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Pleasanton school board OKs new deputy superintendent position at nearly $200,000 on 3-2 vote

Original post made on Dec 13, 2012

On a split vote, the Pleasanton school board Tuesday decided to give a promotion to the district's assistant superintendent of business services to keep her from being hired away by another district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 13, 2012, 7:34 AM

Comments

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Posted by Chapped Katie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

More troubling that the salary is the fact that these school administrators retire at an early age with full salary and benefits for life. They should not be able to get retirement until they reach Social Security retirement age, and it should not be for full salary.

Also, school administrators, much like firefighter and police administrators, accept similar positions at another local after they retire, at equal or greater compensation; and hence are then getting two outrageous compensation packages at the same time.

Voters should seriously consider giving Bowser, Grant and Laursen the heave-ho when they come up for re-election. And, if the PUSD puts a bond measure on the ballot anytime soon, voters should give it a resounding defeat.


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Posted by Hello
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

In the article it also states they also voted to remove the 5 furlough days for management. So, these are the top two things they could figure out to use prop 30 money for, the FIRST things they did. Not counselors, not librarians, not teachers, reading specialists, or class sizes. A management promotion and removing the furlough days for management. So disgusted.


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Posted by chemist
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

This is how Prop 30 will be used to help education. More administrators with higher salaries. Sure glad I voted against the parcel tax - if that had passed we could hire ten more superintendents.


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Posted by Chapped Katie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

And, a lot of the Prop 30 money isn't even getting to education. Even though Moonbeam Brown swore that Prop 30 money would be used exclusively for schools, the language in the propostion did not say that. And sure enough, the day after the election Moonbeam was saying Prop 30 money would help relieve state budget pressures, and help fund the tunnel to divert NorCal water more easily to SoCal, and help fund the bullet train to nowhere. Moonbeam Brown, the loons in the State Legislature, and self-serving school administrators are ensuring little of Prop 30 money will ever reach the classroom. We've been scammed - again. The only way you can control government is to starve it.


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Posted by Surprise
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

"The Chickens ... are coming home ...to Roost!" ... elections have consequences... you have not seen anything yet, I'm going to sit back during the next four years and watch this electorate get what it deserves, maybe they will learn, but I doubt it


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Posted by Kim
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

Face it, regardless of whether it is Prop 30 money or parcel tax money, it will go to line the pockets of the greedy administrators. This just vindicates all of the opponents of the past two parcel tax measures who said all along this would happen.

What is entirely offensive about this is the District's untruthful and deceitful mantra of 'it's for the kids.' What dishonesty.


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

The administration and the 3 board members who supported this have essentially put the nail in the coffin for defeating a future parcel tax and a bond measure. They have displayed their true stripes in showing the administrative staff is what counts, not the classroom.


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Posted by Surprise
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

This is what teaching our children to be "Good World Citizens" is all about... Enjoy!


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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 13, 2012 at 11:53 am

If this is what the Deputy makes, how much does the Superintent get?
I may have made poor career choice..


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Posted by Anne
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Next time you hear a school administrator or politician say "but it's for the kids" please take the time to remind yourself and others that they are talking about their kids -- not yours.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I applaud Luz's gumption and prowess. I think the criticisms here reveal a deep jealousy on the part of those who chose career paths that left them less well situated than Luz. They remind me of the tattoo boy who smoked hash. Because they made bad life choices, but now they're picking on someone who has fared better than they have. Way to go, Luz! You go Girl! Your better than them all!


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Posted by Surprise
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

When public employees gouge the taxpayers it's "gumption and prowess"... when a private corporation or employee make "big bucks" it's "corruption, unfair, greedy" ... the next four years are going to be fun to watch.


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Posted by Amelia
a resident of Verona
on Dec 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Promoting Dana to principal at Village is a fabulous move. My dealings with the current principal were far from positive and I honestly don't know why he was hired by Cupertino. But more power to him and now more power to the students at Village who will have an administrator that knows how to be more than just a parole/probation officer.


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Posted by Melanie V
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I am very pleased they have avoided losing Cazares with this smart move. Seems like the overal cost of keeping her was minimal and with Cindy Galbo's retirement, we need strong administrators like this if we are to have any chance of continuing to rank pretty high statewide. I know I constantly wish that PUSD was run more like a business and this is a move that a private sector for profit business would be likely to do if they were in danger of losing a key executive. Bottom line, if there was a need to replace her, our district would have to pay massive recruiter/head hunter fees and then there would be training expenses and of course the non monetary costs associated with a vacancy at this level in addition to the time and effort it would take to get the new person up to speed. That time would mean reduced productivity for the new person in this position. In all reality, I imagine the district saved so much money with this move. Good for the district for taking the necessary steps to save a valued member of the district's management team.


