FAIRFIELD — A fine balance of communication with the public is required for school board members, a Fairfield-Suisun School District trustee said Monday at a candidates workshop.
“We’re armed with a lot of facts,” John Silva said of school district trustees. “Most of what the public is armed with is pure hearsay.”
“Maybe you can make them understand something they didn’t know,” he said.
His statements were part of a workshop that won praise from people who attended the event – including three Vallejo residents who said no such assistance is available in southern Solano County.
“It’s a great community service,” said Shelee Loughmiller, who attended the workshop with John Lewis and Ruscal Cayangyang.
Nov. 4 is the first time candidates for the Fairfield-Suisun School District will be elected by trustee area rather than at large.
Robert Lucky, who has filed with the Solano County Registrar of Voters for Trustee Area 4 on the Fairfield-Suisun school board, said he welcomed the insights at the workshop.
Ricky Horton, who is considering a run in Trustee Area 7 and attended the workshop, said he expects to decide by Friday whether he’ll run.
David Isom, president of the board of trustees, took out nomination documents July 14 for the Area 7 but has not yet filed for election, according to the Solano County Registrar of Voters website.
Joyce Oren, who also took out nomination documents for Area 7, has said she decided against running.
Bethany Smith, who said she plans to run in 2016 for Trustee Area 1, said the relationship between the school board and the superintendent was among the insightful discussions Monday.
“It was great,” she said of the workshop.
Trustee Pat Shamansky said school board members are policymakers, not managers. Trustee Judi Honeychurch added: “It’s very easy to micromanage.”
The superintendent is the conduit between the school board and district employees – and the person to contact with information people may provide trustees, Honeychurch said.
“She can decide who needs to see this, if anybody does,” Honeychurch said of the superintendent. “The superintendent is the person to go to all the time.”
Superintendent Kris Corey, who attended the workshop, won praise from trustees.
Honeychurch noted a range of issues, including Common Core and new assessment methods called Smarter Balance, that the school district has faced this year.
“She’s been phenomenal in her ability to handle that much responsibility in her first year,” Shamansky said. “She continues to do an incredible job.”
Silva, speaking about political contributions during a campaign, said: “It’s a very popular belief that every politician is owned by whoever puts in the money.”
“But that’s not really true,” Silva said.
The political action committees that contribute move on to the next election, he said.
Shamansky said of school board service and the reports on agenda items: “You read and you read and you read.”
Filing for Fairfield-Suisun school board seats is at the Solano County Registrar of Voters, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield. Filing began July 14 and ends Aug. 8. Candidates must be 18 years old, a resident of the trustee area they seek to represent, a registered voter and not employed by the Fairfield-Suisun district.
Seats representing Areas 7, 5 and 4 are up for election Nov. 4.
Trustee Area 7 includes Clay Bank Road and part of Air Base Parkway. Area 5 includes Sunset Avenue and East Kentucky Street. Texas Street and Travis Boulevard are part of Area 4.
Residents can go to www.solanocounty.com/depts/rov/ and type in their address to determine the trustee area where they reside, or call the registrar’s office at 784-6675.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.