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    Site Council Special Meeting - Election - minutes 
    May 29 2018 
    
    
    Participants listed below**
    
    
    John - principal
    Bylaws specify what to do if we need election.
    We haven’t had site council elections in a long time 
    Would like to thank Evan Briggs & Christina Ellis for their contributions this year.
    This meeting was called by the committee chairs and this is why Evan and Christina are not leading the meeting. 
    
    
    Jon Gasbar (incoming principal) -
    Hoping this is a productive conversation and follow code of conduct. There was confusion in the community around the process. Let’s be positive. 
    
    
    Cassie Condon - (communication chair)
    Bylaws - Site council is a cooperative council of parents and staff. We don’t have membership fees everyone is a member. We have many committees and we had a huge uptick in volunteers. We have almost all our committee chairs filled. 
    We need to see how to handle election if we need them - when there’s more than one volunteer - (7.e  - vote to agree and consent, disagree and consent, disagree and don’t consent) - if there’s no majority we need the other steps. 
    
    
    Satcha Dearborn (Curriculum chair)
    We understand there are more than one volunteer we need elections this is why we needed a meeting. There was also confusion and conflict. We want to hear from the community. 
    
    
    N
    Went through elections twice. Usually it happens when there are growing pains - it happens when people are not happy then they run. 
    
    
    L 
    What’s the big deal about election?
    
    
    Evan (Chair)
    When I volunteered to this position - was told that the commitment would be for two years and then ideally the vice chair would take over when I left. We were surprised when we were told by people that there would a one year term limit. At that time another person stepped up and told that the position was already filled. It’s clear there’s an effort to remove people vs. just having elections.
    
    
    Cassie (communication)
    I worked alongside Evan and Christina all year. I was aware that people were not happy with how representation was going on and wanted to step forward. I took Evan for a conversation in the closet and discussed.  I didn’t feel it was my role to say who the people were or what they were saying and the issue kept being pushed off including when a lot of people showed up to speak in the site council. 
    
    
    Evan (Chair)
    When Cassie and I spoke in the closet she explained there were people who wanted to go by the bylaws and return to one year term limits. I asked if it was to fill empty positions or if it was to oust people. She told me it was about Christina and that people didn't feel safe with her, because she allegedly barged into John and Kristin's offices yelling. This feels like institutional racism.  
    
    
    J
    I’ve never heard anything of those rumors of Christina. This is shocking to me that this kind of thing is being talked about. 
    
    
    C
    I was really frustrated when there was a lot of confusion and need for leadership. There was lack of leadership that you didn’t step up. Then you came to Sunday meeting and tried to alter the meeting. I was waiting to hear about the meeting - where’s the community meeting. I never had my voice heard.  I’m missing the leadership and communication. The final gag order was when we filled the room to try to have the tough conversations. So I asked Cassie that if other people step up we should 
    
    
    Evan (Chair) & Christina (Vice Chair)
    There were conspiracy theories about is the school going to be an international school. We asked Mike to write the letter to clarify that. It was not appropriate to trash the new principal in a school sponsored event. 
    The meeting with with Helen was only Site Council leadership - we and Robin. We planned the site council meeting about meeting the new principal so it didn’t seem appropriate for that to happen in that context. 
    
    
    A 
    I was shocked at how little room Evan had to speak in the meeting discussed and frustrated with the type of comments in the social forum. 
    
    
    J
    A lot of people were frustrated that we had a very qualified vice principal that didn’t get a fair shot even after getting mentored by John for several years. In that site council people were frustrated with the district and the process. Not against Jon but frustration with process. 
    
    
    Dr. Concie Pedroza (district)- this year because we had to address the issue that we hired so many white principal - we mandated that there would be a hiring process that will address these biases. 
    
    
    Christina (Vice Chair)
    Once I became the vice chair - a few families came to talk to me about race and equity - this is really important to me - these families felt before that their problems haven’t been addressed before. 
    
    
    P - We should talk about the elections vs. race and elections. This meeting was not supposed to be about these issues but about elections. 
    
    
    C
    Usually elections are when there are growing pains. It feels like we are having a hard times supporting leaderships. I feel like we need time to give leadership to get to 
    
    
    A2
    These elections are based on rumors - this is hurting our culture. We need a strong leadership to fight for the school’s future with the district. Why side conversations vs. face-to-face. 
    
    
    Mardi Brekke (Put their name in for chair)
    I would like to be considered as chair with Kaori - I hope you will give us the chance to be considered as chair and vice chair. 
    
    
    A3
    Missing information and conversation - it was hard to understand what was going on and why so many people were so upset including the ones that were in the hiring committee. I feel like it could have been discussed more. It’s been a hard time in the community with transitions. site council - you step up until someone else will. 
    
    
    C2
    The work of the chair is to schedule meetings. Why would we want to disrupt the school even more? We are all here for our kids. We need to fix the bylaws but a time of transition might not be a great fit. We teach our children that when there are conflicts they should have conversations
    
    
    R 
    We don’t just throw racism so quickly - I think that blocks dialog where people are trying to be better. Having the chair and the vice chair call the community racist. 
    
    
    J2
    The bylaws say that the positions are for one year. I’m not sure what’s going on. I’d leave if this is about feelings vs. elections. 
    
    
    M
    We need a pathway for these families to come forward and talk about race & equity. If we don’t know specifics we can’t address them. I want a clear loving way - thoughtful decision of what’s the pathway. It’s vital that we do that before any voting.
    
    
    Christina Ellis
    We don’t want to publish these incidents in the newsletters. I feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to do as vice chair and will keep talking about it from another side of the room as long as I’m in this school. 
    
    
    Jon Gasbar
    I’ll provide opportunities to talk about race and equity through the year. 
    
    
    G
    I’m not surprised that a lot of people don’t know what’s going on. These issues were never brought on. The conversations never happened in site council - never discussed in agenda and in the meetings. 
    
    
    Christina Ellis
    It was brought to Evan not to the community. The admin was the one that we asked to decide what to do with this information. 
    
    
    Evan
    I’m more than ready to step down but both of us want the community feels that it didn’t happen in a dishonest way. 
    
    
    Cassie
    We have until June 1st for people to step forward for the positions. 
    
    
    Will 
    One person one vote for site council - until June 1st you can nominate yourself or someone else. The voting would run online June 4-11 if that hadn’t happened they could vote with paper ballots on June 12th. If there 2 candidates it’s majority or goes to who has most votes if there are more than 2. I’m trying to find a person to help with coating the votes or using survey monkey since it’s free - it’s anonymous via email address. We can try to have kiosks. You can send email reminders etc. We did look at other options - there was election runner - Canada based company - $550 - high secured for more public elections. 
    
    
    Cassie
    What we would do we - we have a google doc where people can indicate they are interested and will ask  blurb for why you want to run and when you need to vote you can have people appearing them with a  blurb. It’s only an election if more than one person wants the job. The blurb will include what the person would want to do. We would recommend that we would do this every year around this time. So many people coming forward to volunteer. 
    
    
    Mardi
    We are approaching 600 students - we need process at scale to some of these functions
    
    
    J3
    If people approached and assumed good intention we wouldn’t be here tonight. It’s disappointed that we are. These elections feel like an agenda. The timing doesn’t feel right. Every person - staff and parent gets to vote - only one vote. 
    
    
    M
    Every year there would be an email that said we need people to step up. We’ve lost that sense of doing this through hallway conversations. 
    
    
    L2
    In the past we differentiated site council voting for the slate and having an actual elections. Elections is because there is more than one person wants the job. We always voted for the slate. To me it’s actually a great thing that there is more than one volunteer. 
    
    
    P2
    Let’s assume good intentions - we need more time possibly to discuss the process? 
    
    
    M3
    For years we had site council only - 10 years ago we were told the financial part needs to be separate, The money part runs by the parent group. Site council itself runs by parents and staff combined. The bylaws have worked for this community for 44 years. We’ve had tough controversies years ago so I feel strongly to keeping them in place but improving them as needed. 
    
    
    Cassie 
    We based the election proposals is based on section 5. That we need elections if we have more than one person and timeline.
    
    
    P
    There is a question a lot of people have - Is this happening because we recruited people to run or people just wanted to run? I’m worried we will come out of this fractured. 
    
    
    D
    We have emerging issues of equity and race. We can’t talk about all of that tonight. We have an election proposal that we want to address. And we also have the topic of the hiring process but can’t be addressed right now in this big room. Can we make a proposal of what we do of each of those things? 
    
    
    D2
    We need a process for how we amend the bylaws and then you have a clear election process. 
    
    
    L
    To speak on behalf of staff. We’ve been made unsafe to speak up. We felt that safest most professional thing to do. 
    
    
    A3
    I’ve heard a lot of people say that they came here about the election. There are a lot of people that feel that race and equity are linked to what is happening. Ask yourself why there is a group of people asking for elections. 
    
    
    P3 -It’s confusing if this a proposal to amend or change the bylaws? 
    “Section 6.3 each of these dates can be voted by site council as needed”. 
    
    
    M2
    Every year on May 1st kept being pushed back. the notice would come out but we need to understand how can we get this process to get moving. The community was left out of this process for a long time but there was so much confusion that it was hard for people to know what was going on. 
    
    
    John (principal)
    There’s a variety of issues that were raised tonight. I’d like to have room for all of them. We need to update the bylaws and also consider to have new leadership in the start of the school year 
    
    
    M4
    Let’s make sure they have the summer to get prepared. What’s stopping us from having an election right now? The leadership needs to prepare for the same time. 
    
    
    V
    If we have an election let’s have it before the end of the school year. 
    
    
    J3
    This is only if there is more than one volunteer for the position. 
    
    
    W
    I’ve heard a lot of strong feelings about the principal hiring process. 
    
    
    J4
    I don’t feel comfortable giving my perspective. This was the first time I felt comfortable in this space, in large part because of you Christina. It’s fine to have race and equity issues. We need to acknowledge it and have these conversations and move through it. 
    
    
    L4
    Do you need to be a vice chair to fight for race and equity? 
    
    
    Christina Ellis (Vice chair)
    Yes it my intention to move on to be the co-chair of the inclusion and equity committee. 
    
    
    Concie
    Let’s suspend that conversation (race & equity) to make sure we are grounded here. We do 10 workshop a year, I can also coach the admin and make sure there’s a team in the school. 
    
    
    D
    We started the school year caring about race and equity. I feel like our staff cares deeply and all of the sudden the SPS decided to cut that budget and we brought that back. It’s on all of us to have these conversations. The staff and all the parents really want to keep working on that. 
    
    
    Evan
    I was intending to stay a second year. I don’t want to put myself for a position. 
    
    
    Cassie
    We are meeting June 12 and we can make decisions. 
    
    
    M5
    Proposal to follow the bylaws and have the elections as scheduled
    (seconded)
    
    
    R - if a bunch of people say I don’t consent and agree then we will have to postpone. We would need another meeting. 
    
    
    C
    Motion to postpone the election to a time that we can process what we are doing. 
    (seconded)
    
    
    **Not voted**
    
    
    Cassie
    Let’s wait until June 1st - if there is a contested position than we will need the meeting. 
    
    
    ***
    
    Participants -
    John Miner, Jon Gasbar, Evan Briggs, Katya Stelmakh, Cassie Condon, Sue Doty, Stacy Earlywine, Jennifer Winter, Christina Ellis, Sarah Eizen, Barbara Reiley, Lyndee Belim, Paul Ellis, Jay Filydis, Dalius Filings, Amelia McGee, Robin Belz, Nova Herzog, Christina Pizana, Emily Mitchell, Bryan Reichl, Paige Reichl, Debra Kosman, Cindy Deshler, Cassie Johnson, Shannon Gnobaccio, Aaron Clark, Nigel Stein, Steve Chavez, Cindy Spencer, Alison Burdett, Leslie Cary, Sydney Ledford, Jenny Sanders, Anne Holland, Renee Lamphere, Vincent Celie, Erin Shade, Katie Mcallister, Aaron Bhat, Moriah Love, Leslie Kot, Julie Crosier, Becca Neumann, Mike Van Sellenberg, Kelly Grissom, Matt Laggart, Jean Miller, Cathy Donohue, Peter Giles, Julie Shin, Angela Hyland, Lisa Berman, Whitney Gregory, Andrea Mann, Marina Woodall, Tanya Thackeray Wilson, Karen Hatlen Marshall, Dana Marshder, Aaron Wilson, Janet Ostrem, Jen Scalfani, Julie Clayton, Roger Taylor, Emily Wong, Ginny Allemann, Mim Turnbull, Mardi Brekke Hutchins, Satcha Dearborn Graham, Lissa Anna, Joanna Nelson, John Condon, Margaret Butler, Liz Benko, Elizabeth Corman, Andres Hermosilla, Cathy Reidy Liermann, David Simonton, Mari Brockhaus, Tina Watkinson, Lori Miller, Kathy Fath, Jim Fath, Chelsea Lin, Courtney Bell, Jenny Pinto, Kaori Tanaka, Lynwood Montgomery, Will Gould, Anna Farr, Anna Marshall, Jacon Blicken, Phoebe Daniels, Armin Seidl, Alissa West, Beck Weinhold, Leah Preston