The Gazette has found itself in the middle of a heated controversy between the School District and the teachers union for the past several weeks.
This week we have begun to focus on this confrontation with a story which is expected to continue for several more weeks. At question is the fairness of school district budget cuts, relating to teacher’s salaries and lay-offs.
I regret that a letter by Fillmore Unified School District Board President John Garnica, received this morning, was too late for publication.
Mr. Garnica’s letter is a rebuttal to statements made by teacher’s union President Theresa Marvel in last week’s Gazette. Garnica, challenging some facts, claims the article is only biased opinion, not news, and that neither the school board nor the District were provided an opportunity to counter Marvel’s claims. He denies the accuracy of salary figures in Marvel’s statements as well as well as claims of unfairness in salary cuts and lay-offs.
The Gazette may have been negligent in failing to provide a formal invitation to respond, but the opportunity was certainly there, and every District and Board member knew of the story.
My apologies to Board and District members who feel this was unfair. The Gazette was dealing with some bizarre issues while interviewing a number of parties to this story. In any event, the Gazette encourages all members on both sides of this debate to contribute to a better public understanding of the issues. Many facts remain in dispute.
Mr. Garnica’s letter raises several issues of fact itself, and will be published in next week’s Gazette.
At Tuesday’s Council Meeting, Ms. Ann Ray, a resident of Riverwalk, complained that speeding traffic on Burlington Street was endangering the lives of many children who play in the adjacent area. She also told the council that the park was badly maintained. Sprinklers were broken, causing a swamp-like condition which was a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The grass area was in very poor condition as well, with rocks and weeds.
An inspection Wednesday proved her complaints to be correct. Something should be done to clean-up the area.