Do You Agree With the Bee's Picks for Elk Grove School Board?

The Sacramento Bee announced its endorsements for school board Wednesday.

The Sacramento Bee announced its endorsements for Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education Wednesday, and picked the most established candidate in each area.

In the race for the vacant Area 1 seat, the Bee endorsed Susan Parvis, who has been endorsed by retiring Trustee Bill Lugg.

"In this open seat, Susan Parvis has demonstrated that she knows the district and has put in her time as a volunteer," the Bee's editorial board wrote.

In the Area 6 race between Jake Rambo and Steve Ly, the Bee sided with appointed incumbent Rambo.

"Both are strong candidates, but Rambo has shown in his six months of service a grasp of complex issues," the Bee wrote.

Rambo said in an email that he was honored to have the Bee's recommendation.

In the three-candidate Area 7 race, the Bee went with Trustee Al Rowlett, who was appointed in 2009 and ran unopposed in 2010.

"Rowlett is a 'gold standard' board member, with a big heart and a constant presence at school sites," the Bee's editorial board said.

Elk Grove voters, do you agree with the picks made by the Sacramento Bee's editorial board? Why or why not? Post your own picks in the comments section below.


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Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Chris, what is your source for that rumor? Are you talking about the rumor that circulated three years ago? http://egcitizen.com/articles/2009/02/12/news/doc4992fe28a6880679195349.txt He also has a son at Franklin Elementary: http://patch.com/A-x3Br
Kevin p October 19, 2012 at 02:14 AM
WOW Powerfull Dan!!!! You have brought a view that people need to see, and not just on a comment forum. I was a undecided voter but trusting your history with our community, and your envolve ment in the 3 board forums you have allow people like me who are too busy to attend those forums but is now convinced. We need vision, and people who will boost the morale of our district before falling further behind. Come one Elk Grove lets wake up before while we have a chance for a good change.
M.Legison October 19, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Thoughtful response, Dan, thanks.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Chris, here is a response emailed to me by Jake Rambo to that rumor: "As a former prosecutor, I have always believed in the need for a city prosecution program. I supported that for many years. While serving on a city committee, a rumor spread that I may want to create the program as a job for myself. Valuing integrity, I immediately addressed and dispelled the rumor at a committee meeting. The Citizen ran an article on my comments to quell the rumor, confirming its falsity. The source of the rumor came to me, discussed the matter, and apologized. I was told to let the rumor simmer, don't address it. My integrity said I needed to address it head-on even though that means easy fodder for those looking to throw mud. "To be clear, I enjoy my work as an Administrative Law Judge. I very much prefer the quality of life a judicial practice provides. I do not want to return to the life of a trial litigator and I am not interested in serving as the city prosecutor in any community. My current job affords me the ability to work a compressed 4-day hearing calendar, so that I can spend more time visiting our schools. I spend most of my day on Monday's visiting schools, in addition to whatever other events need my time." He also added that his middle son attends a private kindergarten because of health issues, but will attend Franklin Elementary next year.
ML October 19, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I completely a free with Dan's assessment. EGUSD used to be the district of choice for many families. It certainly was for my family. I have, however, been increasingly concerned about some decisions made by the current EGUSD board. The decision to give administrators raises, while teachers were losing jobs and class sizes were increasing was in poor taste. While the raises may have been justified, the timing lacked tact, consideration, and good judgment on the part of the board. As an educator, I know firsthand what being in the trenches is all about. If you don't protect and take care of your people ( I.e., teachers, students, school support staff, etc.) in the front lines, all other decisions will be empty and void of relevance. What this board needs are front line folks like Steve Ly and Carmine Forcina, who will challenge the status quo and insist that decisions are made with teachers and students in mind. Imagine a board where educational decisions are made by EDUCATORS. The Bee got this one wrong.
M.Legison October 19, 2012 at 04:27 AM
The administrators did not get any raises when the teachers did not. You are repeating a lie that has been spread by the union. I think several on here are pimping for union sympathizers.
rxr October 19, 2012 at 05:10 AM
