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webmaster | 04/22/13

Last week was interesting when two people asked me why I was picketing with the teachers union and was not protecting Madera Unified School District. I looked at them puzzled and in disbelief. Then I asked them who do you thinks owns the district? They stated, “The taxpayers.”

I then gave them a point to ponder! We have spent for the 2012-13 year $184,363.17 to date and anticipate a total of $293,997.88 for this year only to one law firm. I’m sure the cost was the same for 2011-2012 school years. This includes the total for all categories of legal services through Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo, the firm used for labor negotiations for MUSD, and a few other legal matters.

They have been in negotiations for 20 months with no results, except placing our community in an uproar by dividing our neighbors against one another. Over this inept attempt to steal the only thing our MUSD employees have intact over the last five years — their heath insurance. They have cut their pay, overloaded them with larger classroom sizes and have giving them extra assignments.

These teachers (MUTA) and support staff (CSCA) who live in our community, shop here, go to restaurants, participate in local activities, assist in our city and county tax base. Their children and adolescents go to the same schools as ours. Their kids are involved in sports, drama, music, school clubs, and community volunteerism.

We the citizens are the ones who own Madera Unified School District. Not the Board of Trustees, not the administration, not our lawyers. We have the right to speak on issues and the obligation to protect our employees with fair compensation as well with expectations we will have the best education for our children.

To the point; when elected, the community expects a trustee to have an open mind, no personal agenda, to protect the families, students and employees because they are the Madera Unified School District. We cannot accomplish this goal by a continuation of bloodletting from our own neighbors we are so dependant upon.

I’m asking you to stand with me and support our teachers (MUTA) and support staff (CSCA) to keep their medical benefits as status quo. For they have given more then most over the last five years. Stop paying our lawyers with our tax dollars and student funds ($293,997.88 per year) to keep us fighting among ourselves. We are a community of one, with fairness, dignity and respect for all our needs.

Lynn Cogdill,
MUSD Trustee


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