Elk Grove Unified Trustee Forcina agrees with public comment that board members have behaved unprofessionally

Elk Grove Unified School District trustee Carmine Forcina during the June 13 board meeting. |  

During a special daytime meeting on Tuesday, August 22, of the Elk Grove Unified School District, one trustee said he agreed with public comments about the unprofessional conduct of his colleagues.

That comment was made by Trustee Carmin Forcina. Forcina offered his opinion as the board discussed possible changes to their operation procedures.

Earlier in the meeting, a speaker who identified as Heidi made her criticism of three trustees - Nancy Chaires-Espinoza, Gina Jamerson, and Michael Vargas during public comment on an agenda item. The speaker has been one of numerous parents and community members speaking at board meetings urging the school district to remove books they characterize as pornography from school libraries.

While Heidi continued her opposition to books she finds objectionable, she also pinpointed unprofessional behaviors displayed by trustees during her and other parents' public comments.  

"Ms. [Chaires] Espinoza ate chips and licked her fingers during my comment," Heidi said.

Espinoza's reported eating, and a video of her reportedly applying make-up during public comment have been posted on social media (see second video below). Those videos were posted to social media by momarmy.elkgrove, a group that has advocated for many of the same things that Heidi and other parents have supported. 

Towards the end of the meeting, Fornica noted he intended to speak on some items Heidi had presented. Forcina started his commentary by citing guidelines encouraging the professional and courteous behavior of trustees.

"I truly believe as a board, the board does things that are unacceptable toward meeting the expectations," Forcina said.

He elaborated by saying the board does not consistently respect other board members or the public, and displays some unsavory behaviors during meetings, including facial expressions, eating, and using cell phones, which are unprofessional. 

Forcina said if the board is serious about their procedural rules of public engagement, either follow them "otherwise, let's take it out and not fool ourselves that is the way in which we should be responding."

See more of Forcina's commentary in the first video. 


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Atticus Finch said...

I thought we want our public officials to be multi-tasking. Now if she was slurping spaghetti loudly, cracking and eating dungeness crab without a bib, and distracting others by chewing with her mouth wide open, that would definitely violate school board decorum. There needs to be an approved menu of what foods are permitted to be consumed during public meetings. This menu can be subject to change but MUST be disseminated to the public at least 48 hours ahead of any public meeting. That way if anyone has any food allergies, they can wear the proper PPE or just not attend. By the way, perhaps there would be less blowback if Nancy had brought enough food to share with everyone.

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