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  • Monday, September 21, 2015



    Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Greater Orange community leaders stunned
    and Awe
    A stunned full capacity board room full of supporters of long time Anaheim Hills resident and community leader Andrea Yamasaki watched four Orange Unified Trustees vote to provisionally appoint Anaheim Hills new-comer Greg Salas to the post of Area 1 Trustee. The vote came after over an hour of overwhelming accolades for Yamasaki from every segment of the Greater Orange community. Not one person spoke on behalf of Salas.

    Provisional Trustee Salas
    The Salas appointment came after a bungled appointment process that saw a paper screening that had eliminated 5 candidates apparently over ruled by a legal decision sometime over the weekend. The process appeared to have left even the OUSD Trustees confused as  Superintendent Michael Christensen answered questions from Trustee Kathy Moffat  about the new agenda that he stating was posted at 6 pm on Sunday night.  

    After the new agenda was passed 5-1 ( Moffat voted against it), public comments were taken. Thirty three speakers spoke before the Trustees.  Twenty-nine speakers from across Greater Orange Unified addressed the Board each outlining the qualifications and personal stories attesting to the character and deep community and educational connections of  Andrea Yamasaki.  One speaker attested to both Andrea Yamasaki and Kenneth Rulon qualifications. Three speakers addressed the selection process. One speaker was candidate Victoria Weber, who was initially paper screened. She addressed the Board saying that she wanted to make her statement of qualifications in case she was not able to make it later in the meeting.

    The bungled process resulted in invitations to the previously eliminated candidates to make a statement.  Candidate Kenneth Rulan stated he had no prepared statement because he "just got the call and email".  Two others, Dr. Roberto Flores de Apodaca and Barbara Christiano acknowledged that Yamasaki was the obvious choice from the overwhelming support she was receiving from the community and reached out to Yamasaki-with Flores de Apodaca pledging his support.

    During his three minute rambling statement, Greg Salas ( who was a finalist in the paper screening)  stated he had just moved to the Anaheim Hills community two years ago. He said that since applying he had to "study" the issues of the district. He mentioned he started to visit some schools and mentioned Orange High School and Fletcher Elementary.  He mentioned he had children, but did not state what schools they attended.  

    Of the original three paper screened applications- Salas was the only one hand written, with in-complete sentences and little punctuation. click on:  SALAS

    The Salas Linked-In profile lists no local connections on the 12 connections he has (click on: SALAS LINKED IN ).

    The actual voting process for selecting Salas also caused confusion. The process became that each Trustee would state their choice and the first one to get four would be provisionally appointed.   When Trustee Timothy Surridge's name was called and he stated "Greg Salas" an audible gasp went up from the crowd.  With each vote for Salas the gasp continued. Board President John Ortega, Trustee Rick Ledesma and Mark Wayland all followed Surridge and voted for Salas. Salas was elected with the four males voting for him.  The two women did not vote for Salas- Deligiani voted for her campaign manager and friend Chris Nguyen, Kathy Moffat voted for Andrea Yamasaki.

    The community members in the room stayed shocked and bewildered at what they had just witnessed.

    The vote was not a celebration even for Salas- he, his family  and the four Trustees who voted for him immediately left the room after the adjournment.   

    Community organizers at the meeting who had anticipated the move by Surridge and his allies then immediately brought out  petitions to force a Special Election that specifically targeted the Salas appointment. In anticipation of  the Surridge move to deny the seat to the popular Yamasaki, separate petitions had been readied and brought to the meeting for the possible appointment of either Greg Salas or Christopher Nguyen. The petition drafting had been  coordination with the Orange County Registrar of Voters over the past few weeks.  The community has 30 days to collect about 1600 valid signatures.  The cost of a Special Election to Orange Unified would be about $5 per voter.  Orange Unified currently has a budget surplus in excess of $70 million

    As the petitions where passed out in the OUSD Board Room a text message from the Greater Orange Community Organization * to its members simply read:  "OUSD's Surridge majority declares war on Greater Orange".


    is a production of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    */O/N/N/ is the communication committee of the Greater Orange Community Organization

    You know the special Appointment wouldn't have been necessary had Diane Singer not run-She knew she was moving and purchased a house outside of her district before the election. It was irresponsible of her to run in the first place if she knew she couldnt complete her term. There had to be a vote of four otherwise a Special Election would've been triggered anyway. So if all four of the trustees didnt vote for Greg, (Who I watched-looked like a bumbling buffoon with an incomplete application)-it would've gone special election anyway.

    Even if a special election isnt held. Hes only in there until the next regular election-he doesnt get the full four year term or even a two year term.
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