News


Two Pleasanton school board seats up for grabs

Incumbents, challenger announce candidacy

Two Pleasanton Unified School District board seats are up for election this November, and both incumbents, plus one challenger, have declared their candidacy thus far.

Current officeholders Jeff Bowser and Joan Laursen have said they will seek second terms while resident and substitute teacher Paige Wright has pulled nomination papers in search of a first term.

Bowser, first elected in November 2010, served as school board president from 2012-13. He took out nomination papers this week, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office.

If re-elected, Bowser said he hopes to continue promoting strong fiscal stewardship, developing programs for at-risk student and keeping class sizes small. This would be Bowser's second regional election of the year. He lost out in his bid to become Alameda County superintendent of schools in the June primary.

Laursen, also elected to a first term in November 2010, said she would like to continue working on improving resources for students, as well as increasing professional development for staff to help them integrate technological tools and project-based learning into their teaching.

"We have a lot of work to do, but together we can make a big difference for our students," she said.

Laursen pulled nomination papers Wednesday afternoon, according to election officials.

Wright was the only other person to take out nomination papers, as of press time.

She said she wants to focus on being prepared for any challenges the district may face, creating open communication with parents and teachers, and continuing to make Pleasanton a highly desired school district.

"To do that we must continue to attract, develop, and retain the best talent for our schools," Wright said. "In order for the district to attract good teachers, the district must be able to attract and keep good administrators."

No candidate had filed their completed nomination paperwork with election officials as of press time. The filing period ends Aug. 8.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Good luck Ms. Wright. We need some leadership, accountability, transparency, and most of all some common sense
You've got my vote already...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Christine
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paige, you've got my vote as well! I know you will bring balance we so desperately need to our currently dysfunctional Board. Good luck!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom F
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:19 am

Better get elect someone fluent in Chinese and Hindi.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

Too bad there aren't more challengers running. I'd vote for them instead of the incumbents!! Anyone!!?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

In order for Pleasanton to be a highly desirable school district, Ms. Ahmadi needs to go. She's ruined morale and chased out good administrators. She doesn't live in Pleasanton and acts like she has a vested interest in ruining Pleasanton schools.

Bowser and Laursen are shills for the union and rubberstamp anything Ahmadi tells them to. The only way to keep class sizes small is for PPIE to keep up their fundraising. And folks are reticent to contribute with such a dysfunctional board. So if Bowser wants class sizes to stay small, he will step down from the board and convince Laursen to do the same.

With the exception of Valerie Arkin, all incumbents on the school board need to be voted out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

Note for my file. Neither Bowser nor Laursen will be voted for on my ballot. For all the mess they've left, it's no wonder nobody wants the job of clean up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reality
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:39 am

Bowser and Laursen should be putting in their resignation papers and nothing more !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

Jeff Bowser and Joan Laursen need to go.

They both lack any vision or backbone.

They are a yes vote for the unions and both vote to renew Ahmadi contract.

For the person saying they support Valerie Arkin you should also check her voting record. She votes with Bowser & Laursen on many key issues and is a support of Ahmadi.

Arkin also votes to kick the can down the road on many issues to delay making a decision a long with no vision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Well Said WT
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

Well said William.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Heave Ho
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:18 am

We need one more qualified candidate to run, because the two incumbents running need to be ousted. Their performance has been miserable. We need to new people on the board that will oust the current Superintendent before she totally destroys the Pleasanton schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

Unfortunately it sounds like all these candidates are more of the same.

What do you think the chances of election would be for a candidate that would buck the system? Somebody that's not in complete rubber-stamp alignment with the school board of the teacher organizations?

Next question, the more important question...if such a person got elected, what real impact do you think he or she would have or could have on the current environment?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:23 am

Sorry, meant to say ... "school board AND the teacher organizations."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Find some candidates! Please.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

All of us who live in Pleasanton need to own this problem of poor elected Board Trustees/School board members. even their goals are weak and don't address the real problems of personnel issues and financial problems.

We ALL need encourage someone who is educated in finance and leadership - and they will have my vote. Are we such a weak community that no one will step up? If you don't help out, the problem is not going to get better.

Bower couldn't even carry Pleasanton in his bid for County Superintendent. And Laursen has contributed nothing to solving the PUSD financial problems or personal problems. .Many people I know say they both ARE a part of the problem.

BTW, good luck Paige!! I will support you. Thank you for stepping up to make a difference. Please find a partner to run with as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jilli
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

I appreciate how much time each board member has volunteered their time to serve, although I think it's time every board member is replaced with some fresh blood some new perspective and I do believe we need a new superintendent. I do hope we can get people who will not be pressured by the union but, who are working for the benefit of the children in Pleasanton schools


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hee, hee
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:58 am

Tom from Castlewood is hilarious. It makes a statement about finding someone who can speak Chinese and Hindi, yet he can't write a correct sentence.

"Better get elect someone fluent in Chinese and Hindi."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Hee, hee from Castlewood is hilarious. He comments on the grammar of Tom from Castlewood, yet he too can't write a grammatically correct sentence.

"It makes a statement about finding someone who can speak Chinese and Hindi, yet he can't write a correct sentence."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom F
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm

[Removed because it is irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by caywen
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm

caywen is a registered user.

Tom's comment is more hilarious and ironic, but nice try to divert attention away from that.

I, however, applaud Tom for drawing attention to the fact that diversity is increasing in Pleasanton and that inevitably will be reflected in our boards and councils. Why we'd expect or desire anything different is beyond me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

After the way the whole calendar thing went through, I will be happy to see anyone new on the board. Glad to hear their are others who are interested in these important positions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

[Removed because it is irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Here's your chance to exercise quality control.

When evaluating the incumbents, look at their voting record and ask challenging questions.

In evaluating first-time candidates, ask challenging questions and accept nothing less than detailed, concrete answers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm

There is an art to saying nothing and convincing voters that they are not "crooks"...as in "I'm not a crook!"

It's my impression that most voters ignore being lied to by elected officials as they seem to prefer washing their hands of the matter/dirty politics.

There are so few honest elected officials that it can give one congestion and a serious ear ache trying to find one.

The American electorate does not take voting seriously.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by highdiver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

A guess only one person thinks a change in the school board is necessary. The other 100 or so complainers would rather write trash about them than run for the open positions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm

highdiver,

Why don't you run for an open position?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm

It is a little bit scary the number of people that post just how bad the current school board and school administration is, yet no one wants to run for the board? I just read a post that the entire school board needs to be replaced, yet we have one (new) person running for office. i personally think the schoold board has done a good job. i don't agree with all of their decisions, but i also didn't vote for all of them. But i live with the system. If I want them out, I vote them out. Hard to vote them out though if there is not one else to vote for. I guess the time for a change is not now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 8:41 am

Well, many of us know two incumbents who will NOT get votes from a large number of voters! Perhaps Ms. Wright will be more understanding, fair to all opinions, needs of PUSD and replacement needs of this district. How things have changed a lot during recent few years.....and not for the better.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PLEASE Someone RUN
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 9:06 am

Will every PTA president please consider running for school board? This is how we got great leadership like Cindy McGovern and Juanita Haugen. You obviously have leadership qualities, are smart, care about our schools and are well thought of by your peers. If you went to college and want to make a change, PLEASE run. It can't be that hard, considering most voters want a change in the school board. Put a small campaign of friends and supporters together - then make an appointment with the City Clerk Karen Diaz to learn more the legal paperwork. Time is running out.

You CAN make a difference.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

I encourage other to run also. However, this is not handled through the City Clerk. It is handled through the County Registrar of Voters office (The school district is not part of the city administration). The county process is fairly simple and if you want you can take BART to the Lake Merrit station and only have to walk a couple of blocks.

If you are thinking about running, feel free to contact any previous school board members. You will find that they will give you some advise and direction if you want. I cannot imagine that the past board members would be happy with how the district is being run now and how all the previous hard work is being destroyed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hopeful
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I hope we can get new members and take out the old except for one.

I hope that we can reverse some of the decisions that were made by the board and approved (?) by the union before it came before the public.

Please remove the Superintendent of the schools. Children don't seem to be the priority - it is what will please a few adults.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

This district is so in need of candidates to run for the school board. We should all look around, who do we know, maybe we should approach a neighbor, a friend, a clergy, ask them to consider running for the school board?

I am going to approach neighbors ask them to run, they are long time teachers in the district 15 plus years.

How about the rest of you out there? Ask someone you know to run.

What are the credentials to be a candidate and to run for the school board?
I do not know. It seems that most anyone could run in this district and get elected because of all the discourse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freddy the Discourser
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm

[Removed because it is irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Jul 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

So many posters are unreasonable that nobody wants to run because others will only try to harm them and their families...ya think?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Surprised?
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm

If you want to know why people aren't leaping at the chance to run for the board, look no further than this Town Square. Who would want to subject him or herself to the kind of slander and ad hominem attacks that seem to be the norm around here? Talk about a thankless job!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Surprised,
You are right on.
A dog is on the ballot for Mayor in a nearby city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Go Paige
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Paige Henry is smart and thoughtful. She has been very dedicated to PTA and makes an excellent candidate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sherri
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jul 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I never ran for office, but Paige is getting great support in the blogs.

Perhaps you don't have to take flack if you want to run for office. The problem is if you are an incumbent and you did little or nothing to improve the situation. Then you are evaluated based on your achievements or lack thereof.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shadow
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 27, 2014 at 11:22 am

Go Paige! You have our support. It's striking what's happening to all the good school principals - leaving/resigning. This is a reflection of the current Administration.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

[removed because it was irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Miller
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

Call me crazy, but I've decided to throw my hat into the ring and run for School Board in November. The way this calendar change came about really opened my eyes to the deficiencies I think we have in our current Board. At the very least, the community should have choices rather than another automatic 4 years from the incumbents. While I'm not an educator by profession (I'm an IT Manager), I think I possess many qualities that will help this Board, I know what it takes to get into and through colleges (two of our three have done this), and I certainly promise transparency, collaboration, and an open mind.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Go Mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 am

Not crazy at all Mark. It will be great to get fresh perspective from someone outside the realm of education

Thanks for stepping up and good luck!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

Thank you Mark Miller.

That is really great news.

I appreciate your courage for standing up to be counted.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by They should run
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

The following two people should run for School Board.
Beth Gallagher
Kelly French
They would both bring vision and passion about the kids in Pleasaonton.
They would not be looking at the School Board as there next step to higher office.

If know Beth or Kelly tell them they should run.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lesismore
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

Mark Miller
Great to see you step-up
I hope the calendar is not the only issues that concerns you.
I personal support the change and we all could of attend a number of events that it was discussed at like many of us did. FYI Livermore has also made the change.

What the recent events
The list is long.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Laverne
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

PAIGE WRIGHT & MARK MILLER... YOU GOT MY VOTE!!!!!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Laverne, if you truly live in Castlewood you can not vote for anyone running for school board!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Lesismore, what do you mean by "FYI Livermore has also made the change?"

Glad to see people willing to take on this very important job.

Also, Hopeful, I am like you in hoping "I hope that we can reverse some of the decisions that were made by the board and approved (?) by the union before it came before the public." However, from what I understand about the calendar is that the teachers took a survey, but never really voted on a specific calendar. I could be wrong, but this is what I have heard.

Fingers crossed for more positivity to come to the district with new members!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LP
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jul 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Wouldn't it be interesting if we could get Jon Vranesh to run? I'd vote for him any day. He was both of my daughters' principal and/or vice principal and the best of any we've had over eighteen years. Mr. Vranesh is pro student and has high expectations. It would take someone like him being voted in to really shake things up. I hope he reads this and is thinking about it. I could see hundreds if not thousands being willing to campaign for him, myself and children included. And then he can help rid of us of the Ahmadi problem. A bit if poetic justice I'd like to see.

I'm on the fence on Arkin, but the rest of them are useless and need to go.

Can someone tell me where I can look at voting records?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Miller
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

While I'm opposed to the calendar change, as it negatively impacts our family, two things would actually cause me to support it: 1) if a majority of parents voted for it (note, this is different than a survey), and 2) if other surrounding districts also modified their calendars to be in alignment, or at least promised to follow our lead if it proved successful.

