Scott Mann Candidate Statement for Menifee Union School Board

The following was written by Scott Mann, a candidate for School Board Trustee, Menifee Union School ...

The following was written by Scott Mann, a candidate for School Board Trustee, Menifee Union School District...

scott mann menifeeI have decided to jump in this race because these two incumbents, Mr. O’Donnell and Ms. Peters, have TWICE voted to extend their terms of office. The first time, 2004, was to align the school board elections to the Presidential Election Cycle to “improve voter turnout”.....going from odd year to even year elections. The second time, 2009, was to “save the district money”.....going BACK from even year to odd year elections.

The current Board, in which Mr. O’Donnell and Ms. Peters are members, approved the term extension on December 8, 2009 by a vote of 3-2....hardly a mandate from the dais. The justification to extend terms a second time was to “save money”. Well guess what.....IT COST MORE MONEY. Changing election cycles AGAIN cost the Menifee School District over $16,000 to simply notify voters of the change. So, over a two fiscal year view, their decision actually cost more to the taxpayers by selfishly extending their terms of office. Like many other public entities across America, they simply “kicked the can down the road”.

Kudos go out to Mr. Bowman and Mr. Freeman for seeing through this waste and casting dissenting votes. Mr. Ulibarri, who sided with Mr. O’Donnell and Ms. Peters, said that he felt the economy is going to improve in the near future which would make it easier for the district to absorb the election costs in 2011. He is quoted in The Californian as saying “We’ll have a better idea of where we’re at the following year.” That was in December of 2009. Here we are in August of 2011. Has the economy improved Mr. Ulibarri? Have revenues from Sacramento magically appeared? Have more cuts been made to education? We all know the answer to these questions. As a private businessman, a realtor, Mr. “U” should have voted “no” on this initiative put forward by Ms. Peters.

Ms. Peters, the main proponent of the change, said after a board meeting (11/29/09) that she is not looking to avoid having to campaign in 2010. “The reason that we are doing this is mainly cost savings for the district,” Peters said. “I’d like to see us put (money) in the classrooms.” (Ref: The Californian, November 24, 2009, “Trustees to consider election change”). The 2008 election cost the district $65,821. If you add the cost of “notifying” voters of yet another election cycle change, estimated to be $16,370 (or .50 cents to notify all 32,741 registered voters in Menifee), to the cost of a regular election, you have increased the cost of the election by 24.8%! ($65,821 plus $16,370 = $82,191 cost to tax payers over two fiscal years). Folks, there is a basic concept in economics called “Total Cost of Ownership”, or TCO. These incumbents increased the TCO to our School District. Ms. Peters, rather than putting money in the classrooms as noted above, took money from the classrooms by her initiative and vote!

This is not fiscally prudent. This is not good public policy. This is not being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Having lived in Menifee for 22 years, all three of my children were educated in Menifee schools. I believe in high academic standards, staff performance and fiscal accountability in public education. I will work hard to ensure that our school district continues to exceed academic standards and that every dollar benefits our children’s education.

Education is our economic future and through education we will be competitive in the global economy. My leadership and business experiences in the private sector and school business management experience in public education qualify me to provide responsive leadership as a member of your Governing Board.

As a former business employee of the Menifee Union School District, I know full well the fiscal challenges that the district has managed over the last four years. I believe we can improve upon the district’s financial position while delivering high quality education to the taxpayers of Menifee.

Mr. O’Donnell and Ms. Peters have served on this Board admirably most of the time. However, their public policy votes to extend their own terms for the reasons they publicly gave are, to me, unforgiveable.

Thanks for listening. Please feel free to share this with other Menifee taxpayers.

Warm regards,

Scott Mann
Candidate for the Menifee School Board

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Post a Comment

  1. Scott,

    That's why you're running? Nothing about ideas to improve our schools and student achievement? No passion or interest for the people and children of our community.

    Is this your way of getting back at the school system you no longer work for? Or maybe to stay visible in a city government that you're no longer part of?

    C'mon Mann, you got to be better than that! We are all sick of this stuff. Tell us why you would be the best person for our board... What it is you believe in and will work for... What you want for the future of our school district.

    The finger pointing and whining needs to go!

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  2. August 10, 2011 3:07 PM

    Did you read the entire statement? Obviously not.

    Why shouldn’t the incumbents be called out for what they are? Self-serving. Peters and O’Donnell have done nothing that is in the interest of the kids. In addition to voting to extend their own terms, they have provided increased compensation to the Super at the same time they took money out of the classroom. These two are as self-serving a politician as they come.

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  3. Scott Mann doesn't make sense here! If they spent 16,000 to let us know about the election change they actually saved us a little under 50,000 for the next election cycle. Regardless, there would have been an election cycle. So I used to be a fan of Scott's but this is clear manipulation of numbers and once again another politician running their mouth about nonsense.

