There are 7 people running for school board and 2 will be elected. My first choice, Tom Panas, is easy. My problem is deciding on the second candidate.

  1. Miriam Stephanie Sequeira
  2. Mister Phillips
  3. Tom Panas
  4. Don Gosney
  5. Ayana K. Young
  6. Carlos Taboada
  7. Antonio Álavarez Medrano

The Easy Choice (for Me)

  1. Tom Panas

I’ve known Tom for a few years. I’ve served on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee chaired by him for almost a year. I’ve been impressed with his ability to get things done while accommodating the views of different groups and individuals on the committee. I’ve also been impressed with his leadership in different civic non-school projects. All of this exemplifies a style of collaborative leadership that I think makes the most sense for a school board.

Tom’s professional background is as a numbers guy. He can fill a gap in the skillset of the current school board team by providing expertise as the board grapples with complex, large bond construction and operational budgets. Tom has actually participated in WCCUSD oversight committees for both bond construction and operations.

As the parent of two special-needs children who went through WCCUSD he has had an intensive personal education in how the school system works. He can bring his experience with one type of educational challenge to the many other differing challenges in the district with both empathy and understanding.

The Second Choice

I don’t have as strong a preference for the second seat, so I will use the process of elimination.

Mister Phillips

He’s likely to win a seat, but it won’t be with my single puny vote. I simply don’t support politicians using the school board as a stepping stone to higher office. Often they turn out to be relatively innocuous like Tony Thurmond, but we need five board members totally focused on our district. Let someone who will be focused on our district have the seat.

Carlos Taboada

He’s a progressive firebrand who particularly rails against charters as part of some bigger conspiracy. I feel that he would primarily use the board as a soap box. I want a board focused on solving problems within its scope.

Don Gosney

He’s actually a good public citizen in many ways and all-round good guy. The problem with him as a board member is he’s too invested in the whole previous Ramsey apparatus of a runaway bond program. An essential part of the district moving forward in this area is to build on the findings of the forensic audit to reform the construction program. Don repudiates the forensic audit and would spend most of his time on the board undermining reform efforts based on the audit.

That Leaves Three

Now we’re down to three candidates I’m warmer toward.

  1. Miriam Stephanie Sequeira
  2. Ayana K. Young
  3. Antonio Álavarez Medrano

While I think Stephanie and Ayana both show a lot of promise, there are still some rough edges, like Ayana’s suggestion about hiring more Christian teachers to reach out to African-American students. Antonio has been on the board before, but that means he carries the baggage of association with the Ramsey regime. However, I felt he showed some signs of integrity then, like resisting Ramsey and Harter from blocking the county taxpayers’ association candidate for the bond oversight committee. I’m willing to give him another chance in a post-Ramsey era.

  1. Antonio Álavarez Medrano