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School district spends $10,000 on fancy television and iPads

Original post made by Shopping Spree, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2012

Yesterday, I read in the newspaper that though instructional hours have been cut, the school district had the audacity to spend $10,000 on a big flat screen television and iPads for its administrative board room at the Central Office.

Can someone explain why the superintendent needs a big flat screen television and why it cost $10,000?

Comments (82)

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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:54 am

Here is the exact quote:

"Sutton told the board that employee morale is lower, because people are losing 45 minutes per day from their schedules. That results in a loss in pay, since they are paid by the hour.
Employees already had agreed to concessions for next January if Prop. 30 fails. They might not have agreed, if they had known they were going to have hours reduced, said Sutton.
Further, trustees spent $10,000 from the general fund on a big-screen TV for the board room, better microphones, and i-pads, so they can have an electronic packet and clearer televising of meetings."


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Likely from the technology fund, not the general fund . . . but it's $10,000 better spent in a classroom. It's stuff like this that kills conversation about a parcel tax.


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:41 am

The 45 minutes that are being lost are only for the kids, not the staff as they work the whole day. There are just fewer kids as they divided them into smaller groups at the beginning and end of the day. The district did not do this to save money, it actually costs them a bit to do it.

The parents are the ones who are annoyed by this change because the school day is much sharper for their children. It shouldn't change staff pay at all.

Not sure if your info is correct about the TV, but if it is, that is not good when we are cutting so much.


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:42 am

Sharper = shorter


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

Let's keep in mind the quality of the goods and whether they carry high prestige value. I'd love to know what brands were involved.


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Posted by strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

I'm actually finding this hard to believe. Are you sure it's Pleasanton? Do you have a link to the article?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is what you get if you try to get the packets: Web Link


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:21 am

Kathleen, not sure what the big screen TV's relevance is to getting their board packets out over there. Are they watching high def NFL action over there?

Not sure why the PUSD headquarters has to have a superintendent's own personal totally awesome tricked-out fort, complete with big screen TV (costing $10,000).

I do remember the ATF had a scandal where among other crazy schemes, the director demanded that executive office be equipped with its own Situation Room Wall-O'-TVs. They were fired, by the way.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

" Further, trustees spent $10,000 from the general fund on a big-screen TV for the board room, better microphones, and i-pads, so they can have an electronic packet and clearer televising of meetings. The board said it is in line with the district's goal of good communication with the public.

However, the expenditure, at a time when the board said it would cut far away from the classroom, came as a surprise to the CSEA, said Sutton."


Well, and they expect the proposed 2012-14 school year parcel tax to pass? I will make sure everyone I know is aware of this 10K tv and their ipads! Board members do NOT need ipads, and if they WANT them, they can pay for them with less than ONE MONTH STIPEND (which they already receive)


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

Oh I see, now I feel a bit sick.

I honestly didn't things the district would be so tone deaf re. the TV etc. so disappointed.

Also the response regarding staggered reading questions was ridiculous! Yes, we want smaller class sizes, but not at the expense of effectively weeks off the school year. Honestly, how stupid do they think we are?? And I guess they're not in the classroom when the teachers are telling the kids they didn't have time for math today and they aren't going to be doing as much written work this year . . .This change has cost the students so much and to justify it the way it was in the article makes my blood boil, NO it does not count as CSR, it counts as three weeks off of the school year we used to have for grades 1-3.


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

I'm sorry, but am I missing something? Before anyone starts casting stones, maybe we should find out what brand the tv screen is. I personally hope it's a good one that they got a good deal on. Everybody likes to shop for goodness sakes! If you've got it, flaunt it.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:44 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I hadn't seen your previous post. Just couldn't even figure out if this was on the agenda, which is a bigger problem for communicating with the public. If there is a problem with their new program and there are electronic packets available, they should be posted online while the error gets corrected. Isn't this a Brown Act violation to not have the materials available to the community?

The television may have something to do with how PowerPoints are presented for broadcast. Not agreeing it was the right thing to do.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

Kathleen, I found this agenda from the last meeting and can't find the lavish $10,000 flat screen purchase anywhere or else I am missing it.

Do you see it here somewhere - Web Link


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Looked at September and August agendas; don't see the item. There are limits (don't know them for PUSD and they vary from district to district) for what a superintendent can spend without board approval. This may have fallen within that limit. It's also possible this was an item back in May or June (or before).


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:10 am


Did you see the PUSD site where it has listed four potential closure dates if prop 30 does not pass? Two of the days Wednesdays right in the middle of the school week. What are they thinking?

Surely these days if needed should be taken at the end of the school year where they can cut some of the play days. Again, I find this strange. Are students coming first? Is there a good business reason for this decision?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It's a negotiated item with the unions . . . hard to know the thinking behind the choices.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

Shopping Spree said: "Not sure why the PUSD headquarters has to have a superintendent's own personal totally awesome tricked-out fort, complete with big screen TV (costing $10,000)."

Resident said: "Well, and they expect the proposed 2012-14 school year parcel tax to pass? I will make sure everyone I know is aware of this 10K tv and their ipads!"

Well, I see that the usual idiots have checked in here with their usual idiotic comments. Here's the original statement:

"Further, trustees spent $10,000 from the general fund on a big-screen TV for the board room, better microphones, and i-pads, so they can have an electronic packet and clearer televising of meetings."

So that's a total of $10K for a big screen tv AND microphones and iPads, but as usual you idiots all quickly distort the facts and say that it was the purchase of (your actual quotes) a "10k tv" or a "big screen TV (costing $10,000)" or a "lavish $10,000 flat screen purchase".

