What’s not to like about Ketta? Unpretentious charisma, great soccer mom, school volunteer. Good character not in question, it’s her judgment that let us down.
Ketta Brown told the Indy, “There’s so much new…coming down from federal and state government…I realize having been on the board for eight years, there’s a very steep learning curve…I bring knowledge of stuff we’re trying to get implemented.”
Public school trustees don’t just implement “stuff” that is “coming down” from Sacramento and Washington. Yet, Ketta embraces federal “common core” curriculum without question or exception. She praises “national uniformity,” so our kids can be profiled in a federal database, move to Arkansas, and fit into national “norms.” She is quick with clichés about our kids becoming more “tech-savvy…like kids in Asia!”
The school board’s job includes compliance with federal and state mandates while retaining max local control of curriculum that our teachers, parents and community support. By her own words Ketta thinks the school board works for federal politicians who imposed “No Child Left Behind,” and now mandated Common Core.
After an eight year learning curve Ketta is still being spoon-fed by the educational bureaucrats she is supposed to oversee. Ketta sees it as normal that school staff and union representatives have a seat at the same table as school board but not parents or taxpayers. She thinks its fine that consultants and vendors give hour-long sales pitches while busy parents wait hours for three minutes to speak on budget and personnel issues in the wee hours late at night.
Ketta had seven years on the job when she voted to the start school year in August with no public hearing, voted to give big salary raises for senior administrators who promptly were reassigned, resigned or were fired (one to escape sexual misconduct charges), just weeks after parents exposed school board’s lack of due diligence.
Ketta thinks asking a few timid questions is enough, but she has never voted against the majority. She has been intellectually submissive as a board member, and she has not earned more years.
Wasting tax dollars, treating parents who dare to dissent as a nuisance, and entrusting students to adults unfit for duty is not “for the kids.” We fell for that and voted for Ketta twice, but no more.
Christopher Kling, Laguna Beach
Rob, Toni and Village Laguna are the big money ticket in 2014. If you could buy an election, they win! But VL spent 10 times over the opposition in 2012 and lost both the $30 million parcel tax and VL stalwart Verna Rollinger’s council seat.
Trouble signs for the 2014 VL ticket include Toni’s embarrassment over her 2002 “floodgate” vote. Next shoe to drop was Rob’s admission at the Firebrand Media-Chamber of Commerce forum he paid to appear on a slate mailer labeled in large bold letters “Republican Election Day Voting Guide.”
Rob’s stunning excuses were “everyone does it,” “just political marketing,” “outreach to Republicans.” Then on radio he tried “seeking name recognition,” “voters should not rely on mailers,” and “read the fine print at the bottom.”
If voters should not trust or rely on mailers, should they trust or rely on candidates who send fake mailers? $30,000 in yard signs, media ads and glossy mailers aren’t enough name recognition for Rob?
Rob claims to be an “independent nonpartisan” reaching out to Republicans, but he does it by tricking voters to believe he is a partisan Republican. Rob wouldn’t explain why he didn’t “reach out” to Democrats with fake mailers.
Rob’s confession he thinks the fine print disclaimer justified deception only proves he understood bold lettering on front targeting Republicans was meant to deceive voters. Do we really want a City Council member who tells us to “read the fine print” to find out the truth is the opposite of what he told us?
A lot of our good friends who were all in for Rob saw this as his chance to be the transformational “Big Tent” consensus leader he has promised. Instead of candidly admitting his campaign manager used fake mailers in 2012 and it worked, but he now realizes it was a mistake, Rob tried to talk his way out.
Career bureaucrats think they can talk their way out of anything. Elected leaders can’t blame voters for being too stupid to read the fine print. Elected leaders can’t fall back on the fine print like subprime mortgage brokers blaming underwater homeowners for taking too much risk.
Nor can they blame honest questions for less than convincing answers, especially when the person asking the question is not the one misrepresenting his party affiliation.
Howard Hills, Laguna Beach
President, Laguna Beach Republicans