The seat is vacated by Davis Campbell who has been appointed to fill the Executive Director position on the California School Boards Association that was vacated when Scott Plotkin had to resign due to the unauthorized use of a corporate credit card to obtain cash advances at casinos.
In a statement apparently sent to the Davis Enterprise, Jan Bridge said, “When I filed to stand for this election, I was fully committed to running a campaign – but there have been a series of unparalleled events in the last two weeks that have led me to consider what is truly important.”
She continued, “Right now, raising $10,000 from my friends and supporters, printing and mailing 8,000 fliers, and knocking on doors throughout Trustee Area 2 is certainly not how I want to spend the next two months, nor do I want to ask my supporters to do this on my behalf.”
Ms. Bridge added, “For a short period of time, I considered submitting a ballot statement; forming a small committee, and running a small campaign based on name recognition and my previous experience. But I respect the democratic process of election too much to enter this race with less than a full commitment to campaign.
“The County Office of Education provides services for the students with the most challenging needs; these students need and deserve the support of qualified, committed community members in public service.”
Apparently Jan Bridge was willing to run for office as long as she did not have to campaign. Now Bill Owens could be elected automatically if no one else files before the Wednesday August 11 deadline. In that case, there would be no election and Mr. Owens would be sworn in as a trustee in December.
The Vanguard hopes to speak with Mr. Owens, although he is currently on vacation. In his ballot statement, he said, “My wife, Patsy, and I have lived in Davis for 20 years and we have two daughters in the Davis public schools, now in 9th and 12th grades.”
“While we have lived here, my community service and professional work has contributed significantly to public education in Davis and Yolo County, and has prepared me well for the important job of serving as a Trustee on the Yolo County Board of Education.”
Not only has Bill Owens worked in this community, he has been fairly active serving for 15 years on the Board of Trustees of the Explorit Science Center with six of those years as President. “I have also served as a mentor for the Reaching Resolution Showcase, a program for peaceful resolution of conflicts among public school students; and I have served as Principal for a Day at low-income elementary schools in the area,” he said.
His work has involved advising the California Department of Education, the School Facilities Planning Division, on a number of policy areas. “Professionally, I am an attorney and mediator with extensive experience in many areas that are critical to the important work of the Yolo County Board of Education: organizational governance, inter-agency coordination and partnering, public-private partnerships and mutual-gains negotiation,” his ballot statement continued.
“During the last twelve years, my professional work has also included advising the California Department of Education, School Facilities Planning Division, on policy, legal, regulatory and inter-agency coordination issues concerning school facilities’ planning and development,” he continued. “My experience includes serving as a research fellow, adjunct professor and continuing-education instructor at Virginia Tech and UC Davis, with a focus on public policy, law, partnering and dispute resolution concerning the environment, energy and infrastructure.”
His statement concludes, “If elected to serve on the Yolo County Board of Education, I promise to apply my expertise to support public education in Yolo County and Davis, and to encourage and support collaboration with and among school districts and institutions of higher learning in the area.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting