Tension high over Clayton Valley Charter High School board makeup
By Lou Fancher
Tension remained high at the Clayton Valley Charter High School board meeting Wednesday, with the possible removal of the board president on the agenda, just three weeks after the firing of operations and athletics director Pat Middendorf.
However, action was not taken because that item and others were pulled from the agenda.
After a four-hour closed session, Ted Meriam, community-at-large board vice chairman, explained that the five items struck from the agenda included possible removal of board chairman Tom Branich and other matters Meriam described as "linked," relating to the composition of elections committees and board chiefs.
Meriam said no public comments would be accepted on the removed items, which¿ drew shouts of protest from some of the 85 people gathered, and also a measured, but insistent response from Branich. He said residents had waited more than 31⁄2 hours, and "the people should be allowed to have their say."
So public comment was allowed -- primarily, but not entirely, in support of Branich's contributions to the charter school.
Teachers union representative and CVCHS physics teacher Kipp Penovich said Branich should remain because he had upheld the charter's primary principles: "having the community be part of the school" and "including all stakeholders in the decisions."
Kevin King, a former board member who resigned after his wife became a paid employee of the school, asked that Branich be recalled from the board due to a conflict of interest King attributed to "Branich's lifelong relationship with Middendorf."
The board heard, but did not discuss comments. Members moved onto other business, approving contracts for school positions, including campus security, IT support, student resource technicians, general maintenance, school nurse, and teachers, staff and administration hired for the summer or the 2014-2015 school year.