Elementary School to be Leased or Sold:
Board President Attempts to Illegally Shut Public Out of Deliberations
John Affeldt: The Public is Anathema to the Public's Business
Mr Affeldt, an attorney, attempted to forge ahead with the illegal secret meeting regardless but couldn't get a second, an unprecedented display of no confidence by his normally compliant colleagues (excepting Mr Patz).
Emery Unified School District, especially Board member John Affeldt, has quietly worked to close the popular Anna Yates for years, insisting it would somehow devalue the K-12 model of the Center of 'Community' Life. The modus operandi has long been secrecy and keeping the public out of the loop even as the public have made thwarted attempts to weigh in on the wisdom of closing the school over the years.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Wednesday's debacle again showed the default position of secrecy regularly promulgated by Mr Affeldt but after he told his colleagues to disregard Mr Patz's warnings and instead vote to approve the evening's agenda anyway with the secret meeting intact, the other Board members, Donn Merriam and Joy Kent Ashe weren't going for it. New member Brittany Collins-Rogers was absent.
Last November, the Board conducted a similar secret illegal meeting at Mr Affeldt's prompting but they received bad press from the Tattler and the Contra Costa Times, the names of the guilty Board members printed for the thousands of readers to see.
|Board President John Affeldt|
Hasn't learned from last November
when he directed the Board to
violate the Brown Act.
26 Seconds of Total Silence
An awkward 26 seconds of silence followed Board president Affeldt's request for a second to his motion to disregard Mr Patz' warning Wednesday night. After, Mr Affeldt admonished Board member Ashe for not paying attention, "I'm concerned about you getting to the substance that you can get at while your child is here" he said, figuring she must not have provided a second to his motion because of her tending to her child behind the lectern. However Ms Ashe responded, "My thoughts are there's some discomfort [with this]...we should not discuss it right now". Mr Merriam agreed,"Let's move to pull the item" he said.
In the end, the Board directed the Superintendent of the Schools to reschedule the closed door item for another night, with Brown Act provisions; likely averting another unflattering headline in the Contra Costa Times.
Since the School District has not made any announcements as to their intentions with regard to Anna Yates School, it is assumed the plans are to either lease or sell the site to an as of now unknown party. Were the law obeyed, the identity of the party in the real estate deal would have to be revealed. It is presumed the Board will be forthcoming about the details at a later meeting date.
Table of Contents to the Video:
:59-8:59 Entire 8 minute debacle
Start-2:39 Patz makes the case of a pending Brown Act violation
4:22-5:00 Affeldt attempts a move to approve the illegal agenda anyway
4:30-4:56 26 seconds of awkward silence
5:00-finish A flummoxed and confused Affeldt
Video courtesy of the Emeryville Property Owners Association