Coastsider endorses John Moseley for school board


Posted by on Wed, October 22, 2008

It’s easy to endorse John Moseley for the board of the Cabrillo Unified School District.  He has shown dedication to the board, puts the education of our children ahead of all other priorities, is easy to work with, and has managed to remain a centrist in a polarized environment.

John proved his level-headedness this summer, when he alone among the school board’s members voted against a resolution of support for AB1991—Half Moon Bay’s bailout bill that enriched a single developer by exchanging decades of environmental protections for cash. John didn’t express an opinion one way or the other on the bill, but he did say that the vote would unnecessarily polarize the community.  This is a commonsense position that demonstrates that John’s sole priority is the district and its students.

The job of the board is to hire and supervise the district’s superintendent. The superintendent runs the district and sets the policies, which should serve one purpose: the education of the community’s children. The board member’s fiduciary duty is to make sure the superintendent spends the taxpayers’ education money wisely. The board should be made up of smart, hardworking, representative people who are not confused about their duty and who—whenever possible—avoid running amok.

I recommend you vote only for John Moseley although there is one other open position on the board and two other candidates.

In the 2006 CUSD board election I said you should only vote for Ken Johnson if you felt the need to vote for every open position on the ballot. I’m more certain of this in 2008 than in 2006.  Ken is a better gadfly than he would be a board member. Ken has always been more ready to offer criticisms than concrete proposals for improving the schools, and that is my principal reason for not endorsing him. This year, he also showed poor judgment this year in squatting on the expired "" domain with a website that suggested he was running with John Moseley, but that’s merely a sideshow.

Incumbent Charlie Gardner is a self-described "infrastructure advocate" who is on the board of a pro-development advocacy organization on the Coastside, plumped for the controversial Big Wave development while other CUSD board members were fighting for a parcel tax, has been working tirelessly for a wrong-headed highway bypass to solve traffic problems created in part by the school district, vigorously defends the CUSD’s divisive vote to support AB1991, has worked behind the scenes on various other development projects.  I don’t believe Charlie understands the depth of the conflict of interest between his desire for more development on the Coastside and the needs of our school district.

Vote for John Moseley on Nov 4, and feel good about your decision. And then ask yourself why don’t more qualified moderates run for our school board?

Barry forgot to mention Charles Gardner’s complicity in the sleazy anonymous attack advertisement against Jonathan Lundell in the 2004 school board election:

Gardner and Anonymous Attack Advertisement

Comment 2
Wed, October 22, 2008 6:48pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

As far as I know, no one has demonstrated Charlie knew anything about the ad, although both he and John Moseley were the intended beneficiaries.

I’m on the record as saying the ad was reprehensible and it was sufficient to disqualify Jolanda and Kirk Riemer (who were on the hit team that created and placed the ad anonymously in the Review) for membership on the board, in the editorial I linked from 2006:


Comment 3
Wed, October 22, 2008 7:04pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Here’s a bit of inside baseball for all you CUSD fans. Ken Jones, the millionaire who has funded most of the members of Wavecrest-loving school boards is a big donor to something called the Heartland Values PAC.  It appears to be designed to re-elect Republicans to the Senate:




Jones also donated to Romney, McCain, and Obama—in that order. The man knows how to read a poll.

One other historical note:

In 2004, Lew Cohen (then the campaign manager for CUSD candidate John Moseley) had Amity Scholars from the Hatch Elementary Spanish Immersion Program doing precinct walking to pass out campaign materials for Moseley and Charles Gardner.

The Amity Scholars program is sponsored by a 501(3)c non profit organization which is not supposed to engage in political activities.

The precinct walking continued even after a Hatch parent called Mr. Cohen to point out that it was not appropriate (or even legal). At the time, Mr Cohen was a member of the advisory board for the Amity Scholars program.

So that’s our local school board. And people wonder why five straight parcel tax votes have been defeated?

I disagree with Barry on the endorsement. It’s time for some new blood on the board. Ken Johnson obviously knows the facts regarding the serious academic achievement problems at CUSD—much more than the current board members.

Ken would bring a different perspective but would still remain a single vote against four entrenched, beholden school board members.

While I understand why Barry has taken the position that he has, I don’t agree with it.  Here’s why.  First let’s assume that everyone votes for John Mosely—doing so is a no-brainer.  Then if you agree that Charlie Gardner is not an appropriate school board member, the arithmetic of 3 candidates for two seats is that if you vote only for Mosely, clearly he’ll win and we have to analyze what happens with the other seat.  Charlie is obviously popular for some reason, so Ken is the underdog from the word “go”.  The only way to get Charlie off the school board is for everyone who agrees that he shouldn’t be there to vote for both John and Ken.

Even if Ken is arguably a gadfly, I’m still convinced that he cares more about the schools than most of the school board members in the 14 years I’ve lived here.  Most of them were/are more interested in pushing development than in running a good school system.

And yes, (from what I read) Ken’s web stunt was tacky.  Nobody’s perfect.  Vote for John and Ken if you want to have any hope of the school board getting out of pro-development politics in order to focus on improving the schools.

It’s kind of interesting to recall the 2004 CUSD election.

The big issue back then was the Wavecrest Middle School which both Gardner and Moseley were supporting. And of course, the HMB Review did its best to slant things in their favor.

2004:// The Review’s Bias Shows in CUSD Election

Gardner and Moseley won the election, but Wavecrest was not to be. I can’t think of anything that the two incumbents have accomplished in the last four years, yet they are asking to be re-elected.

Comment 7
Fri, October 24, 2008 11:59am
All my comments

Barry, I’m sure you must have just overlooked mentioning the “concrete proposals for improving the schools” that justified your endorsement of John Moseley over Ken Johnson.

