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  • Sunday, September 20, 2015


    OUSD Trustee Appointment

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Will  "Surridge Majority " thrust OUSD into a new election battle?
    Three Area 1 candidates left after "paper screen"
    The potential candidates for Orange Unified School Board Trustee Area 1 are now down to three after one candidate withdrew their name and five others were eliminated in the "paper screen" process. The OUSD Board has scheduled a Special Meeting on Monday September 21, 2015 beginning at 6:30 pm for the appointment process.

    The three remaining candidates for the Area 1 position are: Chris Nguyen,  Greg Salas and Andrea Yamasaki.   According to the Agenda for this Monday's Special Meeting, each of the remaining candidates received 4 "votes" in the paper screening process. That agenda also states that retired OUSD Principal Andrew Fisher who  had originally applied for consideration, withdrew his application on September 17th. The "paper screen" process which eliminated five of the candidates was put into place at the last OUSD Special Meeting on September 15, 2015 (link: PAPER).

    Chris Nguyen of Custom Campaigns
    The most controversial of the remaining candidates is political operative Chris Nguyen. Co-founder of Custom Campaigns,  his company has specifically targeted seats on the Orange Unified School Board for a political take-over. Custom Campaigns co-founder Chris Enami posts on-line of the company managing campaign wins for OUSD Trustees Deligianni, Ledesma, Wayland, and Surridge ( Click NGUYEN).  Nguyen has deep ties to the ultra-conservative faction of the Orange County Republican Party that continues to battle with party moderates looking to re-build the state Republican brand. Those Republican ultra-conservatives denied OUSD Republican Trustees Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma party endorsements in 2014 because the two trustees voted to place  the 2014 OUSD Measure K School facilities bond before voters. The local "OC Tea Party" faction's leaders include OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni-Brydges* and former Villa Park Councilwomen and candidate for the 68th Assembly seat Deborah Pauly (link: Pauly for Assembly). Both women led the fight against OUSD's Measure K and are dominate players in the Orange-Villa Park Republican Assembly.  Nguyen is the current President of the Orange-Villa Park Republican Assembly which opposed Measure K in 2014 (Link: 2014 endorsements).
    *Nguyen's company has not only ran Deligiaini's  election campaigns, but Nguyen is also known to be a close personal friend of the Trustee. 

    Supporters of Nguyen are painting him as "incredibly smart and well-informed, exhibits a mastery of policy and government arcana, and has the work ethic of a draught horse" ( link Anaheim Blog). While it is true Nguyen works at a county government job, runs a campaign company, and holds a BA in Political Science from Stanford University, he appears not to have an "arcana" grasp on the role of a school board in California. In answer #7 of his submitted "Candidate Information" sheet to the OUSD Board, the Political Science graduate equates the role of a school board to a "legislative body" (see link below) - which it is not. A basic political science course teaches a legislative body by definition makes laws, enacts taxes and has no judicial or executive functions. California School Boards are  set-up as policy-making entities that do not enact-laws or taxes-but do have quasi-executive governing powers and quasi-judicial roles over employees and students. In reality, school boards are more like a private sector corporate board-making policy-than a legislative body-making law.

    That same candidate information sheet question referring to school boards is answered by Candidate Greg Salas as they are "managing accountability" while Candidate Andrea Yamasaki answers "the board's role is to govern, set long-term goals and vision"  (links below).

    The three candidates will not be interviewed by the OUSD Trustees. Each candidate will have three minutes to introduce themselves. At the September 15 Special Meeting, OUSD Vice President Timothy Surridge urged the candidates to contact the Trustees in private.  OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat called that and the paper screening process lacking in "transparency".

    At Monday's Special Meeting, after each candidate gives a 3 minute presentation,  Trustees will have the opportunity to nominate a candidate to vote on. The first to receive 4 votes will be "provisionally appointed".

    If an appointment takes place, the community will then have 30 days to petition for a Special Election.  Sources in Anaheim report that those petitions have already been drawn up by residents in anticipation of the political appointment of Nguyen.  The moderate Anaheim Hills community has always prided itself of remaining outside the theatrics of Anaheim city politics and the far-right antics of some Orange and Villa Park political players. Now however, faced with the prospect of having a fringe political player thrust on them as their representative in OUSD- the area's tight-knit education and community leaders are mobilizing.

    Estimates are that just under 2,000 valid registered voter signatures will be needed to force a Special Election.  Long-time OUSD watchers who remember that the bulk of the signatures for the 2001 Orange Recall against a reactionary school board members came from the Anaheim Hills area see the 2,000 signatures as quickly being collected.

    To view the Candidate Information sheet for each candidate click on their name below:
    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Monday September 21, 2015
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

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