But the calendar change is not the only reason I'm choosing to run. I'm very concerned about the attrition of our administrators. Shouldn't Pleasanton be the greenest of pastures? I'm concerned about the lack of transparency in many decisions. And I'm concerned about the lack of interest in community/parent input (do you know the calendar committee contained exactly zero non-staff members?).

As I write this, I certainly don't have all the answers, but I know I will listen to parents (that's who the Board actually works for), I will advocate strongly for transparency, and I will leverage my skills in collaboration to make the best decisions for our District.

I believe Pleasanton schools strive for a standard of excellence, and I think our Board should as well.

I am very interested in hearing about the issues that concern all of you. Soon I will be publishing a Facebook site for you to provide that input. Stay tuned...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joachim
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Mark,

That all sounds good to me. Are you the Mark Miller who's been so active in the local Tea Party scene?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:02 pm

"I am very interested in hearing about the issues that concern all of you."

Large K-3 classes concerned a lot of parents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:50 am

YES, Jon Vranesh . . . GREAT idea! Jon, if you see this, RUN for PUSD Board position. YOU will have MY vote and, I am sure, many, Many, MANY others! 👍


 +   Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Avignon
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:57 am

Yes LP and Gran-Me, which just goes to show everyone that there's a good reason why School Boards and other educational bureaucracies become inured to half-witted community input. (And thank goodness for teacher tenure, which protects teachers from feeling intimidated by the such yahoos.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thelma Gladner
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jul 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I am grateful for those who run for office and try to make a positive difference/change in their community.
It takes a lot if commitment and time to be a good board member. It takes open-mindedness, a dedication to public service and willingness to listen to all (even those with opposing views). In trying to build consensus and aiming for fairness board members do not please everyone. Yet, those who reach out to all involved and try their best to connect with, listen to and respect others tend to be better off in elections. They gain community respect even when they make tough or unpopular decisions.
There is a lot of verbal abuse tossed their way, a lot of time to serve on a board and I am grateful for all those willing to seek, run and hold these and other public positions.
I hope we keep in mind our desire to keep this a community with & of good character. We might not always agree with public officials, yet, I hope we can treat them with respect for their attempt to make public policy and difficult decisions. I thank you for your service.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Involved parent
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Mark,

Assuming you have been attending the school board meetings, you should already have a good sense for the issues that concern us. Parents who are interested and invested in what the school board does can express their concerns by going to school board meetings and giving voice to them. As john says above, class sizes were a big concern of parents this year, as would be obvious to anyone who attended the board meetings at which that topic was being discussed.

Just out of curiosity, how many school board meetings did you attend?

Thanks,
Involved parent


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Big issues is the district planning on a special election to add another school bond. How can they even consider this without knowing what is going to happen in the East Side (which is probably where the site would go and and increase of students would come from, if the city goes ahead with heavy development there. My guess is nothing will happen there anytime soon (at least decades).

We are already paying off two bonds plus the district did an illegal cash-out which added more debt to the taxpayers of Pleasanton. When the previous bonds were at the election, they gave out a list of the projects the money would go towards with an authorization of a maximum amount of bonds. Since the district was able to receive state bond money (also paid for by our taxes), the district went and spent money on projects that were not part of the projects listed in the initial bond statement. They felt the citizens voted to spend as much as authorized instead of spending what was required to build what was promised. After authorization, they stopped the citizen oversight committee. They argued that by law they did not have to do that so they decided to cancel the oversight. Goes to show you how they feel about the community.

So anybody running, I want to know where you stand on a bond measure without having the build-out of the city defined, while we are paying off existing bonds that were spent on unapproved items. How can we trust the district? With everything else going on at the district, I see little trust in the community. We should fix the structural issues (administration) first, build trust, and then, and only then, have the discussion on raising more money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

It is not necessary to float school bonds.
The developers can be forced to build the schools.
If the developers want to build here then they can build the schools
and all the related infrastructure.
The city planning, the city council, et el needs to make this happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Miller
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for the excellent comments and suggestions. I will admit I'm less than savvy on some of the issues you've all raised, but I certainly pledge to become well-versed. To answer some posts:

@Joachim - I am not associated with the Tea Party in any way
@Involved parent - I have not been a regular attendee at Board Meetings, but I hope to be! And, I should have been! Admittedly, the calendar issue was what opened my eyes to this Board
@John - I am a supporter of smaller K-3 class sizes as well
@III - while I am not yet familiar with the issue you've raised, I can tell you my nature is toward pragmatism. I would not be in favor of raising more money without proven fiscal responsibility.

