You are here:
Rick -> Rick's Election Analyses -> Nov. 3, 2009

Tuesday, 2009-11-03 Consolidated Municipal, School & Special District Election

Notes by Rick Moen

Last updated 2009-11-04

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 02:55:11 -0800
From: Rick Moen <>
To: Deirdre Saoirse Moen, Cheryl Morris
Subject: Last minute, half-assed election analysis

The big issue in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election is Sequoia Union High School District. Two seats on the Governing Board are being elected. There are eight candidates.

The hot issue is charter schools. Early October, Everest Charter School filed lawsuit against Sequoia, demanding that Sequoia give it better facilities as required by Proposition 39, the state charter school law (1992), which says charter schools must be given facilities "reasonably equivalent" to facilities at other district schools. By all accounts (not just Everest's legal claims), Sequoia has been unenthusiastic about charter schools.

So am I. I think they're a disaster for public education. But Sequoia seems to have courted this lawsuit, at the voters' expense and in probable violation of law, through being particularly hard on Everest. Murky-News editorial sympathetic to Everest:

Murky-News endorse Chris Thomsen and Jacqueline Wallace-Greene because they are non-hostile to charters, and have credentials. Thomsen is an outright advocate of charters. Jacqueline Wallace-Greene is not a cheerleader for such schools, but thinks they have their place and should be worked with. Murky-News also thinks Nohema Fernandez and Alan Sarver are good.

I agree about Nohema Fernandez. The fact that she's been a dean at a U.C. campus pulls some weight with me.

Candidate Noria Zasslow comes across in her candidate statement as a bit of an airhead. So does Alan Sarver.

Virginia Chang Kiraly might be fine, but I can vote for only two, and Jacqueline Wallace-Greene seems a conscientious parent from E.P.A. and Sequoia graduate, so my vote is:

Nohema Fernandez
Jacqueline Wallace-Greene

Also, Chang Kiraly, Sarver, and Thomsen have been the big money spenders in this campaign: war chests over $10k each. When in doubt, screw that.

Other set of seats is three seats on the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board, One incumbent, five newcomers are on the ballot (six total). Big issue is squabbling over salaries, benefits, and pensions between the district and the firefighters' union. (No contract since July 2008.)

Murky-News interviewed them:

Rexford Ianson's answers look good. (He's the incumbent, and a retired firefighter.) So do John Mosby's. But this is a slight and superficial impression.

Murky-News article assessing the six:

Murky-News endorsement:
I concur.

Rexford Ianson
James Harris
Stephen Nachtsheim

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 01:48:04 -0800
From: Rick Moen <>
To: Deirdre Saoirse Moen, Cheryl Morris
Subject: Semi-official election results

These are the latest semiofficial results from (San Mateo County Elections), with all precincts reporting.

Sequoia Union High School District Board, I voted:

> Nohema Fernandez
> Jacqueline Wallace-Greene

Winners were:
Chris Thomsen
Alan Sarver

Those were the big-money, pro-charter school candidates. So, the good guys lost.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board, I voted:

> Rexford Ianson
> James Harris
> Stephen Nachtsheim

Winners were:
Rexford Ianson (the incumbent, a retired firefighter)
Jack Nelson
Stephen Nachsheim