Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chula Vista candidate forum for CVESD and SUHSD

Sponsored by South Bay Forum and
Castle Park High School student government
October 1, 2008



David Bejarano

David Bejarano
Appointed governing board member

While children were being humbled for not having lunch money, Mr. Bejarano was spending tax dollars on lawyers for the sole purpose of maintaining the power of the small group, led by Patrick Judd, that has controlled the district for many years. Bejarano paid public lawyers to fight community efforts to create trustee districts.

Archie McAllister put an end to humiliating children at lunchtime.

Archie McAllister,
Retired Navy and educator

Mr. McAllister is the best candidate for seat #2 in my opinion. He has mainstream, pro-community attitudes, and is smart and well-organized. He brought an end to the policy of humiliating children who didn't have lunch money by giving them the dreaded cheese sandwich. (Cheese sandwiches are terrific, it's just that kids came to associate them with punishment.)

Norberto Salazar, right, fanning himself.

Norberto Salazar,
teacher (and spoiler?)

Norberto fell all over himself during the forum to tell David Bejarano (on two different occasions) how great he is. So why is he running against him? Clearly, Norberto is a Bejarano supporter, and is running once again for CVESD board for the sole apparent purpose of splitting the anti-incumbent vote. He read prepared statements, and constantly fanned himself while the other candidates on the stage sat calmly.

Diego Vargas, parent

Willard "Doc" Howard, program assistant analyst


Russell Coronado is the candidate of those who hope to pry Patrick Judd's fingers from the chair he has held for over twenty years.

Russell Coronado
Educator, parent and administrator

Mr. Coronado has a perfect combination of ability, experience and passion for helping children. Coronado came close to winning against Pamela Smith in 2006, and should win handily this time against Patrick Judd. Mr. Coronado is open about his work experience, while Judd refuses to comment on his recent departure from Mountain Empire School District.

Patrick Judd

Patrick Judd,
incumbent and retired superintendent

Patrick Judd has ruled the district with an iron hand for over twenty years, covering up problems by forcing employees to commit perjury and paying $100,000s to lawyers. He has succeeded in keeping the truth about CVESD out of the mainstream media.

Mr. Judd was a no-show at this forum, much like he was during his mysterious absence the last months of his job at Mountain Empire School District. He finally retired without coming back to work, and announced that he had not been on sick-leave. One suspects that there were some serious problems at the district, and Judd was part of the problem. Judd is now up in Los Angeles.

Aurora Murillo-Clark
community volunteer

I have no idea what Ms. Murillo-Clark's agenda is. I can't help wondering if she was recruited by Bertha Lopez and Norberto Salazar to run as a spoiler to protect incumbent Patrick Judd.

[Update: It seems I was correct in guessing that Murillo-Clark and Bertha Lopez were connected. The list of CABE board members (below) includes both of them.]

California Association for Bilingual Education, Board of Directors 2010 conference edition of The Multilingual Educator, see page 3

Oscar Medina ~ President
Karling Aguilera-Fort ~ Immediate Past President
Pilar Mejía ~ Vice President
Lauri Burnham Massey ~ Director of Legislative Affairs
Aurora Clark ~ Director of Community Affairs
Jeff Penichet ~ Director of Financial Affairs
Rosa Armstrong ~ Director of Para-Professional Affairs
Barbara Flores, Ph.D. ~ Director of Secondary & IHE Affairs
Maricela Parga ~ Director of Parent Relations
Ramón Zavala ~ Region I Representative
Peggy Morrison ~ Region II Representative
Robbie Wedeen ~ Region III Representative
Bertha López ~ Region IV Representative
Irma G. Villanueva ~ Region V Representative
Herman Sillas ~ Legal Counsel

Aurora Clark
Age: 39
Community involvement:
South Bay Forum;
district English Learners Advisory
Committee; Latino Summit Steering Committee;
California Association for Bilingual Education board;
Chula Vista City/Schools Community Task Force.
Occupation: Community volunteer
Education: Attended Southwestern College

Update March 2016 on Aurora Clark:

Did citizens lose when Councilman McCann won?

