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Morgan Hill
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September 22, 2020

Trustee in hot water over email?

An email sent by Trustee Gino Borgioli to a handful of parents inquiring about issues pertaining to the Morgan Hill Unified School District has prompted Superintendent Steve Betando to begin an investigation into the first-year board member’s actions, according to a July 16 blog post on a local media website.
Borgioli, who has bumped heads with the superintendent since joining the school board in November 2014, contends he has done nothing wrong. He received inquiries from parents asking him questions about the district’s direction, and he said all he did is answer those questions.
“I think it’s just another push to try and silence me from talking to my constituents,” said Borgioli, who received opposition from district leadership earlier this year for his informal community discussions called “Engage Morgan Hill.” That personal initiative was shut down after only one public forum held Feb. 25 at El Toro Elementary School, despite garnering some support from community members.
When asked about the blog post at mercurynews.com and any legal action against Borgioli, Betando said: “I can’t tell you anything about that.” The superintendent added he did not generate the post nor did he speak to the reporter who did prior to it being published.
Meanwhile, Borgioli said he has not spoken to Betando since receiving an email earlier this month, sent to all MHUSD board members, from the superintendent requesting they seek legal counsel to look into his doings.
“Nothing has come about, even though in an email it was communicated he was going to seek district counsel (against me),” Borgioli explained.
The July 16 post on the “Internal Affairs” blog on mercurynews.com states that Betando “suggested that the board hire an attorney to it seems, look into the actions of Trustee Gino Borgioli.”
The next regularly scheduled MHUSD school board meeting is Aug. 4.
This is the latest of several clashes between the Betando and Borgioli. In March, Borgioli publicly accused Betando of trying to “bully” and “intimidate” him from participating in a district technology meeting.
Since the November election, Borgioli has routinely challenged district-supported directives and voted against the board majority. A glaring divide on the board—which has not convened since June 23—existed with Borgioli supported by trustees Rick Badillo and David Gerard. However, the majority, on the other side of some issues, has been Board President Bob Benevento and trustees Donna Foster-Reubusch, Ron Woolf and Amy Porter-Jensen.
For example, the board voted 4-3 in closed session in June to support the district’s filing of a lawsuit against the Santa Clara County Office of Education and its board for approving the Voices-Morgan Hill charter school. Other votes on critical issues such as the district’s grade level reconfiguration plan and selection of a trustee boundary area map for a by-district election system have been delayed.
Those issues are exactly what Borgioli said parents called him about. Instead of answering the same questions individually at different times, Borgioli said: “I sent out a quick email to try to explain the redistricting and give my two cents on it.”
“I also said nobody knew at the last board meeting that the superintendent and board president were going to bring out (five-district trustee maps),” Borgioli added.
That email, Borgioli said, also included updates on the recent hirings of veteran administrator Glen Webb as the new Director of Curriculum and Instruction as well as Compton Unified School District’s Ramon Zavala to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.

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