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Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: [WCCUSD Budget Oversight] RE: [Public Comment] Lobbyists for WCCUSD

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  • rcs101@att.net
    --Yes Charley: I to hope that we can get the number to Blattner, and a Board presentation of his work, along with his salary. George will you get the salary
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 21, 2004
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      --Yes Charley:

      I to hope that we can get the number to Blattner, and a Board presentation of his work, along with his salary. George will you get the salary information and contact information. Also, would you arrange for him to do a Board presentation, so we can learn what he is doing and how best to interact.

      I am very pleased with AB2756 and wish that all the checks and balances would remain in place, particularly regarding the county board, trustee, superintendent contract.... The republican's that we have spoken to, said your governor wanted the accountablility in the bill and they give it to him, and as so many of the Demos are now saying, what arney wants Arney gets.

      Scottie Smith




      -------------- Original message from "Kevin Rivard" : --------------
      > Thank you Charlie for being a voice of reason and balance. Scottie and I
      > have been at this to long and are jaded by the cynicism we have built up
      > over the years and we have lost sight of the trees but your words said what
      > Scottie and I have been saying for years. I would like to see a partnership
      > built between all those involved but on an equal footing. I hope your words
      > will be heard and I thank you for speaking them.
      >
      > Kevin
      >
      > >From: Charles Cowens
      > >To: Wccusdbudget@...
      > >CC: rcs101@..., teolol@..., 'Bob Dabney' ,
      > >'sarah' , 'lori' , 'kevin'
      > >, 'Eduardo Martinez' ,
      > >'Marilyn Langlois' , 'thomas prather'
      > >
      > >Subject: Re: [WCCUSD Budget Oversight] RE: [Public Comment] Lobbyists for
      > >WCCUSD
      > >Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 23:50:58 -0700
      > >
      > >George-
      > >
      > >Thank you for taking the time to summarize the interest rate reduction
      > >story.
      > >
      > >How do we contact Mr. Blattner, the district's School Services of
      > >California lobbyist? I realize he has to be focused on working with
      > >School Board members and district staff, but it would be nice to have
      > >the option of checking in with a central person when groups go to
      > >Sacramento. He might also have information to share that would be
      > >helpful to people making the trip.
      > >
      > >Why wasn't any use made of the existing PTA machinery and its relatively
      > >positive "brand name"? You talked earlier about enlisting the unions.
      > >Not only do we have a grassroots network for mobilizing people, but our
      > >dues pay for a Sacramento staff that might be helpful in these kinds of
      > >situations. It all seems to have worked out for this specific issue, but
      > >I am interested to understand this as we consider future activities.
      > >
      > >Charley Cowens
      > >Bayside Council of PTAs
      > >
      > >George A. Harris III wrote:
      > >
      > >>Everyone,
      > >>
      > >>I have spoken on numerous occasions with Loni Hancock. Further, I have
      > >>spoken to many legislators in Sacramento, and know firsthand that to the
      > >>extent they know anything about education (it would surprise many of you
      > >>that many legislators don't give a hoot about K-12 education) they are
      > >>very
      > >>aware and respectful of School Services of California.
      > >>
      > >>It may come as a surprise to some, but I do not have at my fingertips the
      > >>exact amount of every individual expenditure in our $240 million + budget.
      > >>If anyone wants to know the exact amount we pay School Services of
      > >>California for the various services they provide our district, I would be
      > >>happy to get that information for you.
      > >>
      > >>As to the refinancing, in fact NO DISTRICT in California has every had
      > >>their
      > >>state loan refinanced, not under Davis, not under any other governor. The
      > >>difference in the rates we were being charged versus the rates other
      > >>districts were being charged was SOLELY the product of timing. Back in
      > >>1997, when we restructured our loan, we got the best rate available. When
      > >>Emeryville received their bailout loan, they got the best rate then
      > >>available (about 4%). Same for Oakland (about 2%), and now same for
      > >>Vallejo
      > >>(about 1.5-2%). The inequity is that the rates are locked in. That is
      > >>what
      > >>we were trying to change.
      > >>
      > >>Last year, Loni Hancock carried a bill which passed both houses of the
      > >>legislature and was signed by Gray Davis which PERMITTED the Governor's
      > >>department to refinance our loan and ONLY our loan. In its first
      > >>incarnation, the law would have REQUIRED the Dept of Finance to refinance
      > >>ANY school district's loan UPON REQUEST by the school district. After
      > >>many,
      > >>many months of wrangling with people from the department of finance who
      > >>objected to the legislation, the compromise wording changed so that the
      > >>dept. had the final say and the legislation applied only to West Contra
      > >>Costa Unified. With those compromises in place, Gov. Davis agreed to sign
      > >>the bill into law, and also agreed to direct his dept. to effect the
      > >>refinance.
      > >>
      > >>Even though Davis was recalled the law containing the permissive language
      > >>remained on the books. Governor Terminator simply refused to instruct HIS
      > >>department of finance to refinance the loan. They argued that they needed
      > >>the money to balance the state budget.
      > >>
      > >>While it is true that Davis could have accomplished the refinance without
      > >>any legislation whatsoever, it is also true that he was dead set against
      > >>it
      > >>without very narrow legislation limiting the refinance to one school
      > >>district in the entire state -- ours.
      > >>
      > >>The interesting political aspect to this is that AB 2756, which the
      > >>governor
      > >>agreed to sign, gives MORE power to the school district and than the law
      > >>on
      > >>the books which he refused to apply for our benefit. Under AB 2756 we now
      > >>have the power to refinance AT OUR DISCRETION and the department of
      > >>finance
      > >>must act UPON OUR REQUEST. In effect, the governor agreed to sign a bill
      > >>which LESSENED his power over this particular issue. I believe that the
      > >>inequity was so unjustified that the Governor's own party took a position
      > >>contrary to his own. The bill passed UNANIMOUSLY in the Assembly and 33-5
      > >>in the Senate with only the most conservative republicans voting against
      > >>it.
      > >>
      > >>I will plead ignorance on many, many, many issues. But this is one issue
      > >>that I know something about because I have been personally involved for
      > >>well
      > >>over a year. While it is something that I don't talk a lot about, I have
      > >>made at least ten trips, and made many email communications where I
      > >>actually
      > >>spoke to Sacramento legislators in the past year or so advocating for our
      > >>school district.
      > >>
      > >>George A. Harris III
      > >>Board Member, West Contra Costa Unified School District
      > >>-----Original Message-----
      > >>From: rcs101@... [mailto:rcs101@...] Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2004
      > >>3:45 PM
      > >>To: Wccusdbudget@...
      > >>Cc: thomas prather; Eduardo Martinez; Marilyn Langlois; George A. Harris
      > >>III; Bob Dabney; sarah; lori; kevin; teolol@...; George A. Harris
      > >>III;
      > >>'Tammera Campbell'; wccusdbudget@...
      > >>Subject: RE: [WCCUSD Budget Oversight] RE: [Public Comment] Lobbyists for
      > >>WCCUSD
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>--Hello all:
      > >>
      > >>Now you have heard it from one of your elected official, "I cannot tell
      > >>you
      > >>how much we pay School Services of California..." that coming for a school
      > >>board member is telling as to why the republicans thought it necessary to
      > >>present AB2756 and attach refinancing. Someone must be held accountable
      > >>for
      > >>districts' financing, because the local boards don't know which end is up.
      > >>George needs to speak with Loni Hancock to get her take on what or how
      > >>much
      > >>power this lobbying firm has, particularly since, other districts had
      > >>their
      > >>loan refinanced under Davis, and he was the "good old boy" for the board
      > >>members and other Democrats. Or better yet, he needs to read the Codes
      > >>that
      > >>was in place before this district started the process and know that Davis
      > >>and O'Connell could have taking care of this before he was thrown out of
      > >>office.
      > >>
      > >>Scottie Smith
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>-------------- Original message from "George A. Harris III" :
      > >>--------------
      > >>t>false
      > >> MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
      > >>
      > >><![endif]-->
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Tammy,

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I know you are only half joking, but
      > >>I
      > >>want
      > >>to give you my opinion on this.

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I would submit that the
      > >>representatives
      > >>you saw would not be able to identify more than two or three people who
      > >>participated in the March 4 Education. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> I would further submit that the
      > >>representatives are not aware how many people > >>class=GramE>started
      > >>the fast, nor would they know when the fasters arrived at > >>w:st="on">> >> w:st="on">Sacramento. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> I believe that it was when Dolores
      > >>Huerta, the co-founder of the United > >>class=SpellE>Farmworkers,
      > >>personally
      > >>involved herself in their cause that the legislators took
      > >>notice.

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>That said, I
      > >>do
      > >>believe that the fasters contributed to the speed in which legislation
      > >>which
      > >>refinanced our loan. However,
      > >>the
      > >>part of the story that remains untold is the story of how legislation the
      > >>governor agreed to signed was
      > >>created.

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>After the governor rejected the law
      > >>signed
      > >>by Gray Davis which PERMITTED him to refinance our loan, it was our board
      > >>and
      > >>administration who, accompanied by
      > >>representatives
      > >>of
      > >>UTR and Local One and Bob Blattner, went to
      > >>> >>w:st="on">Sacramento and spoke
      > >>to
      > >>legislators about our refinancing. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> We argued that since the Governor
      > >>would
      > >>not DIRECT the refinancing, legislation should be drafted that took away
      > >>the
      > >>governors discretion on refinancing. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> Subsequently, due to the work of
      > >>these
      > >>people
      > >>and lobbyists, a consensus was built within the entire legislature to
      > >>refinance
      > >>our loan and to make such refinancing MANDATORY upon request of a school
      > >>district. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Our refinancing language was included
      > >>in
      > >>at least three bills in the legislature, reflecting the consensus that I
      > >>am
      > >>referring to. In addition,
      > >>there
      > >>was an unspoken agreement linking passage of the > >>w:st="on">> >> w:st="on">Vallejo bailout loan bill and our
      > >>refinancing
      > >>language. I personally spoke
      > >>to
      > >>at
      > >>least three prominent legislators prior to the governor�s �deal
      > >>with the fasters� who assured me that the leadership of both houses
      > >>and everyone
      > >>in the legislature was aware of our legislation because of the consensus
      > >>that
      > >>it should be done. I was
      > >>further
      > >>assured that because of this consensus, it would eventually
      > >>happen.

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Perhaps the biggest lobbying
      > >>achievement occurred
      > >>when Lynn Dauscher, a republican, included the
      > >>refinancing
      > >>we wanted in AB 2756, which was known around > >>w:st="on">> >> w:st="on">Sacramento as the governor�s
      > >>education
      > >>bill. Certainly, the governor
      > >>did
      > >>not want the refinancing language to pollute his bill, but republicans on
      > >>both the
      > >>assembly education and appropriation subcommittees voted for the bill
      > >>anyway. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> Before the governor announced that
      > >>he
      > >>would sign the bill, it had ALREADY passed the Assembly UNANIMOUSLY. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>What I am trying to show you is that
      > >>it
      > >>was the lobbying that had the greatest influence on this achievement.
      > >>> >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> It was the lobbyists who bent the
      > >>> >>class=GramE>legislators ears, built the legislative consensus
      > >>(across
      > >>party lines) that it should happen and even assisted the legislator�s
      > >>staffers in writing the language. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I cannot tell you how much we pay
      > >>School
      > >>Services of California for lobbying, but the refinancing will save us
      > >>about
      > >>$4
      > >>million in interest over the remaining life of the loan even if it is
      > >>never
      > >>forgiven. Because many school
      > >>> >>class=GramE>district across the state retain School Services for
      > >>their
      > >>lobbying efforts and share in the overall expense, I believe that their
      > >>work
      > >>is
      > >>a great value to the district. > >>style='mso-spacerun:yes'> I
      > >>believe that if you had mentioned the name Bob > >>class=SpellE>Blattner
      > >>to the legislators you saw, they would have known who you are talking
      > >>about.

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy;mso-no-proof:yes'>George A. Harris
      > >>III> >>color=navy>> >>style='color:navy;mso-no-proof:yes'>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy;mso-no-proof:yes'>Board Member, West
      > >>Contra
      > >>Costa Unified School
      > >>District

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>face="Times New Roman">
      > >>
      > >>


      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:10.0pt;
      > >>font-family:Tahoma;font-weight:bold'>From:> >>face=Tahoma> Tammera
      > >>Campbell
      > >>[mailto:tammeracampbell@...]

