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MEASURE A: The press release files

Submitted by on 1, February 24, 2011 – 12:03 am25 Comments

This past week has been a busy one in the Measure A school parcel tax campaign, with a flurry of press releases issues by the pro and con campaigns and others. Here’s what came into our inbox over the weekend and this week.

From: David Howard (Committee Against Measure A)

Date: Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Subject: Measure A Secret Data Provider Revealed

Measure A Secret Data Provider Revealed

Data used by Alameda Unified School District for parcel tax provided by SCI Consulting Group

Alameda, Calif. – February 17th, 2011 – Proponents here of a fair and progressive school parcel tax, instead of Measure A, which gives big corporations in Alameda a big tax break at the expense of homeowners and renters, revealed today that SCI Consulting Group, of Fairfield, California is the provider of secret data that the Alameda Unified School District based the Measure A parcel tax structure on. Despite repeated requests, neither citizens nor local news media have been able to get a copy of the data that shaped AUSD’s decision to put a 32 cent/square foot parcel tax on the March 8th ballot.

Leland Traiman, of the Committee Against Measure A in Alameda said, “On January 4th, 2011, AUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital told attendees at a Rotary club meeting that she cannot make the database available on the Internet, because it’s not their data and it is proprietary. Proprietary means ‘secret.'”

According to Connie Rux, the editor of the Alameda Journal, AUSD representatives told her that she could purchase a copy the AUSD database from Parcel Quest, an online data provider. However, as confirmed by Mr. Traiman, it would cost several thousand dollars for a copy of a database of Alameda properties from Parcel Quest, and in any event, AUSD used data from SCI Consulting Group, not Parcel Quest.

AUSD’s acknowledgement of SCI Consulting Group as the source of their database is buried in a September 2010 presentation to the Board of Trustees. In the last slide of the presentation, AUSD identifies SCI as the source of the database for the parcel tax.

“This is important,” continued Traiman, “because we also compiled our own parcel database, and came to very different conclusions from AUSD. Without being able to see the same data that AUSD based their tax structure on, nobody can evaluate if it will generate the amount of revenue they say it will. AUSD should have used a data source they could make available to the public, under the California Public Records Act.”

According to the AUSD presentation, “SCI provides year-round special tax assessment administration services for school districts and public agencies throughout California. SCI currently administers over 400 assessment and special tax districts.”

A recent study published by Pepperdine University showed that the Alameda Unified School District has increased its spending on outside consultants by 76% in recent years.

About the Committee Against Measure A in Alameda

The Committee Against Measure A in Alameda is a group advocating for a fair and progressive parcel tax for Alameda schools, combined with honest restructuring in line with the calls for school restructuring from President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.

From: David Howard

Date: Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Subject: Alameda “Yes on A” campaign cheats Encinal high school student.

Alameda “Yes on A” Campaign Refuses Participation in High School Debate

Alameda SOS won’t participate in Encinal High School student’s forum on important parcel tax

Alameda, Calif. – February 20th, 2011 – Advocates of a regressive and unfair school parcel tax here, Measure A, have refused to participate in an Encinal High School student’s public information forum the issue.

Dylan Moore, an Alameda Community Learning Center charter school student, is organizing a forum on Measure A this coming Wednesday, February 23rd, at Encinal High School. The forum is a Future Leader’s Institute (FLI) project. his stated goals are “to disseminate information and provide an event where the community can voice its concerns. The impact of this parcel tax is huge and therefore it is crucial that the community knows all the facts.” The Alameda Community Learning Center is based at Encinal High School, in Alameda.

According to the Future Leaders Institute website, “The mission of The Future Leaders Institute (FLI) is to engage high school youth in generating and implementing visionary solutions for society.”

In advertising for the forum, the young Dylan Moore wrote, “Bring your friends to the Measure A public forum next Wednesday and celebrate your commitment to our democratic society.”

However, the “Yes on A” campaign evidently doesn’t believe in a democratic society and has abandoned this future leader, Alameda high school student and his goals, relegating the defense of Measure A – an unfair and regressive parcel tax that gives big business a big tax break at the expense of homeowners and renters – to a member of the Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees. Under Measure A, big corporations in Alameda will see a 16% tax break, paid for by an average 65% tax increase for homeowners and renters.

