Keltie Jones Announces She Will Not Seek Another Term on Davis School Board

On one side of the Sunday Davis Enterprise, board president Jim Provenza announced his intention to seek Mariko Yamada’s County Supervisor Seat. Not to be outdone, on the other side of the front page of the Davis Enterprise, immediate past president Keltie Jones announced that she would not seek another term on the board. Neither move was unexpected.

Ms. Jones was appointed to the school board in October of 2002 to fill out the term of John Poulos who moved from the district. She would then be elected in her own right one year later in November of 2003.

The two moves leave open both seats for this November’s school board races. It presents parents and supporters of Valley Oak with another opportunity to change board direction on Valley Oak.

Ms. Jones was one of the most ardent proponents of closing down the Valley Oak School. She was also a very strong supporter of former Superintendent David Murphy.

She told the Davis Enterprise:

“I have also learned that I have no taste for the political maneuvering that accompanies an elected position in this town, and I have no desire to participate in another campaign.”

An interesting statement because Jones has played on both sides of the Davis political divide most recently both as a supporter of Measure X and Lamar Heystek. However, in general she looked towards and against personalities rather than policies as a guide of whom to support. Supporting Heystek, purportedly because of personality and opposing Mike Levy and Don Saylor because of personal animus.

At times she had become downright abrasive on the school board berating the Fischers who complained against the district’s handling of their son’s harassment, berating at a public meeting Rev. Tim Malone over complaints about his son’s treatment, and berating fellow board members and Valley Oak parents over the closing of the school.

Jones was part of the cadre that extended Superintendent Murphy’s contract and appointed the Best Uses of School Task Force. The chair of that task force was Kirk Trost of the Hyde, Miller, Owen and Trost Law firm. Trost was a former boss of Jones.

While Jones was in the majority up until the November 2005 board elections, she increasingly found herself in the minority on key votes following the election of Sheila Allen, Gina Daleiden, and Tim Taylor. However, she was not only a member of the 3-2 majority responsible for the closing of Valley Oak, she actively worked to weaken Tim Taylor’s compromise motion that would place the Valley Oak issue on the ballot as a second parcel tax.

There are two pieces of key unfinished business that she wants to accomplish before she leaves office. First, she told the Davis Enterprise that she wants to help guide the district through a new search for a superintendent and second she wishes to see the passage of the parcel tax.

In the end, the retirement of Jones presents an opportunity for parents and supporters of the Davis schools to find new blood. The closure of Valley Oak, of which Jones was a strong advocate, along with her support for Superintendent Murphy and his administration tarnishes an otherwise strong tenure for Jones.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Budget/Taxes

92 comments

  1. Jones should have removed herself from voting. At minimum she should have let the public know that she worked for Troust in the past. Even though there is no direct financial gain at this time, that we know of, since she no longer works for Troust, a disclosure of this to the public would have been more transparent.

    I hope the Valley Oak community can put forth some candidates for school board that have the best interest of the children and their neighborhood at heart.

  2. Jones should have removed herself from voting. At minimum she should have let the public know that she worked for Troust in the past. Even though there is no direct financial gain at this time, that we know of, since she no longer works for Troust, a disclosure of this to the public would have been more transparent.

    I hope the Valley Oak community can put forth some candidates for school board that have the best interest of the children and their neighborhood at heart.

  3. Jones should have removed herself from voting. At minimum she should have let the public know that she worked for Troust in the past. Even though there is no direct financial gain at this time, that we know of, since she no longer works for Troust, a disclosure of this to the public would have been more transparent.

    I hope the Valley Oak community can put forth some candidates for school board that have the best interest of the children and their neighborhood at heart.

  4. Jones should have removed herself from voting. At minimum she should have let the public know that she worked for Troust in the past. Even though there is no direct financial gain at this time, that we know of, since she no longer works for Troust, a disclosure of this to the public would have been more transparent.

    I hope the Valley Oak community can put forth some candidates for school board that have the best interest of the children and their neighborhood at heart.

