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Non-resident school board member making decision that affect Pleasanton tax payers?

Original post made by Mike, Birdland, on Apr 6, 2008

The Parcel Tax is real news. How many people really care about split infinitives?

I don’t understand the value in repeated missives about grammar. There is limited interest to the readership. One article would have seemed reasonable; there has been a minimal spattering of interest on the PW bloggs. In contrast the parcel tax has been the top topic most weeks 3,907 hits. Yet there has been very little printed in recognition of the 209 posts made on this topic.

A real news story might be the school board member that sold his home in Pleasanton three years ago. Moved his residence and his business 200 miles away, and yet still remains on the school board making decision that affect Pleasanton tax payers.

Please do not correct my grammar.

A parcel tax is a thinly veiled excuse to have access to a pot of discretionary funds.
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Comments (53)

Posted by Mike
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

I caught it... effect...It's about the parcel tax.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2008 at 9:42 am

This is an article worth reading.

Web Link

PUSD, shrill, self-serving exaggerations about the consequences of reining in spending.
California schools can survive budget cuts

Article Created: 04/06/2008 02:32:23 AM PDT

To reach reasonable solutions, thoughtful, fact-based analysis and flexibility will be required. Instead the debate over the budget, particularly concerning education, has been dominated by shrill, self-serving exaggerations about the consequences of reining in spending.

What is needed is a more sober look at the situation, which is not as dire as many in the education establishment or legislative leadership have portrayed.
Claims by the California Teachers Association that school spending is going to be cut by nearly $5 billion are not true. The actual decline in spending from this year to next is $1.1 billion, or 1.9 percent in overall public education spending. That is hardly an ideal situation, but neither is it a crisis.

Yet, CTA ads all over the media paint a fearful picture of the firing of thousands of teachers, much larger classes and the loss of curriculum. Many in the Legislature are calling for major tax increases to accelerate school spending, without any talk of making some basic reforms that would allow school districts to use funds more efficiently.

Posted by Emily Atwood
Pleasanton Weekly staff reporter
on Apr 7, 2008 at 9:54 am

Emily Atwood is a registered user.

Upon calling Pat Kernan, he said he lives and runs a home office out of the apartment listed on the school district's website. He said it's the same as his voter registration, driver's license, etc. The home phone number listed on the district website has been disconnected, and he said he is unable to list his home number as it violates his home business license.

Posted by MIKE
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 7, 2008 at 10:44 am

Children from other communities are not allowed to claim they share a residence here. They are kicked out by the district.

Pat Kernan is not a Pleasanton resident!! Do a search for him and you will find a residence AND his law firm address in Camino, CA. I don’t think this is right even though he lived in town for many years and supposedly shares an apartment on occasion here in town. His kids are long grown and out of school. Why is the district allowing him to stay on the board? He should resign so that his seat can be replaced in this next election. We do not need another appointment so now is the time for him to step aside!

Posted by Dave, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2008 at 10:32 am

Posted by John
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm

We as a community are fortunate that Pat is a member of our school board. He cares enough to maintain a Pleasanton residence. Thank you Pat.

Posted by Kate
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Local representation is the reason that the law requires School Board Members to be residents. Running a home office out of a family members residence, when his primary residence is 200 miles away, is not the same as being a resident.

The district requires verification of residency from students; a driver license and voter registration would not be accepted. They say they will investigate any student that is believed to be committing fraud. Why have they all looked the other way with this for years?

There was a line of residents eager to be on the board during the last appointment. If there are two open seats in the next election they will be filled. Pat does not need to worry about us Pleasanton will be fine.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Apr 7, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I don't understand all the attacks on Pat who has been a dedicated board member. We have an appointed member that wasn't elected, yet is making decisions that don't reflect the views of the dear person he replaced. I miss Juanita and her passion for kids.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 7:53 am