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  4. Ironic - Mr Mann could save the taxpayers $65,000 by not running if he is the only one running against Mr. O'Donnell and Ms. Peters.

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  5. August 11, 2011 7:08 AM

    Did you read that post to yourself before you posted it?

    So what your saying is we shouldn't have elections? Just let the self-serving incumbents continue to hold our kids back.

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  6. There is a very qualified candidate that has not been mentioned here. Patricia Cahill is also running.

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  7. Alright Scott lets talk..

    What is your opinion on waist at the district office? Do we really need four assistant-superintendence’s or could the superintendent step up and earn her money?

    Are you considering looking into grading our teachers and firing the ones that are not doing a good job?

    Should we allow illegal immigrant kids in (yes we all understand that it is not the Child’s fault). However American kids are suffering when teachers have to teach the class twice. (I would like to point out that I did not specify any one race or ethnicity so screaming racist is not applicable)

    Why do some schools have part time health techs. And some have fulltime. I would much prefer to deal with one person to handle my child’s health and allergy demands instead of have to worry witch one I’m going to get.

    There you go Mr. Mann what are your thoughts.

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  8. Menifee School District's test scores have gone up and up over the last 6 years. These would not be the actions of a District or a Board that isn't concerned about student's education. Menifee School District is very fiscally sound and takes pride in boasting that we are one of the only district in Riverside County that continues to have special programs such as band and choir for our children PLUS there have been no lay offs of educators during this very serious economic and budgetary disaster within the State of California. As a Member of one of the best School Boards in Riverside County, I have worked very hard as a teamplayer for our children and our test scores prove it as does our overall record. No one has gotten raises, including the Superintendent. For verification of these facts, please call the District direct. When someone points a finger at someone, there are three more pointing back at him as he once again attempts to bully the public. I resent these accusations and can only hope the public is wise enough to call to verify these misrepresented facts and opinions before voting. Scott, with all due respect, why does our children and their educational process have to become a bitter political battleground to further your career steps? Thank you. Rita J. Peters

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  9. Rita,

    Since you were addressing Mr. Mann, why don’t you address his concerns about why you voted to extend your term in office? You blame him for using the children as a political battle ground yet you commit an egregious self-serving act like voting to keep yourself in office.

    In regards to the increased compensation for the superintendent, the following is from the Californian on May 26, 2009: “Her annual salary is now $173,813, which reflects a 4 percent raise.”

    This increase was at the same time the board voted to rid of the assistant principal positions, ask parents to provide supplies that had been cut from the budget, among other cuts that directly affected the kids. I believe there was an increased vehicle allowance for the super as well.

    You also boast about not laying off any educators, but don’t state how many instruction days have been taken away from the kids. Please remind us how many less days our kids will be in the classroom.

    Thank you,
    Jason

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  10. Jason, Are you aware of what is going on around you in these tough economical times? People are lucky to even have jobs. Along with the Superintendent getting that raise 4 years ago, it was across the Board for all employees. In 2004, Vic Giardinelli presented the date change in elections and I believe the entire board supported it. In 2009, I brought up strictly because of the economics, the budget problems and the fact that the Board was a new Board, we had just set goals and were working well together as you can tell from the positive things that have happened within our district. Jason, there is no mention of the constant rise in test scores, the fact that we still have bussing to bring our kids to school and we offer alternative programs. Yes, instruction days have been taken away from the classroom but they have been strategically placed within the calendar when there is slow time, before holidays, during the summer where it will be less of a strain on their education. All Districts have had to do this. And if you talk with staff, 90% of them are just happy to have jobs. These necessary cuts have to do with the State budget, hopefully you are flogging them as badly as you are flogging your School Board that has done an A+ exemplary job considering the State budgetary conditions taken away from education. I'm not boasting Jason, I'm stating facts and as a reminder, we are very open to positive suggestive ideas on how to survive the next layer of cuts in our future. It's going to be very tough and there will be a lot of sacrifices in the future of education unless more and more people get involved. We feel the Board is moving forward in a fashion to lessen the overall impact on families in the best ways possible. I thank you for the opportunity to further explain why I suggested a years extension on our terms. The voting public placed trust in us and the extended term was a decision made in the best interest of our District. School Board members are not politicians and Menifee should be very proud of the decisions we have made in the interest of their children, their educations and keeping their home lifes safe by continued employment. Thank you Jason for allowing me to continue to remind our voters of the positive things the District has done for their children.
    Rita J. Peters

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  11. Why did the board vote only 3-2 for the election change if it was such a great idea?

