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CUSD Candidates to Face Off in Debate

Patch is the sponsor. You are cordially invited to attend.

You are cordially invited to a debate for the candidates vying for four seats on the Capistrano Unified School District school board.

Patch is sponsoring the debate, which will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino Del Avion in San Juan Capistrano.

Although the candidates are running for individual geographic territories known as trustee areas, the debate will cover all four races. The voters impacted are:

  • Trustee Area No. 1: Dana Point, Capistrano Beach and parts of San Juan Capistrano
  • Trustee Area No. 2: Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza and parts of San Juan Capistrano
  • Trustee Area No. 3: San Clemente
  • Trustee Area No. 5: Aliso Viejo

This will be an authentic debate, not just a candidate’s forum. The candidates will not know the questions in advance. Candidates may have up to two minutes to answer the questions, and others may have a one-minute rebuttal.

Patch Local Editor Penny Arévalo will moderate the debate.

Erica Cox October 25, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Penny...I guess getting even MORE $$$ is more important than talking about issues with voters in a PUBLIC debate.
PDub October 25, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Why not move the debate to Ricardo's. where they can not participate yet listen as their careers are flushed and they dont get to respond.... Poetic justice
Alberto Barrera October 25, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I guess they were scared by the prospect that I even thought of going.......
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 01:47 PM
A letter from Children First about why its candidates won't be attending tonight: The candidates will not participate in the advertised candidates forum/debate promoted by the Patch, the information blog site, scheduled for the same night. “We would support a candidates’ forum if one were hosted by a credible, non-partisan organization such as the League of Women Voters”, said Children First President, Fran Sdao. “This particular event is sponsored by a local blog that provides a platform for chatter supported by opinions. It has little to contribute to a positive conversation about important issues. Our candidates’ time will be better spent meeting with constituents and voters.”
Don James October 25, 2012 at 06:09 PM
.....and our donors, and our union handlers, and our hustlers, and our sheep.
concerned parent October 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
The arrogance of Children's First astounds me. My only hope is that enough voters are paying attention to what's actually going on with this district and this election. My fear is that they're not.
fact checker October 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Take note Penny. The bias of the Patch regarding CUSD is well recognized in the community which may be why the comments on your articles are limited for the most part to those who have one opinion and who insult, intimidate and harass anyone who does not share that opinion. The fact that these candidates find other venues for sharing their views is telling.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 08:43 PM
The comments are not limited. They are open for everyone. Of course, you all would have to learn to engage respectfully. Patch is actually THE community. You are Patch. I am Patch and you are Patch. And people "vote" for Patch by visiting. In SJC Patch alone, tens of thousands visit each month. We have a town of 35K. We're tiny. We're one of six CUSD Patches. As for the candidates, the people will vote Nov. 6. Patch does not endorse candidates. We will be there to report.
Erica Cox October 25, 2012 at 08:47 PM
So...which was it?? First a conflict in scheduling (as attested to on CUCF's own FB page) or they don't like ya Penny??
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 08:56 PM
An email went out in August urging all CF supporters to ban Patch. The first email went out to candidates Sept. 23. Let me know what Ricardo's says!
fact checker October 25, 2012 at 08:56 PM
The comments are limited by the insults and harassment visited on anyone who disagrees with the majority here. Respect would be great. Any teacher who comments using their own name is answered with a posting revealing their salary, place of work and any other google information available which may intimidate. Parents who have a different opinion are accused of being union hacks or insulted in other ways. Insults are common to anonymous postings but add little to the conversation. What a shame that this forum has degenerated to the point that one side no longer cares to participate in the discussion. This is the reason some candidates declined what could have been a helpful venue for voters. The Patch has been hijacked, with or without your participation.
JEBMS October 25, 2012 at 09:06 PM
September 23rd was the date that you sent an email to all the candidates stating that The Patch was holding a debate on October 25th and they were invited to attend...is that what you are saying? Please advise, I want to call my area candidate and verify this. Thank you.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Yes, except for Yolanda McNamara, who has no email on file with the county. I have called her phone and left a message. She has not been answering any questions from any media outlet that I know of.
Dawn Urbanek October 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM
In response to Concerned Parent- I can tell you most parents do not yet understand what is going on. That is why CUSD adpoted a budget that includes the fifteen furlough days- which they had to do to submit a "balanced" budget- you would look at the Budget Disclosure Statements June 27th, 2012 Board Meeting "Budget Adpotion". But if you read the collective Bargaining Disclosures - they clearly do not include 15 Furlough days- They include 5 furlough days with an option to negotiate additional days or "other things" after the election, but no later than November 30, 2012- So the Calendar and Employee contracts do not match the adopted budget which means the budget is not really balanced. Of course they did not want to put the 15 furlough days into the Calendar or parents would have been paying a lot more attention- especially when you look at the cuts the district has made to staff, programs and instructional minutes -
Dawn Urbanek October 25, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Look at what we have done since 2006 Teachers 1.2% pay cut Classified .7% pay cut Teamsters 1% Management 8.9% What the kids have lost: Class size increase of 14 kids (elementary School) from 20:1 to 34:1 Shorted school year by 15 days Reduced or eliminated art, music school & library block grants, PE grants, summer school, CalSafe, CAHSEE instruction, PAR Deferred Maintenance- how much longer can you do that? Cut instructional materials Reduced Counselors, elementary music teachers, psychologists and resource teachers on special assignment Reduced home to school transportation from 47 to 18 routes operated under parent pay program. Seems like all of the cuts are to the education of children.
