BOE Election - Vote November 2, 2021

The district’s position of Director of Safety and Security has been unfilled since Dr. Thomas Shea, a former police officer, resigned in 2020. A student was killed on unsecured, unlit school property in June 2021 after people had complained about security there.  The BOE’s task force on sexual harassment is overdue with their report.  One of my kids was at MMS when a fellow student brought a loaded gun to school and was also mugged outside CHS.  There is a lot of theft at CHS.
The district has a real problem with not dealing  effectively with safety and security issues.  It is a real concern.  I also think after the shooting of the two students in June it is past time for the BOE member to stop calling themself Shannon “Safe Schools” Cuttle and they should not be re-elected.


Reach me at:

electwillrodriguez@gmail.com


Seeing "SJ Ideology" in your post is sufficient for me to know I chose correctly by not voting for you. 


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ml1 said:

Seeing "SJ Ideology" in your post is sufficient for me to know I chose correctly by not voting for you. 

 


wilrod23 said:

The words I use don’t bother you. It’s me. A father, a man, an Afro Latino Black raised in single parent low income home that is now in your town poking holes in in the SJ ideology that makes you feel so warm and fuzzy. That’s what you really see.

ml1 said:

Seeing "SJ Ideology" in your post is sufficient for me to know I chose correctly by not voting for you. 

Wow. 


If candidates are picking fights on MOL now, just imagine how productive they will be once elected to the BOE.


Rather odd way to get support from voters.


susan1014 said:


3. Vadlamani gets graded down for explaining himself in anecdotes more often (see the rubric), and possibly for using less academic language (of course, he is also the only candidate answering these questions in his second language!). His ideas don't differ much from the above two candidates, but he expresses them differently. Aside from that, I like him as a candidate, both because he actually has current experience with our middle and high schools (as the only candidate with current K-8 children), and because he is a strong supporter and volunteer for STEM education.  


Am I reading correctly that only one candidate for the Bd. of Ed. has children in the schools?


When did it become a requirement to have children in the schools currently in order to be an effective BOE member?  

We are constantly reminded of how important it is for all of us to be invested in our schools whether we are current or past or future or have never been parents, so why shouldn't any one of us also be qualified to represent all of us on the BOE?


Mr. Rodriguez, I'm sincerely sorry if I misunderstood what you meant by School Resource Officers -- when you immediately followed by saying how glad you were to have metal detectors and officers in the lunchroom your high school, I may have misunderstood what you proposed. My apologies.

But I didn't vote for you, and it wasn't because of that. It was based on the inexperience and lack of specific knowledge on local issues that came though in your responses across multiple issues and debates.  Others who didn't know specific issues like Special Education did some serious homework to learn about the issues before the election -- you simply answered that "this in an area where I need to do a lot more connecting with the community" and "Other candidates have some good ideas here that should be implemented".  My family doesn't have time to wait for your learning curve to catch up with others.

Your angry, confrontational response here also suggests to me that you would not improve the function of our current Board. I certainly hope that you choose to engage in our schools in other ways and keep learning the issues. I promise I will look at any future candidacies with an open mind, as I always do, although you didn't earn my vote this time.


@sac


I think Jeff Bennett was a great BOE member and had no kids at the time.  He is an expert on state aid funding.  However, if someone has no kids and has communication issues, that’s a big red flag in terms of their willingness and ability to deal with parental concerns, which is a necessary part of the job.  One of the big problems with the current BOE is a lack of transparency and refusal to communicate with all stakeholders except their friends and political supporters, which could be clearly seen with the recent student suspension moratorium which was passed by the BOE majority with no public notice or comment.  That is the opposite of how a public Board should function.

Cuttle also abstained from the Superintendent appointment, which the public is told is the BOE’s most important job and refused to give a reason.  I have emailed the BOE and never received a substantive response from Cuttle.

I was familiar with Qawi Telesford before his candidacy from his social media presence.  He appears to have scrubbed his comments from the school FB groups but I and other people remember his disparaging remarks about valid parent concerns (missing/late buses, lack of Covid info, poor district communication) and his calling parents “whiners.” This is the opposite of what I want to see from the BOE.  We already have too much dismissiveness of the public by the BOE majority.


Kaitlin Wittleder has 3 children with the oldest entering Kindergarten next year.  Will Rodriguez also has 3 young children, with the oldest at Montrose pre-K.  