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Posted by Surprise
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

In the private sector when company revenues decline, middle management is cut and they become more productive/efficient. In public sector management get raises/promotions (or they retire at 50 with full pension AND get job with another govt agency) while efficiency/service declines. The next four years are going to be very fun to watch.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

This increase of salary to a current admin person is deplorable. But it just goes to show how management takes care of their own. Now, if they had a union, this increase would never been allowed to happen without posting for the position. Unions do not allow arbitrary increases to individuals.....only management allows this. Again I say how dare the superintendent declare one individual is working harder than others who have suffered staff reductions during the budget cuts. Seems to me the rest of her team should walk or expect salary increases as well.


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Posted by JB
a resident of Old Towne
on Dec 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Don't ask me for money for schools or to vote yes for anything else.
you will be out of luck. What a bunch of greete people .What's next, a big raise for the superintendent of PUSD?


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Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm

In all the excitement about giving someone a new title and a new position with a minor raise in salary did i miss something? Does this bribe to keep someone from moving to another school district open up a vacant position with a $180,000 contract?


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thanks, Valerie and Jamie, for doing the right thing. Too bad you're a minority on the Board.

Board members Valerie Arkin and Jamie Hintzke opposed the move to make Luz Cazares deputy superintendent of business and the district's second in command.

"I cannot support this. I think it sets a bad precedent," Arkin said. "We've cut so many programs in the last year."

She noted that members of the California School Employees Association, which includes office staff and custodians, have not had raises for the last five years.

Yep, no kidding. And what's this crap?

"Luz is an amazing individual who's brought so much to the district," said APT President Peggy Carpenter. "If you want quality, you have to pay for it sometimes."

What about the talented teachers in PUSD, Peggy? The ones you are supposed to represent? What if a Teacher of the Year expresses an interest to leave for San Ramon so that he or she can get a higher salary? Will you ask the Board to give that teacher a higher salary to that "amazing individual" who has "brought so much to the district"? After all, "If you want quality, you have to pay for it sometimes."

Nope, not allowed. So Peggy Carpenter is continuing the ignoble tradition established by Trevor Knaggs of getting in bed (figuratively) with the administration and making excuses for giving fat raises to administrators while the classroom teachers have to spend $1500 a year of their own money on necessary supplies.

Nice work, Peggy. That special teacher demoralization program that Trevor and Dr. Casey started continues with the dynamic duo of Ahmadi and Carpenter.

I'll repeat: Luz Cazares has never been a classroom teacher. Luz Cazares has never held a teaching credential nor does she have any degree in education. Luz Cazares has never taught one single day in her life. And yet Luz is second-in-command of a school district? What does Luz know about what teachers really do and what their needs and the needs of students are?

Shame on the three Board members who voted for this travesty and especially on Peggy Carpenter for praising and supporting it. "Disgraceful" doesn't begin to cover it.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

But isn't that the rub, Daniel? Giving individual teachers specific performance raises is not permitted. Teachers are in another domain and, according to the gossip goofs who live for these threads, they're paid too much anyway. A school board doesn't attempt to sweeten an individual teacher's pot by giving him/her a raise, but rather attempts to uplift the quality for all.

There have been no compelling reasons why Cazares shouldn't have gotten the small raise; but there have been some regarding the 'cost' of perhaps losing her without the raise. It seems to me a case might be made that the 2 of the 3-2, which offered rather paltry rationales, were too afraid of 'community' disapproval and so proved willing to throw Cazares under the bus. Your specific arguments, I suspect, may have validity but are probably valid for many other administrators across the state. In this regard, your criticisms smack somewhat of sour grapes, perhaps implying even a personal vendetta.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm

"Under the new contract, the district will also pay for Cazares to enroll in the Curriculum and Instructional Leaders Academy, the Personnel Administrators Academy and Superintendents Academy."

First thing that PUSD cut when the budget started shrinking was money for teachers to attend conferences and gain additional training. But hey, a district has to have priorities.

This bunch of administrators (and their collaborator, the APT President, who is supposed to be representing teachers, not administrators) has made theirs abundantly clear.

I was once a very strong advocate for a parcel tax for PUSD. Now I would campaign against one if it were proposed. But Ahmadi, the Gang of Three, Cazares, and Carpenter all know that moves like this undermine fragile public trust in their stewardship of the district's finances and torpedo any chance of Pleasanton schools *ever* having a parcel tax.

The parcel tax opponents were right all along: this Board and this administration will waste the money entrusted to them.

