By Ken Small
Special to Las Vegas Tribune
As reported last week in the Las Vegas Tribune, the Clark County School District (CCSD) School Board apparently violated the open meeting law requirements in not properly noticing the purpose of its May 21 meeting that was used to vote on the appointment of new school district superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. Last week’s article quoted long-time parent, education advocate and former school board candidate Kevinn Donovan, saying: “It’s almost as if it was planned, prior to the meeting…” Now Donovan has filed a formal complaint with the attorney general alleging essentially what was stated in that article.
It may be coincidental that CCSD has done some interesting video editing on this occasion. On May 30 Donovan amended his complaint to include several “smoking gun” quotes from the CCSD video recordings of the school board meetings on May 20 and 21. Link to see the May 21 meeting referenced at:tv.ccsd.net/watch?v=
In his amended complaint Donovan notes that Trustee Loraine Alderman said at about the 10-minute mark, “From what I’m hearing, there are enough votes to appoint him…” — referring to Pat Skorkowsky. Donovan alleges that this comment would indicate that at least four board members (a majority) were discussing their vote outside of the board meeting. That, if true, would violate the law.
Trustee Edwards said, “I believe the public hasn’t been noticed fully… The public has a right to participate in the process,” at about the 20-minute mark. It is clear from this statement that school board President Edwards knew that the agenda item was not properly noticed to allow a vote Friday, but later allowed the vote to proceed.
On Friday, May 24, in a ‘sudo maya copa’ statement, CCSD stated that they were using “an abundance of caution” when they decided to re-notice and vote again at the June 3 meeting. Careful not to admit an illegal act by the school board, they decided to try again. Donovan then went to his local library where the school board supposedly noticed the item and found that it was not properly noticed again.
Looking for information on this issue on the CCSD website one will find deliberately conflicting information and never the straight story.
Perhaps all of these legal arguments and complaints will eventually be swept under the rug, or minimized, as most of the illegal activities related to CCSD are — remember Karen Grays’ complaint regarding open meeting law violation during the last election and other similar complaints. The major point at issue here is that the school board and President Carolyn Edwards regularly blame ‘lack of community and parent involvement’ for CCSD’s failure to educate our children. From this episode we can understand that the board only wants parental involvement sometimes and not when the top down system is making a decision.