  5. ..extremely interesting background information about the relationship between Trost and Jones. The vote to close VO needs to be brought back for reconsideration by Taylor or Deleiden and the ethical position for the “lame duck” Keltie Jones is to abstain. While Provenza is also a declared “lame duck”, he still plans to place himself before the scrutiny of the Davis voter in 2008. The plan to close VO in place now will have a significant impact on the VO enrollment numbers and this factor should be removed from the VO parent’s concern ASAP.

  6. ..extremely interesting background information about the relationship between Trost and Jones. The vote to close VO needs to be brought back for reconsideration by Taylor or Deleiden and the ethical position for the “lame duck” Keltie Jones is to abstain. While Provenza is also a declared “lame duck”, he still plans to place himself before the scrutiny of the Davis voter in 2008. The plan to close VO in place now will have a significant impact on the VO enrollment numbers and this factor should be removed from the VO parent’s concern ASAP.

  7. ..extremely interesting background information about the relationship between Trost and Jones. The vote to close VO needs to be brought back for reconsideration by Taylor or Deleiden and the ethical position for the “lame duck” Keltie Jones is to abstain. While Provenza is also a declared “lame duck”, he still plans to place himself before the scrutiny of the Davis voter in 2008. The plan to close VO in place now will have a significant impact on the VO enrollment numbers and this factor should be removed from the VO parent’s concern ASAP.

  8. ..extremely interesting background information about the relationship between Trost and Jones. The vote to close VO needs to be brought back for reconsideration by Taylor or Deleiden and the ethical position for the “lame duck” Keltie Jones is to abstain. While Provenza is also a declared “lame duck”, he still plans to place himself before the scrutiny of the Davis voter in 2008. The plan to close VO in place now will have a significant impact on the VO enrollment numbers and this factor should be removed from the VO parent’s concern ASAP.

  9. “The closure of Valley Oak, of which Jones was a strong advocate, along with her support for Superintendent Murphy and his administration tarnishes an otherwise strong tenure for Jones.”

    You claim that Keltie has “berated” virtually everyone at on one point or another. You condemn her for every single decision that you mention. And then you say her tenure was “otherwise strong.” Can you explain that strength?

    Anonymous writes: “Jones should have removed herself from voting.”

    She had no conflict of interest. Trost was merely a volunteer appointed by the board. He had no financial stake in the outcome of the Task Force or in the decision of the Board. So why in the world would you say that Jones should have not voted? Just because you disagree with a representative’s vote does not mean that it was corrupt. And by saying that she “should have removed herself” strongly implies that her vote was somehow tainted. (As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.)

  10. “The closure of Valley Oak, of which Jones was a strong advocate, along with her support for Superintendent Murphy and his administration tarnishes an otherwise strong tenure for Jones.”

    You claim that Keltie has “berated” virtually everyone at on one point or another. You condemn her for every single decision that you mention. And then you say her tenure was “otherwise strong.” Can you explain that strength?

    Anonymous writes: “Jones should have removed herself from voting.”

    She had no conflict of interest. Trost was merely a volunteer appointed by the board. He had no financial stake in the outcome of the Task Force or in the decision of the Board. So why in the world would you say that Jones should have not voted? Just because you disagree with a representative’s vote does not mean that it was corrupt. And by saying that she “should have removed herself” strongly implies that her vote was somehow tainted. (As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.)

  11. “The closure of Valley Oak, of which Jones was a strong advocate, along with her support for Superintendent Murphy and his administration tarnishes an otherwise strong tenure for Jones.”

    You claim that Keltie has “berated” virtually everyone at on one point or another. You condemn her for every single decision that you mention. And then you say her tenure was “otherwise strong.” Can you explain that strength?

    Anonymous writes: “Jones should have removed herself from voting.”

    She had no conflict of interest. Trost was merely a volunteer appointed by the board. He had no financial stake in the outcome of the Task Force or in the decision of the Board. So why in the world would you say that Jones should have not voted? Just because you disagree with a representative’s vote does not mean that it was corrupt. And by saying that she “should have removed herself” strongly implies that her vote was somehow tainted. (As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.)

