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Board affirms superintendent choice with unanimous vote

Original post made on May 11, 2011

The Menlo Park City School District board unanimously approved a three-year contract Tuesday night that will install Maurice Ghysels as superintendent on July 1 at an annual starting salary of $205,000.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 4:07 PM

Comments (50)

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Posted by educated guess
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Well I am quite surprised at the generous payment package. Taxpayers, the small district lining El Camino Real should be consolidated. What a waste of money. Don't expect the taxpayers to approve a parcel tax. And, folks remember to vote out the incumbents in the next election.


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Posted by MVWSD Watchdog
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

[Post removed. Using multiple names with same IP address.]


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

The School Board President " board members voted, in a blind-ballot process, to rank the candidates."

This is a clear violation of the law which requires ALL such voting to be done openly. The Brown Act prohibits the members of a legislative body from voting by secret ballot.

Is there no end to this school board contempt for both the law and the citizens whom it was elected to serve?


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Posted by Stephanie
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on May 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

[Post removed. Using multiple names with same IP address.]


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Posted by Judy
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm

If this is the result of the boards "due diligence" I'd hate to see the result of something they really screw up!

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

This whole ugly episode is a timely reminder why it is so important that elected officials deliberate in public with the opportunity for public comment. Instead these elected officials decide in secret using blind voting to select a new superintendent and then announced their decision days before the public meeting at which they were to make their choice in public - a farce and a clear violation of multiple sections of the Brown Act.

Their own statements are proof that they violated the law.

And who will hold them accountable?

Here is the law:
"54960.1. (a) The district attorney or any interested person may
commence an action by mandamus or injunction for the purpose of
obtaining a judicial determination that an action taken by a
legislative body of a local agency in violation of Section 54953,
54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6, 54956, or 54956.5 is null and void under
this section. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent
a legislative body from curing or correcting an action challenged
pursuant to this section."




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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Why does this surprise people? The school board is no better than the person they just hired.


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Posted by educated guess
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm

The pay given this administrator makes me think that taxpayers may be paying too much of their taxes for education.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 12, 2011 at 1:05 am

This is what I wrote from the other article:

For those of you who wish to contact your elected officials, here is their information from the MPCSD website:

Mark Box - MBox@mpcsd.org

Maria Hilton - MHilton@mpcsd.org

Joan Lambert - JLambert@mpcsd.org

Laura Rich - LRich@mpcsd.org

Terry Thygesen - TThygesen@mpcsd.org

or their entire board - board@mpcsd.org

It is worth providing feedback -- good and bad -- to your elected officials. Otherwise they may never know what the electorate thinks.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 12, 2011 at 3:23 am

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Dear Menlo City School District Board,

Pursuant to Section 549601. you are hereby notified that your actions in appointing a new superintendent violated the Brown Act and those actions will need to be declared null and void.

School Board President Maria Hilton announced on May 6 the appointment in an email to district families, saying Mr. Ghysels "possesses an impressive depth of educational and business leadership experience and a demonstrated passion for excellence."

The action leading to this announcement violated the Brown Act in at least two ways.

First, as Mrs. Hilton stated on May 10 that board members had voted, in a blind-ballot process, to rank the candidates.

Second, the Board had reached consensus on this matter without the opportunity for public comment at a properly agendized meeting. On May 10 Mrs. Hilton announced a "welcome reception" for the appointed individual BEFORE its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 10. The reception will be from 6 to 7 p.m. in the district office at 181 Encinal Ave. in Menlo Park. The agenda for the 10 May meeting, after the "welcome reception" included a Closed session item titled:

''The Board will meet in Closed Session regarding Public Employee Appointment (Superintendent) as per Government Code 54957"

and an Open Session item titled :

"a. Ratification of Contract with Dr. Maurice Ghysels for Position of Superintendent, Beginning July 1, 2011 "


Cure and Correct Demand:

1 - The Menlo Park City School Board made a preliminary decision regarding the appointment of a new superintendent by secret ballot in violation of Section 54953c which states (c) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.

2 - The Board reached consensus on this appointment without public input thereby denying the public's right to comment before the Board's decision was made.

3 - The Board then announced this appointment well before a regularly scheduled meeting at which the public would have been give the opportunity to comment before the legislative body voted to take action, also thereby denying the public's right to comment before the Board's decision was made.

