I’d like to post a few comments about the legalities of last Monday evening.
State law requires the school board to be sworn in no later than 10 days after election certification. My election was certified on November 19 at 3 p.m. (2:58 p.m., to be precise), and the countdown started on November 20 at 3 p.m. That means that by the time I would have been sworn in, the previous board had no legal standing to vote on any issues at all. Swearing the new board after 7 p.m. made Denver LATE to swear them in. We should have been sworn in no later than 3 p.m. last Monday, November 30 to be in compliance with state law. But the district decided not to do that.
Take into consideration too that every single one of the other school boards in Colorado swore in their new members MUCH earlier in the process: some on 11/10, some on 11/12, some on 11/19. Denver’s board was sworn in dead last. The idea for the 10-day window is to allow flexibility due to extenuating circumstances, not to stretch it out as far as possible to force through policies. The other districts understood the real meaning of the law’s window, which is to swear in duly elected officials expeditiously, per the will of the voters.
Now, as an additional dynamic, consider what happened in Douglas County. There were some charter school approvals on the agenda for the next meeting, but because election certification would not be back in time to swear in the newly elected board members, the previous board voted to table the decision until AFTER the new board members would be sworn in…so that they could vote on the approvals.
I did nothing more than follow the state law. It leaves one to wonder what the motivation was to ramrod school closure and space sharing decisions in this way, which was clearly against the wishes of the actual families that are affected by these decisions and their fellow community members. I decided that the district’s move was akin to pulling the wool over the public’s eyes, and I was going to take a stand and effect whatever change I could. In fact, had I not, we would not have had the successes that we did, which are chronicled.
That’s what motivated my actions. Let the people’s voice be heard.