Based on a quick glance at Costco tv's yesterday, I recall that typical big-screen 55" or 60" tv cost about $2K. Add in about 15 iPads at about $500 each gets the total purchase to about $10K. There you have it. Now you can argue whether a $2K big-screen tv and 15 or so iPads is a necessary expense, but knock off the exaggerated claims about (again, an actual quote from here) a "lavish $10,000 flat screen purchase". Face it, a lot of you have some agenda and you're committed to twisting facts as needed in order to suit your own pre-conceived notions.


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

You mean the tv screen only cost about 2 thousand instead of 10 thousand? That leaves me very disappointed. I would have thought the district had more class than that. There are plenty of upper-end flat screen tv's that they could have purchased, which would have given them more BANG (prestige) for their dollar. Maybe Kathleen can plunge back into the rumor mill and give us more 'facts'.

Sam, you seem to disapprove of the way a bunch of gossip mongers distort things to serve their twisted ideology. But that's no reason to call them idiots. Some of them might be really nice people who have nice tv's of their own.


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

So 15 iPads for the central office ratherr than the classroom is OK with you? For grown ups that probably already have plenty of technology to do their job.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It's still a legitimate question raised by the CSEA president about a $10,000 general fund expenditure (I hope it was from the tech fund).


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

"So that's a total of $10K for a big screen tv AND microphones and iPads, "

And that makes the expense OK? Are you kidding? The amount does not matter. it is an unnecessary expense, and if you add all the unnecessary expenses.....

If they want better communications with the public, how about fixing their website? I fail to see how a new tv and ipads have to do with communicatiing better with the public.

If board members and others must have an ipad, how about PAYING FOR IT ON THEIR OWN, WITH THE SALARY OR STIPEND they already receive?

I was asked to contribute money for a lot of classes, to cover the cost of workbooks. So no money for students' workbooks but they have the cash for a tv and ipads? Hmmm...


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

Kathleen said: "It's still a legitimate question raised by the CSEA president about a $10,000 general fund expenditure (I hope it was from the tech fund)."

Fine, it is a legitimate question. But note that it is not proper to immediately conclude that this $10K tech purchase was a frivolous one, as many here have been suggesting. It may have been justified based on the stated goal of improving communications with the public. One needs to dig into the details of how this equipment would actually be used in order to reach any real conclusion. Does anyone here want to do that? No. Too much work. It's easier for many here to just twist facts and turn the $10K tech purchase into a "lavish $10,000 flat screen purchase" and start bashing the school district, which was their intention all along. Read back through the posts. Do you see how easily and casually many here quickly distorted the facts?

As one of the few adults in these forums, Kathleen, you should really be taking more care to correct factual distortions by others and keep the discussion on an even keel.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

and when did the vote take place? which month? why did we not know until now? is this how they plan to justify the ipads? are they going to buy ME one so I can keep in touch with board members and the superintendent? how about fixing their website instead so we can actually open ALL of the pdf files? and how about answering an email or two? how will the ipads change the fact that the superintendent and the three yes people do not respond to emails or phone calls?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

" It may have been justified based on the stated goal of improving communications with the public."

Sam, tell us which agenda to look at so we can understand their reason for the purchase, which imo is unnecessary (whether it is a 10k tv or a 1k tv, i don't care, it was not necessary especially when they are requesting that parents buy workbooks for students)

How exactly, Sam, do giving ipads to board members and other administrators help improve communications?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

and Sam, isn't that why the hired the unnecessary PI person? to communicate with the public? why didn't the public information officer sent an email (like the many ones sent) iinforming the public of the vote to buy a tv and ipads?

again, please explain to me how the ipads and new tv help improve communications.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

Resident said: "And that makes the expense OK? Are you kidding? The amount does not matter. it is an unnecessary expense,...."

Resident, you don't have the facts to conclude it was an unnecessary expense. Now as evidenced by how quickly you distorted the $10K tech purchase into a "$10K tv" I know that you want to think that it was a frivolous, unnecessary expense.

I'm open-minded and am willing to consider the possibility that the expense may or may not have been justified. But unfortunately, your credibility is shot with me. I'm certainly not going to take your word for it.


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Posted by None of the Above
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

If you're referring to a story in the Independent, it's wrong in a couple of places. It ain't news if you just make stuff up.

Mr. McNicoll was wrong when he said Prop 30 and 38 needed 2/3s majority to pass and he was wrong in saying the TV and iPads cost ten grand. It was Mr. Sutton, not the school board that said the district spent $10 k on a TV and iPads. It was pointed out that the school board members bought their own iPads.

Watch the board meeting on channel 28 to be sure.

FWIW, a $10,000 TV purchase would have to be approved by a vote of the board, in public.


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

Thank you none of the above for clarifying. I did find this hard to believe and I hope you are right that Mr Sutton got his information wrong.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

"Resident, you don't have the facts to conclude it was an unnecessary expense. Now as evidenced by how quickly you distorted the $10K tech purchase into a "$10K tv" I know that you want to think that it was a frivolous, unnecessary expense. "

Sam, I have asked you twice to tell us where we can read about the reasons for the purchase, and to explain to us how the ipads would help improve communications.

We are asked to buy the workbooks for our students, for pretty much every class, and to donate to PPIE, the PTA, the classroom (s), the schools, and yet the district can afford new tvs and ipads. I would like to read the WHY, the reasons for it.

Why don't we get an email from the public information officer explaining both the cost and the reasons for the purchase? could it be because MOST people would oppose such purchases given we are being asked to finance books and other classroom items?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

None of the Above, Used to be you could watch the archived meetings. Do you know where that is now so we can confirm board members bought their own iPads? Also, if Mr. Sutton is correct about a $10,000 expenditure (rare but possible a union president had the wrong info), what was the actual amount and what was it spent on?

Sam, it's okay for you to call me out, but then you accept NofA's assertions with no links?


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Posted by None of the Above
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

Kathleen,

It would be right after Sutton's comments. No idea if the district still archives its meetings, but the show airs at 7 pm Friday, 2 pm Saturday, 8 am Sunday, 7 pm Monday and 10 am Tuesday on TV 28.

Sutton can say anything he wants. It doesn't have to be based on facts. The agreement with the CSEA actually spends MORE this year than last year, with cost made up by furlough days that have been built into the budget.

Web Link
Web Link

BTW, why do the union leaders get all the time they want and not the same 3 minutes the rest of the public gets?


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Resident, if you want to learn about why the superintendent and board members thought that the tv and ipads were a legitimate expense, I suggest that you email them and ask. Trustee email addresses can be found at this web link: Web Link

As someone who reads board packets, watches meetings online, and attends meetings in person, I believe the new investments in boardroom technology are wise. The old system for projecting powerpoint slides made it impossible to read slides on the tv broadcasts. The new higher resolution tv gives thousands of residents the opportunity to see the board in action and more fully understand the information on which they are basing their decisions.

The decision to use iPads rather than paper printouts as a way to distribute board packets and refer to them during board meetings also improves the public's ability to obtain information about single agenda items. I no longer have to download a PDF of hundreds of pages and scroll through it to look for the two pages of information that are relevant for the agenda item I care about.

Furthermore, photocopying the old board packets (which often number over 100 pages per meeting) was an ongoing expense that will no longer be needed. (There are still two copies of the full packet available on paper for people who come to the meeting and want to look through items on paper instead of online.) I would bet that the cost of the iPads is less than the photocopying costs that will be saved over the coming year.

Sam and None of the Above, thank you for injecting facts into the conversation rather than accepting one reporter's word about what one community member said.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

While I'm here, let me comment about the more important issue that the CSEA president was asking the board to consider.

I support Alex Sutton's assertion that low morale among CSEA employees as a result of the implementation of staggered reading should be addressed in some way. However, I don't think that picking on the technology purchases for the boardroom is an effective way to address morale, and I think his use of this one piece of information, taken out of context, really took away from the big point he was trying to make about the costs of benefits to part-time employees.

Should we really be increasing part-time employees' morale by increasing their hours, though? Not if we don't need their services for more than 4 hours a day. Should the district consider paying a larger contribution to insurance benefits for employees with families? Probably not, in my opinion. I'm open to more information about this issue, because I don't know the details about what CSEA members receive in terms of health insurance benefits, but here's my thinking...

Standard business practice these days is to provide a 50% contribution to the cost of health insurance for the individual employee, with the individual paying the other 50%. The cost of additional family members should be carried by the employee, rather than the district. And certainly a part-time employee cannot reasonably expect for the district to pay the full cost of insurance benefits for the employee and all family members.

The bottom line is that even if the $10K that was spent on boardroom technology was instead spent on CSEA employees, it would not be nearly enough of an increase in employee hours to cover health insurance costs. There are much better ways to address flagging morale that don't involve money.


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm

There are better ways to uplift employee rationale than by monetary means. How about a party once in a while with everyone getting an inexpensive little hat to wear? But, really, I only have one thing to say. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that this thread had been started by Casanova Frankenstein? That would sure make a lot of people look really silly, wouldn't it? I mean, you know, sillier than usual. Okay, I admit, it's hard for even Casanova Frankenstein to top the level of gossipy silliness we see on these threads on a day-in and day-out basis. So, it wouldn't suddenly make people look silly, it would simply add to the already high levels of silliness. Hmmm, just my 2 cents worth.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm


Parties just make cynical employees even more cynical. The best way to boost morale is to show genuine appreciation to employees for the work they do on a daily basis. Face-to-face, in public, genuine.

Is it silly to get fixated on a $10,000 expense in a district with a budget over $120,000,000 annually? Maybe not silly, but certainly shortsighted. And definitely gossipy.

I was going to suggest that perhaps Shopping Spree is an alias for Casanova Frankenstein, or perhaps Tish is.... but that would be silly and gossipy too, wouldn't it?


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I went back through the April 2012 agendas and see no agenda item where the Board even approved this expenditure. I would bet that it means the Superintendent did not even bother to put the item on any agenda which is a serious problem.

I didn't even realize that Staggered Reading had been implemented in Special Education classes. If most of those classes have 8 to 12 students anyways, why in the world was the instructional day shortened for Grades 1 through 3 for Special Education classes. No wonder the morale is low.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I've never considered reporter Ron McNicoll to be a gossipy reporter or Janet Armatrout to be a gossipy editor.

No public meetings were held on possibly reducing the school day prior to CSEA agreeing to their contract. The CSEA union was blindsided by the reduced day and they are hourly employees. The entire community was blindsided by a letter in backpacks the last day of school because there was absolutely no proactive communication of reducing the school day. The PUSD did not communicate with the community, nor did they apparently with the CSEA union.

