Minutes January 3, 2022 Special Meeting

Minutes January 3, 2022 Special Meeting
Posted on 01/18/2023

LOS LUNAS SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION
SPECIAL MEETING
JANUARY 3, 2022

1. CALL TO ORDER

Ms. Garcia called the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education Meeting to order at 5:59 pm.

Ms. Garcia welcomed those who were participating in the board meeting in person and those watching the board meeting via livestream on YouTube. Ms. Garcia added that, as a reminder, the link to the meeting was on the District’s webpage, under the Board of Education page. She added that the streaming would run through the end of the meeting, and, in the event there was a disruption in the audio portion, she would pause the meeting until it was reestablished.

Ms. Garcia announced that Mr. Smith was unable to attend the meeting in person, but would be participating via teleconference. She then confirmed that Mr. Smith could hear and be heard.

(Titles reflect reorganization - ksw)

LLS BOE Members Present: Tina Garcia, President
P. David Vickers, Vice President
Bruce Bennett, Secretary
Bryan C. Smith, Member
Eloy Giron, Member

Administrators Present: Dr. Arsenio Romero, Superintendent
Brian Baca, Deputy Superintendent
Susan Chavez, Chief Student Services Officer
Dr. Deborah Elder, Chief Academic Officer
Andrew Saiz, Chief Personnel Officer
Sandy Traczyk, Interim Chief Finance Officer
Carlos Castillo, Interim Director of Finance
Desi Garcia, Dir. of Safety & Security
Michelle Romero, Dir. of Purchasing

Others Present: Makayla Grijalva, Valencia County News Bulletin
Five (5) additional individuals were in attendance.
A range of 20-24 individuals watched via streaming.

2. ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEETING

Ms. Garcia asked Dr. Romero to announce the meeting. Dr. Romero reported the meeting had been announced in accordance with the Open Meetings Resolution, and was a legally constituted meeting of the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education.

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Ms. Garcia asked Mr. Bennett to lead the audience in the Pledge.

4. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Ms. Garcia asked Dr. Romero if there were any changes or deletions to the agenda. Dr. Romero stated he did not have any changes.

Ms. Garcia called for a motion regarding the approval of the agenda. Mr. Bennett moved, and Mr. Giron seconded, to approve the agenda as submitted Ms. Garcia asked if there was any discussion before she called for a vote.

There being none, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Eloy Giron – yes; Bruce Bennett – yes; P. David Vickers – yes; Bryan C. Smith – yes; and Tina Garcia – yes. The motion to approve the agenda as presented passed: 5/0.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION

Ms. Garcia announced that would lead them to Item #5. BOARD REORGANIZATION.

Ms. Garcia stated that, at that time, they would reorganize the Board by electing officers, after which, the President would name the appointees to the Finance and Audit Committees.

A. Election of Officers
i. President

Ms. Garcia called for a nomination for Board President.

Mr. Bennett nominated Tina Garcia to serve as Board President. Mr. Vickers seconded the nomination. Ms. Garcia asked if there was any discussion.

Mr. Giron stated that they’d had a reorganization meeting May 24th 2022 , and he’d had some questions when they nominated her and voted for you. He’d had some questions for her. He said she’d assured him that those questions that were asked would be followed. He said he didn’t know how to frame this, and said he wanted to start at the beginning, though. How was she going to handle things being put on the agenda?

Ms. Garcia, stated that she’d done here best, she knew she had a lot to learn, and knew that she could get better, but she thought the communication with this board has progressively gotten better. They made an agenda item on the agenda for board members to give recommendations and/or suggestions on items that they would like to bring to the Board. It seemed to be working. She said she thought she’d keep that process, unless the Board had another idea of how to do so. Of course, the same email or text message or phone call would work, but having that time during the meeting on the agenda to bring up items has worked, and she thought she continue to do it that way.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

A. Election of Officers
i. President
Mr. Giron said that he disagreed, that it was working. On May 24th, 2022, he said he’d asked for her to set up a meeting as soon as possible to address the superintendent’s goals. Nine months ago, that was, and their first meeting was gonna be this next week, he thought, so he had to disagree with her that that's working. She’d also said that she would be working together with the whole board. That's not working with the whole board. Mr. Giron stated that he was not going to able to vote for her. He couldn’t can't vote for somebody that had done that, that had censored us, and also censored the public, the public's being able to address them. So, that's where he stood with it.

Ms. Garcia thanked him and asked if there was any more discussion.

