Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CC Times endorses Todd Groves and Randy Enos


This is one endorsement they got right...in my opinion.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21897078/contra-costa-times-editorial-enos-groves-best-choices

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Please consider Todd Groves and Randy Enos for school board


I'm voting for Todd Groves and Randy Enos for WCCUSD school board.
No incumbents! Medrano is the status quo and is not paying attention to Hercules. Studdiford has a wife who is employed by the district and he accepts large sums of money from the developers, so he does not represent the average citizen-parent.
Todd Groves is very smart and thinks outside the box and is beholden to no one. And Randy Enos understands the machinations of the district entity.

United Teachers of Richmond-Misinformation?

A few months ago, the UTR President commented to the CC Times that they were opposed to the use of  Teach For America teachers because these were non-credentialed teachers.  The district reported using approximately 100 of these teachers.  If that is the case, then a review of the SARC data should show that at least 100 non-credentialed teachers were employed by the district.  I am now reviewing the SARC data yet again.  So far, the numbers are not adding up.

Friday, October 26, 2012

CC Times: Yes on G, No on E



http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_21761698/contra-costa-times-editorial-yes-measure-g-no

Sunday, October 14, 2012

CITIZENS' Bond Oversight Committee hijacked?


The Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee was established to provide oversight of bond monies by the CITIZENS.  The law requires a minimum of 7 folks who represent the community.  The law prohibits anyone with business ties to the district from serving on the committee.  

Here is the current roster.

http://www.wccusd-bond-oversight.com/uploads/CBOC%20Members%20By%20Categories/2012/UPDATED%206-21-12%20CBOC%20Membership%20by%20Categories.pdf

Note that one of the legally required positions is not filled, that of Business Organization rep.  Also note that one member is from the Building Trades Council.

"The board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District also has a policy in place to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions in the Contra Costa County Building and Construction Trades Council."
From
http://unionwatch.org/will-california-voters-punish-school-board-members-who-require-contractors-to-sign-union-project-labor-agreements/

Now, add the fact that current candidate Robert Studdiford has been the chair of this committee.  At the recent conclusion of his term, he nominated the rep of the Trades Council for committee chair.  Mr. Studdiford in the past has received large cash donations from labor organizations having ties with district development.  His nominee was elected, 6 to 4.  I must ask couldn't they have filled the legally required Business Rep seat before the election?  And the Public Employees Union rep had a vote? And Mr. Studdiford had a vote?  

Recently, an Assistant Superintendent commented to me "I want you on MY CBOC."  HIS CBOC?  That says it all.

For a combination of entertainment and aggravation, read the election report by Mr. Cowens. 
http://met3000.cowens.net/posts/citizens-bond-oversight-committee-officer-elections/




EDUCATION CODE 
SECTION 15278-15282 

15278.  (a) If a bond measure authorized pursuant to paragraph (3)
of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California
Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the
California Constitution is approved, the governing board of the
school district or community college shall establish and appoint
members to an independent citizens' oversight committee, pursuant to
Section 15282, within 60 days of the date that the governing board
enters the election results on its minutes pursuant to Section 15274.
   (b) The purpose of the citizens' oversight committee shall be to
inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The
citizens' oversight committee shall actively review and report on the
proper expenditure of taxpayers' money for school construction. The
citizens' oversight committee shall advise the public as to whether a
school district or community college district is in compliance with
the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of
Article XIII A of the California Constitution. The citizens'
oversight committee shall convene to provide oversight for, but not
be limited to, both of the following:
   (1) Ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the purposes
described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of
Article XIII A of the California Constitution.
   (2) Ensuring that, as prohibited by subparagraph (A) of paragraph
(3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the
California Constitution, no funds are used for any teacher or
administrative salaries or other school operating expenses.
   (c) In furtherance of its purpose, the citizens' oversight
committee may engage in any of the following activities:
   (1) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent
performance audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of
subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California
Constitution.
   (2) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent
financial audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of
subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California
Constitution.
   (3) Inspecting school facilities and grounds to ensure that bond
revenues are expended in compliance with the requirements of
paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of
the California Constitution.
   (4) Receiving and reviewing copies of any deferred maintenance
proposals or plans developed by a school district or community
college district, including any reports required by Section 17584.1.
   (5) Reviewing efforts by the school district or community college
district to maximize bond revenues by implementing cost-saving
measures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
   (A) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of professional fees.
   (B) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of site preparation.
   (C) Recommendations regarding the joint use of core facilities.
   (D) Mechanisms designed to reduce costs by incorporating
efficiencies in schoolsite design.
   (E) Recommendations regarding the use of cost-effective and
efficient reusable facility plans.



