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  • Monday, October 30, 2006

     

    MOFFAT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN WEBSITE-NON PROFIT

    eLECTION Watch 2006

    NON-PROFIT SANTIAGO CREEK GREENWAY ALLIANCE LISTED AS ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION FOR
    KATHY MOFFAT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

    Orange Unified Trustee Kathy Moffat’s official political campaign “dot org” registered website has the non-profit Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance listed as the official administrative organization. Former Villa Park Mayor Robert McGowan is listed as the website Administrator and his house address on Lincoln Street in Villa Park is listed as the Administrative Address. McGowan’s telephone number is listed as the contact number.

    According to Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance President John Moore, the organization is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit 501 (c) (3) organizations from political activity (see link below).

    The Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance recently has focused on a city-wide walking trails system and safe bike trails, lanes and paths in Orange. In addition, the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance has worked with other local cities to coordinate the Santiago Creek Clean-up Day as part of the annual statewide Inter-Costal Watershed Clean-up Day. The Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance has no official ties to the Orange Unified School District.

    To receive a copy of the official registration information for Kathy Moffat’s political website- send your request with your FAX Number to:
    OrangeNet.News@gmail.com

    For information from the IRS on 503 (c) (3) regulations CLICK ON:
    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=155030,00.html

    For more information on the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance CLICK ON:
    http://www.santiagogreenway.org/

    OUSD CANDIDATE PAUL-DEAN MARTIN RECEIVES 1000 SPAM EMAILS FROM KIM NICHOLS CAMPAIGN EMAIL
    OUSD Trustee Area 5 seat Candidate Paul-Dean Martin received 1000 emails from his opponent Kim Nichols campaign email address. The electronic barrage shut down his personal AOL site. The email (reproduced below) had the subject: Loser with the message: “You’re going to lose this race”. It was routed though Stanford University with the political email address from Kim Nichols' political campaign website.

    Paul-Dean Martin who reported the SPAM attack to local authorities and to Stanford, also contacted Kim Nichols about the SPAM Attack. Nichols relayed the following by email to ONN about the attack:
    “I have not initiated any such e-mails, and as a matter of practice, use that site only to respond to e-mails I receive. When I went on to check the e-mail site after receiving Mr. Martin's complaint, there were approximately 30 or so e-mails that had been returned to that e-mail address, indicting that they were "undeliverable". They were all addressed to Paul Dean Martin. Since Mr. Martin's e-mail notifying me of the problem, I have changed my password on the site, hoping that ends the problem. If it doesn't I will delete the e-mail address completely.” Kim Nichols email 10/28/06

    The other candidate in the race for the OUSD Trustee Area 5 seat is Chris Emami. The Emami political website is registered to Chris Emami and the registered email address for the site is chrisn-1255@standfordalumni.org. One of Emami’s campaign workers Chris Nguyen, who uses the email address chrisn@stanford.edu . Nguyen responded by email to an ONN inquiry about any knowledge he might have about the emails. Nguyen responded:

    This is bizarre. Who would have the time to send over 1000 emails? I
    have spoken to a few people about the election before; I will see if any of
    them know anything about this.
    Thanks, Chris

    -Chris Nguyen email 10/29/06

    The following is the text of the 1000 SPAM emails:
    Subject: Loser
    Date: 10/24/2006 2:36:54 P.M. Pacific Standard Time
    From: kimberlee@kimberleenichols4ousd.com
    To: pauldeanmartin@aol.com

    Sent from the Internet (Details)
    Return-Path:
    Received: from rly-xk04.mx.aol.com (rly-xk04.mail.aol.com [172.20.83.41]) by air-xk03.mail.aol.com (v113.6) with ESMTP id MAILINXK34-58f453e877437f; Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:36:54 -0400
    Received: from smtp2.stanford.edu (smtp2.stanford.edu [171.67.20.25]) by rly-xk04.mx.aol.com (v113.6) with ESMTP id MAILRELAYINXK43-58f453e877437f; Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:36:52 -0400
    Received: from smtp2.stanford.edu (localhost.localdomain [127.0.0.1])
    by localhost (Postfix) with SMTP id 507874C85E
    for ; Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:36:52 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: from localhost.localdomain (www1.Stanford.EDU [171.67.22.26])
    by smtp2.stanford.edu (Postfix) with ESMTP id 1510A4C71F
    for ; Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:36:52 -0700 (PDT)
    To: pauldeanmartin@aol.com
    Subject: Loser
    Message-Id: <20061024213652.1510A4C71F@smtp2.stanford.edu>
    Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:36:52 -0700 (PDT)
    From: kimberlee@kimberleenichols4ousd.com
    X-AOL-IP: 171.67.20.25
    X-AOL-SCOLL-SCORE: 0:5:141373001:14441827
    X-AOL-SCOLL-URL_COUNT: 0

    You're going to lose this race!



    To receive a copy of the official registration information for Chris Emami political website- send your request with your FAX Number to:
    OrangeNet.News@gmail.com

    Paul-Dean Martin Misinformed about El Modena/Canyon
    ORANGE COMMUNITY COUNCIL PTA COMMUNITY FORUM


    If being on the receiving end of a SPAM Attack wasn’t bad enough, Paul-Dean Martin also was not able to be at the El Modena H.S. or Canyon H.S. Community Forums because…well you be the judge.

    October 18th 10:46 AM- Paul-Dean Martin sends Christina Bayles, President of the Orange Community Council of PTA’s the following email:

    Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:46 AM
    Subject: Candidate Forum
    The League Of Women Voters has the following posted on their web site but, El Modena has no record of this happening tonight and I have received no information about this forum. Is this still taking place tonight? If so what time and where should candidates arrive.
    October 18th
    Orange Community Council of PTA Candidate Forum
    El Modena H.S. 7:00 pm -8:30

    Thank you
    Paul-Dean Martin
    Candidate Orange School Board


    Thursday October 19th Bayles replies that she did not see Martin’s message:
    First, I must apologize for not responding sooner. I have not been at my desk today (actually Wednesday as it's already Thursday), having been at meetings and home only long enough this evening to grab a snack and leave for the Candidate Forum. If I had seen your message, sent this morning, you could have participated in the forum, assuming you were not committed elsewhere. I'm truly sorry.

    After explaining how the PTA tried to contact every candidate by certified mail and trying to find out what happened, Bayles writes:
    Mr. Martin, we will discover what the difficulty was, but now it's vitally important you have the necessary information so you can participate in the Candidate Forum at Canyon High School next Wednesday at 7 p.m. I sincerely hope that evening is open for you so you can be a participant at Canyon.

    After rearranging his schedule, Martin went to Canyon H.S. that Wednesday night only to find no meeting. Martin then immediately called Mrs. Bayles. Martin reports the following:
    I immediately phoned Mrs. Bayles who swore she told me the event was on Tuesday evening. I just happened to have a copy of here email with me and read it back to her. She apologized and said she would send out an immediate email to al involved explaining my absence from the meeting was her fault. As of Thursday morning at 10:00 I have not seen this email.

    OC BLOG on Orange City Races
    The OC Blog has been covering the mailers for the Orange City and Orange Unified races and keeping up on Carol Rudat. Check out the following links:

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/carol_rudat/index.html

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/orange_mayors_race/index.html

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council__7.html


    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_city_mai.html

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council__6.html

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/kim_nicohols_wa.html

    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/ousd_mailbox_th.html


    eLECTION Watch 2006 is produced by
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

     

    Metro VIEWS

    GODLEY on OUSD TEST SCORES:
    “Gains not significant enough.”


    With the Rocco Censure and the Censored September 14th Orange Unified School Board Meeting now seemingly behind us, perhaps now we can turn back to the real issues in Orange Unified. OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley in a sobering video report to OUSD at the September 28th OUSD Board Meeting stated that the OUSD gains on the standardized test scores are “not significant enough”. Godley pointed to a persistent six year 45% gap in achievement between the OUSD White and Asian student populations and the OUSD Hispanic student population. In addition he highlighted another 6 year 45% achievement gap that has existed between OUSD’s Special Education student population and the non-special education student population. For years, (and during the current election cycle) current OUSD Board Members and OUSD Administrators have repeated the mantra that OUSD Scores are going up (even as recently as September 1st, 2006, the day after last the standardize testing scores for last school year were released CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report_14.html ).

    OUSD Administrators have pointed to these not significant gains for years and used them for justification of the massive educational tax dollars spent on the OUSD Administrative pet consultant program Focus on Results. All the while the same OUSD Administrators all but ignored the federally mandated No Child Left Behind goal of closing the achievement gaps in those student subgroups that Godley reported have not changed in six years.

    At the same time we, the Greater Orange Communities Organization, have pointed out time and time again that OUSD has not produced any more significant testing gains than school district’s across California that did not spend the millions on OUSD Administrations’ Focus on Results pet consultant program.

