Chris Bentley has registered as a candidate for the upcoming election in November for a position on the Hesperia Unified School District's school board. He has chosen this forum to attack me, Eric Swanson. I am also a candidate for a position on the board.
I served as an HUSD board member from 2001 through 2006 and was defeated for a reelection bid. During my tenure as a board member, I met with Mr. Bentley on several occasions to address issues that concerned him regarding the school district. In my personal contacts with him, I always treated Mr. Bentley with the respect I would want someone to show me whether as an elected official or through casual public meetings.
I will make my comments as brief as possible, but I believe that this is an election smear against me and my family and it needs to be address in its simplest form.
I have never asked anyone to violate the law by writing letters during the 2006 election. This comment is slanderous and I am shocked that the Hesperia Star would allow such comments to be made in their newspaper.
I have talked about my involvement with EASC and CCA in different public forums. My company never asked EASC or CCA for purchase orders or contracts and to my knowledge was never a sole-source provider of goods or services. EASC and CCA asked my company to do a service, we gave a price and completed the transaction. During Grand jury hearings I was only a witness.
Mr. Bentley's facts are incorrect on the ExCEL Institute. The ExCEL board did not hire any of the trainers and the money received by the trainers was not for the exact same hours of labor. Each of the trainers put many non-school time hours into this process. Any teacher in the school district that was ExCEL qualified could be a trainer. These trainers brought back to our school district valuable information that helped teachers in our own classrooms.
Since when is it a crime to protect oneself against identity theft? All Mr. Bentley had to do was to complete his research, he would have found that I won the case against the credit card company.
I like to say something about the current transportation issue our students in Hesperia are facing. My letter to the editor was in no way political, it was from the heart. I have always believed that we must put student safety first. Mr. Bentley accused me of not making any suggestion to make it safer for the students to get to school, but if he had done his complete research he would have found that I spoke at the August 4, 2008 school board meeting on just that issue and did give the school board a suggestion that would make it safer for the students during dark early morning walk. I ask the board to consider a second period start time for the walking students. This would give the students more daylight time to get to school.
I am saddened that this newspaper has allowed the promotion of such smear campaigning by another candidate. I do not intend to use this newspaper, or any other, to smear any candidate seeking a seat on the HUSD School Board.
I believe that it is important to take time to go over the obscene allegations that Mr. Bentley has made, that have no merit. As a candidate for local office, I believe it was necessary to put these issues to rest.
I never used my elected office on the Hesperia school board for personal gain. I was proud to give back my time to the students and community. It was an honor to be part of what made Hesperia Unified School District great during my five years on the school board.