Garibay Attacks Public Comments at MUSD Meeting Print
News - Opinion
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 01:24
Madera - Oh what a four years it is going to be at Madera Unified with the likes of Lynn Cogdill and Robert Garibay on the board of trustees. During public comment at last night's board meeting I brought up how Trustee Cogdill has been contacting my teenage step-son on Facebook with friends requests; requests that have been ignored and deleted. I questioned why a man of Mr. Cogdill's age would be contacting high school students on Facebook and whether or not that was appropriate.

With the way board president Garibay scolded me following my comments you would have thought I accused Cogdill of cheating on his wife, fighting to not pay his kids child support or saying he had no idea which of his kids were really his. He said my comments were out of line and inappropriate for that forum but where else would they be brought up?

Cogdill had Facebook pages to raise money for Madera Unified with a "for-profit non-profit" organization he owned with a couple of MUSD bus drivers that the district and the California PTA asked him to change the name of to avoid confusion (click here for that story). Now he is contacting students on his own without any authority of the board or permission from the parents.  There was no better place to ask that question and public comments were the best time for that question.

  • Public Hearing for visitors who wish to speak on a subject not on the board agenda. Fifteen minutes of this portion of the meeting are reserved for members of the public to address the Board on items not listed on the agenda and within the jurisdiction of the School Board. Speakers are limited to three (3) minutes. The School Board is prohibited by law from taking action on matters discussed that are not on the Agenda, and no adverse conclusions should be drawn if the School Board does not respond to public comment at this time. If you wish to address the Board, come to the microphone and state your name and address.

At one point in the meeting Mr. Garibay asked the board to create a mentoring program for the three new board members elected last November and Garibay said he would be Cogdill's mentor. Groups of board members would meet outside of the public eye to discuss issues the board members might have. Do we really want the old board members infecting the new board members with their ideas that got us into the troubles we are in today?
 

Not only that but it is obvious that the board met with former Superintendent John Stafford outside of the public eye to hash over the details of his retirement and resignation. Nothing was on the agenda prior to tonight's meeting yet we had an agreement last Thursday. Sounds to me like a Brown Act violation. While Garibay's mentoring program in reality wouldn't violate the Brown Act, it will create more private meetings and voting agreements behind the general public's back. It would destroy the transparency that all elected boards to strive to maintain.

Does anyone remember Mr. Garibay's last board member he mentored? Go back through the board minutes and see how many times she voted exactly as Mr. Garibay. The only vote they differed on was when that Godless trustee wanted to outlaw prayer before the board meeting. She resigned shortly after that and I think she is a cocktail waitress in Vegas now.

The point is we elect each board member to be an independent voice on the board. Do we really need clones of The Bob and Ray Show in our new trustees?

Now that the board is broken down into districts the board members don't even represent the same people anymore. What issues Mr. Garibay may have in his district are different than the issues in Cogdill's or Jose Rodriquez's district.

This is just another power play by Garibay to maintain control over the board. And his outburst about my comments was nothing more than his attempt to manipulate Mr. Cogdill into his camp and have his vote in his pocket any time Garibay needed it. The same thing he did with his Vegas cocktail waitress.

This is a man who has been on the board since 1991. In those twenty years, nineteen times Garibay was passed over for board president. Not one board prior to this present one would trust Trustee Garibay with the gavel. There is a reason for this. Ask former board members what they think of Mr. Garibay and you will not hear very many flattering things.

On a personal note, when my father died in 1989 Mr. Garibay bought his accounting practice. My family entrusted Mr. Garibay with a practice my father spent a life time building. If my father would have known Bob Garibay like I do, that sale would have never happened and I apologize to my fathers former clients for my lack of insight at that time.