And now it spends $10,000 out of the General Fund to improve 'communication?' A $10,000 expenditure for non-essential electronic equipment in this time of cutting instructional hours is ridiculous.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm

"Resident, if you want to learn about why the superintendent and board members thought that the tv and ipads were a legitimate expense, I suggest that you email them and ask."

Yeah right, they don't bother replying, especially the superintendent. Besides, I should not have to email them, it should be available online, and of all the nonsense the PI officer emails, why can't she email about this? Is it because the community would not approve?

And Sandy, not everyone has ipads, so some may want to use the board packets, AND the broadcasts were fine in the past (I never had trouble following the meeting), there is simply no justification for new equipment when they are at the same time, asking for more and more donations and trying for a parcel tax.

Oh yeah, and btw, they conveniently stopped uploading the board meeting videos to the website so those who could not watch it live could do so later on. If they are truly concerned with improved communications, that would be the FIRST thing they would do, before buying ipads for themselves.

And can we fire the PI officer? Since according to you, each of us SHOULD email the superintendent even though we have someone whose job is to keep THE COMMUNITY INFORMED AND THAT INCLUDES THE INFORMATION ABOUT IPAD PURCHASES!!!!!!!


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I think that Sandy Piderit and NofA explained this matter to my satisfaction. Based on the facts presented here, it doesn't seem to be an inappropriate purchase and, as Sandy indicated, may actually result in some cost savings due to a reduction in copying costs.

Sorry, there's no big scandal here about a "lavish $10,000 flat screen purchase". I'm not going to waste any more time here arguing with the complaint addicts here. Complainers just gotta complain.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Resident said: "And can we fire the PI officer? Since according to you, each of us SHOULD email the superintendent even though we have someone whose job is to keep THE COMMUNITY INFORMED AND THAT INCLUDES THE INFORMATION ABOUT IPAD PURCHASES!!!!!!!"

Can you shout a little louder? We still can't hear you.


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Sandy, you state, "Is it silly to get fixated on a $10,000 expense in a district with a budget over $120,000,000 annually" and imply it is silly.

And yet, we are told that the $200-$300 or so that PPIE asks for is vitally important. It also seems like a drop in the bucket with that kind of budget. People are starting to talk about a parcel tax again that would raise a tiny proportion of that kind of budget.

For me, in the terrible financial situation we are told we have, every penny should be thought about - it all counts. Every $10,000 spent in the district office would probably save an enormous amount in the classroom. It could pay for materials, books, iPads for many classrooms if it had to be IT.

So either there is a financial crisis in Pleasanton, which has caused all sorts of damage and that means this is not the time to buy TV's etc for the head office. Or there is not a crisis, and we are being manipulated to vote for a tax and donate a lot even though there is plenty of money.

So what is it? Are we pinching pennies or are we just fine and our donations don't really matter that much. Because to be honest, it is a lot for our family if we pay for all the kids and every 10k that goes on IT for admin is also 10k that is not spent on a reading specialist and that is what the district is asking me to contribute towards.

If the info in the article about the spending is wrong, that is great, no problem. But surely you can see the issue that parents would have with this kind of spending if it is true and why they were concerned having read the statements made.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Back in march, the district expected about 20K in donations for HS:

"Estimated costs for teachers and principals for the high school programs will run $180,294, with $480,655 in funding coming from the state and $20,000 anticipated from donations, netting the district $320,361. That money will go to the district's general fund."

Web Link

So when Sandy says "Is it silly to get fixated on a $10,000 expense in a district with a budget over $120,000,000 annually?" I am bothered by the statement.

Which is it Sandy? Does the district need our 20K in donations or it's not a big deal if they don't get it?

As a person who gave the "voluntary" donation to PPIE, I think I would like my money back if it went, indeed, to pay for ipads - because I gave money because I was told we were in deep financial trouble, so deep that I needed to donate.

No one ever explained that some of the money from the general fund (where all the donations went) would be used to buy ipads and new equipment for the admin when our students don't even get a proper area for lunch (imagine how many tables we can buy for 10K, thus avoiding students' fight over a seat for lunch or having to sit on the floor)

Priorities.....

I am still waiting for Sam to tell us where we can read the WHY it was needed to buy equipment instead of say, workbooks (so as to not bother us, the parents, yet again for yet another donation for books even though we had already given to PPIe, the PTA, etc)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"The bottom line is that even if the $10K that was spent on boardroom technology was instead spent on CSEA employees, it would not be nearly enough of an increase in employee hours to cover health insurance costs. There are much better ways to address flagging morale that don't involve money."

Sandy, this statement from you is a disappointment. This is the same answer we get for everything the district does . . . car allowances, expenses accounts, this little thing, that little thing . . . "would not be nearly enough" for substantive change. Do you think we can't add? I'm interested to hear exactly how you would address "flagging morale" without money.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I will vote NO on prop 30, NO on prop 38 and YES on prop 32

and if a parcel tax is attempted, NO, since we are so well off we can afford ipads and new equipment, at a time when everyone is being asked to do more with less - we must not need the money, right? 10K in equipment, what else have they spent on that we do not know about?

The board members could use their own laptops (I am sure everyone has one) and download the PDF file ahead of time, before the meeting, then bring their laptop to the meeting and access the file. How hard would that be? Why do we have to give them ipads?

And now that they have ipads, can we require them to use them ONLY for board meetings? Come get your ipad before the meeting (packet will be on it already), and leave it at the Distric office when the meeting is done. RIght? Because it should not be used for personal items.

And the meetings are held at the district office, why can't the staff use EXISTING computers to access the PDF file? Why do they get an ipad?

