DJUSD Moves Toward Changing Election Cycle

imageSchools

As I mentioned in a previous article on this subject, the move from odd-year elections for DJUSD board members to even-year elections make complete sense from a democratic standpoint and a budgetary standpoint.

From a political standpoint both Bob Dunning and Richard Harris expressed concerns about the major drawback, the fact that the board members would essentially be extending their term for a year. Looking at the issue purely from this standpoint however, obscures the benefits of the move. The biggest being the huge budget impact. But the secondary point being democratic factors. In 2007, around 30% of people turned out to vote for DJUSD board elections, Measure P, and Measure Q. In 2008, over 80% of the voters turned out to vote in the Presidential election and by extension in the Measure W election. Even in an average mid-term election, you are looking at well over 50% of the vote. To me it makes perfect sense and I will share more in the commentary portion of this article. The board last night had their third discussion on this item without taking a vote. However, there is a clear three member board majority that favors this move pending a vote possibly next week.

The big change necessitating the move is also the fact that DJUSD would be the only election matter on the ballot in odd years and thus would have to bare the full cost of the election.

In a memo from Sandra Fowles, DJUSD Director of Fiscal Services she explains the impact:

“The district shared the ballot costs in 2007 with the Yolo Library District locally and the county costs with West Sacramento, Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE), and Woodland. In 2005 a statewide special election was held and the district shared costs with the state, the City of Davis locally and county wide with YCOE, Esparto, Winters and Woodland. In the election years of 2001 and 2003 the district did not share the costs with another district locally but shared the costs with other school districts county wide. The cost to run a Board member election in 2007 was 245% more than 2005. The cost is expected to increase another 43% for 2009 if Davis Joint Unified is to remain the sole election contest on the ballot for the November election.

The ability to conduct the district election strictly by mail is not currently an option. The County of Yolo is pursing legislation giving Yolo County this right.”

County Clerk Freddie Oakley wrote the school district in September:

“The result of using that formula for the first time was a really awful “sticker shock”. We subsequently adjusted the billed amounts downwards by removing some of the items that we were billing for the first time. In order to maintain a spirit of fairness and cooperation with the districts, we have permanently removed some of those items from the billing formula – for instance, the cost of my salary and the cost of some “allowable overhead.” Any further adjustment would necessitate raising the issue with our auditor and Board of Supervisors.

In discussing ways to reduce or minimize election costs for the districts, we have discussed the advisability of districts changing their election schedules so that they move from the odd-year “Uniform District Election Code” (UDEL) schedule to the even-year “General Election” schedule.

We have posited that such a change would afford the districts the economies of scale that are the result of sharing the expenses of transportation, poll worker costs, “real estate space” on the ballot, and other inflexible expenses.”

Board Member Richard Harris remains adamantly against the change, arguing that the voters voted him in for a four-year term, he considers it wrong to take an extra year.

Since he said it very succinctly in his December 4, 2008 letter to the editor in response to Bob Dunning’s column, I will use his words from that which he forcefully reiterated last night:

“I will not vote to extend my own term of office because I don’t believe elected officials should extend their own time in office.

I consider it a privilege to be on the school board and thank the people who voted me into office last year. But it is their right, not mine, to extend that term.

There may be savings from consolidating elections and I look forward to more discussion about the issue. But as I stated the other night, there are also benefits to school board elections being run separately from other elections.

We should consider those benefits versus potential savings from consolidating future elections without interjecting the notion of unilaterally extending our own terms.”

Board Member Tim Taylor however passionately and eloquently summed up the counter-argument which seems to be carrying the day:

“The people elect you to take care of this district, and for anybody to say, well, 2009 we’ll just bite the bullet, is not taking care of this district. And quite frankly I think that’s thinking of the individual and not thinking of the collective. I think our job is to think about this district and think about the collective and think about what’s in the financial health and security of this district. This is not a power grab for anybody, believe me. This is not even a personally wise decision for anybody to do on a personal level. It’s only about the district. To think well it’s not in my interest or I am somehow violating the trust… is the complete wrong way to look at this. The public has entrusted you with the financial security and the health of this district and if you say I’m going to spend fifty thousand dollars, much less a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, much less five hundred thousand dollars in 2009 that you don’t have to spend, you’re not entrusting, taking on that public trust ability. And quite frankly that is the beginning and end of the story.”

Mr. Taylor doesn’t see this as an equal decision, but he said that there are real on the ground consequences

Past Board President Sheila Allen:

“I am willing to take one for the team, to stay one more year if it meant a school could stay open, a teacher’s job could be saved…”

She continued:

“I would do all sorts of things for this school district to save programs.”

Newly elected Board President Gina Daleiden summed it up:

“I agree with what Tim and Sheila have said because I closed a school, we’re still battle scarred from that. I won’t do that again for a few more months because I have a funny feeling about it.”

