Putting The Unified Back Into BOUSD.

BOUSD put Measure K on the ballot and all hell broke loose.

Proponents launched “Yes On Measure K” flooding neighborhoods and public thoroughfares with signs, mailboxes with oversized postcards, inserting themselves into our dinner hours with unsolicited robocalls. They hung out on street corners distracting traffic waving signs and passing out flyers, advocated boycotting downtown businesses with ill conceived letters accusing a local developer of buying elected officials and interfering in local politics and created a Facebook page where anyone with opposing views, contrary to the spirit of the first amendment, was blocked.

Opponents launched “No On Measure K” and prominently hung four giant banners and flooded public thoroughfares with signs, attended back-to-school nights and walked neighborhoods handing out flyers, hung out on street corners distracting traffic waving signs and passing out flyers and created a Facebook page challenging every message coming from the opposition.

A self-righteous bunch reactivated their “Reject Negative Politics In Brea” Facebook page and proceeded to attack every No on K sign, banner, flyer or attempt to get their message out. Their pro-K bias was blatant. They continued this masked propaganda until a couple of unattributed third party signs showed up that were truly negative politics. Only then did they suspend activity.

The BOUSD Board of Directors, especially the incumbents running for reelection, were notably silent though state law allows them to support the bond measure on their own time. Neither the Board or district staff conducted or participated in any public forum debating Measure K.

Both sides took to Nextdoor with posts about Measure K that became inflamed with personal attacks, unfounded allegations and unsupported assertions. Comments were repeatedly tagged for review when, as it turned out, the only offense was often the expression of an opposing opinion. Once friendly cyber-neighborhoods sharing coyote sightings, lost puppy alerts and selling used furniture, became bloody battlegrounds pitting neighbor against neighbor.

The “Yes On Measure K” Facebook page has now become “Take Brea Back” and the “No On K” page is now “Brea Watchdogs” – could they be any more divisive?

fb_savebreaTake Brea back from who? From that nasty ol’ developer hell bent on becoming the King of Brea? Exactly how does that benefit our kids or the BOUSD? (Ed Update: 11/29: The facelift continues, suggesting the group is formed “to provide information about local issues, concerns, elections and government activities that affect quality of life in the City of Brea.” – They have extended their ban prohibiting me from posting on their page.

fb_watchdogWatchdogs? Watching who? Watching what? I thought you promised to become part of the solution should Measure K fail to pass. Exactly how does perpetuating an adversarial stance benefit our kids or the BOUSD? (Ed Update: 11/29: Not to be outdone, the “Watchpuppies” group also claims to be an informational resource about local issues, particularly BOUSD. Like their nemesis Take Brea Back, they have also prohibited me from posting on their page.

Yesterday Joe Rollino resigned from the Board. Why? He already announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2018. Did he finish remodeling that beach house earlier than expected? Is there any chance Bill Hall might take the easy way out too?

Would Rod Todd dare apply to fill the vacancy after failing to get reelected? If Jason Kraft and Joseph Covey both apply to fill the vacancy, who does the Board select… the candidate with the most votes? What if a new name gets tossed into the ring?

On par with unfunded pension liabilities, putting the “unified” back into BOUSD is the top priority. Not how many apartments should Hines be entitled to build. Not how to rein in the loose canon on city Council. Not term limits, tiered water rates, parking citations on trash day, where to put a porkchop on a country road, Brea Envisions struggle for relevance or how to preserve those damned hills everyone is so up in arms about.

Its the preservation of Brea’s most valuable assets. Our kids and the BOUSD.

unified BOUSD

 

Measure K: The Pros & Cons.

Measure K is the most contentious ballot initiative to hit Brea in many years. It has pitted friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor and candidate against candidate.

Measure K Debunked.

Five simple, indisputable facts are all any rational voter needs to validate a no vote while keeping the education and wellbeing of Brea kids their number one concern.

  • Fact: December 2015 BOUSD SARC reports claim all campuses/facilities are in “exemplary” condition.
  • Fact: Six months later the BOUSD Board votes unanimously to put a $148,000,000 school bond initiative on the November ballot.
  • Fact: Detailed punch lists totaling twice the bond amount ($300,000,000+) are released by BOUSD in response to public demand for more information.
  • Fact: The detailed lists, not being part of the measure’s official language, have no bearing on what might, will or won’t be done with bond money.
  • Fact: Any emergency issues over the next two years can rely on the $20,000,000 reserve the district has squirreled away.

Clearly there is no reasonable justification to pass Measure K. All of the well meaning folks on both sides of the issue need to band together, defeat the measure, begin the process of replacing the entire BOUSD Board and then join forces to draft a new initiative for 2018 that reflects real, proven needs.

I am voting for these candidates for BOUSD Board of Directors.

Paul Ruiz

ruiz_bwA 20-year resident and father of two Brea students. Paul opposes Measure K, believing that bond measures should be specific, transparent, and reviewed by an independent community panel to ensure funds are well placed.

Paul’s campaign statement includes, “We can improve our already outstanding schools by… providing a modern learning environment rich in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that promotes independent thought and encourages student responsibility. Additionally, I believe Sports and the Arts provide a practical framework through which students learn valuable lessons in perseverance, accountability, creativity, cooperation and self-respect, and when combined with STEM, provide a winning combination for our children.”

Jason Kraft

jason_bwJason is no stranger to Brea Matters having written guest blogs on Tiered Water Rates and Measure K. Like Paul, Jason is a father of two including a newborn! Jason opposes Measure K and has gone to great lengths to debunk the misinformation pouring out of the district’s propaganda machine.

Jason states, “My top priority will be to fund our schools responsibly, and we need a new, more transparent bond measure to do so. Measure K has no details about budgets, priorities, or timelines, and it won’t even fund all the projects listed in the measure. The school board needs to engage directly with our community and listen to feedback from parents, teachers, and students. Some of the other priorities I’ve identified are creating an anti-bullying initiative; supporting our special education and gifted programs; putting together a technology strategy; and improving sports, arts, and music at all schools.”

I will not be voting for Gail Lyons, Rod Todd, Kevin Hobby or Joseph Covey.

I’ll not mince words, obviously I oppose Measure K. Consequently I oppose those candidates who support it.

The incumbents, Lyons, Todd and Hobby, with their perpetual unanimous vote, are responsible for today’s condition of Brea schools — curriculum, overcrowding, declining facilities and the fiscal irresponsibility that made this decline possible. Covey, as he repeatedly spreads the company talking points, has opted to turn his back on the facts and chosen to go with the flow.

BOUSD Mailer

ADDENDUM:

Measure K