Friday, February 18, 2011

MDUSD Board Meeting Tues Feb 22 @ Monte Gardens

The board meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd promises to be an "interesting" meeting.  This meeting they may be making some further decisions on the school closures; perhaps between Silverwood and Westwood, perhaps, another idea that makes sense.

The meeting will take place at Monte Gardens Elementary, starting at 7:30pm.  The agenda will be available later today at

Further, there will be a MDEA (teachers union) "Unity Rally" in front of the meeting location between 4:30pm and 7pm (before the meeting).  From MDEA:

Dear Members:
Tuesday Feb 22 is our next BLUE TUESDAY! Yes...We're Still Blue!  Please wear BLUE to school on Tuesday and...

Please JOIN us for a Unity Rally, sponsored by all MDUSD Bargaining units, MDEA, Local 1 CST, Local 1M&O, and CSEA.  This rally will also be held on Feb. 22,2011 between 4:30PM-7:00PM, prior to the School Board Meeting.  Right now we are unsure of the location, because the Board meeting is being moved to a larger venue (yet to be determined by the district).  We will let you know the site as soon as we know.  Please click on the link below to view the flyer.  

Lead Reps and Reps.  Please download, print and post on your MDEA bulletin board the flyer provided in the link. 

Questions?  Call 672-4664

We look forward to seeing everybody at the rally.  Remember...There is strength in numbers!

Lory Quam,
MDEA Organizing Team 


  1. One of the Board members, I think Gary, asked the world renowned energy expert John Hoffmeister two days ago about what he thought of the solar bond initiative -- the response: Don't waste your bond money on solar, its too inefficient. Wow, can we redirect that money to saving our schools ?

  2. Anon 11:26
    I feel sick everytime I think about the solar project, the irresponsible bond, and a campaign that was run in a way that I believe deceived voters.
    The cost of Measure C was far greater than the high price tag, it cost the District the community's confidence and trust.

  3. Has MDEA and the rest of the bargaining units been watching/reading the news?
    The Govenor of Wisconsin has got it right. Jerry Brown should do the same.

  4. Anon 11:58 How does Jerry do that for 1000 school districts in California ? Sorry, it doesn't work that way here. Besides, the Wisconsin democrats aren't going along with it.

  5. It's time they should.

  6. When the MDEA shows up for these "unity" rallies, do parents ever ask them what constructive role they are taking in helping the District improve the education that students are receiving? Given that "enough" money is unlikely to fall from the skies, do they have any constructive input? I mean, do these professionals have any ideas, say, for evaluating their fellow teachers and removing those who are incompetent? So that in times of lay-offs, we can be sure that we are retaining the best, not just those who've been around the longest?

    Or do they just get to play victim all the time?

  7. I have stood on the corner many times with teachers holding signs... not this time.
    I agree with 1:14 it is time to start being part of the solution and stop being a victim.
    None of us in the private sector have guaranteed jobs. We don't complain when we work late or have meetings. We want our colleagues to be competent for the sake of the company and the job we have to do.
    Unions once served a purpose but today there are plenty of employment safeguards in place and unions are simply an impediment for reform and progress.
    I will support those who stand up to MDEA and the other bargaining units and say "no". Education has to start being about the kids not the adults.

  8. 1:41 I agree with you. I never thought I would say it but I just don't support the teachers on this issue. It is rough for everyone right now. People in every sector are taking pay cuts, furlough days, etc... It's time for the teachers to give a little. Be thankful they have a job. People are unemployed at record rates right now. I've heard this from several parents. I think the teachers need to realize they just are not going to get the support from parents that they are used to right now.

  9. Anon 11:26,

    John who? When did I speak with this person? It's news to me.

    Anon 11:54,

    Do you know what the estimated cost of the solar project is and do you know what the estimated revenue of the solar project is? I assume that you do given the statement that you made. Please share with me your knowledge about the costs and benefits of the bond initiative.

  10. Why? We don't see eye to eye and we never will. I believe the Bond term and deferred interest is irresponsible and you don't. I believe, based on the source you provided, your energy escalations are incorrect and you don't. I believe the cost to the taxpayers should be considered debt service when calculating the viability of solar and you don't. I am done having those conversations with you and I am resolved to the fact that the bond passed and solar is going to be a reality. As a parent, and taxpayer, I can feel sick about it, and I do.

  11. This is Anon 11:26. A written question was submitted at his speech by a "Trustee" of the District about the District solar project. Gary, if it wasn't you, who was it ?

  12. To Anon 11:26, don't ask Gary who submitted it. He doesn't know every single thing that other board members do. Please ask the other board members if they were the one submitting the written question.

    Any why jump to conclusions here and assume it was Gary in the first place? You speak as you had the facts (sort of misleading).

  13. @anon 9:12a I thought Gary was the most logical one to ask a positive question about Solar and the school bond to a nationally renowned Engery expert -- afterall, that's Gary's profession -- he is Vice-President of Solar Development for Seward Construction.

  14. Gary hasn't denied being at the lecture nor submitting the written question. Will the Board member who was there and submitted the question, please stand up.

  15. What lecture are you talking about? If you have something to claim, do so. It was not me.

  16. I wonder how many people know that teachers pay over $900 a year in union dues. If MDEA wanted to help, they could lower their dues.
    What exactly are teachers getting for that money?

  17. frustrated teacher,
    I have an idea, let's get rid of MDEA completely. Then you could keep the $900 and we could all work together to improve our schools. That I would stand out on the corner and support.

