Dear El Dorado County Grand Jury – please read this report from the Placer County Grand Jury and use it as a template for how to professionally write a report.
Contrast the politicized El Dorado Grand Jury Report opener with the Placer Grand Jury Report opener:
Summary The Grand Jury investigated the formation of a food services contract between the Eureka Unified School District (EUSD) and the Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD) to determine whether the EUSD Board had violated the Brown Act in approving the contract. The Grand Jury recommends that an individual Board member not be allowed to attend more than one information meeting in a given series of meetings set up by the Superintendent. Further, the Grand Jury is recommending that EUSD Board members and executive district staff obtain additional training regarding the Ralph M. Brown Act (hereinafter, Brown Act or Act; Government Code § 54950, et seq.), so that the district can avoid any violation of the Act and any appearance of violation of the Act.
Much more professional and what you’d expect.
If you read the report, you will find out that the Eureka USD needed a vendor for their school lunch program. The RJUHSD entered in to negotiations with the EUSD. Apparently, it was not an easy deal. It also appears to have been done by a very small group of people in violation of the Brown Act.
I read the report. Here are the conclusions I drew:
1. It appears that one member of the EUSD Board was present at all meetings related to the food contract with Roseville Joint Union High School District. The RJUHSD is not mentioned has having a similar problem. I have learned that this member may, or may not have been Renee Nash. Apparently, there is a facet of the Brown act called “serial meetings”… the idea being to prevent one member of a board from controlling circumstances or an outcome. Apparently, the board can not designate a member either to be able to do “serial meetings” on behalf of the board. (Man, I hate the Brown Act)
2. It also appears that the Superintendent of the Eureka USD was involved in every aspect of the Food Contract as well.
3. A condition of the Food Contract with the RJUHSD was that there was supposed to be no dissent or negative comments at the EUSD meeting where the contract was ratified. I am not sure why this was the case, but I find it odd. Could it be related to the history of tensions in the EUSD amongst the board members? Could the inclusion of this issue be the grand jury implying that the RJUHSD or an individual member of it was in on this Food Contract deal as well?
So now the EUSD has to respond to the Grand Jury, which is extremely rare in these sorts of things. (see the last page of the report) Does Renee Nash have to respond, or the board on her behalf? The Grand Jury also addressed the superintendent directly as well, I’d assume the district’s counsel will be responding.
Renee Nash was more than polite to me when I saw her on election night in 2014. I have been told that she has been very supportive of my Mother on the RJUHSD Board. It seemed to me that the drama on the EUSD was abating…
… now we have a case where it appears that Ms. Nash and the Superintendent let their control issues get the best of them as it related to the food contract with the RJUHSD.
I hate the Brown Act with a purple passion for this exact reason. Nash, when she campaigned, railed on violations of the Brown Act committed by board members and now she has the shoe on the other foot.
Nash is an attorney who advertised one of her specialties being the Brown Act, she has also published a book or books on the act! Why did Renee Nash do this? Was she that worried over the school lunch program?
What happened here?
The Grand Jury wrote the following:
The Grand Jury recommends that:
R1. Informational 2×2 meetings between EUSD staff and Board of Trustee members should never include a common Board member present at all the meetings.
R2. The EUSD staff should arrange an annual training seminar on the Brown Act provisions for all Board members and executive staff.
Did I mention that I hate the Brown Act? The problem is that it is the law and the law was violated. Now what? Does someone go to jail? Get sued? Does the district get fined? Will the district superintendent get disciplined over this?
All this happened over trying to deal with the school lunch program (don’t get me started on that either) that the EUSD and other districts are forced to do by state and federal mandates!