Buchanan could help schools

Dear Editor:

Last summer, Joan Buchanan was the swing vote against SB 1530 (Padilla). This bill would have returned a small measure of local control to school districts when it came to the dismissal of teachers and administrators. This authority would have been limited to only certain heinous sex and drug crimes against children.

In voting no, during the Assembly Education Committee hearing, she stated the bill was "intellectually dishonest." The reality is, her faulty rationale was "intellectually dishonest."

However, now that she will be the chair of this same committee, she can redeem herself by keeping the promise she made as part of her statement during the hearing. She stated, "I know why school board members and administrators are frustrated, it is because it is a long and expensive process. So, I think there is work we need to do to try and streamline the process, and make it more efficient for everybody."

Unfortunately, as of just last week, Buchanan has only held closed-door, secret meetings with representatives from the teachers union regarding her promise. This is the same group that stormed the capitol last summer and torpedoed the "intellectually dishonest" bill. To date, she has had no conversation with any another other group, including our state administrators' organization, to develop a bill that would fulfill her promise. Since the teachers' union was able to gain her support in opposition to SB 1530, a very simple and righteous bill, what are the odds that she will craft anything that will have any substance to insure our children's safety? That isn't intellectually dishonest, just disingenuous.

However, I have a solution to her problem. She could draft a bill that would simply allow local districts to bargain a certificated dismissal process with their local union (s). This would ensure that due process safeguards are protected, while at the same time returning some measure of local control. That is already the law as it relates to classified employees and the suspension of certificated employees.

Rick Rogers

Oakley Union Elementary School District superintendent

Thank you to supporters

Dear Editor:

I can't thank enough, the people who contributed to my Antioch City Council campaign in ways large and small, and to whom I dedicate the Beatles refrain: "I get by with a little help from my friends." Of course, too numerous to mention everyone who took yard signs or gave moral support, but bless you all.

Special gratitude to my wife, Cynthia, who endured my becoming a virtual three-month stranger; Wayne and Carol Harrison for their supportive letter; backers Richard Asadoorian and Barb Cowan, Rudy and Vangie Fernandez, Barb and Len Herendeen, Linda Locke, Doreen and Mike Manalac, Carol and Romano Marchetti, Jack and Donna Roddy, Ed and Ging Panaligan, Delta Realtors, Sukdev Singh and Alan Smith; to precinct walkers Dena and Dennis Deglum, Charleen Earley, and Jesse Zuniga; and to sign helpers Beverly Knight and Marty and Nancy Fernandez.

Politics is all about timing and this cycle it seems I fought the prevailing winds. We gave it the good fight, though. Having you join in the battle meant the world to me.

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch

Twinkies and Ding Dongs

Dear Editor:

Isn't it a shame the government didn't bail out Hostess like they did the automakers. It would have been a sweet deal. At least consumers of all ages could afford such. I guess the only remembrance I will have going forward is when I hear the song "Twinkie, Twinkie Little Star," Santa's declaration of ho, ho, ho at Christmas and the ding dongs in congress who can't agree on a budget. Isn't that a zinger!

Rick Hellrung

Antioch

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