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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

At Emery a Second Place Finisher Rises to Top: the Selection of Board President Cruz Vargas

Democracy Stalls at Emery Unified School District

Politics Trumps Fair Play

The People's Choice, Barbara Inch, Skipped Over in Favor of the Rubio Supporting Vargas


New School Board President Cruz Vargas
The people's second choice but the
Board's first choice.
Even after he was caught in a lie, the
Board majority 'Vargas for President'
steamroller rolled on.
In a controversial move at their end of the year December 13th meeting, the Board of Trustees of the Emery Unified School District disregarded the people's choice of Barbara Inch and instead elevated  the less popular Cruz Vargas to the position of Board president for a one year term.  The Board's move to crown Mr Vargas as president also gives a big thumbs up to the Superintendent of the Schools John Rubio, a man strongly disliked by the teaching staff at the struggling district.
The 4-1 vote (Inch dissenting) for the bellicose Mr Vargas, a strong supporter of Mr Rubio, will likely fortify the disputatious Superintendent as he continues on his scorched earth campaign against Emery's teachers, taking last place on his watch among Bay Area school districts in teacher retention.

The Board seemed to be saying they like the direction the district is going in by elevating Mr Vargas, one of the Superintendent's biggest supporters. The move, an affirmation of the status quo of an entrenched Superintendent, caused some Emery watchers to muse about the future of EUSD, a district reeling from a flurry of bad news coming in the form of a devastating academic study from Stanford University and continuing State reports of falling test scores.

School Board Member Barbara Inch
The most popular elected official in
Emeryville is critical of Superintendent
Rubio's public policy. She's the people's
choice but not the Board's choice.  They
want a Rubio flunky as Board President.
Further highlighting the political nature of the Vargas pick is the fact that open lying on the part of member Vargas was not enough to sway the support he has from his Board colleagues.  Mr Vargas last October 5th told colleagues on the City School Committee on an open mic that the "vast majority of parents at the school" are supportive of putting a police officer in the school, a lie that City Council member Dianne Martinez exposed in front of the cameras.  Mr Vargas' supporter on the Committee and on the Board, Bailey Langner used her position as Committee Chair to chastise Ms Martinez and deny that Mr Vargas had lied.  However, a viewing of the video of the meeting shows Mr Vargas in fact did lie; a fact apparent to meeting attendees (and video watchers) all except Ms Langner.
Still however, the revealed and scurrilous fabrication told by member Vargas at the October meeting was not enough to stop the 'Vargas for Board President' steamroller.

Member Inch has been the Board's sole critic of Mr Rubio's policies and the vote to bypass her regardless of her popularity with the people in favor of the obsequious Cruz Vargas, is conspicuous.  The December 13th vote sidelining Ms Inch and elevating Mr Vargas, the second place choice of Emeryville voters in a two person race, also sends a message to the people of Emeryville that their vision for their school district as personified in their choice for School Board, is not something this Board is interested in.
Emeryville voters like the vision of Barbara Inch over that of Cruz Vargas, who with 2773 votes, won her November 2016 election to the Board with more votes than any person has ever received for any office in Emeryville electoral history.  Mr Vargas, with 273 fewer votes, came in a distant second place in the two person race.
Ms Inch's popularity with Emeryville voters however was not enough for the School Board to rise above the politics at play and they voted instead for the second placer Cruz Vargas who promises to retain and buoy Mr Rubio as chief at Emery even as the district sinks.


