Search The Tattler

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Secrecy Reigns at Emeryville's Dysfunctional School Board/District

We Can Trust School Board President Affeldt to Conduct Secret Meetings Ethically 
(Says President Affeldt)

Never Mind What the Law Says, 
It's Better if the Public is Left Out He Says 

Hi, I'm John.
Trust me.
Last night, the Emery School Board voted John Affeldt as President for another term (3-1 Patz dissenting, Affeldt voting for himself).  That's believable for this district; between the guy that conducts illegal secret meetings and the one that thinks the law should be obeyed and the public included, Emeryville gets the school board president that conducts illegal secret meetings.  That's our school district in all its glory, its 'bless your heart' flag flying high.

Which brings us again to the antics of Emery School Board President John Affeldt (and Superintendent of the Schools John Rubio) and the still unfolding secret meeting Brown Act scandal and its attendant coverup.  The Board's lack of contrition after the guilty players (they themselves) were exposed by their colleague, whistleblower Christian Patz, has been a deafening silence.

Why All The Secrecy?
A month into the scandal, after the tepid admissions of guilt from these two (a technical violation of the Brown Act and 'mistakes were made' you understand), we're left facing the 800 pound gorilla in the room: why does this school district feel the need to operate in secrecy to begin with?  Why is it these 'superintendent committees', the same ones the editorial board of the Bay Area News Group calls illegal, why is it that the District is compelled to leave the public out of these meetings?  What are they discussing in these meetings behind closed door that they need to keep hidden from us?

Superintendent Rubio
Secret meetings are wonderful!
It's rare that we do them
but when we do,
they're done professionally,
 & for the children.
Part of the storm of condemnation from the guilty Board raining down on the non-guilty whistleblower member Patz is the outrage expressed by President Affeldt as he self righteously denies doing anything untoward at the November 18 secret meeting with an illegal quorum of Board members.  Seeking to assure Emeryville residents, Mr Affeldt has strenuously and didactically asserted nothing substantial was discussed or voted on at that now infamous illegal meeting or indeed any of the closed door superintendent committee meetings where no records are kept and the public may not go.  But of course, this begs the question: how do we know that, John? 
Are we just to take your word for it?  Your word?  The man who is so narcissistic that he can't bring himself to apologize to the public for his wrong doing on their behalf?  Is it to be: everything will be OK if we just let you conduct School District policy in secret?  And stop criticizing you or looking into your culture of secrecy you've promulgated at Emery Unified School District?
Back Bencher Christian Patz
'Public meetings should be public'.
Yeah, right.

Without throwing out a few tawdry "for the children" platitudes this Board and school district so often uses when their wrongheaded policies are exposed to the light of day (or when their backs are against the wall, their culpability in illegal activity is exposed), let's just say, NO, we're not going to just trust you.  You have to stop conducting the people's business behind closed doors; we're paying for it and we have a right to know. 


  1. So the Board voted to support their law breaking unethical leader. Why the surprise?

  2. Interesting, completely replaced the board, and they are still incompetent.
    Mary Ester Augustine once told me that in her 40 years of working for the district that nothing had changed.
    That place is just cursed.

    1. I'm not sure I'd call the reign of secrecy 'incompetent'. "Willful" would be more fitting. Remember, they're pretty good at secrecy...that makes them competent. Oh, and at least one thing has changed: the citizens now have School Board member Christian Patz working for them; that's new and improved.