Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 25, 2010

And they’re off…the School Board version

Filed under: Alameda, Election, School — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:12 am

Didn’t mean to neglect posting the School Board race candidate statements, but quite a kerfuffle erupted last week and this fell off my radar.   Now in alphabetical order, and thanks to Mike McMahon for retyping these, the school board candidates and their statements!

A side note: interestingly enough, both Mike McMahon and Sheri Palmer are not accepting donations for their campaign — it’s not immediately clear if any of the other candidates intend to run a “no-donation” campaign.

Mike McMahon (Trustee, Alameda Unified School District)

I ask for your support that I may continue to use my expertise and experience to serve the educational needs of Alameda’s children, youth and adults. As a school board member for the past eight years, I have learned the complexities of overseeing our school district and understand the process of making sound decisions. As an Alameda resident for 30 years, I understand the community’s educational history, have been involved in many of its organizations, and have experienced the positive effects that our quality educational system provided for my son and two daughters, all of whom graduated from Alameda public schools. I pledge to maintain an open dialog with all of our community members through my website: I commit my energy and ability to insure the best possible educational outcomes for Alameda ‘s children, youth and adults.

Sheri Palmer (Parent/Local Businessperson/Operations Assistant at Global, Inc)

My education and qualifications are: A life long love of service and variety of work experiences: I am a parent of three daughters, 2 dogs and a parakeet. I have been a PTA and classroom volunteer, school site council member, former charter school board member and an election official. I currently work for a local software publisher in Marina Village as an Operations Assistant. I support neighborhood schools. I believe we can continue to make something great out of less, while looking for revenue streams to bring in more. I believe serving every child is our first priority. Clean, healthy and safe school sites are not an option, but a requirement. I believe every child can learn. I am a renter who is willing to pay my fair share of a parcel tax. I don’t need your money to speak for our children, but the Alameda Education Foundation can use your help to keep Arts and Sports alive in our schools. Go AEF! AEF Donation page: Follow my campaign here:  Reach me here: Please remember to register and vote November 2nd.

Clay Pollard (Parent/Local Business Owner)

I am 24-year resident of Alameda with a child attending Encinal High from Wood Middle School. I know the threat of school closure affects families. I am running for the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education for the vital causes of academic excellence, fiscal responsibility and accountability to all stakeholders: students, parents, residents, business owners and you, the voters. My imperative is bringing fresh eyes and ears, coupled with creativity and fiscal responsibility to the Board. I believe parents, residents, business owners and the education apparatus should work cohesively to provide excellence in education and opportunities for all AUSD students. As a business owner, I bring a unique skill set to this Board: attentive listening, budgeting, community relations, leadership and project management. More than ever, we need a viable long-term master plan providing smaller class size, enrichments programs, advanced placement courses, effective remedial education (to close the achievement gap), and proper facilities management which optimizes district resources. Join me as I bring inspired leadership and work toward innovative strategies to support quality public education. For the best outcome for all stakeholders, vote for Clay Pollard. Learn more at

James Pruitt (Director/Labor Relations)

I was born in Alameda and attended Haight School through seventh grade. Life took me out of Alameda and California until recently when a job transfer bought me back. I have a Bachelors Degree from UC Berkeley, a Masters from Michigan State and a Diversity credential from Cornell. My thirty five years with Kaiser Permanente has given me experience in labor relations, budgets, negotiations and the knowledge of the importance of building consensus. My support for public schools runs deep. My father taught and was an administrator in the AUSD. My mother, my wife and my five sisters and my daughter have all taught in public schools. The AUSD has about 9700 students. The ten-year Master Facilities Plan estimates that by 2019 the enrollment will be 9400. AUSD projects a deficit of $25M as a result of the failure of Measure E. That represents about one-third of our budget. In summary: the district faces declining enrollment and significant budget deficits. I am committed to working with parents, educators, unions, and other members of community to resolve these and other issues facing AUSD.

Marjorie “Margie” Sherratt (Retired Educator/Administrator)

My education and qualifications are: BA Fine Arts, MS Counseling, California Life Teaching Credential, Pupil Personnel Credential, California Administrative Credential As a former teacher, counselor, District Administrator and Alameda High School Principal, I have had the privilege of serving literally thousands of Alameda students. During my thirty five year career as an educator, I have learned that each and every student and family has unique needs that must be addressed and valued. My work in education continues as a university Field Supervisor of teacher interns, and as an Auditor of schools through Alameda County Office of Education. Alameda is my home, where I went to school, married, raised our children, owned a small business, and became involved in civic activities, such as; former President of Alameda Civic Light Opera, member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and an Advisory Board Member Alameda Boys and Girls Club. I will bring to the Board of Education my collaborative style of leadership, my openness to ideas and ways to solve problems, my ability to make the tough decisions for Alameda Unified School District, my integrity and most importantly, my commitment to the students of Alameda. I appreciate your vote on November 2nd. Please vote “Margie Sherratt for School Board”.

