Platform

Dublin is our community and I am honored to serve as your Trustee representing Area 5. I am running for re-election, having served for the last six years as Trustee. I was elected to the DUSD Board in 2016 and re-elected in 2018 on a platform of:

  • financial transparency,
  • making Emerald High School a reality,
  • and providing solutions for overcrowding.

There has been great progress across various priorities. Our schools continue to maintain high educational standards and I have diligently championed significant improvements in spending practices that have had real results.

Challenges remain:

  • Covid related learning impact needs to be rectified as much as possible. The US and World economies are transforming and that requires a new set of skills for our students.
  • More must be done to solve complex challenges facing the district related to fiscal responsibility and overcrowding if we are to maintain the educational experience for all our kids that we value.
  • I will continue to work diligently on Educational Excellence, Fiscal Responsibility and Solutions for district-wide Overcrowding.

Now is a critical time for the district, and I know with your support we can achieve the results we all want for our kids and our community. Please make your vote count on November 8th .

HISTORY

It is important to understand a little history. I want to make it very clear that this writing is my own opinion and in no way represents the DUSD Board or my role as president of that Board. The history is based on my understanding and everyone should consider their own perspectives when assessing.

I moved to Dublin in 1994 and have been proud to call it home. When I first arrived, the City was relatively small and recently incorporated. In 2001, I moved with my family to the new Dublin Ranch development in large part due to the well-crafted Eastern Dublin Specific Plan. The Plan outlined a high school, two middle schools and numerous elementary schools well positioned to provide neighbor schools for all. Homes were priced at that time to incorporate the necessary fees to make the schools a reality.

Unfortunately, in 2003 the DUSD Board at that time voted to not follow the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan and told the City to use the land set aside for the majority of the schools for other purposes. There appear to be two basic reasons for this:

  1. The makeup of the Board at that time had 4 representatives from the west side of the City.
  2. The Board looked at the decision as the best way to modernize a high school that was 40 years old.

By informing the City that the High School and one of the middle schools were not needed, the Board could successfully go out for a Bond Measure (Measure C), to rebuild Dublin High and begin modernization of Wells Middle and the three west side elementary schools.

To be fair, the west side schools were in need of substantial repair and modernizations as all of them were built in the mid-1960s. However, the Board’s decision to reject the Eastern Dublin Specific Plan was the start of the divide between west and east Dublin that has continued to deepen. Many people on the east side were concerned that their higher property taxes were going to rebuild west side schools (Measure C), while they just purchased expensive homes that had fees included to build the east side schools, which the Board then decided not to build.

SPURRED TO ACTION

I began to get involved in DUSD issues after the Board made this fiscally irresponsible decision and spoke out with others about demographer estimates that were obviously incorrect to justify utilization of funds for existing schools where growth was not occurring while failing to build where growth was rapid. From the time of the decision until just a few years ago, developer fees did not include amounts for a new east side high school since the DUSD management kept showing numbers indicating that it was not needed.

Time has confirmed the numbers were incorrect, and now we have had to not only pay to build Emerald High School but pay $38 million for the land as well. It is also obvious that the second middle school should be built as the east has around 1,900 middle school students and growing. The original design capacity was 1,250 for Fallon, portables were added to increase capacity to 1,650. Additional middle school students are also in Cottonwood Creek.

As more people moved into east Dublin, the reality of the poor planning for growth became more and more obvious until the people were finally heard in 2015. Early estimates for a new High School were in the magnitude of $400+ million with land purchase (about what Emerald High will cost after all three phases are built). The DUSD Board decided to place the first phase of the High School on the 2016 ballot (Measure H). There was concern that the true cost of the first phase of Emerald would not allow for other projects; so, it was not reported that all the projects listed in Measure H would be financed by it.

My current opponent was part of the Board at that time. That Board (including my current opponent), also voted to build Cottonwood Creek without a gymnasium and expand the Dublin High engineering project from a single-story building (which was sufficient capacity for the engineering program) into a three-story building. This wasted $28 million of our tax money for capacity that will never be needed after Emerald High opens.

Due to these irresponsible Board decisions and their decision to misuse 40-year bond money to cover ongoing technology upgrades (good share of 2013 Measure E), it was an easy choice for me to run for the Board in 2016. I was elected to the Board in the Districtwide election in 2016. Unfortunately, the three west side Board members were set on not using Measure H to fully build the first phase of Emerald High School by a 3 to 2 vote allocating only $100 million to the first phase on August 22, 2017. This allowed for more money to put to west side elementary schools. This low-ball estimate was confirmed by facilities manager Mike Berg a few meetings later upon a direct question by me.

The recent outside audit confirmed that the $100 million allocation was not based on any estimate but rather to save money for west side projects. The final proof was the meeting of December 13, 2018 where $55 million in additional funding was placed on the consent calendar (with only 24-hour notice, which minimized public awareness and comments) to change the work at two west side elementary schools from the modernization listed in Measure H to building completely new schools.

DECISION TO RUN AGAIN

I was ready to call it quits (it gets very tiring putting up with all the distortion of truth); however, a malicious rumor was started this Spring asserting that I, along with other trustees, had violated the Brown Act. This was proved to be unequivocally false by the District’s general counsel. But the damage had been done, with two major consequences.

First, it became common knowledge that the DUSD teacher union will act in their best interests. Some recent points regarding actions by the Dublin Teachers Association (teachers union) for your consideration are listed below. The DTA:

  • Backed a west side candidate over Gabi Blackman
  • Singled out Catherine Kuo individually numerous times for trying to make sure that sufficient funding was available to keep the District solvent in the long-term
  • Instructed their rank and file to refuse to provide college recommendations and provided last minute tutoring for AP exams as a negotiation tactic, an example of the union putting their needs ahead of students
  • Appears not to have complied with state requirements of filling FPPC forms for their PAC per the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website as of October 5, 2022
  • Backs my opponent

Secondly, it reignited my passion to continue in service to our community in support of our students.

  • I am firmly committed to completing Emerald High
  • I will seek creative solutions to fix the serious overcrowding issue at Fallon Middle School
  • All of my funding has come from people that live here in Dublin and support what I have done the past six years (my opponent has raised over half of his campaign money from people that live outside of Dublin per the latest filing of his FPPC form 460)
  • I would have never supported Cottonwood to be built as a K-8 without a Gymnasium (my opponent did)

Thank you for your support. I would very much appreciate your vote on November 8th.