Of course, that doesn't affect the top-level administrators: they'll continue to get fat raises and perks until the cows come home. Meanwhile, the classified staff continue to see their paychecks eroded by inflation, teachers struggle to supply their classrooms, and the education of students suffer.

All of this reminds me of Orwell's "Animal Farm": "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Or, as we used to say back in Kansas: "The hogs are feeding at the trough."


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

If someone wants to have a "conversation" with me here, use your real name or don't bother addressing remarks to me. I have no time and no respect for people who don't believe enough in their own statements to attach their own names to it, and instead behind pseudonyms.

I spoke out against shenanigans like this when I was a PUSD teacher and caught hell for it. Not only from the administrators but from my own union, too. And the PUSD teachers who do care, are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation.

I no longer work for the district, so I can say what's on my mind without fearing any such retaliation.

Accusing people of "jealousy" because Cazares is fattening her bank account and advancing her career while the classified staff, the teachers, and the students are struggling to cope with budget cuts is just ridiculous. We are supposed to put students first. How does giving Cazares a fat raise help PUSD? Is Cazares going to do her job better now that she's been given a raise? If so, does that mean she was giving less than 100% until she got the money she wanted?

If Cazares wants to move on down the road, I'll help her pack. There are many talented administrators out there who would be happy to work for PUSD, administrators who have solid classroom experience and know first-hand what teachers and students experience.


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Posted by Academia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Too outrageous for words ! unless maybe clueless and disgusting!


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Let's see, little boy Daniel say he refuses to engage in dialogue with people who don't use their own names, but then he selects tidbits from those same people he says he won't engage, takes them out of context, and then uses them as straw men so that he can continue to rail against a system he drew a salary from for at least some of his career. Whose the coward? You don't like Cazares, little Daniel. It's as plain as the nose on your face. Quit your self righteous chest thumping and simply admit that you're jealous. How pathetic you are!


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Luz has made it very apparent that she does not want to be in charge of finance. She wants to be superintendent. I would rather have somebody in her finance position who is interested in his/her job and just thinking of that as a stepping stone. From the meetings I have been at, it is apparent that Luz does not really understand the finances of our own district. Every time there are questions on finance history, she hires a consultant as she does not even know how to figure it out. She has repeatedly lied about the cash-out financing, saying it was legal when done but the Attorney General made it illegal. Any smart person knows that the Attorney General interprets and upholds the law. They do not make law. The district's actions were always illegal. Next she refinanced the certificate of participation loans with interest-only payments for several years, increasing the cost to the district of $5 million in interest, and she did not even disclose this increased cost to the board when they took the vote. The report that was done to the county to justify the refinances was full of lies in the housing that was coming forward to pay the loan off. They claimed they got hat info from the city but I know the city never would have given out information like that.

The finance person before Luz had good working reports on facility cash-flows, upcoming development, and income and expense to plan for the future. These reports were done each quarter. Those reports have not be done since Luz took over. Talk to any former school board member and they will say that the facility cash-flow report was one of the most valuable tools in the district for finance planning.

Luz will never be hired in our community as a superintendent. She has no experience in curriculum, teaching, or individual schools. You cannot get that by taking a class. You have to live it. Our district will be paying for her education to be superintendent. If she gets a job like that, it will not be in Pleasanton. We would demand more experience.

I don't know if Parvin is a friend of Luz and want to help out a friend, or what. We would be so much better off finding somebody new who likes finance, has experience in this area, could work with the community in dissemination of information, and take input from the community without being defensive. I hope Luz sees by this forum that she does not have a future here and takes the job in San Ramon.


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Posted by enough
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:08 am

"On a split vote, the Pleasanton school board Tuesday decided to give a promotion to the district's assistant superintendent of business services to keep her from being hired away by another district."

Can we just quit giving overpaid/overcompensated employees more and more money because somone claims they are being recruited. The school district isn't really such a dynamic organization that we need to chase what other overspending districts are pursuing (assuming they are). The entire premise that this individual is worth what was already being paid is questionable at best. And remember, the dollar compensation (salary) is only a fraction of total compensation when pensions, paid leave, holiday pay, bonuses, and lifetime medical are included.

Just say NO! Let them go!


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Posted by Bob J
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 14, 2012 at 5:52 am

If we keep allowing people whose salaries, pension, and medical benefits which are paid out of taxpayer monies at these excessive rates - then quite simply there will not be enough tax money left over for teachers, education, police or firemen.

It is so simple, each family needs to live within their means, and so do the government and public agencies.


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Posted by J
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:17 am

What are your means, Bob? And please tell us how you go about living within them.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

"The parcel tax opponents were right all along: this Board and this administration will waste the money entrusted to them."

Yes, I agree.

