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Update: The board adopted both sets of civility standards 3-0, with members Jill Barto and Jo Alegria absent.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by NC-ND

August 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – At tonight’s Cajon Valley Union School District board meeting, the agenda includes proposed governance standards of civility for board members that would allow the district to ask a Grand Jury to remove a board member from office under Government Code section 3060 for engaging in repeated abusive conduct toward other board members, administrators, employees, students or members of the public.

Section 3060 allows a grand jury to take action to remove an elected official for “willful or corrupt misconduct in office” though the statute is vague on what constitutes such actions.

The agenda also includes proposed civility standards for employees and administrators; repeated acts of abusive conduct may result in discipline or ultimately, termination of employment.

Both items were placed on the agenda by Board Chair Tamara Otero, who has publicly clashed with board member Jill Barto on multiple occasions after Barto raised questions on board expenditures including the awarding of a construction contract to a company owned by Otero’s son.

The proposals seek to waive the customary second reading, in order to push through approval on a single vote, while board member Barto is absent due to a family emergency.

“Abusive conduct” is defined by Government Code section 12950.1, subdivision (I)(2) as,” “conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.”

The board meeting will begin with a closed door session at 5 p.m. followed by a session open to the public at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at 750 E. Main St. in El Cajon.

View the full agenda:

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