  12. “The closure of Valley Oak, of which Jones was a strong advocate, along with her support for Superintendent Murphy and his administration tarnishes an otherwise strong tenure for Jones.”

    You claim that Keltie has “berated” virtually everyone at on one point or another. You condemn her for every single decision that you mention. And then you say her tenure was “otherwise strong.” Can you explain that strength?

    Anonymous writes: “Jones should have removed herself from voting.”

    She had no conflict of interest. Trost was merely a volunteer appointed by the board. He had no financial stake in the outcome of the Task Force or in the decision of the Board. So why in the world would you say that Jones should have not voted? Just because you disagree with a representative’s vote does not mean that it was corrupt. And by saying that she “should have removed herself” strongly implies that her vote was somehow tainted. (As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.)

  13. “As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.”

    I disagree with this. In fact, I suggest this is the strength of the blog–anonymous was able to make a charge, you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities. We can evaluate each argument on its own merits.

    That said, I disagree with your assessment. This is not a direct financial conflict, however, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report. I think that is a problem. The same reason that a judge would need to recuse himself if he had a preexisting relationship with one of the parties.

  14. “As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.”

    I disagree with this. In fact, I suggest this is the strength of the blog–anonymous was able to make a charge, you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities. We can evaluate each argument on its own merits.

    That said, I disagree with your assessment. This is not a direct financial conflict, however, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report. I think that is a problem. The same reason that a judge would need to recuse himself if he had a preexisting relationship with one of the parties.

  15. “As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.”

    I disagree with this. In fact, I suggest this is the strength of the blog–anonymous was able to make a charge, you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities. We can evaluate each argument on its own merits.

    That said, I disagree with your assessment. This is not a direct financial conflict, however, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report. I think that is a problem. The same reason that a judge would need to recuse himself if he had a preexisting relationship with one of the parties.

  16. “As an aside, I think such mud slinging is exactly what is wrong with anonymous postings on blogs like this one.”

    I disagree with this. In fact, I suggest this is the strength of the blog–anonymous was able to make a charge, you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities. We can evaluate each argument on its own merits.

    That said, I disagree with your assessment. This is not a direct financial conflict, however, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report. I think that is a problem. The same reason that a judge would need to recuse himself if he had a preexisting relationship with one of the parties.

  17. A lesson to be learned.. Special “Task Force” and “Housing Element Steering Committee”,created to insulate our elected representatives from public debate of controversial issues and the resulting political
    fall-out, do not work when they go further than unbiased data collection and suggesting ALL possible options. . Those whom we elect need to openly debate the issues on the dais rather than appoint non-elected Davis citizens who will make arguments in their stead.

  18. A lesson to be learned.. Special “Task Force” and “Housing Element Steering Committee”,created to insulate our elected representatives from public debate of controversial issues and the resulting political
    fall-out, do not work when they go further than unbiased data collection and suggesting ALL possible options. . Those whom we elect need to openly debate the issues on the dais rather than appoint non-elected Davis citizens who will make arguments in their stead.

  19. A lesson to be learned.. Special “Task Force” and “Housing Element Steering Committee”,created to insulate our elected representatives from public debate of controversial issues and the resulting political
    fall-out, do not work when they go further than unbiased data collection and suggesting ALL possible options. . Those whom we elect need to openly debate the issues on the dais rather than appoint non-elected Davis citizens who will make arguments in their stead.

  20. A lesson to be learned.. Special “Task Force” and “Housing Element Steering Committee”,created to insulate our elected representatives from public debate of controversial issues and the resulting political
    fall-out, do not work when they go further than unbiased data collection and suggesting ALL possible options. . Those whom we elect need to openly debate the issues on the dais rather than appoint non-elected Davis citizens who will make arguments in their stead.

  21. “This is not a direct financial conflict. However, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report.”

    Vincente, if having “an existing relationship” is prohibitive, then virtually every elected official would be recused from almost every vote.

