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Monday, November 30, 2015

Board President Affeldt Admits Brown Act Violation, Blames Superintendent

School Board President Blames Superintendent For Illegal Meeting

Steps Up Attack on Board Member Whistleblower

The latest shoe to drop in the continuing Emery School Board Brown Act scandal was brought by Board President John Affeldt in a letter crafted this morning to the rest of the Board and the Emeryville City Council  (below) where Mr Affeldt finally admits the private meeting held by him and two other Board members in the Superintendent's office before a public Board meeting November 18th was illegal.  However Mr Affeldt, an attorney in addition to being Emery's School Board President, hitched his accounting of the Board's Brown Act violation to Superintendent John Rubio's explanation and acceptance of personal culpability for the illegal meeting in a letter Rubio sent over the weekend and as such, Mr Affeldt escapes any responsibility.  The fault lies with Mr Rubio, Mr Affeldt accepts.  
After the admission that a "technical violation" had occurred when the Board quorum met in private behind closed doors as covered by the Tattler and the greater Bay Area press, President Affeldt used the rest of his letter to chastise Mr Patz for blowing the whistle on the Board, the bigger problem it would seem.  He added this sort of airing of the District's dirty laundry is not good for the children, better to "work productively" he said in the letter.

Below is Board President Affeldt's contribution to the back and forth in the on-going scandal:

Member Patz,

I will let the Superintendent’s response address the substance of your concerns, except to reiterate that the Board is committed to following the Brown Act, we appreciate your identifying the technical violation and that such will be corrected going forward.

What is disconcerting is the fact that you have chosen to act in such a divisive and confrontational manner.  I know the rest of the Board remains committed to working together productively in the best interests of the students and believe we could have reached the same result without your engaging in legal threats. 

What is even more disappointing is your unfounded assertion at the Board meeting on November 18th, reiterated in your letter, that decisions were made and funds were allocated behind closed doors. You are fully aware that the group of individuals in the meeting had no such authority. Moreover, all facts demonstrate that the meeting was a mechanical compilation of potential outstanding ECCL construction costs generated for presentation that night to the full board and the public in an open meeting to enhance transparency about the status of the ECCL project. When you engage in inaccurate assertions for which you have no basis in fact, you do a tremendous disservice to open and honest civic dialogue and to the proper and effective functioning of our schools.

I genuinely remain open to working productively with you and the rest of the Board moving forward.

John Affeldt

EUSD Board President


  1. Oh my God I wish these spoiled brats would just get over themselves. They need to admit guilt and apologize so the school district can get on with its real job...remember? educating children?

  2. Wow! That was a lame letter John. An attack on your fellow board member who did not do a "disservice" but indeed called you guys correctly on the Brown Act infraction. It's pretty clear to me in what I have seen with my own eyes in Board meetings, and now this school yard drama, that the board has become cliquish, and that you DO NOT appear to be genuinely open to working productively with Board Memeber Patz. This letter makes that implicitly clear. I am surprised by the board in general. You have Brian, who shows up at every meeting and schools you, ad nauseum mind you, on the Brown Act. The ONE THING you should all be concious of is that. DUH!! Yet here we are. Mr. Rubio gets kudos from me for owning it. You, John, appear to not be so amenable. Take the shovel out of your hands. We don't need Board members digging holes right now. Own it. Move on. The community will too, and be better for it.

  3. If you know anything about the sordid history of this school board then you should realize that transparency and following the letter of the laws should be top priority. With EEF finally blown apart and John Gooding no longer pulling the puppet strings behind the scenes, you are all going to be forced to work together. Democracy is messy and thank God for dissenting opinions (even the ones I disagree with). Not even the four of you have all the answers, so everyone's opinon on that Board and Community should be embraced and considered in the final decisions.

  4. What an arrogant prick Affeldt is. He should be disbarred.

  5. THANK YOU Board Member Patz! Finally someone with character and a true sense of concern for this district speaks the truth. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would know not to give the impression of wrong-doing by meeting behind closed doors.
    Mr. Affeldt's response is totally inappropriate and makes clear that he has no problem being an elitist, pompous bag of hot air. Contrary to his opinion, the ONLY member on the board who is actually concerned about children is Christian Patz. Mr. Rubio and Mr. Affeldt seem to be more concerned about themselves.

  6. Mr. just don't get it. The proper response to perceived impropriety is not to attack someone who is acting properly. The proper response would have been to say, "We should have had one member of the board leave the room if a third member wanted to observe. The proper response would have been "understanding the problem with lack of transparency in this district, we need to make sure the board in no way gives the impression of secrecy or improper meetings....therefore we will make sure it never happens again." But no, you chose to defend a poor practice and thereby cast an even darker shadow on the credibility of the board. Arrogance is a cancer.

  7. It seems clear that Affeldt is full of himself and is unable to listen to reason.

  8. I didn't realize Mr. Affeldt was so thin-skinned. The video of the meeting in which Mr. Patz brings the problem to Mr. Affeldt's attention is anything but confrontational--Patz is perfectly deferential about the technicalities of the Brown Act, and it's Affeldt whose pique is evident. Now we see Mr. Affeldt stretching the facts about the meeting. It's a little late to be trying to save face.

  9. the entire school board, with the exception of christian patz, should be recalled and supt. rubio should take a refresher course in the brown act, along with former city attorney biddle, if he were still here. mr. affeldt's denial and then his about face is insulting to taxpayers and shows lack of character to then put the blame on the superintendent. ms. dice says this has never happened in her years as board member. It's because they were never caught. a violation is a violation, "technical" or not.

  10. I have to concur with the general sentiment here. Affeldt in particular seems unable or unwilling to understand that people do not like what he is doing and when it's pointed out, he still can't fathom that someone has a differing view. Instead they must be the problem. No. When you've become that out of touch, it's time to move on. I think it's past time for Affeldt to resign.

  11. I'm actually more troubled by Mr. Affeldt's the letter than by the anything else (if that violation was the only one that occurred).