Ms. Daleiden continued:

“I think it’s a no-brainer when you are talking about laying off teachers and destroying programs.”

I agree with the position of Boardmembers Taylor, Allen, and Daleiden. I think this is a no-brainer. Frankly, if the biggest cost is the political future of board members because of this move, it is a small price to pay. It is far better than the prospect of closing a school or laying off teachers. We are not talking about a small sum of money here, we are talking about perhaps half a million or more. That’s a school right there. That’s perhaps eight FTE teaching positions.

I think Tim Taylor is absolutely correct when he said that the voters elected the board to take care of the district, and this is the best way to take care of the district.

One of the first votes I cast was in an election in San Luis Obispo which consolidated the ballot to even years. From a financial standpoint it makes sense and from the standpoint of democracy, getting good voter participation it makes sense. The 30 percent turnout in 2007 was both a waste of taxpayer money and problematic for democracy. And we saw that the city could support education even when 80%-plus turn out at the polls and I suspect people were as aware if not more aware of Measure W as opposed to Measure Q.

One final point, it seems like they would put the parcel tax on February 2012 ballot and it would take effect for the fall. The downside to that is that if it were to fail, the district would have some difficulty getting it on the June 2012 ballot. But it may be possible. That would be the only hurdle to that dilemma, I know people were asking about it for the townhall meeting.

As Tim Taylor pointed out, this is not a political power grab, this is a prudent economic cost savings during one of the worst financial times ever. If board members such as Richard Harris are uncomfortable with that, and I can respect his trepidation, they can always resign. I do not say that flippantly and I hope that Mr. Harris, despite my perhaps policy disagreements with him, does not resign over this matter.

It appears this will be put to rest next week, I hope they can vote on it and I hope it does not end up a 3-2 vote, which might be more harmful than the action itself.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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96 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I watched the meeting and anyone else feel a tug at the Valley Oak heartstrings as they pretty much lauded the DaVinci Charter without much questioning? To move into Valley Oak? Seems to me a poor decision during these times; sure the grant money MIGHT be there now but how about in a few years? Should this expense and energy be expended for 300+ students when Rome is burning? It seemed they were proposing the charter for all the mundane reasons, not the program is different, we can do more etc. It was space, convenience, and money…..anyone agree?

  2. Anonymous

    I watched the meeting and anyone else feel a tug at the Valley Oak heartstrings as they pretty much lauded the DaVinci Charter without much questioning? To move into Valley Oak? Seems to me a poor decision during these times; sure the grant money MIGHT be there now but how about in a few years? Should this expense and energy be expended for 300+ students when Rome is burning? It seemed they were proposing the charter for all the mundane reasons, not the program is different, we can do more etc. It was space, convenience, and money…..anyone agree?

  3. Anonymous

    I watched the meeting and anyone else feel a tug at the Valley Oak heartstrings as they pretty much lauded the DaVinci Charter without much questioning? To move into Valley Oak? Seems to me a poor decision during these times; sure the grant money MIGHT be there now but how about in a few years? Should this expense and energy be expended for 300+ students when Rome is burning? It seemed they were proposing the charter for all the mundane reasons, not the program is different, we can do more etc. It was space, convenience, and money…..anyone agree?

  4. Anonymous

    I watched the meeting and anyone else feel a tug at the Valley Oak heartstrings as they pretty much lauded the DaVinci Charter without much questioning? To move into Valley Oak? Seems to me a poor decision during these times; sure the grant money MIGHT be there now but how about in a few years? Should this expense and energy be expended for 300+ students when Rome is burning? It seemed they were proposing the charter for all the mundane reasons, not the program is different, we can do more etc. It was space, convenience, and money…..anyone agree?

  5. David M. Greenwald

    The way the charter process is supposed to work is that the budget should not matter. The law precludes fiscal considerations from weighing in on that decision.

    However, the reality is that it very much weighed in on the decision for Valley Oak.

    In terms of the charter process, it has a long way to go, do not worry about the lack of questions at this stage.

    That said, I hope we will not lose focus on the main topic of this article because it is very important as well.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    The way the charter process is supposed to work is that the budget should not matter. The law precludes fiscal considerations from weighing in on that decision.

    However, the reality is that it very much weighed in on the decision for Valley Oak.

    In terms of the charter process, it has a long way to go, do not worry about the lack of questions at this stage.

    That said, I hope we will not lose focus on the main topic of this article because it is very important as well.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    The way the charter process is supposed to work is that the budget should not matter. The law precludes fiscal considerations from weighing in on that decision.

    However, the reality is that it very much weighed in on the decision for Valley Oak.

    In terms of the charter process, it has a long way to go, do not worry about the lack of questions at this stage.

    That said, I hope we will not lose focus on the main topic of this article because it is very important as well.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    The way the charter process is supposed to work is that the budget should not matter. The law precludes fiscal considerations from weighing in on that decision.

