topleft CSBA.org >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

Stanislaus COE |  BB  9323  Board Bylaws

Meeting Conduct   

arrow Previous bar Next arrow

The Stanislaus County Board of Education endeavors to conduct its business efficiently and in a manner that promotes a full and fair consideration of the issues before it and allows for meaningful participation of members of the public.

Meeting Procedures

All County Board meetings shall begin on time and shall be guided by an agenda prepared in accordance with Board bylaws and posted and distributed in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act (open meeting requirements) and other applicable laws.

The County Board chairperson shall conduct meetings in accordance with County Board bylaws and approved meeting procedures.

The County Board believes that late night meetings discourage public participation, can affect the County Board's decision-making ability, and can be an unnecessary burden on Board members, the Stanislaus County Superintendent, and his/her staff. Regular Board meetings shall be adjourned at 11:30 a.m. unless extended to a specific time determined by a majority of the County Board. The meeting shall be extended no more than once and subsequently may be adjourned to a later date.

Quorum and Abstentions

A majority of the members of the County Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. (Education Code 1013)

On a call by any County Board member, a voice vote shall be taken upon any proposition and the vote shall be recorded in the minutes. (Education Code 1015)

Unless otherwise provided by law, affirmative votes by a majority of all the membership of the County Board are required to approve any action under consideration, regardless of the number of members present.

The County Board believes that when no conflict of interest requires abstention, its members have a duty to vote on issues before them. When a member abstains, his/her abstention shall not be counted as an affirmative vote for purposes of determining whether a majority of the membership of the County Board has taken action.

Public Participation

Members of the public are encouraged to attend County Board meetings and to address the County Board concerning any item on the agenda or within the County Board's jurisdiction. So as not to inhibit public participation, persons attending County Board meetings shall not be required to sign in, complete a questionnaire, or otherwise provide their name or other information as a condition of attending the meeting.

In order to conduct business in an orderly and efficient manner, the County Board requires that public presentations to the County Board comply with the following procedures:

1. The County Board shall give members of the public an opportunity to address the County Board on any item of interest to the public that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the County Board, either before, during, or after the County Board's consideration of the item. (Government Code 54954.3)

2. At a time so designated on the agenda at a regular meeting, members of the public may bring before the County Board matters that are not listed on the agenda. The County Board shall take no action or discussion on any item not appearing on the posted agenda, except as authorized by law. (Government Code 54954.2)

3. Without taking action, County Board members or county office of education (COE) staff members may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by the public about items not appearing on the agenda. Additionally, on their own initiative or in response to questions posed by the public, a County Board or Stanislaus County Office of Education staff member may ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement, or make a brief report on his/her own activities. (Government Code 54954.2)

Furthermore, the County Board may provide a reference to staff or other resources for factual information, ask staff to report back to the County Board at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter, or take action directing staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda. (Government Code 54954.2)

4. The County Board need not allow the public to speak on any item that has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of County Board members at a public meeting where the public had the opportunity to address the committee on that item. However, if the County Board determines that the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard the item, the County Board shall provide an opportunity for the public to speak. (Government Code 54954.3)

5. A person wishing to be heard by the County Board shall first be recognized by the chairperson and shall then proceed to comment as briefly as the subject permits.

Individual speakers shall be allowed three minutes to address the County Board on each agenda or non-agenda item. The County Board shall limit the total time for public input on each item to 20 minutes. With County Board consent, the chairperson may increase or decrease the time allowed for public presentation, depending on the topic and the number of persons wishing to be heard. The chairperson may take a poll of speakers for or against a particular issue and may ask that additional persons speak only if they have something new to add.

6. The County Board chairperson may rule on the appropriateness of a topic. If the topic would be more suitably addressed at a later time, the chairperson may indicate the time and place when it should be presented.

7. The County Board shall not prohibit public criticism of its policies, procedures, programs, services, acts, or omissions. (Government Code 54954.3)

8. The County Board may not prohibit public criticism of persons employed directly by the County Board.

Whenever a member of the public initiates specific complaints or charges against a COE employee, the County Board chairperson shall inform the complainant that employment matters are the jurisdiction of the County Superintendent and shall advise the complainant to address his/her complaint to the County Superintendent using the appropriate complaint procedure.

9. The County Board chairperson shall not permit any disruption or willful interruption of County Board meetings. Persistent disruption by an individual or group shall be grounds for the chairperson to terminate the privilege of addressing the County Board.

The County Board may remove disruptive individuals and order the room cleared if necessary. In this case, members of the media not participating in the disturbance shall be allowed to remain, and individuals not participating in such disturbances may be allowed to remain at the discretion of the County Board. When the room is ordered cleared due to a disturbance, further proceedings shall concern only matters appearing on the agenda. (Government Code 54957.9)

When such disruptive conduct occurs local law enforcement shall be contacted.

Recording by the Public

The County Board shall designate locations from which members of the public may broadcast, photograph, or tape record open meetings without causing a distraction.

If the County Board finds that noise, illumination, or obstruction of view related to these activities would persistently disrupt the proceedings, these activities shall be discontinued or restricted as determined by the County Board. (Government Code 54953.5, 54953.6)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

1013 Quorum

1015 Voting

1040 Duties and responsibilities; county boards of education

1042 County boards; authority

1090 County board member compensation

32210 Willful disturbance of public school or meeting a misdemeanor

35165 Effect of vacancies upon majority and unanimous votes by seven member board

GOVERNMENT CODE

54952.2 Meetings defined

54953 Teleconferencing

54953.5 Audio or video tape recording of proceedings

54953.6 Broadcasting of proceedings

54954 Time and place of regular meetings

54954.2 Agenda; posting; action on other matters

54954.3 Opportunity for public to address legislative body; regulations

54956 Special meetings

54956.5 Emergency meetings

54957 Closed sessions

54957.9 Disorderly conduct of general public during meeting; clearing of room

PENAL CODE

403 Disruption of assembly or meeting

COURT DECISIONS

McMahon v. Albany Unified School District, (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 1275

Rubin v. City of Burbank, (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 1194

Baca v. Moreno Valley Unified School District, (1996) 936 F.Supp. 719

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

76 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 281 (1993)

66 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 336 (1983)

63 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 215 (1980)

61 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 243, 253 (1978)

55 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 26 (1972)

59 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 532 (1976)

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

The Brown Act: School Boards and Open Meeting Laws, rev. 2005

A Call to Order, revised 2015

Maximizing School Board Governance: Boardsmanship

ATTORNEY GENERAL PUBLICATIONS

The Brown Act: Open Meetings for Legislative Bodies, 2003

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Attorney General's Office: http://www.caag.state.ca.us

Bylaw STANISLAUS COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

adopted: February 10, 2004 Modesto, California

revised: August 21, 2018