    The current OUSD Trustees have rubber stamped the controversial consultant program time after time, even while clearly not understanding what it does. OUSD Administrator Cheryl Cohen (at the time Assistant Superintendent) in trying to describe to the OUSD Trustees just what Focus on Results does, compared the program to “marriage encounter training”. In the same meeting, OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma before voting to approve hundreds of thousands of dollars for Focus on Results spending said any program that teaches reading is going to get his vote.

    Unfortunately, Focus on Results has nothing to do with reading,that is unless you count the pirated educational works that were photocopied without permission of the authors or educational journals for the monthly five to six participants from each school to read then “discuss”. In the same video as Godley’s candid report and his calling for a need to increase scores “at a greater rate”, Cohen called the controversial consultant program (in a classic Cohen morph) “a highly qualified sustained professional development program that exposes current administrators and teachers to current research and best practices”. Cohen failed to mention that “exposure” provided is to merely read a recent educational article at the expensive monthly meetings. For a good part of the OUSD Focus on Results program those articles were pirated works from educational magazines copied without permission of the author or publication. The copyrighted works were photocopied and the Focus on Results logo was placed on them (CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/04/part-2-focus-on-consultants_12.html ).
    Clearly, for the millions spent on the program, it would have been far less expensive to have purchased an actual subscription to the “best practices” journals for all district’s teachers to read ( be "exposed” to) month after month instead of the pirated one article to give to a few teachers from each school.

    It was Cohen who also morphed the controversial program into the educational-fad Structured Walk-Though. The “walk-through” is one of the latest educational fads (with no educational research supporting it) and has been criticized for being nothing more than an expensive “bulletin board” check as groups of high paid administrators walk into classrooms for a few minutes and look at student’s posted work and what is written on the chalkboard. To see the result of what a day’s work of high priced administrators produces in an OUSD Focus on Results “walk-thought” at a school that Cohen herself identified as a model Focus on Results school: CLICK ON http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2005/11/one-days-work-yorba-middle-school.html .

    Long time Focus on Results supporter, OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat even made her support of the wasteful Focus on Results program a part of her campaign effort to get re-elected. Though not mentioning the program by name (perhaps because of all the bad press it gets), Moffat had a description of the program and her support of it listed as part of her election campaign website OUSD Issues Statement by Kathy Moffat. Since the Godley announcement, that page has been taken down (CLICK ON: http://www.kmoffat.org/OUSD%20Issues.htm ). At a recent Orange Unified Education Association teachers’ union meeting, OUSD Trustees Melissa Smith and Kim Nichols(both up for re-election) attended the meeting for a Question and Answer session. The questions quickly turned to the teachers' concerns about OUSD’s Focus on Results as Nichols gave the standard OUSD Administrators line explaining Focus on Results. Then, a memo to the school staff from the Principal of Yorba Middle School (Cohen’s example of a model Focus on Results school) was read aloud to the visiting Board Members. The memo to the staff was a report what the Focus on Results Team from Yorba Middle School had come up with as a recommendation after a full day at a Focus on Results meeting at the OUSD District Office (with the schools three teachers on the team leaving their classes with substitutes). The 10/12/06 memo stated (grammar mistakes original to the memo):

    As you know, many of our kids have unique needs and it is imperative that we begin to identify and the address these needs. Our Focus on Results team had a discussion about DI [Differential Instruction] at our last Focus on Results training and we decided to start with the following:

    1. Teachers will learn every student’s name and make it common practice to address every student by name on a regular basis.


    After being read the passage, a wide-eyed Trustee Nichols asked “Is that it?” For the first time Nichols asked the same question that community leaders and teachers from all over the Greater Orange Communities have been asking for years about Focus on Results.

    Clearly as Orange Unified’s number of state identified Underperforming Schools grows, the OUSD Administration can no longer hide the growing testing crisis at Orange Unified. As this crisis grew for years:

    • OUSD spent millions on a program recommended by an OUSD Principal who also worked as a senior consultant for Focus on Results
    • OUSD’s Focus on Results used pirated educational journalistic works
    • OUSD Administrator Cheryl Cohen explained the program as akin to “marriage encounter training”
    • OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma voted for the program under the impression it was a reading program
    • OUSD Trustees during the California Budget Crisis increased class size, cut music programs and now continues to increase the OUSD Administration before reinstating cut classroom programs.

    Meanwhile, as Dr. Godley warns OUSD testing gains are “not significant enough” and achievement gaps in federally mandated No Child Left Behind subgroups have been lagging for six years by a consistent 45% each, OUSD Focus on Results teams meet all day and decide teachers need to learn student’s names while six figure administrator teams with help from “trained” teachers use the latest “educational fad-cation” to walk into classrooms and check bulletin boards to spend millions of local educational tax dollars.

    But then as OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma said when he voted for Focus on Results on September 22, 2005:

    “We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.”


    Metro VIEWS is open to community members and organizations to voice their opinions on important local community issues in the Greater Orange Communities.

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    SMITH SWITCHES VOTE
    IN 5-2 ROCCO CENSURE VOTE

    Orange Unified School District Trustee Melissa Smith voted Yes on the October 12 OUSD Board Resolution of Censure against OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco. The censure saga started a month ago when Rocco spoke out against the transfer of reassigned Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich to Richland Continuation School as “Principal on Special Assignment” at the September 14th 2006 OUSD Board Meeting. OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley ordered those comments, plus other comments Rocco made during the meeting criticizing the OUSD Administration and a face-off with OUSD Trustee John Ortega, censored from the community broadcast of the volatile meeting. Godley came under extensive criticism for censoring the video.

    Smith had voted at the September 28th OUSD Board Meeting against the Public Hearing for Censure to be held at the October 12 meeting. The vote to hold the Public Hearing passed with a simple majority; 4 Yes to 3 No’s. The Resolution of Censure however had to have 5 votes in favor to pass.

    At the October 12th Public Hearing, acknowledging that she was perceived as the “swing vote”, Smith read a written statement trying to explain her flip-flop in first voting against the Public Hearing for the Resolution of Censure and now voting in favor of the Resolution of Censure. Smith is currently running as apart of a slate with OUSD Board President Kim Nichols, who sponsored the Resolution of Censure, and Trustee Kathy Moffat, who also supported the motion.

    Nichols also had a prepared text in which she tried to address the criticisms of First Amendment supporters who question OUSD’s claims that Rocco’s statements violated the Brown Act and the California Constitution. Nichols also invoked an analogy to the Washington D.C. Mark Foley Page Scandal and the congressman’s actions as Free Speech. Richard McKee, First Amendment advocate and President of Californians Aware, in two local community editorials on the Greater Orange News eBlog criticized the censure for its invoking of the California Constitution and the Brown Act for justification. Mckee wrote that the censure move was to punish the eclectic Rocco “for being elected”.

    The Resolution of Censure which dominated the local news for the last month during the most important local election since the Orange Recall was passed 5-3 (Smith, Moffat, Nichols, Ortega and Poutsma- Yes; Ledesma, Rocco- No). For archival information on the issues about the Resolution of Censure:

    Commentary by Californians Aware President Richard McKee:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/metro-views_19.html and
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/metro-views_09.html

    Report on Nichols Mark Foley Comments and Rocco Censure Comments
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/ousds-nichols-plays-gay-republican.html

    Trustee Comments on the Resolution of Censure
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html

    Report on September 28 vote in Favor of the Public Hearing
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/special-report-orange-unified-schools_07.html

    Transcripts and Photo of the Ortega vs. Rocco face off
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-rocco-censure-report_28.html

    OUSD Cheryl Cohen Steps Down as
    Assistant Superintendent

    OUSD Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen stepped down as OUSD Assistant Superintendent to spend more time with her family. Cohen was the architect of spending millions of local tax dollars on OUSD’s consultant driven Focus on Results program which she described as similar to “marriage encounter training”. The new Assistant Superintendent is Dr. Kenneth Jones. Cohen will not be leaving the district. A special position of Administrative Director has been created for her with oversight of “Academic Services and Professional Learning”. In addition, OUSD’s Chris Reider has also been given a newly created position of Administrative Director of Educational Services. The position has most of the duties of the position of Executive Director of Secondary Education last held by now retired Fran Roney. Also in keeping with tradition of how Godley was hired, none of the newly formed administrative positions were open to other candidates from within OUSD or the public to get the most qualified candidate for the job.

    Orange Unified (with already one of the most top heavy administrations in Orange County) has continued to expand administratively under Dr. Godley, even as class size reduction programs were cut back during the California Budget Crisis. Those classroom cuts have not been reinstated.

    With three Assistant Superintendents, four Executive Directors (it started as just two), and now six Administrative Directors, two qualified Principals for Richland Continuation H.S., plus the additional new Assistant Principals just hired for each traditional high school, the bloated OUSD Administration has grown to its largest ever as have the number of OUSD students in a class.

