Slime in the mailbox, flurry at the school district

Posted on August 8, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma Mayor Amy Harrington got slimed again, this time in an anonymous mailer sent to all Sonoma mailboxes. It alleges –  incomprehensibly, slanderously, and certainly irresponsibly – unethical behavior, and yet is unsigned. The first such salvo was a full-page ad in the Index-Tribune, source also undisclosed. This mail piece (cost of printing and mailing, what, maybe $10k?) did not faze Harrington. “I am focused on my family, running a business, and acting as mayor. I don’t have time for petty distractions. We have real issues to deal with.” The reaction on the street? “I’m hearing so many nice comments. (People) thought it was garbage. They say, ‘I know you make thoughtful decisions.'” …

… Though Harrington foresees no damage to her rep, she laments the intrusion of dirty tricks into small-town politics. “This is not the culture here.”… The Sun (as in, me) contacted one repeatedly and on-the-record harsh Harrington critic, asking him if he has any idea who authored the mailer. He found the email request embarrassing and unprofessional, quipping, “Even if I knew anything I wouldn’t tell you.” He also urged a return to journalism school. Can I pay off my student loans first?

After nearly four terms and 15 years, Nicole Ducarroz has surprisingly announced her resignation from the Sonoma Valley School District Board of Trustees, effective October 1. The decision was a tough one, she said, but creates time for a very cool pursuit – helping her daughter get to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. “My daughter Nikita, who has been ranked in the top five worldwide in BMX Freestyle, wants to give it a go. In order to accomplish this, her international travel commitments have increased substantially. As her team manager, my international travel has increased along with hers.” Serving as a trustee imparted some valuable lessons. “I’ve learned that planting seeds and the journey are just as important as the destination.”… 

… Duccaroz is confident that the district is in “very competent hands, with a strong foundation; a solid and unified board that understands the wonderful attributes of Sonoma Valley Unified and also the challenges; and an intelligent, highly capable, and caring superintendent, administrative team, faculty, and staff.” Looking back she says, “Over the years I have learned a lot, working with so many extraordinary educators. I am in awe of each of you. There are so many heroes here.” The board must now decide to either appoint someone in her place, or hold an election, to complete the remaining one year of her term representing the Dunbar/Glen Ellen attendance Area.

Down the hall at the District office, it’s been a busy summer, with more changes than a swimming pool cabana. Two special education staffers left, as did Jonathan Ferrer, the high-profile director of human resources. (It all makes the May resignation of SVHS Principal Justin Mori seem like ancient history.) Coming over to fill the HR slot is Andrew Ryan, until very recently the principal of Sassarini, which means that job is now open. They can’t all be going to the Olympics. 

— Val Robichaud, [email protected]

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