    For example, Sue Greenwald has “an existing relationship” with Eileen Samitz, whom she appointed to the General Plan Housing update committee. Do you suggest, therefore, that Mayor Greenwald ought to not vote on any suggestions of Samitz’s committee, because of that “existing relationship?”

    Like the mayor was for the city, Miss Jones was elected to give her best, unbiased judgment on school district matters. As long as she did not have a financial stake in the outcome of that vote, it was her obligation to render that judgment, right or wrong.

    “anonymous was able to make a charge; you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities.”

    In fact, it is very much about personalities. Anonymous assaulted her character, by suggesting that her vote was conflicted. Anonymous would not have the guts to defame her face to face. (He won’t even tell us his name.) He hides behind a cloak of pusillanimity and casts aspersions. As I’ve long maintained, that is what is so wrong with this kind of forum.

  22. “This is not a direct financial conflict. However, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report.”

    Vincente, if having “an existing relationship” is prohibitive, then virtually every elected official would be recused from almost every vote.

    For example, Sue Greenwald has “an existing relationship” with Eileen Samitz, whom she appointed to the General Plan Housing update committee. Do you suggest, therefore, that Mayor Greenwald ought to not vote on any suggestions of Samitz’s committee, because of that “existing relationship?”

    Like the mayor was for the city, Miss Jones was elected to give her best, unbiased judgment on school district matters. As long as she did not have a financial stake in the outcome of that vote, it was her obligation to render that judgment, right or wrong.

    “anonymous was able to make a charge; you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities.”

    In fact, it is very much about personalities. Anonymous assaulted her character, by suggesting that her vote was conflicted. Anonymous would not have the guts to defame her face to face. (He won’t even tell us his name.) He hides behind a cloak of pusillanimity and casts aspersions. As I’ve long maintained, that is what is so wrong with this kind of forum.

  23. “This is not a direct financial conflict. However, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report.”

    Vincente, if having “an existing relationship” is prohibitive, then virtually every elected official would be recused from almost every vote.

    For example, Sue Greenwald has “an existing relationship” with Eileen Samitz, whom she appointed to the General Plan Housing update committee. Do you suggest, therefore, that Mayor Greenwald ought to not vote on any suggestions of Samitz’s committee, because of that “existing relationship?”

    Like the mayor was for the city, Miss Jones was elected to give her best, unbiased judgment on school district matters. As long as she did not have a financial stake in the outcome of that vote, it was her obligation to render that judgment, right or wrong.

    “anonymous was able to make a charge; you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities.”

    In fact, it is very much about personalities. Anonymous assaulted her character, by suggesting that her vote was conflicted. Anonymous would not have the guts to defame her face to face. (He won’t even tell us his name.) He hides behind a cloak of pusillanimity and casts aspersions. As I’ve long maintained, that is what is so wrong with this kind of forum.

  24. “This is not a direct financial conflict. However, Keltie does have an existing relationship that would color her ability to judge the merits of the Task Force’s report.”

    Vincente, if having “an existing relationship” is prohibitive, then virtually every elected official would be recused from almost every vote.

    For example, Sue Greenwald has “an existing relationship” with Eileen Samitz, whom she appointed to the General Plan Housing update committee. Do you suggest, therefore, that Mayor Greenwald ought to not vote on any suggestions of Samitz’s committee, because of that “existing relationship?”

    Like the mayor was for the city, Miss Jones was elected to give her best, unbiased judgment on school district matters. As long as she did not have a financial stake in the outcome of that vote, it was her obligation to render that judgment, right or wrong.

    “anonymous was able to make a charge; you were able to argue against that charge. This is about ideas, not personalities.”

    In fact, it is very much about personalities. Anonymous assaulted her character, by suggesting that her vote was conflicted. Anonymous would not have the guts to defame her face to face. (He won’t even tell us his name.) He hides behind a cloak of pusillanimity and casts aspersions. As I’ve long maintained, that is what is so wrong with this kind of forum.