STANV said:

susan1014 said:

3. Vadlamani gets graded down for explaining himself in anecdotes more often (see the rubric), and possibly for using less academic language (of course, he is also the only candidate answering these questions in his second language!). His ideas don't differ much from the above two candidates, but he expresses them differently. Aside from that, I like him as a candidate, both because he actually has current experience with our middle and high schools (as the only candidate with current K-8 children), and because he is a strong supporter and volunteer for STEM education.  

Am I reading correctly that only one candidate for the Bd. of Ed. has children in the schools?

 I believe Rodriguez has a child in District PreK, and Wittleder has a child entering K next year.  Telesford is a graduate of our schools, but not yet a parent of school age children.  Cuttle is a longtime school volunteer in multiple settings.  All candidates have many reasons to be interested but only Vadlamani has current K-12 children in our schools.



Please accept my apologies as well.

susan1014 said:

Mr. Rodriguez, I'm sincerely sorry if I misunderstood what you meant by School Resource Officers -- when you immediately followed by saying how glad you were to have metal detectors and officers in the lunchroom your high school, I may have misunderstood what you proposed. My apologies.

But I didn't vote for you, and it wasn't because of that. It was based on the inexperience and lack of specific knowledge on local issues that came though in your responses across multiple issues and debates.  Others who didn't know specific issues like Special Education did some serious homework to learn about the issues before the election -- you simply answered that "this in an area where I need to do a lot more connecting with the community" and "Other candidates have some good ideas here that should be implemented".  My family doesn't have time to wait for your learning curve to catch up with others.

Your angry, confrontational response here also suggests to me that you would not improve the function of our current Board. I certainly hope that you choose to engage in our schools in other ways and keep learning the issues. I promise I will look at any future candidacies with an open mind, as I always do, although you didn't earn my vote this time.

 


wilrod23 said:

Susan,

I assure you I’m not angry. I also appreciate your rationale.

However, I hope you put yourself in my shoes, as your comments read as misinformation.

I’ve been very transparent and eager to meet people throughout the entire campaign because I fully understand that my views and experiences are anomalistic for SoMa. 

If you’re interested in furthering this conversation I would love to connect over coffee.

Reach me at:
electwillrodriguez@gmail.com

Please accept my apologies as well.


 

Thank you for the offer, but after spending six-eight hours reading statements, watching debates, and other wise learning about the candidates (with a spreadsheet to keep track), I've made my decisions and don't want to think about school politics for at least a few weeks. I actually focus my election research on what candidates say in public settings (written and debates), as I don't want to hear candidates tailoring their message to my particular interests in private conversation -- I know others do their research differently.


Arun, Qawi and Kaitlin…I feel better now.


sac said:

When did it become a requirement to have children in the schools currently in order to be an effective BOE member?  

We are constantly reminded of how important it is for all of us to be invested in our schools whether we are current or past or future or have never been parents, so why shouldn't any one of us also be qualified to represent all of us on the BOE?

Sac, it is certainly not a requirement to have children in the schools to be an effective BOE member, but I think there is also a risk when a substantial portion of the Board does not currently have children in our schools, as is now the case. Some have grown children, some are childless, etc.

It isn't my only criteria by far, but it is something I absolutely consider as part of the mix of board members, especially when many of the people running are often very close on their positions on the issues.

wilrod23 said:

Wow! Is what I said when the leaders of every SJ group in town stood by and watched as people called me a racist and white supremacist. The very behavior SJ claims to abhor, they allowed and encouraged. When you look at the BLM sign on your lawn remember me.

ml1 said:

Wow. 

 

 If you are elected to the board, even the people who tell you they didn't vote for you are your constituents.  A more appropriate response from you might have been to ask me why I object to your repeated use of the terms "SJ" and "SJW."  You haven't, but I'll tell you anyway.  In my experience, those terms are used disrespectfully and dismissively to avoid real dialogue with people who have legitimate concerns about inequality and injustice.  And then you went even further playing the victim and accusing me of bigotry.  I'm not concerned with your background, your ethnicity or where you come from.  I was only telling you my reaction to what I saw as a disrespectful response to someone trying to have a meaningful dialogue.  As a candidate for office you're not representing yourself very well here.


snake snake snake snake snake snake snake snake snake snake snake

ml1 said:

 If you are elected to the board, even the people who tell you they didn't vote for you are your constituents.  A more appropriate response from you might have been to ask me why I object to your repeated use of the terms "SJ" and "SJW."  You haven't, but I'll tell you anyway.  In my experience, those terms are used disrespectfully and dismissively to avoid real dialogue with people who have legitimate concerns about inequality and injustice.  And then you went even further playing the victim and accusing me of bigotry.  I'm not concerned with your background, your ethnicity or where you come from.  I was only telling you my reaction to what I saw as a disrespectful response to someone trying to have a meaningful dialogue.  As a candidate for office you're not representing yourself very well here.

