Tonight the Beaumont Unified School District Board of Trustees approved without any discussion, by a vote of 5-0, a new Code of Ethics Policy while clearly violating four clauses of the policy. Below is my address to the board listing the clauses I believe they are violating.
The board and administration finally responded to my request for public information. I must say once again I was disappointed but not surprised. Well actually I did have a couple of surprises from unexpected sources. Check back in a couple days for the details.
Here is the address I made to the board tonight, April 3, 2012:
On March 8, I sent the five of you an email asking you to instruct the Superintendent to provide the public access to the detailed budget expenditures, real and projected, for the current school year. Receiving no response, on March 11, I scaled back my request and asked you in another email to provide detailed records for just four categories. This request has also been ignored.
At the March 13th board meeting, I asked three of you specific, not rhetorical, questions about the interim budget before you approved it. I received no responses, only blank stares. I have started a petition requesting access to public information. I will submit it to you at the next board meeting. You and the Superintendent profess to value the input and participation of parents, your failure to comply with the California Public Records Act confirms my belief that you don’t.
Tonight you will approve a new Code of Ethics policy. Before you do this, I suggest you read it and consider your actions carefully. I believe you are already in violation of the following clauses of that new policy:
- Insisting that all school business transactions be on an open, ethical and above-board basis
- Winning the confidence that all is being done in the best interest of school children
- Representing at all times the entire school community
When you approved the interim budget last month after being unable to respond coherently to the three questions I asked you at the last meeting, I believe you also violated the clause:
- Making decisions only after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed
The fact that tonight you will approve a “Code of Ethics” policy of which you are already in violation, defines the height of hypocrisy.
For the record, I would like to re-state the three specific, non-rhetorical, questions but I can’t do it and finish my statement within my 3 minute time limit. Since they were left out the last board meetings official written minutes; I’d like them to be included in tonight’s written record. I will leave you with a copy.
I now have a new focus. I believe it is too late in the process for parents to have any influence on your budget decisions. I also believe your refusal to even acknowledge my request for information the public is entitled to tells me there is something you, and/or the administration, doesn’t want the public to know. My new focus is to find out what you don’t want parents to know. I am now expanding my request to include the entire detailed general ledger of all transactions for this school year.
Mr. Orozco, it is time for you to show us you are deserving of the privilege to represent Beaumont in the State Assembly. We need you to stand up now and lead your colleagues to follow the California Public Records Act. If you are unable to lead your colleagues to follow state law, how can you expect us to believe you will stand up for us in Sacramento? Show us what kind of a leader you will make.