The “Yes on A” campaign in Alameda is advocating passage of a school parcel tax that would cheat Dylan Moore and fellow charter school students out of funding. Measure A, on the ballot on March 8th, 2011, would provide Alameda charter school students with just 1/4 of the money warranted by their population in Alameda schools.

About the Committee Against Measure A in Alameda

The Committee Against Measure A in Alameda is a group advocating for a fair and progressive parcel tax for Alameda schools, combined with honest restructuring in line with the calls for school restructuring from President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.

From: Alameda SOS Communications

Date: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Subject: FYI re campaign forum

Alameda local media:

You may have heard about a campaign forum on Measure A that has been scheduled for Wednesday night. It is being organized by a student at the ACLC charter school.

The Measure A campaign first heard about this event when we read about it Friday in the newspaper. While we never received an invitation to participate, we did contact the student to let him know we would be unable to attend. With two weeks to go in the campaign, all of our energies right now are focused on voter outreach and mobilization. We have key activities going on with our volunteers from now through Election Day, including on Wednesday night.

We do not know what this event will end up being, but we wanted you to be aware that no one representing the Yes on A campaign organization will be able to attend (and anyone who speaks there in support of Measure A will be doing so as an individual). Thanks.

Brad Hayward

Communications Chair

Alameda Save Our Schools / Yes on A

From: David Howard

Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Subject: “No on A” Campaign Denounces Alameda League of Women Voters’ Collusion With AUSD on Unfair Parcel Tax

“No on A” Campaign Denounces Alameda League of Women Voters’ Collusion With AUSD on Unfair Parcel Tax

Alameda League trying to launder dirty, secret, parcel tax data AUSD used to structure Measure A

Alameda, Calif. – February 22, 2011 – The Alameda League of Women Voters is trying to cover up for the Alameda Unified School District, proponents of a fair school tax here say, for using secret data unavailable to the public to structure Measure A, a regressive school parcel tax on the ballot March 8th. AUSD is using the League of Women Voters to skirt election laws that prohibit the District from using public resources to campaign in favor of their own tax.

“AUSD is using the League of Women Voters to get around election laws, and to cover their tracks for using secret parcel data as the basis for Measure A, a regressive tax that favors big corporations at the expense of homeowners and renters,” said Leland Traiman, Secretary for the Committee Against Measure A in Alameda. “Ask the school district for a copy of the parcel database that SCI Consulting Group used for Measure A – they won’t give it to you. They will tell you to buy a database from another provider at the cost of several thousand dollars – that’s way out of the reach of the average homeowner.” A newly released study from Pepperdine University shows that AUSD has increased spending on outside consultants by 76% in recent years, at the expense of hiring more teachers.

Traiman says that the League of Women Voters, which prides itself on promoting transparency in government, and on being a supposed impartial arbiter of the facts, has dishonored itself by colluding with AUSD to hide the controversy over their use of secret data. “They’re not even doing a good job at it,” said Traiman. In late January – before the League voted whether or not to endorse Measure A – Alameda resident and League of Women Voters member Jon Spangler called a “No on A” representative and explained that he was working on the League’s Measure A committee, and that the League was helping the Alameda Unified School District develop their website to better make the argument for voters to support their own parcel tax, which taxes homes at $0.32/square foot but caps the amount paid by big business. He also tried to persuade the “No on A” committee to participate in a biased forum on Measure A that the League was organizing, which would have given 40 minutes of time to proponents of the regressive tax compared to only 10 minutes of time to the “No on A” side. Subsequently, the “Yes on A” campaign has dodged every invitation to a debate or public forum on Measure A.

On Wednesday, February 23rd, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., there will be a public information forum at Encinal High School organized by Alameda high school student Dylan Moore, one of his Leader’s Institute (FLI) projects. It is presumed that the “Yes on A” campaign will not be there to defend their support of an unfair and regressive tax.

About the Committee Against Measure A in Alameda

The Committee Against Measure A in Alameda is a group advocating for a fair and progressive parcel tax for Alameda schools, combined with honest restructuring in line with the calls for school restructuring from President Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.

