Tuesday, February 5, 2013

For Tonight's Meeting: Why the Theft of Sierra Madre's Board of Education Vote Matters

So was your vote
The Mod: What it all comes down to is the math. In March there will be a Board of Education election for some of the Pasadena Unified School District. Because of Measure A we will have been prevented from voting in this election. Under this new Measure A world order each of the seven PUSD subdistricts will get to elect their very own representative to the Board of Education. However, only four of them will get to do so in 2013, with the other three pushed off until 2015. Sierra Madre is in one of the subdistricts pushed to 2015.

Out of the original $350 million, there is approximately $240 million in Measure TT bond money left. This money is to be divided up and allocated within the next couple of years. The Board of Education, which is now to be run by a new majority made up of the four subdistricts allowed to elect representatives in 2013, will control this money. The Board of Education, as the body of elected officials, controls everything in the PUSD. Even though we pay taxes we will not be a part of that.

Some of this remaining Measure TT money was supposed to be spent on rebuilding Sierra Madre's partially demo'd Middle School. But since we will not have a representative on the Board of Education at this very crucial time, we will only have limited influence on how that money is to be allocated and spent.

Three out of the four subdistricts allowed to vote in 2013 are considered to comprise some economically disadvantaged areas. The fourth has wealthy areas, and not so wealthy areas. It has long been the opinion of some in the other areas of the PUSD that Sierra Madre is somehow the privileged partner. That we don't need to have our educational requirements met because we somehow already have all that we will ever really need.

What they do not know, or even care to find out, is that there are two Sierra Madres. An upper middle class, much of which arrived fairly recently, and a working class Sierra Madre, which is comprised of families that have been here for far longer. It is their children that make up the lion's share of Sierra Madre kids who attend PUSD schools here, and they are the ones who are about to be punished for somebody else's bizarre experiment in social engineering.

Like I said, do the math. Four PUSD subdistricts are about to have de facto control of $240 million dollars in Measure TT bond money dropped in their laps. The Board of Education, which they will run, won't include an elected representative from us, and our voices will not be heard. Under those circumstances can we really expect to receive our fair share? And if not, what happens then to the Middle School?

Tonight at City Hall the Pasadena Unified School District's lame duck Board of Education will tell us that everything is alright. The Middle School will be built they will claim, and even though we'll have no say because we won't get to elect a Board representative, everything will be fine and dandy.

But how can they really know? Some of them won't even be on the Board of Ed in a month. After the March election the new majority of Board members, the very first subdistrict representatives ever, will be calling the shots. Representatives that answer to their subdistricts and not the school district as a whole.

The Board of Education we'll be hearing from tonight is a lame duck legislative body, and has no right telling us to "don't worry and be happy." They have no real idea what the future will hold, their influence will soon be gone and therefore the reassurances we will hear from them tonight are meaningless.

One more thing. We will, of course, continue to be taxed to support the PUSD. Yet for those two critical years we will not have a representative to speak for us. Taxation without representation. Ever heard of it? That is what the people coming to our City Hall tonight gave to us. This meeting matters.

Wise FriendI was reading an article that talked about the legalities required now for representation in public voting, and all of the voting districts are being segregated instead of at-large now. Ostensibly because at-large elections favored old white guys.

If Measure A does not pass, the Board will continue to be elected at large for numbered seats. Continuing to have an at large form of election has been asserted to violate the California Voting Rights Act (California Elections Code §§ 14025-14032) for not providing proper representation of the diverse interests of the voters, and could result in potential liability for damages, fees and costs if it were challenged in court. 

http://www.smartvoter.org/2012/06/05/ca/la/meas/A/

It has figured prominently in other school district elections:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Voting_Rights_Act

It looks like this principle was manipulated in its implementation of the sub-district representation, and may have been of benefit to both certain parts of PUSD and the City of Pasadena. Sierra Madre was unfairly screwed in the assignment of representational voting, and the people responsible for speaking up simply let it go by, leaving an entire city without a voice at a critical time in PUSD fiscal planning. To leave an entire city out is just asking for a huge backlash and a probable secession. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

BOE has a snarky problem, having to do with the money from the State drying up for educational programs, which is totally separate from funding for physical school infrastructure (via Bond & grant money), and a dwindling attendance in a large district area.

Families seem to be leaving the attendance area, which reduces the program's cash flow. They're closing schools as a result. But they can't close Sierra Madre's schools because that would be a political disaster. Sierra Madre would have no incentive to stay in the district.

The Pasadena Educational Foundation contributes about $3M per year. Here's the Tom Selinske PR on that, which is why he runs the shop (click here).

The State formula has changed, don't know where the resulting cuts will hit the PUSD. But the folks who went to bat for the money in Sacramento and are community networkers seemed to be well represented.

