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Two hope to fill Richard Jones’ seat on Lodi Unified School District board

George Neely, Dana Ann Baker running to represent Area 3

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Dana Ann Baker

George Neely

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 6:10 am, Tue Oct 12, 2010.

Both Dana Ann Baker and George Neely hope Lodi Unified School District voters want to see change.

The two candidates are vying for the Area 3 seat on the school board.

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16 comments:

  • Bob Silvano posted at 1:43 pm on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    Bob Silvano Posts: 145

    Dana,
    As I've asked George many times, unfortunately without a satisfactory answer, I'm still waiting ! I've asked you the same question I've asked George. How EXACTLY do you plan to solve the problems that Lodi Unified has to deal with now, and in the future? I'm impressed that you recognize the issues before you, but we all do. What we don't know is how you intend to solve these issues. I have no trust, at this point, in either one of you, as you are both pro union, and that automatically biases you toward the union position, which is never in the best interest of the public, or education. At least George attempted to give me an answer, which was nothing more than another position paper, but at least he attempted. Can you do any better? WHAT ARE THE EXACT SOLUTIONS YOU WILL APPLY TO SOLVE THE DISTRICT'S ISSUES ?

     
  • Bob Silvano posted at 6:50 pm on Tue, Oct 19, 2010.

    Bob Silvano Posts: 145

    Neither of these candidates will be representing the best interests of the voters, parents, and students of Lodi Unified. They will simply be providing the unions a puppet to be manipulated at their direction. I’ve asked George Neely many many times for his PLAN to bring the district back to the status it once held as one of the superior school districts in California. The only thing he has ever responded with is reiteration of the problems we all know exist, a position paper, or reference to his website, which he claims has all the answers, but in fact, only restates his position on the problems and provides NO answers whatsoever. Through this media, I would ask his opponent the same question. How EXACTLY do you plan to solve the problems affecting Lodi Unified? I don’t need nor want a position paper. I want to know what your solutions are. If you guys (sorry, generic reference only) REALLY have the answers, we would sure like to know what they are.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:41 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    A leader should distance themselves from anything that even appears to be a conflict of interest
    I this situation is far more than an appearance of conflict of interest.

    To me, this is a conflict of interest because a union president’s interests are contrary to her loyalty to school board. Obviously, unions want money from the board. Dana, having many friends and relationships in the union itself, would have a conflict in making an independent decision especially if it adversely affected the union.

     
  • David Brown posted at 8:41 am on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    David Brown Posts: 4

    A leader should distance themselves from anything that even appears to be a conflict of interest. Being a member of a union or holding a job teaching may not be a conflict of interest or may be one that can be managed. In the grand scheme of things these are both relatively minor as compared to being active in union leadership but it is only a truly naïve leader who believes that they can ‘manage’ any conflict of interest. Mr. Neely intimately understands this and has made it clear to me on several occasions even before all the publicity started that he planned to resign as a teacher if he were to be elected. In order to establish confidence in LUSD again and turn around the current financial situation we need leadership at all levels who are 100% focused on nothing else besides the education of our children. There should be zero conflicts either real or perceived where LUSD leadership has a stake in any other organizations or activities that have financial ties to LUSD in any way. We need someone in place who will set those standards and enforce them throughout the rest of the LUSD leadership team.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:43 pm on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I think Dana’s friend said it best. Dana's long time commitment to the Union is not a conflict of interest, but rather an experience that George Neely lacks. I am thankful that Mr Neely lacks that experience.
    Can you imagine the bias and favoritism Dana would give the union if Dana’s friend is correct?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:38 pm on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Good point Linda, however, Mr. Neely has committed publically to resigning his position as teacher if elected, to avoid this conflict of interest and devote his full attention to making the relations between the union and school board more compatible . However, even if Dana resigned her teaching position, which she has not said she will, as president of a union, she is entrenched and is committed to the union in many ways.

     
  • Linda Kelso posted at 8:33 am on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Linda Kelso Posts: 2

    It was mentioned that Dana had a conflict of interest because she is a member of CSEA.
    George also has a conflict of interest because he works at Oakwood Elementary School in LSU and I can only guess that he is a member of CTA.

     
  • Micah Muraoka posted at 5:19 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Micah Muraoka Posts: 8

    George and Dana both seem to have exceptional leadership experience; George's as a United States military officer, corporate executive, and classroom teacher, and Dana's as a community college union leader, and both seem to have a grasp of the need for change in the district's leadership, especially with regards to how money is spent. Surely, either one will bring an improvement to our school board!

    Since labor negotiations have been such an issue lately, I hope people don't forget that our school board members also guide how kids are taught in Lodi. We must choose a candidate who understands what works and what doesn't with the real kids in Lodi Unified.