And I don't want to hear more whinings from the teachers or classified staff about furlough days, etc. When the Teachers associatinon and classified staff back a decision like this, there is no way to support them further. And I hope someone runs for the board next time around, to replace Laursen and Bowser, and this time there is no risk of bumping Hintzke and Arkin (I know one person who chose not to run for fear that either Arkin or Hintzke would not be re-elected, and we need both of them on the board. Now we need a third person, so let's replace Bowser or Laursen next election).

I knew this would happen if prop 30 passed. And now with Brown's health problems (prostate cancer).... will he even be around to finish the reforms he promised?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

"I was once a very strong advocate for a parcel tax for PUSD. Now I would campaign against one if it were proposed. "

I am glad to see that now you understand this point of view. A lot of us, parents who in the past were very supportive of donations, taxes, etc, feel very betrayed by those we once trusted.

At some point, I hope that most taxpayers will realize this, and start voting no on things like prop 30, because trust me, it is just a matter of time before we hear of more tuition hikes, and find out the money was raised just to keep the unfunded liabilities going and keep financing the pensions, hire more administrators and useless personnel and increasing their salaries/benefits. This is outrageous!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 14, 2012 at 9:13 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Resident, To be fair, we don't know what teachers or classified staff members think about this change in the administrative position, only what the two union leaders said.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

"Resident, To be fair, we don't know what teachers or classified staff members think about this change in the administrative position, only what the two union leaders said. "

That is true, but unfortunately, their leader speaks for them, and the leader gets elected by whom? Not us for sure. So they are by default, in agreement with their leadership.

It's kind of in politics, right? We are stuck with Brown because we elected him - I did not vote for him but as a state, we elected him.

The teachers not only elect or vote on their leaders, but if I recall, rallied behind Bowser. How do I know? Two teachers (one of whom had been my child's teacher) came to my house when doing door to door campaigning and lobbied strongly for Bowser.

So yes, at least a majority of teachers is indirectly behind this because they elected their leader who in turn supported this decision to raise the salary of an administrator, at a time when we have seen students' programs cut.

And is anyone surprised anymore lately? Didn't they not long ago hire that Fremont person for PIO giving her a different name, after making in look like the PIO position was going away? And then sent their "highly qualified" hire to training ?


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

"Resident, To be fair, we don't know what teachers or classified staff members think about this change in the administrative position, only what the two union leaders said. "

If the teachers do not agree with what the union leadership is saying then they need to replace the union leadership and/or come to the meetings themselves and talk. I think the later is better. By allowing your leader to say something that you completely disagree with and know it is going to affect you, you have the obligation to come to a meeting and speak up. If you do not speak up, that is just like the voters who don't come to meetings or write their boards and then complain about the outcome later. You have to participate if you want change.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I would defer to Daniel's or any other teacher's actual experience as a teacher; however, my experience has been that most teachers just want to teach. They focus on the classroom and students and the union is not part of their daily concerns. The best union leaders I've known couldn't wait to get back to the classroom. They, and this is true for the classified side as well, know someone has to step up and were not interested in their power, real or imagined.

So a union leader, without a vote of its members, makes a statement at a board meeting. Maybe they hear about it the next day; maybe they agree; maybe they don't. Spilled milk by then.

I don't disagree they can change those leaders, but then I think the best prefer the classroom.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

"If you do not speak up, that is just like the voters who don't come to meetings or write their boards and then complain about the outcome later. You have to participate if you want change."

Agreed. That's why I attended Board meetings and also union meetings when I was a PUSD teacher, and made my views known at both.

Unfortunately, many teachers in the union feel so alienated and beaten down that they have given up on the process. There are some who agree with Peggy Carpenter. There are others who don't care, never did, and never will, because they have spouses who earn $200,000+ a year and their teacher's salary is their "extra" money.

There have been teachers who have spoken out and trust me, we caught hell for it. I both experienced and witnessed retaliation from the union "leadership" and from the administration for teachers who didn't toe the line. This lesson was not lost on other would-be dissidents: they saw the grief we went through and decided that they would rather just keep their heads down and their mouths closed.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but when teachers in meetings with administrators, we realize that the administrators have already decided what they're going to do and the meeting is just for show. The first APT vote on furlough days was rigged by the leadership because they only gave us two choices (vote yes or vote no, but the third option would have been yes, if the voters approve a parcel tax...). I was told by leadership that my dissent on this issue was ill-informed because I didn't have "all the facts". When I asked when we teachers would get "all the facts", I was told "when we have the meeting". So these "other facts" (which leadership never shared) were to be shared after over half the teachers had already voted...that's why I say the vote was rigged. And still, we dissenters managed to get a plurality of the teachers to vote "no" on furlough days as Trevor Knaggs proposed the issue, thus denying him the near-unanimous declaration of support he sought. Oh, and I did mention that the chairperson of the bargaining team at that time later negotiated a nice vice-principal position for herself, so those cuts she negotiated to teachers' salaries didn't affect her? She forgot to mention that her "promotion" was in the works while she was bargaining with the same people who would decide whether or not she became an administrator, with the pay and perks that come with it. Can you say "conflict of interest"?