There being no further discussion, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Eloy Giron – no; Bruce Bennett – yes; P. David Vickers – yes; Bryan C. Smith -

Mr. Smith stated that before he voted, he wanted to make a comment. Being the Board President came with a huge amount of responsibility. It's so much more than running the meeting. It's knowing board policies. Whether they agreed with them or not, it's following them. Not occasionally, not once in a while; it's all the time. It's also that person in that office holds the responsibility of promoting unity within the Board, understanding that five members could not always have the same ideas , and if they did, they’d only need one. So, there were different ideals that were on the board panel, that was to be accepted and promote inclusion, not only by the board numbers, but by the community. Mr. Smith said he felt that had not happened.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

A. Election of Officers
i. President (Continued)

Mr. Smith said that our school district was huge when they included all the stakeholders, and it seemed to him that they had limited some people having a voice, as what they should and should not do with our school district, and he found it very, very difficult to support anybody that didn't represent this board without prejudice, and there's a lot of prejudice on this Board from three board members to the other two. It's a three - two school board. That's the way it was, and that's the way it's been shown to be for the last nine months.

Mr. Smith stated that he knew it's very difficult for people to understand that they were placed back on the board, but they were placed back on the Board for a reason. The reason was they shouldn't have been kicked off the first time, because there was nothing to kick them off for, yet they had continually been ostracized and excluded, no matter what the situation was, no matter what the subject was, no matter what they were dealing with. He, as a board member, took pride in not changing his mind. He was there. Everybody knows what they represent. They had for years. He added that he found it very, very difficult to support anybody that doesn't understand that there were five of them and they all had a voice. He was elected to have a voice. To him that held a lot of weight. So, he was going to vote no. Bryan C. Smith – no; and Tina Garcia – stated she would accept the nomination and voted yes. Ms. Garcia was elected to serve as Board President.

Ms. Garcia stated that she would just like to say, first of all, she knew for a fact she was not being prejudicial against anybody. She knew for fact that she worked really hard to try to unite this Board and to try to unite the District, and she would continue to do so. She knew for a fact they were not the only school district that's a three-two vote.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

A. Election of Officers
i. President
Ms. Garcia said she also knew that it had happened in this district several times, and she knew that it's happened in numerous districts throughout the state. That's why they were a five-member board. They were going to agree sometimes, and they were going to disagree other times. That's why they took those votes.

She opposed the idea that she was prejudiced against anybody on the Board. She did admit that there was a difference of opinions on lots of different items, but she would not prejudice anybody, whether they were elected or appointed. She happened to be appointed at a time where it was needed, and she took that appointment seriously. She took it seriously today. She would take it seriously until her appointment ends so, having said that, the role of the president or the role of any board member was to be taken seriously, at any time, however they got here, and she would continue to do that.

ii. Vice President

Ms. Garcia stated that they would move on and she would stand for a nomination for the office of Board Vice President.

Mr. Bennett nominated Mr. Vickers to serve as Board Vice President. Mr. Vickers accepted the nomination and seconded the motion.

Ms. Garcia asked if there was any discussion.

Mr. Giron stated that the role of the vice president was to fill in for the president when she was gone. There was no way he could support somebody that would not let the public speak. They're the ones who built this building and paid the taxes. They had a voice. He couldn’t support somebody who would not allow the public to speak.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

A. Election of Officers (Cont.)
ii. Vice President

Ms. Garcia asked if there was any other discussion. There being no further discussion, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Eloy Giron – no; Bruce Bennett – yes; P. David Vickers – yes ; Bryan C. Smith – no; and Tina Garcia – yes. Ms. Garcia announced that Mr. Vickers was approved to serve as Board Vice President.

iii. Secretary

Ms. Garcia said she would stand for a nomination for the office of Board Secretary.

Mr. Vickers nominated Mr. Bennett to serve as Board Secretary.
He added that they had reorganized last May and felt that he would like to see continuity for another year.
Mr. Bennett accepted the nomination and seconded the motion. There being no discussion, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Eloy Giron – no; Bruce Bennett – yes; P. David Vickers – yes; Bryan C. Smith -

Mr. Smith said that literally just a couple of minutes ago, Ms. Garcia said she going to work for inclusion, and this was what it meant? He added that he could have already known as to what was going to happen.

Bryan C. Smith – no ; and Tina Garcia – yes . Ms. Garcia announced that Mr. Bennett was approved to serve as Board Secretary.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

B. Appointment to Finance and Audit Committees

Ms. Garcia stated that one of the duties of the Board President was to appoint two individuals to serve on the Finance Committee and on the Audit Committee. If, for whatever reason, a committee member could not attend, an alternate would be asked to attend.

i. Finance
Ms. Garcia stated that she would chair the Finance Committee and appointed Mr. Bennett to sit on the committee. Mr. Bennett confirmed his willingness to serve in that capacity.

