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  • Thursday, October 01, 2015


    Surridge admits Salas was a politcal recruit

    OUSD Resolution against a Special Election dies as....
    Surridge admits Salas appointment was political 
    Number 4 in a special news series by Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Orange Unified Board Trustee Timothy Surridge admitted at the Special OUSD Board Meeting held October 1, 2015 that he had alone took it upon himself to recruited a candidate based on a political criteria. 

    Surridge stated he had  recruited and "chose"  Greg Salas to be appointed to the OUSD Board based on that political criteria . 

    Surridge's comments came after the Public Comment section of the meeting  when community members from across Greater Orange took the four Board members who voted to appoint the politically recruited Salas to task.  During those public comments the widely circulated account of a September 20th statement Surridge made that "Five Republican's are not going to appoint a Democrat or a Decline to State"  was introduced into the public record of the meeting. Surridge, who took copious notes during the public comments, at no point during the meeting denied making that now widely circulated statement. 

    Unlike the last Special Meeting when Salas was appointed, this meeting was video taped for cable broadcast.

    Surridge's admission that he used the criteria of party affiliation to recruit Salas suggests that Surridge sought out the information on the other candidate's party affiliations.  Party affiliation information was not part of the application process for the non-partisan trustee seat. 

    Surridge also stated that he also voted for Salas because he was impressed that Salas visited Orange High School.  At the September 22 meeting, Salas too mentioned in his 3 minute candidate presentation to the Board that he had visited two OUSD schools to become familiar with OUSD "issues"; Orange HS and Fletcher Elementary School.  At the October 1st meeting, Trustee Kathy Moffat revealed that it was Surridge who presonally brought Salas on a tour the two OUSD schools- a move she stated Surridge did not offer to any other candidate. 

    During the October 1st meeting Surridge also revealed that he personally knew Salas before recruiting him. Moffat at the meeting characterized the relationship between Salas and Surridge as a "friendship".

    Greg Salas -appointed trustee for his politics
    Salas in a strange defense of his appointment,  tried to address the concerns in Anaheim Hills of his intimidation of petition gathers. Salas stated that he was not a "stalker" and that he just happens to go to shop at Ralphs and goes to Starbucks to get "coffee for his wife".  He however did not address why this week at both locations he engaged the Special Election petition gathers with the subject of  intimidating them, nor did he explain why on his shopping trips he tried to engaged citizens who were signing the petitions for a Special Election.

    The October 1st Special Meeting was called to swear in Salas, explain the Trustee's votes from the September 22 appointment, and pass a resolution against a Special Election.  OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen was dealt the task of swearing in Salas as the Provisional Trustee.  Despite the full Board Room, after Salas took the oath- not one person applauded- the room was silent as Salas returned to his seat and said nothing.

     After Wayland, Ledesma and Surridge made attempts to explain their votes for Salas (Ortega never did explain why he voted for Salas)- the topic turned to the proposed resolution to oppose the drive by the community for a Special Election.

    Several contorted reasons were offered by Ortega, Ledesma and Surridge against the Special Election. Primary among those arguments was that a Special Election ( which would be scheduled months before the November 2016 target for a Bond election) would dash the hopes of passing a Facilities Bond.  At one point, OUSD Board President Ortega argued that if the community did not go for a Special Election - the money saved could be money used to try and get a Bond passed. This argument was made despite the fact that it is illegal for a school district to use funds to promote a bond issue.  Other arguments was blaming resigned Trustee Diane Singer, district teachers, the teacher's union and that Ortega and Surridge repeated numerous times that the audience members who wanted the Special Election did not represent the community at large.

    Another issue the embattled Board members pointed to was that Salas would have to run for election regardless in November 2016.  What they did not say was that if a Special Election is not called, Salas would be on the ballot as the incumbent appointed trustee. 

    However, according to the California Education Code Section 5091 (2) , when the Special Election petition signatures are turned in and "legally verified"  then " the provisional appointment is terminated, and the county superintendent of schools shall order a special election to be conducted no later than the 130th day after the determination" .  (Click on Ed Code)

    Simply put- when the Special Election petitons are certified, Salas will no longer be a Trustee and will not legally be able to be listed on the ballot as an incumbent OUSD Trustee during the Special Election.

    During the election resolution discussion Trustee Kathy Moffat once again put the issue into perspective.  Moffat recounted that it was Surridge who was behind the "paper screening" process that produced a non-transparent process that led to Salas being in the "final" three candidates. Moffat reminded the Board that it was Surridge that proposed that each candidate who made it past the paper screen would only get a 3 minute public statement.  Moffat also reminded the Board that it was  Surridge who did not want the  candidates to have a public and transparent interview-and it was Surridge who urged the  candidates to privately contact the OUSD Trustees.

    Surridge proposed and had his allies on the OUSD Board vote to approve all of his non-transparent scheme after already recruiting Greg Salas for the Board position.

    Moffat said that now after that flawed and non-transparent process and an a public outcry- Surridge and his allies who recruited and stacked the deck to vote for their  political candidate now "Point the finger of blame at the community".

    After Moffat's comments, the Ortega sponsored Resolution for OUSD to oppose a special election died when it did not receive a second from any member.

    a special news series by Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    is an independent news service of

    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    PLEASE Mr. Surridge - Get a job so you have less time to disrespect the community and derail our childrens' futures. Please. I could never support a much needed bond with someone like you picking the oversight committee.
    Mr. Wayland - it doesn't matter if you haven't met with developers or project managers, the people you choose over and over again to align yourself have and will continue to do so. How could the people ever trust you? You are the biggest disappointment by far because you seem like good person who is being persuaded to do the wrong thing. As a veteran I want to support you, but because I fought for this country doesn't excuse me from the ramifications of my behavior, nor does it you.
    So because they don't vote with you or side with you; they are unpatriotic? Get the facts please and don't claim to represent the community at large instead of pushing a biased agenda and leveling insults without substance
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