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July 06, 2009



The SMUHSD currently has a $3.5 million operating deficit. It is time for the board to stand for a parcel tax to provide the level of education expected in this community. If the public will not fund the programs, then it is time to make some cuts. I don't like it, but we can't keep offering programs that we cannot afford.

The board also needs to allow the district to make adjustsments to its balance sheet to clean up unneccesary debt. The SMUHSD is still paying $1.5 to $3 million per year (from the General Fund!) on San Johnson's $80 million construction cost overrun. If the District were to sell the Crestmoor property or use existing bond funds, it could pay off its debt and clean up its balance sheet. Its time to give the SMUHSD's new leader a chance to lead with a clean slate.


Here is the Daily Journal's reporting on who's doing what:

"Greg Land, a Redwood City elementary school principal who currently serves as the Burlingame Elementary School District Board of Trustees president, filed to run for re-election. Davina Drabkin, a parent and business consultant also filed to run. Trustee Liz Gindraux has not yet said if she would run. Trustee Marc Friedman filed to run for the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees. He is joined by Aragon parent Mike Loy. Three seats are open on that board: Bob Griffin’s, Peter Hanley’s and Linda Lees Dwyer’s. Both Hanley and Lees Dwyer announced their intention to run again. Griffin has yet to."

It ends there, so I would guess they meant to write that Griffin has yet to decide.


The final line-up for SMUHSD courtesy of the Daily Journal is:

Board President Peter Hanley, Vice President Linda Lees Dwyer and Trustee Bob Griffin filed to run for re-election. Challenging the incumbents are Mike Loy, Aragon Parent Teacher Organization president; Marc Friedman, Burlingame Elementary School District trustee; and 2004 Aragon graduate Guadalupe Ortiz.

Twenty-three-year-old Ortiz was the last challenger to enter the race. A relatively unknown candidate compared to her competition, Ortiz holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. While not a parent, she has a sister attending Aragon and works with children managing an after-school program at a charter high school in San Jose and acts as the director of academic outreach for the San Mateo Youth Foundation.

Loy, an Aragon graduate and parent, has served on the Aragon PTO for four years, currently as president. Loy is the chair of the Measure M Citizen Oversight Committee, charged with overseeing voter-approved bond money and serves on the district committee to identify surplus property. He was the first to file.

Friedman decided to run noting his youngest daughter is starting high school in the fall and said he has something to contribute.

Lees Dwyer, a former Burlingame trustee herself, already has a number of goals if elected to a second term including equal opportunity for students to programs; encouraging teachers to further their own education; engaging more parent participation in non-fundraising events; and conservatively managing district and bond funds.

Hanley, first elected in 2001, recognized the coming years will be difficult. Despite economic difficulties, Hanley hoped to further the academic focus by putting available resources toward struggling students. Along the same line, Hanley hoped to further the college track curriculum into the upper grades. Lastly, Hanley hoped to focus on ensuring Measure M funds are used wisely and projects are finished on time.

Griffin remained a mystery for quite some time before filing. If re-elected, it would be Griffin’s fifth term.


And for the BSD (Elementary school) race, the Daily Journal is also showing:

With Friedman running for the high school district, at least one new face will become a Burlingame trustee. Potential candidates have until Wednesday to file.

Board President Greg Land and Vice President Liz Gindraux filed, as did parent Davina Drabkin.

It would be a second term for both Land and Gindraux, both parents in the district. Gindraux joined the board after being a very active parent at Washington Elementary. Land brings a different perspective to the board as an elementary school principal, he oversees a Redwood City school.

Drabkin could not be reached for comment.

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