  18. Gary, were you at the John Hoffmeiser lecture on Wednesday February 16 ? If so, did you submit a written question about the district's solar ? If not, do you know which other Board member did ?

  19. It was not me at the lecture. I do not know if there was a Board Member at a lecture with John Hoffmeiser.

  20. Will the real board member who was at the Hoffmeister lecture, please stand up. Gary has taken a definitive stand he was not there and did not ask the written question.

  21. Is this an inquisition? Who the hell cares which board member was at a lecture?!?!

  22. I am not anon 1:20 or 7:46 but I am a bit curious. I would never have thought it was Gary who would ask that question. I am curious if perhaps it is one of the other Board members, maybe new, maybe not, who might have doubts as to whether solar is a good idea.

    It doesn't really matter from the standpoint of changing anything but it would provide some insight as to where the Board stands on the issue. Probably one of those items that should be left alone in the hopes of moving forward.

    Barnidge from the CCTimes commented about the MDUSD solar project today. He sees the irony in constructing solar structures while closing schools and suggests the district may have found themselves in a better position today had they done the hard work necessary to pass a parcel tax rather than a bond. Hmmmmm

  23. You can always tell Gary's friends: their either call other names or cuss. Gary needs some higher class friends.

  24. Gary,
    I am saddened to say this but I believed you when you were running for office. I really did. I have watched you turn from positive to pure negative and defensive.

    We are very new to the area and based on your political campaign, I made sure I changed my voting registration to vote proudly for you. I feel like I have been slapped in the face. You have promised us so much and yet you not only closed schools but my childrens schools, the same schools where I volunteer daily, raised funds for assistance, helped children study for STAR testing and yet we are closed. So be it.

    I think you are a cleaver politician but a crappy leader. I wish you really took our kids educations seriously.

    Now, what about those lottery funds? Do we ever see them? I am not sure, it was just a question asked at a meeting and never answered. It has raised my curiosity.

    Thankfully, we are moving out of the area so I am done with MDUSD but I assure you, I will remain a registered voter to make MDUSD a better place!

  25. Benefits for part time employees? Sign me up!

    We need to take a very good look at the unions. Not just MDEA but all!

  26. Tired MDUSD Mom of 3February 23, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    MDUSD Parent, The Lottery money is minimal and you can look at the budget on the MDUSD website and see the accounting.

    We can not blame the BOE or Gary for the closing of schools, if you want to place blame, then look in the mirror. We as a community did not pass the parcel tax, we as a community elected our State Representatives. Blame the State if you must place blame. Or better yet, stop blaming! What are your solutions? What do you suggest? Have you attended PAC meetings to learn about the budget? Did you volunteer to be on the Budget Advisory Council? I am sorry, but you are really a huge part of the problem because you want to place blame.

    Times are horrible, look at what is happening in Wisconsin. This is happening in Arlington, Texas. Right now education is being hung and our children are affected. I am fortunate that my last child is graduating from the MDUSD and off to College. Now let us hope that there is still a College to attend.

  27. Tired mom of 3, I am MDUSD mom. You are right, we should stop the blame game and continue with what tomorrow brings. My main complain is the heartless attitute that Gary seems to have adopted. But, you are correct, where do we go from here. The kids will not suffer, the kids will be educated no matter if they are here or there. Often, we need to be reminded of harsher times, like in Wisconsin. Wow, what a mess!

    Thank you for reminding me of what I tell my children every day, stop whining (my words, not yours) and tell me what you want to do about it!

  28. MDUSD mom apparently you have never ever talked to Gary personally if you did you would not be saying what you have said. It's a shame that you would say those things about a person without ever talking to them directly. Gary cares deeply anyone who has ever spoken to him knows that. Perhaps he comes across upset right now because he is upset at the situation and he is trying hard to come up with solutions to make a difference. You may not like some of his ideas but I have to say he and Sherry seem to be the ONLY board members coming up with ideas. I supported them when they ran for election and support them now. It isn't their fault the economy went into the toilet months after their election and that they have had to cut over 50 million dollars since then. They've handled it as well as can be expected. We all had a chance to run for office in November. Two new board members were elected. One doesn't seem to know where her head is and the other enjoys hearing her own voice. Gary and Sherry thankfully continue to work hard for us all.

  29. It angers me, and saddens me greatly, when I see people take this to such a personal level. It also has taken me aback at how some of my "friends" on facebook throw personal jabs at board members as though this process has been personal and targeted all the way through.

    I actually hated last night to see all the online high 5's on facebook , that "we did it." That we showed that board that we won't take it. etc etc. You know what though, they are already on to other things, their fight is done and now they go back to no involvement whatsoever.

    They remind me of the "fair weathered fans" they only get fired up when it's about them. When it's not, they breathe a collective sigh and are SO HAPPY that it's not them, that I bet you can hear them HOPING it's someone else.

    Well guess what. Nothing was really solved last night. What if we kept the momentum and energy of all these schools, and kept that rolling, not only to the state, but kept that involvement for the betterment of our district? BUt no, it won't happen, they don't want to get their hands dirty for anyone else...

    Yes I'm cynical, but I think I deserve to be. I've been involved in the district heavily for the last few years and I see the same faces. Yes some rise up for their own cause, but then go away again when they deem it "safe" for them.

    How do we get people collectively to realize we have to care about the "village" or we all will get the shaft in end. It's not just about you, or that school, or your school, or that one across town, it's about all our kids and our community.


  30. People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.