JEBMS October 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Penny, do you intend to ask Mr. Reardon about the $200K settlement he received from the district, even after he said he would not take the money and the D.A.'s office dropped the charges against Fleming for the enemies list? I know that has nothing to do with the issues facing us today, but it goes to his character, and as a voter in his area, I would like to see him address this. Also, I have heard his children attend private school, and do not even attend Capo schools, and I want to know if this is a true fact as well. Thank you.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Hey everyone! If you're more a landmarks kind of person, the SJC Community Center is behind the Boys & Girls Club, next to the Sports Park (everyone's played there, no?) and just south of Marco Forster Middle School. See you in a couple of hours!
JEBMS October 25, 2012 at 10:57 PM
And please, I don't need anyone to yell at me or insult me because I asked this. I truly, as a voter, just want to know his explanation, since I have never heard him address it before. It's hard enough coming to this site and being one of the odd ones out. Thanks.
concerned parent October 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I support Mr. Reardon because of his positions on the issues. However, I also suggested to Penny in comments on a different story that this be addressed. I'd like to know the truth of this too (I didn't think the settlement was that high??), because, frankly, I think that's baggage that could cause people not to vote for him. So JEBMS, I agree that it should be asked tonight. BTW, I'm not able to come to the debate, so I hope there's a detailed story tomorrow.
Gary Langdale October 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM
This is an excellent question! G. Langdale San Clemente, CA.
Jane Lambson October 26, 2012 at 12:09 AM
JEBMS and Others: I thought I saw that Ken Lopez Maddox was going to be in attendance. He was one of the Trustees who had to sign off on the settlement, and it bought him a hangin'. In all seriousness, he may be a good source to discuss this as well. The total of the settlement was $683k between 4-5 families. I think the majority of that was given to the attorneys, and the remainder was wrapped up in trust funds for the children of the plaintiffs. Reardon has one autistic child, I believe. This child does not attend CUSD schools. I have seen the original lawsuit and the settlement, but it has been a while since i have looked at it. If Penny wants a copy to post, I can send her what I have.
Lawrene Bottorf October 26, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Hi Penny--How very sad that you put together such a great and unbiased forum, and the priorities of the parents (and candidates) are pretty obvious. Thanks to the 4 candidates who did care enough to show up, and to the 20 people who showed up to listen. If parents and citizens really know what was going on in the district, they would be up in arms...not making excuses about why they can't attend important debates.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 26, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Thanks Lawrene! I wish all viewpoints could have been there. They would have seen that I asked tough questions about the real issues: furlough days, budgeting, teachers' salaries, negotiating, the present acrimony, the performance of district staff and how all this impacts the quality of education. Wouldn't you want to know where the candidates stand on these issues? The story will be just a tidbit compared to what those present learned firsthand. :-)
fact checker October 26, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Couldn't you learn the answers to these questions from attending board meetings?
Proud Mom October 26, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Fact Checker - I commend you for being one of the last "Yeah for I'llpay" cheerleaders. Most have bowed out, and deservedly so. You are all over the Patch with many "Yeah for I'llpay, I'llcheat, I'llsteal" comments. Good for you. Can't figure you out. I sometimes think you are being sarcastic and egging people on, because you can't possibly believe Mr. Sliminess".
fact checker October 26, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Proud Mom, Sorry, but no comments I've made have contained any cheers for anyone, with the exception of Shelly for her respectful comments. I try to correct misleading statements and ask pertinent questions. I try to do it respectfully. Oh wait, I also cheer for the exceptional teachers and staff of CUSD and the parents who support them in the education of their students.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) October 26, 2012 at 03:20 PM
FC, I don't understand your question about learning the answers at board meetings. We have two candidates (McCormick and Hanacek) who are not on the board. How would anyone learn of their independent thoughts and planned contributions in a challenging setting? Because life is a challenging setting. Isn't that why we have presidential debates?
Capo mom October 26, 2012 at 05:36 PM
In a great block show of solidarity, the CUCF candidates, Alpay, McCormack and Pritchard are avoiding the tough questions on real issues. They chose to try to raise money instead. From the count of non dues-paying community members in attendance, they didn't do very well. But don't worry, they have CUEA and its $$$ behind them. So we know where they are on the issues. If you want to know where Alpay, McCormack and Pritchard put the priorities of anyone other than CUEA, you'll have to look under a bus.
fact checker October 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
You can certainly learn the answers from the current board members. There have been several community forums available to anyone with questions for McCormick and Hanacek. Have the candidates who attended your debate made themselves available to community members for informal question and answer sessions? Can you provide a list of the questions asked at your debate and the answers of each candidate? Why does a setting have to be challenging? Why not simply ask questions intended to inform rather than challenge? Life is challenging but not in the same way as a debate setting. Who cares whether someone sweats when they are seeking a solution to difficult situations? Who cares (and how can you define) who looks presidential? I would rather read the questions and answers. Presidential debates have become less informative as the years have gone by. Pundits follow up each one with their own take. You followed up your debate with one of the shortest articles written about CUSD in a while. Little information was offered.
Lawrene Bottorf October 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I went to the Patch sponsored forum, and found it very good. I have also been to board meetings, which are not nearly as informative...although you do get to see where lines are drawn. Thank you Penny for your excellent event, and I too am saddened at the apathy of most parents, the lack of REAL communication by the district, and the losers in the end are the tax payers/community/kids.

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