The Coastal Post - April, 1999

News And Notes Of Novato

By Betty Machado

Hello, Dear Hearts-Happy Easter

The arrival of Spring has hit Novato. Do come up and see our beautiful spring flowers the Garden Club has planted along Redwood Blvd. Lots of TLC went into that project. The Chamber of Commerce planted golden daffodils along Highway 101 and up DeLong Avenue as our entrance into Novato. They have returned! Beautiful! The only problem is the person who stops, runs over and picks a bouquet.

Check out the blue sign on Hwy. 101 with Kirk Donaldson's name on it as the person responsible for beautifying that section. No billboards allowed in Marin County; the CalTrans display of who takes care of the highway does qualify as a billboard. Novato Makes International News

Our recent San Marin High School incident did go international when a friend went by air service to Alaska. He was aware of a news story that appeared in a magazine on economics. CNN has carried the story. What would I have done if I was still an elected person on the Novato School Board? The Educational Code does reflect a need to place the student first and the school curriculum second; no disruptions will be allowed. The President of the Board had adequate time to place a policy on the agenda, to wit: the news media will not be allowed on any campus to protect the students and the daily classroom activities from disruption during schools hours, before or after school excepted. News conferences would be held in the District Office under the instructions of Public Relations person Annette Conklin, who is now retired but returns as a consultant when needed. Of course, this is against the law of not allowing the Press access to our schools, but controls can be part of the Administration duties once the Board passes a policy. President Jeff McAlprin did not display leadership to protect our students. Instead the principal had to act as the administrator, and suffered the consequences as did the students plus the taxpayers. We now pay full salary to both principals in Hill Junior High until the end of the current school year. What happened to the Vice Principal at Hill Junior High? Solution could have been to wait out the situation with Annette Conlin's assistance, or place the San Marin principal into Novato High for the rest of the school year, since the principal will be retiring in June. Let him go off into early semi-retirement with the post being fully covered. Glad the taxpayers have enough money to pay for the duplication of services. Bond issue on March 2 failed

The 40 million bond issue did fail on March 2, for many reasons. What does the school board do now? Shirley Graves, Elisa Cleek and I have organized a discussion on the Public Advocate program March 24th on Channel 23 to cover the issue. Paul Mamalakis has agreed to come on to represent the public's viewpoint. We hope to present to the new Superintendent John Bernard and School Board President Jeff McAlprin a road map of Where Do We Go from Here? The explanation of what a Low Wealth School District means plus an answer to why did the Board hire a $10,000 a month superintendent with a Low Wealth status? The fact we paid $90,000 for the election made people mad. An election with only one issue is costly, but the alternative was to wait until the General Election in November, at the same time as the City of Novato election for a bond to take care of the streets and parks again. Senior Citizens would not have an exemption on a general bond issue, only on a parcel tax, and we have one of those already. Now I hear the College District is thinking of a bond issue. Where does it end?

The other issue: City Manger Rod Brown is a master at creating Redevelopment Financing. Novato has three in place, including the Downtown, which takes in Nave shopping center plus the one west of town with Bell Market. What impact will these have on school financing? Ask questions now! The Spirit of Ireland

Gail Meyers and I went to this great event held in the Marin Center. It was a great evening, full house and well received!

We learned about something which every handicapped person should know. When you purchase your ticket, be sure to state you are handicapped. You will be seated on the ground floor, as there are 150 reserved seats for you. No stairs! College Course at Dominican

Love the class in Psychology! It is being taught by Bette Hollis, Mondays and Thursdays. It is nice to watch the young students gain education. There are 300 classes being offered to Senior Citizens. Check for the summer session. Ask for information on Senior Citizen Auditors. Call the Campus Service Center and get on their mailing list. I did and I love it. Patridge Knolls still not settled

The Public Advocate has had programs on the Partridge Knolls property problems from the very beginning. The mediation process was the only way the City, property owners, and Buck Center would accept in order to resolve the issues without going to court. The mediator is still there, but the property owners are now weary over the whole affairs. Everyone is sincere. The problems are real. the solutions are not coming forth. What would you do in this situation?

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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