News


Bowser prepared for difficult school board race during difficult times

Decision to run for board was a family choice

Pleasanton school board candidate Jeff Bowser is hoping to bring his educational and business experience to the district.

Bowser, who lost the race in 2008, said deciding to run again was a difficult decision.

"It's my choice to run for the board but it really needs to be a family decision," Bowser said. "We decided as a family (that) my education and business experience is what Pleasanton schools need so for that, we're willing to make difficult decisions at a difficult time and the controversy that creates."

Bowser has a Master's degree in educational leadership, and has 13 years working at all levels in schools, beginning as a teacher and working his way through the ranks.

"That, combined with 13 years of business experience brings the best of both worlds to benefit Pleasanton schools," he said. "I think the key thing is our schools are in dire straits and they need somebody with actual educational leadership experience.

"It sounds a little corny, but it's also to give back to a community where I've been a resident for 39 years."

Bowser said he's aware of the problems the district is facing.

"The job of the board as well as the administration is to attract the best of the best," he said, but "come spring, we're going to be back in the same budget situation we were in."

Part of Bowser's motivation comes from his recent completion of Leadership Pleasanton.

"Even though I've lived in this town for 39 years, there was so much I didn't know," he said, adding that the program gave him a better understanding of the city and how it's dealing with the state budget crisis.

Part of the reason deciding to run again was difficult, Bowser said, is that his wife, Patty, who's a third grade teacher at Hearst Elementary, will be restricted from promotion and won't be able to change positions should he be elected.

He said he'd recuse himself from any votes that would appear to be a conflict of interest.

"For the most part," Bowser said, "It's not an adversarial position. It's about coming together."

Bowser will be helped in his campaign by his son, Jeffrey, a senior at Foothill -- the same school he graduated from.

The kickoff for Bowser's campaign is set for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Hopyard Alehouse and Grill.

Bowser is one of three candidates seeking election to one of two open seats on the school board in the Nov. 2 election. The others are Joan Laursen and Sandy Piderit .

Two current board members, Jim Ott and Pat Kernan, are stepping down, choosing to not seek re-election to their posts.

The other members of the school board, whose terms expire in 2012, are Chris Grant, currently the president, and Valerie Arkin and Jamie Hintzke.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Write In
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Well....................

I always vote, and 'usually' feel good about voting for least one candidate. ;-)

But, in the case of mayor, I think I will be using the "write-in" vote for the 1st time in my life, of almost 6 decades.

I will write my own name in.....not because I want to be mayor, but because I do want to vote - and at least in my mind, do my small part to show my complete and sincere frustration with those running for mayor.





Like this comment
Posted by Write In
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

My apologies...this was meant as a comment about the mayor's race article.


Like this comment
Posted by Sue Flashberger
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Sep 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Jeff Bowser will be a great asset to our school board. I along with 30 other community members recently completed Leadership Pleasanton with Mr. Bowser. To say the least Jeff always stood out as a leader throughout our 9 month course. Not only is he is passionate about our schools and community. I saw first hand how involved he was with our budget crisis during last year. Furthermore, he knows the issues our schools will be facing with our ongoing budget crisis and I believe he can help to make a positive difference in all our schools.

I know many times we don't know the individual's who run for local offices and look to others on who to vote for. Therefore, I hope you will join me in casting your school board vote for Jeff Bowser.


Like this comment
Posted by Cie Probst
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

I agree with Sue. What I like most about Jeff is the fact that he combines actual hands-on experience in education with a strong business sense. That gives him a fabulous perspective for the position. I've met him once and walked away very impressed with his views of the problems our schools face, and his plans for how to best work within the constrains of an antiquated system. He was elocuent and passionate and I support his campaign.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:57 am

It's good that Jeff acknowledges the conflict of interest he would have if elected. This is an important consideration as he will be ineffective each time he does not vote. Let's examine closer his promise to "...recuse himself from any votes that would appear to be a conflict of interest."
What votes/topics would appear to be a conflict of interest given that his spouse teaches at Hearst Elementary?
- Budget discussions affecting teacher compensation? Including furlough days?
- Parcel tax discussions if funds raised are used to change working conditions for elementary teachers (e.g. class size ratios)?
How many votes will Jeff have to recuse himself such that he becomes a less than effective trustee? And thus should not be elected to the school board?


Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

Not true DCOT as usual, current school board members have had family members employed by PUSD and that was not a factor in their election. Just trying to stir it up again I see. Are you running for school board?


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

To 'Judy' - I am voting on Nov 2 and want to vote for the candidates that will do the best they can for our children. I hope that you will, too.


Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

Should some corners of town remain dark, perhaps? I just have this image of lifting a large stone and seeing what wriggles beneath...


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

That's humorously rich irony coming from a 'nurse shark'.
Web Link
Thank-you!


Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

DCOT, will you be my chum?


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Clearly, not.


Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 11, 2010 at 1:38 pm

somehow I knew you'd wriggle your way out of that one...


Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

To Nurse Shark - "...wriggle your way out of that one." Wriggle one's way out of what? your personal attack? Personal attacks are sometimes used when there is no ability to discuss or debate the issue. It is also purposely used by Alinksy followers as a tactic to disrupt and/or deflect.
Back to the discussion of Mr. Bowser's acknowledged conflict of interest, Patti Bowser is listed as the union (APT) rep to the PTA Council, which likely means she is a union dues-paying member. Will Mr. Bowser have to recuse himself from all/most discussion involving the union?


Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Did Kernon or Hintzke abstain from all discussions? Are you really informed about Bowsers overwhelming qualifications for this position, or just your usual find any straw to grasp and make into a faux issue.


Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Bowser really?
The fox gaurding the hen house.
Not a chance!


Like this comment
Posted by Nomad
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 14, 2010 at 7:09 am

What good are Jeff's credentials if he can't use them while he's recused himself?


Like this comment
Posted by Nomad
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 14, 2010 at 7:18 am

Judy - Are you saying Jeff likes to bring up 'faux issues'? After all, it is Jeff that is quoted in the lead article. Seems you are the one grasping at straws.
I, for one, did not like Jeff's leading the charge on gathering signatures for the CA constitutional initiative to chip away at taxpayer protections by lowering the voter approval to 55% for special education parcel taxes. Fortunately, (and even though CA PTA was also an endorser/promoter) not enough signatures were gathered.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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