    However, the reality is that it very much weighed in on the decision for Valley Oak.

    In terms of the charter process, it has a long way to go, do not worry about the lack of questions at this stage.

    That said, I hope we will not lose focus on the main topic of this article because it is very important as well.

  9. Davis Parent

    Seems to me that if Harris is so adamantly opposed to serving an additional year, he can stick to his principles and resign from office at the end of his term.

  10. Davis Parent

    Seems to me that if Harris is so adamantly opposed to serving an additional year, he can stick to his principles and resign from office at the end of his term.

  11. Davis Parent

    Seems to me that if Harris is so adamantly opposed to serving an additional year, he can stick to his principles and resign from office at the end of his term.

  12. Davis Parent

    Seems to me that if Harris is so adamantly opposed to serving an additional year, he can stick to his principles and resign from office at the end of his term.

  13. Anonymous

    I agree with Harris. It is not the Board Members’ arbitrary right to extend their own term. It should only be granted to them by the citizens of Davis. If this were the City Council, I’m sure your position would be different. If it takes cutting programs to preserve political integrity, then so be it.

    If there needs to be a “hardship clause” for a single year extension for a similar future circumstance, then that can be considered in the next election.

    My opinion anyway.

  14. Anonymous

    I agree with Harris. It is not the Board Members’ arbitrary right to extend their own term. It should only be granted to them by the citizens of Davis. If this were the City Council, I’m sure your position would be different. If it takes cutting programs to preserve political integrity, then so be it.

    If there needs to be a “hardship clause” for a single year extension for a similar future circumstance, then that can be considered in the next election.

    My opinion anyway.

  15. Anonymous

    I agree with Harris. It is not the Board Members’ arbitrary right to extend their own term. It should only be granted to them by the citizens of Davis. If this were the City Council, I’m sure your position would be different. If it takes cutting programs to preserve political integrity, then so be it.

    If there needs to be a “hardship clause” for a single year extension for a similar future circumstance, then that can be considered in the next election.

    My opinion anyway.

  16. Anonymous

    I agree with Harris. It is not the Board Members’ arbitrary right to extend their own term. It should only be granted to them by the citizens of Davis. If this were the City Council, I’m sure your position would be different. If it takes cutting programs to preserve political integrity, then so be it.

    If there needs to be a “hardship clause” for a single year extension for a similar future circumstance, then that can be considered in the next election.

    My opinion anyway.

  17. David M. Greenwald

    You are correct I would have a different opinion if it were the city council. The council would not have to close down a school or lay off teachers to finance an election in an odd year. I don’t see the equivalent in the city that would place me in a similar position.

    That said, I think I would support the move because I believe that elections should be consolidated to maximize turnout. I would be supportive if the city council wanted to move their elections to November even if that means another six months for people I dislike.

    I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election. You do what’s right here and you can face the consequences for that when you come up for election or if the people are so unhappy they can recall the members too. There are recourses. Having half a million in this climate is not a luxury it is a necessity and so these times call for measures that might ultimately seem unseemly.

    In SLO they had a special election for it, it did require an extra year of service, it passed overwhelmingly. We cannot do that this time because of the cost factor.

  18. David M. Greenwald

    You are correct I would have a different opinion if it were the city council. The council would not have to close down a school or lay off teachers to finance an election in an odd year. I don’t see the equivalent in the city that would place me in a similar position.

    That said, I think I would support the move because I believe that elections should be consolidated to maximize turnout. I would be supportive if the city council wanted to move their elections to November even if that means another six months for people I dislike.

    I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election. You do what’s right here and you can face the consequences for that when you come up for election or if the people are so unhappy they can recall the members too. There are recourses. Having half a million in this climate is not a luxury it is a necessity and so these times call for measures that might ultimately seem unseemly.

    In SLO they had a special election for it, it did require an extra year of service, it passed overwhelmingly. We cannot do that this time because of the cost factor.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    You are correct I would have a different opinion if it were the city council. The council would not have to close down a school or lay off teachers to finance an election in an odd year. I don’t see the equivalent in the city that would place me in a similar position.

    That said, I think I would support the move because I believe that elections should be consolidated to maximize turnout. I would be supportive if the city council wanted to move their elections to November even if that means another six months for people I dislike.

    I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election. You do what’s right here and you can face the consequences for that when you come up for election or if the people are so unhappy they can recall the members too. There are recourses. Having half a million in this climate is not a luxury it is a necessity and so these times call for measures that might ultimately seem unseemly.

    In SLO they had a special election for it, it did require an extra year of service, it passed overwhelmingly. We cannot do that this time because of the cost factor.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    You are correct I would have a different opinion if it were the city council. The council would not have to close down a school or lay off teachers to finance an election in an odd year. I don’t see the equivalent in the city that would place me in a similar position.

