NHMCCD has got some explaining to do (updated)
Two weeks ago, I received an email that was forwarded to me from one of my sources. It was an email from John Pickelman to Randy Bates. In an effort to ensure that my source was protected, I issued a TXPIA request for all emails in the time frame regarding the issue. The results of that TXPIA request came in the mail yesterday. So I am now at liberty to reveal it's contents. In this email was an admission that the board still does not grasp the concept that ALL MEETINGS REGARDING COLLEGE BUSINESS MUST BE PUBLIC. I quote the email here:
So in other words they were going to decide how they will spend money they no longer have and they were going to do so at a private "retreat" where the public was not invited.----- Original Message -----From: Pickelman, JohnTo: Bates, RandySent: Friday, January 12, 2007 9:44 AMSubject: Update
I am sorry that the Board retreat needed to be rescheduled. It is important that process and substantive issues be addressed soon by the Board. We are contacting you to identify possible dates on which all are able to participate. If the Board is to develop effective teamwork, I believe 100% participation is essential. After consulting with Chairman Bates, I am recommending that the retreat have two components. The first is to focus on process, i.e., with new membership on the Board, how do you go about forging new relationships that result in a highly, effective working team with fellow trustees and the chancellor? With the exception of an external facilitator, only trustees will attend this first part of the retreat. The second portion of the retreat is substantive and deals with our physical plant needs. Following the defeat of the bond referendum, what are the District’s options, especially responding to some critical needs? Attending this portion of the retreat will be the trustees and executive committee.
Well I can tell you part of how they plan on dealing with the failure of the bond election. They plan on floating yet another bond election in November. I don't know how much yet, When I find out I will let you know, But I'm guessing that it will be a carbon copy of the one that failed. This tidbit was leaked at the January Faculty Senate meetings out at Kingwood College.
Also at the meeting, it was revealed why NHMCCD refused to reveal the results of the abortive election back in May. The following is excerpted from the official minutes of the meeting:
IV. Old Business:
A. Advising – Advisors are in the area high schools because Dr. Stegall wants them
to be there.
advisors are the only advisors there so she believes that they do create a presence for us there. If they weren’t in the high schools part of the time, we would not need to employ so many of them. Initially we did receive some grant funds to begin the program but now only Cleveland ISD continues to qualify for the grant. There is a concern that some students report that they have a difficult time seeing advisors in their offices. Kingwood College
B. NHMCCD has filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General’s Office because of an
Open Record’s Request regarding the May election. This was done to protect our employees. The Board may try to hold another Bond election in November.
C. Writing Across the Curriculum – President Almstedt stated that he encourages his
students to purchase the WAC handbook and he has found it to be very helpful in class. He encouraged other faculty to do the same.
D. Search for the Chancellor – Todd Miller reported that the ad has run in the
“Chronicle of Higher Education” and that the committee is meeting next week to review the applications. The committee will meet in person and will not review the applications on-line.
E. December Graduation – Faculty like the December graduation ceremony but
there is concern about the timing of the ceremony. Is it possible to have the ceremony after finals have been completed?
Protect their employees from what? prosecution? Would that not then make the board guilty of obstruction of justice?
NHMCCD has issued a "correction" to the senate meeting minutes that states that the lawsuit is to protect the voters, not the employees. Their logic is that by opening the ballots, it will expose who voted for what. I assure you that anyone who knows ANYTHING about how ballots are recorded on e-slate machines knows that no name is ever attached to a ballot except in the case of provisional ballots and absentee/mail ballots. You can tell who voted, but you cannot tell who or what they voted for. You can tell how many votes were for a given measure and how many were against and that is all you can tell. The only way you could assume that a person voted a given way is if the ballots were unanimous. But if the ballots were unanimous, I would question the validity of the ballot anyway. Therefore the logic is as faulty as their meeting minutes.