From: Jon Spangler (League of Women Voters of Alameda)

Date: Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Subject: Press Release-League of Women Voters Finds AUSD “completely transparent” – no “secret database”

SECRET AUSD DATA ALLEGATIONS UNFOUNDED

(February 22, 2011, Alameda, CA)

On February 10, 2011, the League of Women Voters of Alameda (LWVA) issued a press release indicating it endorsed Measure A, the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) parcel tax measure. After releasing its position, one of the opponents of the measure contacted the LWVA by email and stated, “Endorsing a measure written with secret data and based on a political fraud is the oppose (sic) of what the League should be doing.”

Before endorsing Measure A, the LWVA considered all the arguments presented by the opponents including the “secret database” allegation and found that no such secret database existed at the school district office. The database used to provide the summary data AUSD used to calculate the rate necessary to generate the $12 million is the County of Alameda Assessor’s Lien Roll – a public document maintained by Alameda County, not AUSD. To be clear, AUSD does not possess a database containing the County of Alameda Assessor’s Lien Roll. Consequently, it is impossible for it to produce such a roll if requested under the California Public Records Act.

AUSD contracts with SCI Consulting Group (SCI) to provide summary data resulting from analyzing the County of Alameda Assessor’s Lien Roll supplied to SCI by ParcelQuest. ParcelQuest obtains its raw data directly from Alameda County using the most current lien roll. According to SCI, ParcelQuest reformats the list into a more user-friendly form and licenses the use of the reformatted lien roll to companies like SCI. Neither SCI nor ParcelQuest change the data contained in the lien roll in any way.

Since ParcelQuest obtains the lien roll data directly from Alameda County and does not alter any individual parcel information, the data is not secret. Private individuals who desire to view the detailed comprehensive list from the County of Alameda Assessor’s Lien Roll used by SCI may do so by contacting ParcelQuest. They may also contact SCI to obtain summaries just as AUSD does.

The LWVA found that the district has been completely transparent during the process of calculating the numbers used in drafting Measure A. This determination is based on the following:

First, AUSD staff presented the summary data at multiple school board meetings and numerous public meetings held at school sites.

Second, the Alameda Business Alliance made a public request to the district on November 4, 2010 for structure, cap, and rate data to create a rate per square foot matrix. On November 8, 2010, AUSD sent the requested information to the Alliance and published the same information on The Island News (http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2010/11/island-talkback-tax-rates-as-requested/).

Third, according to AUSD, it offered to have SCI compare its database with a database created by Alamedans for Fair Taxation in order to identify any discrepancies in the AFT database.

Based on these findings, the LWVA believes that AUSD conducted its analysis in a transparent manner and was responsive to public record requests for data that it had in its possession. Additionally, since the data used to create Measure A was taken directly from the County of Alameda Assessor’s Lien Roll, a public document, it cannot be said that the data is secret. The summary data used by AUSD was available to the general public either directly from AUSD (as requested by the Alameda Business Alliance) or through SCI.

Consequently, the LWVA finds that the Measure A opponent’s allegation that AUSD was not transparent in its process and that it used secret data lacks any factual support.

The LWVA’s support for Measure A is based upon the 2005 League of Women Voters of California’s Position on Education: Pre-Kindergarten through 12, which calls for the League to “Support a system of public education that is adequate, flexible, equitable and sustainable: derived from a combination of revenue sources; and distributed fairly to support access and equitable opportunities for all students.”

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes any political party or candidate. The League of Women Voters of Alameda welcomes questions and comments at http://www.alameda.ca.lwvnet.org/contact.html.

/s/

Anne Spanier and Jeff Cambra, Co-Presidents

League of Women Voters of Alameda

25 Comments »

  • Brad Hayward says:

    I suspect the average Alameda voter reading some of this may be tempted to say, “Aaaah! Make it stop!”

    On the fundamentals: Measure A is a responsible, balanced approach to dealing with a budget challenge that truly threatens the quality of our local schools. It came out of an extensive public input process and dialogue with the business community.

    That process addressed, in a thoughtful and responsive way, the criticisms that some in the community had raised regarding the prior parcel tax proposal. As a result, Measure A was structured to include a single rate for homeowners and businesses, a progressive rate structure based on the size of the building, and detailed specifics about how the funds will be used.

    Measure A has been endorsed broadly across Alameda, including by the City Council, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, West Alameda Business Association, Greater Alameda Business Association, and League of Women Voters of Alameda. They recognize the importance of strong schools to a great community like ours.

    For more information, please visit the Yes on A website at http://www.AlamedaSOS.org. Join us and be part of something positive for Alameda.