    That said, I think I would support the move because I believe that elections should be consolidated to maximize turnout. I would be supportive if the city council wanted to move their elections to November even if that means another six months for people I dislike.

    I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election. You do what’s right here and you can face the consequences for that when you come up for election or if the people are so unhappy they can recall the members too. There are recourses. Having half a million in this climate is not a luxury it is a necessity and so these times call for measures that might ultimately seem unseemly.

    In SLO they had a special election for it, it did require an extra year of service, it passed overwhelmingly. We cannot do that this time because of the cost factor.

  21. Anonymous

    “I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election.”

    And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? Should we “take one for the team” then too? Personally, I’d rather pay another parcel tax than blur the lines of how long are representatives are ELECTED to serve.

    I’m a public servant. The private sector is laying people off. I recognize that my position, despite all efforts by upper management, is not guaranteed. It comes with the territory.

  22. Anonymous

    “I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election.”

    And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? Should we “take one for the team” then too? Personally, I’d rather pay another parcel tax than blur the lines of how long are representatives are ELECTED to serve.

    I’m a public servant. The private sector is laying people off. I recognize that my position, despite all efforts by upper management, is not guaranteed. It comes with the territory.

  23. Anonymous

    “I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election.”

    And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? Should we “take one for the team” then too? Personally, I’d rather pay another parcel tax than blur the lines of how long are representatives are ELECTED to serve.

    I’m a public servant. The private sector is laying people off. I recognize that my position, despite all efforts by upper management, is not guaranteed. It comes with the territory.

  24. Anonymous

    “I’m sorry, as Sheila said, I think you have to take one for the team here even if it means you lose your next election.”

    And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? Should we “take one for the team” then too? Personally, I’d rather pay another parcel tax than blur the lines of how long are representatives are ELECTED to serve.

    I’m a public servant. The private sector is laying people off. I recognize that my position, despite all efforts by upper management, is not guaranteed. It comes with the territory.

  25. David M. Greenwald

    “And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? “

    You don’t seem to be following here. In order to move the elections to even years, the current members will have to serve one additional year on the board in their current term. That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.

    The reference to taking one for the team is not a reference to the public, it’s a reference to the board members who might lose their next election if the public is angry about this arrangement. But that is preferable to spending $500,000 per election.

    I don’t see any way to justify that expenditure of money on a bi-annual basis. It creates a bit of a messy situation with a full board serving five rather than four year terms, but that is a one-time occurrence in correcting the situation.

  26. David M. Greenwald

    “And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? “

    You don’t seem to be following here. In order to move the elections to even years, the current members will have to serve one additional year on the board in their current term. That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.

    The reference to taking one for the team is not a reference to the public, it’s a reference to the board members who might lose their next election if the public is angry about this arrangement. But that is preferable to spending $500,000 per election.

    I don’t see any way to justify that expenditure of money on a bi-annual basis. It creates a bit of a messy situation with a full board serving five rather than four year terms, but that is a one-time occurrence in correcting the situation.

  27. David M. Greenwald

    “And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? “

    You don’t seem to be following here. In order to move the elections to even years, the current members will have to serve one additional year on the board in their current term. That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.

    The reference to taking one for the team is not a reference to the public, it’s a reference to the board members who might lose their next election if the public is angry about this arrangement. But that is preferable to spending $500,000 per election.

    I don’t see any way to justify that expenditure of money on a bi-annual basis. It creates a bit of a messy situation with a full board serving five rather than four year terms, but that is a one-time occurrence in correcting the situation.

  28. David M. Greenwald

    “And what about next year, the year after, and the year after that? “

    You don’t seem to be following here. In order to move the elections to even years, the current members will have to serve one additional year on the board in their current term. That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.

    The reference to taking one for the team is not a reference to the public, it’s a reference to the board members who might lose their next election if the public is angry about this arrangement. But that is preferable to spending $500,000 per election.

    I don’t see any way to justify that expenditure of money on a bi-annual basis. It creates a bit of a messy situation with a full board serving five rather than four year terms, but that is a one-time occurrence in correcting the situation.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “The biggest being the huge budget impact.”

    How much money?

    “In 2007, around 30% of people turned out to vote for DJUSD board elections, Measure P, and Measure Q.”

    While I understand your thinking David, I side with Dunning and Harris on this (unless the money is far more staggering than I realized). It is terribly undemocratic to elect a person for four years and that person extends his own term an additional year. Much better, if you want to move all school board elections to even years, then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and Sheriff, and the long list of county department heads we shouldn’t be voting on anyway, and the usual 15 ballot propositions, and two or three local measures, the school board race will get lost in the mire. I think there is very good reason to believe that.

    “The ability to conduct the district election strictly by mail is not currently an option.”

    How seriously is anyone in Davis, save F.O. — congrats on your daughter’s marriage, btw, Freddie — pushing Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada to get this done?

