LBCCD – Board of Trustee Meeting – November 10, 2015 – Part 5


and how to make it available does
question and answers as we had a brown actually at my point is that we should
have that instead of going through a line-by-line it would be if we’re trying
to streamline it and maintain transparency which we should be doing it
would be much more conducive in my opinion to just put it on a website as
the minutes so that people who may not necessarily know what those questions or
can have access to it and i can understand is I believe everyone and the
public has a right to know not just the public who have the time to come to our
board meetings and can make that their schedule is conducive to our board me
that’s the point I’m trying to make and that it goes along the lines of this
item input on page four which is under meeting preparations and on page five
hundred meeting minutes that’s what I’m speaking too so it’s just if you know we
could talk about it debated but I feel strongly that we need to make sure that
there is dialogue and discussions on the items and it shouldn’t be just you know
it should be encouraged not not stifled says we’re doing well it’s it’s a little
bit understand that there may be interned but that’s not was gonna be
that doesn’t it doesn’t feel that that’s going to be the case that there’s an
from what I I see here because on one hand were stating we want to be
transparent orwellian about this on one hand we’re seeing which are being
transparent on the other hand are saying we’re going to streamline these board
meetings just to make sure and it has to be subject to suppress tenants
discretion on whether or not he can answer to understand that you provided
earlier not answer the questions questions can always be asked in all
ways can be answered we’re talking about two things here one is what happens
prior to the meeting in terms of questions and I think lots of board
members asked questions of lots of people and they get answers and they may
want to ask him those questions again at board meetings for for good reasons but then the separate
question is what’s in two minutes and I think what you want the minutes to
reflect is not what people say but what board actions are taken and presumably
did you make comment well yes and I certainly understand all of the concerns
that are trying to be addressed here and I just want to sort of a drum circle
around this in 2004 I believe the board took action to create action item
minutes in and a very similar debate happened in 2000 and for the board at
that time agreed that it want to move to action item in its and in doing so it
also reduced the amount of staffing required to keep up with the previous
minutes so there was a most wonderful FTE that was laid off at the time and so
obviously the the board has been struggling with this part of the men
it’s in this this recent years and understand what we’re trying to
accomplish and let me be very clear and if it’s not clear in the document we can
certainly work on it the point here is that there are two
issues has Jackie pointed out one is responding to questions and yes there
are five board members at any given time have a question about a board item and
yes if if the board agenda goes out on a Friday afternoon and and the its 48
hours and staff will get back to you by Monday morning but they need time and
there are in this isn’t the superintendent president responding I
wish I had everything in my fingertips this is staff responding this is the
entire fiscal of staff H R staff and so we we do want to help streamline is
because there’s a lot of work being done in preparation for each board meeting the second thing is the minutes and and
it certainly up to the board to debate whether they want to change the policy and that’s certainly up to the board if
we change the policy that we need to consider how we staff the new policy but
currently we’ve gone back and forth over what’s included in the minutes currently
the policy is action item minutes and so it becomes very difficult for the board
secretary to then determine whose comments are going to get in the minutes
and and so if that’s the board’s pleasure that we need to relook at how
we staff the board meetings because there is an awful lot of discussion
taking place and yes trustees yeah absolutely if your questions are
presented and their answers they have to be presented to the public and we will
ensure that that’s that’s done so there are two or three different issues that
we’re trying to to negotiate here and hopefully we can keep them all in their
separate boxes because they are related to the Brown Act but with regard to the
minutes that’s our challenge is trying to figure out do we stay with the
current policy and I think the recommendation is to affirm the current
policy or dismembered bored when I change the policy and if so we need to
relook at how we manage board meeting its ok well I appreciate that point and
may perhaps the proper people call says when negotiating made doesn’t sound like
the just the auto is in favor of the minutes but you know the minutes being
changed to include Q&A between true trustees and administrators as
administrative staff but maybe we could just posted on the website instead of
giving it out to to the public that it turned it is it is do different things
and I’m suggesting that if it’s not going to be covered under minutes that
we add a new poll it an address that so that we are making sure that we are inclusive
and again in the spirit of transparency as the document states it would be more
transparent if we do that so managers move on other comments and so this page
five again again please don’t take this personally this reaches you know talking
about the document not the offers but I just feel that we’re for forcing all the
trustees in in the interactions within our internal constituent groups and
again this is how it comes across to me as the reader and others forcing all trustees to director
requests for meetings with internal groups of the suitor superintendent
president’s office and forcing them to be open to all board members and is a
clear violation of the front first amendment rights I I feel strongly about
this and you know we should be as Board of Trustee members should be able to
speak with whomever we want when we want it just i recognize the importance of
not directing staff as you know the trustee a community college leak trusty
handbook states and you know I looked but I have some citations that I want to
bring to your attention that is contradicted this dismal see document
Kapoor contradicts that I mean we don’t want to direct staff at the same time we
shouldn’t be prevented to talking with people on internal
stakeholders and working with the understand from a stab wound up working
with the superintendent’s office regarding meetings with administrative
staff but don’t see the necessity when it comes to student groups employee
bargaining units etc I question the legality of that site again a legal
opinion outside legal counsel and you know if you look at the trusty handbook page 24 and 93 that discusses that and
you know i would i would just invite you to look at that it does individual
trustees have no authority directories and make no representation but it
doesn’t prevent you come from all walks of life in the courage to talk to folks
and then page 93 years I’ll just cite these if you wanna go reference if you want to
look at it says the Board is responsible to study and identify future community
interests and needs so it’s important the community is not just external is
internal we need to do that and it should be prevented from doing that page 5 of the documented can I spoke to
her earlier about the it it opens up with after acceptance and approval of
this report so just for the record this is not going to be accepted tonight this
is going to be accepted a later time and it’s also stocks about the college will
it just all necessary administrative regulations accordingly so they reflect
the recommendations made within this report are these administrative
regulations and and associated policies each one of them going to come before
the Board for approval no regulations never come before the board they’re not
approved by the Board they’re just administrative regulations but all
policies to you because what we are as a policy board but but let me vs little
bit it’s just after acceptance and approval of this report by the Board of
Trustees as modified if necessary the college will adjust unnecessary
administrative regulations accordingly so that they reflect the recommendations
made with this report it doesn’t mean the recommendations made right this
minute I started off this presentation by
saying here’s the schedule tonight we’re going to talk about this stuff you have
a month to come up with whatever time that we’re gonna do and then we’ll try
and adopt some things to keep things moving but you know this is going to go
on for several months and will be plenty of opportunity to do this and it’s not
fair to say that this says it we’re going to adopt these recommendations I’m
asking the question and confirming so I appreciate confirming my understanding
that but mine is it may be vice president give an answer this but the
administrative regulations as it was explained to me are associated with
individual policies is that correct most administrative regulations are tied
to a policy not all regulations are tied to a policy so as board president Otto
mentioned all board policy changes come to the board as a first reading and then
as the next meeting it would come to the board as an action item when it comes to
the board as an action item typically the associate administrator for
regulation comes to the board as an information item only ok so just want to
make sure that the policy as the ones the applicable policies for those
administrative regulations will come to the board for discussion debate and
approval the if there’s a change to the policy it will come to the board for
debate and approval but you are seen the administrative regulations and those are
for information I am those change whenever we don’t change it mister we
don’t change the policy each time we change administrative regulation we
change the administrative regulation to keep up with the policy in any changes
happening on campus so that is why any possible administrative changes are in
this document so that the board can see them ahead of time if there was a need
for policy change absolutely they would be brought to the
board because it would require approval thank you and PHC I’m really again nothing personal but
I’m baffled by this year there’s quite a bit of language used here that I believe
it’s problematic when the what does it mean to be honest but your identity and
upfront about your role I’m sorry if you know again all due respect what I am I
supposed to broadcast its time on social media that identifies a proud Persian
Jewish American woman with a Masters in civil engineering going to just as
confusing what that’s about what the intent is there is that the fourth
bullet says refrain from speculation again this
is a first amendment issue you know and it’s it’s problematic but provision in a
comment is expresses expressly identified as being based on here
serious post speculation trustees should be permitted to make such comments and
they shouldn’t have their first amendment be infringed the seventh on
this page this is the regarding should be there trustees should be permitted to
use social media as a way to measure should not be permitted to use social
media as a way to measure constituent opinion I mean I have to say I’m stunned
by seeing such language because it’s just you should be able to talk to their
constituents whether its internal or external about getting their opinions on
college issues and how also responds to seek their needs and interests and
encourage their participation and helping establish policies that
their elected representatives it again this is while codify this precise point
that I brought up as well caught by the California Community College elects
trustee to handbook page 2845 the code of ethics section section page 57 and
ninety three’s I would invite us to look at that and really include those
provisions I take quite a bit of the exception to those because I believe
that it it’s maybe well intended but it really angers some constitutional rights
as both citizens and elected members that have a duty to our constituents
that our constituents elect board members for each district they don’t
elect a team as we all know so you know while we may have disagreements you know
we could still be cool enjoy cordial but I believe that we shouldn’t be prevented
from having that discussion with our constituents at least that’s how this
comes across or implies the impact of this document in my world let me tell you where that comes from
where it says do not broadcast your intentions to vote one way or another on
that particular issue the reason for that is because I’ve seen legal cases
where boats have been disqualified because it’s been determined because of
statements that people have made you know trustees or whoever they are
members of C counter to what not ahead of meetings it’s decided that
they’ve prejudged the issue and that they weren’t available to the public
debate on a diet like this some other however it is that they’re voting and therefore there they were prejudiced
ahead of time and so it doesn’t say don’t have opinions and it doesn’t say
all it says is don’t be Telegraph and what your votes are because you could i
mean what could happen is you could be disqualified from voting on a measure
you could have a vote overturned in its just doesn’t support switch STR to his
opinions they have my time with I think as individuals we have the right to give
our opinion on any matter that I and and your corrected you know it’s our
constituents that board but I think once we become board members then we have a
responsibility to the constituency that we serve and that’s the constituency
here at this institution and as such I think that’s where we need to work
together as one body and you know the one voice I think that’s the difference
and still I think what we see here is that yes you can give your opinion
you’re entitled to give your opinion but that’s an an individual not as a
representative of the board it’s it’s unclear and I take exception
to not being able to give an opinion on the matter because let’s see if there is
a matter before the board now this isn’t happened to me so I just want to preface
that in this hasn’t occurred but if there is a matter pending before the
board and then maybe Mike community members who have a differing view point
that may be able to express that anime change my opinion as your elected
representatives it’s not my opinion that I’m not sure they represent I’m
representing the community were elected by the community and we should protect
their interests so how else are we supposed to seek that before voting is it like we had the
other day that they can upon or provide comments after com contract is approved
its silly it comes across as though we are prevented by not being able to
dialogue with our community members and constituents to get their opinion on how
to vote for President item may have some clarification first of all the statement above these
bullet points clearly says that the trustees are encouraged to utilize
social media as a communications tool and then presents a following best
practices guidelines they can help the trustees use these forums effectively so
the intent here is to help the trustees understand what some of these best
practices are and I will speak from my own experience on the region’s I had
extensive training from the Regents on best practices and certainly no one is
asking anyone to stifle their first amendment right what we’re trying to do
is to ensure that you understand what some of the collective thinking around
social media and boards has been and try to help prevent any problems from
occurring so the issue that was brought up refrain from broadcasting opinions on
matters directly pending before the board that specifically refers to action
items that are coming to a board meeting I’m not going to tell any board member
had a form their opinions but when there is a public dialogue where all the
trustees or all the public may be construed as not participating it could
be a brown a violation now you may disagree with that interpretation or you
may disagree that interpretation but somebody may not so that is all we’re
trying to accomplish here nowhere does it say that you have to
abide by these are great lines and so certainly if there are other guidelines
that that you seen her any trustee is saying that it can help other trustees
communicate in a way that does not create a problem for the board as a body
we’re happy to include them but issues of maintaining confidentiality ensuring
that we consider the diverse audiences at the college that there’s no question
they’re president appreciate you clarify the problem is not really a problem it
may come across as though you know we’re trying to fix one issue that may be
viewed as not as big of an issue of first amendment in my book there’s
nothing above the Constitution no matter how many policies we put together a dad
that takes precedent was so we don’t wanna be what is the expression penny
wise pound foolish foolish and try to provide best practices at the same time
create a problem we have the first amendment and free speech issue and in
fact I I think direct exception to that when it I will my constituents opinion
if there if need be on a key the case before I take action and you
know I will have opinions on the matter and they may persuade me otherwise so I
don’t want this to turn into this guy on one hand we seeing its good guideline
and then it and it’s encouraged and I like that language is best practices on
the other hand is going to form into a policy and then you know we’re gonna
have people know what I’m saying that this is a policy was going to turn into
