Someone in a position of authority recently made an inappropriate attempt to undermine my credibility with the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation (N-MSF). The attempt was sneaky and unprofessional but it was consistent with my perception of this person’s personality.

So, for the record… I have tremendous respect and admiration for the N-MSF. My late wife and I were supporters of the N-MSF when our kids were in local schools and if my memory serves me correctly, I wrote at least one of my Daily Pilot columns singing their praises.

In anything I have ever written, whether it was for the Orange County Register, the Daily Pilot, any of the many other publications to which I have contributed, or for this blog, you will not find a single negative word about the N-MSF. If you find anything, it will be positive.

But the person in question does not know that, and in an amateurish attempt to create a rift, this person succeeded only in showing his or her true colors.

My beef with the State of the Schools propaganda breakfast has nothing to do with the N-MSF. I am glad that they were able to get some dough out of the morning. My complaints are with the content of the slick, taxpayer-funded video shown that morning, the fact that approximately 70 district employees attended while on duty – many of them pulling down six-figure salaries – and with the conspicuous absence of any discussion of the challenges facing the district.

This was not a state of the schools address, it was a love-in, a pep rally. And it was all bought and paid for mostly by people who were too busy working to attend, many of whom could not afford $32 for breakfast.

I would say “nice try” to this person, but it wasn’t a nice try. It was underhanded and offensive.

But at least now I know with whom I am dealing.

Steve Smith

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