Board of Trustees’ Potential Brown Act Violations

  • On August 29, 2012, the Board of Trustees accepted non-agenda public comment on an agenda item. They were to discuss the contentious winter intersession’s cancellation. Students and faculty had submitted their cards  to speak on the agenda item. When the winter cancellation item came up, the Board president suddenly discovered  a speaker card that they hadn’t gotten to during non-agenda public comment, and allowed them to cut in line, thus taking up the rest of the valuable time for public comment that should have been spent on Item G Winter Cancellation.  This group that they allowed to speak spoke out critically and harshly about the faculty union rather than the agenda item of winter. (see video of Item G Winter Cancellation.) Students and faculty called out vociferously against this, and soon thereafter a student was arrested.
  • On March 13, 2013, the Board of Trustees denied public access to a public meeting. Community members and students* tried to enter the Creveling Lounge for the Board of Trustees meeting, but the cadets kept the outside doors on the first floor  locked. This was to be a contentious meeting because two of the President’s Votes of No Confidence were to be presented. According to witnesses*, a professor tried to facilitate their entrance but told them that the Chief of Police had been watching the presentation on the veterans and that he had told her he would not give any orders to open the doors and allow others in until the presentation was finished – which would eventually be about 30 minutes in to the Board meeting.  It was a full house, but according to witnesses*, there had been 10+ empty seats in the room at the time. (Check out the continual empty seats during the veteran presentation and still after, during public comment.) Later that evening, once people were let in,  another professor* attempted to enter the meeting but was blocked from doing so. At the bag-check area, she was told it was full, even as people were leaving the Board meeting.
  • On April 3, 2013, Board Trustee President Martin interrupted a public speaker during public comment,  warning her not to speak to any ‘personal’ items involving President Rocha. She was not.   (Watch the public comment section here.)
  • On July 17, 2013, the Board of Trustees denied public access to a public meeting. Students and professors* could not enter the Board meeting in the Creveling. They were told there were no seats. Usually there are enough seats for the public, but at this particular meeting, at which the Winter 2014 session was going to be decided and was going to obviously be well-attended,  half as many seats had been set up as normal, with only two rows instead of four.  (Read this note about maximum occupancy in the Creveling.) This was to be a contentious meeting as the academic calendar for 2013-2014 (again, one without 4 terms) was on the agenda, which even made headlines in the LA Times.
  • On November 7, 2013, the Board changed locations for its meeting from the Creveling, which was empty, to the smaller Circadian,  where they limit audience occupancy to 72. At no time was every seat occupied in the room, according to a witness who was there from 6:45 until the meeting adjourned. At about 7:15pm, a professor was not allowed in and was turned away.

All meetings, Regular or otherwise, shall be held within the District in facilities large enough to accommodate anticipated attendance by the public. If facilities prove to be inadequate, other facilities will be sought. Certain exceptions as to meeting within the District are specifically provided by the Brown Act, such as to comply with a law or court order, inspect property, participate in multi-agency meetings, attend a conference on collective bargaining, and to interview applicants.  – Board Policy#1200 / Ed Code 70902

*All names of professors and witnesses have been excluded but can be made available for legal verification purposes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: