Final chapter. CUSD Trustees new Board. Pres Addonizio, VP Bryson, Clerk Christensen

The final chapter in this long ordeal to clean house in the Capistrano Unified School District was written tonight as I witnessed the Special Meeting of the CUSD Trustees at the Taj Mahal administration building in San Juan Capistrano. There were 150-200 other witnesses to this historic evening composed of family members, volunteers and parents of school children who were the “grass roots” family getting thousands of signatures up to and including the RECALL effort. Also in the Board Room were RSM Mayor Neil Blais, Shawn Steel, CA Club for Growth Sec, husband of Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, activist Constance Lee of Mission Viejo and a member of the San Juan Capistrano city council who left to attend their meeting.

Where I am disappointed was the lack of respect by their peers.

We were told that the newly hired CUSD Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter was on vacation in Texas. I can accept that as a reason for missing the swearing in of two new Trustees. However there is no excuse for President Mike Darnold and VP Dr. Duane Stiff for being “on vacation” tonight so that they missed the swearing in ceremony and first meeting of the two newest members of the Board, Sue Palazzo and Ken Maddox.

Prior to their reorganization Trustee Ellen Addonizio administered the oath of office to both Trustee Sue Polazzo and Trustee Ken Maddox. Each of them took a few minutes to introduce members of their families and friends in the audience. Ken, Jr., who attends a CUSD school and is going into the third grade, stood proudly next to his dad when Ken took the Oath.

Tom Russell, RECALL spokesperson was the sole member of the audience to address the Board where he thanked the thousands of supporters for their effort to restore honesty, integrity and transparency to the District. While he said they may disagree from time to time he simply wants them to “honor the process.” He called this “the end of an era”–the beginning of a new day. He commended all five of the Trustees present for their noble cause on behalf of the children of south Orange County.
As to the reorganization of the Board.
Trustee Polazzo nominated Trustee Addonizio to be the new president. The vote was unanimous. 5-0.
Trustee Christensen nominated Trustee Bryson to be the new VP which was seconded by Trustee Maddox. Once again the vote was unanimous. 5-0.
Trustee Bryson nominated Trustee Christensen to be the new Clerk. As Ken seconded the Motion Larry jokingly asked if he could nominate another member.

Here are but a few of the closing Trustee comments.

Ken. “Tonight its’ not about me, it’s about we.”.
Anna. “We never forgot our purpose–to serve–parents and children.”
Sue. “Together, we are going to make a difference.”

Again I must repeat that the failure of the two remaining Trustees was a slap in the face to the other members of this new Board. What message does that send with regards to working together to deal with all of the challenges they face, including a shortfall in funding from Sacramento.

About Larry Gilbert