Templeton schools trustee asks board president to step down

Templeton trustees held a contentious meeting Thursday, making clear a division amongst members and dissatisfaction with the current board president.

Trustee Jeanne Hunt requested that current board president David LaRue step down, recommending that the board seek legal counsel to review what she, and others on the board, said were blatant violations of California’s open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act.

The district will spend up to $5,000 to investigate the alleged violations.

The root of the allegation includes a request by trustee Larry Miller to add the evaluation of Superintendent Deborah Bowers to an April agenda. La Rue removed the item for the agenda after seeking personal legal advice to do so, Hunt said.

Hunt also alleges that La Rue threatened fellow board members with a lawsuit should they discuss asking him to step down.

“These incidents are clearly an abuse of power,” Hunt said.

Other violations Hunt alleged include:

• Calling the board by phone prior to a meeting to poll them about an upcoming meeting.

• Writing an email threatening administrators and teachers who showed the President’s speech in their classroom or school

• Paying money to his personal business for airline tickets by the ASB at Templeton High School

La Rue called the accusations false and said that Hunt’s points were “incongruent.” He declined to comment further.

Parent Robin Smith said she supported the legal review, adding that “the only way to stop problems if they exist is if it is talked about,” she said.

The board voted 4-0, with La Rue abstaining, to ask the district”s legal counsel to review a possible Brown Act violation but spend no more than $5,000 to do it.