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SUMNER: Superintendent was rightly ousted

Letter by Ron Weigelt, Bonney Lake on Nov. 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm with 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.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. jimkingjr says:

    The writer misrepresents the law. The limit referred to is a limit for direct contributions to a candidate’s campaign. It is NOT a limit on independent expenditure. The independent expenditure should have been reported, but there was no violation in the amount expended.

  2. WTraveler says:

    The ex-supe should have taken his money and moved on. Revenge is a pretty weak motivation to be so involved in the election process.

  3. volvo1999 says:

    Hey Ron Weigelt,

    Why did you not put up campaign signs for yourself.? You let someone get on the school district board that has no business being there. If you woulod have, you would have won. You have a great resume. I am really concerned about Chamberlain being on the school board.

  4. SumnerTeach says:

    volvo I am sad to say that I agree with you. Between Paul Bucich and Casey Chamberlain, I am deeply concerned for the wellbeing of our children in this district.

    The fact that both benefited greatly from the illegal flyer sent by Gil Mendoza, and neither have made any attempt to distance themself from the ex-superintendent is deepy troubling. In fact, they have mentioned in writing that they would give Gil Mendoza a “fair chance” at returning to the board if he chooses. This alone should be a major red flag to anyone concerned about our the future of Sumner School District.

    I know I am not the only one that feels an investigation into both Bucich and Chamberlain’s involvement with Gil Mendoza needs to be performed. This election was disgraceful, and the in the end it looks like our students and teachers are the ones that will ultimately pay the highest price if indeed Mendoza, Bucich, and Chamberlain get their way.

  5. volvo1999 says:

    Dear Sumnerteach, what recourse is there if any to investigate Chamberlain and Bucich? If you are eluding to Chamberlain bending the rules or braking them, I would have agree this is a trait of his I have heard about.

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