BY LINDA BENTLEY | OCTOBER 20, 2010
Clancy versus the ‘hand-picked’ board and union-endorsed candidates
‘This shows an appalling lack of judgment on his part and gives clear reason for voting for the candidate not supported by Mr. Schaefer’
Then, in all caps, italics and boldface, his message urged recipients, “Please read and forward (forward was underlined for even more emphasis) to friends, neighbors, parents and families living in the Cave Creek Unified School District.”
In his brief e-mail, Schaefer pleads, “Please vote for Stephanie Reese and Kari Workman,” again in boldface and italics, stating, “They are 100 percent for all students, teachers and support needed resources in the classroom.”
Their support for “needed resources” means they support budget overrides and bonds along with higher property taxes to fund them.
Schaefer claims “Voting for Reese and Workman will create a more constructive and functional governing board.”
Schaefer, during more than one meeting, has publicly chastised board member Susan Clancy for asking questions he would prefer she not ask and has shown his utter disdain for her serving on the board.
Touting Reese and Workman’s endorsement by the local teachers’ union, Schaefer fails to point out that Reese abruptly resigned as president of the board, with two years left on her term, immediately after former Superintendent Tacy Ashby resigned.
Well, Shaefer’s e-mail didn’t sit so well with some of the recipients for a variety of reasons.
Apparently Schaefer sent the e-mail to some recipients’ business e-mail addresses, and questioned how Schaefer was able to obtain what they claim were not publicly disclosed e-mail addressed.
One recipient responded to the same list, which Schaefer didn’t even bother to blind copy, and asked voters to do their own due diligence while reminding them they do not have to cast two votes but can cast one vote for a single candidate.
She wrote, “Personally, I find it very troubling that a current board member would go so far as to lobby for candidates in this manner. However, it does suggest that these two candidates have been hand-picked by the current board/administration and offer no alternative view than that which already exists.
“We have five board members for a reason. They are to be elected as individuals. They are to act as individuals. They are to think as individuals.”
Another e-mail signed by “Concerned parents in CCUSD” responded to an even larger list of “parents, teachers and other interested parties” to say they were surprised to see “Schaefer, as a board member, sending out a mass e-mail asking us to vote for his choice of candidates in order to have a more unified school board.”
The e-mail went on to state, “The CCUSD Board is too unified behind the questionable decisions of the superintendent as it is. This shows an appalling lack of judgment on his part and gives clear reason for voting for the candidate not supported by Mr. Schaefer.”
The e-mail then stated why they were choosing to vote for Susan Clancy and asked that voters thoughtfully consider the same.
Topping the list, Concerned wrote, “At every meeting we have attended, it has been Susan Clancy, and only Susan Clancy, asking the district questions, asking for accountability, asking for information, asking that the district and our board do due diligence by having all the facts and figures on the table in open public view prior to making decisions.”
After having discussions with Clancy, whom Concerned said has been an open and inviting member of the board, “it is clear the priority for Susan is our kids.”
Concerned expressed disappointment in the other board members who have asked no questions of the district administration when important decisions were made that affect students, teachers and families in the district and asked, “Why aren’t they doing their jobs?
Now Mr. Schaefer is actively trying to vote out the one member who seeks to represent our voices, asking the tough questions we should be asking. Why is that?”
One example provided where the administration and majority of the board was completely at odds with district residents included the decision to close Desert Arroyo Middle School despite overwhelming opposition and questionable financial figures and savings to the district.
Another was the administration’s “premature and ill-conceived notion” of an academy-styled charter school at Cactus Shadows High School, where students would attend smaller classes and wear uniforms.
Despite the fact, as pointed out by former Assistant Principal Monica Barrett, during a school board meeting, students were not leaving the district so they could attend academies or wear uniforms.
Concerned asked, “How about we start with teaching the subject matter and not political agendas? It’s the content, not the ‘window dressing’ we want.”
Stating Clancy does a “remarkable job speaking up and asking the tough questions,” Concerned stated, “We need more members like Susan Clancy, not less. Anyone who says we need a ‘united’ board to function smoothly can only believe in a ‘top down, heavy-handed approach.’”
Concerned said, “The more discussion the better. The more light the better,” while stating, “To be uncomfortable answering well thought-out questions about issues affecting our students on a daily basis, does not speak well of the administration nor the other board members who are complacent to nod and vote yes without seeking full understanding of the issues and implications."
In closing, Concerned urged recipients, “Please vote for Susan Clancy for our children! Show that we expect representation and accountability.”
Concerned, like many who speak out about the district and talk to Sonoran News, remain anonymous because they teach and/or have children in CCUSD and fear retribution.