The first wave came in The Long Goodbye to Bennett Kayser, whose bid for a second term was thwarted by a member of the group he most detests, a charter school executive.
For more than 90 minutes, a parade of admirers praised Kayser as the conscience of the board — for standing up to former superintendent John Deasy, for supporting teachers no matter what, for opposing charters no matter what, for holding to his principles and for demonstrating how a neurological challenge, Parkinson’s disease, is no barrier to public service.
All well and good — although spending more than a third of a four-hour meeting on good-byes seemed a tad excessive, even for this board.
Maybe the farewell would not have seemed so gaudy were it not for the polar-opposite manner in which his colleague Tamar Galatzan finished her day.
She, too, lost last month, ending eight years of service on the board, twice as long as Kayser. She had requested no public ceremony, due in part, perhaps, to the lingering animus of members who could not abide by her loyalty to Deasy. She was as faithful to him as Kayser was to UTLA, the teachers union.
But political sympathies aside, it was stunning to see her disappear without anyone at least acknowledging her public service over the years, if not for holding to her principles.
No one from the board, including the other Deasy acolyte, Mónica García, said a word. Nor did anyone else in the room.
Poof . . . Gone . . . What was her name, again?
The other passion play was Superintendent Ramon Cortines’s weepy, halting speech — about the 2016 budget!