APT leadership's idea of "negotiating" these days is to sit down with the admins and say "How much do you want us to give you and when do you need it?" The APT has come a long way since Sonya Howes was APT President. Sonya's passion for supporting teachers in their mission to educate Pleasanton's children and her plain-speaking dealings with administrators and teachers alike was one of the reasons I accepted the job as Foothill High's librarian in 2003. As I recall, Sonya is a fellow Kansan, and we pride ourselves on telling it like it is. Or, as Harry Truman once said: "I don't give (my opponents) hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."

The raise that the Board just gave Luz is just another tool Luz will use to negotiate a higher salary when she does jump ship. Luz has only been with the district for four years and is already making noises about leaving unless the Board gives her this sweetheart deal? That's some loyalty for you.

It's no wonder Ms. Ahmadi wants Luz to stay on board: Luz shares the same information policy as Ms. Ahmadi: "It's on a need to know basis, and the public and the employees don't need to know." Casey had Clem Donaldson; Ahmadi has Luz Cazares.

I take a different approach to leadership than Ahmadi or Luz (or Casey and Donaldson before them). One of my mentors was Shirley Bowen, a district school librarian who had retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel from the US Marines after 30 years. When I asked Shirley why the students and the staff all had brand-new computers and Shirley's own office computer was old and slow, Shirley responded: "Daniel, you take care of the troops first." It was that kind of attitude that commanded respect and made all of us willing to work our butts off for Shirley, because we knew she was looking after "the troops" first.

In these troubled financial times, a real leader would say: "Thanks for the offer of the raise, but I can't possibly accept when classified staff haven't had a raise in five years." And then that leader would either request a pay freeze until classified staff got a raise, or offer to give back 10% of salary.

Leadership is not privilege, it is sacrifice. A leader has to be in front and take the hardest hits and endure the most pressure. But Ahamdi and Luz (and their three allies on the Board) see leadership as a way to grab more for themselves, no matter how demoralized "the troops" might be. They think that it's the administrators who make Pleasanton USD what it is, when in fact it's everybody working together: the teachers, the classified staff, the parents, the students, and yes, the administrators.

As for me, when I learned that administrators might spend as much as 20-25 hours a week in meetings--and I hate meetings--I decided my career path would never take me into administration. I'm happy and proud to be "one of the troops". It's just a shame that Pleasanton is contented with these self-serving "generals".


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Daniel, very well said. Sorry for addressing you without using my real name.

You said, "This should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but when teachers in meetings with administrators, we realize that the administrators have already decided what they're going to do and the meeting is just for show."

I think the following is also true: This should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but for the Board Meetings, the Administration and their three yes votes have already decided what they're going to do and the meeting is just for show. That is why there are so few members of the public that come to board meetings any more. Most people do not want to waste their time coming to a board meeting when they know the decision has already been made. It would be interesting to be able to go back through all the minutes of this administration to see if there has ever been anything proposed by the administration that the board did not pass. It is all public information but would probably take some time to go through. It would be great is somebody who had time could pull this together. It would be great campaign material against Larson and Bowser at the next election. I have found with the three yes-vote always people that if I do write them with a concern on an item on their agenda, they will not even thank me and agree to disagree on the item, or indicate I have some valid points. Rather they just argue with me and say I am wrong. It is very apparent that three of the board members represent the administration and not the public, and their job is to defend the administration.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I see your point, Daniel, but the teachers are still represented by their union leader. Yes, unions protect their members and bargain collectively, often keeping incompetent people on jobs they do not deserve, so when the union of that pack takes a stand on an issue, it represents EVERY member of that group, in this case the teachers.

And btw, almost every teacher in Pleasanton worked hard to elect Bowser to the board, so teachers really do agree for the most part with their "leaders."

How do you think prop 30 passed? The teachers rally behind it, my kid would come home being an advocate for it, talking about how tuition costs in college would go up should it fail. I educated my kids on the issue and they went with me to vote NO on it, but there is so much one can do when every teacher is lobbying everyone they know.

The teachers have what they want, and when and if reform takes place, and we run out of money for their pensions, there will be little sympathy from the rest of us.