I suspect that because Sierra Madre did not speak very loudly in the PUSD vote or from its City-designated representatives, and isn't seen as a big contributor via PEF, it got the short shrift. The Middle School fiasco is definitely somebody's serious screwup, attributable to the Measure TT bond cash flow problems. But there's never any accountability in this system, and Sierra Madre is not taking definitive actions to leave the PUSD, so they don't worry about it. I'm reading talk about finishing the project, which has now DSA approval, for $32M and a smaller scope of work.

So it seems that the incomplete school is the only real commitment that PUSD has over here. PHS is apparently the High School for the Sierra Madre kids. So there's no real stake in it for PUSD, other than a few more bodies for state revenue.

I don't know if a switch to Arcadia USD would solve this kind of a problem, after the Sierra Madre Middle School construction is finished. It leaves Sierra Madre in the same boat, unless an agreement is forged up front that perhaps Sierra Madre School goes charter and establishes a Sierra Madre School Foundation and gets some grants in its area of specialty. That way the Arcadia kids (largely Chinese now) have another alternative lower school with some kind of special emphasis.

Or work the same deal with PUSD and see what happens. There needs to be a core of self-organized educational leadership in Sierra Madre, not defaulted to City Council. THAT's the problem.

Tony Brandenburg: How to Speak at a Board or Council Meeting

Speaking at a public meeting with a local governing board can be very intimidating and confusing. There are a few suggestions I would make to help anyone who wishes to take the time to read them.

1.Know your comfort zone. If you are uncomfortable speaking in public, but want to make your voice heard, there are different ways to do this.

a. Written Statement. One is to simply go up, state your name, notify the board that you are entering a written public comment, and hand a written statement to the central authority figure. It never hurts to have one for each member and one for the recording clerk.

b. Group Presentation. This one is helpful if you and a group of people are there for the same reason. Have the comfortable speaker do the talking and stand behind them as a unified group. It is very powerful.

2. Be direct. It never hurts to have a written statement. Besides keeping you focused, you can enter the written statement into public record (see above.)

3. Know how much time you have to speak and plan accordingly. In general you will have three minutes to speak on an item. It can go by quickly. If there are many public comments the time may be reduced to two minutes.

a. Time your presentation. Time yourself and adjust your presentation as needed. Two to three minutes can fly by quickly. Have a plan for being cut off.

b. Relay - The easiest time remedy is simply to have another person in your party to speak on the topic and pick it up at some time after you do. Be sure to have the speaker’s card filled out for this eventuality. Be aware that you may not “delegate” which means the second speaker (whomever picks it up) is really making a separate comment  at whatever time they are called forth.

c. Ask for more time. Unless there is a good reason not to, the central authority figure will simply give you a minute or two on request.

d. Ask to be agendized. If you know you will need a great deal of time, ask in advance to be agendized. You can do that at a meeting for a future meeting, or submit a request. Being agendized gives you up to ten minutes to speak on your own agendized item. Keep in mind the central authority figure can deny the request.

4. Determine when is the best time to speak. There are always topics on agenda that the public may speak on, and every meeting has a time indicated for agendized and non-agendized items. Speak to the item that concerns you. In doing so it opens up the possibility for dialogue and frees up the board/council to speak on an item.

Tonight’s Board of Education and Sierra Madre Council Meeting

There are many times to speak at tonight’s meeting. You may, or may not have to fill out a card to speak. At Sierra Madre City Council meetings you generally just walk up to speak. It is quite relaxed. At PUSD Board Meetings you need to fill out a yellow card.

Because tonight’s meeting is home court, it is possible they will run it the Sierra Madre way, however, as I expect there could be a high turn out, it may be a card situation.

Tonight’s agenda is here (click here) and there are four opportunities the public has to speak

First Public Comment - This can be on agendized, or non-agendized items. It occurs after the flag salute. After each discussion item public comment is generally allowed as well. Technically, whichever item concerns you is when you would present or speak. Theoretically you could speak up to 4 times tonight, if you so choose.

The other three items are:

1. Pasadena Unified School District – Construction Update

2. Update regarding Measure TT Bond Funds for Sierra Madre Schools

3. Parking Concerns at PUSD Campuses in Sierra Madre

Keep in mind that if you ask questions they generally won’t be answered, but they can be only on agendized items. If I were to ask, for example, “Why isn’t there a fence around the school?” the question would be left hanging unless it was done during an item regarding school safety.

On the upside, this is an election year, and there are people running for office. They may be more willing to tell you what you hope to hear, and more likely to try to help you solve whatever concerns you have. However, I prefer the person who is willing to say what you don’t want to hear. Therein lies the key to solving the problems, whatever they may be.

