More on my “Games Mark Stegeman plays” post

by David Safier

Lots of people have opinions about the "Games Mark Stegeman plays" post I wrote yesterday and put comments at the end of the post and more comments on Facebook. Some agreed with me, others disagreed and a few staked out positions somewhere in the middle.

I received an interesting comment from Jana Happel — actually two comments — that I'm reproducing here. She expands on some of the points I made and adds one possibility that I know little about: that one reason Pedicone decided to leave early is because of concerns about the way Stegeman acted on the Board. That interests me, because the general feeling was, Pedicone felt he was no longer in sync with the Board when Cam Juarez and Kristel Foster were elected. That may not be the case, or it may not be the whole story.

Jana's comments:

[In his post, Dave is] saying that what you see on the surface is most likely only a fraction of what you need to know to truly understand what is going on and who is playing what kind of games. I wouldn't be surprised if even the three board members who put Sanchez forward as the lone candidate agree with you that putting only one candidate forward is not the best process. Don't assume that they did it because they are out of touch with people. They did it for a reason and I suspect it has less to do with their political games than with Stegeman's. He is a destructive force and wants to get his way no matter the cost to the district.

Why did Pedicone leave when he did? The only time I heard him deviate from his talking points, he talked about how difficult it is when a board member inserts himself into school- and district-level affairs, instead of passing on concerns and stepping back to see how the supe and staff will deal with it. Maybe he was referring to Stegeman, or maybe someone else.

We don't know what goes on in executive session, but Stegeman certainly showed us his gamesmanship on the dais in December. Remember when he offered what he later confessed was a motion that had no effect in order to confuse Grijalva and get her to vote for the deseg order? That was only minutes after she said that she intended to vote no to the entire USP if it contained the objection to MAS as core classes. What was at stake for Stegeman to pull that type of shenanigan and make the TUSD Board a laughing stock once more? He wanted to present Judge Bury with a 5-0 vote in support of the objection, instead of a 4-1 vote. He had a near melt down explaining that it was CRITICAL that the USP go forward unanimously. Funny that he didn't think unanimity was important a month later when the board voted 3-2 to remove the objection. His hypocrisy lays bare his true motivations.

Mark, do us all a favor. Pick up your marbles and play your games somewhere else.

I followed with a comment of my own asking Jana to clarify what she said about Pedicone leaving early. Here is her reply.

I will back track a bit. Upon listening to that portion of Pedicone's interview again, his comments were not in response to a query as to why he was leaving, but a direct question about superintendent/board member relations. Still, he spoke on the issue for almost 7 minutes, so had a lot to say. (Buckmaster 4/19, minute 15-22).

That type of behavior would not only cause a superintendent to cut loose from TUSD, it would also cause candidates to pass on the district. The superintendent serves at the pleasure of the board, so a troublesome board member is a big deal. As if TUSD doesn't have enough negative attributes.

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