I'm with Kate on this one. Pat Kernan IS NOT a Pleasanton resident. He may spend a night once in a while at that apartment listed on the PUSD website but that does not mean his home is here. Search him and you come up with a residence in Camino, a law office in Camino and info that he serves on the board for a community foundation there.
Web Link
Someone also linked a post on this website to Marcia Kernan, resident of another community. So Pat's wife no longer considers herself a resident of Pleasanton!
Life is so busy and demanding for most people with one home I can't imagine trying to be involved with two communities. It's not fair to the people he is supposed to represent and thus is shortchanging us. His past years of service do not entitle him to stay on the board if he doesn't live here full time. And can you really be that aware of school issues when your kids have all graduated long ago? Every other board member has kids currently in school and you can see them all out at school and community functions. This is nothing against Pat or the job he has done in the past. It's just time for him to step down so that someone else who is better tied to this community can make the decisions that effect our children.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 8, 2008 at 8:03 am

That is apparently the problem; that anyone would perceive it as an attack. Making it known that there is an elected official that is a non-resident and he should vacate the seat is not an attack on his character or a judgment of the job he is doing. It is a statement of fact. If after it has been stated he refuses to vacate his seat, then that will reflect on his character.

Posted by Ann
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Apr 8, 2008 at 12:46 pm

How is this possible??????

Posted by Pat Kernan needs to resign or be recalled
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Would Pat Kernan have to pay the new tax if a parcel tax indeed goes through?

It is highly disturbing to think Pat Kernan would want to stay on the PUSD board, since his children, property values, are not affected by how PUSD does. Why does he want to be involved in the decisions here in Pleasanton if he no longer lives here? I was not allowed to register my child until I was able to provide PROOF of residence (driver's license and voter registration card WERE NOT accepted as proof).

Any what about the other board members? Surely they know about this. Why do they allow it? Is this why Casey gets his way around here? (the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" mentality?)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 1:52 pm

I just contacted the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. They said that the district provides them with the information during an election year, and they only conduct the election.

Does anyone know of a site where we could find the rules about being a board of trustee in Pleasanton? (residency requirements, etc). Also, when is the filing deadline for the PUSD board?

I am not familiar with the rules, but if Pat Kernan is in violation of residency requirements, then he needs to go (just like the district would have the right to ask a student who is not a true resident of Pleasanton, to leave the district)

Posted by Linda
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

The district and the board memebers understand the arrangment.

There is a board meeting tonight at 7:00.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 5:39 pm

This does not sound right. When we moved to Pleasanton, we registered as voters with Alameda county, and now we get to vote on issues that affect Pleasanton (the parcel tax, for instance) as well as county issues (Measure A for instance) and all that.

We do not get to vote on issues that affect the city we moved from, or that county.

And we certaintly would not be allowed to serve on our former city's school board. Would Pleasanton welcome a Fremont resident as their mayor? I hope not!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm

This would be a good story for the Pleasanton Weekly to do. After all, not everyone in Pleasanton is aware of this, and now that it looks like a parcel tax measure will go on the ballot, residents have the right to know who is making these decisions (ie, resident vs non-resident of Pleasanton)

Posted by Dave
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Just watched the PUSD workshop regarding the proposed parcel tax. Interesting to note that Kernan is not there! Maybe he couldn't get away from his office early enough to make the 2 hour commute.

Posted by Trish
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Why would anyone want to be on a board that they have no interest in?

Why would the other Board Members allow this?

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 8, 2008 at 11:33 pm

If you're interested you can Google "Residency Requirements For School Board Members In California" and read a couple of Attorney General's opinions regarding "residency". Don't know if they would apply in this case but it's interesting reading.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2008 at 6:23 am

Most school districts I know of require board members to be residents. Why would Pleasanton run things differently? Allowing someone who does not live in Pleasanton full-time to serve on the board is not a good idea, and it makes me question the other board members' judgment.

As for Pat, he needs to move on, he made the decision to move out of Pleasanton and now he must embrace his new community and stop living in the past. Thank you for your services Pat, but it's time to let go and move on.

I hope Pleasanton residents start questioning this board and vote accordingly the next time there is an election. I read an article a while back about a woman who ran for the board, she is active in the community and was key to all this green initiatives, yet she lost to the incumbent. Pleasanton residents: when a board member serves too long, fresh ideas get lost, and it is our job as voters and residents to make sure a competent board is elected, so that they in turn, oversee people like Casey.

Can the Pleasanton Weekly please run an article on Pat Kernan and residency requirements (or lack of) for board members in Pleasanton?

