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Update Nov. 8: With 100% of precincts counted and a portion of the late absentee ballots, Schreiber and Stieringer have retained solid leads. 

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In one of the most bitterly contested races in East County, incumbent Priscillla Schreiber won reelection handily with 95% of votes counted with 28.17% of the vote in the Grossmont Union High School District. A Republican, Schreiber has been an outspoken champion for building a new high school in Alpine--and a vocal critic of the board majority on a range of issues. 

That majority may shift, with challenger Jim Stieringer in second place at 19.04%--ahead of incumbent Gary Woods, who has 18.66%. Woods has taken heat for his opposition to the Alpine High School at a time when a Grand Jury investigation is probing possible misallocation of bond monies approved by voters for projects including the high school in Alpine.

Though all three of the top vote-getters are Republicans, Stieringer has said that he supports an Alpine High School. On other contentious issues, such as Voting Rights Act compliance and whether or not to reauthorize the Superintendent’s contract, Stieringer could prove to be a swing vote.

Zach Miller, a university student and the lone Democrat in the race, currently has 15.12% of the vote, followed by education advocate Bill Weaver with 11.31% and wroter Barbara Stevens with 7.69%.

Schreiber has been the target of attacks by fellow member Jim Kelly, who penned a blistering editorial blasting Schreiber’s criticisms as “misleading” and accusing her of leaking information on the Grand Jury investigation for political reasons – a charge Schreiber has denied. 

At election central in Golden Hall tonight, Schreiber told ECM she is delighted with her victory “especially after all those attacks.”  She looks forward to continuing to serve parents, students and teachers in the district—and is hopeful that she will now gain support to finally fulfill will of voters who twice approved bond measures to fund the new high school.

The results are still too close to definitely call for Stieringer, who has said that if elected, one of his goals will be to restore civility to the board.

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Unethical, Unprofessional, Unbelievable

This GUHSD Board and Administration is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!

Last night, At the regular monthly second Thursday Bd. meeting, Nov 8th, they voted on 18 recommendations proposed by Superintendent Ralf Swenson in regard to the Bond projects. The 18th Recommendation was to pull plans on the 12th HS, and not continue to fund the project until further action is taken by the Board. Little discussion took place.

I spoke, explaining that the Granite Hills HS is now going to have to be modernized for 2,800 students, this makes no good sense, 600 of those students should not be provided accommodations at GHHS, save that money, to put towards the 12th HS... The GUHSD Bd didn't listen, my comments fell on deaf Administration and Gov. Bd. ears.

I also reminded them that the Bd. Makeup is likely to soon change, that a vote on this should wait. They ignored me, this Bd is unethical, unprofessional, and even laughable as they disregard good protocol, and best Governing Board practices.

Board to take pause, or not, at tonight's meeting?

Thanks Miriam for your reporting and candidate interviews during this election season, and for sponsoring the Women League of Voter's Grossmont School Board candidate forum.  I' sincerely want to thank all the candidates who ran for the board as they each added much to the debate and discussions about the major issues we face in education, at the district level, and Statewide.

As we welcome our newly elected board member in December, I am hopeful that the current board will take pause, at tonight's board meeting, and postpone taking action on the Superintendent's Revised Bond Program recommendations.

There is no urgency (except for maybe a few exceptions) in postponing the revised Long Range Facilities Master Plan until the newly elected member is seated. In light of Mr. Stieringer's campaign promise to support building the Alpine/BV school, it would be prudent to hold off on the one aspect of the Superintendent's 12th school recommendation, which is to, essentially, kill the school, again. If moving forward on agency permits, is time sensitive, then the board should take action on that  part of his recommedation, only.

To make these decisions prior to the new board member having an opportunity to get up to speed on the whole bond program and landscape of district issues and having the opportunity to meet with the Superintendent, is highly questionable. I proposed this matter to the Board President and got no response. Hmm?.  I am hopeful that Mr. Stieringer will attend his first board meeting tonight, as the board reviews the revised bond program and the Superintendent's recommendations.  Our staff had worked hard over the past six months, and one more month will not hurt the program. Furthermore, the board needs to prepare a public policy for future bond issuances, these matters are all interrelated and a matter for the new board. 

We will see if the board will consider my proposal tonight?

The Voters Have Spoken, Again.


I qoute the recent article in the La Mesa Patch, "Jim Stieringer, also responding to a Patch query, noted that he had expressed strong support for the construction of a high school in Alpine. And he said he respected differences among the current board members, “all of whom have my highest respect. I applaud their positive action in having procured the site for the proposed school.”
But he said he found it distressing that district Superintendent Ralf Swenson has “arbitrarily withdrawn the building plans submitted to the State Architect [Office]. If that allegation turns out to be true, I am certain that all five board members will demand to know why that was done.”
If elected, he said, “I would make engendering collegiality my first priority. As part of that effort I would make every effort to convince my new colleagues that we should promptly move toward construction of the voter-approved school.
Weaver told Patch that even though “my opinions are cause to be suspect” because he is a school board candidate, “I respond because history makes the case strong that this GUHSD board majority is disingenuous to their mission of governing to the needs of the high school district, as best served.”
He said he was tired of false hope and asserted that the current board has “lied, twisted truth and created delays that should have succeeded long ago to accomplish their goal—kill the HS12 project.”