Rand Wrobel (Software Management Consultant)

I want to pay teachers instead of administrators. As an Alamedean for 17 years, and parent of two teenagers (one with special needs), I’ve experienced both AUSD and Alameda’s original charter school: ACLC. For my 30 year career as a Business Process Management expert, working with Fortune 500 corporations and government organizations, is dedicated to optimizing efficiency, service and satisfaction. My technology course instruction is highly-rated. I have a BA in “Future Studies,” coach youth sports, founded the education non-profit LilliWorks Foundation,, (currently Executive Director), and have no family/history of being paid by AUSD.  AUSD needs fresh “out of the box ideas emphasizing efficiency and community. Status quo, rubberstamp thinking has resulted in ignored community input, poorly-structured, failed Measure E, and the devastating bare-bones, school closing “Doomsday” Plan B. I’ll work with the community to structure a fair parcel tax, leverage technology and advocate “AUSD 2.0” transitioning to more efficient, effective charter schools that pay teacher instead of $150,000 administrators (saving millions), involve community, provide truly rich education, offer choices and competition, and, as charters can afford, keep neighborhood schools open. See My stand: “More Educational Bang for the scarce Dollar”.


  1. Found this on the Internet,

    It’s time to step aside, eight years of failed policies under his leadership is enough!

    Comment by smart voter — August 25, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  2. roffle at that website

    Sherratt gets my vote.

    Comment by E — August 25, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  3. 1
    It would be nice if Mike did go…to city goverment!

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 25, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  4. For those of you who believe that MikeMcMahonMustStay, send me an email ( and I will add your name to list of supporters. I will even post “blog aliases” for those intimidated by the guilt by association crowd.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — August 25, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  5. 1. smart guy, did you “find” that on the Internet , or put it there?

    Rather than be against Mike, why not be for something? I can’t see that the problems we face can be squarely put on the BOE and I think this personal attack of Mike is petty.

    Mike ran four times before winning a seat. I have had concerns about some of his positions, but if I cast two votes elsewhere I would vocally support those candidates before campaigning against Mike. When it’s Ms. Spencer’s turn, I might take a different stance.

    BOE is non-partisan. It is no secret Mike was once a registered Republican nor is it a crime and frankly it’s pretty irrelevant. I was once a Green and I don’t care what others think about that.

    Mike’s wife Sue was in the office at Paden for years before Mike ran for office. Are you suggesting that it is always inappropriate for more than one family member to work at the same place of employment or what exactly is the point?

    Comment by M.I. — August 25, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  6. 5. Well put Mark…I was even once a liberal. Put your name on Mikes support list.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 25, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  7. Clay Pollard was heavily involved in the anti-Lesson 9 activities and is closely tied to the extremists at Alameda Concerned Parents. I think it is extremely dishonest for him not to admit his real motivation for running for school board. Hopefully the people of Alameda will recognize his name, and also recognize what his candidacy for the school board is really all about.

    Comment by John — August 25, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  8. Jack,

    For me it’s not about supporting Mike or not supporting him, it’s about not attacking somebody who regardless of the critical things I could say about him, has done a lot of good as a volunteer, which I respect.

    As an activist, I have gotten to know Mike better and better in these eight years, but the first time I really crossed the threshold is when I knocked him on this blog for looking bored and dismissive, with his head in his hands with his eyes closed during a BOE meeting when I was speaking to them in chambers.

    I thought he was being rude and I was pissed, but I was not just tossing out insults on a blog, and the result of the reconciliation which followed is that I can speak critically to Mike face to face, as well have have a cordial exchange. If I cast my vote for him it will not come before some additional grilling.

    For me, elections are not simply who I think has the values closet to mine. It is always political calculus, like making sausage etc.

    As a Green in 2000 I didn’t vote for Nader and it was a protest vote against the naive idealism in my Party, that one could vote purely on principal without regard to consequence. Florida was the result of such idealism. On the other hand, Democrats who want to whine and put eight years of Dubya at the doorstep of the Green Party should take a deep breath, step back and go about doing house cleaning in their own damn party. The Democrats still suffer from being a party of wimps.

    Want to see a Democrat run and hide? just say “No Mosque at Ground Zero!” On the other hand, the ugly truth about the fickle and ignorant electorate is that if you speak purely out of principle you may cost yourself an election.

    “Catch-a 22”.

    Comment by M.I. — August 25, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  9. Mike and, thanks to John #9, Clay it is.

    Comment by jayare — August 25, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  10. #9 minus 2 = #7

    Comment by jayare — August 25, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  11. Right on, M.I. What happened to the democrat party that gave us Harry S and JFK and even LBJ. Those guys, would have led the charge against a mosque at ground zero!

    Comment by Jayare — August 25, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  12. #9,

    So you are in favor of candidates who are disingenuous, then?

    Wouldn’t it be more honest (ethical) for Chris Pollard to describe himself in terms that more accurately reflect his principles than to wrap himself in progressive-sounding language that obscures his record?

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 26, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  13. The Alameda Unified School district is in financial trouble. We need individuals on the board that have business experience to help us get through this financial crisis. It is obvious the existing board made several mistakes by focusing on political issues and not basic education for our students.

    I want to see the old guard out. They ignore the parent’s wishes and the financial crisis to promote their own agenda. Let’s get some individuals that will help us deal with the crisis at hand and secure the quality of education for our children.

    Comment by Warren — September 8, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  14. Jayare. You are an idiot.

    Comment by poguemahone — September 17, 2010 @ 10:00 am

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