Good luck to you, whomever you are, and wherever you stand on whatever issue. If you have never gotten involved in local politics before, welcome aboard. You are about to discover why nothing ever gets done.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

202 comments:

  1. A critical component in this, as was pointed out at the Sierra Madre School Summit by Scott Phelps, is that there will be a process for a subdistrict rep. This rep will be chosen from a pool of applicants. The process is open through April.

    Keep in mind, however, that Sierra Madre, though an independent city, is considered part of a subdistrict which includes a portion of Pasadena. Your rep could very well be from Pasadena, and in the case of Ed Honowitz, that has not been especially productive.

    If the current elections are any indicator, and I believe they are, there will be some very big money going into the endorsement of a machine controlled candidate. As long as this city continues to sit back in apathy, or to fight amongst itself, and believe me, elitists, I will never bow down to you so consider that a given- then this city and its interests are in for some very significant structural changes that will make the ALF look like child's play.

    Chances are very good that the applicant for the vacant seat has already been chosen, and assume that it is a political move to put through plans that have been staggered for years and which were waiting for the right opportunity to be pushed through.

    I am predicting that this city will look much like Arcadia in about ten or fifteen years, and that the ALF will be the coup that set it all into motion. 24/7 big gulps and slurpees coming soon.

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    1. So 4 subdistricts will be allowed to elect their own representatives, but ours will be picked for us by the PUSD establishment? There is a recipe for disaster. What country are we living in again? North Korea?

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    2. But who does the picking? The Board of Education? Let's see who Cooper and Selinske pick- hey, it could be Honowitz again!

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    3. The Board of Education is right. We here in Sierra Madre are their little children and cannot be trusted to make decisions on our own. We might very well pick a representative that holds an opinion that they might not like. And that would be awful. I like the North Korea model of representation. I'm even learning how to do the Pyongyang goose step!

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    4. Moderator, I don't know if you're completely accurate re: PEF contributions via Sierra Madre parents. I do believe there are significant contributions, plus the annual fund goes through PEF.

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    5. Are our PEF contributions comparable to Pasadena or Altadena? Those are far larger cities.

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    6. Anyone who advocates an appointed representative for Sierra Madre until 2015 ought to be shot. We do not need another hand picked Dreir & Co. lackey to represent us.

      The way it was spun during the task force meetings was that there would be at-large members representing Sierra Madre/SE Pasadena. I think most of us would agree that during the appointment process for our districting task force representative, the appointment process didn't go so well.

      It would be better to be vigilant, and hold all of the board members' feet to the fire until 2015, rather than have Dreir & Co. hand pick someone who will be an incumbent in 2015.

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  2. Any representative the Board of Education hand picks to represent us should be subject to an immediate recall.

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    1. The only reason Tom Selinske wants to give us an appointed representative is the PUSD's lawyers fear a massive voter fraud lawsuit. It is an act of desperation and will not work.

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    2. You should have your own representative, chosen by the residents of Sierra Madre and a Siera Madre resident. We need to stop this reliance on artificially created establishment candidates for the sake of all schools.

      However, I actually believe that what's being proposed (a subdistrict representative) is illegal. We are only allowed 7 members, you just can't add an 8th member with the right to vote by simply having a board vote. That person wouldn't have the right to vote and, it will be simply a flower pot with a say but without a vote.

      This is what I am understanding. Tom Selinske want to give Sierra Madre residents an appointed representative. That doesn't make sense at all. We have someting like that in Puerto Rico but, ours is elected by the people but, has not vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

      Guillermo

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    3. How convenient. The bums that controls the PUSD will get to place a couple of their hacks on the Board of Ed without having to go to the bother and expense of getting them elected. Sounds like their perfect world to me.

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  3. Dear Sierra Madre Friends:

    I don't know if I could make it today to your meeting but your issues are important to me.

    I can tell you what you what the PUSD Board doesn't want to hear. I do believe that Sierra Madre residents are more than capable of running their own independent school district rather than joining a much larger school district, such as, Arcadia Unified. I do believe that the current Board,owes it to Sierra Madre that the middle school be built and, once built, vote for seccession.

    Honestly, I don't see any advantages of keeping yourselves attached to a failing school district who is allowing the fleecing of TT moneys in just talks and consultants but no infrastructure. I foresee, if some of the other candidates running for the PUSD wins, that you will be further disinfranchised for two more years. I do believe that there is significant talent and parental involvement at Sierra to continue making Sierra Madre Schools great. You do however, have my commitment, if elected, to be your voice as well. You deserve a hell or a lot better than what you are currently getting.

    You need to let the PUSD Board know that if they don't build the middle school that you would vote for seccesion or, in the alternative, partnering with Arcadia USD.

    Guillermo Arce
    Candidate PUSD Board of Education District 3

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    1. We need to work for this guy's election.

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    2. A little history as an example: When San Marino incorporated as a city, it had to build up its own school district. It started out with the elementary schools which eventually became 3 campuses, plus the middle school. While the fledgling SMUSD was heading towards its goal of self-sufficiency, it shared the public high school with South Pasadena until an existing elementary school was converted into the high school (a third elementary school was built new on annexed land to accomplish this). In this way, San Marino ultimately established a premier public school system. It took a half century.

      Sierra Madre would need to decide on a strategy for developing a high school campus that becomes the "flagship" for a local stand-alone public school district. It definitely involves additional parcel taxes as well as another bond or two for high school campus construction. It's a challenge for a small city, but there are plenty of models out there, both pure public system and charter.

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    3. ...and, I am confident that when there is a will there is a way. Rome wasn't built overnight. Remember that all of us are paying for an overly bloated central administration that has failed to address the need of the community they serve. The good thing about Sierra Madre schools is that most of the students are from Sierra Madre.

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    4. Mr. Arce, I think a good portion of Sierra Madre children go to private schools. They got the hell out of a broken system.

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    5. Guillermo, although I appreciate your faith, I don't believe the residents of Sierra Madre are capable of running their own district.

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    6. Be careful, the Sierra Madre Prom committee would be more than happy to take full reign of THEIR school.

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    7. Lots of folks in the unincorporated County section between Arcadia and San Marino can send their kids to SMUSD, it's legally part of the district. The sequence is Carver - Huntington - SMHS. The folks just outside of the SMUSD area in the County go with the private school option all the time, it's the tradeoff for less expensive homes/property taxes/no parcel tax (the County homes in SMUSD pay the school parcel tax, but not the City parcel tax for police and fire - they use the Sheriff).

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    8. Guillermo,I to see what is happening now is going to lead to eventual succession by S. M., other areas would join us in a heartbeat. For instance, Altadena would seriously consider creating a new district. You are on the right track ... It just takes the public and school parents to step up to the plate and take interest. A n exploratory commission needs to be formed , hopefully with the backing of S.M. city council that is more committed to the interests of the kids, and not slaves to the current political machine. This must be initiated now otherwise we as a town will look like an apathetic joke..Good luck

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    9. Altadena currently has Altadena Elementary School and Eliot Middle School within its boundary. John Muir High School is just outside of Altadena to the south by the 210 way over on the west side. It has the same problem that Sierra Madre has in terms of forming a separate district, but perhaps a new high school could be built that's shared by a proposed District composed of Altadena and Sierra Madre, somewhere around North Altadena Drive...

      Trouble is, that leaves West Pasadena with very few options, since Linda Vista was closed.

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  4. Becoming part of Arcadia school district or creating our own Sierra Madre school district would result in opening the flood gates to the forthcoming Asian invasion. Within a period of 7 years Sierra Madre would be blended into Arcadia.

    Chop Chop

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    1. Bad education serves the needs of the racially intolerant. Another feather in the cap for the PUSD.

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    2. If you want a good education for your children, get thee with the Asian community as fast as you can.
      Chop chop yourself.

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    3. A bad school district is what has kept SM what it is.

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    4. ANd a bad school district has kept the property values lower than they should be.

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  5. "... there are two Sierra Madres. An upper middle class, much of which arrived fairly recently, and a working class Sierra Madre, which is comprised of families that have been here for far longer." Thank you Tattler for that accurate description.

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    1. Our family moved here 30 years ago. The district was in a mess then. Like most families we sacrificed and sent our kids to private schools. Anyone that can afford private schools bites the bullet.

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    2. Agreed. My kids are in private school now, and I drive a car with 120,000 miles on it. You put your children's needs first.

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  6. How many people here in Sierra Madre would choose to send their children to Arcadia High School instead of Pasadena High School?

    How many of you who are paying big $$$ for Alverno or LaSalle or other private schools who could save a ton of money by sending your children to Arcadia?

    Pasadena High School does not come close to being as good a school as Arcadia High.
    This is a well known fact.

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    1. Why entrust your children to the "public" school system at all? if you can't afford the cost of private school, then make the sacrifice and home school your children. Your children have only one opportunity to go through elementary etc. school. Why sacrifice them to this cesspool of corruption?

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    2. Two questions that should be asked at tonight's meeting are, why is there a petition out there to get the PHS principal out? Why are the PHS parents being vague in their explanation when asking to sigh the petition?

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    3. Oh great, another petition. Maybe Honowitz knows, ask him about it tonight.

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    4. People are desperate and the PUSD is more interested in land deals then educating kids. Petitions are fine. As long as people are doing something.

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    5. That petition is not about land deals. The principal is horrible. They're probably trying to recall him, but they need to be up front about it when they're asking people to sign.

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    6. Honowitz should be aware since he has a kid there.

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  7. Be sure you understand the emphases on education in the Chinese American community. There is good and there is bad.