4 - The Board then also announced that a welcoming reception for this appointee appointment would be before a regularly scheduled meeting at which the public would have been give the opportunity to comment before the legislative body voted to make this appointment, also thereby denying the public's right to comment before the Board's decision was made.



Therefore, the Board is respectfully requested to nullify this entire appointment procedure and to begin it search ab initio. When doing the new search and making the appointment the Board is urged not to use either secret ballots or closed sessions (even in those narrow instances when such session might be legally permitted) in order to ensure the public's confidence in and participation in the new appointment process.
.

I am also copying this Cure and Correct Demand Letter to the San Mateo District Attorney so that he may determine if civil or criminal action should be taken.


Peter Carpenter


54960.1. (a) The district attorney or any interested person may
commence an action by mandamus or injunction for the purpose of
obtaining a judicial determination that an action taken by a
legislative body of a local agency in violation of Section 54953,
54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6, 54956, or 54956.5 is null and void under
this section. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent
a legislative body from curing or correcting an action challenged
pursuant to this section.
(b) Prior to any action being commenced pursuant to subdivision
(a), the district attorney or interested person shall make a demand
of the legislative body to cure or correct the action alleged to have
been taken in violation of Section 54953, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6,
54956, or 54956.5. The demand shall be in writing and clearly
describe the challenged action of the legislative body and nature of
the alleged violation.
(c) (1) The written demand shall be made within 90 days from the
date the action was taken unless the action was taken in an open
session but in violation of Section 54954.2, in which case the
written demand shall be made within 30 days from the date the action
was taken.
(2) Within 30 days of receipt of the demand, the legislative body
shall cure or correct the challenged action and inform the demanding
party in writing of its actions to cure or correct or inform the
demanding party in writing of its decision not to cure or correct the
challenged action.
(3) If the legislative body takes no action within the 30-day
period, the inaction shall be deemed a decision not to cure or
correct the challenged action, and the 15-day period to commence the
action described in subdivision (a) shall commence to run the day
after the 30-day period to cure or correct expires.
(4) Within 15 days of receipt of the written notice of the
legislative body's decision to cure or correct, or not to cure or
correct, or within 15 days of the expiration of the 30-day period to
cure or correct, whichever is earlier, the demanding party shall be
required to commence the action pursuant to subdivision (a) or
thereafter be barred from commencing the action.
(d) An action taken that is alleged to have been taken in
violation of Section 54953, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6, 54956, or
54956.5 shall not be determined to be null and void if any of the
following conditions exist:
(1) The action taken was in substantial compliance with Sections
54953, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6, 54956, and 54956.5.
(2) The action taken was in connection with the sale or issuance
of notes, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness or any contract,
instrument, or agreement thereto.
(3) The action taken gave rise to a contractual obligation,
including a contract let by competitive bid other than compensation
for services in the form of salary or fees for professional services,
upon which a party has, in good faith and without notice of a
challenge to the validity of the action, detrimentally relied.
(4) The action taken was in connection with the collection of any
tax.
(5) Any person, city, city and county, county, district, or any
agency or subdivision of the state alleging noncompliance with
subdivision (a) of Section 54954.2, Section 54956, or Section
54956.5, because of any defect, error, irregularity, or omission in
the notice given pursuant to those provisions, had actual notice of
the item of business at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at which
the action was taken, if the meeting was noticed pursuant to Section
54954.2, or 24 hours prior to the meeting at which the action was
taken if the meeting was noticed pursuant to Section 54956, or prior
to the meeting at which the action was taken if the meeting is held
pursuant to Section 54956.5.
(e) During any action seeking a judicial determination pursuant to
subdivision (a) if the court determines, pursuant to a showing by
the legislative body that an action alleged to have been taken in
violation of Section 54953, 54954.2, 54954.5, 54954.6, 54956, or
54956.5 has been cured or corrected by a subsequent action of the
legislative body, the action filed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall
be dismissed with prejudice.
(f) The fact that a legislative body takes a subsequent action to
cure or correct an action taken pursuant to this section shall not be
construed or admissible as evidence of a violation of this chapter.
54960.5. A court may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees
to the plaintiff in an action brought pursuant to Section 54960 or
54960.1 where it is found that a legislative body of the local agency
has violated this chapter. The costs and fees shall be paid by the
local agency and shall not become a personal liability of any public


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SaraMP
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

And where were all you outraged people when this meeting was taking place? Standing up at the meeting and voicing your concerns? Apparently not.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

Does anyone know who the Attorney is for the MPCSD? I looked on the district's web site and could find no reference. It is astounding to me that there are so many instances in this area (the County, various school districts, and at least two cities I'm aware of, that rely on legal representation that either is not expert in the Brown Act, or, even more worrisome, neglects or opts not to properly advise elected bodies on its requirements. I would think that a rudimentary requirement for a law firm or individual lawyer to be considered qualified to provide legal representation to public entities would be a very thorough understanding of that particular law.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Actually these elected officials don't need a lawyer - everything they need to know is covered in the ethics course that they are required to take every two years. In fact, just reading the preamble to the Brown Act would prevent most of these problems:

""In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards, and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people's
business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly."
"The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good
for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."


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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

Awwwwwwwwww...........Peter, let's spend some money on lawyers since the word "ethics" has truly taken on an entire new meaning.
We cannont live by your old laws and decisions.
They didn't help before, why should they work now?

Act like our founding fathers, and create laws to go with our present status in all California cities and even rewrite, and throw away all of those numbered mind puzzles which mean nothing to most people who would not dream of carrying them while traveling, even in Bosnia.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

It's no wonder people have such a low opinion of elected officials as a whole. Recent events in Menlo Park and now the school district confirm the disregard for rules. In these case, unfortunately, one bad apple....

Our elected officials need to tow the line. It prompts the question that if these officials have no regard for compliance what else are they willing to compromise. People may not like Mr. Carpenter's advocacy of the Brown Act, but I'm glad somebody is willing to speak to accountability.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

please enlighten us Mr. Gordon. What new meaning has "ethics" taken on?


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm

$205k????


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Posted by district parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I could not attend the meeting as I had another commitment. My experience with the board is that they politely listen to public comment but ignore it. In this case, they have many explanations for their actions, and of course the new sup's references all spoke positively of him. He may prove to be okay; we will see. The process troubles me greatly, and it is a slap in the face to parents and staff to assume that we would not have been able to maintain confidentiality had we been included.


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Posted by Elaine
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

You might be interested in reading what comments were made by the community Mr. Ghysels just left. Seems the Menlo Park trustees were just as enchanted with him as the MV trustees...Here is the link:


Web Link


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

The MPCSD Superintendent responded to my Cure and Correct letter by stating that "I have been assured that the Board of Education did not violate the Brown Act in the process of selecting and appointing the superintendent."

Public trust is hard earned and easily lost.

This is a simple issue.
1 - The law states: Section 54953 (c) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.

2 - During the special meeting, Ms. Hilton noted that after the six finalists for the job were interviewed, board members voted, in a blind-ballot process, to rank the candidates. All board members ranked him No. 1, she said.

The School Board violated the law in reaching its consensus by secret ballot and therefore all of its subsequent actions on this matter are null and void.

Absent the requested Cure and Correction the School Board will be sued. The individual depositions of Board members under oath will be very interesting.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm

district parent said "my experience with the board is that they politely listen to public comment but ignore it."

Unfortunately, that's not an uncommon experience.

And that's why we have to hold them accountable for their actions. Say what you will, but I think many of our elected officials in Washington are acting very differently after the elections of November 2010 and they saw many of their colleagues failing to return.

Perhaps we can send the same message to our local officials.

We get the government we deserve.


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Posted by I Wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I wish that many of you on this blog would help the volunteers of this school district with positive input, money and support, rather than taking every opportunity to bash the heck out of them for some possible MINOR violation of the Brown Act. I say minor, because once again, and I would have placed my home on a bet, NO ONE shows up at the Board meeting to voice any concern, NO ONE. These people, our School Board, are volunteers, very hard working volunteers. Volunteers who are currently helping run one of the top school districts in California. There have been no budget terminations of any teachers, for a District that has almost doubled in size, with a forever pressing union and many, many taxing issues. Yes, they helped pass a parcel tax, but the state has been NO help, and for majority of the funds, this district has to rely on the citizens to help. For many of you on this blog that feel the need to express your views on something you know nothing about, or have never worn these volunteer's shoes, I truly wish you'd hold back a bit, attend a meeting, speak to one of the board members, and stop going down these ridiculous roads that people like Mr. Brown Act Boy likes to take us all down. It's not productive, and it never helps. Peter go find something else to do!


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Posted by Carla
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Okay, they're hard-working volunteers. But maybe they made a mistake. They claim they did due diligence, but it doesn't appear so. I'd respect and admire them much more if they went back and set it all right. That's much more admirable. The MV teachers union came out strongly against his efforts to cover up his conflict of interest, formally calling it a "breach of professional conduct" in a letter to the school board. If you didn't know, that's a pretty strong and uncommon action for a teachers' union to take. Web Link What message does that send to MPCSD teachers? You know, the ones that are actually teaching our kids. The candidate they put forward has an undeniable shady past as reported by the Almanac, The Voice, and the SJ Mercury News. What's wrong with wanting better for our schools? What's wrong with wanting a leader with values you can look up to, particularly when he or she represents the schools. MPCSD isn't a corporation for profit. It's a public school system where the public should have input. I have a really hard time separating personal conduct from professional. And none of this is gossip or rumor, its acknowledge fact by the candidate himself. At this point, I would even dare to speculate that this was an inside job of getting him hired based on a network of influence and favors from certain circles of power.

And then consider this:

According to the Public Employee Salaries Database 2010, Ghsyels arranged to pay Mizell $116,428 as principal before he left. Mizell had three years experience as a principal. That's the second highest salary for an elementary school principal in MVWSD. The highest was $117,229 for an elementary principal with two decades experience as principal. There is far more to this story than meets the eye.

Also consider this:

Check the CA Dept of Ed's Dataquest website. Under Mr. Ghysels' tenure growth targets were not met at four MV schools, both MV middle schools dropped in API, two elementary schools went into Program Improvement. MV is now forced to deny federal funding after five years under Ghysels to prevent from falling even further into Program Improvement. Where is Ghysel's responsibility in all this? I know, I know, it's all the students' fault, the teachers' fault etc. Web Link


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Posted by I wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thank you for making my point for me Carla. I find it amazing that after ALL the articles, most of which were speculative at best, after ALL the ridiculous blogging on sites like this, again VERY speculative, many comments made without any facts and just opinions, this school board reviewed everything, with a very fine toothed comb, and made this decision. However, because people like yourself believe in conspiracy theories like "There is far more to this story than meets the eye" - we have to subject ourselves to more crazy blogging. Have you ever thought that the teacher unions have a vendetta with the superintendent, or for that matter, ANY teacher union with ANY superintendent? Have you ever thought that people that loved the man's wife, more than they loved him would make up stories, exaggerate, blog crazy thoughts etc.?


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Posted by Carla
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I could easily say that any applicant for a job would make themselves look as best they could and embellish their resume and lie through their teeth to get the job. I could also say that the MV board bound by an agreement in his severance package to not elaborate on the conflict of interest which basically got him fired, something you completely ignore and which BTW, a conflict of interest did exist, and you'd have to have the intelligence of a rock to not have recognized it. He was the superintendent, she was a principal, he supervised her, end of story). The board in MV acted as sheepishly as the MP board in recognizing the fact. You make it sound like its all about being for HIM or against HIM. I am for the schools and the children.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

@ I wish -- OK then justify a salary of $205 K plus additional benefits for overseeing 4 schools. Don't come asking for more money for classrooms and students; how about reallocating some of this salary to more appropriate areas.

Do you realize that $205 K plus far exceeds the salaries of many state governors; is more than the Secretaries of State and Defense make; and more than a colonel in the Army or Air Force with 20+ years of experience; and many more government employees.

I'm glad the school district has that much extra revenue.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

@ I wish -- the next time you get stopped by the police for a MINOR violation, ask the officer to look the other way because, after all, it was just a MINOR violation.

Standards, rules, laws, etc. are in place for a reason.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I wish -

I suppose they're only "minor" violations when they don't impact you. Maybe you wouldn't object if government officials raised taxes or cut services without public input too.

If this superintendent appointment turns out to be an expensive lesson for your district, you may feel differently that your elected officials on the school board performed their selection process in secret.

Personally, I prefer my government in the sunshine. There may be a time and place for secrecy, but picking the superintendent isn't even close. As someone far smarter than me once said, it's a very good disinfectant.


