Board member deserves praise |

Board member deserves praise

Secrecy wasn’t unanimous from Sierra College’s board, nor exclusive to it.

Sierra College’s library dean protested surreptitious plans illegally re-purposing penthouse library space for administrators’ offices. Fired by Supt. Ramirez, she sued. Trustee Robison had independent confirmation of office plans but was ridiculed and marginalized.

Locksmith’s notes forced the college’s settlement. Bringing this evidence to the board to justify her long-noticed disapproval of Ramirez, Robison was silenced – by Ramirez! Trustees sat mute as they had when Ramirez, their employee, denied Robison’s request for suit-related college documents.

Trustees Creek, Vineyard and Palmer “oversaw” the suit’s progress. Palmer, unable to attend the subcommittee’s post-settlement meeting, sought details but got nowhere. Likewise, trustee Robison. Trustee Parker gave a settlement amount but backpedaled when Ramirez, Creek and Vineyard claimed ignorance.

Meeting after meeting, a reporter covering courts requested settlement details. Submitting a written demand, he was fired upon return to his office. Upon Ramirez’ denial, he’d phoned the newspaper. A judge blocked access to Ramirez’ taxpayer-paid records!

A grand jury inquiry unearthed settlement details, then criticized retirement fund shenanigans. Possible tampering of meeting tapes wasn’t pursued.

Secrecy regarding Dr. Ramirez’ retirement shields him. Nevertheless, trustees courageous enough finally to clean house deserve thanks, not recall.

Kathy Twisselmann


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