Keep the ideas coming!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freddy the Discourser
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Okay, Mark. You sound like someone we really need. Not up on the issues, but, hey, willing to try. Doesn't attend Board Meetings, but promises to do so once elected. I feel your strong moral, intellectual commitment, driven by the eye-popping calendar issue. Whoa!

I can tell you one thing. The guy who has used 12-15 different monikers on this site sure supports you. Hang tough, guy!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Miller
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Mark Miller,

Please get the paper work filed that will make you a legal candidate
for the PUSD Board. Then The Weekly can report on your entry into
the election process.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

For anyone thinking about running for the school board, it's easy enough to catch up with past meetings by spending some time watching the videos on demand (and really you only need to watch key topics). Those who are candidates should also expect to receive copies of all the board materials prior to future meetings at the same time as current board members. There also are weekly memos to the board members from the superintendent and other administrators that should be available to candidates (and any other member of the public). You might also want to request copies of the contracts with APT (teachers) and CSEA (classified staff). All good places to start. There are good resources at EdSource Web Link and CSBA Web Link Key topics on a state level are Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balance Testing; the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF); Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP); and a vote to force districts to limit their reserves Web Link If a non-incumbent is to compete, broader knowledge is important.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm

[Removed because it was irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 29, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Jtjh is a registered user.

Any candidates with half a brain would gather information and opinions from as many different sources as possible, including from this web site. Rarely, if ever, is vox populi merely vox of the well informed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Trolls Everywhere
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Internet trolls are alive and well in the PW blog and it gets old. Too bad is only the same few people under different names. We have good schools, a good district, and a wonderful community. People don't let a few haters fool you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Pipe
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Page and Mark - You definitely have my support! It will be a wonderful to have fresh, intelligent, non-rubberstamping, strong, independent thinking people on the board. People who actually listen to their constituents when they come to speak before the board instead of staring at an iPad.

I will happily walk precincts and even contribute to get our district back on solid ground. Back to a place where our district cares about students, parents, administrators, and ALL employees, not just certificated.

Thanks for stepping up!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freddy the Discourser
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Mark, I too am enthusiastic about you running. I like the idea that you haven't shown involvement in the past, don't know the issues, have no experience, don't seem to know much about education, or Pleasanton for that matter, and actually haven't filed. Boy, I'll gladly knock on doors for you. Do you know where to file? Maybe we can send Kathleen to your house and she'll hold your hand while walking you around the neighborhoods? Good know-nothing fresh blood is exactly what this district needs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

[Removed because it was irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Anyone can run for elective office. Credentials or no credentials.
If a tax paying citizen is not comfortable with the current board and wishes to run for a vacant seat on that board. More power to that tax paying citizen.

The PUSD Board works for the property tax paying citizens in Pleasanton.
The disinterested tablet monitoring board member has no interest in the tax paying citizen.

What credentials did Jimmy Carter or Barrack Obama have to get elected President of the United States?

Paige and Mark have stepped up, I hope they continue, to get on the ballot so we can have an election.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freddy the Discourser
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Michael Austin asks: "What credentials did Jimmy Carter or Barrack Obama have to get elected President of the United States?"

He apparently truly doesn't know. But he thinks he knows enough about a know-nothing who goshgollygeewhiz thinks to himself, "By golly, I think I'll run ... after I stop by the dry cleaners, pick up some milk and, um, lessee, what was that I was saying?"

Kathleen and Michael, what a pair. Ideologues, willing to promote the basest of values as long as they undercut scientific knowledge and liberal education.