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Posted by I wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

And here we go with the ridiculous lack of evidence again: "embellish their resume and lie thru their teeth" - I guess, as the article and the facts say, the board didn't do any "extensive ON CAMPUS interviews", aka did a great job with being extremely thorough with the background check? And, "basically got him fired" - was he fired? This is new, but again you are making up ridiculous blog facts, supported by nothing real. Yes, there was a conflict of interest, he dealt with it, the Board dealt with it, end of story. However, as a non-evidence gathering blogger, let's trump up the charges and fry the guy for making a mistake and paying for it. "Joe" - pick another topic, this is not about his salary, nor is it about cops pulling you over, this is about a guy that made a mistake was heavily vetted, but you and your blogging non-fact checking folks, just feel the need to bash, even though NONE of you have ever attended a Board meeting, donated to the District or have done anything positive, with the exception of paying taxes. POGO - attend a meeting, then maybe YOU could decide whether or not this Board is transparent. Perhaps the Board doesn't feel the need to make decisions like this in the eye of the public, because you don't seem to care, or people like you don't seem to care? Get out from behind a keyboard, or be silent. We elected these folks to make decisions like this. They select, hire, train, and review this individual, it's their job, not yours. If you want to be a part of it, AGAIN, get involved, and stop the negative blogging.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm

@ I wish -- in response to your last comment -- reread the above article. It does make reference to the amount of his salary.

And as far as the infraction, I was replying to your initial reference of "possible MINOR violation". My point was that leaders need to follow the rules plane and simple. If they did comply with the Brown Act, then there should be no problem. If, however, they didn't, the board need to rectify the issue immediately.

And to your other point, I have attended a board meeting and helped out at schools.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I wish -

You know nothing about me yet you so easily accuse me of being a keyboard critic.

Yet I do attend meetings of town councils (in my own as well as other nearby towns), local, regional and state school boards and other public agencies. And I regularly interact with our state and federal elected officials. But thank you for your accusation...

My point is that government business should always be done in the public and that's true whether anyone's watching or not. It's not only good law, it's good sense.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm

And I will not be silent, even had you asked politely.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

I wish:

it's only a "minor" violation when it's not your ox being gored. MY bet is if a decision was made that you didn't agree with in the manner in which this one was made (in private, in violation of the Brown Act)you wouldn't think it "minor" and you would be screaming bloody murder.

This is such a clear and blatant violation of the Brown Act that it is almost unbelievable. These folks knew they were violating the act, they have been trained. Unfortunately, because we have a DA with the spine of a jelly fish when it comes to enforcing the Brown Act, it takes people like Peter to do something about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

I Wish says:

"POGO - attend a meeting" "If you want to be a part of it, AGAIN, get involved."

You obviously have NO IDEA who he is, This is one of the funniest statements made on this blog.

Menlo Voter says it best: "This is such a clear and blatant violation of the Brown Act that it is almost unbelievable. These folks knew they were violating the act, they have been trained."

San Mateo County elected officials have had a FREE PASS from the past District Attorney during his 28 years he refused to prosecute Brown Act Violations.

This is very simple.....Elected Officials.....Stop Violating the Brown Act Laws.

Thank You to Peter Carpenter


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Posted by I wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I wish for a very happy, productive and successful career for Mr. Ghysels. I apologize for the negative bloggers on this site. You will come to realize, Mr. Ghysels, that unfortunately this is the way of Menlo Park and Atherton. If a rumor builds, you get lambasted for it, over and over again, and you become guilty in the eye of the public blogger. I hope you can outlast these people, they are more than likely the same ones that bash any and all improvements in our town. You may want to keep your home in Mountain View, with a decent vibrant downtown, you will soon discover that our downtown is slowly but surely deteriorating from the inside out, again mainly because of these type negative folks. Again, good luck, long live the Brown Act! :)


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

I wish -

If you had integrity, you wouldn't be apologizing "for the negative bloggers on the site," you would be apologizing for directing false accusations at others, including at me.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

I wish:

I have a wish too. I wish you remember your words here when this appointment blows up in the school boards face. I doubt you will, but that's my wish.


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Posted by I wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I wish POGO had a job, and would get out from behind his keyboard. And, Menlo Voter, unlike you, I volunteer and work extremely hard for the schools, I know what I am saying, I know what I am doing, and I again believe it was a good choice. I own up to my well thought out, researched and calculated decisions. I've met the man, I've read almost everything about him, and I do get out from behind my keyboard. Thank you for your time. :)


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

I wish - POGO has done far more community service than you ever will. And Menlo Voter has literally put his life on the line in public service.

Be careful with your unfounded statements.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I wish:

like I said, remember your hubris when this appointment blows up.

