For the second time in a week, the Hesperia Unified School District school board held a meeting Thursday, but had too few members to conduct any business.

"Frustrating is not the word," said board member Chris Bentley. "This meeting was not a surprise or a secret."

Bentley and board vice-president Lee Rogers were the only two members of the board present on Thursday, as they had been at Monday's originally scheduled meeting. Legally, the board cannot conduct any actions other than to adjourn to a later date unless a majority of the five-member board is present. Monday's meeting was adjourned until Thursday, and Thursday the meeting was again rescheduled; this time to Monday a week after the board had first been scheduled to meet.

Board members Hardy Black and Anthony Riley are both reportedly out of town (the Star could reach neither man by telephone Thursday afternoon), but board member Robert Kirk told district employees he was in town Thursday, but unable to attend.

"They have not contacted me," Rogers said during the meeting. "It has been common courtesy for board members to contact the presiding officer when they were unable to attend. I did this when Mr. Kirk was president, however the same courtesy has not been extended to me."

(Kirk was board president until he resigned on April 6.)

"I informed Mark McKinney over a week prior to the meeting that due to my work schedule and family commitments I would not be able to attend the 20th April meeting nor any other meetings that week," said Kirk, from the Victorville campus of Chapman University, where he teaches. "Monday night, they picked one of the nights I could not come."

On the agenda for the meeting, whenever it occurs, are a student expulsion, employee discipline issues and a vote on how many classified (non-teacher, non-management) employees to lay off for the 2009-2010 school year. (According to state law, classified employees have to be notified by 45 days before the start of the coming school year, which begins, for employees, on July 1.)

"I must admit my telephone has been ringing off the wall questions from the staff and public as to why the board members are not attending," said Rogers. "I cannot answer that question; I can only speculate. However, all of our telephone numbers are listed on the HUSD Web site and you may call us if you have questions."

"Since I was elected two and a half years ago, there have been approximately 65 board meetings. I have missed only one of those meetings," said Kirk, who also said he will attend Monday's board meeting. "My attendance record speaks for itself."

The meeting was rescheduled a second time, to Monday, April 27 in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street, at 4 p.m. The closed session portion of the meeting begins at 2 p.m.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.