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Posted by member
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Luz kinda looks like Beyonce


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I've been strategically placed in PUSD for many years. I can tell you a thing or two. First, most of the teachers are really great people, but they've gone astray, corrupted by the unions and high salaries, and they're so into themselves and their own wealth that they don't care about the kids anymore. Don't get me wrong, I like many of them and they're among my best friends, but they are corrupt to the core. Most are apathetic because all they do is slap themselves on the back for being part of the upper political class.

Administrators, too. And I've been one of them. And you wouldn't want to meet a better group of people, on the whole, but they are very close minded, greedy, lack courage, and most of them lack the competence to do the job they are hired for. This applies especially to Luz Cazares, who is my dearest friend. But I have to tell you, she isn't a very good administrator, and I know because I'm strategically placed and she's my dearest friend.

All this wouldn't be so bad if the union wasn't so corrupt. They are great people, don't misunderstand me, and most of them want back into the classroom, but they can't stand the administration, for good reason, and they don't like kids which is why they opted out of the classroom in the first place. If they weren't in a union, they'd probably be happier, but most probably wouldn't have a job because they are as a group extremely incompetent.

The school board is much better. I mean they are among my dearest friends, each and every one of them. But I know they are very unhappy. I don't want to put words in their mouth or speak on their behalf, but they are extremely incompetent and they'd be better off coin collecting or snorkling or something. But, though they're my dearest friends, they have this tendency to want power and it corrupts them to the core. I'm having dinner with one of them tonight, and how does one tell one's dearest friend that her life is a wash and compensating by being a school board member that rubber stamps union desires just isn't doing the trick? I hope this is clear enough for you all to understand.


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Posted by Hey Daniel
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm

You are an idiot. You don't make the rules here. If you don't like it, go away. Better yet, just go away - no one reads posts that long.


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Posted by Teddy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Looks like the union trolls are out on parole and back on the Internet. Fresh off their vacation in Michigan, where they beat down old people and reporters covering the right to work events.
Make no mistake, these union members and their leadership are more like the dirtbag gangs we see infiltrating this state from south of the border than the organized labor groups they started out as. It's time for some drive by justice.


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Posted by Hey no one
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 15, 2012 at 3:30 am

Try again. It is highly unlikely anyone who posted here has more formal education or the level if achievement than I. AND YOU DIDN'T FOLLOW THE RULES EITHER!! Post your real name, troll!


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Very interesting that the editors of the Pleasanton Weekly removed two comments that were in support of my remarks.

But then again, what did I expect?


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Posted by Kottinger
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

You will never get a yes vote on ANY parcel tax after this. Disgraceful. If the employee was going to leave for another position, then fine. Find another employee to promote. The board wants the easy expensive way out. That's not leadership.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

How are we supposed to know what you expected, Daniel? We're not your mother.

BTW, how do we know for certain your name is Daniel Bradford? How do we know there isn't a Daniel Bradford out there whose identity you have stolen? Just consider these questions to be humbly submitted by someone who couldn't possibly have as much education or substantive accomplishment as yourself.

With worship and adoration,
Jackie


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Today's Latin lesson:

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy,more precisely an irrelevance. Equating someone's character with the soundness of their argument is a logical fallacy."

Source: Web Link



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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Today's lesson in basic reasoning:

Should one accuse another of posting with a false name, the accuser should be prepared to produce evidence that he himself is posting with a genuine name, viz., one that belongs to him.

If the accuser is not so prepared, or fails to present such evidence when asked (see above), then he is being disingenuous, if not hypocritical. When response opportunity is used to deflect questioners' questions (e.g., with an irrelevant latin lession), we can say with some confidence that the accuser is intentionally being either disingenuous or hypocritical.

IMHO, Mr. Bradford is a great deal less than he claims. I trust nothing about him or what he says. In short, he is a bombastic hypocrit.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

And who, exactly, are you Jackie? It doesn't matter if you can or offer to prove your identity out here; the naysayers will continue to insist otherwise. Proof makes no difference.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Who's askin'? Call me whatever you wish. In the recent past, sometimes with scatological fervor (when you've shown that classy side of yourself we all know so well), you've referred to me in any number of ways. Please do whatever you feel most comfortable with. My name, real or fictional, has virtually nothing to do with the texts I write and send. In deference to Roland Barthes, "The author is dead." For, you see, I may die in a few seconds after I send this and it will have no bearing on how it is interpreted; or I may change my mind about the meaning of this text seconds after I send it.

Only a neurotic narcissist would get their panties all bunched up in a knot because some reader(s) suggest her name is not Kathleen but Staceleen. But we already know this. You go, girl! Knock yourself out! Bunch away!


