Mystery Education Theater 3000

CBOC Chair Installs Successor

I’m now the secretary of the West Contra Costa Unified School District Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. How did this happen?

At the last committee meeting (on August 15th), as an aside, the chair, Robert Studdiford, stated that there would be elections for officers at the next meeting. He gave no other information. I assumed this meant the usual roll-over of the current officers.

Leading up to this September 26th meeting, there was no information available to the committee as a whole about whether the current officers would continue. No clue in the agenda. It just said “Officer Elections.”

When we had our meeting, the chair said we were supposed to have voted on officers awhile before, but it just hadn’t worked out. Then it turned out he wasn’t running for re-election this time. Whatever the explanation, it was a surprise. Kris Hunt nominated me for chair. Then, Mr. Studdiford, the chair, nominated Joseph Gallia, the Construction Trades Council representative.

Without any further discussion, we moved to a vote and Robert’s hand-picked successor was duly elected 6-4. I ended up as secretary, because nobody else wanted the job. (Or, maybe the hand-picked person didn’t make it to the meeting.)

The bright side is Robert is no longer chair. However, here’s what concerns me about this:

  1. There was no discussion about the contested presidential election, just steamrollering to a vote. When there was a contest for secretary last time, we had a discussion. Making up the rules at the moment of their application is not right. I would have liked to hear what Mr. Gallia would do as chair and to have been able to say what I would do as chair.
  2. The most bizarre aspect of this is related to the fact that Robert is running for school board. Joseph is a business agent for Ironworkers Union Local 378. This union has endorsed Robert as a candidate (and presumably given him money). So, Robert installed an official of a union supporting him for school board as his replacement as chair of our oversight committee.

Update: It turns out that since I last checked his endorsements page, Robert has updated it. Now, there is no longer a listing for the Ironworkers Union. If this page was from his 2008 run, it seems pretty weird that a campaign would not replace the page till now. (Here’s the Google archive link of the last version of the page and a screen cap I took of the archived page–in case the link gets overwritten.)

Categories: WCCUSD

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  1. I do not understand how Mr. Gallia (listed as “Jason” on roster) can have a vote (or seat) on the committee. The CBOC committee added 2 spots for the Public Employee Union and the Building Trades Council. What the heck do these folks have to do with “citizen” oversight? A little bit like the fox guarding the henhouse, yes?

    I just read the following:
    “The board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District also has a policy in place to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions in the Contra Costa County Building and Construction Trades Council.”


    I also question if anyone in the process of running for school board can make a nomination of any kind. It seems they should possibly recuse themselves from the process until after the election.

  2. CBOC Bylaws verbiage:

    “Pursuant to Education Code Section 15282(b), no employee or official of the District shall be appointed to the Committee. Additionally, no vendor, contractor, or consultant of the District shall be appointed to the Committee. If, while serving on the Committee, a member becomes an official or employee of the District or becomes a vendor, contractor or consultant of the District, their membership on the Committee shall cease immediately.”


  3. Charley,
    I just reread your post. This is more than just a simple lapse of parliamentary procedure. The conflict of interest scenario yet again rears its ugly head. Do we need an oversight committee for the oversight committee? I vote you chair of this new committee, President Cowens! Please send me the agenda for your first meeting 72 hours prior, per the Brown Act requirements!

    Seriously, this needs to be addressed at the next meeting. Please remind me to attend, Charley. Thanks.


  4. Charley,
    I can’t respond to every CBOC conflict-of-interest scenario for the simple reason that there are not enough hours in a day as they keep coming at a blistering pace. The election procedure should be clearly stated in the bylaws. If not, the default is Robert’s Rules of Order. This is totally nuts!

    By the way, as Secretary, are you the CBOC parliamentarian? If so, then you have been delegated the responsibility to sort this out and no one can jump on you for doing so.


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