Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 16, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain View News Saturday, March 16, 2024 



The drama at the March 14th school board meeting was the result of a dysfunctional 
board. Yes, Trustees must put students first. The role also includes keeping the community 
informed. Trustees must ensure that the district complies with laws. Trustees are also 
tasked with responsibly managing taxpayer money. 

PUSD’s Jefferson lease with the city was on last night’s agenda due to a spur of the moment 
vote on it at a prior meeting. Nothing about the lease was on that meeting’s agenda. In 
voting 4-3 to terminate it, the board violated the Brown Act.

Last night, the board heard from more of the community about services at Jefferson, 
including Mayor Gordo. PUSD trustees flipped to 3-4. Trustees Fredericks, Cahalan, and 
Kenne all voted again in favor of termination but did not prevail. 

Giving Longfellow Jefferson instead of Allendale as their swing space suggests some favor 
some groups of students over others - Madison families had asked to occupy Jefferson 
too, but were told no. 

A Trustee’s job is to care for students in an equitable manner. Longfellow families were 
unhappy. The board voted months ago on the plan without their input. Engaging them 
sooner, could have resulted in workable solutions. The needs of district schools are vast. 
This is why voters passed Measure O. 

Longfellow parents may have been asked: Would you like to postpone modernization 
until the lease expires? We can prioritize another school. Given the current plan, half 
a billion in bond money will run out before all the schools are done. Many would be 
happy to be prioritized, schools in District 6 need updates too. Offering choices gives 
constituents agency. 

When Longfellow, Madison and Muir were prioritized for improvements, Trustee 
Fredericks held up a “heat map” highlighting where most PUSD kids live. She favored 
schools near denser populations. She held the map up again attempting to terminate and 
thanked those who made the map. She claimed it made her decision easy. 

PUSD is an open enrollment district. Families may choose schools in any part of the 
district. Students who live in the “hot zone” also attend schools in district 6. Most schools 
were built long ago. Kids at schools located in Sierra Madre, or the suburbs, have the same 
rights to safe and nice schools. Some refer to our kids as being “outside” of the district. 
They prefer having students attending schools “back in the district” where the “hot zone” 
is. Sadly for us, Trustee Fredericks aligns her votes with those who have this mindset.

Where was her voice for the students at District 6 schools? HVACs, Fire Safety, ADA 
compliance, and energy efficient windows are needs not wants. Prioritizing Measure 
O money for schools that are in better condition due to receiving more funding from 
previous bonds, community school grants, and magnet school grants is not putting 
students first in an equitable manner.

If students come first, subjective, inflexible priorities and hasty decisions must stop. 
Playing favorites must stop. Presuming there will be future bonds to address our most 
urgent needs later is fiscally irresponsible. It does not put our students first. It toxically 
pits deteriorating schools against each other in a fight for resources and survival. 

Lisa Kroese is a PUSD parent serving on the Don Benito PTA, and PUSD PTA Council. Prior to 
relocation to the west coast, she worked in the Pennsylvania State Senate as Operations Director 
covering education for State Senator Andrew Dinniman, and as Congresswoman Gillibrand’s District 
Director. She is a Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors PUSD Certified Real Estate Agent and a 
candidate for PUSD School Board in District 6.

ALL THINGS By Jeff Brown 

When To Be Quiet & Benefits of Silence 

When someone’s trying to tell you how they feel just be quiet

When everyone is talking over each other just be quiet

When someone won’t let you finish just be quiet they don’t want to listed anyway

When your searching yourself for an answer just be quiet

When you’re experiencing a beautiful moment just be quiet

When observing wildlife or enjoying the tranquility of nature, being quiet allows for a 
more immersive experience and reduces disturbance to animals.

Being quiet can be important in various situations to show respect, focus, or consideration 
for others.

Embracing silence can stimulate your imagination and inspire innovative thinking, unlocking 
new ideas and solutions.

By immersing yourself in silence, you can cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness, fostering 
personal growth and introspection

Silence provides a tranquil space that promotes a sense of peace, tranquility, and mental 

Silence encourages patience and mindfulness, allowing you to navigate challenges with a 
greater sense of composure

Silence provides a tranquil space that nurtures inner calmness and mental clarity, essential 
in combating the stresses of everyday life

Silence has a way of speaking for itself without words. It allows us time to process our 
thoughts and emotions before we act or respond. This can be helpful in times of stress, 
anger, confusion, or when we want to avoid saying something rash. 

What ABOUT the Water in Sierra Madre? 
Chris Cimino shares Sierra Madre’s water history! 
Join us on Wednesday, March 27, 5:30pm at the Hart Park House for an engaging and informative 
presentation on the history of water in Sierra Madre. Our newly retired Director of Public Works, Chris 
Cimino, will share the details with us about everything you wanted to know, and more, concerning the 
history of where our water comes from – past and present – and the sometimes little known battles 
over our liquid gold. 
Admission is free and open to everyone. 
presented by the 
Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: