January 8, 2013 Special Board Meeting
See here to read the letter regarding Chairman O’Neil’s decision to pull the board out of the community meeting that was to be held at the Grange. It includes all details as to how NEMCCA was prepared to meet all concerns that Charlie O’Neil listed and yet he still cancelled it. Chairman O’Neil only asked his board what they thought, after he cancelled the meeting.
Lisa Anderson, a reporter from the Gresham Outlook, was present for this meeting and there is an article online here if you would like to read it.
NOTE: This web site is provided as a courtesy for those interested in following along with the happenings in our district, especially those that live in Corbett. This site and these board notes are not meant to replace official CSD board meeting minutes, which will likely be online in about 3 months. (Currently the last official regular board meeting minutes available from the CSD web site are from September 2013. As of 1/11/2014.) The below dialogue and comments are notes taken directly from the audio of this meeting and they do include opinion as they are provided by those who attend these meetings regularly.
The Chairman’s Decision to cancel the community forum at the grange, almost a month after agreeing to it at the December 2, 2012 board meeting.
“I’d like to start out by talking about the proposed NEMCCA meeting, originally when this was first presented we all uh, thought it was a good idea, I still think it’s a good idea. However after reading the invitation letter and from talking with the people from NEMCCA there were some problems with OSBA and the meeting laws so uh we had discussions with the uh OSBA uh and and if we do have a meeting like that it needs to be a special board meeting and the school needs to run it, take minutes and all the normal things we do.
There’s nothing to say we can’t do it at another site but we have to make sure that site is ADA accessible um and and that nobody will be excluded. I’ve made calls to the representative of NEMCCA & he’s been in contact with OSBA also and so we’re going to continue to uh try to make something happen with a special board meeting uh with a uh give and take with the audience and to uh to ask questions and then a back and forth possibly and answer period so anyway that’s something we’re working on.
I’d like to know what the rest of the board thinks.
I, I, uh I kinda think that uh sometime in early march uh would be good for it. We’ve got a lot of special board meetings coming up like this meeting would’ve been on the 11th, we’ve got a meeting tonight, then we would’ve had one on Saturday and also next week. So um uh when they first presented it and we were all saying oh yeah that’s a good idea I wasn’t thinking correctly and I don’t think we should’ve tried to have it so early. So anyway uh what does the rest of the board say uh as far as the meeting and as far as the give & take with the people that want to ask us questions?”
I gotta say that I’m confused about what the purpose of the meeting is when it was presented to the board I thought I heard that the intent was for the board to get more input from the community regarding the facilities and I guess I’d like to see more detail about what is the objective and what’s the format, how it’s going to be run.” ( This was all explained in the letter sent to all board members. It appears that our board members, in addition to not responding to the community, the communities letters or emails, they also may not even be reading these emails. )
I was confused too but then it was clarified and that format also did confuse or uh concern me too. It sounds like what they wanted to do was uh have written questions through a moderator to ask either one or more than one board member which was part of the problem with the OSBA, if everybody got the same question and there were more then 4 people that agreed on an answer some people could consider that quorum so we’ve got to nail that down.( This was all explained in the letter sent to all board members. It appears that our board members, in addition to not responding to the community, the communities letters or emails, they also may not even be reading these emails. )
I guess uh the reason I’d like to wait until uh March also is because a lot of the big decisions this board is making will be decided then and so we will be able to justify our goals or explain why we do it that way …
…but I think up until that process on these big items coming up I think if a person asks you your opinion on what you think about that, I think those board members would have to say well we haven’t heard all the pros & cons yet, all the audience comments we haven’t vetted it completely and I really can’t make a decision until we have a vote. So I feel that waiting a little longer would be more beneficial.”
I can see two types of potential public meetings here, the one that was set for this Saturday sounded like it was more of a town hall meeting where people ask us questions but uh something I think we need would be where the public could come and just provide their input on some of these big issues. I’m certainly open to having public meetings other than these normal & special board meetings with the public for us to get input from them and them to be able to discuss these issues with us.
“I think we should’ve done the meeting quite frankly, it was proposed to us and they went through everything they possibly could do to make sure they were doing it correctly, they didn’t get reasons why they couldn’t do it and I think part of the idea was to get input from people before we make the decisions not after, and quite frankly I’m allowed to have an opinion if someone asks. I think you should let the people know what your thinking. They elected you if they need to talk to you more, that’s one way to do that. I think we should’ve worked with them. I think if you had questions then ask them for clarifications, if there was something specifically we needed to make sure we were doing then make sure we were doing it, and work with the community for community outreach.”
Yeah and I think until we make these decisions I feel that rather than them asking us questions before, we’re better off getting their opinion on what we should do at all these board meetings. Some of the things that I conveyed to people from NEMCCA were the ADA accessibility, that they wanted to limit questions to only in district people and another question I felt like this might be a very well attended meeting and so I thought the grange might not be the best site due to size, I didn’t want anyone to be excluded. They told me at one point that there were some people I think his words were “on our side” that don’t like going to the school um which that phrase kind of surprised me and so I said well there might be some people who wouldn’t want to go to the grange too. These are all things that need to be hammered out with NEMCCA.
Note: The conversation Charlie is referring to was with Gary Purvine whom was out of town and not present at the meeting to clarify any of what Charlie was stating.
I was present during your conversation and what Gary said to you was “Charlie it is not about your side or our side, we are providing a venue that is open to everyone and there are some people who are not comfortable with coming to the school and that is why we chose the grange.” She continues, I believe we can house 150-200 people at the grange and that would be a huge turn out. The NEMCCA is a non political group and they don’t have sides, they were just providing the venue.
Yeah we may decide to have it there if we can work out everything if we can find out the size & ADA and all that. We’re not taking anything off the table right now I just think the consensus is the board should decide, have it be our meeting with our secretary taking notes, so is that what I’m hearing from everyone except Victoria. Yes. (meanwhile audience members were stating the grange is ADA approved and has a ramp for wheelchair access.)
Note: Charlie does not respond to Victoria’s clarification that it was actually he (Charlie) who made the “your side, our side” comment. (The Chairman did have an odd smile on his face while she pointed this out though. )
AGAIN: The School does not need to run this meeting for it to meet the criteria provided by the OSBA. They just have to have minutes & notes taken among other things and the format was explained and included in this letter to all the board members.
The Grange is ADA approved. The secretary could attend to take notes and or the meeting could be recorded to transcribe notes at a later date if she was unable to attend.
Obviously this is the way the majority of our board and administration want to keep things and they have absolutely zero sincere interest in discussing or truly listening to the input of this community. They will make their decisions and then after the fact hold meetings to, in their terms, “educate” the public. In other words force feed you what they want.
Personally I do not think those 7 people and the staff have the right to decide what our minimum size should be and if we should keep adding more kids, why isn’t the question EVER posed to the residents; “would you like us to look at options and possibly making some cuts to our programs or would you like us to keep adding kids year after year to meet our budget?” Quite frankly I AM FRUSTRATED!!!!
Waiting until March AFTER decisions are made really defeats the purpose entirely of getting the communities input! “Instead of them asking us questions, better to get input at the board meetings”? Really Charlie? you mean those 3 minutes where you get absolutely no response, just a thank you and the meeting proceeds? Or the emails you send in specifically asking for a response and maybe 1 or 2 out of the 7 board members actually give you the common courtesy and respect acknowledging you took your time to contact them!”
* Thank you to Karina Lande for attending, recording the meeting and taking these notes. Full meeting notes will be coming soon. The description of the Chairman smiling when Director Purvine corrected him, was confirmed by several people in attendance.