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Live from RSCCD on PLA Discussion Procedure in Relation to the Brown Act; RSCCD Board Officer Selection

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDI’m live at the RSCCD Board meeting to cover Item 6.6 on their agenda. For background on this item, see my post earlier tonight on this. Basically, the RSCCD Board was discussing in closed session efforts to impose a PLA on all work done from Measure Q, the $198,000,000 bond passed in 2012 in the western half of the district (Santa Ana and very small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim). Item 6.6 forces the PLA to be discussed in open session.

(5:42 PM): Trustee Claudia Alvarez says RSCCD wants to follow the law. She says many districts negotiate PLAs in closed session. She says the reason to negotiate a PLA in closed session is for the district’s strategic advantage. She says there is no cover-up effort because they’ve brought Item 6.6 in open session.

(5:43 PM): Trustee John Hanna says these PLA negotiations should no longer be discussed substantively in closed session. Hanna says he agrees with Alvarez. He says the Chancellor should negotiate privately, so the RSCCD Board can examine the negotiation product in open session.

(5:46 PM): Trustee Larry Labrado wants the Board Executive Committee (not just the Board President) to be able to privately confer with the Chancellor on the PLA. The Executive Committee consists of 3 of the 7 trustees: the President, Vice President, and Secretary.

(5:47 PM): Alvarez says there’s nothing wrong with each trustee being updated by the Chancellor on the PLA negotiations.

(5:48 PM): Hanna wants Item 6.6 to be amended to have Board to “continue its practice of refraining” from discussing the PLA negotiations.

(5:49 PM): Trustee Phil Yarbrough disputes that this is RSCCD’s practice, hence the need for Item 6.6.

(5:50 PM): Hanna says it is the practice. He hopes to get an Attorney General opinion that they can negotiate PLAs in closed session.

(5:52 PM): Yarbrough says amending the practice going forth like Item 6.6 is good because PLAs should be discussed in open session like the Brown Act requires.

(5:53 PM): Chancellor Raul Rodriguez warns that the Alvarez proposal could violate the Brown Act’s serial meeting rules.

(5:54 PM): Board President Arianna Barrios says there are four conflicting opinions, including the Chancellor’s and Craig Alexander’s. She is concerned that RSCCD would lose in an Attorney General’s opinion, so that’s one of the reasons she agendized Item 6.6.

(5:56 PM): The Hanna Amendment is passed unanimously.

(5:57 PM): I note that neither Trustee Jose Solorio nor Nelida Yanez has uttered a word in the debate.

(5:58 PM): Item 6.6 is approved unanimously.

(5:59 PM): Hanna says he will nominate Alvarez for Clerk. Yarbrough seconds.

Solorio says he would like to be President. (I would note this would enable him to be RSCCD President during his candidacy for the hotly contested 34th Senate District race in 2014 against Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen.)

Labrado says he would like to be Vice President.

(6:05 PM): Ironically, RSCCD staff are now doing a presentation on projects that were funded by Measure E, which was the $337,000,000 bond passed in 2002 in all of RSCCD (Santa Ana, Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and small portions of Garden Grove). The presentation noted numerous projects that were over budget and behind schedule. Measure E projects are already subject to a PLA. (The PLA discussion related to Item 6.6 from tonight’s meeting were involving Measure Q, the 2012 bond for $198,000,000 in western RSCCD: Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim.)

(6:15 PM): I’m done with this live blog. It’ll be interesting going forward in future meetings, with their pledge to not discuss PLA negotiations in private. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the developments with the PLA, which will mandate only unionized labor working on Measure Q projects. The other union demands will also be included in the PLA, but obviously those are still being negotiated; OC Political will reveal those as soon as we know what they are. RSCCD President-designate Solorio will likely have his hands full when the PLA terms go public.

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