Norm Westwell, Ocean View School District trustee has made some very serious charges against his own school board president and district superintendent. Remember that press release the OVSD released to staff and families last week that smeared activist activist Raymond Herrera? The one that neglected to mention a judge has tossed out their restraining order request MORE THAN A MONTH AGO? As Norm just announced in a press release- NO OTHER BOARD MEMBERS WERE MADE AWARE OF THAT RELEASE. And it gets worse. Norm’s accusations against the superintendent and trustee president are DEVASTATING. In my opinion they need to step down NOW.
I have just written the superintendent to ask the following questions:
1. How many staff hours were spent on the RO?
2. How many attorney hours is the District going to get billed for the RO? How much will that bill be?
3. Who is expected to pay for it.?
4. Who formed the statements in that RO Press Release?
5. Who authorized the statements to be released?
6. Why were Trustees not part of the process/
7. Were any other Board members were involved in the process?
Here is the full press release from Westwell:
Ocean View School District
Trustee Norm Westwell
Trustee charges Ocean View School District’s
Superintendent & Board President with collusion
& improperly taking action without Board
knowledge, direction or authorization, regarding
Restraining Order Press Release
For immediate release
Ocean View School District Trustee Norm Westwell, and previous Board President and Clerk, has issued an official statement regarding the district’s recent effort to have a restraining order placed upon activist Raymond Herrera. Mr. Herrera made two appearances at OVSD board meetings expressing his concerns about the District during
public comments. At the 4/25/17 Board meeting at which Herrera was present, Trustee Westwell publicly disclosed (as required) that the Board had committed a Brown Act violation at the previous meeting.
Agenda item D.2. for the meeting of 4/4/17 was improperly was listed as:
D.2. Government Code Section 54956.9(b): Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: One case.
Court actions which are already filed are a matter of public record and that fact was not disclosed to the public in the public meeting agenda as required by the Brown Act. A week later, on 5/2/17, a press release was issued by the Ocean View School District and President Clayton-Tarvin. Superintendent Dr. Carol Hansen also sent an email
communication to all the staff and families in the district, both announcing and defending the action. However, the press release failed to mention that the legal action had in fact been denied by a judge upon filing and the District
had later dismissed the action.
Trustee Westwell would like to clarify for the public, who elected him, that “I had nothing to do with the Ocean View Press Release of 5/2/17 regarding the Restraining Order (RO) filed by the District on 4/3/17 and denied by the Judge for lack of merit. The District never notified me it intended to release a press release regarding the RO, nor
did it seek my input on the matter. prior to the issuance of the RO press release. Not one word was ever spoken. Not one email. Not one text. I did not receive any kind of communication regarding the RO press release. I became aware of the RO Press Release on 5/2/17 just like everyone else. The Board is supposed to be the
governing body of the District.”
Trustee Westwell believes this action raises serious questions about who, in fact, is running the school district. It appears that the RO press release was not directed or approved by the Ocean View School Board who is responsible
for such things. It is improper to seize authority by fiat. The fact that this is happening in our local government, should be of great concern to everyone in the Ocean View School District.
This is a time line of the RO Press Release:
• 4/3/17 A case was filed: OVSD vs. Raymond Herrera. [case #30-2017-00912081] (a public document)
• 4/4/17 Board meeting.
• 4/25/17 Board meeting Trustee Westwell publicly discloses the Board’s Brown Act violation of 4/4/17.
• 4/26/17 Restraining Order dismissed by District.
• 4/28/17 Trustee Westwell provided the District a written request for an agenda item be placed onto the agenda for
the next meeting (5/9/17) as an item for closed session.
• Trustee Westwell had zero communication with Board members, district staff or the Superintendent pertaining to
the RO Press Release prior to it’s release on 5/2/17.
• 5/2/17 OVSD releases the RO Press Release. (a public document)
• 5/3/17 Trustee Westwell begins receiving inquiries from community members but was just as dumbfounded as
• 5/9/17 Trustee Westwell’s 4/28/17 agenda request was not placed on the agenda for Board discussion at the meeting of 5/9/17 as he had requested. In it’s place was item D1 which appears to be a closed session meeting to discuss Trustee Westwell, and not the underlying issue that Trustee Westwell had requested for discussion. Item D1
was agendized as: D.1. Government Code Section 65956.9(d)(2),(e)(2). Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure to Litigation Due to Demand for Cure and Correction By Trustee Westwell: Once case. Although Trustee Westwell was in attendance for the public part of the meeting, was not
present for any discussion during the closed session meeting for agenda item D1.
The press release was not authorized by the Board, nor did the Board provide direction, despite the press release making statements such as, “The District and the Board President seek to clarify” and “The District and the Board President recognize…” and “The District will continue to pursue all legal avenues to protect the safety of its Board
President…”. This is misleading to the public as the Board did not authorize or issue the RO Press Release.
Trustee Westwell would like to publicly state for the record that, “the recent OVSD Press Release was not directed or approved by the Governing Board of the Ocean View School District. Trustee Westwell was neither contacted, noticed or participated in any decision or approval to communicate a Press Release about a Restraining Order (RO)
to the public for the OVSD. It is assumed that no other Board members participated but that has not been verified. If that were to have occurred, it would be another violation of the Brown Act. At this time is it not known who authorized the RO Press Release.
The public has a right to know why the School Board was not involved in the direction or approval of Ocean View School District’s RO press release of 5/2/17? How can taxpayers hold their elected officials accountable if they are intentionally and inappropriately kept removed from District business? Who is running this District?
Trustee Westwell has stated, “The OVSD RO Press Release could not have been authorized because I would have had to have participated in the discussion or at least be notified and as of 5/15/17, I have not. I cannot speak for the other Board members but if they are making decisions without the participation of certain Board members, that
would be quite troubling.”
Trustee Westwell has created a “Transparency Portal” on his website to document his concerns and provide hard evidence about District transparency and other issues. Included are the actual audio recordings of all recent board meetings so the public can hear for themselves what is actually occurring in their School District as well as
supporting public information regarding this press release. It can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/lxk89v6
Trustee Westwell is available for further comment, clarification
and interviews at : (714) 847-2551 ext. 1444
or District email: firstname.lastname@example.org