M.Legison...i believe you are mistaken. the current board did vote to give Ladd a raise. He intially accepted the raise but ultimately decided to decline the raise.the issue is the current board DID vote to give him a raise even after certificated and classified employees agrees to cuts and 5 intructional days were cut from the school year last year. One of the reasons given for the raise was,"to keep top talent you have to pay them accordingly" Dr. Ladd, if I'm not mistaken ,is the highest paid superintendent in the sacramneto area and northern california. Furthermore, heand his wife were awarded lifetime benefits at an earler date than most employees who have to work a minimum of 10 years inthe district. Really, does the current board have the kids best interests in mind? Does anyone forget how freshman sports were cut a few years ago from the high schools,yet I have heard the incumbents preach how after school programs are so important, yet the board in thier infinite wisdom voted Ladd a raise? If parents,teachers ,employees are satisfied with the current state of affairs then vote in the incumbents. If not then vote for change. VOTE CARMINE FORCINA ,AREA 7.
Chris J October 19, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I apologize for not realizing he has one child in EGUSD. I was incorrect. I apologize. I hope one day all of his children receive the excellent FREE public education provided by all of the excellent teachers at Franklin Elementary. Private schools are a waste of money if you live in Elk Grove. This district is still the best in the region. To Cody: As for the comment about being the District Attorney... Thank you for pulling that article up (because I couldn't find it), and thank you for the email from Mr. Rambo himself. While he expresses he has no interest in becoming a trial litigator and enjoys being an administrative law judge because of the extra free time it allows him... Let's get real. I encourage every voter to read that entire article. I see his email and that article as empty words. Please note this one sentence: Rambo said he wouldn’t hesitate to work for the city. Feel free to believe Mr. Rambo's intent. I'm sure he's a good father to his own children and a good citizen, but I don't believe his best interests involve my children's educational future and well-being. I hope that if he wins I am dead wrong.
M.Legison October 19, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Dr. Ladd is the superintendent, not an administrator. A superintendent, and only the superintendent, reports to the board and his compensation is controlled by the board, while administrators and teachers report to the district. His contract was negotiated separately from others, and he declined the raises to which he was entitled. Please name one teacher or administrator who did the same. You cannot, and my original statement was correct.
ML October 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Reference this for more info on the board's decision to give the superintendent a pay raise : http://egcitizen.com/articles/2009/01/15/news/doc496fe77d1f393304746271.txt Yes, while Dr. Ladd decided to freeze his salary, the decision to talk about and approve a raise in the midst of teachers receiving pink slips is unconscionable. Yes, while he is the superintendent, he is still considered a district administrator. Also, to note, the other Associate superintendents also received a 3% pay race over the course of the next 5 years. I believe the Patch reported this. If Cody is as objective as I like to think he is, perhaps he'll pull up the article for us. Unless, Cody just pulls up articles that support specific individuals ( reference his quick response to Chris J's comment about Mr. Rambo above). Oh btw, M. Legison, while we can disagree, I think we should still have discourse that is civil and free from using language like "pimping." Also, I'm an administrator, not a teacher and not part of a union.
M.Legison October 19, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Here's the article. The increases to which you are referring are step increases that are included in most if not all district pay schedules. Did the teachers turn these down? The other administrators? The classified employees? No, no, and no. http://elkgrove.patch.com/articles/superintendent-and-associate-supt-contracts-to-be-renewed
KMC October 19, 2012 at 02:18 PM
M. Legison - What you have referenced, that the superintendent reports to the board and his compensation is controlled by the board, is one of the MAIN reasons people are dissatisfied with the current board. The Board of Trustees is supposed to evaluate the job performance of the Superintendent and compensate him accordingly. Beside the fact that teachers were being pink-slipped, instructional days were being cut, freshmen athletics are gone, elementary school libraries were not staffed, custodial staffing is at the bare minimum, and a myriad of other cuts that were made that directly affected students, Dr. Ladd found himself at the heart of protests by district employees. District employees and community members attended board meetings in huge numbers to express their displeasure. To me, this does not sound like a man who should receive a performance review, worthy of a raise, while others below him (with the exception of the Associate Superintendents) were taking cuts. The current board is unwilling to do their job, which is precicely why we need a change. That change is most noteably seen in CARMINE FORCINA - Area 7. When asked directly whether he will retain the current superintendent, Carmine has said on several occasions "One of the jobs of a board member is to evaluate the superintendent. If elected I will do my job. If the superintendent does his, he can stay. If he doesn't, he will have to go." HONESTY is what our district NEEDS. This and nothing less.
M.Legison October 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The local union has once again summoned its minions to pimp for union plants on the board, and Mr. Forcina is one of them. Here are some of his endorsements: COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA - Local 9421 AFL-CIO-CLC, Robert Monger, Executive Vice President/Legislative-Political Director SOUTH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CLUB, Sandi Russell, Nancy Fox, Dan Schmidt, Robert Monger LOS RIOS COLLEGE FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Why do you think the AFL-CIO is endorsing a school board member? Because Proposition 32 is probably going to pass, despite the huge opposition from unions and SuperPACs, and the CTA is scared that they will lose their vise grip on the state legislature. The only recourse is to load local boards with union hacks who are paid to infiltrate public boards. Expect more "new posters" to chime in here in support of these covert operatives. These posts have nothing to do with fairness. They are desperate attempts to promote those who would put union compensation and policies above those beneficial to the students and the community.
cindy October 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Steve Ly is not only the choice for EGUSD but is also the strongest candidate that will be able to equally represent the students, parents, teachers and staff within the district and their interests. Steve have lots of experience and understand what are the struggles and issues of the district. With his personal experience as an educator and a parent of EGUSD students, he is not only concern but is also the voice for change. He has the ability to advocate for each and every student, educator and staff of the district and will stand behind what he believes will be in the best interest and shape the district into one of most strongest and deserving district for advancement and support from not only the county but also the state as well as on a national level. This November, Steve Ly is the choice for EGUSD. Vote for Steve Ly!
Carmine Salvatore Forcina October 19, 2012 at 05:05 PM
M. Legison. I find it amusing that you only choose to make statements that are meant to cast doubt on those that you do not support. It is true that the communications workers, Los Rios College Teachers and the South County Democratic Party endorsed me and for the that I am proud. However, none of the groups that have endorsed me have influence on EGUSD issues. What you do not mention is the EGUSD classified employee union FAFCME has endorsed Jake Rambo and Al Rowlett. My message has been clear. I will treat ALL EMPLOYEES fairly and I will look at every aspect of the district budget but children's instructional needs will always come first. Please get your facts straight..
Nicole Brousseau October 20, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Area 7 needs people like CARMINE FORCINA. He has the most experience out of all the candidates as a teacher and understanding the needs of our kids. CARMINE FORCINA will make the hard decisions needed for Elk Grove Unified School District!
PTA Prez October 20, 2012 at 06:13 AM
M. Legison, who is to say that the district hasn't summoned you to pimp for board members that are Dr. Ladd's puppets? Consider that some of the people commenting (like me) might just actually be upset about the lack of wisdom on the board and are not "working for the unions".
PTA Prez October 20, 2012 at 06:18 AM
I went to several board meetings last year and Al Rowlett was completely inarticulate. He showed a lack of understanding of fiscal issues and labor negotiations. It was clear he was taking the lead from his "business as usual" board members. I could NEVER vote for him. I have heard Carmine Forcina's platform and he is clearly more of a leader and more knowledgable about how a district is run. He is not supported by any unions in Elk Grove USD and therefore will not be beholden to them either. As I have listened to him it is clear he will do what is best for kids and schools.
PTA Prez October 20, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Also, Liz Graswich (EGUSD communications director) and her husband used to work for the Bee. I am sure they called in a favor with their editor buddies at the Bee to endorse Rambo and Rowlett who will tow the party line and allow Dr. Ladd to spiral this district downward with his unwise leadership.
Dan Schmitt October 20, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Here's the bottom line for me. Public school teaching is the most important job in our nation and the most difficult. Most public school teachers tirelessly and admirably work to educate our youth daily. They don't do it for the money. There are intrinsic rewards (no, I'm not talking about the 2 1/2 months off in the summer!) teachers get which the general public can't begin to understand. During most of my teaching career, there was an infectious educational vibrancy in the district which started with the top district administrators and worked it way down. I had scores of casual conversations about education over the years with Superintendents Trigg and Gordon and Associate-Superintendent Steve Winlock, and every time I came away proud to be a teacher and energized by the discussions. With the exception of Associate-Superintendent for Elementary Education Ann Zeeman, who in the district office has the ability to "inspire"? Who even cares about inspiring? The current school board reflects that lack of inspiration. That's why changes need to be made at the district administrative level, and for that to happen, new people, people who will inspire teachers, students, and the community, need to be elected. Carmine Forcina is definitely a person who understands what I'm talking about. I believe Jake Rambo and Steve Ly also understand. We need both on the school board, but that can't happen. James Letoa is raw, but he gets it.