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm

And sometimes I don't spell hypocrite or lesson properly. But who I am has no bearing on any of this. Nor do I care if Kathleen and Stacey are the same person or perhaps two distinct people in which case if I were Kathleen I'd consider getting a restraining order against the infatuated one. At any rate, here is my text. I inscribe a name in the Name Box only because the rules of the game insist that I do. In the immoral words of Nurse Shark, who may or may not be the imcomparable Casanova Frankenstein, "Chomp away!"


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I don't care who you are. This was about why you care who Daniel is or isn't given your own identity crisis.

"Nor do I care if Kathleen and Stacey are the same person or perhaps two distinct people . . . " many a post would suggest otherwise.

As to what you inscribe, you could start with 1 and then post infinite names of numbers.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Jackie suffers from an extreme addiction to deindividuation and disinhibition. Everyone knows that Gyges' actions would have been different had the ring not granted invisibility. Of _COURSE_ a sense of identity has everything to do with what is written.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Nope, simply pointing out the hypocrisy of Daniel's pompous claims and his refusal to engage with those who have values other than his own.

Not my posts. Someone else's perhaps. But when you call someone a troll, or a gollum, or a scatological remains disturber, should it surprise you that others might reciprocate with names of their own?

You choose your names, Kathleen, Stacey, whatever, I'll choose mine.

STACEY, like KATHLEEN, of course is all about IDENTITY - her own ... or the way her tax money goes to public servants. That's why virtually every topic eventually runs up against what Staceleen said or didn't say, what she meant or didn't mean, and why those who challenge her on virtually any count can expect to have a censorship campaign directed against them.

When your ego continually gets in the way, you've got a problem.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I've used one name here for years. You started the name calling and the claims about identities and using it in an attempt to silence or goad others--go back and look.

If I needed to clarify, correct, or apologize, I've done so.

Never liked the term public servant. My experience is users think the emphasis is on servant.

I will not let a lie stand without comment. But I am open to a civil discussion of fact or opinion on a topic, even though we are unlikely to agree or change each other's mind.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 18, 2012 at 2:29 am

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Source: Web Link

Unfortunately, this tactic works all too well, as you can see for yourself. Notice no one is now discussing the issue at hand, which is why the Board approved a raise for an administrator while the PUSD classified staff haven't had a raise in five years...or why that same administrator is now second-in-command of the school district and yet does not have teaching experience, has never been the principal of a school, does not have a teaching certificate, and in fact has no idea what teachers actually do in the classroom to help their students.

That's the topic under discussion and anything else is just trolling and ad hominem fallacies. I don't bother with either.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

You're so right, Daniel. The focus of this site should be solely that of demeaning, fouling, tarnishing, and belittling Ms. Cazares, as you yourself have been so persistant and single-minded in doing. Thank you so much for that.

And we should never deviate from the topic, particularly when it has been so defined by yourself. No tangents, no posting of related issues, because how can we sufficiently besmirch someone's credentials and reputation when people are going off on tangents?

Of course the real culprit here is Staceleen who, once again, and I might add ad nauseum, has hijacked a topic board and held it hostage with her redundant identity claims.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Of course the real culprit here is Staceleen who, once again, and I might add ad nauseum, has hijacked a topic board and held it hostage with her redundant identity claims."

Well, scroll up--the first identity claims was: "BTW, how do we know for certain your name is Daniel Bradford? How do we know there isn't a Daniel Bradford out there whose identity you have stolen?" Posted by Jackie.

On topic, I hope to hear soon about why there is a discrepancy in the contracts of about $2500.


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Posted by Sheri
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

I have worked for the Pleasanton School district for over 20 years. We all work hard and care very much about the students. I am just blown away with the raise Luz got only because I thought we were tightening our belt. This was a slap in the face for sure to all of us that haven't had a raise in 5 years, while gas and food has gone up. I thought we were all doing our part to stretch the dollar. I agree that if we all don't get a raise then no one should.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Are you reading all of the posts, Staceleen, or are you only selecting those that serve your identity-preserving agenda? 'Mr. Bradford' commented negatively about those who use pseudonyms well before my comments, though it is possible there is more than one 'Mr. Bradford' posting on this site.Either way, my query was in response to the following:

'If someone wants to have a "conversation" with me here, use your real name or don't bother addressing remarks to me. I have no time and no respect for people who don't believe enough in their own statements to attach their own names to it, and instead behind pseudonyms.'

With respect to this issue, raised initially by Bradford and then rigorously enjoined by Staceleen, perhaps they do not have families who might suffer real recriminations were they to use their 'real' names. Perhaps they do not have professional relations and responsibilities that could be seriously disrupted by one or more of the mischief makers on these sites.

