Patz, Merriam YES
Affeldt, Dwin NO
There's going to be an election for Emery School Board this year!
We use the exclamation point because that's not just a good thing, it's also a rare thing. The idea that Emeryville residents could have a say in who runs their schools is a rare thing indeed. In theory, we're supposed to vote for our School Board members but new members are usually instead appointed by the School Board itself. They're appointed to replace mid-term out going Board members and come election time, no one in the community has the cajones to run against the appointed incumbent. And as a result, elections are cancelled.
So it's replacement Board member after replacement Board member decided by the Board members. It all makes for an insular Emery School District not representing the will of the people of Emeryville and hostile to dissenting voices; just what you would expect in the echo chamber that is the Emery School Board.
He upset the apple cart and now
we get to have democracy
at the Emery School District
for a change.
So how did this happy occasion come about? It's because Emeryville resident Donn Merriam decided to throw his name into the ring, thereby upsetting the apple cart and forcing an election. That makes Donn Merriam a hero in our book. We only wish more had done so.
There are five School Board members total and this year three seats are up for election. And that unfortunately means with only four candidates running for the three seats, Emeryville residents won't be able to effect change at the Emery School Board this election. The old guard will still be in power with a three vote majority no matter who gets elected on November 4th.
But we can sure put a dent in the old guard if we elect Donn Merriam and Christian Patz.
He's a proven and much needed
independent voice on the
Emery School Board.
An administrator at another school district, Christian has shown himself to be a rational player with a deep knowledge of sound pedagogical policy on the Board, looking out after the interests of the children, teachers and parents, the trifecta everyone up there sanctimoniously claims to represent.
Donn Merriam is an architect by trade, working on new public school construction projects. With the Emeryville Center of 'Community' Life now beginning construction, he seems like a valuable person to have on the Board. In fact, Mr Merriam has already inserted himself into oversight of the construction of the ECCL project, catching several code violations, some of which would be very expensive to repair. Although Donn doesn't have the educational bona fides of a Christian Patz, he maintains there are quantifiable educational metrics gained in in how a school is built. We're not sure how much value that has but it seems like it must have some value. Some may claim Mr Merriam isn't qualified given his lack of direct experience in pedagogy, but that argument would remove most Board members here now. We need to focus on changing the Board and casting out the bad players who are subverting the aforementioned trifecta of children, teachers and parents. We think Mr Merriam's election would be a step in changing the direction.
John Affeldt looks great gazing at his impressive resume. But he has a long record here at Emery. He and Miguel Dwin had a shameful role in 2012's Teachers Resolution debacle when the Board moved against 93% of all Emery teachers asking for a vote of no confidence in the former Superintendent Debbra Lindo as well as when Mr Affeldt and Mr Dwin ignored the pleas of 73 parents and citizens who asked for a forum to discuss the wisdom of closing the elementary school in a now infamous Change.org letter to Emery. These two brazen lapses in judgement are enough to disqualify these two in our opinion, never mind the host of other screw ups over the years ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous at Emery (type 'Emery School Board' in the Tattler search bar for more info). We shouldn't reward such anti-democratic violations of the public trust and hubristic top down management with our votes.