Editorial

It is unbelievable to me how quickly this year has passed — and what an amazingly full year we have had. Once again, our district, our schools, our teachers and our students have accomplished so much. I am delighted with our district’s very steady progress and our community’s very steadfast support of our schools. Before our summer begins, please take a moment to reflect on all that we, as a unified school district, have achieved at both the district and school-site level.

For 2013-2014, our school sites’ accomplishments include:

The most recent attempt by Ron Cowan’s Harbor Bay Isles Associates (HBIA) to justify its application to move Harbor Bay Club outside the Community of Harbor Bay Isle is a plea for “flexibility.”

If that sounds a little odd to you, then let me explain. When Harbor Bay Isle was first proposed, the original plans looked very different from what you see now. As studies were done and ideas evaluated, items were removed from and added to the plans until the City Council, Planning Board and HBIA agreed to move forward with construction of the current Planned Unit Development (PUD).

Two pieces appeared side-by-side on the May 29 Alameda Sun opinion page. The first, a letter written by City Councilman Stewart Chen (“We all want what’s best for Alameda”) stated, “The City Council is responding to the community’s desire to develop Alameda Point and is trying to do it with the least number of new housing units possible.” 

The column next to Chen’s letter was a commentary from Eugenie Thomson, a licensed civil and traffic engineer and a long-time resident of Alameda (“City Must Follow Charter”).

Commuting into and from Alameda over the next decades is bound to take longer, and I think it is “by design” by many government agencies.

The Caltrans project main goal is to improve the 23rd and 29th avenue exits of Interstate 880. As the primary impact is to the Oakland neighborhoods, the project mostly concentrated on appeasing Oakland neighborhood needs. The Alameda County Transportation Commission’s hired a consultant for the five-year project.

On occasion, I hear comments from community members suggesting our school district mismanages its finances. Such comments pain me, because since I arrived in Alameda in 2009, we have worked diligently to tighten up our systems, trim excess funding, and make our financial workings ever more transparent to our public. Indeed, after working in five school districts over 22 years, I can honestly say AUSD is one of the most fiscally responsible — and financially transparent — school districts I have seen. 

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