Focus on students should be the most important part of school board issues. Regrettably, the focus on the kids of Sonoma Valley was lost during the recent recall signature drive.
The Sonoma Valley Housing Group has advocated for the issues of housing and social equity for many years. We welcome the continuity of Mr. John Kelly on the school board after the unsuccessful recall effort. We believe Mr. Kelly adequately represents his constituents-the student community and the parents in Area 3 (Boyes Hot Springs.) This is the area of the greatest needs in all of Sonoma Valley. We understand concerns with Mr. Kelly’s manner and performance as a member of the school board. We do not believe these issues were sufficient to remove Mr. Kelly.
The recall attempt came at a critical time for the board, facing pressing issues to be researched and decided. Realistically, losing one member out of five would have increased the workload on the remaining four by 25% each. A serious burden on people who have full time work and serve for little compensation.
Whatever side you were on in the recall attempt, we are all united in mourning the necessary closing of schools. The next big issue is the best use of the district’s excess land. This land could be used to help resolve the local affordable housing crisis, housing for which almost two-thirds of county residents qualify. It is counterproductive to continue the trend of being a place where fewer kids and families can afford to live. Remaining focused on kids and their families in Sonoma Valley is of importance for these difficult and complex issues as well.
The ethnic/racial/class issues in Sonoma Valley have greatly increased during the last 30 or more years. The SVUSD currently reflects these issues, to the disadvantage of all. There is much work to be done, by the school board and in the Valley. Having a solid, collaborative school board to support Superintendent Dr Rodriguez-Chien in this pivotal time is invaluable.
– For the Sonoma Valley Housing Group
Mario Castillo, El Verano
Iris Lombard, Boyes Hot Springs
Fred Allebach, Sonoma