And the new tv? I NEVER had a problem reading the material before, when the meetings were televised and videos later uploaded for view. So Sandy's argument is imo not valid.

We did not need a new tv, we need the money for other expenses (like books or other supplies for STUDENTS or teachers)


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Posted by Strange
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

The thing that I find oddest about this conversation is that people are being slated as gossips etc for discussing what was said by the head of a union at a school board meeting and printed in a local paper. Surely that is the point of a town square forum.

Similar conversations are being held downtown and at schools by people who read the article. I always find that many conversations held here are also discussed at school. And the district should spend time answering people who bother writing to them because there are usually a Lot of people with the same questions waiting to hear the responses.

And people who have extra info have added it here, so,even better. We know more now.

Imagine if the people in Bell County had asked some questions. A lot of damage would have been avoided.


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Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Sandy thank you for refering to the facts as presented in the meeting. I however, have to agree with the majority of posters here and discussions I've had at drop off, and pick up. While increasing communication between the district and board and community is paramount, doing so by spending $10,000 on electronics in the board room when the digital arts program at AVHS is using old Macs and programs 10 years old (I'm sure Foothill is similar) is not a wise choice of spending from the General Fund. Yes, there is the future savings on paper, but if I don't have money to buy clothes for my kids, I don't go spend $20K on solar panels for the house because in the future it will save money. Actions like this, regardless of their true need, are why the community does not trust PUSD or the Board of Trustees. Perception is also part of communication. If the district and board really want to improve communication and trust they need to make some decisions that don't take money away from the classrooms. No more studies that pay outside firms and no more upgrades to the boardroom. No more risk taking on the education of our children.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I appreciate folks who share their points of view even when different from mine -- and I know and respect both Kathleen and Elizabeth. Part of why it's tough to be a board member or a member of cabinet is that opinions about issues like this are never going to be unanimous. I'm sad to hear that some community members don't get responses to their emails to board members. Personally, I haven't had that problem.

To answer the question about whether PPIE donations were used to fund district office purchases: no. PPIE only transfers funds to PUSD with a commitment from the district that the funds will be used for the priorities that were identified by PPIE before beginning each year's fundraising effort. The donations received last year totaled $296,525, and they benefit students at each school site. This year, all donations received since April through March of 2013 will be transferred to the school district and used in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, to benefit students starting next fall.

I think the biggest hit to employee morale came from the exceptionally poor way in which the decision about staggered reading was announced. I have discussed those issues with the superintendent personally, as well as with board members. I am hopeful that the experience will not be repeated, and communication will be both more proactive and more professional.

The root causes of low morale and community cynicism about relatively inexpensive budget items are not the purchases themselves. Low morale and cynicism are symptoms of the district's past poor communication with stakeholders. That problem has developed over years, and in my opinion was made worse with the significant reductions of the number of staff in the district office, which occurred in 2008-2009. The problem will not be solved overnight, but I am optimistic that the district is headed in the right direction. We can all make sure that that movement continues and accelerates by sharing our opinions. Keep in mind that board members are less likely to read the PW Town Square than they are to read their own email, though...


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Low morale and cynicism does not come from events four years ago (2008), nor does it come reducing headcount in the Central Office, but it comes since the actions that have occurred since the new superintendent was hired. They have consistently spent money on Central Office consultants, like the superintendent "coach," while taking money from the classroom.

I agree with Elizabeth who said "Yes, there is the future savings on paper, but if I don't have money to buy clothes for my kids, I don't go spend $20K on solar panels for the house because in the future it will save money."

It wouldn't be a surprise that along with expensive electronic equipment, the District is now trying to put solar panels on campuses, would it?


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Posted by ?
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Low Morale? It comes from being caught with your hand in the cookie jar and feeling sorry for yourself. Buy a couple more 60 inch TV's and call your doctor in the morning. That should help.

If you really want to know about low Morale try being a small business owner, without a pension, that pays twice what these employees pay for 1/3rd the retirement benefit. How did the taxpayer public employee contract get so screwed up?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 7:34 am

" They have consistently spent money on Central Office consultants, like the superintendent "coach," while taking money from the classroom."

And they hired a new Public Information Officer (from Fremont?) even though that position was supposedly eliminated (Mayla Grasso moved to a different department), and soon after that they announce that reading specialists have to be cut! Gee, a child benefits from a reading specialist but not from the PI officer. And it's happening now too: ipads for board members and admin, but no books or supplies for students.

And what about the parcel tax consultants? They already knew what the public response was. Why are they paying so much to people who will tell them what they want to hear? The tax failed, again, didn't it? The consultants didn't help.

As for low staff: Sandy, have you ever visited either a school or district office during school hours? Plenty of staff, many just sitting there doing nothing, and when a parent asks for help, he/she is told to wait because the staff is so very busy!

I am disappointed in you Sandy. You seemed different when you ran for the board, and I respected your opinions then. You seem to be too willing to defend the admin, even when no defense exists.

Maybe PPIE designated the money specifically for schools, but by taking 10K from the general fund for new equipment not needed right now, they deplete the fund and PPIE has to come in and give them money, so indirectly, our donations were used to buy the equipment.

Sandy, can you ask the PI officer to send an email to all the parents explaining this new equipment in detail? (cost, need, where the money came from).


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sandy, as to board members, it depends on the member and their opinion of the person writing to them. Some respond; others do not. They do read and post on these blogs. The problem with a squeaky wheel is many are so annoyed by the "noise," they ignore the actual issue being raised--"S/He's a nut case; just ignore him/her." You don't have to go far to confirm it; you just have to observe how some board members are treated. Remember, the culture for what I'll call the lost years was to divulge nothing. It's been difficult to get that turned around.

