Following Tuesday’s election, The Sheet chatted with some of the campaign winners and almost winners to hear their reactions to the results of their own races, as well as reactions to the passage of Prop 30.
New Mono County District 4 Supervisor Elect Tim Fesko was wide-awake on Wednesday morning following the election, despite only getting four hours of sleep. “I’m stoked,” he said of his win. “Some of it is still setting in, but the work begins today.” Fesko was scheduled for a meeting at 10 a.m. with the California Air Resources Board. “It’s been 10 months and for the last three months I worked really hard, but now the real work begins,” he said again. “Now I need to reach across the table to the 484 who voted for Bob [Peters] because they are my constituency too. A representative is only as good as the backing of the people.” Fesko will officially take office with new District 2 and 3 Supervisors Fred Stump and Tim Alpers at the first Board of Supervisors meeting in January 2013.
John Peters, son of Fesko’s opponent Bob Peters, was still playing the waiting game at press time even though Tuesday’s results showed him beating his opponent Pam Haas-Duhart by five votes. John is running against Duhart for a seat on the Eastern Sierra Unified School District Board. Since Tuesday’s results were so close this race hasn’t been called yet and won’t until provisional ballots are counted.
“I spoke with the County Clerk today who said there are upwards of 100 provisional ballots that still need to be accounted for,” John said on Wednesday afternoon. The clerk wasn’t sure how many would actually affect the Eastern Sierra Unified School District race since many of the ballots were from Mammoth.
“She said she was going to start the process tomorrow [Thursday] of validating these ballots and should have something final by Monday.” Until then Peters was staying “cautiously optimistic.”
“I am proud that the residents’ within MUSD boundaries thought enough of me to elect me. I am also very proud of the 54% of yesterday’s voters in California who saw the dismal future of the state’s educational system and voted yes on Proposition 30,” remarked new Board member Shana Stapp, who rejoins the Board after a few years’ absence. “MUSD knew that if this proposition did NOT pass, the district would be bankrupt in less than 3 years, and then subject to possible state takeover. In the immediate future, we can breathe a little easier. But, somehow, school districts must impress upon the state legislature to stop paying bills on the backs of our children. As many have said, including Superintendent Rich Boccia, we have made it too easy for the lawmakers to continue to slash our budgets by doing such a great job of tightening our belts and doing more with less. We need to tell them enough is enough.”
“I am glad to see the citizens recognized what a difficult situation we face in education funding and passed the proposition,” re-elected Board member John Stavlo told The Sheet. “Even with Prop 30 passing, we will deficit spend approximately $250,000 to $300,000 this school year. Next year we will be deficit spending approximately another $350,00 to $400,000 for a total of $600,000 to $700,000. Next year is going to be tough. Passage of Prop 30 definitely helps us, but doesn’t solve all of our problems. On the other hand, as a citizen, I am disgusted with our leaders in Sacramento and how they still are not taking on the tough financial issues this state faces. Instead, they held our children’s education hostage and asked for us to make up for their lack of leadership.”
The Mammoth Educators Association teachers union was considerably more upbeat about the results. MEA President Michelle Quirsfeld said she was initially disheartened at the early results, which showed support lagging behind opposition. She was up at 4 a.m. to check the provisional results, and learned of Prop 30’s ultimate passage. “This is a great win for the students and the state of California,” Quirsfeld told The Sheet. “[MEA members] couldn’t be more thrilled.”
“Many of us were surprised by the passage of Prop 30, as the earlier polls were not very promising. Our school district was planning for the worst-case scenario and hoping for the best,” MUSD Superintendent Rich Boccia observed. “Well, folks, it passed and we appreciate the continued support of public education from this great community! We have much more work to do but this passage of Proposition 30 allows us all to breathe a sigh of relief.”