And I echo what Peter said; I bet POGO has done far more in community service than you ever will. Perhaps you should come out from behind YOUR keyboard.


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Posted by Carla
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I wish:

I've met that guy and worked with him and he's anything but about the schools. He's about himself. He's a manipulator, not a leader. He claims he knows how to be politically savvy, how to match people and fit them. He'll throw a lot of good, dedicated people under the bus. His is an ego that has to be fed 24/7. Menlo Park deserves much better.


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Posted by No rant
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Peter,

Apparently you are not the expert on the Brown Act that you claim to be. Maybe you should educate yourself before you rant on and on. Or not, and just entertain us with your folly.

Mr. Carpenter is "misinterpreting the provisions of the Brown Act that he's quoting." The board's ranking of candidates does not constitute "taking action," Fox said.
"He's quoting a section that prohibits secret ballots, and is misinterpreting what occurs in closed session as a ballot," Fox said.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

To the Menlo Park School Board - this is why personal integrity counts.

From this morning's news: "The IMF declined to comment yesterday, but its board should do some soul-searching about the pass it previously gave Mr. Strauss-Kahn. The married Frenchman pursued and had an affair with a senior fund economist not long after taking the top job in 2007. After her husband blew the whistle, the fund board let Mr. Strauss-Kahn off with a wrist slap that he had committed a "serious error of judgment."

An affair with a subordinate is dismissed as "a serious error of judgment." Does that sound familiar, Dr. Ghysels?

Seriously, you couldn't find a candidate who wasn't so flawed? Your appointment has all the makings of a slow train wreck.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 8:29 am

I wish -

The rest of your post isn't worthy of a more detailed response than this.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

He said:
"He's quoting a section that prohibits secret ballots, and is misinterpreting what occurs in closed session as a ballot," Fox said.

She said:
"During the special meeting, Ms. Hilton noted that after the six finalists for the job were interviewed, board members voted, in a blind-ballot process, to rank the candidates. All board members ranked him No. 1, she said."

When is a ballot not a ballot? - when it is a secret ballot? Which is expressly what is prohibited by the law.

Having ranked this candidate as their first choice by secret ballot all of their subsequent actions simply reaffirmed what they had, illegally, decided by secret ballot.


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Posted by I wish
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

Don't worry POGO, I don't live my life to please you and your negative comments, I'm fine with a no response. I just wish at some point in your life you'd find an objective bone in your body, do your research, and get a little closer to the subject other than just pinning your comments on one article and your own "holier than thou" lifestyle. Again, good luck
Mr. Ghysels, and thank you School Board! Fortunately you do not pay attention to this negative commentary, coming from the Monday Morning QB Club!


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

The law states:"Section 54953(c) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final."

He said:

"He's quoting a section that prohibits secret ballots, and is misinterpreting what occurs in closed session as a ballot," Fox said.

She said:

"During the special meeting, Ms. Hilton noted that after the six finalists for the job were interviewed, board members voted, in a blind-ballot process, to rank the candidates. All board members ranked him No. 1, she said."

So when is a ballot not a ballot? - when it is a secret ballot?

Which is expressly what is prohibited by the law:
Section 54953 (c) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.

Having ranked this candidate as their first choice by secret ballot all of their subsequent actions simply reaffirmed what they had, illegally, decided by secret ballot.

Will the DA once again outFox the law?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

According to the Brown Act training that elected and appointed officials receive, they are specifically prohibited from any kind of voting agreements or arrangements in advance of a public vote. This even includes asking your fellow board members, "so who are you favoring for the appointment?"

Not allowed... except apparently in San Mateo County.


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Posted by retired principal from No. California
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I suggest that you document any and all negative events involving this Superintendent. Also, parents should not be afraid to speak up and challenge the Superintendent. You can also vote out the incumbents on the school board in 2012.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Interesting quote from a former female IMF employee re the President of the IMF who was just arrested for alleged rape and other charges:

"In a letter to the board, Ms. Nagy disagreed, saying Mr. Strauss-Kahn had used his power as managing director to become intimate with her.

"I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't," she wrote in a letter to the investigators. In the letter, she went on to say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn was "a man with a problem that may make him ill-equipped to lead an institution where women work under his command."

"A man with a problem" .....hired by a Board that may well become the target of a future law suit by any aggrieved or disgruntled female employee - with or without justification. Hopefully they have a lot of insurance.


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