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    1. With the Mandarin dual immersion program supposedly coming to Sierra Madre School, it seems we may attract quite a few Asians in our school district

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  8. You realize that if it was an Arcadia Middle School Construction project that was screwed up this badly, or the Board of Ed there singled out that community and stole their vote, there would be 500 people at the meeting. Here I would be amazed if there are 50 tonight. If you don't fight for these things you'll get screwed every time. And no community has been screwed more badly than Sierra Madre has by this Board of Education. Show some damn pride and get your butt down to City Hall tonight.

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  9. Nothing has changed with PUSD. Sierra Madre had a chance to escape the district in the early 1990's. Our group Sierra Madre Parents for a Better Education was called raciest, elitists, and we only wanted to move to Arcadia School District to increase our property values. Well, our group failed and the City is now getting what it deserves....PUSD. Just like with our City Council, State, and country. You idiots are getting just what you deserve. Sadly people like me are stuck your mess.

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    1. 1989 http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-13/local/me-321_1_school-district
      1989 http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-22/news/ga-669_1_arcadia-school-district

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    2. So 10:12, why did you want to annex yourselves back on the 90's? And why are you assuming that we "idiots" as you so kindly put it, deserve the treatment out entire community is receiving?
      Did the entire city stand behind your group when you tried to secede? If not, maybe the perceptions were right on, huh?

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    3. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-22/news/ga-669_1_arcadia-school-district
      How funny 10:12! Bart Doyle was one if the secession leaders!

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    4. Probably the last good thing Bart ever did. We as a community should always want to get the best service for our buck. Be it schools, police, or city staff. The Pasadena Unified School District does not compete well with it's counterparts. We shouldn't have to settle just because a few leftist morons think it would be politically incorrect to move on. So to speak.

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    5. It was really funny that the PUSD attorney, a black woman by the name of Caroline Carlsberg, lived in the PUSD district but sent her daughter to the most elite private school for girls in the area. The school her daughter attended was WESTRIDGE.

      I was a part of that group. Race and property values were not an issue. Safety and a good education for our children were the issues. At the time there were fewer that 300 kids from Sierra Madre attending PUSD school out of about 2,000 school ages children.

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    6. Come on 2:05, property values not an issue?

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    7. The problem is that if Sierra Madre parents were to suggest secession now, it would definitely come off as elitist, if not racist.
      Some of the parent leaders at the school have already made it clear that the API is all important. The school has the highest population of white students anywhere in PUSD, and the lowest number of students with more severe disabilties. Keep in mind that certain SME parents have become notorious for what they did to remove an autistic child from the school.

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    8. Bart did good things? Can you name one please?

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    9. Tried to get us into a better school district. Shot down in the courts. Apparently we are legally hostages to those boobs.

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    10. So? Who care is Sierra Madre parents are called racists? Aren't their children's education the real point?

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    11. 2:05 Property values were NOT an issue with anyone on the steering committee. IT was safety and education.

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    12. Sierra Madre tried to get out of the PUSD, but Arcadia didn't want us. Safety was my concern. My son ended up with two chipped teeth when he was jumped at PHS because he wouldn't give some kids his money. Police followed up but the kids ended up moving out of state so they dropped the investigation.

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  10. Thank you Tony, for your instruction on how to effectively present before the council and school board. It's very helpful, and shows that you are truly a teacher at heart.

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    1. You are welcome 10:16. I hope the info will help.

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  11. Anyone with children that moves to Sierra Madre, Pasadena, or Altadena that can't afford private schools does not have their children's best interest at heart. There are many districts where people can rent or buy that have better school systems.

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    1. That's an ignorant statement 11:15.

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    2. I agree with 11:15. You move here knowing the PUSD is an awful place. No one is forced to live here.
      If your children after you move here, you have 5 years to move to a decent district.

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    3. Some people like the city, DESPITE the school system. Not everyone can afford to move to a city that has a decent school district like.....La Canada?

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    4. So 2:25 putting a parent's likes is more important than their child's education???? Go east to Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, La Habra etc. Nice neighborhoods and school districts that put ours to shame. The parents are being selfish which is so common these days.

      I would have liked to have a fancy car, but tuition came first.

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    5. You're a bunch of defeatists. So we can't live in Sierra Madre AND be good parents, unless we can send them private, really?

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    6. 3:14 Just don't complain about the public schools.

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    7. Why not? I'm a stakeholder.

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    8. and as for me: I am not a defeatist. i am a repeatist. and i will complain about public schools until they deliver what they areintended to do; which is to teach children how to be self-sufficient, and to be productive and informed citizens of this great country.

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    9. Totally agree with 11:15. We love Sierra Madre as a wonderful community but there's no chance in hell my kids would go to a PUSD school. We gladly pay private school tuition to avoid the mess in Sierra Madre schools. This fiasco reinforces my belief that the financial sacrifices we make as a family are worth it.

