Mystery Education Theater 3000

Month: September 2013

An Improvement in Public Comment at WCCUSD BOE Meetings

The Brown Act requires a period for public comment on relevant items not on the agenda for a meeting. A “legislative body” like a school board can’t discuss items raised only through such comments, but this doesn’t prevent board members asking questions or a single member making a comment.

This is a valuable opportunity for citizens to raise issues on their own initiative with the Board. One way bodies can make it easier for citizens to do this is to put at least an initial period of public comment close to the beginning of the meeting. WCCUSD teacher and parent, Sarah Creeley, and WCCUSD parent, Giorgio Cosentino, have been waging a campaign (see these blog posts: 12, and 3) for our WCCUSD school board to do this.

From looking at the last couple of agendas (August 12, 2013 and September 11, 2013), this campaign seems to have succeeded. A hat tip to the WCCUSD school board creating an item near the beginning of the agenda for public comment. I may even be inspired to start putting video clips of these sections on YouTube again.

Final Lessons from the Battle with the Tax Assessor That Never Happened

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series "Kramer vs. Kramer" to "Kramer vs. Ramsey"

Before leaving the issue of the dust-up over assessments discussed in Yet Another WCCUSD WTF (What the Funicular) Moment and Belated Follow-​up on the WCCUSD Campaign to Pressure the County Assessor, I’d like to point out three things that stand out from this episode.

First, where did Whitehurst/​Mosher come from? Searching the District website, they only turn up back in January (18th), 2013 as community outreach consultants for a parcel tax. I can’t find anything since then. Where’s the authorization to hire them?

Additionally, this whole ridiculous episode is a reminder of how, under Charles Ramsey’s hegemony over the District, the Board meetings are just a theater for Charles to stage whatever bizarre play he wants. The long sessions for the Ivy League Connection were just the beginning.

Finally, this establishes a bad precedent for politicizing the property assessment process. This isn’t as important in times when Prop. 13-limited assessments are behind market rates, but, if there’s another downturn, it could be important.

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