A news story in today’s Orange County Register describes a 5-0 vote by the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 16, 2016, which approved an “83-page request that covered the retention and disposition’ of sherriff’s records.” The vote was permission, among other things, to shred certain documents.

Apparently, there were potentially incriminating documents in those records and the Register story states that, “It’s also unclear if supervisors knew specifically what they were voting on…”

Gee, ya’ think?

Bureaucratic rubber stamping is everywhere. I have written repeatedly that the school board club routinely unanimously approves agenda items with little or no knowledge of the details of the subject. This is evidenced by their consistent failure to ask probing questions and demand follow-up reports.

Now we know that this cavalier attitude toward hard-earned taxpayer dollars, vital resources, and precious time is not confined to the N-MUSD. Does that make it OK? No.

If anything, it supports my recommendation that school boards in the state be permitted to create salaried positions out of trustee seats. We need this to help increase oversight and to open the dais to working people who are capable of serving but who cannot devote the time because they have to hold down a job. It is this roadblock, not just area representation, that has prevented a single Latino from ever holding a seat on the N-MUSD board of Trustees.

We can start with area representation, which is getting the usual stall, stifle, and stymie from the district, but it will take more. It will take someone in the Sacramento legislature to champion the cause to promote equity in school boards around the state.

Without this, you can continue to see a board – or a board majority – hell bent on preserving the status quo and perpetuating the lack of accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility that has allowed too many costly mistakes and a drastic reduction employee morale and public trust.

Unfortunately, that is the new status quo.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD