Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alisal Board seeks to muzzle Meredith Ibarra

Alisal Union Trustee Meredith Ibarra did not take well to a proposal that would limit the amount of time a board member can drone on about agenda items during board meetings.

Currently there's no limit on how many questions a board member can ask, or how much he or she can comment on an item. The always eloquent Ibarra has been told twice in recent meetings to stop being disruptive. Newly elected Board President Maricela Cruz has had Ibarra's microphone shut off to prevent her from talking, to no avail.

A newly introduced board policy would limit the amount of time a board member can comment on agenda items to five minutes, or longer if authorized by the board president.

The policy would also have disruptive board members removed from the board room and placed in a separate location to allow for their participation remotely. But the board president could stop the disruptive board member from participating remotely if the behavior persists.

Ibarra clearly felt she was being the target -- mmmmm -- and made it clear she's going to file a complaint.

"You don’t have a right to revise and approve this policy," Ibarra told her fellow trustees. "Just for you to know, this is a violation and I’m going to be acting on this issue."

To which, Cruz responded:

"People need to have control of themselves, and if they don’t, somebody else will. As a new board we have the right to revise policies."

Wednesday's was the policy's first reading. It will be enacted at the next scheduled meeting. 

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