    Vote-by-mail is obviously the way to go. It costs about 20% as much per ballot; and it increases turnout.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “The biggest being the huge budget impact.”

    How much money?

    “In 2007, around 30% of people turned out to vote for DJUSD board elections, Measure P, and Measure Q.”

    While I understand your thinking David, I side with Dunning and Harris on this (unless the money is far more staggering than I realized). It is terribly undemocratic to elect a person for four years and that person extends his own term an additional year. Much better, if you want to move all school board elections to even years, then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and Sheriff, and the long list of county department heads we shouldn’t be voting on anyway, and the usual 15 ballot propositions, and two or three local measures, the school board race will get lost in the mire. I think there is very good reason to believe that.

    “The ability to conduct the district election strictly by mail is not currently an option.”

    How seriously is anyone in Davis, save F.O. — congrats on your daughter’s marriage, btw, Freddie — pushing Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada to get this done?

    Vote-by-mail is obviously the way to go. It costs about 20% as much per ballot; and it increases turnout.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “The biggest being the huge budget impact.”

    How much money?

    “In 2007, around 30% of people turned out to vote for DJUSD board elections, Measure P, and Measure Q.”

    While I understand your thinking David, I side with Dunning and Harris on this (unless the money is far more staggering than I realized). It is terribly undemocratic to elect a person for four years and that person extends his own term an additional year. Much better, if you want to move all school board elections to even years, then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and Sheriff, and the long list of county department heads we shouldn’t be voting on anyway, and the usual 15 ballot propositions, and two or three local measures, the school board race will get lost in the mire. I think there is very good reason to believe that.

    “The ability to conduct the district election strictly by mail is not currently an option.”

    How seriously is anyone in Davis, save F.O. — congrats on your daughter’s marriage, btw, Freddie — pushing Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada to get this done?

    Vote-by-mail is obviously the way to go. It costs about 20% as much per ballot; and it increases turnout.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “The biggest being the huge budget impact.”

    How much money?

    “In 2007, around 30% of people turned out to vote for DJUSD board elections, Measure P, and Measure Q.”

    While I understand your thinking David, I side with Dunning and Harris on this (unless the money is far more staggering than I realized). It is terribly undemocratic to elect a person for four years and that person extends his own term an additional year. Much better, if you want to move all school board elections to even years, then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and Sheriff, and the long list of county department heads we shouldn’t be voting on anyway, and the usual 15 ballot propositions, and two or three local measures, the school board race will get lost in the mire. I think there is very good reason to believe that.

    “The ability to conduct the district election strictly by mail is not currently an option.”

    How seriously is anyone in Davis, save F.O. — congrats on your daughter’s marriage, btw, Freddie — pushing Lois Wolk and Mariko Yamada to get this done?

    Vote-by-mail is obviously the way to go. It costs about 20% as much per ballot; and it increases turnout.

  33. Rich Rifkin

    TT: “The public has entrusted you with the financial security and the health of this district and if you say I’m going to spend fifty thousand dollars, much less a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, much less five hundred thousand dollars in 2009 that you don’t have to spend, you’re not entrusting, taking on that public trust ability.”

    This strikes me as disingenuous. I don’t recall Mr. Taylor or any of the trustees, other than Richard Harris, support the idea that the huge pay increases the district had given to teachers and other personnel — with money the district did not have — should be taken back because of the fiscal emergency. Those pay raises were in the millions of dollars, way more than the cost of an election.

    SA: “”I am willing to take one for the team, to stay one more year if it meant a school could stay open, a teacher’s job could be saved…”

    Same disingenuous story. Had the trustees not given the huge pay raises, they could have saved EVERY teacher’s job. But many teachers lost their jobs because of that fiscally irresponsible decision Allen and Taylor supported. So to now say “I want to do this to save one teachers job” is hard to understand, given the record of the Board.

  34. Rich Rifkin

    TT: “The public has entrusted you with the financial security and the health of this district and if you say I’m going to spend fifty thousand dollars, much less a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, much less five hundred thousand dollars in 2009 that you don’t have to spend, you’re not entrusting, taking on that public trust ability.”

    This strikes me as disingenuous. I don’t recall Mr. Taylor or any of the trustees, other than Richard Harris, support the idea that the huge pay increases the district had given to teachers and other personnel — with money the district did not have — should be taken back because of the fiscal emergency. Those pay raises were in the millions of dollars, way more than the cost of an election.

    SA: “”I am willing to take one for the team, to stay one more year if it meant a school could stay open, a teacher’s job could be saved…”

    Same disingenuous story. Had the trustees not given the huge pay raises, they could have saved EVERY teacher’s job. But many teachers lost their jobs because of that fiscally irresponsible decision Allen and Taylor supported. So to now say “I want to do this to save one teachers job” is hard to understand, given the record of the Board.