a policy eventually no snow that snapped the recommendations the recommendation is to changed mister
regulations the only policy that’s even been discussed as a policy on minutes
that is the only policy in this document it could even be discussed at this point yeah and and again to put this in
context this is an appendix it’s offered as something that people can consider in
the what the beginning of it says is social media platforms offer the Long
Beach Community College District Board of Trustees and other elected officials
and ongoing opportunity to communicate directly with multiple audiences and
share thoughts ideas news and information through discussions post
teens photos and videos at online networks such as Facebook Twitter
Linkedin Pinterest Instagram and more trustees are encouraged to utilize
social media as a communications tool the following best practices guidelines
can help trustees use these firms effectively while protecting their
personal and professional reputations so I mean I think this is kinda much ado
about nothing because nobody says you can’t do anything but make some
recommendations about places where people have got in trouble in the past
because of things that they’ve done in and you know I probably seen a dozen of
these different guidelines for different colleges in different places and learn
some things you agree with something she disagreement I see no first amendment
issue shoes here I i mean i I’m not a guy I do
trust you and I just unexpected and and so you know this is as I said at the
beginning the beginning of the consideration of some something that’s
been brought to the attention of this board and predecessor boards as an issue
along BC thats communications it’s an effort effort to address some of those concerns
some people are going to agree with some of this and other parts of it and
they’re gonna disagree about lots of things so this is the beginning of a
dialogue this is an educational institution which you have an education
institutions are dialogue should come up with things that you can agree on that
are important yeah there are so number of specific
recommendations but this isn’t even a recommendation this is it considered
this and I i mean i i if you want to get an opinion from a warrior that says that
with his consideration I understand you’re right I i just want to make sure
we’re all clear that it’s about this practice is not going to turn into some
policy that all you know where how to count on it it’s just best practices and
encouraged there’s no nothing here that even in place to meet the boogeyman
question the bottom line it’s about improving communication and it’s about
facilitating the process of communication and also it’s about being
inconsiderate about the role that each one of us place in this process i mean i
i get concerned that if we’re all calling you know and at the same time
and she’s gotta spend time answering my questions and she’s gonna spend time
answering those questions then again we have to be considered it of the work that everyone is responsible
for doing and how we all need to work together so that therefore you know we are protocols just
to facilitate the process that’s really what this is about it and I agree with
you addressed to you Archuleta there’s no disagreement there is just you ask
for a pit questions and importance of providing that to you just for the
future for consideration and that’s all and you make good points thing you asked
questions and let me let me make an analogy in the context of what we’re
doing here and that is just like on board of appeal when you’re trying to
reach a decision about something the collegiality of that group is very
important in terms of the quality the decisions get made is negotiating in
there is back and forth in eventually from the respect among the justices on
the court of appeal they come up with better decisions in their legendary
judges John miner wisdom in the fifth circuit down in New Orleans other judges
Henry friendly in the 2nd circuit in New York for able to bring people together
and overtime produce good laws and good decisions there’s a definitions of trusteeship
there are writings about what it means to come together as a group of people to
make decisions the best decisions in the interest of our student college and the
directions that were heading but it requires people to work at it and the
intention of this document was to begin a discussion and to hear just like we’re
hearing today and we I truly appreciate your thoughts about this and they’re
going to continue while we over the next 60 days or more consider this report which we considered
an important enough to to appoint an ad hoc committee to come up with recommendations in the interest of
furthering trust issue in the interests of furthering how we govern and
improving the way that we go so that was the intention and nobody’s trying to ram
this down anybody’s throat we we welcome everybody’s input about this that’s why
it’s available onboard docks that way people can communicate with him by the
way you know if anybody wants to talk individually about this I’m sure each of
us or more would be happy to talk about these things it’s the way things get
done this last thing about social media is kind of a warning that is be careful
because sometimes think things can happen on social media that you don’t
intend to happen and it tries to point some of this appropriately or
inappropriately but you can call it saying and I actually am encouraged by
this discussion because we don’t very often discuss things like this and it’s
healthy so this is an informational item gonna bring back in a few months to wear
some things can be flushed out appreciated I just earlier on so I
apologize coming in a little bit late in discussion going back and forth to go
through a few times especially with the areas of with electronic communications
and that actually went even beyond the example I was important I’m glad it’s
been addressed

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