As to PPIE fundraising, I seem to recall donations to specific areas being insufficient for the area called out in the donation and so the funds were used elsewhere--again, during the lost years, but you can see why there is skepticism.

"I think the biggest hit to employee morale came from the exceptionally poor way in which the decision about staggered reading was announced. . . . I am hopeful that the experience will not be repeated, and communication will be both more proactive and more professional." "The root causes of low morale and community cynicism about relatively inexpensive budget items are not the purchases themselves. Low morale and cynicism are symptoms of the district's past poor communication with stakeholders."

If this was the first communication breach, maybe you'd have less cynicism. But, it isn't. And really, the biggest hit to employee morale is cuts followed by expenditures that could wait. One example would be spending $250,000 on a facilities study right before you move class sizes to 30+, reducing the need for classrooms. Expenditures like that and all the "relatively inexpensive budget items" add up to someone's job.

How about a parcel tax that provides off the schedule bonuses of 2% to teachers and classified staff (sorry, not administrators)--meaningful for employees to know they have community support; recognition of lean years and cuts to hours and jobs; no permanent commitment for taxpayers on the salary schedule or future pensions; no ability for the money to go elsewhere in the budget; and no new positions added. That's roughly $160 for a few years which I'd gladly support and that would likely go a long way with helping morale.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

The people who obsess on TVs, car allowances, and cell phones are the 15% or so of voters who aren't going to vote for tax increases of any kind no matter what. It is a waste of time trying to change their minds.

It is a lot like the people who complain about about the federal government spending all that money on public radio and symphonies, but don't want Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or defense cut. But the whole problem with the federal budget is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and defense.

I fine with iPads and TV. I don't have any problem with the district buying these things and supporting tax increases. I wish the district would also support pension reform, because it is a serious issue. The iPads and TVs are a fake issues. I'm for the TV, the iPads, and the tax measures. If the district decides to put a parcel tax to vote, I'll support that too.

Just for the benefit of the never vote for any tax increase under any circumstance types, I'm not now, nor ever have been, a member of a union.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

john, seems obvious that at least one union leader, who is seeing jobs and hours decimated among the membership, has a problem with the funds being spent--not because they are tvs and iPads, but because people are what has become expendable.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

"The people who obsess on TVs, car allowances, and cell phones are the 15% or so of voters who aren't going to vote for tax increases of any kind no matter what."


That is not quite accurate. I know people who voted yes on the first parcel tax but no on the second one (after seeing how the district allocated funds raised by parents for specific programs, they were not about to vote yes again).

Here is an example of why people do not trust the district anymore:

"The $239,920 contract was awarded to design firm LPA of Roseville. "

"Meanwhile, the school district is awaiting a mid-November report that could set the stage for more cuts. That report is the first of two about state revenues; if they are significantly below projections, automatic triggers could kick in, resulting in an estimated $2.8 million more in cuts to the district."

and a parent told the board about that expense:

""Please use the quarter-million dollars to pay for teacher salaries," Testa told the board. "

Did they listen? No, as usual, only Arkin was the voice of reason but outnumbered by the yes people and the admin.

Web Link

That was around the same time when the district hired the new public information officer, with a different name but same thing (Fall 2011):

"Nicole Steward started as Management Assistant/Technology Coordinator in November, earning $76,034 as an 80% fulltime employee, and sending out news releases and the district's e-connection digital newsletter is just 20% of her duties. The district's public information officer position, held by Grasso, was eliminated in 2009, when her responsibilities were shifted to include test data analysis."

Web Link


And not long after that, we received notice that teachers will be laid off, CSR will be gone, etc. So PUSD spends more than 300K hiring consultants for facilities and a new public information officer (who came from the same district as the superintendent), and at the same time, threatens to make cuts that will directly affect the students. How does that make sense to parents or anyone?

And you expect people to say yes to a parcel tax? Just because we do not show up at board meetings, it does not mean we are not aware of what goes on, and trust me, parents do talk among themselves and influence their neighbors, friends, family.

I am almost sure that yet another parcel tax will fail, especially when we continue to see bad decisins (you may like the ipads, but ask the community and see what they say, talk especially to those of who have donated or have supported parcel taxes in the past even if they failed.... there is a reason we have not heard about the expense in one of the many emails we get from the district).


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm

The Superintendent and the Board think they can sneak so many things by the general public. It is "elitist math" being done and they think no one else can add. Let's see, superintendent coach + facilities study + tv screen + cabinet stipends + CSBA conference/travel + public info person = a substantial amount that could be spent in the classroom.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Resident, taxpayers are paying Nicole Steward, who the public information officer from Fremont, for attending Chamber of Commerce 'leadership' courses here Web Link, spending multiple FULL days hobnobbing at these events--

Web Link

This program costs $800 and rather than the District spendin $800 on kids in the classroom, they are sending one of their Central Office people out to basically socialize on the taxpayers' dime during working hours during the business day.

The district never seems to eliminate Central Office positions. They just rehire a different person. The only people that are ever permanently eliminated are the teachers. Meanwhile, the Central Office buys expensive gadgets and sends their staff off to conferences to socialize.


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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

When all of the city departments balance their budgets and begin to pay-down the liabilities [debt], I "might" consider voting for a parcel tax! But until that happens, not one more penny for anything. Get it?


