I was not elected to the Board to be a "potted plant” as some voters have described former board members.
Just a few days prior to each Board meeting, several hundred pages of documents are sent to each Board member. I read every document and try to come to each meeting prepared.
I ask questions I believe members of the community would be interested in knowing. Often, these same patrons will email me concerns, and I will bring that up as well.
Certainly, my questions often make my fellow Board members and the Superintendent annoyed, if not upset. That is not my intention; transparency and the truth are.
There was no better example of this than when President pro-tem Tory Babcock in a maneuver choreographed with the others, attempted to silence me by putting forth a non-agendized motion to limit my speaking to 3 minutes. This motion passed 3:1 (member Clevenger absent) at the May 14, 2019 Board meeting. The motion was illegal (violation of the Brown Act) and unconstitutional (violation of my 1st Amendment rights). Thus, I have refused to oblige.
counter 2:15:36 --> 2:25:34
At the 03/26/20 Board meeting, the "Board Comments" section of the meeting, which is often my only opportunity to introduce new topics, was purposefully deleted from the Agenda. My motion to restore it, failed 4:1. The only reason for this maneuver was to further silence me.
The District's Citizen Oversight Committee, is a legally mandated committee designed to be a watchdog over District's use of taxpayer funds. For months, this committee has been operating outside the law, by not having the mandated minimum number of members. When my wife, Suzanne Baeke, submitted an application (hers was the only application) to volunteer to serve on the committee, the others on the Board... in a well choreographed exercise, refused to approve her application. Again, a spiteful maneuver. Immediately before all the other Board members were set to vote against her appointment, I withdrew her application to spare her the public ridicule.
* Regarding the 4:1 vote on hiring a new Principal (5/19/20). I was vocal with my disapproval for the methodology in which Sup. Cory managed the selection process. Many parents and patrons were purposefully excluded. :( Who were hand-picked to be on this selection committee was kept secret by Mr. Cory (remember we are a tax-payer public entity). BUT that was not the reason for my Nay vote. Indeed, as I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I believe new-hire Michele Borgess will make a fine principal. Rather my dissenting vote was because I see little justification why our District... which now has enrollment below 900... should be spending nearly $600,000 per annum on 3 administrators (Superintendent, Principal, Vice-Principal). My research indicates there are >250 rural California school districts with a combined Superintendent-Principal position. Indeed, for years our own SYVUHSD operated with Dean Anders functioning in this dual capacity; and that was with an enrollment of >1,200 students I am told those years saw SYVUHS achieving great academic success.
I am a fiscal conservative and as long as I am on this Board I will attempt to exert my fiduciary responsibility to assure the tax-payors' dollars are spent prudently.
RUNNING TALLY OF DR. BAEKE "NAY" VOTES:
Date Motion Vote
05/14/19 Motion to Limit Dr. Baeke's 1st Amendment Rights 3:1 (1 member absent)
06/11/19 Motion to approve contract DWK, attorneys. 4:1
08/20/19 To Extend Superintendent Cory's Contract 4:1
11/19/19 Adopt Agenda. Baeke item excluded. 4:1
12/13/19 Adopt Agenda. Baeke item excluded. 4:1
01/21/20 Adopt Agenda. Baeke item excluded. 4:1
01/21/20 To Hold a Town Hall Meeting on SRO 4:1
02/13/20 Adopt Agenda. Baeke item excluded. 4:1
03/04/20 To Approve Leadership Assoc. Contract 4:1
03/04/20 For Board to Wear Cap/Gown at Graduation 1:4 (I was sole Yea)
03/26/20 Adopt Agenda. Baeke item excluded. 4:1
03/26/20 To Approve Bid for Asphalt Fabric Co. 4:1
03/26/20 Restore the "Board Comments" section to Agenda 4:1
4/21/20 Resolution giving Sup. Cory supreme authority 4:1
05/19/20 Adopt Agenda. Baeke items excluded. 4:1
05/19/20 Approval of hiring new principal.* 4:1
6/23/20 Increase Taxes on Residential & Comm. Prop. Dev. 4:1
6/23/20 Continue COVID school closure, 2020-2021 4:0:1
Board meetings in which I publicly asked we hold a Town Hall meeting:
Board meetings in which I publicly asked to be involved with selection of Math Textbooks:
05/19/20 (as of 07/16/20, still has not been allowed)
Board meetings in which I asked to be involved in selection of Principal: