I watched only the smallest snippets of last night’s school board meeting from the comfort of my own home, but Michele Ellson of The Island was there and issued a full report. One highlight: newly-elected board member Trish Spencer nominated Ron Mooney for board president and then, after Mooney withdrew his name from consideration, Spencer nominated Mooney a second time, that time for board vice president. In response to which, second term board member Tracy Jensen withdrew her name for consideration for the position.
So, Alameda, your new school board president is Mike McMahon and your vice president is Ron Mooney. Retired principal Niel Tam, rounds out the group of five. You will likely be hearing more about them as the state budget continues to collapse and board members are faced with ever-more-difficult choices about how to run AUSD schools with less.
In a sign of the miserable economic times, the Alameda Education Association, which represents district teachers, has asked simply to extend their current contract for another year. Hopefully, turning their energy toward fighting state-level mid-year budget cuts to education funding.
Ellson’s whole report is here.
A glance at this morning’s returns (with all Alameda precincts in, but an unknown number of provisional ballots still to be counted) we’re still seeing the same trends as last night. It looks like newcomers Trish Spencer, Niel Tam and Ron Mooney will take seats on the school board, ousting two incumbents, David Forbes and Janet Gibson. In the city council race, it looks like Doug DeHaan and Marie Gilmore have been returned to office (defeating challengers Tracy Jensen and Justin Harrision). Measure P, the city real estate transfer tax, is at this moment passing by the tiniest of margins, just over 300 votes. You can see all election returns here. Mike McMahon is tracking the school board vote here.
New returns just in. There’s now 37 of 52 precincts reporting. Measure P has an ever-so-slight lead: 10,429 yes votes to 10, 318 no’s. The school board ranking order is still the same (remember the top three candidates will get seats). Right now that’s Niel Tam with 11,392 votes, Trish Spencer with 8,495, and Ron Mooney with 8,238. Janet Gibson has 8,049 votes and David Forbes has 7,346. In the race for city council, Doug DeHaan and Marie Gilmore have tidy leads (DeHann has 10,068 votes and Gilmore has 9,527). Tracy Jensen trails with 7,533 votes while, at this point, Justin Harrison has captured 5,240
And now for your history in the making moment: At 114, the daughter of former slaves votes for Obama.
A careful follower of Alameda Unified School District affairs these past couple of years, this week’s “Life on the Island” (the column I write for the print edition of the Alameda Journal), makes my choices for school board quite plain. If you want to see the candidates in action yourself, you can watch this school board debate, hosted by Alameda’s PTA Council and the Alameda Education Foundation. You can can also watch the incumbents in action in some recent school board meetings. The City of Alameda Democratic Club endorsements are here (they endorsed both incumbents, Janet Gibson and David Forbes, as well as challenger Ron Mooney). Here’s links to all the candidates Web pages. You can go see the candidates tomorrow night at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Details: Wednesday, October, 15, 7:00 p.m., Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road.