Sunday, March 29, 2015

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 [email protected] or 530-747-8055.







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