    Even as Godley has super-sized the OUSD Administration and OUSD student classroom sizes, he acknowledged for the first time at the September 28th OUSD Board Meeting a persistent 45% achievement gap in Special Education students and other students. While money continues to be targeted into the expanding OUSD Administration, Secondary Special Education Classes have grown to 25 students and above in some OUSD Underperforming Schools on the wrong side of the “55 Divide” dividing the upper income east with the lower income west . Special Education teachers in RSP, SDC, and Multiple Handicapped classes are told to continue to take more and more students making the whole concept of Cohen’s Focus on Results individualized instruction impossible.

    Last OUSD Board Meeting before the
    November Election

    With only three routine Action Items and no Informational Items the October 26th Meeting appears to be a short no-frills affair. This last meeting before the November Election is much more education focused compared to the last three OUSD Board Meetings that focused on Trustee Steve Rocco in one way or another. The three Action Items are:

    12 A- Energy Management and Water Conservation Policy-Second Reading
    12 B- Sufficiency of Textbooks and other instructional materials –Public Hearing
    12 C- 2006-07 Board of Education Goals and Objectives-Second Reading

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: October 26, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    To view the ENTIRE October 26, 2006 Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_102606.pdf

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions Just call Jon at the Business Services at 714-628-4015
    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

     

    Metro Views

    Highly-Charged Rhetoric in Orange Unified Obscures The Most Important Question:

    Are the actions of the District providing our children the proper civic lessons


    Giving Voice to the Greater Orange Communities

    A community viewpoint from Richard P. McKee


    In the politically charged atmosphere that is Orange Unified, it’s amazing how rapidly unsigned misinformation and false statements about the law can spread. So, to set the record straight, I’ll examine some of this ignorance, which has been so well-cultivated, fertilized, and disseminated by OUSD’s legal counsel.

    First is the assertion that Steve Rocco’s announcement, that he would vote to fire Ben Rich, violated Rich’s privacy interests. This claim is nothing less than ridiculous, as the federal courts have repeatedly ruled.

    We are discussing a public agency, OUSD. Anyone has the right to make and broadcast observations about how the public school district is functioning and how public employees are performing their jobs. There is no constitutional right of privacy in a public meeting when it comes to discussing how well or how poorly a public employee performs her/his job. And the Brown Act expressly forbids the school board from prohibiting criticism of the district, the Board’s decisions, or the job performance of school employees. Nor does the law require that an employee be given advance notice of any criticism to be presented in an open meeting.

    Second is the claim that the Board, collectively exercising its right to free speech, has every right to censure Mr. Rocco. Well, just as I said at the last Board meeting, the Board does have that right. But it doesn’t have the right to claim that it was punishing Rocco for violating California’s Constitution and the Brown Act. And there’s the problem. Because, if the Board can get away with intimidating one of its members by claiming he broke the law by making negative comments about an employee, the Board successfully intimidates others from making such public comments.

    Rocco’s comments revealed no confidential information, breached no right of privacy, and are not forbidden under the Brown Act. In fact, those comments about firing Ben Rich are entirely protected by the Constitution and the Brown Act. In other words, the findings presented in the censure resolution, drafted by attorney Covert, aren’t just inaccurate, they are lies. And if Covert doesn’t know that, what does that tell the people of OUSD about his competence?

    Third is the claim that I do not have “standing” to bring a Brown Act lawsuit against OUSD, and should I try, the suit would be thrown out because of the anti-SLAPP statute and I would be forced to pay the District’s attorney fees. This assertion is at least creatively ignorant.

    Mr. Covert tried to use the standing issue back in 2001 when I sued OUSD for the Brown Act violations he created. It would be good for those uninformed on Brown Act litigation to read the ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeals in McKee v. Orange Unified School District (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1320, where the court found that not only did I have standing, but that any citizen in California, no matter where they live, has standing to bring a Brown Act lawsuit against any public agency in California.

    As for the application of the anti-SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, to this situation, or to a Brown Act lawsuit I might bring, it simply does not apply. CCP § 425.16 is a law for the opposite purpose, to protect individuals from being sued by public agencies as a way to get them to stop making negative comments about those agencies. The law was enacted because public agencies were suing critics to shut them up by making the defense of their First Amendment rights such an expense that the critics would agree to remain silent.

    For example, in 2000 the Los Angeles Times and I were sued by Three Valleys Municipal Water District because we had very publicly criticized the district and demanded the release of a settlement agreement. In response, I brought a successful Brown Act lawsuit against the water district, McKee v. Three Valleys MWD (2000) LASC Case No. BS066489, and joined with the Times to bring an anti-SLAPP motion, which won the dismissal of the water district’s lawsuit and an order for the district to pay our attorney fees.

    It must be recognized that a Brown Act lawsuit is in no way an attempt to stifle the Board’s right to speak. In the present situation, it would be a suit against OUSD for failing to perform its ministerial duties as required by the Brown Act; that is, the Brown Act requirement that the Board do nothing to discourage criticism of the policies and performance of the District, including criticism of its employees. Both Baca v. Moreno Valley School District (1996) 936 F.Supp. 719 and Leventhal v. Vista Unified School District (1997) 973 F.Supp. 951 were cases brought against school boards for doing the same thing the OUSD Board has done, trying to invoke policies to stop or discourage people from making negative comments about school employees. Both courts struck down those efforts by the school boards.

    Then there’s the really myopic argument that the passage of the censure resolution is merely the Board exercising its protected right to free speech; it’s just a statement of disapproval.

    Well, if the resolution merely said that the Board disapproves of Mr. Rocco’s actions or what he has to say or how he says it, it would constitute just the exercise of free speech. But that’s not what Resolution 10-06-07 says. The Resolution says that what Rocco said was “clearly in violation of the provisions of the California Constitution Article 1, Section 1, the Ralph M. Brown Act at Government Code sections 54957 and 54963, and Board Bylaws 9005(a)5, and 9005(b)5, which protect an individual’s right of privacy.” Those statements are entirely false and are used for only one purpose. That is to embarrass, intimidate, and deny anyone the chance to make negative statements about a District employee during a public meeting, if those negative statements are not those welcomed by the Board majority. And the proof comes from the fact that the Board did not censure President Nichols when she said, in two different meetings, that Villa Park High teacher Linda Bartrom was not properly credentialed for one of the classes she was teaching.

    The Board really wants to punish Rocco because of how he presents himself, his perspective on issues, his irritating and uncooperative manner, and because he refuses to attend closed sessions. Basically, they want to punish him for being elected.

    The real trouble is, if you say you believe in the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment’s protection of speech, there will come times that can really test your convictions.

    In the movie The American President, Michael Douglas called it advanced citizenship, saying, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”

    I have no children in this district; no relatives living in Orange Unified; no friends running for office. My only interest is in protecting the rights afforded to all in an open public forum. So I oppose the Board majority’s effort to intimidate all who would dare to speak what the Board doesn’t want to be broadcast.

    Californians Aware is a statewide group of public officials, media representatives, attorneys, and citizen activists dedicated to the protection of public forum rights. Our General Counsel is Terry Francke, the guy who has written much of the Brown Act.

    And to our knowledge, OUSD’s legal counsel Spencer Covert has lost more open government lawsuits than any other attorney in the State of California. Those include a case five years ago, brought after he publicly assured the Orange Unified Board of Education that by following his advice they were obeying the Brown Act. Well, the Board followed his advice, the Board was sued, and two years later was ordered by the court to tape record its closed sessions for three years because of the Covert-endorsed Brown Act violations, and to pay tens-of-thousands of dollars in attorney fees to the plaintiff.

    So what do you think? Should the OUSD Board believe Covert’s assurances again?
    __________________
    Richard P. McKee is professor of chemistry at Pasadena City College and president of Californians Aware.


    Metro Views is open to community members and organizations to voice their opinions on important local community issues in the Greater Orange Communities.

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

     

    OUSD’s Nichols Plays the “Gay Republican Pedophile” Card

    “Just because we have free speech doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences to that free speech.”
    -Trustee Kim Nichols 10/12/06


    Reacting to the issues of First Amendment rights brought about by her move to censure Orange Unified Board Trustee Steve Rocco (and the censorship of the video Broadcast of Rocco’s comments by OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley), OUSD Board President Kim Nichols made an analogy of Rocco’s statement from the Censored September 14th OUSD Board meeting to the current Capitol Hill Page scandal involving resigned Republican Representative Mark Foley. Reading from a prepared text during the Resolution of Censure Public Hearing at the October 12th OUSD Board Meeting, Nichols stated in her support of the Resolution of Censure against Rocco:

    “We have unfortunately the example in the news recently about an elected official sending emails to Pages. That’s his right of Free Speech to send those emails! But they’re wrong and he will feel the consequences.”

    In addition to Nichols’ prepared statement that included the Foley reference, Rocco made a statement in defending his statements at the September 14th Board Meeting. Kathy Moffat rebutted Rocco’s statement and swing vote OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith (who voted against the Public Hearing at the September 28th meeting) explained why she was now switching her vote.
    (For excerpts from all of the Trustees 10/12/06 statements CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Nichols’, Moffat’s and Smith’s statements, framed Rocco’s September 14th comments about reassigned Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich as an attack on Rich’s right to privacy.