The CUSD board could have benefited from at least one gadfly on the board for many years now. I’ll be voting for the gadfly, Ken Johnson.


Maybe Moseley’s “concrete proposal” was expressed at the last School Board meeting - after the APR/Testing Results (Accountability Progress Report)”? As close as I could get it, the proposal was that ‘since the District has never met the academic standards they should just stop trying!’

Ken Johnson

Leonard and Kevin,

Charlie Gardner did the math and took his victory lap a week after the endorsement with publicly announcing CUSD’s next land use involvement -
_Sell off the current administrative and school site for a hotel and restaurant and buy the Podesta property. He hasn’t said who will pay for the new construction.

He understands the effect of Barry’s endorsement of vote only for Moseley: Re-Election of Gardner and Moseley.

Didn’t anyone see the endorsement advertisement of Gardner and Moseley by PCF-CCF? [PCF Put Construction First]

Ken Johnson

Comment 10
Tue, November 4, 2008 10:48am
Ken Johnson
All my comments

“Et tu, Brute?” - Barry,

We will have to agree to disagree about the facts and the results. I think the School Board and District needs Change and apparently you don’t.

Four years ago I read your endorsement. I also looked at the Garner and Moseley Smart Voter pages and their websites, ElectGardener and ElectMoseley dot com - they were all the same, put up by the same person. Then I found a single ‘door hanger’ on my front door for Garner and Moseley running like twins!

I cast a single vote for Jonathan Lundell only! Too many did otherwise and all on the Coastside have suffered since.

I attended a school Board meeting where a retiring Board member, Ruth Palmer (1992-2004), was verbally assaulting Jonathan for running for the School Board without children in the district.  First time I have ever seen someone criticized for not having a conflict of interest. You see, Ruth joined the board to see extra service for her special needs child and was leaving the board because legally the child was no longer eligible, tho she sought more services.

Re-read YOUR endorsement for Pam Fisher - might it be better with out the ‘however’ paragraph?

There are only three end states:
1 Johnson - Moseley—My preference
2 Garner - Moseley—Your preference
3 Johnson - Garner—not numerically possible
and as pointed out, a ‘spot’ vote, vote for Ken Johnson only,  Is the only way to change CUSD

Moseley was the top vote getter four years ago, and will be the top this time, endorsed by the Charlie’s mythical CCF-PCF and LCP !

The Review I understand, they want Gardner and Moseley - If I was running unopposed, they would endorse “Write In” They like things as they are!

Barry, Is this a new ‘Don’t Change a thing about the School District”? You need to attend more than one meeting in four years.

Jonathan L should be running for re-election and Pam F should be on the board.

The ElectGardener and ElectMoseley dot com issue: and your mischaricataion:
- both registrations expired years ago
- their smart voter pages were copied from four years ago for both Gardener and Moseley to this years pages with the links to ElectGardener and ElectMoseley still in place
- it was months into the campaign and neither were registered for the campaign by them
- I registered the ElectMoseley in a stupid moment - it was publicly registered with no attempt to hide registration
BUT unlike chariction, I put up precisely what I was supporting, “Elect Moseley” with a quick cartoon like script saying Elect Moseley and Johnson’.  If a sign is put on a front yard it says the person who put up the sign hopes the person is elected not that that candidate endorses them.
Gardener and Moseley Smartvoter sites soon had removed the links to the deceased ElectGardener and ElectMoseley sites.
The only link to the ElectMoseley site was from Moseley’s Smartvoter site.
I made no attempt to set links to the site.
On my part, it was a simple stupid prank.
Moseley made NO attempt to contact me!
I simply forgot about it.
He never mentioned it to me at the School Board meeting.
Then weeks later, simultaneously, snarky Clay put the post up you referenced and an email was sent to my campaign ‘support’ site requesting the ‘page be brought down’
As soon as I got the email, I put a ‘blue screen’ to the site. And confirmed it in a reply email.
I also sent an apology to John Moseley and offered to change the ‘A’ record to point to his host site, transfer or host a site for him.
Snaky Clay acknowledges that he got it wrong about his key claims!
Neither Gardener nor Moseley Smartvoter sites link to any web site - check it all out!

As to your: “why don’t more qualified moderates run for our school board?” You might start to answer your question be re-reading and analyzing your endorsement strategy.

I ran a candidate search for more than six months before the election and there was a parallel effort by CUSD teachers - I am the only one I could talk into it. I didn’t want to see Charlie Gardner run an unopposed victory lap. When that happened for the HMB City Council it collectively cost us who live in HMB $20,000,000.

As to my “concrete proposals” - you might try reading Coastsider.Com!

Later, we can sit around the campfire - you can sing Kumbaya and I’ll bring the marshmallows, my ‘Kabar’ firmly gripped between my teeth.

Ken Johnson

Barry Parr deserves far better than my prior comment. To say I regret it is an understatement.
Ken Johnson

Thank you for your apology, Ken. I want start by saying that I voted for you.

Coastsider endorsements can’t be objective, but they’re about more than who Barry’s voting for. They’re about the candidates for whom I feel I can make a convincing argument to someone who doesn’t know me, except from what they read on Coastsider.

I’m still having trouble making the case for you, although I confess it would have been fun to inflict you on certain members of the current board.  But this can’t just be about voting for you because you’re not Charlie.

As far as I’m concerned, the whole issue is a sideshow.  You showed poor judgement, but didn’t exhibit the kind of maliciousness we’ve seen from Schreuers, Riemer and Mickelsen in the past.

I admire your dedication to our community schools, but I want to see better and more electable candidates for the CUSD board. Both Pam Fisher and Jonathan Lundell were able to get within about ten percent of the votes needed to win. I don’t think anyone can win without that kind of grassroots support.