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Sparks fly at MV Whisman school board meeting

Original post made on Jun 25, 2015

Tensions flared at the Mountain View Whisman School board meeting Thursday night over a normally uncontroversial contract approval after the district's construction project manager threatened to walk out of the meeting because of some board members' questioning of cost figures.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 25, 2015, 4:25 PM

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Comments (46)

71 people like this
Posted by Uh...wow
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Anyone out there think that the MV Whisman school board is in real need of adult supervision?


49 people like this
Posted by Slappy
a resident of Slater
on Jun 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

The "Think they know it all" fools who are bickering over minutia, are ruining this board and the future of our schools. This affects the future or our children.

These are NOT sharp people, they are egomaniacs who mistakenly THINK they are serving some grand purpose and who bristle at the very thought that someone may be questioning them or their ways so they lash out with childish behavior when it happens.

Let me repeat that: they lash out with childish behavior.
all because of their egos and false sense of purpose.

I seriously think they need an "attitude adjustment" by the members of our community at every chance we can do it.


13 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

As long as PAUSD keeps role modeling dysfunctional board behavior, where will we find adults? Nelson's outbursts may have become contagious at this point.


15 people like this
Posted by Why?
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Why did that poor man need to even attend the school board meeting? Of course the board members don't want to pre-plan exactly how the dollars will be spent. Going off the total works fine. The individual breakdown by site could be viewed as an example, but it should have been marked as such.

Still I don't see why it even involved him. They were talking about how much would be spent at each of the various sites as being subject to change. That's not up to him.

Just the fact that there's a new superintendent coming should be a reason to hold off on fixing the amount at every site. But that doesn't affect the construction manager so long as he is willing to accept that at this point. Some projects have already been approved. He should only be working on those in detail.


30 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:35 pm

What are our rights regarding the board? So they're 100% out of control and their actions could and likely allow our children to lose out on SO MUCH.
What can we do?!? Anything?!? This all makes me so sad.
I wish Steve and Greg would walk out and let the door hit them in the behind. Is that a mature thing to say? No but seriously...we are all REALLY losing out because of these TWO boys.


13 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:45 pm

In order for a project to come before the board, the architect is not the only one to work on it. Mr Lee and his firm are set up to work school by school, no construction budget=no work=no project for the board to consider. Neither "boy" has much experience with construction programs. Sometimes that shows. Or we could ascribe their handling of the situation to more political motives.k2v


15 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Do some arithmetic. If it were just 2 of the 5 board members, the items could have been approved as it was. It took one more than the 2 cites to raise the issue the point of relevance.

There are a LOT of constituents who don't want to see sloppy splitting of the construction dollars between the various schools. I think the resolution of this discussion was POSITIVE. I don't see anything to criticize, other than the needless involvement of the construction manager. He might see it as easier of the board members just rubber stamp the decisions of the outgoing superintendent, but they have a duty to do more. What they did to qualify the description was needed and positive. The clash was not though. How could this have been handled without the clash? What made the construction manager take the criticism of the split personally. This would be good to know. Too bad he wouldn't comment.


10 people like this
Posted by not sure
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm

The comments below that Mr. Lee made a week earlier sound very judgmental, about what the district should and should not do. Don't the district staff and trustees decide whether or not there will be enough money for a ninth campus? Maybe Steve and Greg have a legitimate point.



"But picking and choosing from the list may cause some problems, according to Todd Lee, construction project manager for Greystone West. Lee said Bubb, Huff and Landels Elementary all have libraries and multi-use rooms with serious seismic issues that need to be addressed, and called the current facilities "dysfunctional" and in need of an upgrade.

"You're talking about leaving libraries at those three sites at a 2,400-square-foot portable," he said. "You're leaving your multi-use room with horribly undersized kitchens."

If multi-use rooms or libraries are cut from the project list, Lee said it would also lead to disparities across the district and substandard facilities at some schools that could mean the difference between a 5,000-square-foot library and a portable that's half the size.

Lee said there will be some places to make cuts later on, but the savings won't be enough to open a school in the Whisman and Slater neighborhood area.

"I promise you I will come back to you with some options to cut costs," Lee said. "I do not believe you're going to find enough options to cut costs out of this to be able to afford your ninth campus."


6 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Currently only four board members, two wanted it pulled. The discussion only highlighted the political agendas.


23 people like this
Posted by Old MV Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:18 am

I actually think Greg Coladonato made some good points.

Perhaps there is a political agenda behind them, but no one can deny that some basic project management elements seem to be lacking.

The community is watching all of this closely. Spending our tax dollars does not appear to be done well in MVWSD. There should be no assumptions that a parcel tax or bond measure is a slam dunk.C


11 people like this
Posted by not sure either
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:30 am

I agree. Those quotes from Mr. Lee are disturbing. He's mixing alleged safety concerns in with some issue about the size of the warming kitchens used to deliver hot lunches. Obviously they've been getting along.


This is just the kind of decision to leave some inadequacy at 3 or 4 other schools which can fund the installation of portables at Slater or Whisman to reopen a functional school there. Obviously too, this campus will still be even less comparable to the others. But at least it could exist. Things can always be evened up in the future. And the one double campus that will have been fixed up the most is also the one with all the very low income kids and the least amount of land per kid. Sounds like that would kind of be fair to me. Nothing stays equal forever. Incremental changes are always to be expected over time.


27 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:15 am

Cfrink is a registered user.

Mr. Lee is very, very good at his job. For the past six months or more, Mr. Lee has been developing several scenarios for modernizing our schools using the funding schemes we have available to us. In addition, he is the foremost expert currently available to our district as to what can be done wi the money we have on the schedule that money is available to us over the coming years. Very few people outside of Dr. Shelly and members of the DFC have as full an understanding about what can and cannot be accomplished with the money the district has for construction. So, it is completely appropriate for Mr. Lee to comment on what can be accomplished with that money since he'll be managing the money and the construction work. But sooner or later we're going to have to get to work preferably sooner. There are definitely many cost saving things he can suggest once the process starts and we begin to see the projects begin to build out. But we need to get started. Each month we wait costs the district something like $200,000 in opportunity costs or inflation as materials and labor costs rise.

I'm glad they figured this out without shooing Mr. Lee away. I'm very impressed with his work and look forward to seeing what he can get done over the next several months.


28 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 26, 2015 at 7:05 am

@not sure:
Mr. Lee has been deeply involved for months with the facilities planning for the elementary schools via the DFC, and his comments that you quoted reflect the priorities that he has been directed to follow. One of the key recommendations made by the DFC was a "base standard" for all elementary schools in the district, including recommended library and MUR sizes. I agree these quotes might sound judgmental on their own, but after following the DFC discussions this spring, they seem to me to be in line with the overall goals and intended to highlight the issues with some of the cuts asked about by the trustees.

Based on my own observation, there appears to be a lack of understanding of the process among the trustees. I wonder if it would help for Mr. Lee (or someone) to review where they are in the process and the remaining steps, highlighting where the board will have the opportunity to review costs and make decisions on what remains in/gets pulled out from the plans. The board does need to question, review, and ensure overall fiscal responsibility, but I'm frustrated watching them try to micromanage a process they don't understand. Ask questions to understand the recommendation and implications - yes. Ask questions to micromanage and assume they know better than the experts - no. I would like to see them take advantage of the skills and knowledge of the people they have hired and trust the experts to make smart, educated decisions in their areas of expertise.


16 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 7:39 am

I made the mistake of accidentally using the word political in a question session with Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee has always done an excellent job of working as a consulting project manager in a professional manner with the funds and instructions he has been given. I know he has done excellent work with the Facilities Committee (he is known throughout the Bay Area)- and that is only because Dr. Skelly has allowed him to consult with this group.

However - the staff in-the-past did not allow Mr. Lee to spend any time consulting with the Board Facilities Committee in 2013-14. Had the pre-Skelly Board Facilities Committee, been allowed to use Mr. Lee's excellent program manager skills (that's his lifelong profession - not school teaching, or curriculum), we would have had at least a year more of planning/discussion time for the elementary question. Many of the original Board Facilities Committee members served on the recent DFC.

SN is a Trustee of the MVWSD, this is his opinion


11 people like this
Posted by Victoria
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 26, 2015 at 9:18 am

I don't condemn the entire board. There are members who have been on for a long time who have evidenced commitment, common sense, and "adult" behavior. In my opinion, the entire board should not come under criticism because of one individual's behavior.


34 people like this
Posted by Background Information
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

What this article leaves out is that prior to this, Nelson and Coladonato had spent THREE HOURS picking at Mr. Lee regarding the Castro plans. Nelson and Coladonato seem to think that they are experts and know better than the staff or the construction manager what items should be added or taken off the plans. Mr. Lee has spent hours with this Board trying to provide the best plans for the students of this district and is a professional of the highest quality.


25 people like this
Posted by MV Mom
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Low income kids, low income kids. This upsets me so much. Children do not have income, their parents do. Why hold low income against children? or even against their parents, do you really think they actually want to be poor? Perhaps they are doing the best that they can, just like our grandparents did in their day. We all know the rents are raising ridiculously high in Mountain View and pretty much all of us that make under at least $100k will be considered low income! All children deserve good schools and an equal opportunity to get an excellent education, regardless of their parents' income. Is it so belittling for a child that comes from a poorer home to attend school with a child that comes from a wealthy home? Let's stop bickering, get our attitudes and thoughts in check and get our schools in shape for all of our children! If you lost everything today, you would be low income. We all want to be accepted and have a good life for our families. I think if people thought that way, they would be more understanding to each other's plights. Low income does not a bad kid/student make. Bad kids, on the other hand, can come from both poor and wealthy families, remember that before you say low income again.


8 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Guess people didn't know that Caldonato was a Nelson ally, from before he joined the board. Too bad.


12 people like this
Posted by More Than Enough
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Trustee Nelson says above that "Staff would not let Mr. Lee interact with Board Facilities committee". I'm not entirely sure, but perhaps that was before his firm was under contract for the middle school program? If so, there would be no good way to bring him aboard as an adviser without compromising the selection of a program manager. Trustee Nelson's goal of perfect transparency will ultimately lead to delays and cost overruns, precluding his other goal of finding "Magic Money" (quotes mine) for his political pet projects. His successful campaign and the resulting "transparency exercises" can certainly be considered an improvement in the operation of the district. Improvements usually come with costs, and in this case, construction work on the middle schools started a full year later than otherwise necessary. I'm not sure the magnitude of that escalation, but $500K would not surprise me. Pretty shallow then to argue for hours over scope at Castro/Mistral of similar orders of magnitude. Incompetent Leadership, Intransigent as to leadership of others, Must be time to GET OUT OF THE WAY, Sir!


7 people like this
Posted by Donna
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm

What time in the meeting did all of this happen? I would love to keep up, but there are several times during the meeting that the video has gone blank. Can anyone help even with approximate times? This looks so bad for the district that I'm hoping the new superintendent doesn't just walk out us.


12 people like this
Posted by another MV Mom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

"...pretty much all of us that make under at least $100k will be considered low income"

I agree with everything you said before and after tripping over this statement, which upset me so much.

If you think that $99,000 is low income, then you haven't spent nearly enough time around the people who wash your car, take care of your landscape, cook and serve your dinner out, clean the airplane you flew on, cleaned any public bathroom that you've ever used, and the list goes on and on. Go visit their homes and see how 3 families live in a 2-bedroom apartment. They will very likely invite you in and offer you something to eat.

They are working 10-hour days at $10 or maybe $15 an hour to live in Mountain View where their children can get a better education than they had. They don't have money for gymnastics, summer camp, violin lessons, Disneyland, vacations, tutoring, and the countless other things that "all of us who make under at least $100K" take for granted.

You know very well about the shrinking middle class and widening income gap. Based on some of the comments made here, if PACT parents truly cared about ALL our children, they would be sharing their talents and resources with ALL our district's children instead of just their own little group. Going on about how your children learn better with project-based learning and lots of parent assistance in the classroom, what, other people's kids do better with one teacher and worksheets? Do you realize how arrogant you sound?

But I could be wrong, MVEF has data on the amount of money contributed by school. Huff and Bubb are often at the top of the list because the parents there have more money to give. You won't see them at the silent auction gala events bidding on weekends at Lake Tahoe, but there are parents who give $10 or $20 to the principal with no fanfare. Every contribution counts. How much did Stevenson parents give to MVEF last year, and what percent of the total was that?


17 people like this
Posted by MV Mom
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm

@another MV Mom

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I do not think that $100k is low income, what I said/meant was, at this rate people will consider/think that anything under $100k is low income. Meaning at this rate, no matter how much one makes, whether it's $20k or $100k, no one will ever make enough to pay the high rents, let alone buy a house, in Mountain View, the Bay Area even! I am not talking about PACT, I am generalizing. I do not know anything about PACT to comment on it. I'd rather donate money to my school than to MVEF. I don't make enough to give to both. I hope this clears it up.


3 people like this
Posted by Rent
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Yeah, well, the truly low income families are doing things like living 2 and 3 in the same apartment.

I'd wager you could afford to buy a house if you went in it with another family, and then shared the house. Not a pretty picture is it? But why do you overlook the situation with 2 families sharing one small apartment and then still being unable to afford the rent when it rises to $3000 per month, even with 3 or 4 working incomes to defray the cost of the rent.

There are standards for a low income family. We're talking about people who qualify for food stamps aka EBT cards. This is very different. When you have Castro School 90% composed of such families, the home life begins to affect the classroom.


7 people like this
Posted by @ Rent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Nope, can't afford it, no family members either. It will never be able to afford a house in California. My bf has 6 people in her house, so I know, I've seen it and it hurts. I've helped with groceries, toilet paper, etc. Basically they will run us all of town, even the state!


12 people like this
Posted by AA
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

@ another MV Mom

I don't know the data on how much money is donated to MVEF from Stevenson families, but I have recently spent a lot of time volunteering for MVEF myself and there are a number of current (and even past) Stevenson parents who spend hours and hours every week raising money to benefit all the kids in our district.

Sure, that's not all the Stevenson parents. I agree with you, if someone is "lucky" enough to get in, it would be great if they spent some volunteer hours helping other schools beyond just their own school (which is already doing pretty well). I personally had planned to do that if we got a spot at Stevenson. I was planning to do my minimum hours at Stevenson, and then volunteer additional hours at Theuerkauf since that's my neighborhood school, they could use the help and it makes me very sad that Stevenson and Theuerkauf are right next to each other yet worlds apart. I wanted to do my part to fix that, even in a small way. (Just putting that idea out there for anyone in a similar situation!)

But do know that there are Stevenson parents who care deeply about students at other schools, so much so that they willingly spend time away from their own children to help fund a better education for all MV kids. As is often the case, it's impossible to stereotype anyone.


8 people like this
Posted by Caitlin Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 26, 2015 at 11:01 pm

A school board that behaves like spoiled kindergartners? Can these folks be impeached and replaced? That's both a question and a suggestion.

It sounds as if they've been studying the wrong role models... likesome of those clowns in Congress who haven't a clue what public service is all about.

We really need to be rid of idiots like this.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2015 at 4:39 am

@AA of Rex Manor

First, keep in-mind that Stevenson families live all over the district and are neighbors to and friends with families who attend all of the other schools in the district. Anything that happens anywhere in the district effects Stevenson families either directly or through friends.

It's only natural that Stevenson families care deeply about all the kids of our district and work so hard to benefit the MVEF and volunteer to serve on district committees, school funding measures, parcel tax or etc. for our entire district.

"I don't know the data on how much money is donated to MVEF from Stevenson families,"

The "ask" for family donation to Stevenson is $300, the "ask" from the MVEF is $500. Stevenson encourages everyone to donate what they can to BOTH funds to help reach the MVEF goals as well.

Given the housing prices in areas assigned to Huff, and Huff has far more kids, I certainly would be more interested in the percentage of the MVEF provided by Huff parents. It should be far bigger. Stevenson is a smaller school, with kids from all over the district, NOT just concentrated in the most wealthy areas of our district.

Why not campaign for wealthy Huff and Bubb families to go serve "community service" hours at other schools?

Don't you think Monta Loma or Castro would find that rather insulting, or at least suspicious?

"Stevenson parents who spend hours and hours every week raising money to benefit all the kids in our district."

Exactly, the MVEF is the proper venue for ANYONE to donate their time and money in a manner which benefits the entire school district.

"I was planning to do my minimum hours at Stevenson, and then volunteer additional hours at Theuerkauf since that's my neighborhood school,"

So, I assume you are now volunteering hours over at Monta Loma or Castro?
If not, why not?

"it makes me very sad that Stevenson and Theuerkauf are right next to each other yet worlds apart."

Funny, the 50 YMCA before/after school program kids (25 Theuerkauf and 25 Stevenson) certainly don't "feel" "worlds apart" when they spend half their day together.

Interaction between Theuerkauf and Stevenson is mainly limited by the preferences of the principal of Theuerkauf. The new principal says he wants more interaction between the schools. This was welcome news to the families of Stevenson.

"there are Stevenson parents who care deeply about students at other schools, so much so that they willingly spend time away from their own children to help fund a better education for all MV kids."

Which is only logical, because Stevenson families LIVE all over the district in the neighborhoods of other schools. Stevenson families are neighbors and friends with families who attend every other school in the district.

" As is often the case, it's impossible to stereotype anyone. "

Actually, it's all too easy for people to do that to people they don't know.


12 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2015 at 6:57 am

What is the point of having a Board of Trustees who don't question how money is being spent?

Isn't that what they are elected to do after all?

If a Trustee has questions about how money is going to be spent the person being asked the questions should be prepared to answer. Especially if that person is going to be the recipient of money himself.

The Superintendent is hired to run the district. He works for the Board of Trustees. Seems like this "acting" Superintendent forgot his place in the world or got a little cocky since he's a short timer.

To threaten to walk out like a little kid is just silly. Mr. Lee should be ashamed of himself. Same for the Superintendent. Let them walk, I promise you.. NO ONE is that important in this world. There are lots of equally qualified people willing to take there places.


10 people like this
Posted by Old MV Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2015 at 9:00 am

@ Otto Maddox

Well said. I agree.


6 people like this
Posted by Utterly
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2015 at 10:08 am

Dysfunction seems to follow Skelly. One wonders if he wanted to be fired to collect severance. Could he be getting kickbacks from Lee's company?


9 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2015 at 10:08 am

Not true at all. While Dr Skelly has already been replaced, and was attending his last board meeting, replacing Greystone would impact the entire program. Castro/Mistral has been budgeted at $43M for months! They all support the concept of 21st century schools. This was the initial design review for the entire elementary portion of the program. If you think grandstanding board members are more important than an efficient design & construction program, you are encouraging them to waste OUR tax money. I resent them doing it, and I resent you supporting it. They already voted to put two schools at the Castro site!


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

@ AA, So very nice to read your comments on civic volunteering. To me they seem "triple A".

Thanks for your hours and efforts.

SN is a Trustee of the MVWSD, these are his opinions


12 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

@PACT parent
"Why not campaign for wealthy Huff and Bubb families to go serve "community service" hours at other schools?"

Perhaps people get a bonus if they manage to bring up "PACT" negatively, and there is no similar incentive for bringing up huff/bubb?


18 people like this
Posted by csea member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm

The board has been dysfunctional for some time: it goes back to when Maurice G should have been let go for becoming involved with an employee that reported directly to him. The board should have released him for being a bad representative of the District for adultery. Since then it's been down hill from there!


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 28, 2015 at 11:00 am

#csea member of Monta Loma

"The board has been dysfunctional for some time: it goes back to when Maurice G should have been let go"

Was that time before or after the Board totally ignored the families of 397 kids at the Slater School in 2005 and closed it anyway?

While things got way worse in 2013 and again worse this year, I would argue it has been a seriously broken for at least the past dozen years. Certainly nothing has any gotten better since then.


4 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

@PACT Parent: I was there through all those meetings. Based on the financials at the time, a school was going to close! Closing any other school would have impacted more families more negatively. I am certainly sorry your precious little PACT school had to be moved across town. Although I think most of you drove there anyway. PACT has done a commendable job and I do not support moving it again. Having lived through both the Whisman & Slater closings, my greatest fear is closing another school when New Slater fills up. District wide, both revenue and enrollment are projected to flatten or decrease within the next five years.


4 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm

@Old Steve of Rex Manor

FYI, I never even heard of PACT before 2012.

"@PACT Parent: I was there through all those meetings. Based on the financials at the time, a school was going to close!"

I'm glad you're so sure of that, HOWEVER, you utterly missed the point.

Almost nobody today even cares WHY the Slater School was closed, that's NOT what people remember and it does not matter today. I doubt that many of the Slater families even had a clear understanding of the details back then.

The issue was HOW the Board went about closing the Slater School and that the same political tactics are being used again today to try and close yet another school.

Whatever "good" the Board may have felt they were doing by closing Slater was at best TEMPORARY (assuming there was any good at all), but the damage done has been permanent and has infected the entire district ever since.

Instead of making the facts clear and the process transparent in 2005, the Board intentionally set one school full of families against another.

This deliberate action may have served the politicians well, but all it did for everyone else was create a never-ending cycle of animosity, division and fear.

IF the Board had a provable case for closure in 2005, they should have been able to produce such facts clearly documented for the Slater families.

Instead, what we have a decade later are hate-filled people claiming that it was the PACT families who WANTED and CAUSED the closure of Slater and that if not for PACT, Slater would never have closed at all. The claim is not true, but the haters don't care about truth.

We have people claiming that in 2008 Slater should have been taken back from Google and re-opened with PACT reduced back to 1-strand and re-zoned as big an area as required to fill up the re-opened Slater. The fact that many factors made this impossible does not matter to the haters.

The fact that moving PACT to Stevenson was the ONLY viable way to reduce severe overcrowding at Castro quickly enough does not matter to the haters.

The fact that we don't currently have enough enrollment to support 9 schools is irrelevant to the haters.

The idea of every school and the district staff working together to increase overall enrollment can't even get off the ground because of the tactics being used by the district which forces a fight that only serves the politicians, NOT the families or schools or tax-payers for that matter.

The result is a death-spiral for enrollment and unless we can change the behavior of the Board, that downward spiral will only get worse.

That's the point you missed, NOT WHY, but HOW.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm

@Me of Willowgate

"Perhaps people get a bonus if they manage to bring up "PACT" negatively, and there is no similar incentive for bringing up huff/bubb?"

Well, Trustee Nelson never lets people forget that he is, by his own quote, "A very wealthy guy", so who knows?

Maybe you're on to something?
Stranger things have turned out to be true when it comes to politics and the behavior of politicians.

Who would have imagined that the Governor of Illinois would have tried to "sell" the legislative seat left open by Obama?
OK, well, maybe a bad example, all things considered.


8 people like this
Posted by Was not there
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

After also reading the PA Post article, it's clear that Skelly and Lee were out of line. both articles show a calm and collected Coladanato and Nelson asking reasonable questions. Skelly is silly. He had one day left on his contract. He is supposed to advocate the best interests of the school district, not take sides with a consultant.

