Saturday, July 19, 2008

Are most school boards controlled by lawyers? Are government boards the same?

San Diego County is being exposed as a center of government corruption, and that corruption clearly reaches into school boards. In fact, school board corruption reaches into city government. In Chula Vista, school and city officials use the same law firm (Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz), and are supported by the same developers (Corky McMillan).

Here is a Voice of San Diego story that could apply to many boards. This one is about the recently exposed secret bonuses at the SEDC:

"...Derryl Williams, a member of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. board, just sent Mayor Jerry Sanders a letter criticizing the agency's culture and its president, Carolyn Y. Smith.

"The letter states: 'The culture of SEDC over the years has been to manipulate, cajole, ignore and intimidate the board into utter and complete silence. Materials for review are provided late and board members have customarily been thwarted in their opportunities to raise questions.'

"The letter adds fuel to claims made by two other board members earlier this week about the way the SEDC board meetings are conducted. The two board members said they had not been given enough time to review SEDC's budget before approving it, and that a budget committee has not met in the last 18 months.

"Williams writes in his letter that he and two other board members have tried to increase the flow of information to the board and have tried to perform adequate oversight of the agency.

"Those efforts have been blocked by Smith, Williams writes: 'Using corporate counsel and Special Agency Counsel, the President of SEDC controlled questions and the flow of information so that board members could not obtain sufficient answers to assist in making good judgments...'"

The author of the article is Will Carless, who has one of the the most earth-friendly names I've heard.