She then confirmed that is was an appointment and didn’t require a vote.

ii. Audit Committee
Ms. Garcia asked Mr. Vickers to chair the Audit Committee. He agreed to the appointment. She then asked Mr. Giron if he would serve as a memer of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Giron said that before he accepted that, could Tina tell him what the role of the finance committee was and what the role of the audit committee was.
Ms. Garcia reviewed the role of the finance committee including going through ad reviewing with the members of the Cabinet brought forth the finance items that would be presented to the whole Board, including reports expenditures, purchases, etc. Those items would then be voted on by the whole Board. Ms. Garcia then reviewed the role of the audit committee that included worked with the auditors regarding the work they had done. The final audit results would be presented to the whole Board.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

B. Appointment to Finance and Audit Committees (Continued)

ii. Audit Committee
Mr. Giron led discussion regarding what she’d explained, during which he said he wanted to know what kind oversight there was on either one of those committees. It appeared to him there was no oversight, there was no teeth to it, there was no push. If there's any questions, there didn’t appear to be any question they could push back with. So, I've asked this for a couple of years, what's the roles? That's the same answer I received every time, there's no answer. I think this needs to be re-addressed for approval from the legislators. Just to say, I want to be on the committee. I'm going to respectfully decline, because I don't -- There's no role for me. I still haven't had an answer. I mean, you meet with an auditor, I think that's something that this board needs to address. I think that's something that maybe we should dissolve, because if there's no oversight, there's no teeth behind it, why are we spending that energy and time and money for that? asked what the roles of finance and audit committee members.
Ms. Garcia explained that the final oversight was the Board, and in the approval of the items that were brought forward to them every month. She added that she was pretty sure that the State required them to have a finance committee and an audit committee. Those were not something that they just did. She stated that if he, Mr. Giron, did not want to be part of the audit committee, she would appoint someone else who would want to. She reiterated that he question, again, was did he want to serve in that role.
Discussion ensued during which Mr. Giron asked again what their role was, stating that the attorneys had said it was for information only. There was no teeth behind it. If it was information only, then why were they meeting? Why were they wasting their time? It was costing them. They paid them. They're having to take time away for that. He thought that money could be used for the classrooms better than meeting with them if there's no teeth behind it, it's information only.

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

B. Appointment to Finance and Audit Committees (Continued)

ii. Audit Committee
Ms. Garcia responded that they brought items before the Board once a month or approval as required. They could ask for explanation, they could approve it or disapprove. Mr. Giron said they couldn’t disapprove it once the budget was done it was done. Ms. Garcia stated that she thought that he might be referring to the report on checks written. Mr. Giron stated that they had no say on nothing anymore. He didn’t know. He hadn’t gotten and answer, so he did not want to be part of this audit committee.
Ms. Garcia thanked him and stated that the appointment had been denied by Mr. Giron. She asked Mr. Bennett if he would accept that second seat on the audit committee. He responded that he sure would. Ms. Garcia announced that the board members on the Audit Committee will be Mr. Vickers and Mr. Bennett, with Mr. Vickers serving as chair of that committee.
Ms. Garcia told Mr. Smith, that she just wanted to add, that she had considered the policy committee which he was chairing right now, and the fact that it was a busy committee. When they started meeting, it was going to be what she would consider a bigger job than both of the other committees. She had kept that in mind when she was making her selection of committees, because she knew that, with that appointment, he was going to find himself quite busy with policy. She added that she wanted to state, for the record, why her considerations were that way. Ms. Garcia said she would stand for any discussion.
Discussion ensued between Mr. Smith and Ms. Garcia during which Mr. Smith stated that she’d said she had said she’d thought it out. Had she already known she was going to be president and knew what she was going to do?

5. BOARD REORGANIZATION (Continued)

B. Appointment to Finance and Audit Committees (Continued)

ii. Audit Committee
Ms. Garcia responded to Mr. Smith and said that no, she was sitting there thinking about it and that was how she visualized it to go. She didn't know how the vote was going to go if that’s what he was insinuating. Mr. Smith that no he was just asking a simple question, because she made it seem like she had already thought about this. Ms. Garcia told him that no, she was sitting there listening to he and to the other board members, and she was just making my decisions as she went
There being no more discussion she said they would move on to Item #6.

6. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship


At Ms. Garcia’s request, Dr. Romero read the resolution into the record:

LOS LUNAS SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION
RESOLUTION 23-001
BOARD OF EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP

WHEREAS, The Los Lunas Schools Board of Education supports the District’s mission to provide an
engaging, high quality education where learning focuses on the whole child, and it is the
responsibility of each and every one of us to instill the belief that all students can succeed;
and

WHEREAS, The Los Lunas Schools Board of Education supports and promotes the pursuit of higher
education; and

WHEREAS, The Los Lunas Schools Board of Education understands the financial burden of college
education; and

WHEREAS, The Los Lunas Schools Board of Education receives a per diem stipend for attendance at
Board of Education Meetings.

6. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship (Continued)

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education that: through our hand and seal, we, the sitting members of the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education, do hereby request that the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education’s Scholarship Fund be continued and maintained by the District’s Finance Department;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education that we, the sitting
members of the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education, do hereby request that twenty-five dollars be deducted bi-weekly from each of the member’s stipend to be applied to the aforementioned scholarship fund, effective with the passing of this resolution;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education that scholarships be
awarded annually to one or more graduating seniors of the Los Lunas Schools, who have most exemplified the criterion of the aforementioned scholarship, as established by a review panel and that the resolution for this scholarship fund be submitted for renewal annually at the Board of Education reorganization meeting.

Passed by the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education the 3rd day of January 3, 2023.


Ms. Garcia asked if there was any discussion before she called for a motion.

Mr. Bennet stated that the deduction was $25 bimonthly. He asked if there was any to increase the dollar amount, maybe give more to the kids, or maybe allow more kids to get money.

Extensive discussion ensued regarding the resolution, current criteria, and possible changes to the resolution and criteria. Mr. Giron said he didn’t know how much the stipend was, he didn’t pay attention, but he agreed with increasing the money. He also suggested they open it up some giving the example of the student going to John Hopkins and said he was sure he could use the extra money. Mr. Giron told Dr. Romero that he would like to challenge him to see if he could get some of our administrators to kick in the $25 biweekly. They could change the name of this scholarship because it said board of education scholarship. Their administrators made three or four times more than the average person. He would think the superintendent would have a hard time doing that, but he would challenge him to do that.

Dr. Romero stated that he felt there were two items. The Board could certainly increase the amount of the amount to be used toward the resolution.

6. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship (Continued)

Dr. Romero noted that it said stipend and employees didn’t receive stipends, they received a paycheck as part of their salary, and it would be a different type of donation. He suggested they stick with the current scholarship and he would discuss it with the administration. As far as the criteria went, the Board could certainly change it and could do so at that meeting or table it for discussion at the next meeting.

Discussion ensued regarding the application process, the number of awards given, and the criteria, and whether the resolution should be kept general, with the criteria added as a supporting document with the resolution during the application process. Mr. Smith stated that he like Mr. Bennett’s suggestion about the increase. He suggested they table it for the next meeting, and added that he’d like them to change ‘review panel’ in the third paragraph since it was the Board who determined the recipients as it was a board scholarship.

Mr. Giron stated that he would like to get a copy of the requirements in order to comply for the scholarship and a list of every student applying for the scholarship, whether they were going into education or not. Ms. Garcia stated that the information had been sent to them prior to the meeting and it included how the process worked, how the procedure was done, and the minimum qualifications. She didn’t think that affected the resolution.

The Executive Assistant gave clarification to the board members regarding the information that had been sent to them. She said it included the background of the board scholarship, the criteria that had been in place to promote education as a career path, and the process that had been followed for the past twenty years. The process included the application and criteria being sent to the counselors at the school who posted it, the applications were delivered to CO when done, a spreadsheet was created that listed all of applicants’ names, school, career path, with spaces provided for the board members to review and list the amounts. Once done, certificates were made and were sent to the sites and given out at the senior awards events. She reiterated that the board members saw every application, and the board members selected the recipients and determined the amounts to be given.

6. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship (Continued)

Mr. Giron said that he had seen the emails but felt they needed to see all of the applications not just those that met the criteria so they could decide. The Executive Assistant responded that the board members were given all of the applications, and reiterated that the board members made the final selection as to how to award the scholarships. She noted that a couple years ago, the sitting board members had decided to give scholarships to two students who met the criteria and to two who did not meet the criteria. Again that was entirely up to the Board to determine.

