Fairfax school district is governed by a “endangered school board.”

The report depicts a committee with a majority “permitted, split and dysfunctional.”[s] Minority bullying. Last year’s legal services costs “may overwhelm the school district’s budget and raise funds that are not used for direct student education,” he said.

The report makes a series of recommendations to the board to correct the ship, including dismissing current President Palmer Morland and retraining another member by June 30.

“This eliminates the main cause of board dysfunction,” the report said.

The grand jury report puts Fairfax’s board under significant scrutiny by staff, parents, and the entire community for what it considers to be abusive leadership and misuse of district funds. This is the latest version of the saga I saw.

According to the report, Morland committed non-professional acts that lacked “courtesy, dignity and respect.” However, due to time constraints, the report was suspended before the accusation process began, and the grand jury authorized the officials to be removed to remove.

“If the actions of board members continue, future grand juries may consider this process,” the report said.

The grand jury report only calls Morland a “board member.”

Mr Morand talked about the grand jury’s report Thursday and even the idea of ​​leaving the presidency. He said everyone on the board felt it needed to turn to that position.

“I think it’s a very good instruction on what the board should do and what it can do,” he said. “I think this is a good roadmap with recommendations. I don’t think you can go wrong.”

The Fairfax School District is a school district with 2,700 students in southeastern Bakersfield. The report states that the community is pursuing a recall campaign against Mooland and two other board members, Alma Rios and Jose Luis Tapia, who usually vote with him. Also note that board members are facing complaints from the Commission on Fair Political Practice.

The report begins the history of the board with a complaint in May 2020 claiming that Morand created a hostile working environment for employees in the district. The board hired an independent company to produce a 110-page report with a 440-page exhibit. The total cost was $ 40,000, according to the report.

The report-based condemnation resolution failed with a two-to-two vote at a board meeting on December 15. Tapia banished long-time board chairman Javier Moreno in the November elections and voted with Rios to break the bill. Then they voted with Morland and made him president.

Since then, board member Victoria Coronel has repeatedly asked during the public session to include the askedcen blame resolution on the agenda for discussions at the board, but with no success.

The grand jury report stood on her side by recommending that the board return to condemnation by September 1 and “complete the process and close complaints against board members.”

Morland disputed these claims and said he was open to some forum where he could defend himself.

“I never had the opportunity to mention anything in the blame,” he said.

Another email sent to the entire board for additional comments was not returned.

Kristina Budy, Vice President of the Kern Fairfax Teachers Association, was also pleased that the grand jury called on the board to blame again.

“We have endured this ongoing harassment for too long,” she wrote in a statement. “Dysfunction that is disrupting the educational process of the students we serve. We look forward to the swift elimination of individuals. “

The report criticized the way the board conducts its business, which orders members to stop bullying other members immediately, and members must be educated under the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act. There is. “

According to the report, the board may have violated state law that requires authorities to perform public affairs in public.

“When board members vote on the agenda without discussion and stop others from asking and / or discussing the purpose of the action, a closed door or external plan / discussion takes place prior to the meeting. I generally leave the suspicion that it was, “the report said.

The grand jury was particularly interested in hiring an outside lawyer, Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, in January. This was done by overcoming the opposition of the board minority and the community. Moland did not allow any discussion on this item.

“Board members contacted external law firms and negotiated contracts without the approval or knowledge of the entire board,” the report said.

The grand jury received a total of $ 11,206 invoices from Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost in January and February for 42.4 hours of legal service. According to the report, the invoice is intended to protect Morland from criticism and to re-edit the invoice to publish an investigation report already edited by the district’s legal adviser, the School Legal Affairs Department. I left an impression.

The grand jury outlines 12 recommendations. One is to ensure that board members are current residents within the district boundaries before the next board meeting. Another asked a member of the board to disclose contact information. It also recommended that the board be trained intensively and withdraw to resolve disputes.

Grand jury recommends president be replaced on ‘dysfunctional’ school board | News Source link Grand jury recommends president be replaced on ‘dysfunctional’ school board | News

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