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Letter: School board member asked to resign and stand for election 

letter to the editor

To the editor,

– At the last Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Supervisors meeting, Joel Peterson was asked to resign and stand for election. He could run in the same special election for the at-large position that Kenney Enney is currently running for. This would save the taxpayers an additional $500,000 for a recall election that is surely going to happen. The proponents of the petition that removed Kenney Enney from his position on the school board commented that it was unfair that Mr. Enney was appointed. They wanted voters to have a chance to express their will. However, when it comes to Joel Peterson who was appointed to Trustee Area 2 by default, they hypocritically oppose the very same thing. Liberals pretend to be concerned about democracy, individual rights, freedom, and voting rights but they practice something entirely different.

PRJUSD was carved up to accommodate the Voting Rights Act. Ironically every single person in Trustee Area 2 was intentionally deprived of their right to vote on the position of trustee. Hunter Breese who would like to represent Trustee Area 2 and his supporters collected 140 signatures to have Joel Peterson stand for election. This was done in a matter of hours. Not one person I talked to was aware that Joel Peterson was appointed or that they were even in Trustee Area 2. Joel Peterson needs to resign and let the voters have a chance to decide whether or not they want him. He refused to allow voters to make that choice.

The state and federal constitutions guarantee free and fair elections. A free and fair election requires candidates, free flow of information, a secret ballot and an honest accounting of ballots. None of this happened in Trustee Area 2. Yet Curt Dubost, some members of the school board, and Joel Peterson all maintain that he is legally elected to the position. This shows you how little regard these people have for the rule of law, voters, democracy, and the constitution. The Education Code, the Elections Code, and Government Code cannot violate the state and federal constitution and you can find opinions that state laws that do so are null and void. This is the advice that Lozano and Smith, the lawyers for the County Board of Education, should be giving Dr. Brescia. And it is ironic that the liberals who pushed for a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday ignore his advice that unconstitutional laws should not be obeyed, especially ones that deprive people of voting rights.

One of the big qualifications for the school board is the ability to handle finances, administer a budget and make wise personnel choices. The last time Joel Peterson was on the school board he actively welcomed the disgraced Chris Williams, failed to exercise proper oversight and the result was a fiscal disaster. Having him back on the board sets a horrible precedent because it means that no one needs to be held accountable for disqualifiers to sit on the board. This is what happens when ideological liberals are in charge. Taxpayer money is wasted, failure is rewarded, voters are disenfranchised and a double standard is forced on the electorate. I would bet if a conservative held that position right now a recall movement would be immediately underway by the liberals and progressives. And they would not care a bit about the cost of the election to the school district.

I take the constitution seriously. My degree is in political science and I studied politics and law at one of the top political science departments in the country. I know that constitutional principles of free and fair elections plus due process were violated in administering the school board in Paso Robles. If we do not stand up for the Constitution we will be no better than a so-called banana republic and our laws will mean nothing.

The honorable thing to do is for Joel Peterson to resign and let voters have their say. After all, the point was to accommodate the Voting Rights Act supported by liberals. But when the same principles liberals used to pass voting rights are applied against them they do not care. And it is exactly because of this callous disregard of the rule of law and double standard that Joel Peterson needs to do the honorable thing. It is a win-win situation. He wins by proving he has the character to serve in public office and the voters get a choice.

Please stand up to the bureaucrats who violate the constitution, let them know how you feel and come to a PRJUSD board meeting and ask for Joel Peterson to resign and run. Hunter Breese is all set to go against him so voters will have a clear choice. Democracy is under attack by the liberals and this is the time to stand up for your rights. The fact that these people want to control your children’s education is very concerning. What they are teaching by kids by their actions is that it is ok to break the law when it benefits you, it is ok to violate people’s voting rights, it is ok for bureaucrats to shape the board in secret and that there is no problem rewarding your friends with taxpayer money when they are not able to perform their jobs.

Let’s instead teach kids that the Constitution is the foundation of our Republic, bureaucrats are not our masters, that successful stewardship of taxpayer money should be a qualification for public service. Let’s also teach kids that the right thing to do when asked is to step down and run for office when you have been appointed to a position in violation of the law. Please attend a board meeting. During general comments ask our leaders to do the right thing. Also email Dr. Brescia, County Superintendent of Schools, at jbrescia@slocoe.org and let him know that you are not happy with this situation.

-Gary Lehrer
Templeton

 

 


Editor’s note: Opinion pieces and letters to the editor are the personal opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here.

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