Santee School District
Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee
Originally Adopted by the Committee on June 6, 2007 and approved by the Board of Education on June 19, 2007, and as amended on October 15, 2019
Section 1. Committee Established. The Santee School District (the “District”) was successful at the elections conducted on November 7, 2006 and November 6, 2018 (collectively, the “Elections”) in obtaining authorization from the District’s voters to issue up to $60,000,000 aggregate principal amount and $15,370,000 aggregate principal amount, respectively, of the District’s general obligation bonds both pursuant to a 55% vote. The Elections were conducted under California Proposition 39, being chaptered as the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000, at Section 15264 et. Seq. of the Education Code of the State (“Prop 39”). Pursuant to Section 15278 of the Education Code, the District is now obligated to establish an independent citizens’ oversight committee in order to satisfy the accountability requirements of Prop 39. The Board of Education of the Santee School District (the “Board”) hereby establishes the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (the “Committee”), which shall have the duties and rights set forth in these bylaws (the “Bylaws”). The Committee does not have independent legal capacity from the District.
Section 2. Purposes. The purposes of the Committee are set forth in Prop 39, and these Bylaws are specifically made subject to the applicable provisions of Prop 39 as to the duties and rights of the Committee. The Committee shall be deemed to be subject to the Ralph M. Brown Public Meetings Act of the State of California and shall conduct its meetings in accordance with the provisions thereof. The District shall provide necessary administrative support to the Committee as shall be consistent with the Committee’s purposes, as set forth in Prop 39.
The proceeds of general obligation bonds issued pursuant to the Elections are hereinafter referred to as “bond revenues” or “bond proceeds.” The Committee is responsible for reviewing the District’s expenditures of bond proceeds under the ballot measures adopted at the Elections and all future ballot measures approved by voters of the District pursuant to Prop 39. Regular and deferred maintenance projects and all monies generated under other sources shall fall outside the scope of the Committee review.
Section 3. Duties. To carry out its stated purposes, the Committee shall perform the following duties:
3.l Inform the Public. The Committee shall inform the public concerning the District’s expenditures of bond proceeds.
3.2 Review Expenditures. The Committee shall provide oversight, including reviewing specific reports, produced by the District, to ensure that (a) bond proceeds are expended only for the purposes set forth in the applicable ballot measure; and (b) no bond proceeds are used for any teacher or administrative salaries or district operating expenses.
3.3 Annual Report. The Committee shall present to the Board, in public session, an annual written report, which shall include the following:
(a) A statement indicating whether the District is in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3) of the California Constitution; and
(b) A summary of the Committee’s proceedings and activities for the preceding year
3.4 Duties of the Board. The Board shall have the following powers reserved to it, and the Committee shall have no jurisdiction over the following types of activities:
(i) Approval of construction contracts,
(ii) Approval of construction change orders,
(iii) Appropriation of construction funds,
(iv) Handling of all legal matters,
(v) Approval of construction plans and schedules,
(vi) Approval of Deferred Maintenance Plan, and
(vii) Approval of the sale of bonds.
3.5 Voter-Approved Projects Only. In recognition of the fact that the Committee is charged with overseeing only the expenditure of bond proceeds, the District has not charged the Committee with responsibility for the following:
(a) Projects financed through the State of California, developer fees, redevelopment tax increment, certificates of participation, lease/revenue bonds, the general fund or the sale of surplus property without bond proceeds shall be outside the authority of the Committee.
(b) The establishment of priorities and order of construction for the bond projects shall be made by the Board in its sole discretion.
(c) The selection of architects, engineers, soil engineers, construction managers, project managers, CEQA consultants and such other professional service firms as are required to complete the project shall be made by the Board, based on District criteria established by the Board in its sole discretion.
(d) The approval of the design for each project including exterior materials, paint color, interior finishes, site plan and construction methods (modular vs. permanent) shall be made by the Board in its sole discretion. Staff shall report to the Committee on any cost saving techniques considered or adopted by the Board.
(e) The selection of independent audit firm(s), performance audit consultants and any consultants necessary to support the activities of the Committee.
(f) The approval of an annual budget for the Committee that is sufficient to carry out the activities set forth in Prop 39 and included herein.
(g) The amendment or modification of the Bylaws for the Committee as provided herein, subject to the legal requirements of Proposition 39.
(h) The Appointment or reappointment of qualified applicants to serve on the Committee, subject to legal limitations, and based on criteria adopted in the Board’s sole discretion, as part of carrying out its function under Prop 39.
