Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheers and Jeers: Candidates step up, ready to serve

From page A6 | April 18, 2014 |

We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:

CHEERS to the eight brave souls who are willing to offer up their Thursday evenings — and lots more of their time — to serve a portion of the remaining 2 1/2 years in Nancy Peterson’s term on the Davis Board of Education. The field of applicants for the six-month appointment is diverse and gives our sitting board members a wealth of life experience, schools experience and just plain wisdom from which to choose.

But JEERS to the compressed time frame in which the appointment must be made. The clock began ticking on March 10, when Peterson’s resignation was officially filed with the Yolo County superintendent of schools. An appointment must be made within 60 days; hence, board members have planned to make their selection at a special meeting on Thursday, May 8.

CHEERS to UC Davis history professor Alan Taylor, who this week was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for history, for his book, “The Internal Enemy,” which chronicles the role that escaped slaves around Chesapeake Bay played in the War of 1812.

The 58-year-old professor also was honored in 1996 for his book, “William Cooper’s Town,” which used the life of 19th century novelist James Fenimore Cooper’s father as a lens for the nation’s early years.

Accolades that come to UCD faculty members make us all proud to be part of a university where excellence is found in every classroom and laboratory. We’re just sorry to read that this is Taylor’s last year at UCD; he will be leaving this summer for a position at the University of Virginia.

JEERS to the news that the Davis school district has spent a whopping $252,405 to pay for external investigations of complaints against district employees since 2010. This figure, of course, doesn’t cover what we’re sure are many hours of administrators’ time spent handling complaints internally.

While we were shocked to learn that more than $22,000 had been spent to investigate the complaint filed against Davis High School volleyball coach Julie Crawford, that appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. Is this how Davis residents want their precious education dollars being spent?

So, CHEERS to board president Gina Daleiden’s announcement that her colleagues have expressed interest in establishing an alternative conflict resolution process that will respect the rights of our public employees and complainants alike while getting to the bottom of issues more swiftly and inexpensively.



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