On Tuesday, the Antioch School Board took no action on whether to discipline, dismiss or remove Superintendent Stephanie Anello during their special meeting. The Board also was split on reducing public comment time.
Trustee Clyde Lewis was not in attendance due to a prior work commitment.
This was also the second special meeting within the past month called by Householder in which nothing was accomplished which prompted the Board to be bombarded by public comments. Householder also went after Anello back in December/January but that effort also failed.
It appears Tuesdays meeting was called as a preemptive attempt to remove the Superintendent prior to any discussion of removing Householder as Board President on Wednesday Night. On Wednesday, its anticipated all three unions within the District are set to announce a vote of no confidence in Board Trustee Ellie Householder. In response, Antioch City Councilwoman Monica Wilson issued a statement urging Dr. Clyde Lewis be in attendance noting he has not been present in voting.
Householder called the meeting and for the removal of Anello over low test scores and poor leadership.
Dring the meeting, Householder unilaterally reduced public comments from 3-minutes down to 2-minutes to conserve time.
According to the District, they received about 100-pages of public comments (200+) estimated at well over 3-hours if they all 3-minutes. Most of the comments were in support of Anello.
“Why don’t we limit the time to 2-minutes on the clock so it will be roughly a little less time,” stated Householder.
Trustee Mary Rocha objected.
“Madam Chair, I think they’ve invited themselves to send in messages I think they should be heard, we have always been a three-minute item,” stated Rocha.
Householder replied thanking Rocha for her comment and called for two minutes.
Trustee Gary Hack interjected.
“You asked for two minutes, Mary said 3-minutes. I agree with Mary, then you went back to two-minutes ignoring what the two board members said to you. I think we need what we have always done which is 3-minutes,” stated Hack.
Householder replied thanking Hack for his comment and stating again its going to be 2-minutes.
“What authority do you have to change it?” asked Hack.
Householder replied, “Trustee Hack, you are not recognized. I am reducing the time to 2-minutes so that we have a more efficient meeting. We have over 100 comments so that will be roughly 300 minutes, now it will be roughly 200 minutes.”
Rocha tried to speak which Householder stated she was not recognized and called for 2-minutes on the clock.
“No, 3-minutes madam chair, we have kept 3-minutes,” said Rocha. “Sorry, everybody has a right to be heard.”
Householder replied, “Trustee Rocha, you are not recognized.”
Trustee Antonio Householder chimed in saying he was in favor of the 2-minutes.
“I am in support in lowering the time because I think this is a Board meeting for us and I do want to hear everybody’s comment but we can’t just get filibustered into being here all night and not being able to get work done,” said Hernandez. “The main point here is we can’t overrule a chair here without a majority board opinion.”
Superintendent Stephanie Anello chimed in to asked Householder a question.
“I just wondered, if it was your employment, would you want public comment limited?” asked Anello. “I don’t think this is run of the mill.
Householder thanked Anello for her comment.
“It’s going to be 2-minutes because I am the board chair and I have to make sure these meetings are efficient,” stated Householder.
“Wow. You’re being a bully” Rocha said.
“You don’t have the authority,” Hack stated.
“Trustee Hack, you are not recognized, so 2-minutes on the clock” Householder said while noting Board Trustees and the public can review the comments in full if they choose.
“You don’t have the authority, and this is self-serving” Hack said, again, without being recognized.
“Trustee Hack, I’m trying to be very kind right now but we’re going to be moving on,” replied Householder.
Prior to going into closed Session (4-hour mark), Trustee Rocha asked Householder if Dr. Lewis would be in attendance in which Householder suggested they just go into closed session—she said she didn’t know. That prompted Rocha to make a motion.
“In that case, I move we adjourn this meeting,” said Rocha. (note – the audio went out which prevented anyone from hearing the rest of Rocha’s motion).
Householder, ignoring while violating Roberts Rules of Order, stated they would move into closed session and would have this discussion in closed session.
The board announced it took no action was taken after closed session.