Friday, July 25, 2014

Jose Granda seeking Davis school board seat

From page A1 | April 15, 2014 |


Jose Granda. Courtesy photo

Jose Granda — who campaigned for a seat on the Davis school board in 2012, and more recently filed a lawsuit that resulted in changes to the school district’s 2012 parcel tax Measure E — announced Monday he will seek elective office again in November.

He also filed an application Monday for appointment to a vacant school board seat created with the resignation last month of trustee Nancy Peterson.

Granda is a longtime Davis resident. He earned a Ph.D in mechanical engineering at UC Davis in 1982, and joined the mechanical engineering faculty at Sacramento State the following year. Granda is also affiliated with NASA, and served as a NASA public spokesman for 17 space shuttle missions.

Granda also has been active in the community as a soccer coach, and as a speaker in classrooms on topics including science, engineering and space exploration.

Born in Ecuador, Granda came to the United States as a graduate student in the 1970s; he has been a U.S. citizen for many years.

Granda has been a persistent critic of Davis school parcel tax measures, and has signed ballot arguments opposing several measures in recent years. He sued the school district to challenge the two tiers in the 2012 Measure E parcel tax, which charged one rate for single-family homes and a lower rate for multi-unit parcels like apartments, condominiums and duplexes.

That suit was based on a state appellate court decision that struck down portions of a parcel tax in the Alameda Unified School District on the grounds that the Alameda tax charged one rate for residential properties and a different rate for commercial properties, and therefore was not charging a “uniform” rate as mandated by state law.

Last August, after the California Supreme Court declined to review the appellate court’s decision on the Alameda tax, the Davis school district essentially threw in the towel regarding Granda’s challenge of Measure E, and acted before the case went to trial. The school board exercised a clause in the Measure E language that converted the parcel tax to a single, uniform rate, and the lawsuit was settled out of court a few months later.

More recently, Granda was a plaintiff in a suit filed last month challenging the language for a proposed sales tax that was placed on the ballot by the Davis City Council. That lawsuit was dismissed by a local judge.

Granda also has been the target of litigation. In 2012, former Yolo County Clerk-Recorder Tony Bernhard took Granda to Yolo County Superior Court, challenging some of the language in his ballot argument opposing the school district’s 2012 parcel tax Measure C.

Judge Samuel McAdam sided with Bernhard on some points relating to Granda’s description of vote-by-mail elections, but left other parts of the argument intact.

Granda received 6,181 votes in the November 2012 election, finishing fourth. Peterson and trustee Susan Lovenburg were elected to two seats available.

In his appointment-candidacy papers turned in Monday, Granda wrote, “The school board needs a change. It has not handled the finances efficiently. It has run a structural deficit for years. It needs to be brought under control and at the same time administer efficiently the new funding as a result of Proposition 30″ (approved by California voters in 2012).

“I am up front and will state exactly what I believe without fear of being politically incorrect. If elected or appointed, I will not speak what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at or 530-747-8055.






Discussion | 3 comments

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  • John TroidlApril 14, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    I'm waiting for Bob Dunning to put his hat in the ring....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinApril 14, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    I find it interesting--and great--that so many candidates are vying to be selected for the open school board seat. It reminds me of the large number of candidates-- were there 10?--who hoped to be selected for the open seat on the Davis City Council following the resignation of Don Saylor (who left to become a member of the Board of Supervisors). By contrast, we never have so many candidates willing to run for office in an election. My guess is there are two differences which encourage folks to want to be selected but discourage them from wanting to be elected: 1) The election process is painfully long. Candidates often have to commit themselves to a 9 month or year-long campaign, while the selection process is a few weeks; and 2) To get elected, every candidate has to beg friends and strangers for donations, which most people find degrading and/or corrupt, while those who seek selection need no money. ............ The questions which naturally follows are: How can we make our election process shorter? And how can we remove our system of privately financing campaigns? If our elections had the brevity and freedom of our selections, I think we would get more and better candidates vying for office.

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  • April 15, 2014 - 1:14 am

    Mr. Granda, what you need to hear is you is that you are wrong and have no idea about how the district finances work. The new funding as a result of Prop 30 was spent immediately the day it passed. It was in lieu of another round of state funding reductions. It kept the district funding flat. It was not new funding that needed any administering. The use of the funds is presented twice a year in a public hearing item and is 100% spent on the classroom teachers. The district already has a deficit reduction plan and a plan to effectively spend new State funds over the next three years. You also appear to not understand the new State mandated accountability model. The role of the board is to engage and listen to the staff, parents and community to gather input in setting goals and priorities. You seem to have the role of a board member backwards in your thought process. It is not about you telling the community what we need to hear. It is about the community telling you what you need to hear.

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