    Nichol’s statement included:

    “In this instance Mr. Rocco trampled on the confidentiality and privacy rights that are guaranteed to every citizen in this country. He trampled on them! He gave this employee no opportunity to be present and to be heard and to defend himself!”

    Nichols also stated about Rocco:
    “You have gone overboard and stepped over the boundaries of what is reasonable and responsible”

    (For more Kim Nichols 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Trustee Melissa Smith in a prepared statement explaining her vote for the Resolution of Censure stated in part:

    “Based on my own witnessing of the events in question and the evidence that has been placed before this Board I have no other option but to find that Mr. Rocco has violated our own Board By-laws.”

    (For more Melissa Smith 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Mr. Rocco in his defense at the October 12th Public Hearing, among other things stated that Ben Rich was only one of four things from his statement that was at the end of the Censured September 14th Meeting.
    (For more Steve Rocco 10/12/06 excerpts CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html)

    Did Rocco trample “on the confidentiality and privacy rights” as Kim Nichols claims? Did he go "overboard" and stepped over the "boundaries of what is reasonable and responsible"? What is it that Melissa Smith said she witnessed in the “events in question” from the Censored September 14th OUSD Board Meeting? What was it that Rocco said that made Kathy Moffat to say “I’m obligated to support the censure”? What did Rocco actually say about Ben Rich that resulted in the Orange Unified School Board voting 5-2 for the Resolution of Censure against him?

    OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley stopped Rocco’s comments from being broadcast to the community. Below Orange Net News is for the first time providing the transcripts of the opening part of Rocco’s September 14th statement that the Resolution of Censure is based on. This opening was followed by a second segment on administrators in OUSD having relatives who work for the district. Orange Net News has previously released transcripts of the ending of Rocco’s statement that resulted in a face-off with and OUSD Trustee John Ortega and a chaotic vote to adjourn (For the transcript of the Ortega/Rocco face off CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-rocco-censure-report_28.html )


    Following is the Opening Statement of Trustee Steve Rocco from the Censored September 14th Board Meeting that is the subject of the October 12th vote of Censure and the basis of his Censure:

    “First of all I’d like to talk about the Ben Rich matter. And I would of preferred to have done this at the beginning of the meeting, but I’ll take the end.

    As you know, I don’t attend Closed Sessions and I’ve never voted to fire anybody. My reasons are stated because I don’t believe in the basic fairness is given to either teachers or students.

    I think that administrators… it’s a tough sell to get rid of an administrator. And it costs a lot of money to pay their salary and they get secretaries and once they go from this job, they go to another job. And the same isn’t true of teachers.

    So to send Ben Rich from probably one of the best performing schools in this district, to one of the least performing schools, does a disservice to the students. And it just sets up a very bad practice that has gone on for a long time.

    And things are good for administrators, it really is. I mean you hire and fire, and when the consequences come down that you’re not doing a good job, then you just get transferred.

    So, I would vote to fire Ben Rich, and when he shows up here I’m probably going to ask him ‘Why aren’t you fired yet?’. But he will be here, and he’ll get a salary, and the people of Orange will pay his salary, and the students at Richland continuation will be suffering with the results of what happened at Villa Park High School. Which to me isn’t good!

    So let the people out there know, I’m willing to fire people, but I have to know the issues, and I have to know the facts, and I’ll go along with it.”

    -Statement from Steve Rocco 9/14/06 subject of OUSD Censure

    For excerpts from Rocco’s Statement of Defense at the October 12th Public Hearing CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/orange-unified-school-board-trustees.html

    This ROCCO REPORT is an independent
    production of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News is made possible by the
    FIRST AMENDMENT of the United States Consitution
    and the vision of the United States Founding Fathers

     

    Orange Unified School Board Trustees’ Statements Regarding the October 12th Resolution of Censure

    Excerpts from Orange Unified School District Trustee Kathy Moffat’s statement on 10/14/06 explaining her YES vote for the Resolution of Censure against OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco:

    “I believe it is my responsibility if I believe in the By-Laws, and if they mean anything at all, if they are there for any reason at all, then I am obligated to support this Censure”.

    Excerpts from Orange Unified School District Trustee Melissa Smith’s statement on 10/14/06 explaining her YES vote for the Resolution of Censure against OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco:

    “I know I am perceived as the swing vote.”

    “But what is before us tonight is the question of whether Mr. Rocco violated our Board By-Laws by choosing to breach the privacy rights of an employee of this district and if so should the members of the Board of Education express their disapproval of his behavior as a seated Board member through the act of censure.”

    “Just as Mr. Rocco has every right to behave as distastefully, outlandish and foolishly as he chooses without breaking the law, this Board has every right to express their disapproval of that behavior when it violates our by laws and the California State Constitution.”

    “Based upon my own witnessing of the events in question and the evidence that has been placed before this Board, I have no other option, but to find that Mr. Rocco has violated our own Board By-laws.”

    Excerpts from Orange Unified School District Trustee Kim Nichols’ statement on 10/14/06 explaining her YES vote for the Resolution of Censure against OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco:

    “Just because we have Free Speech doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences to the Free Speech.”

    “We disapprove of what you’re doing. You have gone overboard and stepped over the boundaries of what is reasonable and responsible as a legislative body that is suppose to be here doing the business of our community for the benefit of our students. That is what it is.”

    “We have unfortunately, the example in the news recently about a elected official sending emails to pages. That’s his right to free speech to send those emails! But they’re wrong and they have consequences and he will feel those consequences.”

    “In this instance Mr. Rocco trampled on the privacy rights that are guaranteed to every citizen in this country. He trampled on them! He gave this employee no opportunity to be present and to defend himself.”


    Excerpts from Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco statement on 10/14/06 explaining his NO vote for the Resolution of Censure against him:

    This is the Resolution which I received and which I read. And you do need a 2/3 majority vote, but you only need a majority vote to get us to this place here. It’s fraudulent. The title, the subject matter- is principals. Like I hate principals, or that’s the number one issue. This was a ten minute talk I gave. Ten minutes. That’s a long talk about just one principal. That’s very long. And I didn’t just talk about him. No I didn’t. You know why this doesn’t make sense? Because this principal was thrown to the wolves because they only picked that. I talked about four different things, this was twenty five percent of the content. Twenty five percent! Not all of it, twenty five percent!

    And the main reason I was against rehiring this principal is because of money. And it’s a brand new position. They didn’t have the position before. You’re going to pay over $100,000 for a position which is only open because Mr. Godley did not get along with the people who came here to speak. He did not get along with the teachers who came here to ask that he be transferred, and you’re not getting along with me. And this is going to cost this district over $100,000.

    If he was a teacher he’d be gone. But he is an administrator. And we gave raises to administrators. We fire teachers, we expel students, but we transfer administrators. Send a message. There’s a different set of rules for one group of people, and another set of rules for another group of people.

    So like I said, it’s only twenty five percent and you only picked one. You only gave them one issue but I talked about three others.”

    “The average people who read this will say ‘woo’ , and what’s it worth? It’s worth votes. It may be worth 100, it maybe worth 1000. Who knows? But it’s worth it. It will sway the people one way or the next… this is an election year. There’s four people up here running, obviously we are not on the same side.”

    “Because you know, if you follow the Brown Act, if you follow Robert’s Rules of Order, if you follow state law, if you follow federal law, you don’t need these. You have everything in place to have an orderly meeting. You don’t need a By-law. But with By-Laws you get to do fun things, like prevent me from ever being [Board] president, which was rotation. You get things happening which are not for the majority, because the majority is always going to agree. The By-laws are for the minority here, those who don’t agree, they’re for me.”

    “You have a By-law, you don’t agree, you get censured. Because you don’t agree. That, and it’s a real shame, because we are in a wartime. What are you going to tell the soldiers that are fighting out there? You know we made a By-law that got rid of the Constitution? Can we do this? Are we a legislature? Can we make laws? Can we do that? That violates everything I’ve been taught!”

    “But you know that just isn’t right. And that’s just what I get to do as one person here on this Board. I get to say ‘It ain’t right’, cause I haven’t won a vote yet, and I’m not going to!”



    This ROCCO REPORT is an independent
    production of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News is made possible by the
    FIRST AMENDMENT of the United States Consitution
    and the vision of the United States Founding Fathers

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

     

    SMITH FLIP FLOPS on CENSURE

    SPECIAL REPORT ROCCO CENSURE VOTE



    Voting at the September 28th Board Meeting against holding the Public Hearing on Censure, Orange Unified Trustee Melissa Smith changed her vote at the October 12 Public Hearing FOR Censure to give the Orange Unified Board the five votes it needed to Censure Orange Unified Trustee Steve Rocco.