 


I guess I'm not getting an apology 

LOL


And we need another photo. 


Worth repeating   Best commentary I’ve seen on the BOE race:

Mom270 said:

I am voting for Kaitlin Wittleder and Will Rodriguez.  I am in the small percentage of the population who watches the BOE meetings.  To anyone who missed it, the last meeting was a doozy.  Four hours into the meeting, Courtney Winkfield announced a hastily-written resolution that was not on the agenda and had only been sent to BOE members a day or two before to put a moratorium on student suspensions.  This was done with no notice to the public, no input from teachers or building administrators and upended the recently enacted Code of Conduct, which had input from all stakeholders and called for Restorative Justice practices.  Fans of the BOE majority said on social media this was done to fulfill a campaign promise.  Cuttle voted with the BOE majority, as they always do.  Elissa Malespina, who is getting a Master’s degree in restorative justice, and Johanna Wright, voted against this eleventh hour resolution. 

I am not voting for Cuttle, who has been extremely weak and speaks in beaurocrat-ese.  I can’t vote for Telesford, who has no children and has in the past called parents “whiners” on social media for expressing concerns about school matters. Wrong temperament for a BOE member.  Arun seems like a nice guy but his campaign is being run by the same people who managed the campaigns of four of the current BOE members who do not value communication or transparency to the public and his debate comments indicate he thinks the BOE is doing just fine, when I don’t think that’s the case at all.

Kaitlin’s platform calls for Transparency, Leadership and Collaboration.  She has worked hard this campaign season to speak to as many stakeholders as possible and understands the danger in the Board’s operating by fiat.  She is interested in improving curriculum and student learning.  She wrote an OpEd about the lapse in school security despite warnings when two students were shot on Underhill Field, one fatally.

Will said that the current BOE treats parents as obstacles and other BOE members as obstacles.  I found this and other comments at the debate refreshing and value his perspective as a practical business man, especially with regard to his thoughts on teacher retention,  and as a person of color.  

I thought the second debate led by the Hilton Neighborhood Association was the best.  Here is a link 




 


michaelgoldberg said:

 

 I'm surprised you want anyone to come back to this thread. If they do they should read all of it. 


From the number I see online at the moment - Arun. Qawi and Kaitlin are the winners:

Arun Vadlamani 5593
Qawi Telesford 6316
William Rodriguez 3037
Shannon Cuttle 4970
Kaitlin M. Wittleder 5928


Most to least vote order

Qawi Telesford 6316
Kaitlin M. Wittleder 5928
Arun Vadlamani 5593
Shannon Cuttle 4970
William Rodriguez 3037


Cuttle abstained from voting on the hire of Superintendent Taylor.  Inexcusable, in my opinion.  

It was downhill from there.


yahooyahoo said:

Cuttle abstained from voting on the hire of Superintendent Taylor.  Inexcusable, in my opinion.  

It was downhill from there.

 Now that the election is over, I will ask my question about that - why do people have more of a problem with abstaining from a vote than from voting no? An abstention is not the same as a recusal or a refusal to participate, so they participated in the process.


nohero said:

yahooyahoo said:

Cuttle abstained from voting on the hire of Superintendent Taylor.  Inexcusable, in my opinion.  

It was downhill from there.

 Now that the election is over, I will ask my question about that - why do people have more of a problem with abstaining from a vote than from voting no? An abstention is not the same as a recusal or a refusal to participate, so they participated in the process.

 Are you a lawyer?

To us common folk, abstaining meant that she refused to take a position on one of the most important issues a BOE member can vote on?


tjohn said:

 Are you a lawyer?

To us common folk, abstaining meant that she refused to take a position on one of the most important issues a BOE member can vote on?

They weren't the deciding vote, first of all.

Second of all, abstaining from a vote is not the same as not participating in the decision.


nohero said:


Second of all, abstaining from a vote is not the same as not participating in the decision.

Not to the average common person.  To a lawyer, probably, but they are trained to view the world differently.


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