In a few weeks, we will gather on Election Day and cast our ballots for many elected officials or their opponents. We will also be voting on propositions. Many of you prefer to mail in your votes and since that is the case I want to begin the discussion of my recommendations for some offices since people are just getting their mail-in ballots now.
While the statewide offices are certainly important the local races have a greater effect on our lives as well as our neighbor’s lives. The election of school board members is very important to us and to our children. My nephews will be attending local area schools through graduation from Yosemite High School. I have a great concern for the Class of 2032 as well as the Class of 2036. It seems very far off but the decisions we will be making at the polls will affect current students as well as those yet unborn.
During this past year, we have witnessed the travesty of how the Yosemite School District Board as operated. The county superintendent finally had to step in because the actions of our board were inept at best and are certainly inexcusable. The board serves to set policy and the most important task they have as a board is to hire a superintendent. Frankly, this board’s track record is frightfully disgusting. It has been a revolving door which has cost our district a great deal of money in buying out the contracts of those administrators. The current interim superintendent, Mike Berg, has done an outstanding job of righting the ship but it had zero to do with this current board. Dr. Cici Massetti, the Madera County Superintendent had to grab control of this district as it was spiraling toward bankruptcy and a State of California take-over. The position of superintendent is being advertised currently and the last date for applying is Nov. 8. We cannot allow these people to hire another administrator as their track record leaves a great deal to be desired.
For years they have presented out of balance budgets to the county and state. They have blown through the huge reserves which have allowed them to kick the can down the road until this year. The house of cards tumbled. They were elected and trusted by the rest of us to be our watchdogs on the finances as well as to ensure the continuation of high academic rigor, great teaching, safe campuses, and foster pride in the community about the YHS program. They have fallen flat.
The public express their outrage at meetings and are ignored or met with rolling eyes from the Trustees. I had hoped they would have smelled the coffee and just decided to allow somebody else to sit on the board. They should have just declined to run. But they haven’t so we must oust them.
I am recommending that people support Jennifer Mills to replace Monica Moulan who has not earned reelection. Jennifer will have kids in the district for many years to come. She wants transparency of finances and healthy budgets and programs. I further recommend Shawnessy Gaynor over Stacey Montalto. Gaynor has the same goals as Mills and is a YHS Alum and parent of YHS grads. To be fair to Montalto who was only recently appointed to the Board due to a resignation; she was selected by the current Board so I think it is time for a clean sweep. Stacey Montalto wasn’t to blame for the past disasters to be sure.
We need to change the YHS Board for one reason - the children.