    The vote during the October 12th Meeting was 5-2 for Censure.
    FOR CENSURE: Melissa Smith; Kathy Moffat; Wes Poutsma; Kim Nichols; John Ortega
    AGAINST CENSURE: Rick Ledesma; Steve Rocco

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST will have a full and complete report on the October 12th Meeting.



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    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

     

    eLECTION Watch 2006

    eLECTION Calendar WATCH 2006
    October 10th
    Rick Ledesma Fundraiser
    Office of Eric Noble in Orange $75 per person
    Call 714-478-6502 to RSVP or email Christine@workworks.com

    Chris Emami Fundraiser
    730 Teal Circle, Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 contact: chrisemami@aol.com
    Every Dollar Donated Will Be Matched Up To $50,000 By
    The Family Action PAC
    For Information on the Family Action PAC CLICK ON: http://familyactionpac.com/about.php

    October 11th
    Alexia Deligianni Fund Raiser
    Duvall Ranch (Mayor of Yorba Linda) 18103 Bastanchury Rd Yorba Linda, CA Cost: $50
    Contact: adeligianni@gmail.com

    Old Towne Preservation Candidate Meeting
    American Legion Hall 7:00 pm

    October 16th
    Orange Park Acres Association Candidate Forum
    Rancho Santiago College 7:00 pm

    October 17th
    Orange Republican Women Q&A
    Turnip Rose Restaurant 10:30 am

    Orange Senior Center Q&A
    10:00 am

    October 18th
    Orange Community Council of PTA’s Candidate Forum
    El Modena H.S. 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

    October 20th
    Jeremy Wayland Fundraiser Casino Night
    Orange Women’s Club for information/RSVP 714-745-7318

    October 24th
    Orange Community Council of PTA’s Candidate Forum
    Canyon H.S. 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


    eLECTION Watch 2006
    is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Monday, October 09, 2006

     

    Metro VIEWS

    The Orange Unified Board tramples the First Amendment
    Is the reason ignorance, or politics, or bad legal advice -- or all of these?

    a community viewpoint by Richard McKee

    Richard P. McKee is professor of chemistry at Pasadena City College, president of Californians Aware, past-president of California First Amendment Coalition, and plaintiff in McKee v. Orange Unified School District (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1310.

    On October 12th, the Orange Unified School Board will consider censuring one of its own members for announcing, in an open meeting, that he would vote to fire District employee Ben Rich, a recently reassigned principal. The censure resolution claims the board member’s public comment violated the California Constitution, the Brown Act, and school board policy.

    But these charges completely misstate the law, making the resolution, drafted by OUSD legal counsel Spencer Covert, nothing more than a political fraud created at taxpayers’ expense.

    Free Speech
    A “limited public forum” – it’s the term used by the U.S. Supreme Court to designate public property that has been opened by the state for public use as a place for expressive activity. Repeatedly, the courts have found that public school board meetings fit this category, thus giving the board the power to set only reasonable time, place and manner regulations on the speech within those meetings. Examples of such regulations would be limiting speech to only those topics falling within the school board’s jurisdiction, setting a reasonable time limit, designating when public comment on particular items is appropriate, and controlling abuses that disrupt the meeting. Otherwise, the board may never limit anyone’s speech based upon its content.

    But the courts have gone further, explaining that the privacy rights of individual employees do not trump the public’s right to criticize school district employees by name in an open meeting. In Baca v. Moreno Valley School District (1996) 936 F.Supp. 719 the federal court considered a school board policy that prohibited public complaints in an open meeting about a district employee. In finding such a policy unconstitutional, the court (at page 727) ruled that “under the California Constitution, District’s Board may not censor speech by prohibiting citizens from speaking, even if their speech is, or may be, defamatory.” A year later this ruling was affirmed in Leventhal v. Vista Unified School District (1997) 973 F.Supp. 951.

    Isn’t it remarkable that just nine years later the Orange Unified school board, saying their policies forbid such public meeting criticism, is considering the same censorship previously found to be unconstitutional? Well, actually, it’s not so remarkable when viewed in historical perspective.

    Covert Operations
    Five years ago, in one of the first actions of a new school board majority promising greater openness, Spencer Covert was appointed the District’s legal counsel. Ironically, the hastily-called Special Meeting, sanctioned by Covert and coming just 13 days after a recall election, included the new members who had not yet been officially declared elected by the Registrar of Voters.
    After allegations of Brown Act violations and a threat of litigation, on August 27, 2001, an embarrassed Board was forced to rescind all the actions it had taken at that first meeting seven weeks earlier. And since that less than auspicious beginning, Covert’s encouragement of illegal secrecy has subjected the Board of Education to extraordinary scrutiny from open government organizations, a concerned public, and the courts.

    But the Board has only itself to blame. From the beginning it was widely known that Covert had a practice of approving or defending violations of open government laws.

    Newspapers had reported Covert’s 1993 defense of the Corona-Norco superintendent’s decision to shred copies of a report on district employees making repairs to the superintendent’s home. While Covert claimed the report wasn’t a public record, the Riverside Superior Court disagreed and ordered the District to prevent destruction of the records.

    In 1997, while general counsel for Chino Unified School District, Covert was involved in hiding the fact that the school board was meeting to secretly negotiate and approve a $200,000 agreement to buyout the superintendent’s contract, while telling the public the closed session was only a performance evaluation. The District was sued for Brown Act violations and, after losing in court and paying plaintiff’s legal fees, Covert was gone. And within just two years, the voters had replaced all five of the Board members involved.

    Again in 1999 newspapers reported that, while Covert was its legal counsel, South Orange County Community College District was found to have violated the Brown Act, with the Orange Superior Court ordering the Board to tape record its closed sessions due to its “persistent and defiant misconduct.”

    So, even before his tenure began at OUSD, Southern California school districts engaging Covert as legal counsel had lost tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of public dollars and an incalculable amount of the public’s faith.

    Thus it came as no surprise on August 27, 2001, when OUSD’s then-Board President Bob Viviano, having been warned that the Board was about to violate the Brown Act again, turned to Covert to ask whether the closed session on real estate negotiations the Board was about to hold was legal as agendized. In character, Covert reassuringly gave it his stamp of approval.

    Sure enough the District was sued, losing in both Orange Superior Court and the Court of Appeals. Evidence in that case proved that the Board had secret communications with the County of Orange, seeking concessions that would have made commercial development of its 500-acre Barham Ranch easier, while the Board used its agendas to give the public the opposite impression -- that the District was planning to sell the land to the County for preservation as a park. Because of the Covert-approved deception, the Court ordered the District to pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees and to tape record closed sessions for three years.
    But even after all his history, Covert is still legal counsel for Orange Unified.

    Censure Resolution a Fraud
    Covert has admitted drafting the proposed censure of Board member Steve Rocco. Beyond the claims that Rocco’s comments violate the California Constitution and Board policy (both contradicted by the Federal courts), the resolution’s major justification for the censure is that the Brown Act requires school board members to discuss, deliberate and take action on matters pertaining to the discipline, dismissal, release, and performance evaluation of employees in closed, not public session of the school board. The resolution goes on to say that Mr. Rocco’s statement that he would fire Ben Rich is “clearly in violation” of the Brown Act. Well, Covert has completely misstated the law . . . again!

    The Brown Act does not require anything to be deliberated or acted upon in closed session; it only permits very limited subjects to be discussed in properly agendized closed sessions, should the Board so decide.

    In fact, any member of the public, including Board members and District employees, have a First Amendment right to speak to any issue within the Board’s jurisdiction, including positive or negative comments about the performance of an individually-identified employee or Board member.

    Thus, the censure resolution, promoted by Clerk Wes Poutsma and President Kimberlee Nichols, becomes no more than a political effort to censor Mr. Rocco’s speech. And that effort looks even more bazaar when one recognizes that the Board President has engaged in exactly the same conduct. In open session at the last two Board meetings, Nichols has questioned both the assignment and credentialing of an employee she named.

    Additionally, the action of Superintendent Thomas Godley serves to confirm the majority’s effort to keep Rocco’s criticism from being heard by District voters. After the 9/14 Board meeting, Godley altered a video tape copy of the meeting, sending it out for cable broadcast absent Rocco’s comments. Godley asserted that this was done with Covert’s advice and was meant to save the District from a defamation suit.

    But the truth is, the named employee cannot hold the District legally responsible for anything said by an individual in a public forum, even if it’s said by a board member. And more importantly, Government Code section 6200 makes it a felony to alter or falsify a public record, such as the video tape of the meeting.

    Conclusion
    While it’s true that Mr. Rocco often presents his opinions in a politically incorrect manner, which some may find offensive or belaboring, the First Amendment is meant to further the marketplace of ideas – all ideas, not just the ones we want to hear or agree with.

    Furthermore, like it or not, Mr. Rocco was elected. It’s his duty to represent the electorate in the best way he knows how. Through his actions, the voters will assess his performance.

