After a brief period in which there was no audio in the overflow room, we are live. As we tune in, Chair Birt is reading the new policy on civility, decorum, and respect. Trustee Savage comments that she has attended other school board meetings that had a similar policy of dividing the periods of public comments. Trustee Hamilton objects to the policy, relating to the Open Meetings Act, and asks why we are afraid of our own constituents. Trustee Savage responds that public safety is the first concern. Trustee Wozniak states that last week’s meeting was a zoo.
Laura Reigle, citizen. Calls news of upward enrollment a false statement. Administration is misrepresenting facts to public and trustees. She was interrupted by Chair Birt. Reigle asserts that her comments apply to new business items. Trustee Hamilton defends her. Birt rules her out of order.
Paul Lefort, citizen. Comment on external audit, clarification question. Asks if Trustee Hamilton is still a member of the audit committee. Chair Birt refuses to answer. “We don’t answer questions during comments – we consider it for a later time.”
Roger Kempa, citizen. Notes that 21 seats are allowed for the public. Asks if it would be possible to use the auditorium in the MAC. Refers to financial report of a quarter billion dollars and says that the investment report is a mess. What is the rate of return and the average maturity? Even small organizations have better reporting. Says that our rate of return is unacceptable. Quotes several other figures (sorry, can’t quote accurately). Made several other strongly negative comments about financials.
Adam Andrejewski, citizen. Speaks to auditing controls and transparency. BOT has violated its own transparency rules by making 26 million dollars in “hidden payments” in recent months, but 95.1 million dollars going back to 2009 (?). Explains that several vendors have more than one account in our system. “You have no idea where you’re spending your money.” Even our audit firm has two accounts. “I have no confidence in the presidency of Dr. Robert Brueder.”
Edward Franckowiak, citizen. His second meeting. At first meeting, thought there would be hope since the board voted to reduce tuition. In new board packet, found 2 pages for 6 million dollars of spending and two lines for 1.3 million dollars. “This is not your money you’re spending – it’s our money.”
John Kraft, citizen. Please fire your attorney because I think he wrote this. You can’t pass a policy and put it into effect at the same meeting. Mr. Brueder, you are embarrassing, to claim that FOIA requests are frivolous and harassment and intimidation. Intimidation is police officers everywhere like we have here tonight. Three different accounts for Heritage Wine Sellers. Hurricane Graphics with two different spellings.
Kirk Allen, citizen. Sparred with Birt over a presentation that he had asked to have distributed to the trustees. Explained in detail illegal uses of COD funds for Brueder’s personal expenses. Argued that any expense records in the hands of COD are by definition public and must be disclosed.
Vikaas Shanker, former editor of the Courier. Described the ridiculous way that the room is cordoned off. Recalled winning a national award as editor of the Courier the same year that the faculty adviser was pushed out. It’s not the fault of the current student journalists that they have been…. (Birt interrupts and says that he is not addressing an agenda item.)
David Goldberg, professor of political science. Addresses item for $1.2 million firing range. Does not fit with our educational mission. There are three shooting ranges within the near area. Mentions that his students now have to buy their own bluebooks to write essay exams in his classes, rather than having them provided by the college.