Lewis appointed Tracy Unified trustee
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jan 04, 2013 | 6138 views | 27 27 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kelly Lewis (center) talks with Tracy Unified School District board members James Vaughn (left) and Greg Crandall following the special meeting of the school board Thursday, Jan. 3. Lewis will serve the remaining two years of the term of Bill Swenson, who retired late 2013.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Kelly Lewis (center) talks with Tracy Unified School District board members James Vaughn (left) and Greg Crandall following the special meeting of the school board Thursday, Jan. 3. Lewis will serve the remaining two years of the term of Bill Swenson, who retired late 2013. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
It took the Tracy Unified School District board of trustees less than one hour Thursday, Jan. 3, to interview seven candidates and select Kelly Lewis to fill the seat vacated by longtime trustee Bill Swenson.

Lewis, who served on the TUSD board from 1998 and 2010, was selected by a 4-2 vote during a special meeting at the District Education Center. He will be officially appointed to the seat at the school board’s next regular meeting on Jan. 8.

The 49-year-old said he was happy to get another opportunity to serve and noted that his immediate goal it to “get caught up, learn and help.”

Lewis said he left the board because his children had graduated the local schools and he was looking for other things to do to contribute to the community.

The other applicants were Marvin Barth, Mitra Behnam, Wes-Thomas Huffman, Lewis, Ann Mooney, Jass Sangha and Gurgit Srai.

Voting for Lewis were trustees Greg Silva, Jill Costa, Greg Crandall and James Vaughn, while Ted Guzman voted for Mooney and Walter Gouveia voted for Sangha.

Silva said his vote for Lewis was based upon his previous experience, proven leadership and the fact that he was relatively current with board issues as a member of the district’s Measure S oversight committee, which oversees spending on the $41 million bond passed by voters to modernize schools in 2008.

“I really like the fact that he has been on the board fairly recently and he is really up-to-speed in a fairly short time on issues the board is facing now and will be facing in the next two years,” Silva said.

Since the appointment required a four-fifths vote, Lewis was appointed to the position without a second vote by the board. He will serve the remaining two years of Swenson’s four-year-term.

Swenson resigned Dec. 13 after 18 years as a board trustee. He cited more time with family as his main reason for leaving his post.

Candidates were given 10 minutes to answer two questions:

n Why do you want to be on the school board?

n What role does a board member play in the governance of the school district?

Candidates were brought into the school board meeting room one at a time and in alphabetical order to answer the questions in front of the trustees.

The interviews were open to the public.

During questioning, all of the candidates spoke about their qualifications to serve on the school board, including their educational backgrounds and experience. Most said the appointment would provide them with the opportunity to give back.

Barth, who holds five college degrees, said serving on the board would provide him a “sense of satisfaction.”

A question of diversity was raised by Behnam, who said the board needed diversity to match the changing face of the school district, and Mooney said she wanted to assure that all children have access to an excellent education.

Huffman, Srai and Sangha spoke about their passion and desire to make a difference in the community.

Lewis talked about his prior experience on the Tracy Unified board and his desire to help the community.

When it came to discussing the board’s role, the answers from the candidates were more diverse.

“The school board’s job is to see a much bigger picture and facilitate those that do the work,” Huffman said.

Sangha believes that the board is the policymaker for the superintendent and staff.

Lewis said he believed the board’s role was to hire the superintendent and set the standards for the district. He said trustees need to make policies that are reasonable and attainable.

At the conclusion of the interviews and appointment, a number of the trustees urged the unsuccessful candidates to remain active in the school district and apply for the board again in the future.

“It’s great we as a community have people like you to come out,” Silva said. “Please continue your involvement.”

The names of the applicants were provided to the Tracy Press by TUSD officials on Monday, Dec. 31, after a public information request was filed with the school district.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.



At a glance

WHAT: Tracy Unified School District

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3

WHERE: District Education Center board room, 1875 W. Lowell Ave.

DETAILS: President Greg Silva and trustees Jill Costa, Greg Crandall, Walter Gouveia, Ted Guzman and James Vaughn were present.

Comments
(27)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
doorsc
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January 07, 2013
doors17 I could not agree more. In any case BIB needs to remember that not all of us have the time energy and inclination to ramble on and on like he does. The first amendment allows us to disagree and have differing points of view. If someone hates Republicans and calls them retards and wishes them dead, that is free speech in my opinion. The very same freedom has been exercised by the conservatives against liberal women on this very forum. That is their right. Move on.
victor_jm
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January 08, 2013
Many people bravely defend their invective pronouncements as protected by “free speech.” For me, there is something more fundamental to a person’s desire to incessantly use malignant language. This isn’t an issue about free speech, but rather an issue about character and karma.

There is a difference between responsible speech and jejune speech.

oldleathers
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January 08, 2013
victor_jm.......it seems you have found another obscure, uncommonly used word to elevate the perception of your superiority. You have recently used the word jejune on more than one occassion when any of the following would suffice: arid, colorless, drab, dreary, drudging, dry, dull, dusty, flat, heavy, ho-hum, humdrum, jading, boring, leaden, mind-numbing, monochromatic, monotonous, numbing, old, pedestrian, ponderous, slow, stale, stodgy, stuffy, stupid, tame, tedious, tiresome, tiring, uninteresting, wearisome, weary, wearying. By the way I agree with your comment which I am sure is jejune in your opinion.
victor_jm
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January 08, 2013
OldLeathers,

I endeavor to use the best word(s) to express my sentiment. If I thought any of the words you cited was suitable in describing my feelings in regard to the adolescent attitude infused in the language used by some of the readers of this paper with their comments, I would have used one of them, but none of the words you listed expressed my sentiment.

Now, what are you insinuating about me with the comment “to elevate the perception of your superiority”?

A few thoughts: Should we remove the word superiority from our lexicon? May we recognize the superiority of one person over another in regard to a specific capacity? Or is a doctor a doctor a doctor a doctor? That is, are we permitted to evaluate and differentiate the talents of each? Also, should we deem any person’s perception of himself as being superior to another in some capacity as an act of gauche hubris?

I don’t assail your karma (or integrity). I am simply asking a few questions.

doors17
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January 07, 2013
BIB, I’m not looking for a debate on the limitations of the first amendment on free speech, but I’m sure most of us can remember from our high school government classes, that in 1919? Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said “shouting fire in a crowded theater” which was originally used as an example that speech which is false and/or dangerous can be permissible limitations of free speech.

Anyway, using my first amendment right of free speech, I hope all of us while we may disagree on issues can come away with better informed knowledge from learning from the other side and perhaps have a better understanding of each other since how we vote on which side depend our own personal experiences in life that’s different from those we oppose or disagree with.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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January 07, 2013
BIB

Unfortunately it's a sad fact that when a person enterin a debate cannot support his or her arguement with provable facts that person more times than not will twist th topic bein debaited inta a personal attack at his or her debatin opponent in an effort ta discredit his or her opponent an thus win the argument of debate. Don't worry, only th weak of mind can't preceive what is actually happening. In educated circles of society they understand when this happens an respond accordinagly with thair support either through thair contribution ta th arguement or, more importantly, thair support an consarn regarding th government entity being discussed in th debate.

I'll give ya credit fer tryin but with those three yer wastin yer time. Still, others see what's goin on so thair's a sort of a win thair even if ya aren't immediately aware of it.
tracyschooldist
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January 06, 2013


(TOTALLY AWESOME)!

Since the Pledge of Allegiance

And

The Lord's Prayer

Are not allowed in most

Public schools anymore

Because the word 'God' is mentioned....

A kid in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer:

"New Pledge of Allegiance"



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.



Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene..

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all..

In silence alone we must meditate,

God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks...

They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.



We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.