    If the OUSD Board truly cares anything about openness and free speech, they’ll shelve this censure resolution and fire their attorney, a move that’s long overdue. And even if they don’t care about individual rights, they should do it to avoid an inevitable Brown Act and First Amendment lawsuit they can’t win, and the legal tab that will follow. For just as Hewlett Packard is learning, whether it be a public or a private board, “Covert operations” should never be allowed.


    Metro Views is open to community members and organizations to voice their opinions on important local community issues in the Greater Orange Communities.

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

     

    SPECIAL REPORT: Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco defiantly declares:
    “I will speak, I will talk, I will tell the people…”

    Rocco Ride Warning: Hold on tight. lots of twists and turns
    While clearly ignoring the unpredictable Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco (as they have for much of the last two years) would have saved the OUSD Board the month long “embarrassment” as OUSD Board President Kim Nichols (who is currently running for re-election) referred to her Rocco Censure Attempt, the Rocco Censure Rollercoaster continued its rapid roll across the Greater Orange Communities as a divided OUSD School Board voted 4-3 at their September 28th meeting in favor of holding a Public Hearing at their October 12th meeting to formally censure Trustee Rocco for comments he made at the September 14th meeting that he would of voted to fire former Villa Park High School Principal, now Principal on Special Assignment at Richland Continuation High School (but…not Principal of Richland High School) Ben Rich. Are you still holding on? The Rocco Censure Rollercoaster is coming back around.

    OUSD replaces "3 R's" with "3 C’s”:
    Censorship, Censure and the Constitution


    As many of the candidates challenging four of the OUSD Trustees in November sat in the audience watching along with the Principals and Vice Principals from most of the OUSD schools, the September 28th Orange School Board Meeting started with OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley trying to explain why he authorized the censorship of the September 14th meeting broadcast to the community (Godley cut out the last part of the meeting where Rocco spoke of firing Ben Rich and Trustee Ortega faced off against Rocco: CLICK ON http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-orange-unified-schools.htm). Godley stated that the censorship was aimed at protecting the district from “the risk of liability” because of remarks Rocco made during open session. Godley further stated that the “official” unaltered record was available from his office.

    Also in the audience was First Amendment scholar and President of Californians Aware, Richard McKee (http://www.calaware.org). Speaking under Communications to the Board, McKee reviewed the free speech rights community members and Trustees have to speak at school board meetings as limited public forums in California. McKee reminded the board they had no right to restrain speech. He also contradicted Dr. Godley’s contention that the school district could be held liable for Rocco’s statements. McKee reminded the Board that the school district cannot be held liable for what individuals say at Board meetings. He also explained that the law identifies specific procedures and times when redaction of public records can take place. McKee also explained that the Board had no authority to protect individual “privacy rights” that that only the employee owns those rights.

    During comments on the agenda item to approve the October 10th Public Hearing on Censure, McKee spoke again. He took no position on the merits of the censure, but noted that the Resolution of Censure had legal problems. He again noted the employer does not act on behalf of an employee’s right of privacy and stated the Resolution appears to misinterpret the Brown Act. McKee noted that the Brown Act does not mandate Closed Sessions, the act just restricts what can be legally be discussed in a session closed to the public if a public body wanted to use a closed session. Rocco has steadfastly refused to attend OUSD’s Closed Session because he feels all public business should be conducted in public. McKee’s explanation of the Brown Act (which many consider him an authority on) seemed to vindicate Rocco’s minority opinion that closed sessions do not have to take place at all and that all work of any elected body could take place in public regardless of how uncomfortable that may be in areas of personnel and litigation, or as in the case of school districts, students.

    As the discussion turned to the agenda item for a vote to hold a public hearing at the October 12th Board Meeting, Nichols began reading a written statement explaining why she was pursuing the censure regardless of how distracting and “distasteful” it was for the community. In light of the information on the First Amendment expert McKee had just told the Board, Nichols prepared text made her appear oddly unprepared despite her statement that she had researched the censure. In her statement Nichols continually referenced Brown Act violations of Rocco despite McKee’s clarification of the law. The local OUSD watchdog group, the Greater Orange Communities Group in a released statement commented:

    “…after what Richard McKee told the Board, and the fact that Rocco refuses to attend any Closed Sessions that are under the Brown Act, Nichols again appeared to be searching for a reason for her actions instead of acting reasonably.”

    Taking the Rich out of Richland

    The clear irony of the evening was that if Nichols real desire was to protect Ben Rich as an employee, or Godley’s intention really was to protect the district from litigation regarding Ben Rich, the strategy clearly backfired as Rocco’s comments about Rich would have quickly been forgotten if Nichols had not pursued censure. Even Godley mentioned Ben Rich by name during the evening when a citizen addressed the Board about Rich’s transfer to Richland. An apparently frustrated Godley commented after the citizen spoke that Rich was not the Principal of Richland as local media had reported (both the Orange City News and Orange Net News had reported Rich was now Principal of Richland. Orange Net News reported it had called Richland and when they asked the secretary who was the Richland Principal, she stated it was Ben Rich). Godley clarified that Rich was a “Principal on Special Assignment” at Richland, and not the Richland Principal.

    Board Split in 4-3 Vote on
    October 12th Censure Public Hearing


    Rocco began comments on the Nichols’ Censure Motion by asking staff who had done the legal work on the Resolution of Censure. Dr. Godley responded that it was done by Spencer Covert’s law firm, and billed at his hourly rate. When pressed by Rocco on the total cost, Dr. Godley stated he did not know “off hand” the total OUSD was billed for the legal work (in July 2006, a month after authorizing $225,000 to Parker and Covert, the OUSD Board authorized an additional $50,000 to Parker and Covert to cover a fee increased to $195 an hour CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/07/orange-unified-schools-digest.html ).

    Rocco then went through a list of times when the Board, in particular Kim Nichols, spoke in open session about personnel matters. Rocco also referred to the infamous Santiago Revocation Report. That report released the Social Security number of Sarah Bench-Solario as well as personal telephone and email addresses of employees and parents. Numerous meetings dealing with the Santiago Affair involved numerous public discussions of personnel discussions involved in that case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_Middle_School ).
    Rocco stated that if the OUSD Board censured him it would be like an honor because he sees it as retaliation from the Board for defying the majority. Rocco defiantly stated “I will speak, I will talk, I will tell the people.”

    Trustee Wes Poutsma used his discussion time to bash Rocco as the two again got into a tit for tat. As is customary, after his input about Rocco, Poutsma used the parliamentary rule “call for the question” in an attempt to cut off debate and discussion. That motion was defeated 5-2 with only Poutsma and an otherwise silent Trustee John Ortega voting yes.

    As the discussion continued after defeating Poutsma’s motion, Trustee Rick Ledesma explained why he would vote against censure. Ledesma stated while he does not condone the comments or actions of Rocco, the public should be the ultimate judge on the words and actions of elected officials. Ledesma later asked for a legal opinion on whether there is precedent for censured officials to undertake legal action. OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert stated there have been legal matters brought against elected bodies over censure, but he did not elaborate.

    In a similar statement, Melissa Smith too stated while many times she is appalled and dismayed at statements Rocco makes, she questioned whether a censure of Rocco would have its intended effects. Smith stated the public had other mechanisms to use and that if the Rocco issue is to be resolved, the “public is the place”. Both Ledesma and Smith were praised by the Greater Orange Communities Organization for “showing courage, leadership and intellectual insight into the full impact of their votes on the Greater Orange Communities in opposing this ill advised and costly Nichols inspired “embarrassment” and distraction to the focus on education entirely created by the OUSD Trustees themselves”. In addition, the group noted “Ledesma and Smith in an election year could have easily voted for censure, instead both again showed integrity and genuine leadership by voting for the good of the whole community”.

    Moffat, who in her year as OUSD Board President tried to control Rocco with threats of legal consequences for disrupting a public meeting (which appears illegal on Moffat’s part as a prior restraint on speech) used her customary rhetorical questioning style to illicit input from staff to support her position that censure was to send a message and provide guidance to Rocco.

    Only Trustee John Ortega made no statement. In fact all evening Ortega only spoke to vote as many in the community saw his face-off with Rocco (CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-rocco-censure-report_28.html) at the Censored September 14th meeting as the real issue behind both the Godley censorship and the Nichols censure move.

    Rocco requested a roll call vote. The vote to hold a public hearing at the October 12th meeting was 4-3. Ledesma, Smith and Rocco voted “No”. Nichols, Poutsma, Ortega and Moffat voted “Yes”. At the October 12th Public Hearing it will take a two-thirds vote to pass the Nichols Resolution of Censure.