      > >>Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004
      > >>10:40
      > >>AM

      > >>To: > >>w:st="on">gah_iii@...

      > >>Cc:
      > >>wccusdbudget@...

      > >>Subject: Re: [WCCUSD Budget
      > >>Oversight] RE: [Public Comment] Lobbyists for
      > >>WCCUSD

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>12.0pt'>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>12.0pt'>Maybe you should pay March 4 Education to do your lobbying because
      > >>the
      > >>representatives we saw seem to only know March 4 Education and the
      > >>fasters. What exactly does Bob Blattner do for us and how much do we
      > >>pay
      > >>him?

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>12.0pt'>Tammy

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>12.0pt'>

      > >>"George A.
      > >>Harris
      > >>III" <> >>w:st="on">gah_iii@...>
      > >>wrote:

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>face="Times New Roman">Marsha,

      > >>

      > >>I don't know if Glen has gotten back to you, but our lobbyist in > >>w:st="on">Sacramento

      > >>is a company called School Services of California. The gentleman who

      > >>handles our issues at the firm is named Bob Blattner.

      > >>

      > >>George A. Harris III

      > >>Board Member, West Contra Costa Unified School
      > >>District

      > >>

      > >>-----Original Message-----

      > >>From: WCCUSDcomment-bounces@...

      > >>[mailto:WCCUSDcomment-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Marsha
      > >>Williamson

      > >>Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 7:31 PM

      > >>To: Glen Price; School Board; WCCUSDbudget

      > >>Subject: [Public Comment] Lobbyists for WCCUSD

      > >>

      > >>Hi Glen,

      > >>Do you recall the name of the lobbying firm our school district is

      > >>contracted with? I was up in Sacto yesterday and was asked the
      > >>question

      > >>"Who represents your district?" So I was just wondering, in case
      > >>I
      > >>make

      > >>another trip up there, I will have that information in hand.

      > >>My issue is K-12 education funding reform, with a goal not simply of

      > >>equal funding, but rather of equitable funding. I'd like to see a

      > >>legislator or group of legislator's really take this on. It seems the

      > >>only way for districts like ours to stay on a course of solvency. But

      > >>of course, it would require additional revenue and everyone up there

      > >>seems really scared under AS's reign of terror. Would Loni Hancock be
      > >>a

      > >>good person to talk with about this? I'd like to get a coalition of

      > >>parents, school board members and teachers together from our district
      > >>to

      > >>push forward with this idea. I think it should be brought to the top
      > >>of

      > >>the list for State PTA legislative priorities. Are you interested in

      > >>joining us? People in Sacto are talking like we have to "wait and
      > >>see"

      > >>until after Nov. If the Dauscher bill goes through (our refi is
      > >>amended

      > >>to it), heads are gonna roll when districts can't balance their
      > >>budgets

      > >>in the future. Maybe that won't be such a terrible thing in terms of

      > >>administrative turnover and giving some districts some leeway with
      > >>union

      > >>contracts, but the Republican plan for financing school district debt

      > >>will effectively become like a variable rate mortgage with no cap. Can

      > >>we really tolerate Wall Street making money on the backs of our
      > >>poorest

      > >>children in the state of CA. Can you recommend a plan of action even
      > >>if

      > >>you choose not to participate?

      > >>Marsha

      > >>

      > >>

      > >>_______________________________________________

      > >>This is a service of the Bayside Council of PTAs to make it easier to
      > >>send

      > >>emails to the School Board and for the > >> w:st="on">West > >>w:st="on">Contra
      > >> Costa > >>w:st="on">Unified
      > >> School

      > >>District by using a single email address.

      > >>

      > >>Note: These emails are publicly archived at:

      > >>http://michigan.vervehosting.com/pipermail/wccusdcomment_baysidepta.org/
      > >>style='mso-special-character:line-break'>
      > >>
      > >>style='mso-special-character:line-break'>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>face="Times New Roman">
      > >>
      > >>


      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>style='font-size:
      > >>12.0pt'>Do you Yahoo!?

      > >>> >>href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/mail/taglines/*http:/promotions.yahoo.com/new_m
      > >>ail/static/protection.html">Yahoo!
      > >>Mail - You care about security. So do we.

      > >>
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      > >>
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      > >>
      > >>
      > >>

      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      >
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