Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Here are a series of emails between me and Rich Crandall, a former MPS school board prez and current legislator. This was before the governor vetoed the budget (bless her). I have heard him speak a couple times and as the head of the education committee he talks the talk but certainly doesn't walk it.

Mr. Crandall,
After hearing you speak in Walter Delecki's leadership class in the Spring I thought for sure you would be the advocate for education you said you would be. It was clear in your emails, newspaper interviews, and such you try to portray yourself as a positive representative for AZ education. Your involvement with the MPS board would seem to support this. Alas, Mr. Crandall, you are no better than the rest of the legislation. Even Russell Pearce who you try to distance yourself from. Your vote today for cuts against education shows this. How sad. As a native Mesan, product of Mesa schools, and present day teacher in Mesa, I was happy to support you. You no longer have my support. Enjoy the increased budget the House and Senate budget are proposing--and no doubt will pass. If it means anything to you, I 100% support the tax hike the Governor is proposing. Keiko Dilbeck

Note: my favorite part is the burn regarding Russell Pearce because no one really likes this guy and RC alluded at one point just because he was from Mesa and LDS didn't mean they were two peas in a pod.


Keiki (Ahem, yes, that is how he spelled my name. Classy.)
Thanks for your email. Now you know the challenge of solving a $3 billion hole. Even with the governor's tax referral to the ballot, which I support, we are still $2.7 billion short. You can disagree with me all you want and not support me, that's the greatness of the political process, but in the end I still have to find $2.7 billion. I was elected to make the tough choices, not the popular ones. I still respect your opinion, even though I disagree.
Sincerely, Rich Crandall

Note: I can totally imagine him cueing the patriot music on his boombox as he composed this.


My response #1:

Rich, Thank you for your response. In regards to the lack of cuts in legislative programs, I sincerely hope you are not with Burns and Kavanagh who believe that cutting their budgets, which would interfere with staffing, would be unfair and open them up to "legal errors". Well, join the club. Plus, I believe the legislature is doing just about enough accruing of legal debt at the taxpayers expense.Thanks for your time and response. Keiko

My response #2:

I am sending this email hours after a previous response I sent. One portion of your email kept rolling around in my mind. You say you were elected to make the tough choices, not the popular ones. Well, that sounds quite contrary to the idea of democracy. Elected representatives do just that: represent. Representatives need to start cutting the "I" out of their statements. If you are not representing the popular choice--which is the majority--then who are you representing? I have watched as theRepublicans have side lined Democrats during these budget talks and I am extremely troubled by these actions. Isn't good government one that involves everyone? After the last couple months I have seen "top" legislatures holding close door meetings, keeping other legislatures outof the loop, etc. This is not democracy, these are bully tactics. My representative could be excluded, which means I am not represented. How frustrating.

Truly, you must understand that I am concerned that in the face of the worst fincancial crisis we have faced in our lifetime, Arizona is not pulling together and considering all perspectives. This deeply troubles and saddens me. Again your time and consideration is appreciated. Keiko

When I return from work the end of July, let's go to breakfast. I want to better understand where you are coming from and vice versa. I hope your summer is fruitful. Rich Crandall


We'll see if this actually happens. However, I will make him pay and I want to pick the place.

In the end the governor's line item veto on education forced the legislators to makes some adjustments and accept some stimulus money. There still won't be any textbooks or extar materials, my salary will still be frozen, teachers will still replace substitutes, but maybe classrooms won't be as stuffed, districts can rehire some teachers, and I might not have to take an additional paycut. This is certainly a temporary fix, we'll be right back here next year. Well, unless we can get a 1% tax hike. I can only imagine that will help. Some people are acting like this tax hike is going to swallow people alive, but if we want public services we need to be willing to pony up for them. I'm just sayin.


Jillsywillsy said...

I am curious Keiko, how are the cuts affecting the administrators and superintendents?

Are they having to give up anything or are the teachers the only ones feeling it?

Renee said...

I'm so proud of you for voicing your opinion to the people who are supposed to make the difference. It's one thing to blog about what sucks. It's another to tell our elected officials what we want to do to make the change. I hope he does take you to breakfast, and I hope you continue to stand up for what matters to you. Brava, Keiki.

witticism here said...

Jill, unfortunately there are absolutely no cuts in admin or superintendency. A classy move on MPS's part was to hire a new assistant sup and then give the new head sup a pay hike. It is absurd. They will take a pay freeze and/or cut if it comes along, but little else.

brett and carly said...

Well done, Keiko. I'd be interested to hear how things turn out at your breakfast (that is, if he doesn't flake out). I wish I could be as bold as you. Keep us posted!

witticism here said...

You should be bold. Everyone should be! It kills me that lawmakers feel beholden to a small group of people. If you don't say something they will assume you don't care and carry on. A representative represents many, not just a few.

Sharon said...

Good for you, girl. I have written my legislators and have gotten similar responses. It's frustrating. When our students' scores are not as good as they should be, we'll take the heat--lousy teachers. I know it's not always about the money--Lord knows if it were, no one would be in the classroom. But . . . in many ways, you get what you pay for. If teachers are being used as substitutes, how can they do other things? We know the challenges. People really need to get on board--people besides educators because we all have a stake in this thing. I want to go to breakfast with you when you go with Rich Crandall. The young and the old. I've been teaching 42 years and have some definite opinions! Good for you for speaking up and speaking up so eloquently. Yeah . . . where does the "I" fit in?

witticism here said...

Sharon, I'll let you know if/when we go!