Gavilan board responds to criticism over Kinsella’s raise

Gavilan College's board president Laura Perry

Gavilan College board president Laura Perry responded in a letter to Assemblyman Luis Alejo to claims by an advocacy group that the Gavilan board should re-agendize its October approval of the president’s $42,000 pay hike in light of allegations trustees violated the state open meetings law in their decision.

In the letter, Perry answers the Brown Act accusations and says that the board’s decision to approve Gavilan president Steve Kinsella’s contract was “prudent and highly beneficial to the district.”

Perry criticizes the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for not knowing about the fiscal issues facing Gavilan College and how  Kinsella’s “special knowledge and expertise on financial matters” has helped to avoid layoffs.

Perry goes on to address each accusation made in the letter (which can be downloaded at left).

The request from Alejo, D-Watsonville, is responding to a request for investigation from Hollister’s chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens. LULAC alleged that Gavilan’s board broke the Brown Act in a special October closed session meeting because its agenda did not specify discussion or action on President Steve Kinsella’s contract.

LULAC’s allegations noted that state law also disallows consideration of salary increases in closed session, where trustees made the decision to increase Kinsella’s pay.

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