When President Blake is pressed for information, she often replies with "I'll get that to you" or "we are working on it". Here is the translation: I want this conversation to stop, so I'm going to make this empty promise to stop this conversation but I have no intention of ever providing that information if it makes me look bad, and in fact, the information might not even exist.
Indeed, President Blake repeatedly makes promises to provide information to the trustees, but those promises are empty or false. Trustee Norma Miyamoto's November 12th governing board report detailed an itemized list of these empty promises. Unfortunately, Board President Nancy Ann Hensch unceremoniously interrupted Miyamoto multiple times; Hensch's incivility and lack of decorum distracted the audience from hearing the true gravity of Trustee Miyamoto's prepared statement.
Therefore, I am sharing an excerpt from Trustee Miyamoto's report below:
My final comments are in regard to the minutes that I reviewed for this meeting. Scattered throughout are references by Dr. Blake along the lines of, and I quote: “information will be provided.” End quote. I cite the following examples:
(1) At the Aug. 13th meeting, Dr. Blake said she would provide the data and analysis that was used for the reorganization and reclassification of staff members of Human Resources. I don’t believe that information has been provided.
(2) Also at that meeting, I requested that the District respond to Mr. Spear’s Public Comment, and I asked for a presentation on the 2015 SERP results. Trustee Deerfield expressed concern that the District’s responses for trustees’ requests for reports are not always made public. In response, District counsel, Regina Petty, who was present that evening, stated that agenda-related materials need to be provided to the public and NOT just to the trustees. President Blake responded that materials responsive to the Board’s requests would be attached to the agenda for all trustees and the public to read. I question whether this is occurring? I don’t believe so in most instances.
(3) Moving now to the Sept. 10th meeting, Dr. Lesley Blankenship-Williams spoke to the need of providing captioned meeting audio files. Are we doing that?
(4) Also at that meeting, Professor Lawson shared a letter and asked for a response from the Board. Has the Board provided that response or agendized the item for discussion? I don’t believe we have.
(5) At this same meeting, Trustee Hench requested a lockdown drill in the Governing Board Room. Given the shooter-on-campus incident at MSJC last week, it’s imperative that we do this.
(6) In another item, President Blake commented on the legal fees and agreed to provide the Board with additional information. Has that been provided to us and to the public?
(7) Also at the Sept 10th meeting, President Blake said an analysis of the 2015 SERP would be presented at the Sept. 24 board meeting. I don’t believe that occurred.
(8) She also said it would be made clear as to why the District paid Bright Path $20,000 for the SERP analysis when this service is offered at no cost by PARS. This information has not yet been provided.
(9) Also at this meeting Dr. Blake said she’d provide a report on rooms that could accommodate the board meetings. To my knowledge, that has not been received either.
I can answer question #3. The answer is NO. In February 2019, two trustees asked for a report on the cost and feasibility of livestreaming the Board meetings. Dr. Blake never ordered those reports. After three trustees rejected livestreaming (because again, no study was ordered), Dr. Blake promised to provide transcripts of the audio files. The latter promise was made six months ago. Guess what? No transcripts of the audio files have been made available to the public.
Regarding item #8. When Trustee Miyamoto pressed Dr. Blake about using Brightpath for a SERP analysis at the August 2019 governing Board meeting, President Blake responded that BrightPath was "subcontracting out the work to another company, they are not actually doing it. And, we can get that information to you." In response to Trustee's Miyamoto's concern about why BrightPath was chosen instead of PARS, President Blake responded "We did some research and it kind of bared out, but we can follow up with you."
Following that meeting, Shannon Lienhart asked for all information and research related to Dr. Blake's statements. The District's response? "After a diligent search we unable to find any documents in response to this request. (sic)"
Clearly, you can't trust what Dr. Blake says. The constituent groups on campus have learned this. Why haven't trustees Hensch, Halcon and Evilsizer figured this out?
One final comment: In her Board report on November 12, Dr. Blake stated, "We cannot maintain the status quo. The status quo has gotten us to where we are now – on the brink of insolvency."
Dr. Blake - after 3+ years at Palomar, you are the status quo. And it is you, Dr. Blake, who has gotten us to where we are now........on the brink of insolvency.
I call upon trustees Hensch, Halcon and Evilsizer to remember your allegiance is to the health and vitality of Palomar College, not to the interests of a single individual. Dr. Blake has lost our trust. Because she cannot be trusted, she cannot lead us.