Gilbert School Board On the Run from Public Eyes

When the going gets tough, the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board runs away, led by Superintendent Christina 3-2 Kishimoto. The board is taking their next public meeting 30 miles away from the school district to a private religious university so the public won’t be able to observe this public body in action.

For the past year, the elected officials known as “The New Board” have taken secrecy to astonishing new levels. For example, the trips to and from the campus of Grand Canyon University are themselves violations of Arizona’s Public Meeting Laws, because a quorum of the board will ride in chauffeured luxury at taxpayer expense. You know the catered meals will be lovely, also courtesy of the taxpayers of Gilbert. Guess they never thought of inviting the public to ride along on a GPS school bus so the public could listen to board members discussing district business along the way to Grand Canyon University … the ride during rush hour on Friday will be just lovely, won’t it?

The need for secrecy must be enormous, since the Governing Board will be reviewing *student dater,* according to the announcement of her supremeness, SuperDorK (her Twitter identity). Listen to Christina 3-2 Kishimoto announce the *Board Retreat* at the 7:00 mark below. The announcement continues to the 8:15 mark. Keep the video feed running … you’ll want to hear a taxpaying Gilbert citizen excoriate Christina and the Rubber Stamps for violating Open Meeting Law as they high-tail it out of town for a cozy schmmoooozy session hosted by Brian Mueller, President and CEO of Grand Canyon University. This occurs at the 9:20 mark; it’s just two minutes, but it packs a powerful punch. Daryl Colvin follows those comments with questions and a comment that he will not be riding along in the transportation provided by GPS with other board members — he can spot an unforced error  OML violation when he sees it.

Where did we get the idea that running away to Grand Canyon University violates Arizona’s Open Meeting Law? From the Attorney General’s handbook!

The public body must provide public access to public meetings. See A.R.S. § 38- 431.01(A). This requirement is not met if the public body uses any procedure or device that obstructs or inhibits public attendance at public meetings, such as holding the meeting in a remote location, in a room too small to accommodate the reasonably anticipated number of observers, in a place to which the public does not have access, such as private clubs, or at an unreasonable time. [The excerpt appears on page 7-25 of the .pdf.]

Violating Open Meeting Law is no big deal for Chrstina 3-2 Kishimoto and her rubber stamp board members. They’ve been doing all kinds of things to be able to scheme behind closed doors and out of the public eye. All this subterfuge seems pretty silly if the subject of the board retreat really is just student dater, as SuperDorK claimed at the board meeting on August 25, 2015, which is helpfully preserved on the video archive above.

As usual with this group of grifters, carpetbaggers and heaven knows what else they are, there’s something else going on. Something they REALLY don’t want the public to know about. First of all, don’t look for Public Notice (that little thingy the law requires) in any of the usual places. It’s not on the GPS home page. It’s not on the GPS Public Meetings page; in fact, the whole web page is blank where meetings should be listed. There’s no public notice on this GPS Public Meetings page, either.

Aha, we found it: hidden away on a *special* webpage that appears to have been constructed to make it look like Christina 3-2 Kishimoto complied with the notice requirement of the Open Meeting Law. There’s only an agenda, but it doesn’t come close to giving the information the Open Meeting Law requires, like a real address of where the meeting will be held. Same old thing with those GPS scofflaws: the only location information is “Grand Canyon University,” which consists of 179 acres on one campus alone. Do you think the Grand Canyon University security guards are going to let some average Gilbert citizens roam around looking for where the school board is meeting? Neither do we.

Oh gee, lookie here: the GPS Governing Board will be discussing a whole lot more than student *dater* on the agenda. The important stuff is exactly what should be discussed in public: the GPS communications and marketing plan, for one thing. Remember how Christina 3-2 Kishimoto tried so hard to keep THAT plan under wraps? She went so far as to obstruct access to the *official minutes* of a meeting behind closed doors that she claimed was NOT a public meeting. Then she filed a civil law suit against the citizens who bird dogged the public records issue. Guess we’re all lucky that the audio of the not-a-public-meeting didn’t get destroyed to keep the secret safe.

There’s more: what the Usual Suspects are REALLY trying to figure out behind closed doors is a discussion of “GCA Facility Options and Timeline.” Guess the hot mic incident between Good Old Charlie Santa Cruz and the dude who has overstayed his welcome, Alex Nardone, didn’t dissuade the Governing Board from carrying on with plans to enshrine GCA as the crown jewel of GPS. Just like Good Old Dave Allison plotted with then-board president E.J. Anderson back in 2013, plans to perhaps close a school and spend millions of dollars creating a campus for those privileged GCA babies should not be revealed until the very last moment the law allows. Heh, as if this group of scoundrels and carpetbaggers EVER deigns to follow any laws…

So, BOHICA everybody! This rogue administration and rubber stamp governing board are going to slam taxpayers for many millions of dollars whether the 2015 override and bond go through or not. Because they can. All they have to do is have three votes to spend unlimited amounts of money, and your taxes will go up. That’s the way the system works. Remember, taxes went up 40% just a few years ago. Give these clowns some more of your money! It’s for the kids!

Gilbert Public Schools’ tax rates increase 40 percent: Gilbert officials estimated the $2 tax increase per $100 of a home’s assessed value in July 2012, when the governing board adopted the $305.87 million budget for this school year. The new budget includes a 2 percent pay increase for all employees, except the superintendent, for this school year only. The main factors used to determine the amount of tax homeowners pay each year are the assessed valuations, qualifying tax rate, student enrollment and the district’s year-end cash balances, according to GPS information.

Big Fat Asterisk: Okay, so the title of this post is a mash up of two great oldies: Band on the Run and Private Eyes. Can’t forget to mention Beyoncé, the ultimate girlfriend, and the On the Run Tour.

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