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Speak Up: Questions for Local Election Candidates

Pose questions for the candidates for Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board of Education and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Board of Directors.

With Election Day less than two months away — and sooner for you early voters — it's becoming increasingly important to know more about these candidates and their plans.

For school board, four candidates — Chuck Rogge (incumbent), Belia Martinez, David Jonas and Thomas McLaughlin — are vying for two seats.

For the park district's board of directors, two candidates — Bob Coomber and Mark Thrailkill — are vying for one open seat. Incumbents Steve Goodman and Beth Wilson are both running unopposed.

In order to make your decision at the polls just a little easier, we'll be reaching out to all candidates to have them answer your questions. So ask away!

Post questions in the comments below and tell us what race (school board or park district) it's directed to. After we've racked up enough questions, we will relay them to the candidates in an interview.

Darwinian Justice September 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM
To the school board candidates: how would you have voted on Livermore Valley Charter School's charter petition that was submitted this year? What is your position on charter schools? And if you did have the ability to vote for the charter petition, how did you vote?
Mr. Pickles September 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Ha! None of these candidates would vote in favor Charter school in our community. Doing so would undo the state's monopoly hold on education. The teachers union would go berserk. And any candidate that favored a charter school could expect to be flogged and pilloried.
Kathleen Schoening September 21, 2012 at 02:29 AM
To the school board candidates, are you pro choice for education?
JoAnne September 23, 2012 at 03:35 PM
To the park board candidates: We have been told that park operation would be more efficient if it was under city leadership, why do you value LARPD being independent? How would you deal with a possible hostile city takeover?
20 yr Livermore Citizen September 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM
What party are you affiliated with? Both park district and school board.
John Garzo September 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Why do you support or not support props 30 or 38? Reasoning behind it, and what happens to Livermore Schools after the election. I don't really care how you will vote as a person, but it gives insight into your views on fiscal responsibility.
George S September 24, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I voted for Laureen and now I am deeply disurbed by this revelation. Not quite the public servant she made herself out to be.
Tom Ness September 25, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Gray is not being paid by the city, he is collecting the earnings that he made by years of pensions payments from his employer and himself a long time ago, the city is no longer paying for him, plus he is not the norm, he was a chief. Second you bash turner for taking medical benefits, you have to give them some kind of incentive, their job is not part time, I am sure they put in a lot more then part time work and anywhere they go in town people know who they are. They are not paid much for the work they do. If its so great, Maurice why don't you run for the seat, oh yea cause you just sit on the Internet and bash others.
Alan Heckman September 25, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Regarding Prop 30 & 38 The LVJUSD board discussed and voted on two resolutions on September 18, one to support 30 and one to support 38. Incumbents Chuck Rogge and Belia Martinez spoke and voted on the resolutions. Challenger David Jonas gave his position as part of public input. I think Thomas McLaughlin either was not there or else did not speak. David Jonas does not support 30 and supports 38 Chuck Rogge does not support 30 and supports 38 Belie Martinez supports 30 and does not support 38 The 30 vote passed 3-2 with Chuck Rogge dissenting The 38 Passed 4-1 with Belie Martinez dissenting Even though they both passed, it was clear that support was tepid at best. Prop 30 had an unreliable income stream, Prop 38 raises taxes too much. And no board member trusts the legislature to keep from "shifting around" funds so that in the future there will be no net benefit to schools from either proposition. Chuck Rogge and David Jonas did their homework and had a lot to say, Belia did not contribute much at all. The most intelligent remark came from the student representative who asked if the LVJUSD vote mattered at all. Here is the unfiltered clip of this part of the meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbEpX9TBGp4
David Jonas October 01, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Thanks for the interest in the School Board election. I hope to have the opportunity to serve our community as a Trustee. Please visit my website www.jonas-on-board.org to learn about my background and positions on key issues, including charter schools and propositions 30 & 38. Also, feel free to contact me at davidjonas@comcast.net or 925.315.6826 with any questions. There are two upcoming candidates' events: The Parent Club Information Council (PCIC) is hosting a candidates' forum on October 9, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the school district board room, located 685 East Jack London Boulevard in Livermore. Livermore Valley Charter Prep (LVCP - Livermore's charter high school) is hosting a "Meet the Candidate Night" on Wednesday, October 17, at 7PM at LVCP, located at 2451 Portola Avenue in LIvermore. Also, Tri-Valley Community Television (TVCTC) recorded a candidates' forum on Saturday, September 29. The program will be aired multiple times starting on about October 8, and will also be available for streaming. Visit the TVCTV website (www.tri-valleytv.org/) for details. Thank you, David Jonas
Darwinian Justice October 01, 2012 at 09:30 PM
That is the biggest load of crap I've heard today, Tom. I volunteer within the community and don't expect my insurance needs to be covered. It's called COMMUNITY SERVICE. If that is what it takes for her to perform this task, she's not in the job for the right reasons. If it truly is a full-time job, by all means post your schedule, Laureen. What are you doing for 8 hours today? Can you tell us that you've performed 160 hours of work in the past month for the city of Livermore? I'm not sure who is the biggest tool here: Laureen person doing part-time work for full-time benefits, or you for bashing someone on the internet while simultaneously using that same term as a pejorative for others.
Laureen Turner October 08, 2012 at 07:02 PM
George, I am sorry to disappoint. When I chose to run for council, I went part time at the hospital in order to have the time to serve the city. I did not know what the time commitment was fully and wanted to do a good job. Due to that, I lost my benefits, knowing full well that as an exempt employee, they were offered through the city. To this day, I struggle with that decision but it is water under the bridge. It is something I did and something I can not take back. I have changed employment and now receive benefits through my employer and have dropped the city benefits. However, the bigger question goes to you, the voter, the citizen and tax payer. Should city government receive full time benefits? That is the question for the citizens. This is a topic that will be discussed tonight at city council. I hope to see many of you there to voice your opinions. I personally am torn. Yes, it is a lot of money. However, in talking with past mayors and council members, these benefits have been invaluable to many. As a voter do you want a city council member with a "part time" mentality or one who sees the position as a full time responsibility ?
Laureen Turner October 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Mr Duenas, I have answered your question countless times - as promised. I did not do a blog but addressed your questions as well as offered to meet you in person to discuss city council compensation.
JoAnne October 08, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Since the expense of democracy is on the table in the form of prop W & prop X, maybe this is also the time to evaluate the cost of council and mayor.

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