PTA Prez October 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I agree with Dan. We need a new board to re-vitalize this district. The teachers have made EGUSD amazing and we should trust their input.
rxr October 21, 2012 at 03:00 AM
M. Legison - - I challenge you to say one SPECIFIC positive thing about either incumbent. You have continued to try to denigrate board challengers, but can not name one SPECIFIC way that either Rowlett or Rambo have helped students. You can not name one SPECIFIC way that Rowlett or Rambo have assisted in developing positive district-board-staff-parent-student-community relations. - You must not be on the front lines (i.e. you must not be a district employee or parent) because if you were, you would understand how critical it is that the current board, its policies, and the direction in which they have been leading the district are CHANGED IMMEDIATELY! - You reference CTA's "vice grip" on the state legislature. Do you really think anyone buys into this? If CTA really did have a vice grip on the legislature, why are we always fighting for every scrap of funding we can find for public education? If CTA really did have a vice grip on the legislature, why would Prop 30 even be an issue? Why would funding continue to be cut, year after year?
M.Legison October 21, 2012 at 03:21 AM
As promised, the union pimps are coming out in fear they might lose their grip on education in California. As to the CTA having a vice grip, here's a good primer for you, and it's why Prop 32 is probably going to pass. Your lobbyist is the governor's lap dog and virtually lives in his office. andhttp://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/18/local/la-me-cta-20120819 As also stated, I don't know any of the incumbents running. However, I know a union plant when I see one, and when you have the local Democratic party and the CWA and other similar agendized groups groveling over some guy that comes out of the shadows and starts making a stink about the Bee not endorsing him, you know he's got something more to lose than an election. The CTA does not care about students. They look out for their members and will attempt to throw any election they choose. That's not an objective, a task, or an activity that should be a part of the board.
KMC October 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Dan Schmidtt - I wish all voters were able to read your thoughtful and insightful comments posted here. ----- M. Legison - You have again missed the point, AGAIN. You say you do not know Rambo or Rowlett personally and so, can not comment on what they have done that has been positive for the district. However, it is clear that you do not know Carmine Forcina personally either, yet you are convinced he is a pawn for CTA. Carmine is running for the EGUSD Board of Trustees for one reason and one reason only, he is a man of such high moral fiber that after watching what has occured in this district over the last several years is no longer able to stand on the sidelines. He knows that a man with his knowledge, experience and expertise, if truly a man, must stand now and do something to rectify the situation the current board has put us all in before it is too late. Carmine has been open and honest about his positions from the start. He has said and has maintained that communication is the key. Carmine's contact information is readily available. If you took the time to do some homework, and called or met Carmine in person, you would understand that he is beholden to no one and no group. Carmine has always been a man who listens to all, but makes his own decisions. He will continue to do so, once elected to the EGUSD Board. Call him and find out for yourself, I dare you.............
M.Legison October 22, 2012 at 02:15 AM
KMC, if I did I have a feeling you'd answer the phone.
Carmine Salvatore Forcina October 22, 2012 at 02:41 AM
M.Legison Once again you have it wrong. Please give me a call and ask any question you have on any subject and I will be glad to speak with you. 916 203-0873 Do you have the courage?
M.Legison October 22, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I have enough courage to not work for the government for a career first, and then the unions next. I've made it on my own with my family's help ad support, not the governments or some union thug propping me up. You have no place in the political arena Mr. Forcina. Look at your comments here. I think the Bee knows more than most of us, thus the passing over for endorsement.
Dan Schmitt October 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM
M.Legison, Ah, another anti-government guy feigning the powers and glory of the Self-Made Man! The "I made it on my own with no help from the stinking government" belief is, pure and simple, FANTASY. Since the original discussion centered on an educational issue, let me ask you this, Mr. Self-Made Man: Did you attend any public schools (elementary, secondary, college/university)? If yes, you're considerably less self-made than you think you are.
Bwood October 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Spoken like a true narcissist. I don't think courage is the issue here as much as a complete lack of humility.
Jeff Mayo-Yurek October 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I am both a high school teacher and owner of my own photography business. I am a "self-made" man with help from my government!


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