Finding # 3: During the Committee’s investigation, a review of meeting minutes showed that the newly elected Board often failed to act on agenda items. Many were tabled with little or no discussion.
The evidence supporting this finding is obviously the very meeting minutes, so let’s talk about the importance on meeting minutes for a moment.
Minutes serve as the official record of an organization. It is crucial that they are accurate since they are the legal record of the proceedings and actions of the organization. This is based on Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th, 2000 Edition. Among the things that are not to be included in the minutes are: “Opinion or interpretation of the secretary who is an officer of the board. Minutes are supposed to reflect what actually happened and was said and you can do that one of two ways: 1) You can give an overall accounting and a synopsis of the meeting or 2) You can present a verbatim account the meeting.”
Where’s the evidence?
According to the evidence (meeting minutes) and individual interviews presented to and conducted by the Kern County Grand Jury, during meetings held between December 2014 and March 2015 the RCSD Board either tabled or took no action on 23 action items. I shall present recaps of those very meeting minutes in a later chapter, as they contain spoilers for Finding # 5.
The inactivity and lack of involvement resulted in an unnamed public commentary that three newly elected members “looked like the Three Stooges up there clearly confused”. Furthermore, it was also stated, “When [Ed MacKay, Olaf Landsgaard, and Dennis Shingledecker are] challenged by the public they seemed to table that items hoping for a less challenging crowd on a future date.”
On several other occasions major items of complex nature appeared on the agenda but drew little or no discussion, in these sessions, either Landsgaard or Shingledecker would make a motion and MacKay would ask for the question without any discussion.
Historically, more experienced board members would carry-on at length and take time to consider dissenting opinions. This discussion carried out to the extent that board members would publicly explain the reasoning behind individual votes.
As stated in Finding # 2, MacKay, Landsgaard, and Shingledecker ran things from an aspect of creating “new traditions”. It is unknown at the time of this writing if the expediency with which complex matters were handled was a “New Tradition” or evidence that the newly elected board members continued the previously proven practice of executing RCSD Board business with an incomplete board reminiscent of “backroom deals” often seen in Hollywood productions.
====================== Finding # 3 states: “During the Committee’s investigation, a review of meeting minutes showed that the newly elected Board often failed to act on agendized items. Many were tabled with little or no discussion.”
The RCSD’s official response to Finding # 3: “The Board is without sufficient information by which to ascertain the meetings and minutes to which the Report refers and, on that basis, disagrees with this finding. The Board asserts that agendized items were, after discussion, reasonably and purposefully tabled in order for the Board to obtain additional information.”
To read the next section click here: The Midnight Writings: Finding 4 – “Ill-Prepared”