Mr. Giron stated that he’d read the emails, but the public didn’t have access to their emails, but they had access to this resolution. He suggested they put it somewhere - not in an email. They should be transparent with the public and do it the right way. They needed to clean it up, put it out there, do it the right way. He said he was going make a recommendation that they table this, clean this up, put the language that those questions that Dave and he had in this resolution. He reiterated that he was going to make a formal motion that they table this resolution until the next meeting that was next week he thought and that they add the things that needed to be added in there, for these questions

Ms. Garcia called for a motion regarding the approval of the resolution. Mr. Giron moved, to table Item #6, APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion. He agreed with what they were doing and changing it to $50.00 He said he been on the Board for seven years and had never seen more than five or six applications. But he did think they needed to change the language so specify exactly what the Board was doing, so anybody that saw that document knew exactly what that resolution stated, and exactly how they chose who the money went to. He also agreed that the paragraph that stated that there's a committee that decides , that they take it out and that it be changed to board members because it's the board members that make that decision.

Mr. Vickers stated that he would anticipate Ms. Garcia to work together to incorporate the changes discussed before the next meeting. Discussion ensued regarding how best to advertise the scholarship with suggestions being made to add it to the web page so they could just click on it.

6. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION 23-001: Board of Education Scholarship (Continued)

Ms. Garcia stated that they had first and a second. She asked if there was further discussion.

There being none, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Eloy Giron – yes; Bruce Bennett – yes; P. David Vickers – yes; Bryan C. Smith – yes. ; and Tina Garcia – yes. The motion to table Item # 6. Resolution 23-001 Board of Education Scholarship passed: 5/0.

Ms. Garcia stated that the change of the $25 to $50, changing the words ‘review panel’ to Board of Education, could have easily been done that night to pass this resolution. She thought that the criteria was a separate document. It was not a resolution, but a supporting document, and could be attached to it, but if that was what the Board wanted to do, she was all for making that possible.

Ms. Garcia added that she knew it was not hidden. She knew that the counselors had promoted it and they had been transparent, and it had been in place for 20 years. She knew that this Board and past Boards had supported our district, and supported our students.

Ms. Garcia stated that the resolution had been tabled and it would be addressed at the next board meeting, which was not next week. The next meeting was going to be January 17th. Having said that she believed there was no other business before the Board.

7. ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEETINGS

Ms. Garcia stated that brought them to Item #7. ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEETINGS.

Ms. Garcia stated that, as allowed by the NM Open Meetings Act and the District’s Open Meetings Resolution, on occasion, a quorum of the board members would attend the same function, especially this time of year, including those held at school sites, at the district level, as well as, sports functions, conferences, workshops, and trainings. Board members would refrain from discussing and/or acting on LLS Board issues in those settings. In addition, only official meetings were published, and if other meetings were scheduled, they would be announced in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

7. ANNOUNCEMENT OF MEETINGS (Continued)

Ms. Garcia stated that she would like to announce the following meetings.

• January 10, 2023 Finance Committee Meeting CO Board Room 3:00 pm

• January 17, 2023 Closed Executive Session CO Conference Room 4:00 pm
Discussion of limited personnel issues; specifically, discussion regarding
Superintendent’s Goals [Pursuant to Section 10-15-1(H)(2) NMSA]
(Quorum in Attendance)

• January 17, 2023 Regular Board Meeting CO Board Room 6:00 pm

• February 2-4, 2023 NMSBA 2023 Board Member Institute
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza | 100 Sandoval St.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501
(Quorum in Attendance)
• February 14, 2023 Finance Meeting CO Board Room 3:00 pm
• February 21, 2023 Regular Board Meeting CO Board Room 6:00 pm

8. ADJOURNMENT

Ms. Garcia stated that brought them to Item #8. ADJOURNMENT. She then called for a motion to adjourn the special meeting.

Mr. Giron moved, and Mr. Bennett seconded, to adjourn the meeting.

Ms. Garcia asked if there was any discussion before they adjourned.

Mr. Smith stated he would just like to communicate to everyone and let them know that he was going to continue to fight for them. He would like the staff to know that he was going to put them first in every decision that he made and he was going to fight for these students. He would do his best to adhere that they were following board policy, and it didn't matter where he sat. He was going to be the best board member he could possibly be, and he was sure the other board members would as well.

8. ADJOURNMENT (Continued)

There being no further discussion, Ms. Garcia called for a vote with the following results: Bruce Bennett – yes; Eloy Giron –yes; Bryan C. Smith – yes; P. David Vickers – yes; and Tina Garcia – yes. Motion to adjourn passed: 5-0.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.
Approved this 17th day of January 2023.

Tina Garcia, Board President

Bruce Bennett, Board Secretary
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