April 24, 2017
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Engineering with Legos at the Ray Miller Community room And they're off. . . Community quickly rallies for Project Grad RP girl accosted while walking to school Rohnert Park City Council to host Town Hall meeting on May 3 Auto burglar arrested by Cotati Police Golf Course Drive Crossing concerns may delay SMART train ‘Quiet Zones’ Survey Says: Rohnert Park Residents Love City, but not Traffic Bunfest was hopping with bunny lovers Two RP Parks getting upgrades Local Tech High student chosen for Scholars program Treasurer for Rancho Cotate High Project Grad Arrested for Embezzlement Saddle Up and Ride Cotati opposes SB 618 Graton Tribe makes good on payments A mission to help RP man arrested for attempted murder A traditional dance of Japan RAFD names part-time fire chief Cotati delays vote on Valparaiso Padre Town Center changes hands RP makes changes to city code for ADUs RP man busted for possession of meth CRPUSD schools now a safe haven for immigrant students Man arrested for attempted murder Reilani Peleti Seventh-graders in local schools to be taught CPR RP man arrested on drug possession charges Credo gets used to new digs at SMV New hands bring subtle changes to Sharing of the Green fundraiser A bit of Uganda RP rejects new self-storage facilities RP to replace old trees Body of missing woman found Bunkers at Foxtail set for repairs Missing Penngrove woman's body found in Marin County CRPUSD OKs two contracts Credo crew marches to new home Man busted for DUI after crashing into tree in RP Cotati-reviews midyear budget Shameful time in history RP man reported missing Council amends UDSP Bomb scare closes RCHS KRCB garners huge windfall from FCC auction Man arrested after high-speed chase through 3 cities Man who led chase into SF caught The Voice enters into 25th year Taking a pie in her grill A new look for SSU gym RP votes to regulate vaping Sonoma County to take a look at immigration issue Cotati votes to host shopping cart race RP to conduct survey Artists ready for art show at library Man gets 11 years in prison for RP knife attack Suspected explosive device at RCHS A crab feast at Community Center Voice issues apology to school board, superintendent Cotati OKs water, sewer rate study RP adds seven to public safety Defibrillators proving to be invaluable assets Corrections

Nonn expected to sue CRPUSD

By: Dave Williams
February 17, 2017
Legally blind trustee’s lawsuit to claim administration is in violation of ADA 

The inability to come to an agreement with the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District for a special aide has prompted Trustee Tim Nonn to take legal action against the district.

Nonn’s attorney, Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice in Fremont, was expected to file a lawsuit in federal court late Wednesday afternoon, claiming the district has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA states local government entities must make reasonable modifications for persons with disabilities.

Nonn, who was the top vote-getter in last November’s election, says he needs assistance reading and interpreting documents during school board meetings. He claims the district has not made those reasonable modifications. He also said he’s been met with hostility from three of the four other school board trustees. Leff Brown, says Nonn, has been the only trustee willing to offer any type of assistance.

The district, according to Nonn, has provided certain technology-based assistance such as accessible machine-readable electronic documents for him to read on his computer. “While this accessible technology is helpful, it is not a complete solution,” Nonn said. “I simply need the district to let me use my own independent aide during public meetings at no cost to the district. For over three months, they have refused to provide me with a reason why the independent aide I am currently using is not acceptable. They seem to be determined to litigate the issue out of political spite.”

Superintendent Dr. Robert Haley, Trustees Marc Orloff and Jennifer Wiltermood and School Board President Tracy Farrell were all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

During a special school board meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 14, Nonn was without an aide while the other board members pored over documents and observed a PowerPoint presentation. 

Nonn said neither Orloff, Wiltermood nor Farrell offered any help. Orloff, Wiltermood and Farrell over the years have proved to be reliable votes in board meetings for Haley on just about any issue. None has ever cast a no vote for any issue Haley favors. One could say that if they were to form a singing group, a good name for them would be Robert Haley and the Rubberstamps.

Nonn’s choice for his independent aide is Janet Lowery, who tried to serve as his aide at a school board meeting in December. She was asked to leave the area where the trustees sit but Nonn insisted she stay. After a heated discussion between Haley and Nonn, Orloff, Wiltermood and Farrell voted to adjourn the meeting. On Tuesday, Lowery again tried to serve as Nonn’s aide as he toured a special education program at Rancho Cotate High but again was told she could not be his assistant.

“My request, like so many others, is frustratingly simple,” Nonn said. “It doesn't require any money or extraordinary effort on the part of the district administration. I am blind. I need my independent aide to sit next to me and help me access information at public school board meetings. Why can't we just pull up an extra chair to the table?”

Nonn laments what he perceives to be a waste of resources on the district’s part. 

“My lawyers and I tried for months to reach a settlement with the district through negotiations to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle,” Nonn said. “But if the district superintendent and other trustees insist on denying my right to accommodations, and so, prevent me from functioning fully as a trustee, I feel there is no other choice.”

Nonn said if he prevails in this case and there is a monetary award, he’ll donate the full amount to the Education Foundation of Cotati-Rohnert Park.