    GODLEY on OUSD TEST SCORES:
    “Gains not significant enough”


    Overshadowed by the Board’s early evening preoccupation with the Nichols Censure motion, for the first time in the era of standardized testing, the OUSD Administration finally faced the reality of the OUSD State Test scores. While for years the OUSD Administration had been pointing to “increasing scores” and spent millions on the Focus on Results program, Godley in a prepared video appears to have embraced his own Good to Great policy of “Confronting the Brutal Facts” and reported that the test score gains that OUSD had been boasting about for years, (even as recently as September 1st, 2006 CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report_14.html ) fall far short of the goals needed to meet the growing demands of federal No Child Left Behind mandates. The conformation of what the Greater Orange Communities Organization had been warning about did not bring a swift “We told you so” from the watchdog group, but instead a call to “Focus on the Problems” .The long time watchdog critic of the millions spent of Focus on Results has warned since the approval of the controversial Focus on Results the district was not addressing the real problems in the district as the OUSD Administration used “increasing” test scores ( barely comparable to statewide test increases despite the millions OUSD spent on Focus on Results) to justify the controversial program. The groups statement in part stated:

    “Godley is correct in his statement that OUSD’s much touted test score gains are not significant enough for the NCLB requirements and the gaps in the subgroups have not improved in four years. The one-size fits all approach of Cohen’s Focus on Results mandates have not addressed the issues of the gaps in learning that OUSD has long ignored and Godley has now finally acknowledged. The administration has long known they are required to address those gaps under federal law. Instead, the OUSD Board has rubber stamped a feel-good two million dollar boondoggle that Cohen compared to “marriage encounter training”. Perhaps now, the district will “divorce” itself of the worthless “marriage encounter training” and the whole community can move forward to improve OUSD and Focus on the Real Problems.”

    Even as the watchdog group was giving Godley rare praise of finally being candid with the Board and public on OUSD’s testing scores and subgroup gaps, it again criticized OUSD Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen for her latest support of OUSD’s Focus on Results. In the same video report as Godley’s candid report and his calling for a need to increase scores “at a greater rate”, Cohen (who in her last presentation before the OUSD Board on Focus on Results compared the program to “marriage encounter training”) now called the controversial program (in a classic Cohen morph): “a highly qualified sustained professional development program that exposes current administrators and teachers to current research and best practices”. Cohen failed to mention that “exposure” provided is to merely read a recent educational article at the expensive monthly meetings. For a good part of the OUSD Focus on Results program those articles were pirated works from educational magazines copied without permission of the author or publication. The copyrighted works were photocopied and the Focus on Results logo was placed on them (CLICK ON: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/04/part-2-focus-on-consultants_12.html ) as they were handed out freely.

    Also during Godley’s Test Report video Cohen speaks of another controversial aspect of the Focus on Results program, the “Structured Walk-Thru”. The “walk-thru”, with no research supporting it, has been criticized for being nothing more than an expensive “bulletin board” check as groups of high paid administrators walk into classrooms for a few minutes and look at student’s posted work and what is written on the chalkboard. In a moment of irony on the tape (almost funny if it wasn’t that the waste of millions of educational tax dollars is so tragic), Cohen is explaining in the video about the Focus on Results “walk-thru” as the “walk-thru” person seen in the video as Cohen talks is shown in a classroom walking up to check….THE BULLETIN BOARD! To see the result of what a day’s work of high priced administrators produces in an OUSD Focus on Results “walk-thu”: CLICK ON http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2005/11/one-days-work-yorba-middle-school.html .

    ELECTION YEAR MEETING MUSICAL CHAIRS
    The first meeting in December will be the official start of any newly elected Board member from the November election. However, in a strangely worded Agenda Item on the October 12 Board Agenda (page 7), any new members maybe two weeks late.

    In Item 12 C, the OUSD Administration is recommending two meetings be moved in December, yet only one is now scheduled. Item 12 C recommends the Dec 7th meeting be moved to December 14th. It also recommends that a December 6th meeting, which is not currently publicly scheduled, be moved to December 13th. While a loss of all four incumbents in the November election is unlikely, it is within the realm of reality and the meeting move would keep any loosing Trustee in place for two weeks longer.

    After the Orange Recall, the recalled Board remained in power for a month during which time they scheduled Special Meetings to try and protect their pet administrators with poison pill additions to their contracts. In addition, contract extensions and pay hikes were given to administrators including then Superintendent Barbara Van Otterloo. Former Trustee Bob Viviano took matters into his own hands by secretly swearing in the newly elected Board members and then calling a Special Meeting to undo everything the former Board had done.

    Local community leaders in emails have stated this newest election year change, in light of the past month of controversy, may be ill advised. In a community message, the Greater Orange Communities Organization stated the election year meeting musical chairs: “looks bad, feels bad, and smells bad from every angle you approach it. After censoring a public meeting broadcast, even the appearance of interfering with an election by the OUSD Administration for the non- emergency stated reasons in the agenda item is another category five public relations disaster waiting to swallow OUSD and the Greater Orange Communities. The item is not needed to help kids, it appears purely political as it is now written”.

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: October 12, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    To view the ENTIRE October 12, 2006 Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_101206.pdf

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

     

    Community Update

    A community news service of the Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    RUDAT REPORT: Court Day Two and a half…
    Welcome Back to Orange for Carol Rudat


    Matt “Jubal” Cunningham of the OC Blog has reported all day Thursday October 5th from the Orange County Superior Court courtroom of Judge James Grey on the continuing saga of Orange Council Candidate Carol Rudat.

    In the reports posted on the OC Blog (see link below), Judge Grey’s initial order in the morning was to leave Rudat’s name posted on the ballot, but not count votes cast for her. Grey reasoned that it was too late to remove her name and doing so would impact too many races. Cunningham reports that as Grey explained the issue of the actual matter of if Rudat lived in Orange, “it quickly became clear how Rudat had screwed up” as Grey explained the minimum standard for proving residency.

    Cunningham reported today:
    "It is not difficult to prove residency," Judge Gray said. All that is need is a signed declaration from Carol Rudat and some supporting evidence such as a declaration from a witness, a water bill or a utility bill.
    "Mrs. Rudat didn't do that, "Judge Gray said. He said her declaration was like a "campaign mailer full of emotional platitudes" and characterized it as being written "as if she's intentionally dodging the issue."


    Allan Burns, Rudat’s attorney asked for a recess for two hours to allow Rudat to appear in court (she had not appeared at either of the two hearings) and prove her residency. Grey agreed and set the recessed hearing to continue at 4:00 p.m.

    At the 4:00 p.m. hearing, Rudat her attorney and took the witness stand.

    Matt Cunningham reports after Rudat was questioned by Judge Grey:
    “He stated his great reluctance for the courts to get involved in an election, and that he "took a dim view of perjury." He also stated he wouldn't rule on whether she lived in the Orange bungalow when she registered to vote there in April. He also criticized Carol Rudat's testimony as "evasive, cloudy, and I think intentionally so."

    Rudat was able to produce enough evidence that Judge Gray reversed his earlier decision and will now allow votes for Rudat to be counted and allow the election process to decide Rudat’s fate. Grey ruled that Rudat was an elector in the City of Orange and that “their was no evidence that she was not” an Orange elector when she filed her candidacy papers.

    For the OC Blog Reports:
    CLICK ON: http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/

    Community Update is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/
    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    In cooperation with the
    : Greater Orange Communities Organization :

    Orange Net News /O/N/N/OrangeNetNews@verizon.net

     

    Metro VIEWS

    OUSD Candidate Paul-Dean Martin Responds to the
    Music Matters and OUEA Candidate Endorsements of Opponents


    A community viewpoint from Paul-Dean Martin,
    Candidate for Orange Unified Trustee


    I am disappointed but not surprised to hear that The Music Matters Program and the OUEA have chosen to support my opponents in the race for School Board in the OUSD. Once again, groups with their own agendas and groups who are uninformed and un-experienced are trying to use influence to put candidates in office that will not serve our children or propel our district one step further then where it is today.

    The Music Matters, program headed by Angel LaMarca, choose to endorse Mr. Emami without even interviewing myself or Kim Nichols. I spoke with Mrs. LaMarca via telephone and asked how her committee could choose a candidate to back without even speaking with the other candidates. She said he came to a couple of our meetings and seems like a nice kid.

    This is not the first time that the Music Matters committee has made decisions for their supporters without having all the facts. It was the Music Matters program that collected over $14000.00 from Orange residents to save the after school music program and then blindly, without any assurances, handed the money over to the Orange Education Foundation. They in turn gave it to the district to do with as they please. After Dr. Godley announced that they would keep the program without the use of the Music Matters programs contribution, Music Matters requested the money be returned. The district refused and kept the money. The Music matters program found themselves without a legal leg to stand on, and the $14000.00 they collected from Orange residents was gone. And now they are backing a candidate with no real knowledge of our district.

    When I met with Mr. Emami on August 10, 2006 at the Starbucks on Serrano, he couldn’t even tell me how many schools are in our district and he could only name schools in the Anaheim Hills area. He also told me at that meeting that he was supported by The Education Alliance, the same group that supported ousted school board members Marty Jacobson, Maureen Aschoff, and Linda Davis. So you have to ask yourself as a voter, why should you trust a group that gave away $14000.00 of Orange residents money to a board they don’t trust and why are they backing a candidate without full knowledge of all the candidates?