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  12. I hope people concerned will attend the meeting tonight.
    Thanks, Tony B. for your good tips for us.


    Off topic rant:
    Albertsons on Michillinda and SMB is the WORST market around to shop.
    Since they got rid of all the good employees (thanks, union)....they have the very unfortunate people working there....they are inept and rude.
    I will NEVER shop there again.
    Go to Arcadia and Monrovia and do your grocery shopping, or better yet, buy your produce and meat from the nice people at Taylors.

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    1. THE WORST! I had a clerk talk down to me about having my child in the cart... very condescending. I reported her to the manager and she shrugged it off as if it were the norm. Never again...

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    2. I have to jump in here. I go to Albertsons all of the time, and I really like the place. As far as I know the same employees are still in place, many of whom I know by name. The fruit section in particular is great. We buy our meats from Taylors, we also find things we like at Whole Foods. But I do like Albies. I run into a lot of people I know there.

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    3. I regularly shop at Albertson's and find their store staff to be helpful and pleasant. The folks back at the meat counter especially so. Fruits and vegetables section have undergone an upgrade and I can usually find what I want at a better price than Ralph's or Paviliions. Would shop Taylor's if I could afford it but a family needs to find the best price. Carts are dangerous places for kids. You should be greatful the clerk had your child's safety in mind.

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    4. I hope The Tattler is not about to become a forum for retail service complaints. That would be a tragedy.

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    5. Those people at Pink Dot are the worst. I ordered a pizza, milk, cheese, and crackers. I can't believe it took them three hours, and the driver showed up without the cheese!

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    6. Oh please 12:49 pm. The Tattler is a forum for all manner of complaints and retail service is just as valid as PUSD. Three posts do not a tragedy make.

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    7. I know you, 1:16. You're the one that gave me funny looks at Pinkberry the other day.

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    8. @11:25, you are welcome. I hope they are helpful.

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  13. I just spoke to KGEM and as of now City Hall has made no request for tomight's special meeting with the PUSD to be broadcast. I asked them to call the city and they said they would, but as of this typing you need to be there to see it.

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    1. Is this a violation of the Brown Act? Or is it simply that the public can record?

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    2. Damn.
      My work schedule makes it too hard for me to get there on time, but I could catch some of it online from the office.
      Damn.

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    3. Come on, it's in the council chambers, which is all set up to broadcast. All they have to do is get a tech guy in there to push the button.

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    4. I was certain that an evening of such importance to the whole town would be televised.
      It's too late now to get a babysitter.

      Delete
    5. The City has cut the KGEM contract down to the bare bones. If they are not showing tonight its because the City does not want to pay for an extra broadcast. Not a violation of the Brown Act because anyone who wants to can go down to City Hall and watch the whole thing and/or participate. The Brown Act is only if they meet in secret.

      Delete
    6. The City only pays for Council, Planning Commission and General Plan meetings to be broadcast.

      Delete
    7. I heard from a reliable source that it will be televised, and the Pas. Star News will be there. The more people there to make noise, the better.

      Delete
    8. Tonite is prob ably one of the more important City Council meetings lately.

      Delete
    9. There haven't been any General Plan meetings for a long time. Why not use that time?

      Delete
    10. to 4:24 PM, and any others concerned about babysitters. unless your child is very young, they would probably be ok there for a spell. we bring all three of ours every week. one of my children has spoken to the board, and another stood in solidarity with a teacher.

      the children are the consumers, and they are stakeholders, too.

      Delete
  14. Look at it from city hall's point of view - if it's televised, more people will know the we are disenfranchised and that the fate of the middle school could not be more in doubt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since this is a meeting with a lame duck Board of Eucation then yeah, let's save the money.

      Delete
    2. Does this mean there is no live blogging?

      Delete
    3. http://pasadenausd.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/917180/File/Board%20of%20Education/Agendas/Special%20meeting%20sierra%20madre%20agenda%20attachments.pdf?sessionid=93db6a396e56813a9463efda0b19a10d

      go to this link, agenda and docs that will be presented are there.

      Delete
  15. Will Bart and Buchanan be there to explain what happened to the vote?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, KGEM is showing that it will be on!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Except that I'm on KGEM and nothing is happening! Screen says they apologize, that they are experiencing technical difficulties. Shades of the Superbowl!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh. Nothing on channel 3.

      Delete
    2. That apology is always there. Just in case.

      Delete
    3. Okay. Mayor Moran is introducing the Joint Council/PUSD meeting.

      Delete
    4. I saw Mary too. Nice opener.

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  18. It is on now. 6:50 pm

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pappalardy is about as exciting as lard.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pappalardo is apologizing for delay, says it's the No. 1 Priority for the Subcommittee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has brought on Fredo to finish off the audience.

