For the second time in less than 30 days, the Bay City Academy has violated Michigan's Open Meetings Act.
As I reported back on September 7, the BCA held what it termed a special meeting via phone conference at 5:00pm on Labor Day — without providing any access for the public to observe, participate or even record the meeting as required by the Open Meetings Act (MCL 15.265).
The charter school's most recent meeting, held September 17 at its satellite campus in Mancelona, is another insolent example of the cynical and secretive machinations hissing through the thicket of insiders populating the once promising but now crumbling institution.
It's clear they know the rules — they just don't think those rules apply to them.
And that sense of entitlement is clearly influenced by Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools method, as revealed here in this excerpt from the Bay City Academy's Educational Goals and Program/Vision and Mission document:
“Chaos theory posits that systems with the fewest constraints operate with the greatest efficiency. So it is with organizations with broad constituencies. Although well-intentioned, schools often lack the facility to efficiently deal with the variable parameters of complex multi-faceted tasks.
Nimble, timely and flexible deployment of resources requires the facility that exists in individuals and organizations with fewer constraints.”
Rules? We don't need no stinking rules!
And while Brian Lynch, head of the school's education service provider, Mitten Educational Management, obtained a notarized affidavit attesting to posting the meeting notice at the Mancelona satellite campus “at least three hours prior” to the September 17 meeting's 6:30pm start time, I'm betting Lynch knows that the amended subsections of the Open Meetings Act that took effect December 28, 2012 included provisions for online publishing.
Surely he knows that a public meeting notice must be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting in a prominent and conspicuous place at public body’s principal office — even if the meeting is scheduled at a so-called satellite location nearly three hours away.
And I'm positive Lynch knows public notices must be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting on the public body’s website that is fully accessible to the public.
So why does the Bay City Academy keep violating Michigan Open Meetings Act?
Because the crew there knows it's not easy to complain about violations. You'd have to file a civil lawsuit, as there's no administrative method you can use — only an expensive, time-consuming legal remedy.
But here's the sweet upside to this story — if anyone were to file a civil lawsuit, Brian Lynch has already handed over notarized proof that he violated the Michigan Open Meetings law.
I got your chaos theory...right here!