(i) The adoption of a plan for publicizing the activities of the Committee and the determination as to whether a mailer, a newspaper notice or website materials would best suit the distribution of the Committee’s findings and recommendations.
Section 4. Authorized Activities.
4.1 In order to perform the duties set forth in Section 3.0, the Committee may engage in the following authorized activities:
(a) Receive and review copies of the District’s annual independent financial audit, required by Article XIIIA of the California Constitution.
(b) Inspect school facilities and grounds to ensure that bond revenues have been or will be expended, in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3) of the California Constitution, in accordance with any access procedure established by the District’s Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent.
(c) Review copies of deferred maintenance proposal or plans developed by the District.
(d) Review efforts by the District to maximize bond proceeds by implementing various cost-saving measures.
Section 5. Membership.
The Committee shall consist of a minimum of seven (7) members appointed by the Board from a list of candidates submitting written applications, and based on criteria established by Prop 39,
One (1) member active in a business/organization representing the business community located in the District;
One (1) member active in a senior citizen’s organization;
One (1) member active in a bona-fide taxpayers association;
One (1) member shall be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District;
One (1) member shall be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District and in a parent-teacher organization, such as the PTA or school site council;
One (1) member shall have experience in school finance; and
One (1) member of the community at-large appointed by the Board.
5.2 Qualification Standards.
(a) To be qualified, a person must be at least 18 years of age in accordance with government Code Section 1020.
(b) The Committee may not include any employee or official of the District, or any vendor, contractor or consultant of the District.
5.3 Ethics: Conflicts of Interest. By accepting appointment to the Committee, each member agrees to comply with the Committee Ethics Policy attached as “Attachment A” to these Bylaws.
5.4 Term. Except as otherwise provided herein, each member shall serve a term of two (2) years, beginning July 1. No member may serve more than three (3) consecutive terms or as many as may be permitted by law. At the Committee’s first meeting, members will draw lots to select a minimum of four members to serve for an initial one (1) year term and the remaining members for an initial two (2) year term.
5.5 Appointment. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board through the following process: (a) appropriate local groups will be solicited for applications; (b) the [Assistant Superintendent, Business Services] will review the applications; (c) the Board will review the applications; (c) the Superintendent or his or her designee will make recommendations to the Board.
5.6 Removal; Vacancy. The Board may remove any Committee member for any reason, including failure to attend two consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable excuse or for failure to comply with the Committee Ethics Policy. Upon a member’s removal, his or her seat shall be declared vacant. The Board, in accordance with the established appointment process shall fill any vacancies on the Committee.
5.7 Compensation. The Committee members shall not be compensated for their services.
5.8 Authority of Members. Committee members shall not have the authority to direct staff of the District. Individual members of the Committee retain the right to address the Board, either on behalf of the Committee or as an individual.
Section 6. Meetings of the Committee.
6.1 Regular Meetings. The Committee is required to conduct at least one annual meeting, the purpose of which is to receive the reports and documents required to be provided to the Committee by the Board, and to approve a report of the Committee.
6.2 Location. All meetings shall be held within the Santee School District attendance area.
6.3 Procedures. All meetings shall be open to the public in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Section 54950 et. Seq. Meetings shall be conducted according to such additional procedural rules as the Committee may adopt.
Section 7. District Support.
7.1 The District shall provide to the Committee necessary technical and administrative assistance as follows:
(a) Preparation of and posting of public notices as required by the Ralph M. Brown Act, ensuring that all notices to the public are provided in the same manner as notices regarding meetings of the District Board;
(b) Provision of a meeting room including any necessary audio/visual equipment;
(c) Preparation and copies of any documentary meeting materials, such as agendas and reports; and
(d) Retention of all Committee records, and providing public access to such records.
7.2 District staff and/or District consultants shall attend all Committee proceedings as appropriate in order to report on the status of projects and the expenditures of bond proceeds.
Section 8. Reports. In addition to the Annual Report required in Section 3.2, the Committee may report to the Board quarterly or at least semi-annually in order to advise the Board on the activities of the Committee. Such report shall be in writing and shall summarize the proceedings and activities conducted by the Committee.
Section 9. Officers. The Superintendent may appoint the initial Chair, or the Committee shall elect a chair and a vice-chair who shall act as chair only when the chair is absent, which positions shall continue for two (2) year terms. No person shall serve as chair for more than two consecutive terms.
Section 10. Amendment of Bylaws. Any amendment to these Bylaws shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of entire Board and the Committee.
Section 11. Termination. The Committee shall automatically terminate and disband at the earlier of the date when (a) all bond proceeds are spent, and (b) all projects funded by bond proceeds are completed.