      Delete
    2. I thought Pappalardo sounded quite glad to get away from the lectern. "Excellent question! Here's the other guy to answer it."

      Delete
  21. Demolishing the upper campus "in retrospect it was a huge mistake. I'd like to apologize for it. We regret it sincerely."
    Nice enough - but can I ask why that mistake was made in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Pappalardo went back to 2009 to explain what happened - 465 million down to 380 million, specifically in Sierra Madre, lower campus 6 million to 4.7, upper campus 38.7 to 32.1.
    So 32.1 million dollars has not been enough to demolish and rebuild the upper campus.....

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. Construction planned to start July 5 2013 and last 20 months.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Board member Cooper, being "hopeful" is not enough.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The new BOE is seated in March. What if they decide they don't like the Middle School and countermand everything? These guys won't mean anything.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Woo-hoo Chris Koerber.
    "Which among you will guarantee that this school will be built?"
    Cooper - no.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Who is Mr. Truth Talking Step Back Business As Usual? Is that Miramontes?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes Honowitz, make the resolution. Make it a binding document. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Koerber rules, "Mr. Honowitz we'd like to hear from some of the other members of the board." Yes, Mr. Ed is a filly-busterer

      Delete
  29. Of course there's a chance it might not get built! Especially since none of you will guarantee that it will!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yeah, yeah, the Mandarin Immersion program, la la la la. Aren't we spiffy. We're gonna locate one of our wonderful signature programs here.
    Sales much?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh gosh. Nancy's talking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She said she felt better. So did Josh.

      Delete
    2. Renatta passed the flask.

      Delete
    3. After she was done texting

      Delete
  32. Of course they're going to build the school because that's where the Mandarin program will be? Can PUSD teach children basic English and mathematics before they teach them Mandarin?

    ReplyDelete
  33. The best thing is sitting here watching the meeting but enjoying the read is so much more satisfying.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Pappa is smiling because he gets to put the architect on the hot seat.
    The architect says he's not happy with where we are at.
    "Our initial estimate was certainly under what it should have been." 29 million to 22.5. "We thought we were closer than we were."
    Sustainability is too expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Value engineering sounds like a potential disaster. I'm glad the kids will still have AC and heat though.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Issues with the methodology of the first bidding and how that was handled."
    Oh. Issues. Methodology. Grad school!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Papa is sorry, Fredo is sorry, the architect is sorry .... What a sorry bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Private school parentFebruary 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    //words mean nothing from these slick BOE...
    I need action NOW, why are our children victims?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I hope everyone notices that no one has guaranteed the school will be built.

    ReplyDelete

  40. 26 million, can't be under that, and contractors all over the state just noted that number. Jeesh.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Pappa just spit out the magic words - enrollment patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  42. One. One person just gave her personal guarantee.
    And supports a resolution.
    OK, her I believe.
    Board member Pomeroy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does she know she's in Sierra Madre?

      Delete
    2. She thought she was campaigning

      Delete
  43. Oh oh. Johnny's talking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harabedian and Honowitz having an exchange, nothing will be said.

      Delete
    2. Ah, but not said with such annunciation and gravitas.

      Delete
    3. Couple of guys talking in order to hear their own voices and make some circuitous linguistic paths as though that is a sign of intelligence.

      Delete
    4. Mr. Huh, please meet Mr. Duh.

      Delete
  44. Ah-choo! Ooops the wolf blew down t school?

    ReplyDelete
  45. A dumb question from the boy. Prop 30 wasn't to build schools.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ramon knows his math!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the math is that SM will get screwed.

      Delete
  47. The only person who will be on the board in a few months is the one who will not give a guarantee. Yep.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Capoccia is asking Cooper - and she dodges it. Then:
    The financial situation is the top priority.
    Management, educating the children are the priorities.
    In construction, it's a priority.
    It's been a top construction priority.

    Took her a while, but she managed to say yes and no at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Replies
    1. Yes she does. She just came to a clear and direct solution, showing the PUSD how it's done.

      Delete
    2. Call me clueless, but why didn't Gretchen show them 2 years ago how it's done? How long has she been on the TT Oversight committee? Fuhrman? How is it they all missed this?

      Delete
  50. These residents have done their homework.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have lived with this BS for years.

      Delete
    2. many many years

      http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/parents-to-pusd-where-s-our-sierra-madre-middle-school-construction#pdf-10036711

      Delete
  51. It would be nice if all of our council members were as direct and less accommodating.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "Consultants and administrators eat up the Measure TT funds."
    True indeed

    ReplyDelete
  53. Gross mismanagement is a good summary De. I question their sincerity too.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Disgruntled middle school parents are already fed up and looking at private school alternatives. Enrollment will continue to go down as more Sierra Madre parents, who can afford it, leave PUSD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they had gotten fed up a little sooner, maybe their kids would already have a decent placement.

