AVUHSD meeting set for Thursday
LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District’s Board of Education will meet for the second time in two weeks on Thursday and adopt a calendar of regular Board meetings. Maybe.
At the end of the Jan. 16 meeting, Board Clerk Jill McGrady announced to the audience, that the Board would attempt to vote on a calender of regular Board meetings at Thursday’s meeting.
The Board does not have a calendar of regular meetings because it did not hold its annual organizational meeting — when the Board also typically elect officers — last month.
After the four-member Board could not agree on a date for the organizational meeting, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo stepped in, as she was required under state law, and designated Dec. 17 for the meeting. That meeting adjourned for lack of a quorum when Board members Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell failed to show up.
The next day, Dec. 18, Duardo appointed McGrady as Board clerk. Duardo confirmed in a Jan. 13 letter to the Board that McGrady is the Board’s only officer. The Board is short one member after former Board member Robert “Bob” Davis resigned Nov. 4.
McGrady said at the Jan. 16 meeting, that the Board would meet at 7 p.m., Thursday and asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Parrell motioned.
“Mrs. McGrady, we don’t have a calender,” said Ruffin, who participated via teleconference from the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard. “Before we go into adjourning the meeting, since we don’t have a calendar currently, is it appropriate for the Board to vote on when we should have our next Board meeting?”
McGrady said she chose
Thursday according to the Board’s bylaws.
“Which is what you all voted last year, the second and fourth Thursday at 7 o’clock, that would be next Thursday at 7 o’clock, which is what you chose,” McGrady said.
Ruffin said she was correct about the 7 o’clock time, but what she read in the bylaws stated it was the first and third.
“No, it doesn’t,” McGrady said. “It’s the second and fourth Thursday at 7 o’clock.”
McGrady was correct. Here is what the Board bylaw 9320 under Regular Meetings says:
“The Board shall hold two regular meetings each month, except as adopted by the Board of Trustees at the annual reorganization meeting. Regular meetings shall be held at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the district office, 44811 Sierra Highway, Lancaster, California.”
Ruffin, Parrell and former member Davis voted 3-2 at the Jan. 24 meeting, with McGrady and Trustee John Rush dissenting, to change the Board’s meeting days and time from 5 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month to 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.
At the time, Ruffin said the change was to accommodate any commuters who wanted to attend meetings. She did not explain why the meeting day also had to change. However, Ruffin’s employer, Oxnard Union High School District, holds its Board meetings the first and third Wednesday of the month.
The change negatively impacted students in the Interschool Communication Council who serve as leaders on their respective campuses.
Ruffin, Parrell and Davis then voted 3-2 at the Feb. 14 meeting, with McGrady and Rush dissenting, to update the Board Bylaw 9320 to reflect the change.
“Dr. Vierra, can you provide that in writing to the Board,” Ruffin said at the Jan. 16 meeting. “Because I thought that it was on the second and third. And I do recall that at some point there was a mishap with the arrangement because we had started, we came back during a second week instead of a first week, and I don’t know if it just became that rhythm. For clarity for the Board that it’s not the first and third because that’s what I read in the bylaw.”
McGrady said the Board met on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m., before Ruffin, Parrell and Davis changed it.
McGrady then asked for a second motion voice to adjourn the meeting. Rush seconded Parrell’s motion. The Board took a voice vote, which was required, since Ruffin participated via teleconference.
The Board voted 3-1 to adjourn the meeting, with Ruffin dissenting.
“You don’t want to end the meeting?” McGrady said. “OK, alright, well the rest of us do, so we have the majority, so we’re out of here.”
Ruffin said “because it’s not a meeting. Nothing to end when it was never agendized.”
The Board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., Thursday in the Board room at the District office, 44811 North Sierra Highway.