It looks like some people want to see something that didn't take place.


8 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

@Was Not There
Was There, and I publicly and profusely apologize to Mr. Todd Lee for ever mentioning the word "political" in any context that might be associated with his professional work or demeanor. He and I have had a good working understanding over the last several years - and I highly respect his past ethical work correcting other's major problems like La Honda-Pescadero (problems in Bond Oversight Committee Report 2009) Web Link

SN is a Trustee of the MVWSD and these are his own options


12 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Since you were not there, everything just above is heresay and a waste of time. The reasons at the time were transparent to those who bothered to attend. Read M Capriles in the most recent voice. She was also there.


14 people like this
Posted by Uh...wow
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 29, 2015 at 9:13 am

@Steven Nelson -- RESIGN. NOW.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 1, 2015 at 5:24 am

@Uh...wow of Waverly Park

Steven Nelson -- RESIGN. NOW

Nelson wont resign now, he and Coladonato have already taken $30million from the district and locked it away for the exclusive use of building a new Slater School no mater what damage it will do.

Slater gets $30million lock-box funding, Stevenson NOT on any list to get any Measure-G money.

Explain why Stevenson is NOT even on the list of schools to get ANY of the Measure-G money for critical repairs or any upgrades at all!

And yet the Slater Advocates on the Board (Nelson and Coladonato) have taken $30million out of the general fund and tied it up in a reserve fund for the exclusive purpose of building a new district standard 450-600 school in Whisman/Slater.

Slater gets well over $30million, Steven gets ZERO, yeah those "greedy"...
wait, WHO is being greedy?

Slater assured $30million budget already and Stevenson ZERO, yeah, see, that proves how "greedy" the Stevenson families are we want NOTHING from Measure-G and would be happy with NO construction MONEY at all. See, there is the proof of how greedy the Stevenson families are....uh,,huh? Did I read that right?

The $30million the Board voted to be specifically set aside in a special reserve account for the Slater School at the above Board meeting didn't even get mentioned in this article. (That $30million number is rounding down.)

That seems very odd, since this huge Slater set-aside also takes away from district funds which could be spent on other things.

The Slater School now has a $30million budget (which is 3/4 the budget of the whole Castro 2-school project) and yet still Stevenson is NOT even on the LIST of schools getting construction money.

Well, I guess if that's the price the Board decides we must pay to stay at Stevenson, we'll find a way to make due with what we have. As long as we can stay where we are, we will find a way to survive until the next bond measure, whatever year that may come in.


18 people like this
Posted by Oscar
a resident of Slater
on Jul 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

There was talk of a recall against Trustee Nelson. I see no good reason for it. But this business of demanding that he resign is preposterous. If you don't like him, it is recall or replacement when his term is up.

As to the interim and now-gone superintendent who threw a fit over questions raised by trustees, best of luck to the next school board that will need to deal with him.

Administrators should explain what is being proposed for board approval - not engage in "shouting" when questions are raised. If a trustee is not clear on what is being proposed for his or her approval, the trustee should ask questions and be prepared to vote "no" as long as those questions are not answered satisfactorily. No one elects administrators.


3 people like this
Posted by Uh...wow
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm

So Oscar, WHY do you defend Nelson? Are you being paid by him? Or do you actually believe he's effective?

Or are you one of the brainwashed ones?


11 people like this
Posted by MVwTaxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

Bravo to Mr. Coladonato and Mr. Nelson for standing up for the people they are supposed to represent, the school children and taxpayers of the school district. For too long this school board have been puppets for the district bureaucrats and the teachers' union. Look at the way they paid off their buddy Mr. Goldman in secret and did not let the voters know before the election last November. So the district bureaucrats, Lee and Skelly get hot under the collar because their bosses' (i.e. the taxpayers) representatives question them. If I did not let my supervisor question my work, I would rapidly be shown the door as these two should have been.


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