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Valley People (April 12, 2017)

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT Michelle Hutchins and family are desperately seeking temporary housing — 3-4 bedrooms — for  June and maybe July. Please call Jim 707-496-8725 with information.

IN CASE you missed it in the Vulch, “Aquarelle Cafe and Wine Bar re-opened last Friday with a new menu featuring Santa Maria BBQ dishes such as half-chickens and ribs to accompany popular items from their previous menu. Their opening hours for now, which may well change, will be Friday to Tuesday, from 1-7pm each day. The Buckhorn’s long-awaited re-opening, after a number of last minute delays, is tonight. Wednesday, April 12! The bar will be fully stocked with beer, wine, and liquor, and the kitchen will serve burgers and wings for three days until the full menu is introduced beginning on Saturday.”

THE BOONVILLE PLANNERS, the group of local citizens preparing for and advising on the planning grant recently awarded to the Community Services District for a municipal water and/or sewer system in downtown Boonville, will meet this Thursday evening, April 13, at the Boonville Firehouse meeting room at 7:30. Representatives of the engineering group that has started the planning work will attend and report on their activities to date and answer questions.

ENJOYED a recent conversation with Matt Kendall, a smart, friendly young deputy with the Sheriff’s Department whose roots in Mendocino Couny and the Anderson Valley go about as deep anybody’s except Violet Rennick, a Native American raised on the banks of Anderson Creek. Deputy Kendall descends from the Kendalls of Kendall City, which is what Boonville was called before all those people from Boonville, Missouri showed up.

THE 35TH ANNUAL BOONTLING CLASSIC 5k race will be Sunday, May 7 at the Elementary School in Boonville. Plaques and ribbons to top finishers. Drawing for prizes. Entry fee is $10. Fancy t-shirts are $10 bucks. To register or for more info contact Flick McDonald at 621-2701 or

SUPERINTENDENT HUTCHINS WRITES: “In reading the AVA last night, I noticed a few things you may want to correct. The Board voted at the March 14 meeting to notice St. Jeor of possible reassignment to the classroom. That vote was Browning yes, Arbanovella yes, Crisman yes, Matson no and Sanchez abstained. I am not aware of a vote that came out of closed session from the March 27 meeting as the Board reported no action was taken. And the person organizing Goat Festival is Jim Devine not Mark Devine.”

WYNNE CRISMAN on the subject of the famous closed session meeting:

“I am responding to your recent article in the AVA, and your previous email regarding the meeting you attended. I need to start by noting that I am one of five people tasked with running the school district of Anderson Valley for the benefit of the community. As such I cannot make decisions about district business alone, and I must follow the law and policies to the best of my ability.  For those reasons I am not able to answer or comment on your previous email regarding events at the previous board meeting.  That task must fall to Dick Browning, the board president, or Michelle Hutchins, the district's superintendent. They are the only people authorized to speak on the behalf of the board regarding board matters. I have given my personal feedback to Dick Browning following your email and prior to the AVA article, and to the best of my knowledge he was speaking on behalf of all board members when he provided the AVA with a statement. Just because I cannot answer your email, do not assume I do not read it or care about its contents.  While your assertion that I did not respond to you is factually accurate, it does misrepresent the situation given the context in which it was stated.  It appears to imply that I failed to respond because I have nothing important to say.  The reality could not be farther from the truth.  I have plenty to say, but I have chosen to instead follow the laws, rules, and guidelines that govern being a board member because I believe that by following them I will ultimately help improve communication between the board and the public by avoiding multiple and possibly conflicting statements. This district has had more than its share of incidences aggravated by poor communication in the recent past, and I do not wish to create new ones.

When I receive information from the public related to my job as a board member, I always give the information due consideration.  If I feel that the board is not being represented properly by our spokespeople, I meet with them to express my concerns.  If the input brings up issues within the district that I was not aware of already, I make sure to have a conversation with either Dick or Michelle to investigate the topic.  If board action or discussion is required, then the topic will be added to the next available board agenda where it can legally be discussed and considered by the full board. In addition to addressing the cause of a lack of response from me regarding your email, I should also point out a major factual error in your article.  The paragraph beginning with "BTW the vote on St. Jeor..." is not something that ever happened.  The facts are that the board came out of private session with no decision made.

At the previous board meeting we did have a vote regarding the employment of Mr. St. Jeor, but it was only to notice him that we may elect to reassign him, as we are legally required to do before the 16th of March (if my memory serves me) if we wish to retain the right to reassign him for the next school year. The reason this factual error is so significant is that it implies that Mr. St. Jeor was in fact fired at the last meeting, when in fact that did not happen. I apologize if my lack of response to your previous email was taken the wrong way.  I have learned a lot about my position with the district over the last year.  It is my desire to perform my job to the best of my ability, and I think in this case my actions or lack of actions are what the law and district require of me. Dick Browning's statement should stand as a statement from whole the board.”

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