    As for the OUEA, I was disappointed in their interview process. For an organization supposedly there to support education, more than half of the interview questions asked of me were about their pay scale and benefits, and how I would work with their organization. Not one question asked in the interview directly concerned the children of OUSD. I brought one of my youth theatre interns to the interview who is a student in the OUSD to allow him to see the process of election and endorsement within the OUSD, and the OUEA refused to allow him access to the room during the interview. I asked OUEA president Jan Miller why a student in the district could not be allowed in the interview as I was as much their candidate too. They simply said it wasn’t a good idea.

    Until we stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about what we can do for each other, there is no way that the OUSD will ever be able to regain the trust and support of its community.


    Metro VIEWS is open to community members and organizations to voice their opinions on important local community issues in the Greater Orange Communities.

    A community service of the
    ORANGE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM /OCS/

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

     

    eLECTION Watch 2006

    RUDAT in OC SUPERIOR COURT
    The influential OC Blog has a complete report on the October 3rd Orange County Superior Court appearance of the attorney for Orange City Council candidate Carol Rudat. Orange County Attorney Phil Greer represented Orange resident Walter Pfaff in the hearing for a writ of mandate injunction against Orange City Council candidate Carol Rudat. Pfaff is seeking to keep Rudat off the ballot or not count votes for her because he claims that she is not a resident of Orange.

    Superior Court Judge James Gray gave Rudat’s attorney 2 days to prove that Rudat is domiciled at the Orange address Rudat registered to vote at. A utility bill presented by Rudat’s attorney was not acceptable. The bill had an Orange P.O. Box as the address. In addition, Judge Gray released the City of Orange from the court action. The OC Blog’s Jubal writes a detailed eyewitness account on the court hearing. CLICK ON the link to the OC BLOG: http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/carol_rudat_two.html.

    The OC Blog has also posted Rudat’s first campaign flyer from her Newport Beach headquartered campaign consultant Scott Taylor of STA Campaigns. STA Campaigns has worked on the congressional campaigns of Darrel Issa and Devin Nunez as well as numerous local Orange County races including winning Orange City Council campaigns for Carolyn Cavecche and Jon Dumitru.

    Not everyone in the Orange City Council race is sitting back watching Rudat face the blogs. Orange City Council Candidate Jeremy Wayland posted a comment on a blog posting which the Greater Orange News reposted as a community editorial in their Metro VIEWS segment. Wayland starts out “I personally don’t like the direction of all these Bash Carol postings.”

    To view the Wayland Metro Views posting CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/metro-views.html

    OC Blog on October 3rd Rudat Hearing CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council_.html

    OC Blog Rudat Campaign Flyer post CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council_.html

    Adobe of Rudat Campaign Flyer CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/crudat_mailer_roots.pdf

    MUSIC MATTERS “LEAD” OUSD Endorsements
    Anaheim Hills based Music Matters Committee (which fought to keep music in OUSD during the budget cut) has released their endorsements list they call LEAD. The acronym stands for Ledesma, Enami And Deligianni. Those are the three candidates they are endorsing as the candidates who will “LEAD the OUSD in the direction of what is best for the kids”.

    ORANGE TEACHERS ENDORSE IN OUSD RACE
    The Orange Unified Educators Association has endorsed the following three candidates in the four possible OUSD races: Rick Ledesma; Kim Nichols and Melissa Smith.

    Ledesma Picks Up Republican Party Endorsement
    Not only do Music Matters and the Orange Teacher’s agree on OUSD candidate Rick Ledesma for reelection, but also the Orange County Republican Central Committee has endorsed Ledesma. On Tuesday October 10th Eric Noble will be hosting a campaign fundraiser at his office in Orange for Ledesma. The cost is $75 per person. Call 714-478-6502 to RSVP or email Christine@workworks.com for more information.

    Kathy Moffat Election Website
    OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat has her website operating for her reelection campaign: CLICK ON: http://www.kmoffat.org/

    eLECTION Watch 2006 is produced by
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Monday, October 02, 2006

     

    eLECTION Watch 2006

    RUDAT CASE TO GO TO COURT
    The influential OC Blog is reporting that on October 3rd at 9:00 am in Orange County Superior Court, Orange County Attorney Phil Greer will represent Orange resident Walter Pfaff in the hearing for a writ of mandate injunction against Orange City Council candidate Carol Rudat. Pfaff is seeking to keep Rudat off the ballot or not count votes for her because he claims that she is not a resident of Orange. The OC Blog has also posted Rudat’s first campaign flyer from her Newport Beach headquartered campaign consultant Scott Taylor of STA Campaigns. STA Campaigns has worked on the congressional campaigns of Darrel Issa and Devin Nunez as well as numerous local Orange County races including winning Orange City Council campaigns for Carolyn Cavecche and Jon Dumitru.

    Not everyone in the Orange City Council race is sitting back watching Rudat face the blogs. Orange City Council Candidate Jeremy Wayland posted a comment on a blog posting which the Greater Orange News reposted as a community editorial in their Metro VIEWS segment. Wayland starts out “I personally don’t like the direction of all these Bash Carol postings.”

    To view the Wayland Metro Views posting CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/metro-views.html

    OC Blog on October 3rd Rudat Hearing CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council_.html

    OC Blog Rudat Campaign Flyer post CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2006/10/orange_council_.html

    Adobe of Rudat Campaign Flyer CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/crudat_mailer_roots.pdf

    MUSIC MATTERS “LEAD” OUSD Endorsements
    Anaheim Hills based Music Matters Committee (which fought to keep music in OUSD during the budget cut) has released their endorsements list they call LEAD. The acronym stands for Ledesma, Enami And Deligianni. Those are the three candidates they are endorsing as the candidates who will “LEAD the OUSD in the direction of what is best for the kids”.

    ORANGE TEACHERS ENDORSE IN OUSD RACE
    The Orange Unified Educators Association has endorsed the following three candidates in the four possible OUSD races: Rick Ledesma; Kim Nichols and Melissa Smith.

    Ledesma Picks Up Republican Party Endorsement
    Not only do Music Matters and the Orange Teacher’s agree on OUSD candidate Rick Ledesma for reelection, but also the Orange County Republican Central Committee has endorsed Ledesma. On Tuesday October 10th Eric Noble will be hosting a campaign fundraiser at his office in Orange for Ledesma. The cost is $75 per person. Call 714-478-6502 to RSVP or email Christine@workworks.com for more information.

    Kathy Moffat Election Website
    OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat has her website operating for her reelection campaign: CLICK ON: http://www.kmoffat.org/

    eLECTION Watch 2006 is produced by
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Sunday, October 01, 2006

     

    Metro VIEWS

    The following was a comment posted on a recent posting on Carol Rudat from Orange Council Candidate Jermey Wayland:


    To all concerned,

    I personally don't like the direction of all these Bash Carol Postings. Last I heard, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. What has been put forth lately is a lot of conjecture by individuals backing another particular campaign. Until the Registrar of Voters makes any decision, the bashing and demeaning of a person that is running for council is wrong. I have met Carol and talked to her, and she is sincere in her efforts for Council. I personally wish her the best of luck and look forward to running against her. She has my sincerest apologies for what goes on some times in these blogs. The fact that her signs have been taken down and her name has been besmirched is terrible. I recently have had the misfortune of having fraudulent and false attacks on myself as well.

    If this is about mudslinging, then the candidate (singular) should at least have the courage to come forth and identify himself as the person responsible for this dirty campaign. Since most of the other candidates running know who he is. At least that way, people can judge the source of these attacks and make their decision based on that.

    This campaign should be about the issues and the desire to help Orange. Mark Murphy has served Orange for Years and it would be great to have back on the Council. Frank Finn, I highly respect and ask that people get to know him. Phil Martinez has devoted his life to helping Orange's Park system. John Caglia's sincerity to help Orange is amazing. Mr. Douglas is ex-USMC, who served this country and now works to serve this city as well. Darren Smith is a wonderful individual that would bring great attributes to the City Council position. Unfortunately I have not met Mr. Hinger or Mr. Crain, so I cannot speak about them, but they cared enough to run so that speaks volumes in itself.

    I believe that each of these individuals have the sincere goal of giving back to Orange, not for personal gain but because they truly love this city and that is what City Council is all about. I look forward to a clean and well fought HONEST Campaign and hope others do not lower themselves to this level or contribute to the dirty politics. I hope that whoever wins does not do so by such despicable means. May the best man or woman win this campaign, and do the best they can to give Orange the City Councilperson it deserves.

    Sincerely
    Jeremy Wayland
    City Council Candidate
    www.wayland4orange.com


    Metro VIEWS is available for citizen's and orgainizations to make their views known on local issues.

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