The Val Verde Unified School District Board of Education’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night came to an abrupt end after a dispute over the agenda.

After announcing action taken by the board in closed session, the board was set to vote on approving the agenda for the meeting as well as the minutes from the Oct. 3 meeting of the board when Board Member Erika Zamora said she would like to add an item to the agenda.

“I would like to add something to the agenda that was not added after my request,” she said. “A vote to remove [Board President] Matthew Serafin as president.”

Serafin said it could not be done because an agenda needs to be available for the public 72 hours prior to the meeting. However, Board Member Melinda Young said that the board could if a two-thirds supermajority of the board voted in favor of placing the item on the agenda as stated in Robert’s Rules of Order.

Superintendent Michael McCormick said that while Young was correct in her assessment, the Brown Act — which requires 72 hour notice for a regular board meeting and 24 hour notice for a special board meeting — supersedes Robert’s Rules of Order unless the item being placed on the agenda constituted an emergency.

“This is an emergency when we have someone like you up here playing games like this,” Young said. “We have heard and we have received a lot of emails from the community.”

McCormick also informed the board during the meeting that the item was on the original agenda presented to Serafin ahead of its posting, as requested by Zamora. However, Serafin requested that the item be removed, so it was taken off the agenda.

“This item has been placed on the agenda multiple times, and it reflects the divisiveness of the board, and it has been voted down, and my term ends next month,” Serafin said.

Earlier this year, Board Member Marla Kirkland placed the item on the agenda in an effort to remove Serafin from the position. In September, Young placed the item on the agenda

“The only two people — correction three, including you — that can actually place on the agenda is [Board Member Daniel] Aquino and Zamora, because our results have failed,” Young said. “So yes, she can place it and she’s the one that actually asked for it. I did my research before we came here, because I knew you were going to try to pull something.”

When it came time to vote on the approval of the agenda and minutes from Oct. 3, the motion failed with all but Serafin voting against it. After consulting with two attorneys during a brief recess, McCormick informed the board that the meeting could not legally proceed and needed to be adjourned.

Zamora said that she would be calling for a special meeting of the board, which can be held with 24 hours notice. McCormick said Zamora “[had] his word” that an item to remove Serafin from his position as president would be on that agenda if she were to request it again.

A full video of the meeting can be found here on the district’s website. If a special meeting is called, an agenda will be posted here on the district’s BoardDocs page.

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