At last night's joint WCCUSD Board/Citizens Bond Oversight Committee meeting, the CBOC members stood up to the board and told them enough is enough! Under the leadership of Chair Ivette Ricco, they voiced their "frustrations" regarding the lack of support from the school board and Superintendent Harter's staff, support critical for meeting their oversight objectives as outlined in Ed Code sections 15278-->15282.
The frustrations cited included lack of response from district staff for requests, lack of communication including input for suggestions presented by the CBOC, lack of clear policies and organizational structure, financial audits delayed to the point of compromising the review process, a dysfunctional website, etc. It was even mentioned that a citizen had filed a Uniform Complaint against the WCCUSD for violations pertaining to the CBOC's lack of compliance with the Ed Code.
Trustee Elaine Merriweather acted like these were new revelations, that she was now interested and concerned. This was nothing new and every board member knew it, unless they've been asleep at the wheel. To her credit, President Kronenberg began offering solutions. She didn't minimize the complaints brought forth. And she didn't get defensive. She handled the situation well. Much of these festering problems occurred under the responsibility of Trustee Charles Ramsey. I'm not sure what his reluctance has been to address some of these concerns. Does he resent the oversight process, seeing it as an annoyance or distraction?
The chain-of-command is CBOC-->School Board-->Superintendent-->District Staff. If the needs of the CBOC were not being addressed, then our school board is responsible. Watch a CBOC meeting and you will see a group of very dedicated, intelligent citizens, not a band of malcontents. These individuals bring validity to the oversight process. Some have extensive auditing backgrounds. They are articulate, reasonable, and fair-minded. They are who you want on your oversight committee. Let's support them in their efforts to oversee this very large school bond program. If they get frustrated and resign from the committee, we'll have an even bigger problem.
I recently began reviewing some old meeting minutes and came across a comment from a previous WCCUSD Trustee, David Brown. He said the bond program process is one that includes promises not being met. I'm sure this will always be the case, that sometimes promises will not be met for a variety of reasons. With a completely functional oversight program, the citizens can be assured that the bond program process has been at the very least, fair, objective, and functional. With this functionality, the WCCUSD will have the trust and support of all stake-holders.