Letter: Ferndale School Board Member Supports CBE Candidates

Board of Education vice president Chuck Moeser submitted this letter to the editor.

Ferndale Patch welcomes letters to the editor.

The following was submitted by Ferndale Board of Education member Chuck Moeser.


The reason I support the CBE candidates for the Ferndale School Board, is as simple as Councilman T. Scott Galloway’s reasons.  Over the last 22 years of elected service on the School Board I can honestly say that Keith Warnick, Katrina Collins, Jim Pfleger and Brad Parks have 10 times the School related experience of the other candidates and are ready to serve.  Look at the record over the last 10 years:  worked with the community supporting 2 successful bond issues (some of the opponents recommended against the bonds), balanced budgets year after year, supported programs that have improved student achievement test scores, introduced new innovative educational programs, saw the high school named as a reward school by the state, worked together collaboratively instead of a confrontationally, focused on what is right for ALL the students not just the few who have left and above all, made the tough, difficult decisions in the light of ever increasing reductions in state funding, a loss of over $470/student in the last year, to bring us from the brink of bankruptcy to a general fund of over $4,600,000 and a full service school District.  The Superintendent is doing exactly what he was hired for, is recognized by his peers and has positive performance ratings from all 7 Board members.  So Mr. Councilman, critical decisions have been made.

The School Board and the City of Ferndale have met at least 3 times during the term of Mr. Galloway and he only attended one meeting. There is no record of the concerns he mentions.  The biggest topic raised by the City was for the District to move their elections to November.  Why wasn’t the Councilman forwarding his concerns to the School Board or better yet, bringing those concerns to the regularly scheduled School Board meetings where the public is always invited to speak?  After all, the School District sends a representative to every Council meeting.  Maybe the Councilman should attend Board Meetings or the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, of which he is a member, and work with residents, board members, administrators and staff, that comprise the District committees.

CBE has successfully endorsed the majority of School Board candidates, including 6 of the 7 currently seated.  CBE interviewed all eight candidates looking for good, experienced, ready-to-serve individuals, something I don’t believe the Councilman did.  Mr. Galloway and other City officials were invited to a meet/greet for the CBE candidates and declined to come.  I also wonder if the Councilman listens to residents’ complaints about the city, and enacts change based on those complaints without consideration of the effects on the entire City.  I think not.

To quote Jim O’Donnell from a published 2010 election letter: “…a school district that has improving academic performance, is financially stable … has superb music ….and honors programs … the result of our current School Board”.  “We need experienced leadership.”

This district does deserve more and will get more with the above experienced candidates.     

Chuck Moeser

Ferndale School Board Member

Nathan Schoenfeld October 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Barb, I never said anyone's opinion was wrong and I would not say that. Everyone has the right to disagree and as long as it's done in a respectful manner then people should be willing to accept that which I will and do. So many times that this issue has been out on the forefront it's the people who are not actively involved in the district as us that are causing the caustic enviroment. Those that are creating these issues, are standing on the sideline or back of the room and chirp out just to hear themselves are not involved in meetings, committees or sending their children to our district, but out of district. True on November 7th we all will still be here to work on things for the betterment of schools and the children as we should no matter who is elected.
Barb Landry October 23, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Nathan - I still think this is your interpretation. This is what starts all the "rumors". The BOLD candidates are very involved in the schools. Just because they don't sit at the same tables as others doesn't mean that meetings and updates are being shared. Part of the responsibility of the people that sit on committees is to go back into the community and to share what is going on. I know that this is being done within CLEAR at least. We have members that sit on all of the committees in the district. Finance, Operations and Program and Tech. We have members that attend Policy and Staff Relations (which don't have community members assigned to them - only board members and administrators), Superintendent Advisory, Ferndale Education Foundation, PTA Council, FS-PTSA, FE-PTA, Kennedy PTA, PTO's, Ferndale Art Boosters, Orch Support, Community Groups, etc. CLEAR is a very active and involved group of community members. So when you say, that no one is involved, no one has any idea what is going on in the district or how things are run, you are just not telling the truth. I am begging that this stop.
Kristy Stoll October 23, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I agree with the Ferndale Resident about the level of finger-pointing and vitriol that has been a part of this election. It is gut-wrenching to witness. I will say, that it seems to be a small minority of folks doing most of that (on Patch, Facebook, etc.). Having run, I know how hard it is to hear or read personal attacks, especially when they are not true (I was amazed at emails that were being sent around about me that had false statements and horribly offensive opinions). As for me, I have been trying to keep it positive, although at times I have to bite my tongue or sit on my hands to do so. I think all eight candidates are good people. I think all eight candidates have the best interests of the schools and students in mind. Seriously, these people are vying for an often thankless, time-consuming VOLUNTEER job! I commend all of them for raising their hands to do so. Thus, I won't use this forum to spew lies about any candidates, nor say bad things about anyone personally. I will say that I am personally supporting the CLEAR slate of candidates because I like that they want to ask tougher questions, retain students and be more connected to the community. I don't believe they have a radical agenda to turn this district upside down and chase administrators and students out of town. I've heard it from each of their mouths...we have a really good district, they just want it to be great. Here is the one negative thing I'll say that just might anger all sides: Roll Tide!
Nathan Schoenfeld October 24, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Come on really not telling the truth? Disappointed is the best I can say at this time. I was not attacking you nor others that are involved. Re-read my comments above and think about what I said.What I was referring to are those that know who they are that are not involved....
Thomas Gagne October 24, 2012 at 03:30 AM
"Those that are creating these issues are standing on the sideline .. are not involved in meetings, committees or sending their children to our district..." So? Does it make sense to dismiss their concerns simply because they don't attend meetings? This is one of the problems folks have with the district BEFORE they leave. They attend meetings and are ignored. They write letters and are ignored or patronized. The attend a board meeting and are sneered at, and so they leave because others may listen to them, or offer what they're looking for. Experience isn't all the status-quo crowd makes it up to be. Experience knows how to listen. Experience knows how to recognize problems. Experience has an open mind. Experience also knows how to defend itself without attacking others as inexperienced, uninvolved, or sitting on the sidelines. These aren't arguments, they're name-calling. And with experience like that, no wonder 31% of in-district students leave for other districts, and other folks go even further and move out of the district. A much bigger message is sent, but no one seems to bother reading it.


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