15280.  (a) The governing board of the district shall, without
expending bond funds, provide the citizens' oversight committee with
any necessary technical assistance and shall provide administrative
assistance in furtherance of its purpose and sufficient resources to
publicize the conclusions of the citizens' oversight committee.
   (b) All committee proceedings shall be open to the public and
notice to the public shall be provided in the same manner as the
proceedings of the governing board. The citizens' oversight committee
shall issue regular reports on the results of its activities. A
report shall be issued at least once a year. Minutes of the
proceedings of the citizens' oversight committee and all documents
received and reports issued shall be a matter of public record and be
made available on an Internet website maintained by the governing
board.


15282.  (a) The citizens' oversight committee shall consist of at
least seven members to serve for a term of two years without
compensation and for no more than two consecutive terms. While
consisting of a minimum of at least seven members, the citizens'
oversight committee shall be comprised, as follows:
   (1) One member shall be active in a business organization
representing the business community located within the district.
   (2) One member shall be active in a senior citizens' organization.
   (3) One member shall be active in a bona fide taxpayers'
organization.
   (4) For a school district, one member shall be the parent or
guardian of a child enrolled in the district. For a community college
district, one member shall be a student who is both currently
enrolled in the district and active in a community college group,
such as student government. The community college student member may,
at the discretion of the board, serve up to six months after his or
her graduation.
   (5) For a school district, one member shall be both a parent or
guardian of a child enrolled in the district and active in a
parent-teacher organization, such as the Parent Teacher Association
or schoolsite council. For a community college district, one member
shall be active in the support and organization of a community
college or the community colleges of the district, such as a member
of an advisory council or foundation.
   (b) No employee or official of the district shall be appointed to
the citizens' oversight committee. No vendor, contractor, or
consultant of the district shall be appointed to the citizens'
oversight committee. Members of the citizens' oversight committee
shall, pursuant to Sections 35233 and 72533, abide by the
prohibitions contained in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090)
and Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 1125) of Division 4 of Title
1 of the Government Code.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Is the school board sensitive to our financial crisis?


Is the school board sensitive to those citizens who are struggling financially? I ask because I heard Mr. Studdiford say we should support these bond measures because we are getting a good deal. Does he understand that we are getting a good deal because the economy, including my wages, are in the tank? I currently have been putting more money into our school facilities than I am putting into my house which is in need of repair.  In fact, we are now learning that compared to surrounding districts, we are NOT getting a good deal.
Mr. Enos said his father told him to never pass on an opportunity to pay for our schools. Of course, because we are also paying for the salaries of those like Mr. Enos and his father who work for the schools. I'd say the same thing if I were them.
During this economic crisis, we have been seeking relief any way we can get it. Maybe skipping this bond measure might be that relief. Homeowners are trying to keep and maintain their homes. In some cases, a family member has lost their job, so we are helping them, too.
When I listen to the board and the candidates, I'm observing a disconnect between themselves and me, the taxpayer. They tell us that the state is making cuts. The state is making cuts because many Californians are broke or are struggling. We are also being asked to support additional taxes for fire and safety.
This is when I take a closer look at our board members and candidates and ask myself "As citizens, who are they and are they truly able to represent me?"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Antonio Medrano doesn't get it


Antonio Medrano fails to understand his duties as an "at large" school board member. Board members are "at large", representing the ENTIRE district, not only their city of residence. His comment might explain why some cities feel left out of the district. He stated
"I have heard some of the discontent," he said. "Residents of Hercules and Pinole should find someone to run."
Wrong answer. The correct response should have been "I have heard of some of the discontent and am looking into addressing their concerns because that is what I was elected to do."
It is because of board members like Antonio Medrano who have no interest in taking the time to learn about the concerns of the entire district they represent that we have people feeling left out of the decision-making process regarding OUR school district.