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Resident,

I hear you, and I agree that some people probably did change their minds, and I wasn't including those people in my wild guess 15% number. I find myself scratching my head too at some of this stuff. I agree that the district could do a better job of showing that it was running a tight ship, so to speak.

Tennessee Jed,

I get it. "Might" means that you would never vote for a tax increase ever, regardless of what anyone did.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Shopping Spree, are you sure that PUSD is paying the fee to the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Nicole Steward? The application fee for the program asks if the applicant will be able to pay the fee out of personal funds...

Expecting her to perform 20% of her job as a management assistant focused on serving members of the public, without actually developing relationships with community leaders, seems like an odd constraint to me. I haven't attended Leadership Pleasanton events, but my understanding is that they are more than "hobnobbing" and actually involve a systematic understanding of several key departments of city government, and of important local organizations. It seems to me that we would want our district's managers to understand how the city works so that true partnerships can be developed and strengthened.

But then again, your point is probably that you don't think there should be a position for someone like Ms. Steward at PUSD at all. Or did I misunderstand?


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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

"I get it. "Might" means that you would never vote for a tax increase ever, regardless of what anyone did." Resident.

You seem to know more about me than I do. And to "assign" me a position as you suggest is absurd. In other words...you don't know anything about me. If your intention was to toss a turd in space, then you my friend, have succeeded completely.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Sandy, I fail to see how a bunch of outings in the form of field trips Web Link such as a nature walk of Pleasanton Ridge park, a tour of the High Schools, Middle and Elementary Schools, a presentation by Livermore Valley winegrowers, a tour of a fire department and police department, a tour of the Firehouse Arts Center, and a tour of Alviso Adobe park is nothing more than hobnobbing on business time. The information also says "You have the full endorsement and support of your sponsoring organization or employer" and I don't see 'personal funds' anywhere on Web Link . Where is it?

A PIO's primary job description in government is to provide information to the media/press and public as required by law (Public Records responses) and according to the standards of their profession.

And how exactly does wine and Pleasanton Ridge nature walks, etc. fit into that primary job description?




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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"without actually developing relationships with community leaders," What about building relationships with parents and the general community first? Aren't board members working with community leaders or perhaps the superintendent? Even if enrollment was with a personal check, there is nothing to prevent submitting it as an expense to the district.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

" taxpayers are paying Nicole Steward, who the public information officer from Fremont, for attending Chamber of Commerce 'leadership' courses here Web Link, spending multiple FULL days hobnobbing at these events--"

WOW! This is outrageous! Thanks for sharing this information. So not only does PUSD hire someone for an unnecessary position, but they pay for this person to go on day long events! And they are tight with money? Because even if it is true that Nicole is paying for the events (I personally doubt that), we are still paying her for those days of "work" even though she is not working but attending some event.

Sandy, I looked at the link provided. If Nicole S. was not already qualified for the job, and needed training, why hire her? many people could have come in and immediately get to work because they are already familiar with the stuff that Nicole is being sent to learn! And again, we do not need a PI person. Some of the many staff members at the admin level can do what Nicole does (in addition to their own duties).


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

" It seems to me that we would want our district's managers to understand how the city works so that true partnerships can be developed and strengthened."

OK, first of all, we do not need a public information officer, there is a reason the position was eliminated in 2009.

But if we needed a PI person, and that person needed to have connections and know people here in Pleasanton, then why hire Nicole S? Why not leave Mayla in that position? (Mayla already knew the town, the people, and would not have needed to be sent to "training")

And if Mayla did not want the job, there are others, already familiar with the community and with good relations within Pleasanton (personal and business) that could have done the job without being sent to those events. (And with a tech background too) - but the position was never advertised, we suddenly found out we have a new PI officer (tech manager as they call her), just like now we find about the ipads!

I guess what you are saying is that not only did the board agree to hire someone for a position we do not need, but hired an unqualified person? Because if you look at Nicole's online profile, Web Link , I personally do not see the qualifications for tech manager. And since according to you, she needs to develop relationships.... why did they hire Nicole again?


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

The district does not have a PIO person. Nicole Steward was a "communications officer" when she worked in Fremont, but her job responsibilities when she was hired here are different. They are also very different from the job responsibilities that Myla Grasso performed when her PIO position was cut back and she took on some tech responsibilities as well.

I don't know much about how Ms. Steward was hired because I don't monitor the open jobs page on the district website... but I have been impressed with her when I have seen her present data analyses of student performance and demographics (at a board meeting) and when I attended a grantwriting workshop for teachers, staff, and parent volunteers. My understanding is that her background in applying for and winning grants was considered a big asset when she was hired, and I think that developing more capacity to raise funds through grants will benefit Pleasanton's students quite a bit.

The district staff who have been here a long time do have well-developed relationships with community members. I believe the district also benefits when some new staff come into Pleasanton and can begin anew to build relationships and partnerships. There are some long-held antagonistic relationships among Pleasantonians, and I would like to see efforts to try to bridge those divides continue.

I'm going to bow out of this conversational thread, because I want to move away from the "good vs bad" arguments here. I sometimes forget when I'm online in a forum that I'd much rather create a "both-and" dialogue than participate in an "either-or" argument.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sandy, I can understand your reluctance to discuss "either or" situations, but that's what budgets are, particularly now with funding so tight. Choices have to be made, and the case for poor choices having been made seems pretty clear.

