Complaint filed against Colton school board
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/20/2010 09:13:57 PM PST

An unannounced appearance by four Colton school board members at a Grand Terrace City Council meeting broke state law, alleges a complaint filed Monday with the county District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

Gil Navarro, a member of the county board of education, said the Colton members violated the Ralph M. Brown Act, which requires local legislative bodies to publicly post an agenda 72 hours before a meeting, when board president Patt Haro and three of the board’s other six members attended the Dec. 14 City Council meeting.

Brown Act experts say it’s unlikely the school board members violated the act.

“For the board president to take it upon herself to have a private meeting without advising her constituents – that’s why we have the law in place,” Navarro said. “The public has a right to know when a majority of the board members are taking on an issue.”

During the public comment section of the meeting, Haro and board members Randall Ceniceros and Pilar Tabera congratulated the newly elected council members and pledged to work openly and cooperatively with the city, which in the past has tangled with the school board.

Another board member, Kent Taylor, watched the beginning of the meeting before leaving.

“I came to say goodbye to the existing mayor and council and also to see the incoming mayor and council being sworn in,” Taylor said. “I came for an intended purpose, and that wasn’t to communicate with other board members. I shook their hand, I waved `hi,’ and that’s it.”

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