School board member's residency called into question | May 16, 2008 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 16, 2008

School board member's residency called into question

District's legal counsel says Pat Kernan's apartment satisfies the law

by Emily Atwood

A few residents claiming school board trustee Pat Kernan is in violation of residency requirements led the Pleasanton Unified School District to seek legal counsel, the Weekly has learned.

This story contains 591 words.

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

I am disappointed in PUSD’s response to concerns from the community about a non-resident trustee. The District and School Board should be adhering to the spirit of the law rather than relying on an opinion that allows for a technicality.

PUSD’s character trait for the month of May is Integrity: “Having the courage to do the right thing.” Integrity is the steadfast adherence to a strict ethical code. Ethics goes beyond obeying laws. It also involves abiding by moral standards. PUSD says, “All adults in the District are our children’s role models”…really?

In the opinion written by PUSD’s attorney they concede that Kenan’s ‘spouse’s primary residence is the El Dorado County property’.

(Elec. Code 2031) If a person has more than one dwelling a rebuttable presumption exists THE DWELLING ON WHICH HE OR SHE CLAIMS THE HOMEOWNER’S PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION IS THAT PERSON’S DOMICILE. This presumption does not apply, however, if the address listed for DMV purposes is a different residence.

KERNAN CONCEDES THAT A PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION IS CLAIMED ON THE CAMINO ADDRESS. The attorney states that “while Mr. Kernan indicates that he claims a property tax exemption on his El Dorado property, his DMV listing in Pleasanton rebuts any presumption of residency in El Dorado.

Consider this:

Kernan claims he is a resident of Pleasanton because, among other points, he has maintained his DMV records and voter registration here. He then says the fact that he was dismissed from jury duty, using the excuse that he lives in Alameda County, further supports his claim of residency. The question becomes how was he called to jury duty in El Dorado County if he has kept those records in the Pleasanton address?

Web Link

Superior Court of California
County of El Dorado
How Jurors Are Summoned
Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of registered voters and persons who have valid California drivers' licenses.

Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Will the PW please post the letter from the school districts attorney?

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Good job, Julie, of gathering facts and shining light on this issue.

In reading the article and your posts I came away with a picture of a man who appears to be using every technicality available to him to hang on as a Pleasanton trustee while he establishes his new home and career in Camino, which he appears to have substantially already done.

Of course, tactically the time to challenge the legality of his residency is AFTER he votes on important, controversial issues. A finding in a court of law may well upset any vote. If the residents of Pleasanton as well as the Board and staff want that kind of board member, then they will deserve the future problems that his continuance as a board member will likely create.

Like this comment
Posted by Julie
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm


Thanks for your comments. Sometimes it seems like no one gets it, I am glad someone does.

The Editor started a duplicate blog, hope to see you over there.