Aurora Clark, a community advocate, has been ordered to pay Chula Vista councilman John McCann $99,918 to cover legal bills in connection with a 2014 election challenge. According to a recent U-T article, San Diego Superior Court judge Eddie C. Sturgeon ordered the decision on March 11.
Aurora Clark

In 2014 McCann won by two votes the city council seat contested between him and former Chula Vista mayor Steve Padilla: McCann had 18,448 to Padilla’s 18,446. With the assistance of attorney John Moot, Clark sued the County Registrar of Voters and McCann in an effort to ensure provisional votes were counted.
In a March 21 interview, Clark said, “I have been a seasonal poll worker for years. I was trying to be a hundred percent sure to honor the people's vote, and if the registrar could not honor them at least they could notify them. This was not about McCann. The way the votes were going he might have won. It was about honoring the votes people cast.

“As poll workers we learned about people who lost their homes or jobs during the financial crisis. We were trained that those people had rights, too…. During our training, each time we [poll workers] asked about provisional ballots they said the only way that a provisional ballot would not be counted was if someone voted twice....

“A citizen is supposed to have a right to challenge anything that might be unjust. Federal rulings say if a citizen sues on behalf of the public, they are protected as long as they don’t seek personal gain. With this new decision people are told, ‘Don’t exercise your right or you’re going to be penalized.’ The judge said his main concern was if he didn’t rule against me, pretty much, he was afraid that people who ran for political office would be intimidated. He was more concerned about those seeking political office than citizens and taxpayers….

“When I went to the hearing, I went hoping that the judge would listen to the true statement of my financial status; he said he would let me speak if I wanted to say something, but he was not going to consider any corrections to the…information that McCann’s lawyer gave him. I feel like I didn’t even get my day in court….

“I’ve got three children that are in college. I negotiated in my alimony to better care for my boys. I have a second home; that was the agreement. That house is my sole income and the only way that I can pay my mortgage.”

While McCann did not respond to an email or phone call from the Reader, he told the Star News, “We won the election, the election audit, the election recount, the election lawsuit, unanimously won the appeal with the three-judge Fourth District Court of Appeals and now we won our children’s college money back.”

Clark’s attorney Moot was surprised by the judge’s decision: “There’s no legal precedent for the ruling. No one in [Clark’s] position has ever been responsible for attorney fees before, of any case I can find anywhere.

“I don’t know what was going through the judge’s mind. He issued a four-line opinion. He didn’t provide legal analysis. His only real comment at the hearing was he was concerned about the chilling effect it had on the candidates, to which I said — there’s nothing in the law that says you should take into consideration the chilling effect of the defendant….

“At no time did this case involve Mr. McCann or anything he did. It was testing how the Registrar of Voters was counting votes; McCann was only named because the election code says you have to name the person who won the election because if the votes get counted and it changes the result then the court has to be able to issue an order.

“These same votes would be counted in the Orange County Registrar, but the San Diego Registrar did not count them. The registrar has discretion…."...



My pick here is Pearl Quinones.

Lorenzo Provencio, retired educator

Pearl Quiñones, president of the governing board
[Note to Pearl: What's up with the Bonny Garcia legal bills? What were you thinking?]

Gabriel Rodriguez, finance representative


Jaime Mercado and Pearl Quinones

Jaime Mercado
Incumbent, former teacher and principal

Jaime Mercado is clearly interested in his work for the board, and is not just interested in his own advancement. I can't say the same for Bertha Lopez (see below).

Stephanie Alcaraz and Bertha Lopez

Bertha Lopez
Chula Vista school board member

Bertha Lopez is trying to extend the control of the Judd group to Sweetwater district. This group has stood in the way of educational reform, choosing instead to protect cronies at the expense of children and taxpayers. Members of the group are both Democrats (Lopez, Norberto Salazar) and Republicans (Judd, Bejarano), and only one thing is required for group membership: members must protect other members at any cost, and be silent if the group takes action that conflicts with any principles one might have.

Stephanie Alcaraz, nurse

Trina Lopez, retired instructional aide

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