Whining like Babies! We trusted these trustees and got Screwed!
Currently there is a mix of 3 republican trustees and 3 democratic trustees and 1 decline to state. You would think that’s a reasonable “mix.” But the GOP has the 11th commandment…”we eat our own.” 2 of the republican trustees are not even considered republican because they are considered moderate. When you are a moderate republican you might as well have the Bubonic Plague.
Remember the last time our party was represented by all the trustees? I believe 2009. Jack Brick, Anna Bryson, Ellen Addonizio, Sue Palazzo, Larry Christensen, Ken Lopez Maddox and Mike Winsten. They were all elected as reformers. All of them much more qualified than the current trustee candidates. Most of them had no idea what the heck they were doing and it showed. Ms. Bryson was the only one with any experience and guts to speak her mind as I remember. That was a problem since the GOP wanted nothing but “YES” trustees. They were backed by the same people and groups that are backing the current inept candidates.
One could argue we are at this bond issue because of the ineptness of most of those trustees. Of course, they are not fully to blame but we expected more out of them than we got…Did they address the need to plan and strategize for the repairs of our schools? NO. Did they raise the question of possibly selling the “Taj Mahal?” NO. Yet our base of supporters consistently brings this up. We controlled the whole board! Why didn’t we get it done then? Even after Winsten and Maddox were recalled we still had control. Make any excuse you want for not getting it done. Fact is we had the power and did nothing and our party is still crying about it. Here is what our trustees accomplished:
Ken Lopez Maddox was recalled.
Mike Winsten was recalled.
Ellen Addonizio and Sue Pallazo conducted their own “covert Watergate break-in of the Superintendent’s office.” And got caught.
The majority of the boards ineptness in making a crucial decision led to a strike. The state cut the budget (we were already under funded) and the trustees responded by telling staff that they would have to cut their salaries by 10% and left it up to them to figure out how to get there.
They also choose to fire the Superintendent without any idea of replacement or agenda. They brought in Bobbi Mahler as a temporary superintendent who had no idea which ways was up. To their credit they hired Joe Farley, but that was the only smart thing I saw them do.
They also settled the litigation regarding the Enemies List. Certain individuals, including Tony Beall and Jim Reardon were awarded settlements or as some said were “paid off” which raised questions regarding misuse of funds and conflict of interest in the CUSD community. Don’t think there was any question which direction the settlement was going to go. Every trustee was a republican and both Beall and Reardon were involved with the Orange County Republican Central Committee. They knew they had it in the “money bag.”
The first settlement was approved on a 7-0 vote on September 15, 2009 and resulted in $475,000 being paid to the Case and Reardon families. Jim Reardon contributed directly to Trustee Maddox’s campaign. The second settlement was approved on a 4-0 vote and resulted in $178,350 being paid to the Beall, Russell and Furniss families. Trustees Addonizio, Christiansen and Palazzo recused themselves from this vote. Maddox stated that those three trustees abstained because the families receiving the settlements had lent money to the political action committee that had elected the three to office.
Trustees Maddox, Winsten, Bryson and Brick voted to approve both settlements which resulted in a total of $653,350 being paid to these families. Sounds like an “inside job.”
These were the trustees supported and elected by the CRA and Orange County Republican party. The current trustee candidates aren’t even close to having remotely any of the limited qualifications of the “reformed trustees.”
So, we need to quit whining. We had our chance and did nothing except line Reardon’s pockets with money. Have some integrity and give our kids a break. Repair the schools. Vote Yes on M. Invest money in our kids and schools and not Reardon’s pockets again.