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Who’s In and Who’s Out…for special districts and school boards

11 Aug

Alameda County special districts
Alameda County Water District (three seats): James Gunther (i), Martin Koller (i), John Weed (i)

Three incumbents have filed for ACWD for three seats so this race has become non-competitive.

Alameda County Schools – Tri-City
Ohlone Community College District, Area 1, (1 seat, short term): Vivien Larsen (i)
Ohlone Community College District, Area 2 (three seats): Greg Bonaccorsi (i), Kevin Bristow, Teresa Cox (i)

No challengers surfaced for Ohlone College Area 1. The current appointed incumbent, Ann Crosbie is not seeking election to Ohlone Community College and as a result there are five more days for anyone else to file. For the moment, this is a non-competitive race.

Fremont Unified School District (three seats): Desrie Campbell, Ann Crosbie, Reshma Karipineni, Lily Mei (i), Hiu Ng, Yang Shao

This is appears to be one of the more competitive races in the Tri-City area. The incumbent, Ivy Wu, has not filed so there are five more days left for anyone else to enter. The word on the street is that Ivy Wu will not be running.

New Haven Unified School District (three seats): Jonas Dino (i), Nick Fresquez, Michelle Parnala Matthews (i), Michael Ritchie (i).

There are three incumbents for three seats so this is a non-competitive race.

Newark Unified School District (three seats): Ray Rodriguez (i), Gary Stadler

Apparently, only two folks have applied for three potential seats. Perhaps, there may be an update on Monday regarding this race.

Steve Cho and Lily Mei signs up

16 Jul

Steve Cho and Lily Mei Signs up all over Fremont

Literally overnight, signs for mayoral candidate Steve Cho and School Boardmember Lily Mei are all over Fremont. Mei is running for reelection to the Fremont school board. She serves as the current President of the Fremont School Board.

It appears that Mei has aligned with Steve Cho, while her counterpart Lara York has aligned with Anu Natarajan.

What do you think of these alliances? Will they pay off?

Desrie Campbell announces for Fremont School Board

9 Jul

Fremont School board member Bryan Gebhardt announced a few months ago that he will not be seeking reelection to the Fremont School Board in November, 2012. It is also speculated that Ivy Wu may not run for reelection in November. This would open up one, perhaps two, open seats on the school board.

Desrie Campbell announced yesterday that she is running for Fremont School Board this November. Here is an excerpt from her announcement:

Today I am announcing the kickoff of my campaign for Fremont Unified School District Board of Education, and I hope you will join me. The City of Fremont is fortunate to have some of the best schools in the Bay Area. However, Fremont is seeing, as is much of California, a noticeable decline in funding which impacts the district’s ability to provide help to students at all levels.

I am running for office to be an advocate for our students. With less and less funding coming from Sacramento, I will continue to partner with Foundations, the City, FUSD and the community to seek creative ways of raising money. I will work for all students to help them achieve at all levels of academics. This will require that our students have the best learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities that are both clean and safe.

I am a qualified and effective leader and a public servant. I maintain a passion for students and for learning which I am eager to put to use on behalf of the School District. A few of my qualifications and experiences are:

President of Fremont Education Foundation
Member of the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee for Fremont Unified School District
City of Fremont Human Relations Commissioner
Past Chair of the Fremont Education Foundation Gala
(helped raised over $25,000 for teacher grants)
Former Chair of the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women
Former Board Member for the Fremont Family Resource Center
In the months to come, I look forward to meeting you to share more with you about my campaign, and to see how together we can help our children achieve and be the very best they can be. My sincerest thanks to you for helping to give our children a voice in these challenging educational times!


Desrie Campbell
Candidate for Fremont School Board

FUSD contracts and financial woes

14 May

Fremont Unified School District is suffering some financial problems. Apparently, FUSD is the only district in the state with a “No lay off” clause in the contract. Here is the excerpt:

The story is more complicated in the Fremont Unified School District, possibly the only district in the state with a no-layoff clause in its teachers contract. As a result, every year the district hires scores of teachers on temporary contracts, then notifies them all that their jobs could be ending. So Fremont sent out 250 teacher pink slips, union President Brannin Dorsey said. The district enrollment is growing, so nearly every year most of those teachers are rehired, although many seek out jobs elsewhere in the meantime. – Mercury News 5/14/12

Read more about it here.

However, the FUSD can raise the school class sizes, which they apparently did. Read about it here.

What do you think?

Fremont School district caves to political pressure

14 Sep

I wrote about a group of Indian Americans who thought they were being hassled by Fremont district school district officials here.  I am pleased to inform everyone that the school officials caved after political pressure.  They agreed to allow the Gujrati Cultural Association to continue the program until midnight. If the group had not made any efforts, the school district would have squashed them.

Indian Americans flood Fremont School Board meeting chambers

13 Sep

Thanks to a fellow school board member for this interesting story. Indian Americans marched by the boat load to the Fremont school board meeting at Technology drive yesterday. Apparently, they were upset that they were not being allowed use of the gym facilities for a community event hosted by Gujrati Cultural Association. The school administration had approved the use by the group, while Washington High School administration was giving the group a run around.

Daxesh Choxsi, president of GCA, articulated his belief that the pencil pushers at Washington High School were behaving partial to the group and felt that they were bias against the group and/or the community. He suggested that Fremont look at ways to become more inclusive of newer communities who have unique yet different needs than the older anglo-saxon community. He also reiterated that the event was a religious and cultural event and there were no alcohol or other concerns.

Mahesh Patel, Vice President of GCA and local business owner, couldn’t understand why the school wouldn’t allow them use of the Washington High School gym, when they had met all of their conditions of a five million liability policy and paying anything and everything to make the event happen. Patel felt that this could help the community raise funds for Fremont Unified School Districts. He also said that one of the school prinicipals told him that the school was private property and they could do whatever they want.

The school district allowed the use of the site, but only until 11pm despite the group’s urging. The group wanted to have the site until midnight as the religious event was meant to last until the following day.

The superintendent, Jim Morris, reiterated his commitment to get a fast resolution by today.