Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

I missed last night's meeting to spend a couple days with my family. When I got home today, I listened to the first part of the meeting because I was hoping to hear the "staff report" about the Superintendent's successor agreement. Instead, what I heard was an explanation from Dr. Kayrell about why he deserved the raise and extended contract.

We didn't hear if there was any fiscal impact to the district after this year, actually Kayrell said his first year of the new contract was a decrease.

We didn't hear any numbers about the impact of his raise on his pension. He defended his pension increase by saying it wasn't pension spiking because he wasn't retiring next year. He said if he did retire next year that it might be considered pension spiking.

We also heard his explanation why the agenda item on January 25th wasn't a violation of the Brown Act. He, and later Mrs Lara, argued that since the issue had been on two earlier agendas, the public had plenty of opportunity to comment.

We were told the previous agenda items were on the closed session agenda. Since they were listed on the agenda and the public is allowed to comment before the board goes into a closed session, the public had plenty of opportunity to be heard. Kayrell and Lara didn't tell the public that the closed session starts two hours before the regular meeting, about 5pm. This is the time most of us are just getting home to a family dinner.

I went and reviewed the two previous agenda items and learned some interesting things. Here are the previous agenda items:

On December 14th's agenda the item read:

3.2. Pursuant to Government Code 54957: Public Employee Appointment, Employment, Evaluation of Performance, Discipline, or Dismissal. Contracts for the assistant Superintendents and Superintendent -

On January 11th the agenda read:

3.2. Pursuant to government Code Section 54957.6: Conference with unrepresented employee:Superintendent Contract: Conference with Labor Negotiators

3.2.1. Unrepresented Employee: Superintendent Contract - 


This raises two questions.

First - Why in the previous items was it clearly indicated that the superintendent's contract was up for consideration but once it reached the public session it was now the Superintendent's Successor Agreement? Anyone following the closed session items, would not have been looking for a successor agreement on the public session. This makes it more obvious to me this was an intentional deception.

And Second -  why are "Contracts for the assistant Superintendents" being considered again? We just extended them last year.

There was definitely a sense of entitlement coming from our superintendent last night and there was no mention of any personal sacrifices and no sign of leadership. We heard that he would have his annual step increase frozen and would accept furlough days only if the rest of the district's employees made these concessions first. 

I guess we need to begin asking, What's up with the assistants' contracts? Why are we considering them again? Should we be watching for Assistant Superintendent Successor Agreements on a future agenda? We also need to keep a very close eye on the Taj Mahal. 

At this point, I have probably done all I could and we have to admit they got this one got past us. But remember the old saying; Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I will try to follow the closed session item better so you don't have to.