Elected Official
Election Year
Votes Received
Percent of Vote
Difference from Barbara
Votes
Percent
Barbara Inch*
2016
2773
44.74%
---
---
Nora Davis**
2003
765
29.55%
2008
15.19%
Dick Kassis**
2005
1220
35.79%
1553
8.95%
Ruth Atkin**
2007
921
25.05%
1852
19.69%
Cheryl Webb*
2009
879
27.37%
1894
17.37%
Jennifer West**
2009
855
36.45%
1918
8.29%
Jac Asher**
2011
924
27.80%
1849
16.94%
John Affeldt*
2014
1255
32.53%
1518
12.21%
Dianne Martinez**
2014
1219
33.32%
1554
11.42%
Donn Merriam***
2014
730
18.92%
2043
25.82%
John Bauters*
2016
2312
22.68%
461
22.06%
Cruz Vargas***
2016
2500
40.34%
273
4.40%

*= Most votes EUSD; **= Most votes City Council; ***= Votes for EUSD Board

Emery USD had several years without or uncontested elections

Barbara Inch received more votes than any other candidate for local election in 
Emeryville history. While acknowledging that her election had a larger voter 
turn out, her percent of the vote was greater than others, the largest percentage 
in modern Emeryville history.

10 comments:

  1. This absolutely solidifies the fact that and takes away any doubt anyone has ever had if they have doubted that the emery Unified School District is corrupt as hell. You've got this lame-ass being promoted for what? You fools with no goddamn children at all and none in the district need to get your lame asses off the board, Cruz Vargas you are the main one.

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  2. Right up under that lame ass boss of yours

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  3. The school board gets to select their choice for their president. They are not required to automatically give the position to the top vote getter in the general election. But with the history at Emery I'd say this was a stupid mistake on the board's part. Especially since you are reporting it. Please keep at it Tattler.

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  4. I don't know if I'd call what the Board did a 'mistake'. A 'calculation' would be a better descriptor I think. I think they feel they have created enough space needed for political gambits like this. It's a sign they're not feeling enough pressure from below. Or perhaps they're deluded and they DID miscalculate. In that case we probably won't know until the next general election. Unless of course the people rise up and demand better from their public agency. Disempowerment is endemic in our culture as I'm sure you're aware.

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  5. So I see you're still at it bullying and bashing the school district we're trying to build. Why don't you take your hate to Oakland unified where your daughter goes and leave us alone.

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    Replies
    1. Ahh yes...the dream of every tyrant; to be left alone by the prying eyes of the media. No accountability! It would be glorious to just be able to have one's way with the public commons! Trust me you would tell us, everything will be great if we can just get rid of those that would hold us to account. It's all about trusting those in power.

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  6. This guy seems like a spoiled brat. Politician is the word for him. He told us all he would work for the children but now we know what he's really about. smh!

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  7. It was explained to me that the reason that Emery School District and not just it but other schools in the United States are so screwed up is because the school system has always been an extension of politics. It is just more evidence and blatant now because, as in so many other areas of our society, it has become obvious that the I don't give a shit crowd feels that they can come out of the dark completely

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  8. The cafe down the street, let's say Arizmendi for example, has to cater to its customers, please them and make them happy. Because if they don't Arizmendi goes out of business. That's not the case with our public school system here in this country and specifically speaking of the one which I have personal experience with, the emery Unified School District. The emery Unified School District is not concerned with catering to the people in the community unless those people are there targeted group and that Target group is big business. Let's just kick some facts. The educational system in this country is yet just one more tool that is used to drill in so-called white supremacy. Let's look at our history courses for instance. All of the bullshit that we're taught and told to memorize completely oblivious of the true facts being hidden from us. The emery Unified School District is more concerned with getting large contributions from companies like Pixar then it is about our children's education which is why the emery Unified School District is in the toilet where student scores are concerned

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  9. Well David, I agree with your premise: the parents/guardians, the “customers” of the Emery Unified School District, are not part of the equation and they should be. I differ with your findings however; Pixar specifically and big business in general are also not part of the equation. They have nothing whatsoever to do with this school district. The district would be better off if they did…at least better off financially. They give no money at all to Emery Unified (despite promises that they would be benefactors to the schools in the case of Pixar). The problem is actually more simple: Mr Rubio is an entrenched and autocratic chief. The Board pays deference to him and the “customers” are not shown deference. That’s the problem.
    Regarding white supremacy being deferred to at public schools nationwide, I would have to agree with you in large part, at least by degree. That's pretty obvious. Students are not taught about Howard Zinn for instance.

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