Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Proposed conflict-of-interest policy comes to board

By
From page A1 | March 12, 2014 |

The Davis Board of Education, rocked by a public dispute over Davis High School’s volleyball coach, will consider amending its bylaws Thursday to expand conflict-of-interest rules involving its members.

The first reading of the policy will follow the board’s public announcement of its decision on former volleyball coach Julie Crawford’s appeal of an administrative decision not to renew her contract as coach. Crawford remains employed as a physical education teacher at DHS.

The administrative decision followed an investigation into a formal complaint against Crawford, filed by Rob Peterson, husband of former trustee Nancy Peterson. Nancy Peterson resigned her seat on the board last week, saying her move was designed to “defuse speculation and end further distractions so that the board may carefully deliberate the findings of the district’s report” on the investigation, which examined Crawford’s decision to cut her daughter from the volleyball team.

The board will convene at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd., to hear public comment, then will adjourn to a closed session at the school district offices across the street. Trustees will return to City Hall to announce their decision and take up the policy issue.

It is unclear how long the closed-session discussion will last. The board deliberated for more than two hours last month when it granted Crawford’s appeal.

The agenda offers an opportunity for the four school board members — Gina Daleiden, Sheila Allen, Susan Lovenburg and Tim Taylor — to express themselves regarding the Crawford/Peterson dispute. The school board members have been tight-lipped regarding the dispute this far, because they function in a quasi-judicial manner as they hear Crawford’s appeal.

The proposed board bylaw covering conflict-of-interest policy will get its first reading by the school board, which typically considers proposed bylaws at two or more meetings before they are formally adopted. The bylaw essentially is “boilerplate” language taken from the California School Boards Association website, which contains recommended generic language for local school boards to consider as they adopt board policies for their district.

The draft covers various aspects of potential financial conflict of interest involving a school board member, as well as two sections relating to the role of a school board member in decisions involving a relative.

Specifically, the bylaw says, “A board member shall abstain from voting on personnel matters that uniquely affect his/her relatives. However, a board member may vote on collective bargaining agreements and personnel matters that affect a class of employees to which his/her relative belongs.”

Another part of the language says “a board member shall abstain from any official action in which his/her private or personal interest may conflict with his/her official duties.”

Thursday’s agenda does not include a discussion of the process of appointing a school board member to fill the vacancy created by Peterson’s resignation. It is likely this will be discussed at the next regular meeting, on March 20.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055. 

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Discussion | 8 comments

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  • Sick and tiredMarch 12, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    So it might have raised a red flag or two when a board members kid plays/played a sport that just happened to recently get a huge chunk of change? I don't recall a sports team EVER getting around eighty five thousands dollars from the district like what just happened for softball recently, or any money for that matter. Or a board members kid being called last out of alpha order at DHS graduation last year so that they could have a special moment while the entire stadium waited and watched? Or numerous board members having kids in athletics so they decided to create independent lifetime sports so that they could bypass PE and their kids could get credit for their sport? (illegal by the way) Yes, I do believe bylaws concerning conflict of interest are a long time coming for the BOE.

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  • KimMarch 12, 2014 - 5:05 pm

    Who's kid got special treatment at graduation? Wow.

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  • Sick and tiredMarch 12, 2014 - 5:08 pm

    Sheila Allen

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  • KimMarch 12, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    Was there a reason given, or just done because she's on the board?

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  • Sick and tiredMarch 12, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    The reason was it seemed she wanted it that way. It was shocking, obvious if you understand their relationship , and was very embarrassing at the time. He was called after the last z name and he is the letter a

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  • March 12, 2014 - 5:28 pm

    Ridiculous!!!

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  • Recall the boardMarch 12, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    We should change the rules and not allow anyone with a child in the school district to be on the school board. This is done in other areas. This micromanaging and over entitled attitude by the board is out of line. A board composed of community members who have no direct tie to the schools would be better for all involved!!

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  • March 12, 2014 - 7:22 pm

    I'm sorry but this is all pretty mundane stuff compared to repeatedly using your position to try to get someone fired for no good reason. Sheila did a great job working with the city and getting the softball field improved. Her efforts are going to benefit many more people in addition to any interest she had in her own kid having a good field to play on. As for the $85,000. Its a drop in the bucket compared to the millions spent on the football stadium. At least the district got something of value for their money as opposed to the completely wasted $22,000 spent investigating Crawford.

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