Eleven Minutes of Shame
The following lurid video snippet from the November 18th Emery School Board meeting (below) shows a slow motion train wreak as Board members and the Superintendent try to fend off damning allegations of illegal back room dealing by a Board quorum, a Brown Act violation, made by their colleague Christian Patz as covered by the Tattler (HERE & HERE). The antics that unfold reveal an irony that comes when arrogance and narcissism sets into a body politic: by meeting privately in the office of the Superintendent the Schools, the Board quorum attempted to get their ducks all in a row with regard to the impending public vote on the new $5 million school bond they wanted to sell but when member Patz dropped the allegations on them in the follow up public meeting, the ducks seem to fly off all akimbo and their answers end up being contradictory. This is especially true of the way Board President John Affeldt and Superintendent John Rubio answer the allegations: the meeting was not illegal and not wrong says attorney Affeldt while Mr Rubio tacitly admits there is something wrong about a quorum meeting privately. Taken all together, the four of them obviously never planned on having to answer such impudent questions about their illegal actions that the video reveals have happened more than once.
In addition to the unseemly spectacle of the Board President doubling down on denying the accusations from Mr Patz, the video reveals member Melodi Dice as she takes personal offense to the allegations and leaves the room in a huff, only to return later in order to take the vote to sell the bond. Member Donn Merriam also takes personal offense and provides the quote of the season while Superintendent John Rubio assures us it's rare that the quorum meets illegally but when they do it's done very professionally.
"A third Board member came to observe and that is completely within the Brown Act and appropriate"- Board President John Affeldt
"I am so insulted. I have a lot going on in my world, we all do. We do not need additional B.S. It's not fair for this Board to be accused of B.S.". - Board member Melodi Dice
"For you to say I've violated the Brown Act with no evidence whatsoever, just what you see?" - Board member Donn Merriam
"It is very rare that we do this." - School Superintendent John Rubio
Table of Contents to the Video:
- 0 - 3:07 Board member Patz drops his charge
- 3:07 - 6:48 President Affeldt angrily doubles down on his insistence the Brown Act wasn't violated
- 6:48 - 8:14 Member Dice's histrionics and umbrage, including leaving the room
- 8:14 - 9:58 Mr Patz defends himself
- 8:58 - 9:27 Superintendent Rubio contradicts President Affeldt
- 10:21 - 10:58 Member Merriam, deeply offended, offers up the quote of the year
- 10:58 - end Board approves $5 million bond 3-1 (Patz dissenting)
Video courtesy of Emeryville Property Owners Association