"Excitabat enim fluctus in simpulo," said the great Roman philosopher Cicero. It literally means, "he was stirring up waves in a ladle," or in other words, creating a tempest in a teapot. Matt Spencer and his boss, Gary Namie, are committing the Cicero described affliction of making something that is minor seem larger than it is simply to promote one's own selfish agenda. And at HUSD, we have far greater problems.
Most people know that it is not odd to not respond to garbage not worth responding to in life. It is, however, proper to respond when one of Matt Spencer's bosses, from out of state, starts bashing Spencer's local boss, Mr. McKinney, in our local paper. Because the only way the old boss could make any assessment of Mark McKinney, is if Spencer told him to because Namie has never even met Mark McKinney, let alone have enough of any knowledge base to accuse him of "timidity."
And it is also proper to narrowly respond to horse manure, particularly since the producers of said manure, Namie and Spencer, don't even live in our community. They just seem to like leaving their manure in our town.
Mark McKinney, our superintendent, has lived and worked in this community for years. He does not deserve to have Namie/Spencer call him "timid" or any other thing because they don't know him. Although it is odd that Spencer has decided to clearly disrespect the guy who recommended him for his very cushy and expensive job by calling him names. But Spencer has clearly demonstrated his lack of common sense and professionalism since he started cashing those humongous HUSD checks.
I believe that is proper to deal with false allegations of workplace "bullying," only when the students that we are supposed to serve are fully protected from the very real bullying that occurs in their world. When each and every one of our students is fully protected from real bullying, then, perhaps, we should start to develop procedures to stop professional adults from engaging in human activity. But, as always, students should come first.
As noted at our last meeting, we may be facing the very real problem of a multi-million dollar hit to our budget---again---if the Governor's proposed tax extensions do not even reach the ballot or fail to get voter support at the polls. And I have a hard time believing that Californians will vote for any increase or extension of taxes during this difficult economy.
The economy is the very real storm that I have faced in each and every year that I have been in office. It drives everything that we do, every decision that we have to make. There are no easy answers, only very difficult choices to make in this regard. How do you cut an additional 7 million dollars from an already lean budget? My stomach is still churning from the last two years and here we go again.
We have greatly expanded the cost of our cabinet administration while reducing our teachers and classified staff. That is wrong, unconscionable, in my opinion. I challenge the administration at 15576 Main Street and hold them accountable for their actions. It ain't always easy or pleasant, but that comes with the territory.
The favorite answer/response that I have observed over the years coming from the protected enclave of 15576 Main Street is "but that's the way we've always done it." And that is unacceptable to me for these are not ordinary times. These are tough times and they require tough people to make tough decisions.
But I support, fully, the work done by our school sites and their staffs. I have not had one single principal, teacher, or classified staff, from our school sites, come to me with any form of the type of allegations that Spencer/Namie throw out. And judging by the number of phone calls I get, my phone numbers are not secret.
I am a fierce advocate for all of our kids. It is not "packaging" for I have demonstrated it for years. I am a fierce advocate for all of our good employees as they do the difficult task of ensuring that our kids have access to the quality education they deserve.
I have never portrayed myself as a "white" knight, and quite frankly, resent the racial overtones of the accusation made by Spencer/Namie. The 9000+ plus people who voted for me got exactly what I said I was when I ran for office; an intelligent, enthusiastic, fervent, and strong advocate for our kids and our employees.
I can be reached at home by dialing 760-949-7417. My cell phone number is 760-887-2288. My district email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will listen, with an open mind, to anyone who wants to communicate anything to me with respect to our kid's educations or any other issue. Stand up for our students and employees---that is what I was elected to do, what I have always done, and will firmly continue to do in the future.