      Delete
  55. Too bad the BOE isn't up to the quality of the Sierra Madre parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ummmm.....8:13, the quality of the Sierra Madre parents is questionable at best. They let all kinds of things go right under their noses, smiling as their noses are rubbed in crap.

      Delete
    2. Sadly, all of that earnestness and honest concern from the parents only helps to further convince this Board of Education that they can get away with it.

      Delete
    3. There's too much self congratulatory back slapping going on with some of the parents, along with all the clapping for all the nice statements and apologies from PUSD. Some people will never learn.

      Delete
  56. This is a night of PUSD's chickens coming home to roost.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Value engineering? Lose the AC, save money by installing non-operable windows!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing helps a middle school child concentrate like 95 degrees, no moving air, and algebra.

      Delete
    2. there were alot of brilliant minds afoot, no doubt about that.

      Delete
  58. Didn't I just read that the requirement for 8th grade Algebra has been dropped? There. Problem solved.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lame duck board of education giving lame answers. This is meaningless. The next Board will do whatever they want no matter what these knuckleheads say.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Mr and Mrs Brandenburg, I don't know all the twists and turns of what went on for you, but my heart goes out to you that you had to deal with Honowitz.
    He's a perfect example of a locutionary act - lots of words, no meaning, no action. And a fair amount of ego driving it all. ugh.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locutionary_act

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only thing missing is the fog machine.

      Delete
    2. Does he always talk this much?

      Delete
    3. Thank you 8:27. You may have heard all those apologies being thrown around the entire time. We're still waiting for the one our son should have had. That one is going to go through their team of lawyers I'm sure, and watered down to a "regrets" statement- if that. The parents who harmed our child? A couple of them were there- still no apology. They were justified because Honowitz absolved his own actions with them.

      Delete
  61. Parents are voting with their feet. They are walking away from this sad school district.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Good Lord, Honowitz is declaring that the problem is communication.
    What we have here, is a failure to communicate.

    ReplyDelete
  63. People start supposing all kinds of things when there's a scandal.
    Yes. We do.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Wouldn't Josh make a good funeral director?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't find his unctuous phoniness appropriate to that trade?

      Delete
    2. Funeral Directors must have discretion.

      Delete
    3. I think Josh would volunteer to say Tony's eulogyas well as flush his ashes down the toilet.

      Delete
  65. Hono is saying that because Maranatha was at the upper campus, the upper campus didn't qualify for Measure Y funds - but didn't PUSD rent it to Maranatha?

    ReplyDelete
  66. These guys just talk and talk and talk. The years fly by and all they do is talk.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "The best communication is action."
    Thank you Council member Koerber.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Cooper just closed with some more dancing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She actually said there was nothing she could say that would make a difference to us. Yes there was. Back up an hour or two and say yes, I can give my personal guarantee that the school will be built.

      Delete
    2. I think blowing smoke is what these guys do for a living.

      Delete
    3. Do they get paid?

      Delete
    4. Cooper is very good at two meanings in one set of sentences. She said PUSD deserved what they got tonight, but she didn't say what she would do about it. Her apology was greeted with applause, from those who are satisfied by apologies.

      Delete
    5. Not a Dry Eye in the HouseeFebruary 5, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I'm sorry.

      Delete
    6. They get health insurance and a stipend.

      Delete
    7. So what's the REAL incentive?

      Delete
  69. I haven't heard so many "I'm sorries" in my entire life.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Organize Sierra Madre School's Facebook page has a photo album showing pictures of the abysmal conditions at Upper Campus : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444035999001151.101893.321778637893555&type=1

    ReplyDelete
  71. I heard alot of blah, blah, blah. Never did anyone say, the budgrt is $32 mil and regardless of how the next bs session of bidding and jumping through hoops, we will hold this alloted amount of funds for sm middle school to be built, regardless if you have a vote on the board or not. We will keep your monies safe and sound. Blah blah bloviate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Measure Y embezzled. The remedy was to hire Brinkman for TT- now he's gone with a piece of the pie-TT investigation: 6 companies released and an investigation of Azzcaraga, questions re. Brown- Selinske getting contributions from one of the companies.....

      Brandenburg tried to ask and the same people who bullied his kid out of town decided to side with Josh Mooron. Keep whining about a 20% reduction. The one guy that could have found where the money went got shouted down. I watched it happen. Good call.

      Delete
    2. Better watch it TB, Jock and the parent bullies are going to wish you into the corn field if you don't stop asking questions.

      Delete
  72. A lot of innocent oxygen was killed tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  73. They were stalling. The Board members know that school isn't going to get built.

    ReplyDelete