This is a year of change on the school board. We know for certain that there will be at least two new trustees. A growing group of people is trying to make four.

That group is the Newport Mesa Community for Students, of which I am a proud member. Our group is a non-partisan, grassroots coalition, most of whom have no business being involved in school stuff because like me, their kids are grown and gone.

We are driven by a different set of goals.

We want honesty. So many of the recent bunglings would have been tempests in teapots if anyone in the administration or on the board had simply said, “We made a mistake, we’re sorry, and it won’t happen again.”

We want transparency. We want, for example, an end to the last-minute scheduling of special meetings which are obvious attempts to limit public attendance an input. We want full exposure of the allegations of former N-MUSD HR head John Caldecott because we know that where there is smoke, there is fire.

We want accountability. We want to know that if someone makes a mistake, say, for example, draining the Estancia pool and wrecking the aquatics program, that he or she is held accountable.

We want fiscal responsibility. We want legal fees to stop draining the budget and we want proper justification for any new program expenditure. Raptor… Great parent screening program? How do the trustees know when not one of them bothered to ask where it was or was not working?

And we want your opinion. Please click on this link to take a one question survey and pass the link on to any N-M resident.

Here is the link:

Remember to vote for these four people and encourage your family, friends, and co-workers to vote for them, too:

Area 2 Michelle Murphy

Area 4: Dr. Gina Nick

Area 5: Michelle Barto

Area 7: Ashley Anderson

Thank you.

Steve Smith