It’s a common theme in this blog: The district says they care about your opinions, but they don’t, not really.

Today’s supporting evidence comes in the form of this Tuesday’s rubber stamping by the board of the recommendation that ex- San Clemente High principal Michael Halt become the new principal at Estancia.

It seems only yesterday that the district was conducting surveys and a community input meeting (June 3) to find out what you want so they can ignore you. Here’s the blather from the district website:

The District is seeking input from the Estancia High School community regarding the qualities and attributes you would like to see in the next principal.

Your input is extremely valuable! All input will be collected and will be considered during the selection process. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education thanks you for your time and participation.

All survey responses are anonymous unless you select at the end of the survey to provide your name in the space provided. This is completely optional. The survey will be open for input until June 8, 2015. Survey link:

In addition to the online survey, the District would like to invite all families and stakeholders to the following community forum:

*Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the EHS Choral Room

Contact for the principal search process is Susan Astarita, Senior Associate Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer, 714-424-8959

But your input, apparently, and contrary to what is written above, is not “extremely valuable” for it was barely after Halt declared he was not interested in another principal job that had been dangled before him by the Capo regime that he turns up here. Knowing that these things do not happen overnight and take time to negotiate, discussions had probably begun awhile ago, perhaps even while they were asking you your opinion.

Oh, and the results of the community input and survey? Since the results were never publicly revealed, there is no doubt now that Halt fits your requirements perfectly.

No doubt whatsoever.

Halt comes with baggage. There is mystery surrounding his recent sort-of-termination events down south and there are ways to discuss it publicly at the next board meeting without treading the forbidden path of “personnel matters.” But not a single Trustee will ask Halt about any of it.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Steve Smith