    I worked with George Neely during his first permanent teaching position, and I watched him learn how to use his wide range of experiences toward teaching children. George took every imaginable district training, followed every district program, and met with every consultant, growing as a teacher at every point, but never blindly believing everything he was told. George Neely knows the programs used in our classrooms, and he knows what is a big waste of money. He knows this from the experience of teaching in Lodi Unified classrooms.

    Yes, leadership and financial responsibility are in need of improvement at the district level, but educational leadership, pointing our educational programs in the right direction and having the courage to stick with them, is also very important. While Dana Baker would surely be a good school board member, George Neely has the hands-on, in-the-trenches knowledge of the curriculum used to teach our kids. For Lodi Unified to improve, we need leaders like George Neely who have an in-depth understanding of how Lodi's kids are taught.

     
  • shelly reed posted at 3:11 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Shelly Reed Posts: 4

    The first time I saw Dana at a Lodi School Board meeting was in September.....How concern can she really be?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:08 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Follow up

    Linda and Sarah, I am sure that both Dana and George are good people with good hearts that have appropriate intentions to do the right thing. However, if given a choice of two quality people, and one has a conflict of interest and the other does not, it is more prudent and responsible to select the more neutral or independent person. You may disagree that Dana is not in a conflict of interest, but that defies common sense

     
  • David Brown posted at 2:53 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    David Brown Posts: 4

    I have never been that involved in politics; especially at the local level but now that my daughter is 7 years old and attending Reese school I have been forced to take a hard look at these issues. It absolutely kills me that our kids and the people who are directly responsible for teaching them don't have basic resources such as construction paper.

    I am a business owner and we work with hundreds of companies across the United States on improving their operations; our education system is the most important business in the world. At the core of running an effective business is putting resources at the ground level where they are needed; especially in tight economic times. At the heart of good leadership is making sacrifices and truly leading people by example.

    As a manager in someone else’s business and as a business owner I’ve consistently made sacrifices when times were tough in order for my team to have the necessary resources. Those same traits should apply but even more so in the public sector; especially in education and the military. From my vantage point these seem to be sorely lacking in the Lodi school system yet I see lots of energy at the classroom level. In the myriad of businesses that we manage this problem is always solved by a change in leadership; not by the consistent cutting of resources at the field level.

    George Neely seems to be the only candidate that brings together the selflessness of serving in the military as an officer, operating in a senior level position in one of the best-run businesses of our times (GE) then actively choosing to be a teacher. I’ve talked extensively with him and his plans make sense from both a business and leadership standpoint. We need to tighten the belt in every painful way possible and put as many resources into the classrooms as possible. My belief is that only someone who is use to making tough decisions will be able to execute effectively.

     
  • David Brown posted at 2:52 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    David Brown Posts: 4

    I have never been that involved in politics; especially at the local level but now that my daughter is 7 years old and attending Reese school I have been forced to take a hard look at these issues. It absolutely kills me that our kids and the people who are directly responsible for teaching them don't have basic resources such as construction paper. I am a business owner and we work with hundreds of companies across the United States. At the core of running an effective business is putting resources at the ground level where they are needed; especially in tight economic times.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:40 pm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    This is blatant conflict of interest. If this is not, then conflict of interest does not exist.
    The union is in a position of getting all they can get from the board. The board gets its funding from the tax payer. The board has an obligation to the tax payer to be a good steward of the tax dollars it spends. She has developed friends and relationships with many union reps and sees the union as a reasonable and essential entity. Many tax payers see the union as an irresponsible and selfish entity that enriches its members at the expense of the tax payer and student’s welfare. According to Sarah Foster, in defending Dana Baker, George Neely lacks experience and commitment to the union as opposed to Dana Baker, who is committed to the union.
    I can think of no better reason to support George Neely who will have a more independent perspective and serve all parties objectively in comparison.

     
  • Linda Kelso posted at 11:10 am on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Linda Kelso Posts: 2

    Knowing Dana and her family, she would make fair decisions for the District. I've worked with her at Delta College in many capacities and she always looks at all sides before making a decision. She will work with the current Board members to address difficult issues facing the District with conflicts of interest.
    Dana is the Lady for the JOB.

     
  • Sarah Foster posted at 10:34 am on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Sarah Foster Posts: 1

    As a good friend and colleague of Dana Baker, I believe she would be an ideal Trustee knowing that she is fair and can make intelligent decisions. Her long time commitment to the Union is not a conflict of interest, but rather an experience that George Neely lacks. Dana is committed to helping her community. Dana’s Union work has only strengthened her and she will not let you down! DANA FOR LODI SCHOOLS!!!!!!!!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:32 am on Tue, Oct 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sigh, groan,… oh my! As the CSEA president, Baker is the ideal candidate to represent the interest of the union. Conflict of interest speaks loudly here than with George. George Neely is looking better by the second.

     
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