HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD SCANDAL | After just 20 minutes, the Hayward school board moved to adjourn the special meeting Wednesday evening after two members objected to the omission of recommendations offered last July 25 regarding changes to its bylaws laden with overtones relating to a secret romantic liaison among its members.
The requests made by school board members Luis Reynoso and William McGee asked for additions to the first reading of the bylaws offered during its last meeting in July referencing fallout from the growing scandal involving an alleged affair between members Jesus Armas and Maribel Heredia. Included in the request was possible language allowing the board to pursue a vote of no-confidence against its president and guidelines for dealing with interpersonal relationships among its members.
Before the board was able to move forward, McGee questioned why materials contained in the agenda packet were nearly identical to the previous version of the bylaws, Superintendent Dr. Donald Evans said more time was needed to pour over potential revisions to the over 20-year-old document.
"Do you have the notes that we gave at the last meeting?" McGee then asked. "Those were not included," responded Evans. But Armas interjected, "We have a special meeting. We have a quorum. We're going to proceed. I understand the limitation and the frustration you are expressing, but we're going to go through these policies."
Reynoso then interrupted and moved for the board to adjourn the meeting, later seconded by McGee. Afterwards, Armas said the board had not given staff any direction July 25 pertaining to the bylaws. "What you just stated is incorrect," said McGee, who along with Reynoso threatened to leave the meeting. Reynoso later raised the possibility of agendizing a vote of no-confidence against Armas. "This is a dog and pony show," added Reynoso. "Where are the notes?" The motion to adjourn passed with Armas voting no, however, it was not clear who--among board members Lisa Brunner and Heredia--cast the third vote.
Afterwards, Evans said the plan was to bring back the policies and discussed them "line-by-line," while adding the questions contained in the notes required additional legal advice. However, Evans said there was no definitive board action given to staff last month regarding Reynoso and McGee's request other than to bring back the reading of the bylaws for a meeting in the future. "I try to do what the board has acted on for me to do as a collective board."
Reynoso said he believes Armas was attempting to sidestep questions dealing with the specifics of his alleged affair. "His goal is to avoid embarrassment as much as possible and what I brought up for direction last time would have put to light what on going on between these two board members."
When McGee was asked his assessment of Wednesday's brief meeting, he said, "I really don't know what is going on here. I honestly don't know." McGee added he would be supportive of Reynoso's threat of a vote of no-confidence against Armas. "I think it's something the board needs to talk about because right now the district's business is not being handled."
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