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Cook-Kallio and ACAP

Original post made by Billie, Mohr Park, on Oct 3, 2016

With ballots coming out and campaign mail filling our mailboxes and TV ad-space, I'm posting an updated version of my earlier documentation to show how "lax oversight" and mismanagement by the ACAP governing board led to criminal charges and convictions.

I'm a Democrat, but count my vote, once again, for Assemblywoman Catherine Baker who has, in her first term representing Assembly District 16, shown herself to be a leader you can count on.

Former Pleasanton Councilmember/Vice-Mayor Cook-Kallio is running against Assemblywoman Baker and on her record on our Council as a "tireless community activist." There are a variety of reasons I will not consider voting for Cheryl Cook-Kallio, but the one I think most aptly illustrates why is her representation of Pleasanton on the governing board of the now defunct Associated Community Action Program of Alameda County (ACAP).

The purpose of ACAP, formed in 1974, was to administer programs and services for low-income individuals and families through a variety of public and private funding sources. These programs included housing assistance, job training, education, and youth development services. By 2011, ACAP’s budget had grown to more than $3 million annually.

In early 2011, it was disclosed that ACAP was experiencing significant financial problems due to mismanagement and a decision was made to "wind-down" operations. ACAP was shuttered in Mar 2011.

The ACAP governing board, on which Councilmember/Vice-Mayor Cook-Kallio had sat since 2007, was supposed to provide oversight of operations and funds. According to the 2011-2012 Alameda County Grand Jury Final Report, ACAP was dissolved "as a result of serious financial concerns and significant non-compliance with laws and regulations." The Grand Jury found that ACAP was a "case study in lax oversight", finding it "a tragic but excellent example of what can happen when a board does not adequately oversee the organization for which it is responsible." (Web Link pp. 83-86, 114-115)

ACAP's annual required financial audits for 2009 and 2010 noted deficiencies, but the Board took no action. The Grand Jury report states, "During this period, the governing board missed several red flags regarding ACAP's inability to manage its operations in a professional manner, although it seemed to spend a lot of time clarifying the respective roles of the governing board." In fact, in 2014, ACAP executive director Nanette Dillard was convicted by jury of the theft of federal money in excess of $200,000, falsification of an account by a public officer and producing false and backdated documents as evidence. Councilmember/Vice-Mayor Cook-Kallio was one of three board members Ms Dillard described as "notorious for not reading their board packets." (Web Link

The Grand Jury report further states: "The ACAP governing board met only four times a year and often did not have a quorum", i.e. 7 of 13 members. Even after the mismanagement scandal broke and board action was required, the "East Bay Citizen" reported Councilmember/Vice-Mayor Cook-Kallio did not attend the four critical special sessions held in Feb 2011. (Web Link

In May 2011, the estimated cost to wind-down ACAP, including covering back wages and legal costs, was $1,880,000. Pleasanton's allocated portion of that cost was $146,539. In the end, the impact of ACAP's mismanagement was both monetary and criminal, as well as leading to the loss of a decades-old anti-poverty program that had been formed to give low-income individuals and families a leg-up. (Web Link

Former Councilmember/Vice-Mayor Cook-Kallio's campaign slogan may say she's "Dedicated to Public Service", however, her in-name-only representation at ACAP and her lack of oversight of Pleasanton's funds is not an example of the kind of representation and accountability I'm looking for in one of my state representatives.

The choice is clear! Assemblywoman Catherine Baker has, in her first term, shown herself to be a leader you can count on. A leader who has carried through on her promise to work across party lines to get the job done, and has the results to prove it. A vote to re-elect Assemblywoman Catherine Baker in Assembly District 16 is a vote for responsible, involved and accountable leadership!

Comments (6)

Posted by res1
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

res1 is a registered user.

Catherine Baker has done a great job in not being your typical partisan politician.

I am discussed by the junk mail I am receiving on the Cook campaign with lies, lies, and more lies. DO NOT VOTE FOR COOK.

Please vote for Catherine Baker who has done a fantastic job representing the whole area; no matter what your political affiliation is. She is one of the few elected officials that looks at each issue and does not blindly follow what the party line is.

Posted by Alexis B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Alexis B is a registered user.

Really? I receive DAILY smear campaign stuff from Baker about Cook-Kallio. It's so ridiculous!

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

It is not "DAILY smear campaign stuff".
It is all true stuff.
Great reminder, of how ridiculous Cook-Kallio is!

Posted by res1
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

res1 is a registered user.

It is a shame that we have a great representative now that has to raise all this money to defend herself against the false attacks from Cook-Kallio. This is why it is hard to get good people running for office.

Posted by Jimmy The Jet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Jimmy The Jet is a registered user.

Assemblywoman Catherine Baker has supported charter schools. There is very little oversight for our state's charter schools. We see the problems and the waste next door with the Livermore Charter School. That is a public school using public money. What would Assemblywoman Catherine Baker say about charter schools now? Is she still for them?
She supported a state bond that would give $500 Million to charter schools.

Web Link

Posted by res1
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 5, 2016 at 4:33 pm

res1 is a registered user.

Hurrah for Baker who wants what is best for our students. There is oversight for state's charter schools and I think it is great that the community that has concerns over the public school system has options to fix things. In the case of Livermore, things are being done. The problem there is the State does not have clear direction on exactly what to monitor in a charter school. There are over 1,200 charter schools in California, and growing.

Obviously the CTA (largest PAC probably in the United States) does not want charter schools since they cannot control them.

Baker has been a great support of the school system in California. She authored legislation to reform the rigid seniority system so that school districts can consider the needs of children and the school, and not just rigid seniority rules, when faced with layoffs. She supports legislation that creates a more comprehensive and useful evaluation system for teachers - to support and reward effective teachers, to provide more training and mentoring for those that are struggling, or to get rid of the ineffective ones. She also supports giving more meaningful opportunities for parental input in decisions affecting our children. Baker's opponent would never support these items, or make an independent decision, since she is so closely tied to the teachers union.

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