    Brad Hayward, Communications Chair, Yes on A

  • Mike McMahon says:

    “AUSD’s acknowledgement of SCI Consulting Group as the source of their database is buried in a September 2010 presentation to the Board of Trustees. In the last slide of the presentation, AUSD identifies SCI as the source of the database for the parcel tax.”

    If anyone had attended the presentation, a representative from SCI Consulting made the presentation and answered questions from the audience about methodology used for compiling the data.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Mister Hayward proudly says:

    Measure A was structured to include a single rate for homeowners and businesses

    How does that reconcile with the included cap that lets big business pay far less than their fair share? And the exemption based on age, not income / ability to pay?

    More and more people are finding that is not “something positive for Alameda,” Brad.

    • Jon Spangler says:

      Adam,

      The two exemptions in Measure A are the only exemptions permitted under California state law, in case you did not know that.

      Only taxpayers who have disabilities payments or who are over 65 can be exempted from paying a parcel tax under the law. AUSD cannot include any other exemptions without a change in state law, so the district should not be criticized for “failing”to do something that it cannot legally do.

      Whether or not AUSD desired to provide additional relief to property owners with limited incomes or other hardships, it simply cannot violate state law.

  • John says:

    Does anyone have a total breakdown of AUSD Employees Salary and Total Compensation like the one done on the City of Alameda Employees 2008 Compensation spreadsheet ?

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=rIFilGsbA6fE5wj_cvRIP_Q

    I don’t need names just job title.. Salary ..Overtime… Benefits.. Pensions… Total Compensation… line item by Job Title. We all might learn something.

  • John says:

    What would be the result financially if we paid the teachers DOUBLE what we pay our substitute teachers now without benefits and extras till we get out of this financial mess. Assuming subs make 135.00 a day times 180 days equals 24,300. Pay the Teachers DOUBLE that and give them 270.00 a day or 48,600 for 180 days. That would equal 70,470 a year if Teachers worked year round. So still a pretty good wage in this economy. 33.75 an hour. Even with no Benes.

    How would that effect the Budget of AUSD,?

    Would we need this Measure A to Pass then?

    Would we have a SURPLUS then we could actually use on the students?

  • John says:

    Since I’m not able to get the information I requested from any School board Member or Superintendent I will try and make sense of this Measure A. 

    I do know we have 800 + or – employees at the District according to Ms Vital. We have I’m Guessing 10,000 Students + or – so basically we have 12.5 to 1 Student to Teacher, Administration and Staff. That doesn’t include all the Great parents that Volunteer at our Schools. This doesn’t sound too understaffed to me.  

      http://www.publicschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/5230

     Number of Schools Managed 19 
      Number of Students Managed  10,114 students 
      District Total Revenue $108,447,000
    District Expenditure $117,029,000  
    District Revenue / Student $10,722 
    District Expenditure / Student $11,571 
    District Graduation Rates 96%  
    School Zip Code:  About This Zip Code (94501)
    School Zip (94501)  
    Population (Approximate) 58,535 people 
    % (age 25+) w/College Degree 46% 
    Population Average Age 38 years old 
    Average Household size 2.3 persons 
    Median Household Income $51,896 Avg.
    # of Rooms in Household 4.2 rooms 
    Median Age of Housing Structure 60 years old 

  • Chrissy says:

    Sorry, this may sound like a lame question–but how AUSD spends the money–isn’t that information in the accounting ledgers?? Especially with computers now click–and computer figures out what is be spent where and give pie charts and all. Just a bigger budget??

    It sounds like everything is being based on air and not actual accounting numbers?? Who gets to see the AUSD ledgers anyway?? or did I miss something??

  • Jon Spangler says:

    The following portion of David Howard’s press release completely misrepresents the League of Women Voters (LWVA) as well as the entire content of a ten-minute phone conversation I had with Mr. Howard (DH) in January:

    “In late January – before the League voted whether or not to endorse Measure A – Alameda resident and League of Women Voters member Jon Spangler called a “No on A” representative and explained that he was working on the League’s Measure A committee, and that the League was helping the Alameda Unified School District develop their website to better make the argument for voters to support their own parcel tax,…”

    Here are the facts about that phone call and the false press release that appeared above:

    1. I called David Howard (DH) to personally ask him to reconsider AFT’s withdrawal from the LWVA’s then-upcoming February 3 forum on Measure A. (The LWVA’s forum was later cancelled because CAMA/AFT had pulled out.) It was a personal call and DH never asked me for my permission to quote anything that I had said. (I would have not granted it: he has never accurately quoted or represented any of the conversation’s content.)