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:13 am

Glad to see someone trying to do the research instead of just assuming PUSD has residency requirements. I think the info might be buried in a district bylaws document somewhere on the PUSD website. Anyway, I think this issue is a distraction at the moment to the one about district funding. There was a nice article in the Times yesterday regarding how school districts could survive this economic downturn if only the State were to change some categorization rules on the funds it gives to districts. Web Link I continue to be in favor of lobbying our State legislature instead of hyperfocusing on district administrators and trustees since this problem of the budget stems from the State.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 9, 2008 at 8:59 am


You are not the only person that does their research.
You might notice I posted the web link to that same article on this thread and another as well... two days ago.
I think it is very significant.

I also think a non-resident school board member making decisions about whether we pay a tax is even more important.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 9, 2008 at 9:12 am

Ah ha. So you did. I saw that when you posted it but forgot about it then saw it again yesterday on the news website. What I meant by "doing research" is regarding residency rules. I don't recall reading anyone's post here stating that PUSD has residency rules. I disagree with you though on the importance of this issue.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I agree with Linda. A non-resident of Pleasanton should not decide if we get a parcel tax or not. Those of us who own homes here will have to pay if a parcel tax is approved, and that information needs to be disclosed if we want to sell our house. Pat Kernan would not have to pay, so he cannot possibly vote on whether to approve a tax or not. It would be like letting the governor of IL decide issues in CA - maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but think about it: the guy does NOT live in Pleasanton, his property taxes do NOT benefit Pleasanton, his spouse and/or grown up children who reside with him CANNOT vote to elect a Pleasanton trustee. He is either playing a funny game and voting in two places (El Dorado County and Alameda County) or is voting only in Alameda County - which I am sure is not OK if you were to look at the rules for voting. Only the residents are allowed to vote on local issues (Pat is not a resident of Pleasanton or Alameda County) - just like only US citizens can vote on US matters. Why he is allowed to keep a voter registration card with an address that is not his primary residence is something the voter registrar should look into.

The problem is not only the state funding. Yes, there is a problem there, but even without fixing "the big problem" there are things PUSD can do at the local level to show fiscal responsibility, and so far, Casey and his staff have refused to do even the smallest thing that makes sense. Reform the state, but also the local district - there is so much wasteful spending, unnecessary positions, highly paid yet incompetent employees....... how can anyone think this is OK?

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Just a comment regarding what Resident wrote. A parcel tax could only be approved by a super-majority (2/3) of Pleasanton voters, not by PUSD board members. Since parcel taxes are a form of taxation without true representation, a super-majority vote is required.

Posted by Trish
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 9, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Last night the school board discussed the cost of putting a parcel tax on the ballet. They did not have a hard cost yet but I think they said over 100,000. They would also spend money on literature (neutral of coarse), and they have already spent a lot of money on the consultant that determined Pleasanton would support it. They said since they would not be able to run a campaign in support of the PT a citizens committee would need to raise 80K to run a campaign.
Wouldn’t that money buy a lot of library books?

Posted by LAW
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm

For Stacey:

California Education Code Section 35107

(a) Any person, regardless of sex, who is 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the state,

a resident of the school district,

a registered voter, and who is not disqualified by the Constitution or laws of the state from holding a civil office, is eligible to be elected or appointed a member of a governing board of a school district without further qualifications.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Stacey: the decision to put a parcel tax to a vote, and spend the money on the ballots, etc will be made exclusively by the board of trustees, which includes Pat Kernan, a non-resident of Pleasanton.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2008 at 11:13 am

Stacey, you may also want to read the elction code, section 2020-2035. It seems like some violation of code may be happening here, but then again, I am not an attorney.

The board of trustee who is not a resident of Pleasanton, if I am reading the election code properly, should not be a registered voter in Alameda County. He should register with El Dorado County. See election code below (b)

"2021. (a) A person who leaves his or her home to go into another
state or precinct in this state for temporary purposes merely, with
the intention of returning, does not lose his or her domicile.
(b) A person does not gain a domicile in any precinct into which
he or she comes for temporary purposes merely, without the intention
of making that precinct his or her home."

Web Link

Emily Atwood posted above that the board member's voter registration card has the same address listed on the district website (an apartment in Pleasanton). Yet in my interpretation of the the election code, he should be registerd where he has a primary residence, and temporary lodging in Pleasanton does not make him a resident of Pleasanton or gives him the right to register as a voter here in Alameda County.

Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I wonder if Pat *rents* the Pleasanton apartment. That would really twist the knife.

Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Anybody concerned about a school trustee who doesn't have a college education making decisions about what's academically best for our kids?

Posted by another parent
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 10, 2008 at 10:11 pm

You are referring of course to Steve Brozosky. Not all kids in Pleasanton will go to college. Yes, we usually want to think that is best for them but we should have options for those not on that pathway.
Does it bother me that Steve did not? NO. He is a successful man and business person in spite of it. His background is more like some big names in the computer industry where timing had an awful lot to do with their success and a college degree could not train them for what they were doing. He also has an inquisitive mind that most likely helped him do the things he learned to do.
That is a quality I like to see in a trustee because he asks questions--lots of questions. I don't want someone up there who is willing to rubber stamp everything that staff recommends. Doesn't mean I always agree with him but at least he is asking the questions.

Posted by Pam
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 10, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Steve has been an excellent contribution to the board in his short time there, I wish he would stay on.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 11, 2008 at 7:51 am

I, too, wish Steve would run in November for his seat on the School Board. He seems to be the only Trustee willing to ask questions of the staff and not to just accept staff recommendations. I don't always agree with him but I do feel that he brings a good perspective to the Board on behalf of our children. Even though he did say at the time of his appointment he wouldn't run for his seat, I don't see any strong candidates emerging to run for school board, and therefore I would support him standing for election.

Posted by parent/taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Why didn't the weekly do an article on this topic? There is clear concern from the community, evidence of wrongdoing and a cover up from the district.

Posted by resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Why won't the weekly do an article on this? I believe that the relationship between Pat Kernan and the weekly editor is too close. Friendships can get in the way of reporting.

Posted by Simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Curious writes, "Anybody concerned about trustee who doesn't have a college education making decisions about what's academically best for our kids?"
Perhaps, Bill Gates(Gatekeeper to technology) & Steve Jobs(last name, says it all), if only they finished college. I didn't vote for Steve, but his asking questions is a tribute to his success. I recognize, at every school board meeting, questions that are not asked. His possible leadership role as mayor, with experience regarding, on how the school dynamics operates,could play a role to further Pleasanton's future, regarding partnerships with flexibility. I may not vote for Steve if he runs for mayor, but concerns relating to education, I'm proud, he asks questions. He promotes thought, something the most educated frequently don't.

Posted by Resident/taxpayer
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Apr 12, 2008 at 10:06 am

It appears that for some reason Mr. Kernan wishes to remain on the Pleasanton School Board enough to create an illusion of living in the community. Perhaps for his history here, perhaps to maintain business ties, perhaps because his children work for the district. Regardless of his reason it is common knowledge that his primary residence is now in Camino Ca.

The court case cited in Jerry’s post makes it clear that primary residence is the determining factor. Web Link
He had in fact moved out of the community before his last reelection and the Superintendent and fellow board members were aware of that fact.
This fraud on the community has gone on for three years.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

How may different "names" does Steve use on this forum? My estimate is seven.

Posted by John
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 12, 2008 at 10:50 am

I have often thought the same thing.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 12, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Don't give anyone else credit or responsibility for my comments.
You do a disservice to this community to suggest there are not many free thinking people contributing to this discussion.

Posted by another parent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 13, 2008 at 12:56 am

I am "another parent" from posting above. I can assure you I am not a pseudo name for Steve Brozosky. Steve has many supporters as was evidenced by the number of votes he received in the last election.
But this thread is NOT about Steve, as he is a resident of Pleasanton so let's get back on topic.
Pat Kernan may maintain a residence here, but all indicators are that his PRIMARY residence is not in Pleasanton. It seems to me that he is ignoring the Community of Character traits by being dishonest with the people of Pleasanton. Why does he still want to serve as a trustee? Only Pat knows. But since he has not resigned causes me to question his integrity (another Character trait.)

Posted by Simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

We, as a Community, had an opportunity to voice our concerns, without appointing new trustees, without an elected process. We did not do that! The process to gather information,relating to new trustees and incumbents, was limited. The Community is at fault, not Pat Kernan. Another Parents, own integrity, should be questioned. You ask, "Why does he still want to serve as a trustee?" The success of PUSD is important, Pat is part of that success. What is your story?

