Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

SUMNER: Superintendent was rightly ousted

Letter by Ron Weigelt, Bonney Lake on Nov. 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm | 5 Comments »
November 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: “Ex-official files late with PDC” (TNT, 11-5).

The state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is responsible for keeping elections above board. The rules that must be followed include: No person or organization can donate more than $800 to any candidate; all contributions must be recorded with the PDC showing amounts and contributors; and all mailings must clearly identify who paid for the mailing.

Just before the Nov. 8 election, a mailing was sent out from an anonymous group. The News Tribune article explained that ousted Sumner school superintendent Gil Mendoza spent nearly $8,000 (10 times the allowed limit) on a mailing for his slate of candidates. Rather than reveal himself as the sole contributor, he created a fictitious organization he called Citizens Advocating a Responsible Education System (CARES).

When Mendoza was terminated in June 2011, he received a separation package worth nearly $178,000. Spending $8,000 to influence the school board race was well within his means. However, it was clearly wrong. Mendoza broke the law and set a very bad example for the students of Sumner School District. In doing so, he validated the school board’s earlier decision to oust him.

While I am absolutely certain that those elected are going to work hard and do a wonderful job, Mendoza should have either stayed out of the campaign process or followed the rules like everyone else.

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.