I was reviewing my agenda for this week's school board meeting and the first thing I noticed was that there were two agendas available on the district's website. There is the regular board meeting on Tuesday and a special board meeting on Monday night. Then I noticed the special meeting is a closed session meeting. The description for the single agenda item for Monday's closed meeting begins with the following:
Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9: Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation
I googled the code and found a good explanation on a site that was following the actions of the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School district. Here's how it explained the 54956.9:
Meetings of the governing bodies of public institutions and agencies must be, by law, in the public eye - however, there are some exceptions to this. Among these are personnel issues, labor negotiations, and issues with individual students (such as expulsion hearings). Whenever there is a closed session meeting, the agenda and minutes will state the government or educational code which allows or mandates that the meeting be in closed session.
Government Code 54956.9 basically says that the governing body of a public agency may meet in closed session with legal counsel when there is pending litigation against the agency or there is a "significant exposure to litigation" against the local agency. In this particular case, the board has cited 3(c) as the source of the exposure (upon legal counsel).
I've already reported about the Stop Notice filed by Sean Balingit against Bogh Engineering regarding payment of funds for the sports complex and district office building. On Tuesday the board is schedule to consider approving the filing of a Notice of Completion for Bogh on these two projects.
I have heard from a reliable source that there was a second Stop Notice filed against the funds for these projects by another close, long time subcontractor for Bogh. I also heard other disturbing information regarding possible unethical behavior by a representative of key stakeholders in the financial dealings of the district.
In my opinion it is likely the topic of litigation discussion centers around these projects and the Stop Notice(s). If there is more to the story than the Balingit Stop Notice, we may never find out. The district's position in the past regarding questionable actions by their own administration's officials has been that it is none of the public's business what goes on behind closed doors. Even when our kids' resources were involved. With a local press that has proven a willingness to go along and not question the district when they are told something should be kept from the public, it is likely we will never know any details. However, I won't be surprised if someone quietly leaves the district...again.