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.