It's 'inappropriate'
tracyschooldist
|
January 06, 2013
to teach right from wrong,

We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong..

We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles..

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school's a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen

ChrisRoberts
|
January 06, 2013
BackInblack:

By now you should know I have no problem "Slandering" anyone. I have done it to the mayor, city council members, Dale Cose, Corrupt members of our "police department", etc, etc.

I have even given my address, multiple times for anyone who has a problem with what I say. Knock on the door and step up.

But you wont do that, will you? Old man? What you scared of? Me and my Vietnam vet father? Oh yea, you should be!
PublicCitizen
|
January 08, 2013
I bet your Vietnam vet father is so proud of you.
doorsc
|
January 06, 2013
lovinlife wrote and I quote:

"doorsc,

Tracy is racist. So it's no surprise the the major employers here still are. They keep old folks in there as long as they can to keep tradition alive. I would encourage you to do your own thing and grow big but those old timers will just shoot it down if it isn't quit white enough. Good luck in 2013 anyhow."

So where is the outrage by BIB and dcose and other right wingers over this comment?

I can't help but join DD in saying they have a vendetta against liberal women on this site.
doorsc
|
January 06, 2013
Even as one who does not post regularly I could not help but notice how DD and BIB are using this site to have some kind of personal battle. I wish you would both take it outside. Also, not to take sides, but it does seem that some new priorly unheard of names pop up just when BIB is taking on DD. I am not paranoid yet it did seem strange to me that this happened only where BIB and DD are 'sword penciling' which is often. I would not find it strange at all if BIB was creating new names to say the same thing over and over. They are becoming like an old record and it is giving the rest of us a headache. I urge both to back off. I think we all need to move on. My two cents.
backinblack
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January 06, 2013
DD, Your apparent paranoia is again on display. For about the tenth time I do not need multiple screen names to post comments, I use one, backinblack.

It seems you cannot accept the fact others are also getting tired of your hate mongering, derogatory, and oft times libelous comments which almost always break the Tracy Press rules posted below. They also seem to be getting tired of the Tracy Press staff doing absolutley nothing to enforce their rules to make this a more civil discussion board.

With very comment you continue to prove my point about your hate mongering and worthless comments.
loveoutdoorphotography
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January 05, 2013
Regarding the article, if he is the right person for the job then let him join. And I think he is James Vaughn even voted for him.

I do think debdaves' comment about the decision is another baseless again and biased comment as is her custom. But no surprises there. And ChrisRoberts I did not expect any differently either.

No substance. I am just glad to see people ask debdaves to show support for her position because in doing so the readers have the opportunity to ascertain that debdaves and ChrisRoberts and doorsc are making moot points and backing it up with no points at all.
doorsc
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January 05, 2013
DD, Christ Roberts and others, please do not respond to BIB anymore. He is sucking the air out of this site. Like a spit fire, let's just not give him any more air. Goodbye.
doorsc
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January 05, 2013
BIB for someone who dislikes the Tracy Press site you sure seem to spend a lot of time and energy on it. Are you a bored, retired person with nothing else going on in your life? I happen to agree with DD. You do sound like a loser.
backinblack
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January 05, 2013
debbdaves, Once again you take my comments out of context or simply do not comprehend things I write. I never indicated calling republicans retarded is slander. By the way, in case you missed it retard is one of the words the mostly liberal PC crowd does not want used any longer.

I will give you an example of a libelous comment, for the record libel applies to the written word, slander is for the spoken word.

dcose is a person who uses his actual name, he is a known entity. When you call him a rascist which you've done, you damn well better be able to prove it. Otherwise, you have committed libel. If Dale could prove your claim was baseless and caused him some sort of damage, you would have a big problem sister. To wit:



li·bel

[ lb'l ]

1.defamation: a false and malicious published statement that damages somebody's reputation.

2.attacking of somebody's reputation: the making of false and damaging statements about somebody

Again, the facts are on my side. Welcome to the world of the enlightened.

CR, doorsc, and debbdaves, ready to debate the First Amendment? My challenge still stands.
backinblack
|
January 05, 2013
debbdaves, Thanks for proving the point I've been trying to make to the cowards at the Tracy Press. There are people here, you being one of them, who have no interest in civil public discourse. For the umpteenth time I have layed out a simple challenge to you and for the umpteenth time you come back, not with a lucid comment supporting your belief, but rather more childish personal attacks.

I'm pretty sure neither doorsc or CR will step up to the plate either. Seems to me the only people who's nerves I'm getting on are the ones who have a terribly wayward interpretation of the First Amendment. They are also the people who are the perpetraitors of the kind of hate mongering, derogatory & oft times libelous comments the cowards at the Tracy Press should ban. Gee, seems no different than people who break the law then complaining about getting a ticket or being arrested, yea, it's the fault of those dastardly police.

By the way, your blinders must be a little tight as there are quite a few comments supporting my challenge to the gutless wonders at the TP to clean up this websites comment section which has become a pathetic example of the regression of our society.
backinblack
|
January 04, 2013
I see CR has decided to enter the fray. Ok Chris, I now challenge you to a debate. If our constitutional right to free speech has no limits, why do we have libel & slander law?

Your turn.
backinblack
|
January 04, 2013
doorsc, Heated debate? Heated debate does not entail name calling, personal attacks, or profanity. Heated debate is good point, good counter point, maybe if face to face a raising of voices. The second one party starts with personal attacks they have lost.

You seem, I repeat seem to be of the same mentality as debbdaves. Tell you what, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try debating you to see how it goes.

debbdaves and apparently you seem to believe the First Amendment has no limitations. Fine. I maintain the First Amendment has limitations. To back up my belief I present you with the fact we have libel & slander law so that in itself proves I'm right and you in addition to debbdaves are wrong.

Your turn.
doorsc
|
January 04, 2013
I for one enjoy this site. I think it is okay to express your opinion. I don't know why Backinblack is so worked up. I agree with DD. If you can't bear healthy, even heated debate, you should leave this site. I don't think the Tracy Press should tone it down, anyone who does not like it can leave. Mr Black needs to take a valium and read a good novel. Free country it is!

"Thank you for your kind concern, BIB, disguised. Yes this country needs help. It needs to get away from the Republican agenda. Remember the christians who used to burn witches for being witches? I bet you hate homosexuals too, and Romney's binders full to women. Anyone who is pro choice, or liberal, is seen as needing godly intervention by the likes of holy men. I think the world would be a better place without these holy men. They need help. Why don't you go shoot some pigeons or something or sleep with your first cousin and make another baby, to feel better? Welcome to Tracy."

Read more: Tracy Press - His Voice Congress must pass reasonable gun control
backinblack
|
January 04, 2013
DD, By the way, try putting aside your hate for one minute and explain why we have libel & slander laws if the First Amendment is a no holds barred free for all.

For the last time, you cannot say whatever you want about whoever you want, that is a fact.

Get it?
ChrisRoberts
|
January 04, 2013
Unless you are a lawyer shut up and stop telling people how to excersize their constitutional rights.

Now go fill up your pick up truck with 4.00 gas and be quiet.
debbdaves
|
January 04, 2013
Yet another white guy appointed....welcome to Tracy.
doorsc
|
January 04, 2013
Walter Gouveia's wife worked for Sangha's campaign, and now her husband is the only one who voted for her. Does anyone smell a rat here?
jtashjian
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January 05, 2013
Sure seems fishy. Board members should not vote based on personal relationships. Especially to vote for a person who appears to want to get elected to something - anything. Other than running and loosing in multiple elections, what qualifications does Sangha have to be on the school board? As a matter of fact, If Gouveia's wife was close to Sangha, Gouviea should have abstained from voting. Based on his complete lack of ethics, I beleive I will run against Guviea next time for the school board.


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