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Moorpark Schools Are Just Fine

June 25, 1988

I've quietly watched as the turmoil over union negotiations and the old high school site has raged over Moorpark. And while these issues certainly are important, they have become so consumed with emotion that we've all lost sight of the fact that Moorpark schools are good. They are very good, and this has occurred as a direct result of foresight and planning.

Three of the four board members who are under the threat of recall have served on the board for three to 11 years. Under their direction, Moorpark schools have met the challenge of rapid growth and have steadily improved with each new challenge. Moorpark has grown dramatically since I moved here five years ago and, since that time, three elementary schools have opened, the new high school is in the planning stages for Mountain Meadows West, and site review is in process for a new middle school.

The outstanding teachers (and I do believe we have outstanding teachers in Moorpark) came to this district as a direct result of the dedication and planning by the school board and district staff.

The emotional conflicts of union negotiations and disposition of the school site will soon pass simply by virtue of their very nature. But the repercussions of a recall will long prevail. This proposed recall, if successful, would leave us with a board with the most senior member possessing less than one year's experience as a trustee.

A growing school district requires planning, fiscal responsibility, experience and a consistency of action. Our current board provides that. Moorpark schools did not suddenly change. Instead, these two emotion-packed issues emphasize how seldom major conflicts occur in this district. Life is not devoid of conflict and neither is any position of authority. Let's not talk about removing public officials from office until they have a chance to settle the issue before the community. A recall is a measure that should be enacted only as a final resource when all else fails. A recall is for gross malfeasance. This is not the case here.

It is important to separate the emotion of two specific issues from the entire education process. By not signing the recall petition, you are voting that you believe Moorpark schools are good.

Carefully consider the cost--not just the $12,000 election cost (a cost borne totally by the school district), but the long-range effect it will have on our schools and on our children and on the city of Moorpark. Let's join together to make this work rather than selecting vengeful quick fixes that could have serious long-term consequences.

The issue requires careful thought. Contact the board members if you question their actions, but please don't sign the recall petition.

RICHARD TATE

Moorpark

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