The library of Gravenstein Elementary School was packed with about 30 members of the public for a meeting of the Board of Trustees earlier this week. One of those trustees is California RLC Chair Matthew Heath, who was elected (without opposition) to the Board last November. Mr. Heath is the father of a three-year-old son, who will likely attend school in the Gravenstein Union District, so it only makes sense that he is interested in district issues.
Apparently it’s a crime to believe in limited government and simultaneously serve on the Gravenstein District Board. Matthew Heath participated in the shocking act of working to defeat Measure A in a special election held earlier in the month. The measure would have extended the existing $36 parcel tax for eight years with exemptions for parcels owned by persons over the age of 65, and multiple contiguous parcels would have been charged as one parcel.
According to a local article about the censure resolution against the California RLC Chair, “[Heath] worked behind the scenes in an effort to defeat the parcel tax, after the other members of the board had unanimously agreed to put the measure on a special March 3 ballot.”
Gravenstein School District Board President Jim Horn doesn’t seem to believe that dissent should be allowed. He recently wrote up a censure proposal and asked other Board members to consider it. Mr. Heath made a motion to strike the censure resolution from the agenda so that the board could get on with budget issues he’d put on the agenda. “It’s a waste of peoples’ time and filled with factual inaccuracies,” he said. “We have more important budget matters to address,” he said.
Instead, the board voted four to one to keep the censure motion on the agenda, and, after allowing Heath to question large portions of the District’s budget, discussion of the censure began. The discussion will continue at the April meeting. At least one meeting attendee defended Heath: “Maybe we should censure the rest of the board,” said Greg Guerinoni. “He has a right to express his views. I don’t feel like we should be forced to pay a tax that we don’t feel is right.”
It appears that the Gravenstein School District is too busy scolding those with dissenting opinions than working to ensure quality education for students. Quality education, as the Gravenstein Board members should know, does not correspond to more funding.