Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 25, 2011

School board member's wife on union team

No conflict of interest seen

by Glenn Wohltmann

At first glance, it might seem like a conflict of interest that Pleasanton school board member Jeff Bowser and his wife are on opposite sides of the negotiations between the district and the teacher's union.

But neither Bowser nor the union sees it that way. Trevor Knaggs, president of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers (APT), said Tuesday that Patty Bowser has been representing elementary school teachers on the union for years. Patty Bowser teaches third grade at Hearst Elementary School and is a member of the elementary at-large committee.

"She would relay any concerns that the members have expressed to the executive board," Knaggs said. "I think Patty is above reproach."

Knaggs pointed out that "she's been involved in union work for a long time before her husband ran for school board."

Jeff Bowser also discounted any conflict of interest.

"My wife has her own career and she's been selected as a leader," he said. "She's not part of the negotiating team. Neither am I."

The issue came to light as the district, with Bowser elected to the board just last year, begins its negotiations for revisions to the APT contact for the 2011-12 school year.

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