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Opinion: Why are N-MUSD Board Members Running Unopposed?

Sandy Asper wonders why three Newport-Mesa Unified School District board members are running unapposed.

OMGosh. Again?

Martha Fluor, Dave Brooks and Dana Black are running unopposed for a seat on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education?

Whereas all over California incumbents are being scrutinized carefully, and sometimes they even have to face opponents, that's not the case in apparently blissful Newport-Mesa. In some of the surrounding districts there haven't even been major scandals, or during their tenure in the district.

By the way, how is Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard's appeal going? We haven't heard. Someone predicted a few months ago that the community would forget. At that time, it seemed impossible because the Hubbard Saga went on for nearly two years, complete with salacious emails, and odd continuing supportive comments from some members of the board. Some trustees went so far as to write letters to the judge in the case, extolling Dr. Hubbard's virtues.

One would think that the Newport-Mesa Community might want to think about a change in the board, but no! Martha Fluor, a 21 year veteran, Dana Black, a 19 year member and Dave Brooks a 14 year member filed a few days ago (right at the deadline to make sure that they had no opponents) to serve for another four years.

I guess when you consider the lack of outrage over the Dr. Hubbard Affair, the empty seats at school board meetings, and the complete dismissal of the teacher's Vote of No Confidence , then apathy regarding running for the board is not surprising.

In the surrounding districts, dropping a foreign language can jack up an interested crowd at a board meeting and a teacher being transferred or fired can start a riot, but in Newport-Mesa...not so much. This lack of interest wasn’t always the case. During the infamous embezzlement, hundreds of teachers and community members showed up to protest, and in the last 20 years standing room only was not unheard of. This year the board room was filled with retirees when a perceived change in benefits (which the retirees pay for) was rumored, and one of their own was maligned.

When you consider how much of our tax money goes to educating the Newport Mesa students with it's 11 "failing" schools, the apathy in our community is shocking.

I just don't get it.

Martha, Dave and Dana, are nice people who haven't committed any crimes, don’t kick their dogs, and aren't serial killers, but have made many mistakes in this past two years, and before.

They have continued to buy the administration's story often to the detriment of the students and teachers, and we can only hope  with a new superintendent and administration changes  that it won't continue to be "business as usual" in the future,  BUT that not one person signed on to do their part, to take responsibility, and to be good citizens, is ....well if not surprising...a little despicable.

Over the past years, I have listened to people whine and complain about the board endlessly. Have we just turned into THOSE people who whine and wait for someone else to do the work?

Is it that the Newport Mesa Community feels that they are just “too cool” to go to meetings, or God forbid run for the board? Or is it that we just have low information voters who have no idea what’s going on? Or is it that we as a community have lost our will to believe that things can change? Which is it?

You tell me...Sandy Asper.

Just Sayin.

Lynn Beck August 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Sandy--So, why are you not running again? Lynn Beck
Sandy Asper August 19, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Hi Lynn ,,,who knows I might...it's two years away...too much money...it's not non-partisan...Judy is hard to beat....however, as you can see, other zones actually are a little easier...:)

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