  35. Rich Rifkin

    TT: “The public has entrusted you with the financial security and the health of this district and if you say I’m going to spend fifty thousand dollars, much less a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, much less five hundred thousand dollars in 2009 that you don’t have to spend, you’re not entrusting, taking on that public trust ability.”

    This strikes me as disingenuous. I don’t recall Mr. Taylor or any of the trustees, other than Richard Harris, support the idea that the huge pay increases the district had given to teachers and other personnel — with money the district did not have — should be taken back because of the fiscal emergency. Those pay raises were in the millions of dollars, way more than the cost of an election.

    SA: “”I am willing to take one for the team, to stay one more year if it meant a school could stay open, a teacher’s job could be saved…”

    Same disingenuous story. Had the trustees not given the huge pay raises, they could have saved EVERY teacher’s job. But many teachers lost their jobs because of that fiscally irresponsible decision Allen and Taylor supported. So to now say “I want to do this to save one teachers job” is hard to understand, given the record of the Board.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    TT: “The public has entrusted you with the financial security and the health of this district and if you say I’m going to spend fifty thousand dollars, much less a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, much less five hundred thousand dollars in 2009 that you don’t have to spend, you’re not entrusting, taking on that public trust ability.”

    This strikes me as disingenuous. I don’t recall Mr. Taylor or any of the trustees, other than Richard Harris, support the idea that the huge pay increases the district had given to teachers and other personnel — with money the district did not have — should be taken back because of the fiscal emergency. Those pay raises were in the millions of dollars, way more than the cost of an election.

    SA: “”I am willing to take one for the team, to stay one more year if it meant a school could stay open, a teacher’s job could be saved…”

    Same disingenuous story. Had the trustees not given the huge pay raises, they could have saved EVERY teacher’s job. But many teachers lost their jobs because of that fiscally irresponsible decision Allen and Taylor supported. So to now say “I want to do this to save one teachers job” is hard to understand, given the record of the Board.

  37. Rich Rifkin

    “That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.”

    That’s actually a two-time thing, no? Once in 2009 and once again 2011.

  38. Rich Rifkin

    “That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.”

    That’s actually a two-time thing, no? Once in 2009 and once again 2011.

  39. Rich Rifkin

    “That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.”

    That’s actually a two-time thing, no? Once in 2009 and once again 2011.

  40. Rich Rifkin

    “That is a one-time occurrence. So the members whose term would be up in 2009 will instead serve in 2010 and those who term would be up in 2011 will instead be up in 2012.”

    That’s actually a two-time thing, no? Once in 2009 and once again 2011.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    “then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.”

    I messed this up. It should read: “then the current trustees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2011 gets a 5-year term, but from 2016 on the term would revert to 4 years.”

  42. Rich Rifkin

    “then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.”

    I messed this up. It should read: “then the current trustees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2011 gets a 5-year term, but from 2016 on the term would revert to 4 years.”

  43. Rich Rifkin

    “then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.”

    I messed this up. It should read: “then the current trustees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2011 gets a 5-year term, but from 2016 on the term would revert to 4 years.”

  44. Rich Rifkin

    “then the current turstees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2016 gets a 5-year term.”

    I messed this up. It should read: “then the current trustees should vote that the individuals elected in 2009 get 5-year terms, and then beginning in 2014, those terms revert to being 4-year terms; and likewise, a trustee elected in 2011 gets a 5-year term, but from 2016 on the term would revert to 4 years.”

  45. Rich Rifkin

    That’s clear.

    Do you know how much money we are talking about here, David?

    IOW, what is the cost of a 2009 election to the district minus the cost of a 2010 election to the district? The difference is the monetary savings.

    If the board votes to make this change, I do agree with “Davis Parent,” who said Harris should step down out of a matter of principle. Democratic legitimacy is a principle worth taking a stand on.

  46. Rich Rifkin

    That’s clear.

    Do you know how much money we are talking about here, David?

    IOW, what is the cost of a 2009 election to the district minus the cost of a 2010 election to the district? The difference is the monetary savings.

    If the board votes to make this change, I do agree with “Davis Parent,” who said Harris should step down out of a matter of principle. Democratic legitimacy is a principle worth taking a stand on.

  47. Rich Rifkin

    That’s clear.

    Do you know how much money we are talking about here, David?

    IOW, what is the cost of a 2009 election to the district minus the cost of a 2010 election to the district? The difference is the monetary savings.

    If the board votes to make this change, I do agree with “Davis Parent,” who said Harris should step down out of a matter of principle. Democratic legitimacy is a principle worth taking a stand on.

  48. Rich Rifkin

    That’s clear.

    Do you know how much money we are talking about here, David?

    IOW, what is the cost of a 2009 election to the district minus the cost of a 2010 election to the district? The difference is the monetary savings.