Posted by Not so simple
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 13, 2008 at 11:31 am

You made no sense.
What was your point?

Posted by another parent
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 14, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I, too, had trouble understanding what you were trying to communicate. I did get the part where you are trying to question my integrity and I have no idea on what grounds you are making that remark.
I am not trying to discredit Pat Kernan's involvement with this school district-in the past. BUT, he has made a choice to call a new community 'home.' There is nothing wrong with that; many empty nesters do the same. Based on that simple fact, Pat NO LONGER QUALIFIES to serve as a PUSD trustee. It is as 'Simple' as that.
By the way, the home phone number listed for Pat on the district website was a cell number listed in his wife's name. There are regular phone numbers listed for his Camino addresses, but only cell numbers for Pleasanton. To me, that indicates where he spends most of his time.

Posted by Simple
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 7:37 pm

To another parent. Give the process a chance to work. You are the one throwing out character traits, at will. You don't even have a name. I don't even have a name. Not so simple doesn't even have a name. What does it matter what we express? If I were to say that our present school board can not articulate or provide accurate information, would that be correct? Are they caring people? Yes, I believe they are. The difficult situation to maintain such an active parent,teacher,district communication is for real people, with real names, to ask real questions. Why might Pat still want to serve as trustee? I would enjoy your answer. It might provoke thought for others. We need our coaches! That is a fact! We require stability within the framework of our organized sports. It takes homegrown children to sustain a Community, from generation to generation. What am I saying, who knows. I am glad, of the research, you provide.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2008 at 9:19 am

Another parent: many people I know keep the area code where they used to live on their cell phones, but that does not make them residents of where they used to live... they live in Pleasanton but work in say, San Francisco (where they used to live) - it is easier for them not to change a cell phone number everyone knows since the cell phone plans allow you to call any area code at no additional charge.

Pat's status with the voter registrar should be looked into as there may be election code violations.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Apr 15, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Perhaps the Pleasanton Weekly will look into some of these questions for us.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm

In response to the last two posts, please see Emily Atwood's response near top of this thread. It sounds like she called Pat and accepted his answers with no follow up. Not sure what it will take to get authorities to investigate and clearly the PW is not an investigative paper.
Emily said the home number on the web site had been disconnected. Another parent says it was a cell number listed to Pat's wife. If both facts are true, then it sounds like keeping an old number for convenience was not done. It sounds like no valid home number is listed or available. Don't think I buy the line that it violates the home business license. Doesn't make sense that the city would require that. Anyone know?
I watched the budget workshop last night and it was announced that Pat wasn't there because he is recovering from hip surgery.Sounds rough. I wish him a speedy recovery. Does anyone know where he is recovering??? That is most likely HOME for Pat.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Still no PW article?

I would think the community questioning whether an elected official is committing fraud would be a news story. The community questioning whether the district is covering up this fraud would add to the publics need to know.

Why won't the Pleasanton Weekly cover this story?

Posted by Lip Service
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 21, 2008 at 12:52 am

It's just another sign that all we do is pay lip service to the whole Character Ed thing. Adults like to talk about it and preach how important it is we teach it to our kids, but do we live it? Only when it is convenient! Many times it is situations like this where persons in authority just turn and look the other way. Honesty? Integrity? Responsibility? Yeah, right....
It's disgraceful that the district and media are ignoring this.

Posted by Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Lip Service is correct...Pleasanton is not a community of character. But there is a plethora of hypocracy...starting with the elected officials...through the parents..and finally down to their children. But to the extent that a Big Lie is told frequently enough, even the perpetrators of the lie...will eventually believe their own falsehoods!!!

Posted by Surprised
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I am actually surprised Jeb Bing, in his quest for slanted news reporting, has not closed this thread.

-corrected grammar

Posted by Outraged
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:11 pm

How does this continue???

Pleasanton school board member, Pat Kernan, will participate in a board meeting by phone from his home in Camino Ca.

Thursday, May 1, 2008
11:00 a.m.
District Office, Board Room
4665 Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Pat Kernan, (available by phone from 4515 Superior Drive, Camino, CA 95709),

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