Now, Staceleen, I realize you are usually taking the same side as the kkkers on these threads, but surely you must realize there is a good deal of mental instability reflected consistently across a wide range of posts. For a 'lefty' to clearly identify himself/herself here would be the height of stupidity.




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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Jackie, I believe I have asked only that posters to pick one name, real or anonymous, so that everyone can follow all the string of posts on all topics. Registering that chosen name would prevents others from posting as you. But, absolutely, it is your choice, and I do understand why some may not want to use a given name. Beyond that, it would be nice to discuss the topic as though you were sitting across the table. I assume, of course, that it would be a kinder exchange of thoughts and facts.

I have received my response from the superintendent and one board member has responded separately regarding the contract in question. From staff: there is no salary schedule for this position. From the board member: this is the trend for future contracts. My concern, there is no salary cap with this approach. If this is the trend going forward, we have to watch all upcoming contract renewals (perpetual multi-year) as car allowances are likely to be rolled into salary increasing overall costs of those employees. They may, although unknown now, add the $4,000 contributions to a 403(b). I have not yet received a response on the $2500 discrepancy between the 2011-2012 contract and the 2012-2013 contract.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The answer regarding the $2500 discrepancy is that the 2011-2012 contract was altered to reflect the furlough days. I have never seen a contract reopened to alter agreed compensation (for example, were union contracts reopened and changed for this purpose or was the S&C altered?); usually furlough day give backs are either a) simply understood or b) a side letter is signed, thus keeping the original contract or salary schedule intact. It is a plausible explanation, but I am asking for the contracts prior to the change for furlough days as a follow up.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm

It is interesting to read Kathleen getting some comeuppance for all the "work" she does here. I find it so humorous to see her say "If I needed to clarify, correct, or apologize, I've done so." when anytime she is challenged, it is met with denial, repetition, and a very clear agenda to discredit the work that all of PUSD does.

How ironic to now hear her complain about being targeted. I've said it many times, Kathleen will here what she wants to hear in her posts, everyone else is wrong. I no longer listen to any of it- she has no credibility beyond an angry, bitter person with an axe to grind.


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Posted by enough already
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I can't help but wonder why we're paying some very generous compensation packages to public employees,to manage taxpayer funds, and now we're forced to view them as the Fox garding the Hen House. I'm not sure when it happened but somewhere over the past 10-15 years the public servants have become the public masters; dictating what the taxpayers should pay. And we are indeed paying more & more for the same service at a cost that has significantly increased well above the rate of inflation even though technology gains should be providing for increased efficiancy.

Apparently the taxpayers in California no longer have a say in how their government is paid or managed. The public employees are now in almost complete control over the purse strings and the ability to increases taxes and fees.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Really? I'm not sure what you are arguing. If challenged, I continue the conversation, and if wrong, I adjust accordingly; I learn. I don't discredit "the work that all of PUSD does." My concerns have centered around decisions, primarily budgetary, by the governance team (board and cabinet). I think staff--teachers and classified--work hard for students.

My concerns on this topic are, again, about decisions by the governance team that ultimately will cost taxpayers.


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Posted by Kim
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I find Kathleen R.'s posts very credible.

Thank goodness that in Pleasanton she has helped to uncover issues that PUSD spindoctors have continually attempted to hide that would have otherwise been swept under the rug.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

You are very blind to what you post Kathleen- on another thread, once again you raise distrust for the safety of our schools by questioning if they were so safe, why would there be a police officer at each of them this week. You have no idea why they are even there this week because you are far removed from our schools. Yet, passive- aggressively pass doubt about how they are run. Why you claim to be a credible voice is beyond me. How can people not see through the bs you post?

Interesting how you are the first to post negative comments daily on these blogs, yet I dont see a post from you on the positive teacher post. And you still dont understand what I meant by my post. You still just give your denial, repetition, and greatest effort to discredit our successful district over your bitter axe to grind. I could practically write you follow up post, it is always the same. Do us a favor, look beyond your own perspective for once, do you hear yourself?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I have a grandchild in our schools. I volunteer. I'm hardly far removed. My concerns are at the district level. I understand why the police were there, but they can't be there every school day. If you read the post, I said it is impossible to plan and prevent every possible harm to children or ourselves. I also said I believe schools do a lot to keep students safe.

I refrained from posting anything positive about teachers precisely because I figured someone would accuse me of, well, who knows. My children had wonderful teachers at Walnut Grove, Harvest Park, and Amador. My granddaughter has had some excellent teachers as well. I'll post it.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Thank you, Kim ... I mean, Stacey ... I mean, Kim ... I mean, Stacey. Would you mind terribly if I called you Stacekimaleen? You've got the love bug really bad, kid!