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Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Freddy the Discourser has no courage by way of his anonymous postings.
He has had his postings deleted from this site previously.
Freddy the Discourser is afraid to standup and be counted, traits of a true Troll.

Freddy the Discourser is a true Troll in that he attacks where there is no argument, dismisses facts of the argument, invents other nonsensical argument, then creeps back into the woodwork as Trolls do, ready to resurface out of the woodwork to spill his venom.


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Posted by I will wait to support
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jul 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I'm going to wait to support the new candidates. Someone possibly being associated with the Tea Party is a huge concern to a public school system.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

IWWTS, I believe the potential candidate said he is not part of the tea party in a post above, but there is time to get to know both people if they file.

FtD, what scientific topic--but start it on a different thread. Most of us are products of liberal educations. Many also go on to learn most issues cannot be solved with simple left or right thinking.


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Posted by Need information
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2014 at 11:28 am

Mark Miller - all this sounds good. Could you tell me how much time you would have for this position?

Do you have a full time job now and how many hours does it take? This job needs someone that can devote a lot of time and get ideas from other districts or at least have the same schedules.


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Posted by Mark Miller
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 31, 2014 at 11:30 am

Pulled filing papers today, submitting them Monday.


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Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

The time commitment for a board member is not all that large. Many people in the past have done a good job while holding down a "real job". This is true if you have a good administration. If this is consuming all the time of a board member then that is a clear indication that changes are needed in the administration. I can imagine this taking time for a new board to layout the requirements of the administrators that are there but if things do not change quickly, time to replace the superintendent who is really the only personnel that the board can fire and hire. Much of the problems we are seeing of the administrators are the fault of the board majority who allow the administration to do what they want without oversight. We have two good board members who ask questions but the majority of the board (3 members) control everything. We must replace the two board members who are running again at this election. If those two are re-elected then the community is saying that they approve of the job the current members are doing. It is important that we elect two new board members who will ask questions, challenge staff, not rubber-stamp all decisions, not accept the current job of the administrators and be ready to replace them. We used to have a prize school district and now it is the number one conversation of the community because of the ineptness.


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Posted by Staff Reporter Amanda Aguilar
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Staff Reporter Amanda Aguilar is a registered user.

Mark Miller,

I just saw that you pulled papers out today.

Could you email me at aaguilar@pleasantonweekly.com? Thank you!


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Posted by kristen
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

@ Mark Miller,
Kudos to you for stepping up. It does all boil down to leadership, so with new leadership on the board you can hold the district's leadership accountable - that would be the entire cabinet, Ahmadi, Ceaserez, Farraghan, and Douglas.

I am a Foothill High Teacher and I am sickened by the disgrace that has been brought to my district. When I first joined many years ago, I was told I was lucky to even get an interview, little lone be hired. And, it was true. Pleasanton was known as a "destination district" where is was hard to get in, and no one wanted out. Look at what a few years have done. It is tragic. Not only have good people left, but what I don't hear talked about in these blogs are the people they have been replaced by. All Ahmadi cronies in one way or another. All of them.

Mark, please take your time to not just go to meetings with the head honchos and hear them sign and shake their heads and talk about what their "counsel" tells them and the employees they have to put up with.

Get out and talk to us. Talk to the teachers, the Site Administrators, the Secretaries, the School Psychologists, the Janitors, the Aides. All those people know the real deal. zXySk


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Posted by Freddy the Discourser
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2014 at 1:06 am

"little lone be hired" -- ah, yes, a Foothill teacher, I'm sure. If so, we're all beyond any help from the Board.

More likely? Kristin is the same dumb guy who has used about 15 names so far on this thread.


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Posted by Wake Up
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2014 at 8:14 am

LP and Gram-Me both support Jon Vranesh for the school board? Wait a second -- wasn't Vranesh just removed as Principal of Walnut Grove Elementary after he was accused of inappropriate conduct by more than 5 separate teachers...and an investigator found the charge to be corroborated? Sheesh, what a great idea! Maybe we can also get Leland Yee to join Vranesh and have 2 foxes guarding the hen-house. With suggestions like these, no wonder the district has problems.


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Posted by Go Paige Go Mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Can't wait for Election Day !!!

Good luck to you both!!!


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