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Repsonses to the article "Why the Recall is Such a Bad Idea"

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I also feel that the recall is a waste of our time, resources and energy. I am opposed to spending our time on this effort. We are putting our children at risk, by going backward, instead of forging forward towards providing them with what they need for a good education.

It is unfortunate that we are faced with a declining enrollment and had to close 2 of our schools. My children have advanced to the JR HI and High School and escaped the turmoil of the elementary school closures, but they are still at risk, as there just isn't enough money to provide for a solid, healthy budget.

I still feel strongly that a recall is not what is best for the district right now. Our Board needs to be supported so that they can continue to do what is best for the district on a whole, not just for few selected schools. I feel that the Redwood & Quail parents are acting childish. These parents need to grow up! They should allow their kids and all the other kids, along with their parents, to continue to go to school without the added stress of a recall. And they should be giving their kids all the support they can. Kids have enough distractions and if these parents wish to get involved in a recall, then I suggest that they take their energies to Sacramento. Maybe there, at the state government level, they can help our district and others like ours that are faced with the same dilemma of NOT ENOUGH FUNDING TO KEEP OUR SCHOOLS OPEN.

Quit wasting our time. The decision has been made and we need to go forward. I support our district board members. They have worked long and hard and unlike other boards before them, they have worked with the public. Getting another board in office isn't going to change the fact that we don't have enough money or children to keep an additional 2 more schools open at this time in our lives.

Thank you for all your work and efforts to keep us, the parents of the SLVUSD informed. I appreciate your time and energy. I have been a very committed volunteer parent for the past 11 years at SLE. At this time I am over committed in volunteering on the SLV Little League Board and at the SLE Life Lab, along with working outside of the home full time, and cannot make the time to do any more than give you verbal support. I am dedicated to supporting my children in their education and want what's best for the district on the whole. Please forward my support of our SLVUSD Board Members.

Sincerely, Debbie Triacca & Patrick Chickos
Parents of Kayla & Kevin Chickos



Kip Telez, who served on the School Closure Committee, adds this:

If the Santa Cruz County education community has learned anything
over the past few years, it is that closing a school is like tearing
the body from the soul. So it is no surprise that a dozen or so
parents who had ties to Redwood Elementary School in the San Lorenzo
Valley are doing everything in their power to exact revenge on board
members who voted to close Redwood. Their effort to recall board
members, now in the signature gathering stage, is organized,
well-funded, and loud. It is also based on lies and half-truths.

SLV "United" claims that their recall is based on fiscal
mismanagement and not the board's vote to close Redwood. But they
want to recall only the four board members who voted to close
Redwood. The one who voted in their favor is not included in the
recall. Further, they have no evidence that any board member has
engaged in fiscal mismanagement.

Their primary argument for recall is that 3.5 million in bond money
to be spent on Boulder Creek Elementary is a waste of money because
Redwood is in perfect condition and would require no bond money. Not
true. Over a third of the 3.5 million is to be spent on a
state-of-the-art library and media center. Neither school has such a
facility, so these funds could have been spent on any of the schools
kept open. Had Redwood remained open, that portion of the bond money
could have been spent on any school, and I think it's fair to say
that the Redwood community would have wanted such a center. In
addition, another big chunk of the money for upgrading Boulder Creek
is coming from the state to improve older facilities. Redwood was
not entitled to these funds. So arguing that the board is "wasting"
3.5 million to upgrade Boulder Creek is not true. Besides, Boulder
Creek families and citizens voted in favor of the bond on the belief
that their school would benefit. Would it be fair to that community
to go back on a promise?

Further, they argue that they have no quarrel with the 17 member
school closure committee who, after countless hours of meetings and
data collection, voted 14-3 to close Redwood. I was on that painful
committee, and I can tell you that I spent several sleepless nights
worrying over my decision. None of us wanted to close any schools,
but we knew there was no other choice. In the end, I voted to close
Redwood. For me, it came down to this simple calculation: closing
Boulder Creek meant a change in school for about 400 kids; Redwood
had 250 students. But no matter how we voted, each of us expected
that the committee's recommendations would be respected by the board.
Can you imagine the consequences if the board had voted against such
an overwhelming majority?

Finally, if the board is guilty of fiscal mismanagement, any district
citizen could invite the California State Department of Education to
investigate. This would be the proper course of action in such a
case. But SLV "United" will not pursue it because they know their
claims are baseless.

This recall is about one thing: revenge for closing Redwood. I admit
that in the beginning, I was sympathetic to their concerns. How
painful to have your school close! And their efforts to keep Redwood
open were heroic. But the only real way to reopen Redwood is to add
more students to the district's roll. These parents could now be
working with the district to achieve maximum SLVUSD enrollment.
Instead, they have chosen a path that serves only to keep Redwood
closed, perhaps forever.

And I want us all to remember the public servants they are trying to
recall. Serving on a public school board is, for all intents and
purposes, volunteer work. The SLVUSD board receives a paltry $250
per month for long night meetings (up to three per month), endless
research and phone calls, and giving an ear to everyone who has even
the smallest complaint about the schools. In better times nearly all
school boards have a small budget to attend conferences, buy
materials, or invite consultants to work with them. The current
board has cut their own budget to nil, preferring to spend the money
on programs for kids. If these are the actions of a board that the
constituents want to replace, then it seems perfectly reasonable that
we can wait until their terms are up.

The San Lorenzo Valley is a unique and wonderful place, capable of
overcoming great adversity when we pull together. We must not let
this small but angry group divide us, and I urge you not to sign the
recall petition.

Kip Telez

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