    If the board votes to make this change, I do agree with “Davis Parent,” who said Harris should step down out of a matter of principle. Democratic legitimacy is a principle worth taking a stand on.

  49. David M. Greenwald

    Okay here’s the scoop.

    Last election it cost about $585,000 that was in November 2007. That cost was shared with all of the districts who were on the ballot.

    Davis is the last district left in an odd year with Woodland making the same choice ours will.

    Now Freddie Oakley will not give an exact figure because last time the cost went up by about 43% and the districts cried foul. So now she’s only giving a ball park.

    So it could be $585,000, it could be somewhat less. or it could be somewhat more, perhaps almost 50% more depending on a variety of factors.

    Let’s say it is $500,000 to $600,000 per election, that’s the cost of a school.

    From that standpoint, I don’t see how the district can justify it.

  50. David M. Greenwald

    Okay here’s the scoop.

    Last election it cost about $585,000 that was in November 2007. That cost was shared with all of the districts who were on the ballot.

    Davis is the last district left in an odd year with Woodland making the same choice ours will.

    Now Freddie Oakley will not give an exact figure because last time the cost went up by about 43% and the districts cried foul. So now she’s only giving a ball park.

    So it could be $585,000, it could be somewhat less. or it could be somewhat more, perhaps almost 50% more depending on a variety of factors.

    Let’s say it is $500,000 to $600,000 per election, that’s the cost of a school.

    From that standpoint, I don’t see how the district can justify it.

  51. David M. Greenwald

    Okay here’s the scoop.

    Last election it cost about $585,000 that was in November 2007. That cost was shared with all of the districts who were on the ballot.

    Davis is the last district left in an odd year with Woodland making the same choice ours will.

    Now Freddie Oakley will not give an exact figure because last time the cost went up by about 43% and the districts cried foul. So now she’s only giving a ball park.

    So it could be $585,000, it could be somewhat less. or it could be somewhat more, perhaps almost 50% more depending on a variety of factors.

    Let’s say it is $500,000 to $600,000 per election, that’s the cost of a school.

    From that standpoint, I don’t see how the district can justify it.

  52. David M. Greenwald

    Okay here’s the scoop.

    Last election it cost about $585,000 that was in November 2007. That cost was shared with all of the districts who were on the ballot.

    Davis is the last district left in an odd year with Woodland making the same choice ours will.

    Now Freddie Oakley will not give an exact figure because last time the cost went up by about 43% and the districts cried foul. So now she’s only giving a ball park.

    So it could be $585,000, it could be somewhat less. or it could be somewhat more, perhaps almost 50% more depending on a variety of factors.

    Let’s say it is $500,000 to $600,000 per election, that’s the cost of a school.

    From that standpoint, I don’t see how the district can justify it.

  53. Rich Rifkin

    The number you are missing is what it will cost in the even year. If it costs $500,000 in 2009, but $450,000 in 2010, that is a smaller deal than if in 2010 the cost is $50,000. Knowing how much it costs in 2009 without knowing the 2010 figure means we don’t know the savings.

  54. Rich Rifkin

    The number you are missing is what it will cost in the even year. If it costs $500,000 in 2009, but $450,000 in 2010, that is a smaller deal than if in 2010 the cost is $50,000. Knowing how much it costs in 2009 without knowing the 2010 figure means we don’t know the savings.

  55. Rich Rifkin

    The number you are missing is what it will cost in the even year. If it costs $500,000 in 2009, but $450,000 in 2010, that is a smaller deal than if in 2010 the cost is $50,000. Knowing how much it costs in 2009 without knowing the 2010 figure means we don’t know the savings.

  56. Rich Rifkin

    The number you are missing is what it will cost in the even year. If it costs $500,000 in 2009, but $450,000 in 2010, that is a smaller deal than if in 2010 the cost is $50,000. Knowing how much it costs in 2009 without knowing the 2010 figure means we don’t know the savings.

  57. David M. Greenwald

    Because of how many offices are on the ballot, the amount is very small for an even year.

    I’ll try to get a figure but my impression was with many huge offices on the ballot, it was a huge savings.

  58. David M. Greenwald

    Because of how many offices are on the ballot, the amount is very small for an even year.

    I’ll try to get a figure but my impression was with many huge offices on the ballot, it was a huge savings.

  59. David M. Greenwald

    Because of how many offices are on the ballot, the amount is very small for an even year.

    I’ll try to get a figure but my impression was with many huge offices on the ballot, it was a huge savings.

  60. David M. Greenwald

    Because of how many offices are on the ballot, the amount is very small for an even year.

    I’ll try to get a figure but my impression was with many huge offices on the ballot, it was a huge savings.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    Doesn’t this issue (presuming it costs a boatload more) for 2009 raise the question: Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?

