Letter: Ketta Brown’s Double Standard Politics Get Personal

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In making the anti-democratic argument that recently re-elected Dee Perry is unfit for office on equal terms with other school board members, former member Ketta Brown asserts “…as a board member, you need to support the administration” (Indy, March 21).

High performing school boards support high performing administrators, but not whether right or wrong.

Yet, Ketta supports Superintendent Jason Viloria’s choreographed denial of Perry’s turn to serve as board president, under bylaws Ketta voted to approve and relied on to ensure her past rotation to serve as president.

Viloria planned the agenda for the special early morning meeting on Nov. 15, 2017, where Ketta reportedly led discussion agreeing to pass over Perry and re-elect Vickers. If true, it was Viloria’s sworn legal duty to inform the Board that discussion of member intentions on officer elections violated state law until on the following month’s agenda.

Ketta should’ve confirmed or denied her role and the superintendent’s dereliction of duty.  Instead, Ketta tried to justify discriminatory treatment by derisively disdaining Perry as “old school…does not follow protocols…off the reservation.”

Yet, under questioning by Perry, the board’s counsel conceded that the “protocols” Ketta demands Perry follow—as passively and obediently as Ketta did—are merely non-binding ritualized routines for board members unsure of procedures or insecure about roles.

Perry also led the board from the technological stone age by intrepidly advocating live-streaming and podcast archives at the board orientation meeting on Dec. 11, 2014.

Just named board president under bylaw rights she later would deny to Perry, a visibly hesitant Ketta timidly responded to Dee’s proposal to modernize public communications by urging Perry to ask the superintendent if district priorities might allow it to be considered on a future agenda.

Ketta’s demeaning political metaphor casting board members as subordinates serving on the superintendent’s bureaucratic reservation says more about Ketta’s qualifications to represent the community than Perry’s. Like Ketta, Vickers, Normandin and Wolff persist in board abdication of duties enabling usurpation of authority by staff.

Yet, under CA Ed. Code Sec. 35161 and Sec. 35035, superintendents serve as an administrative, not governing, “Chief Executive,” and the board retains full control and responsibility for all staff actions.

After 12 years on the board, it seems that Ketta still doesn’t understand that the superintendent has no independent or co-equal powers. Asking the public to support staff as a surrogate for the board is really veiled pleading to support the board itself.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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