    2. I told DH I was working on LWVA’s publicity for the forum as part of LWVA’s educational and nonpartisan Voter Services efforts. The LWVA had not yet taken a position on the measure and during the phone call with DH I never told him that the LWVA supported Measure A. In fact, I told him that the LWVA could not take any position on it until after its forum had been held.

    3. I never told DH that the LWVA was “helping the AUSD develop their web site.” (The LWVA does not do that for anyone.) I told DH that the reason the LWVA had invited Robert Shemwell to address its nonpartisan forum was to present AUSD’s complicated and hard-to-access budget and school closure information to the voters.

    4. Since no AUSD staff can legally campaign for a school measure, Shemwell had been asked by LWVA to present strictly neutral information on the AUSD budget before any pro or con arguments were presented about Measure A.

    5. Nothing in my phone call with DH or the publicity for the LWVA’s cancelled forum made any mention of a LWVA “Measure A committee.” There was and is no such thing.

    Mr. Howard and Action Alameda should immediately retract their false and misleading press release and issue an apology to the League of Women Voters and to the public for deliberately spreading misinformation about the League.

    It was, after all, David Howard and the Alamedans for Fair Taxation/Committee Against Measure A who first withdrew from and threatened to disrupt the LWVA’s nonpartisan community election forum, derailing the forum, which the LWVA regretfully cancelled.

  • Kate Quick says:

    Thank you, Jon. What you have just said is exactly what you told me, and others earlier was the content of your conversation with Mr. Howard. He is both not telling the truth and working to discredit the League as he is angry that we, in our usual and methodological way, did an analysis of the measure, considered all sides, and took a stand in keeping with our existing positions and principles. In addition to this press release he has also taken it upon himself to “report us” to the State League leadership for all sorts of made up “violations”. Thankfully, we observed proper League protocol and procedure and issued a well reasoned position on Measure A. We supported it after considerable research and consideration of all arguements as well as study of the situation the AUSD finds itself in and alternative routes that could be taken to insure appropriate funding for our schools.

  • John says:

    “Since no AUSD staff can legally campaign for a school measure”

    Can they Stonewall anyone trying to get simple Information Jon?

    Does anyone have a total breakdown of AUSD Employees Salary and Total Compensation like the one done on the City of Alameda Employees 2008 Compensation spreadsheet ?

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=rIFilGsbA6fE5wj_cvRIP_QI

    don’t need names just job title.. Salary ..Overtime… Benefits.. Pensions… Total Compensation… line item by Job Title. We all might learn something.

    What would be the result financially if we paid the teachers DOUBLE what we pay our substitute teachers now without benefits and extras till we get out of this financial mess. Assuming subs make 135.00 a day times 180 days equals 24,300. Pay the Teachers DOUBLE that and give them 270.00 a day or 48,600 for 180 days. That would equal 70,470 a year if Teachers worked year round. So still a pretty good wage in this economy. 33.75 an hour. Even with no Benes.

    How would that effect the Budget of AUSD,?

    Would we need this Measure A to Pass then?

    Would we have a SURPLUS then we could actually use on the students without keeping (SOS) Scre_ing Our Students?

    How can the Voters make educated Vote if they can’t get important information to make a decision?

    You seem to have in and know everything maybe you can answer these questions.

  • dave says:

    John/Chrissy:

    1) Google Alameda Unified School District

    2) Click on district’s home page

    3) Upper left quadrant has a link for “District Financials”

    4) Clicking that link will lead you to more data than you can handle

    Really, was it that hard to get numbers???

  • Jon Spangler says:

    John,

    Have you actually called them and asked them for the information you desire?

    Who did you talk to?

    I would be surprised if what you seek is not already on the AUSD web site…..

    • John says:

      Give me a Link that shows it like this.