I do not know and have nothing against the person in this position, or any other position discussed. Many people are good at grant writing, so that's not a good enough reason for the hire. But I would not have chosen that job over any reading specialist, the Barton reading program, library time, or any number of other cuts. What has been pointed out in this discussion is the combination of cuts and consultant/personnel hires continues to directly impacting the classroom negatively. I believe those choices are indefensible.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Sandy, the point is that to improve 'communications' the district has shelled out $10,000 for a large flat screen TV from the GENERAL FUND rather than spending it in the classroom. Also, what how does improving 'communications' have anything to do with having a PIO hired from Fremont when the position was supposedly eliminated 3 years ago go to training that consists mostly of field trips typically done by local Brownie troops. Meanwhile, the Public Information home page here

Web Link

has web links that don't work, has absolutely no Press Releases on the Press Release page, and has no Flyers on the Flyers page (which references August 2012), etc. Yet to improve 'Communications' they shell out $10,800 for cool gadgets and field trips, but don't even seem to produce any Press Releases? That is outrageous.


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

What I can't figure out for the life of me is why the school district wouldn't want to spend more time and effort getting to know us and hear our opinions. We're all such a reasonable group, very even keeled.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I'm glad Mr. Sutton expressed his opinions to the School Board. In fact, the CSEA seems to be a reasonable group and very even keeled compared to the administration of the District Office.

$10,800 dollars could have spent on 675 Classroom Aide instructional hours.

$10,800 dollars could have provided speech therapy to students for 108 hour long sessions.

The list goes on...

Instead, the Supe got a big flat screen TV.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

"The district does not have a PIO person. Nicole Steward was a "communications officer" when she worked in Fremont, but"

Sandy, one of the first emails we got from Nicole Steward back in the fall 2011 was signed:

"Nicole Steward
Public Information Office
Pleasanton Unified School District
4665 Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566-7495
Web Link"

At some point later on, emails were signed with the title of management assistant, tech 2....

We did not need, and could not afford, to hire more people to work at the district office, not when PUSD was getting rid of people who work directly with the students and who have a direct impact on their day to day learning.



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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2012 at 12:08 am

" I believe the district also benefits when some new staff come into Pleasanton and can begin anew to build relationships and partnerships. "

Not when we cannot afford to hire said staff. I believe that students come first, and I do not think it is right to have issued pink slips to teachers, reading specialists, when PUSD had just hired a new admin staff member.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

Back to the original concern of this forum: the equipment purchased, which some have said is to improve communications.

OK, I just tried to navigate the PUSD website, and many of the links bring me to this error msg page:

------------------------------------
"The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Please try the following:

Make sure that the Web site address displayed in the address bar of your browser is spelled and formatted correctly.
If you reached this page by clicking a link, contact the Web site administrator to alert them that the link is incorrectly formatted.
Click the Back button to try another link.

HTTP Error 404 - File or directory not found.
Internet Information Services (IIS)"
----------------------------


Ipads and a new TV will not improve communications. What will improve communications is a working website, with documents we can download and view, with links that work. That would have been a nice start, before spending money on ipads.... because now board members get to use their new ipad to view district documents, and the public gets error messages, hmmm....


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 24, 2012 at 5:10 am

Who wouldn't want to deal with the folks on this web site who know so much about ipads and flat screen tv's? I mean, why not trust the public to decide whether a PIO -- we have one, we don't, or we did, or rumor has it, or something, I mean what do they do anyhow, but they're better than a 10K flat screen tv, you know? -- is best suited to reflect the community's academic needs? Why even have a PUSD or school board or city council when we have such intelligent community members who will say anything in hopes of reducing their onerous tax burdens? I feel so proud to be a part of this group!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2012 at 7:26 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Tish, Where are the archived webcasts of the meetings?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2012 at 9:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

By the way, this district (and quite a few others) pay CSBA (California School Boards Association) for the agenda service you now see on the PUSD website. Having posted agendas online for years, I don't see why an outside service at an additional cost is necessary. And if the archives of the webcasts are lost in this process, then communication with the community has diminished, not improved.


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Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

It's obviously a liberal, left-wing, union-backed conspiracy, Kathleen, meant to suppress your paranoid, gossipy voice as well as the voices of the other malicious rumor mongers who never let a fact get in the way of their paranoid fantasies.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

One doesn't need a conspiracy on either side of the aisle or paranoia to see inefficiencies and waste. The original issue was raised by a CSEA president, right? I think people here are supporting that concern very well.


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Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Sep 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

Sandy you have lost credibility with your defense of the indefensible actions of the administration. How can you expect parents to vote for you in future when we now know you represent the administration position already?
I am surprised and disappointed.


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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

Diana, I certainly will never defend the actions of the administration blindly. I respect those whose opinion is the opposite of mine and value all who are willing to make a case for their point of view.

What I will keep doing is listening as carefully as I can to all points of view, and speaking honestly about my own. Since I am not a candidate nor an officeholder, I am fulfilling my responsibilities as a citizen of Pleasanton.

I hope that you will too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I appreciate your work, Sandy, and thanks for the information you provided.


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Posted by Shopping Spree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Fiscal Stewardship with the line "Students will be central to all fiscal decisions" from Web Link could not be further than the truth. It is simply lip service, words absent of action or intention.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Morale is low, and expenditures like these push people over the top with good reason. D.O. administrators should be aware and avoid these kinds of mistakes. If you cannot be trusted with the small decisions, particularly when people are losing their incomes, there is no basis for believing the big ones will be done right either.

If you want to buy good will with staff without using money, saying: "This expenditure for __________ should not be made at this time", would go a long way to showing no one is above making sacrifices. Right now, that is not the case.


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