Brea First Follow Up – Natalia Todorov

A good friend and active local mom, Natalia Todorov, attended last night’s Brea First Forum about Measure G. Early this morning she posted her reaction to the discussion on social media and I thought it would be a great “guest blog” here.

Brea First Follow-up – Natalia Todorov

I am a Brea resident of 18 years. I am a working mom who has two children going to Brea schools. I went last night to the Measure G community discussion at the Brea Museum & Historical Society.

Why did I go? Because I am a parent who knows what good education is and what good education can do for my kids’ future. I went because, to be frank with you, as a working mom I didn’t know very much about the proposed Measure G and I honestly didn’t know if I should vote Yes or No.

I went because I wanted to hear the pros and cons of Measure G from the two top supporters of both sides (Dwight Manley – For, Glenn Vodhanel – Against) and then make a choice about the future of my family. Should we sacrifice and give part of our hard-earned money for the Brea schools?

Frankly, I was surprised to see there were not a lot of Brea parents like me there. Oh, I should not be surprised because we’re super busy and even though we do care for the future of our children, it is hard to juggle everything when it comes to raising a child (including taking them to private lessons or teaching the kids themselves on the dining table at home).

The opposition’s point-of-view.

Glenn Vodhanel, the opposing leader, expressed his opinion why I should vote NO. In short, what I gathered from his speech was that in the past such measures have never worked because the funds were usually mismanaged and the Brea Olinda Unified School District (BOUSD) should not be trusted with money. The second argument was that good education doesn’t come from nice school buildings but from good teachers.

Yes, of course, these two opinions make a lot of sense … at first glance.

Some well known facts:

  • Are Brea schools aging, especially Brea Junior High being 104? YES
  • Do Brea schools need much needed repairs and improvements? YES
  • Does the BOUSD have limited funds given to them? YES
  • Does the BOUSD pay the most competitive teacher salaries in Orange County? Sadly, NO
  • Can BOUSD do better by paying teachers more and attracting better educators for our kids? YES
  • If the Brea community helps financially to alleviate the continuous spending of BOUSD funds for just ‘bandaging’ our aging schools, will that help us to attract and hire even better teachers? YES
  • Is PROGRESS a forward movement for a better future? YES
  • Can progress be achieved by doing the same thing over and over? NO
  • Knowing that school bond initiatives have not been passed for 21 years, can that be the answer to our school’s education not progressing as it should? YES
  • Can progress in our Brea education system be achieved by passing the proposed Measure G? YES

Oh, wait! I got my answer! YES!

So the two arguments the opposing side to Measure G were what?

Buildings don’t teach students, teachers do. Yes, I agree! Measure G will bring to our BOUSD better teachers because the district will be able to provide them with better modern facilities. Build it and they will come!!!

We can’t afford to repeat the past.

School measures in the past did not work because the funds were mismanaged and we can’t trust the BOUSD. OK, I see how that can be a very big concern. In fact, yes, that is a very big concern! What history has shown is that there is no progress if we keep on doing things the same way.

If we keep on saying NO to such measures, then nothing will change! And that is unacceptable!

If the school bond initiatives keep on being the same type, like Measure K, nothing will change.

But Measure G is different!

There will be a rigorous Citizens’ Oversight Committee and there are provisions ensuring compliance with the OC Taxpayer bond guidelines.

So Measure G is different! Measure G can lead to progress and improvement of our kids’ education and the overall Brea community stability!

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Brea First Follow Up – Natalia Todorov

  1. I’m always skeptical when these bond measures are HUGE. They cost almost twice as much to pay off as the amount being borrowed.

    Last I checked there’s ONE HS, ONE JHS, and a handful of elementary schools. This isn’t a “let’s tackle the most important things” bond — this is a “if we’re going to do this, let’s throw in everything including the kitchen sink” bond.

    I don’t live in Brea but this bond measure is going to be very costly for every property owner. I’m not saying vote yes or no, I’m saying have your eyes wide open.

    • Jon… your political activity in California and your well documented and extreme conservative biases are more than obvious in this comment. Of course, you have every right to your opinions, but you have no right to misinform or distort information.

      Compared to recent school bond initiatives placed before voters, Brea’s Measure G is not huge… it is appropriate to accomplish what needs to be done without placing an excessive financial burden upon property owners.

      When was the last time you checked? On Google, five minutes before you posted your comment? Did you research the measure with the same nominal approach as you did the BOUSD? This isn’t an “everything including the kitchen sink” bond. Your characterization borders upon criminal.

      Yes, you don’t live in Brea nor have you… over many years, developed a love for the community that exists on both sides of this debate. Your only legitimate point is reinforcing the importance of reaching a decision with one’s eyes wide open.

  2. It was great meeting Natalia and others who came undecided, or even leaned towards “no,” but left with answers to their concerns that led them to “Absolutely Yes!”

    Dwight, along with Supe, Brad Mason and CBO, Rick Champions did an outstanding job of presenting the need, oversight and due diligence of the district to make this a responsible bond measure!

    I am grateful for the community involvment and all your support with Measure G!

  3. Natalia is a breath of fresh air that approaches her decision to support the bond with thoughtful analysis and courtesy towards those in opposition to the bond.

    I was at the same meeting Friday night to hear both viewpoints on passage of the bond and I’m still wondering why Carrie Flanders and Bob Mason were the only school board members in attendance.

    • On the matter of Natalia, her approach, her humility and frank comments – we’re in complete agreement. I invited her to the meeting knowing she was on the fence and was delighted when she joined the discussion and ultimately embraced Measure G.

      Carrie Flanders was the only Board Member present. Dr. Mason is our Superintendent. He and CBO Champion made themselves available to field detailed questions and expose falsehoods.

      The other Board Members seem to have limited their public support of Measure G to self aggrandizing photo ops at neighborhood walk-a-thons. At least they’re taking the message out into the community.

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