    Obviously, all the money wasted in past years is gone and cannot be recovered. But if it is a waste of money now that we’re in a recession, it was a waste of money when we were more affluent.

  62. Rich Rifkin

    Doesn’t this issue (presuming it costs a boatload more) for 2009 raise the question: Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?

    Obviously, all the money wasted in past years is gone and cannot be recovered. But if it is a waste of money now that we’re in a recession, it was a waste of money when we were more affluent.

  63. Rich Rifkin

    Doesn’t this issue (presuming it costs a boatload more) for 2009 raise the question: Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?

    Obviously, all the money wasted in past years is gone and cannot be recovered. But if it is a waste of money now that we’re in a recession, it was a waste of money when we were more affluent.

  64. Rich Rifkin

    Doesn’t this issue (presuming it costs a boatload more) for 2009 raise the question: Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?

    Obviously, all the money wasted in past years is gone and cannot be recovered. But if it is a waste of money now that we’re in a recession, it was a waste of money when we were more affluent.

  65. David M. Greenwald

    “Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?”

    What’s happened is first the cost has gone up and second the other jurisdictions have opted to go to even years leaving Davis bearing the full cost.

  66. David M. Greenwald

    “Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?”

    What’s happened is first the cost has gone up and second the other jurisdictions have opted to go to even years leaving Davis bearing the full cost.

  67. David M. Greenwald

    “Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?”

    What’s happened is first the cost has gone up and second the other jurisdictions have opted to go to even years leaving Davis bearing the full cost.

  68. David M. Greenwald

    “Why did the DJUSD trustees, whose first responsibility has always been to wisely spend the taxpayers’ money, not see the wisdom of even year elections long ago?”

    What’s happened is first the cost has gone up and second the other jurisdictions have opted to go to even years leaving Davis bearing the full cost.

  69. David M. Greenwald

    Apparently that option is not legally available at the moment. I don’t know if I included that in the story but it was explained in Freddie Oakley’s letter which is in the agenda packet which is on the djusd.net website.

  70. David M. Greenwald

    Apparently that option is not legally available at the moment. I don’t know if I included that in the story but it was explained in Freddie Oakley’s letter which is in the agenda packet which is on the djusd.net website.

  71. David M. Greenwald

    Apparently that option is not legally available at the moment. I don’t know if I included that in the story but it was explained in Freddie Oakley’s letter which is in the agenda packet which is on the djusd.net website.

  72. David M. Greenwald

    Apparently that option is not legally available at the moment. I don’t know if I included that in the story but it was explained in Freddie Oakley’s letter which is in the agenda packet which is on the djusd.net website.

  73. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    So in 2007, DJUSD paid $100,000 to be on the ballot, in 2005 it was about $60,000, now it is going to be far more than without the shared cost and the county used to pay for some of that money but with their budget problems they are now pushing their entire costs on the local entities.

  74. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    So in 2007, DJUSD paid $100,000 to be on the ballot, in 2005 it was about $60,000, now it is going to be far more than without the shared cost and the county used to pay for some of that money but with their budget problems they are now pushing their entire costs on the local entities.

  75. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    So in 2007, DJUSD paid $100,000 to be on the ballot, in 2005 it was about $60,000, now it is going to be far more than without the shared cost and the county used to pay for some of that money but with their budget problems they are now pushing their entire costs on the local entities.

  76. David M. Greenwald

    Rich:

    So in 2007, DJUSD paid $100,000 to be on the ballot, in 2005 it was about $60,000, now it is going to be far more than without the shared cost and the county used to pay for some of that money but with their budget problems they are now pushing their entire costs on the local entities.

  77. wdf

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and…

    I think I’ve seen it reported that about 1/3 of Davis residents are parents of kids in the Davis schools. That rather easily explains the 30% participation in school board elections. If you don’t have kids in Davis public schools, then it’s a little harder to get as excited about the school board races.

  78. wdf

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and…

    I think I’ve seen it reported that about 1/3 of Davis residents are parents of kids in the Davis schools. That rather easily explains the 30% participation in school board elections. If you don’t have kids in Davis public schools, then it’s a little harder to get as excited about the school board races.

  79. wdf

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and…

    I think I’ve seen it reported that about 1/3 of Davis residents are parents of kids in the Davis schools. That rather easily explains the 30% participation in school board elections. If you don’t have kids in Davis public schools, then it’s a little harder to get as excited about the school board races.

  80. wdf

    The low turnouts do suggest that there is little interest in school board elections all by themselves. However, the counter-argument (cost aside) has long been that when you have a presidential or gubernatorial campaign, and U.S. Senate, and House, and state senate and legislature, and county supervisor, and D.A., and…

    I think I’ve seen it reported that about 1/3 of Davis residents are parents of kids in the Davis schools. That rather easily explains the 30% participation in school board elections. If you don’t have kids in Davis public schools, then it’s a little harder to get as excited about the school board races.

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