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  12. Come on Scott. The truth is you jumped in the race because you are a professional politician and the voters were wise enough to vote for Tom Furman instead of you. But to the allegations, I don't know whether it was right or wrong to extend the terms of office.
    what I do know is this in terms of total budget for the Menifee School District it comes out to .0001% of the total budget. I also know to her credit Ms. Peters has served on the board faithfully for about 12 years and during that time of economic turmoil and massive education cuts elsewhere. There have been no teacher layoffs and they still have a music program. Both of which speak to Ms. Peters fiscal prudence. Since you had children in the district you know that high academic standards, Staff performance and fiscal accountability are already top notch. Why change a good thing? Michael Parry, voter

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  13. High academic standards compared to who? Perris and Moreno Valley? Surely not our neighbors to the south.

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  14. Menifee School District’s test score have gone up because of the teaching staff, a good curriculum, excellent delivery of that curriculum and above average socio-economic conditions in Menifee. They have NOTHING to do with Rita Peters or the school board. The school board sets policy....they do not deliver the educational mission.

    The Menifee School District budget has been balanced on the backs of the Classified Work Force and by substantially drawing down the district’s reserves from above 12% down to 3%.

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  15. I wonder how many of the negative respondents have regularly attended Menifee's School Board meetings. If you did, you wouldn't be making such ludicrous comments. Menifee has an outstanding school board. Each member genuinely places the well being of our children first. A school district's success or lack thereof is directly attributed to the skills and talent of its leadership to lead the organization towards continuous growth and improvement. The data speaks volumes. Student achievement is increasing at a rate higher than our "neighbors to the south". As a matter of fact, our district's student achievement data in mathematics in 2010 surpassed even Temecula's impressive stats. Given the rate of improvement of Menifee student achievement over the past several years (despite the increase in rising unemployment, increases in housing foreclosures, deep cuts in state and federal funding), members of the entire organization should be highly commended for maintaining their focus on educating our children. As a parent and a community member, I deeply appreciate the leadership provided by our current school board. Ms. Peters and Mr. O'Donnell, there is no need for you to defend yourself against frivolous political rhetoric. The school district's continuous improvement in student achievement data and the district's fiscal soundness speaks volumes. Personally, I will not vote for any candidate who may potentially create animosity or divisiveness within the organization. In these turbulent times, we need to place our focus on the needs of our children.

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  16. Isn't this the same school board that tried to ban a DICTIONARY?

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  17. You're kidding me, Right??
    No one ever tried to "ban" the dictionaries. The dictionaries were pulled for review in response to a parent complaint, in line with district policy. The rest is media hype.
    The dictionaries remain in place to this day.

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  18. Hello, do you all think that Scott is the problem.. Or could it be that the district is spending our tax money wrong... How much does one assistant superintendent make? We have four of them. Why? Is it the superintendent doesn't want to do her job or is it the some tasks are simply beneath her. Draw down the assistance superintendent to ONE and put as many part time jobs to fulltime, restoring the confidence in a dedicated work staff for the health and education for out kids....

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  19. The problem with the two incumbents is there isn’t an original thought between the two of them. They rubber stamp everything that the district staff puts in front of them. Have they even looked at the staff at the district office? Not only is there the four assistant superintendents, there are 12 secretaries for 43 staff members. Really? They need 12 secretaries? Do they really need a media relations person as well? Couldn’t one of the 12 secretaries take care of this?

    Also, the lunch menu that is provided to the elementary kids if horrific. Chips and cheese is a main entrée? And this was a governing board selection, like they are proud of it.

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  20. 12 secretaries for whom? At $18 and hour or more that's $40,000 and year at least, and times 12 gives you almost $500,000.00 what do they do really? do you have any idea what kind of a lunch program you could provide with that kind of money and if you loose 3 of the assistant superintendents you could use that money to make the staff at each school more of a fulltime fixture, getting rid of as many part time positions and make them full time.

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  21. REALLY???? Thank goodness the last three respondents are not in charge of running a school district!!

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  22. Really???

    Please educate us on why every fourth person in the district office needs to be a secretary.

    Please educate us on why the secretary position is more valuable than the positions that were eliminated, like the Assistant Principals and the Risk Manager. (Not necessarily endorsing Mr. Mann, just using the position for reference)

    Please educate us on why it makes sense to provide increases in compensation at the same time, cutting money to the classrooms.

    Your statement sounds like you know everything about running a school district. Please elaborate on your response so some of us may be a little more educated.

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  23. REALLY????

    Sounds to me like you may be one of the assistant superintendent or secretaries. Can any one explain to me how an increase in compensation and/or more money in the district office have ever improved the education of kids?

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  24. Where do we get an application to run for this position? I looked on the website and didn't see any information about it.
    Maybe some of these people posting comments should join me and make it really competitive. Get some new people on the Board.

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  25. Please people
    Anyone but Scott Mann

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  26. This guy does not care about the children in our district. He is running for one person. Himself.

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