      Does anyone have a total breakdown of AUSD Employees Salary and Total Compensation like the one done on the City of Alameda Employees 2008 Compensation spreadsheet ?

      http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=rIFilGsbA6fE5wj_cvRIP_QI

    • John says:

      I know its a real stretch to Ask an employee or a puplic elected official who represents the citizens of Alameda to create a report that would be paramount in the people making a decision on a issue asking for 12 Million Dollars over next 7 years coming from myself and other Alameda residents directly. I know that takes alot of nerve.

      To generate the report I’m asking for takes about 10 minutes. It’s not like I’m asking them to handwrite thousands of pages and go through hundreds of files. It’s something that is very simple and might take about another two minutes to print

  • John says:

    What Would Create More Value in a Community and School District than controlling Costs that have ran rampant or buckling under to Teachers and Teacher Unions trying to shove more taxes down the citizens throats Under the Disguise Its For The Kids …..This issue is all about Teachers and Administrators and Staff Making More $$$$$. Otherwise this would be a Bond Issue.

    It’s all I’m asking is Show me the Numbers that prove this wrong. Please Don’t try to compare Salaries to Other Broke and Broken Districts. It’s Like Comparing Enron To Lehmans.

  • David Howard says:

    Same thing I just posted on “patch” below.

    And I respectfully disagree with Mr. Spangler. He clearly told me on the phone – when he called me uninvited – that the LWV was working with AUSD on their website.

    The “Yes on A” campaign is afraid to have the public hear the issues, because they have seen the public walk away convinced to vote “No” at the democratic club forum and at Encinal High School. So they have taken the option of refusing to appear in public forums.

    o “Yes on A” refused to respond to a “No on A” challenge to a debate.

    o The “No on A” campaign presented at the Library on February 3rd, and invited the “yes” people to show up, but they did not.

    o Not only did the “Yes on A” campaign NOT send anyone to the forum at Encinal High School organized by ACLC student Dylan Moore for his Future Leaders Institue project, the “Yes on A” campaign HARANGUED him – a high school student doing a textbook civics project – for even holding the forum! “What are you trying to do to our campaign?!” The poor guy.

    o Now, Ron Mooney of AUSD is suddenly “unavailable” to attend a Measure A forum a the Rotary Club – “Yes on A” wasn’t even planning to send anyone. But apparently, after Margie Sherratt’s dismal performance at Encinal High, they convinced Ron Mooney to back out of the Rotary forum. AGAIN, “Yes on A” is AFRAID TO HAVE THE PUBLIC HEAR THE ISSUES. “Yes on A” knows they can’t win on the merits of their argument, so they are trying to KILL ALL PUBLIC FORUMS.

  • Jon Spangler says:

    Mr. Howard’s memory of our ten-minute phone call is still incorrect.

    Shemwell’s invitation from the LWVA – to present AUSD budget and school closure info from a neutral perspective – came, in part, because the AUSD’s web site is full of complicated information that is sometimes difficult to find. (Not all of the important details are easily found via searches, for example. One has to know what to look for in order to find key documents or call the AUSD office for help in locating information.)

    It was only in the context of remedying this lack of public access to AUSD budget information that the LWVA had invited Robert Shemwell to make a presentation, as I told Mr. Howard. The LWVA was only “working with” AUSD within the confines of planning its February 3 forum, and I never mentioned any LWVA goal other than educating the public during the conversation we had.

    (There was no effort at the time by LWVA to “work with” AUSD to improve its web site and there is no current effort to do so, either: LWVA does not have the technical or volunteer resources to do that.)

    The only effort I mentioned to Mr. Howard was the LWVA’s effort to “work with” AUSD to plan an educational public election forum for February 3 at which all sides – and all vital information needed by the voters – would have been fairly and clearly presented to the public. (I had called Mr. Howard solely to ask him and AFT/CAMA to participate fully in the LWVA’s February 3 forum and reconsider the decision to withdraw from and picket the LWVA event.)

    Unfortunately, Mr. Howard and his colleagues at AFT/CAMA did not see fit to
    cooperate with the LWVA’s efforts to sponsor its original planned forum. When AFT/CAMA withdrew and threatened to picket and leaflet the LWVA’s event, that ended any possibility that a balanced, fair, and comprehensive public forum being held on February 3.

    AFT/CAMA’s withdrawal from the LWVA’s forum apparently ended any opportunity for a truly impartial, balanced, and comprehensive forum on Measure A to take place. This is truly regrettable.

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