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School board member's residency called into question

Original post made on May 16, 2008

A few residents claiming school board trustee Pat Kernan is in violation of residency requirements led the Pleasanton Unified School District to seek legal counsel, the Weekly has learned. Kernan is accused of moving out of Pleasanton while still continuing to serve on the school board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 16, 2008, 10:57 AM

Comments (54)

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm

As taxpayers and parents in Pleasanton it should be of concern that a former resident has remained on the board of trustees for more than two years after selling his home in Pleasanton and relocating to Camino Ca. A non-resident should have no say in a parcel tax discussion when he no longer has a stake.

Pleasanton School Trustee Pat Kernan lists an apartment address in Pleasanton as his residence. However there is overwhelming evidence that he has established Camino as his permanent home.

California Education Code 3510 states that a person must be a resident of the school district to be eligible to be elected a member of a governing board. Domicile is the determining factor of residency for elected office. The California Attorney General states, " Domicile means a place of physical presence coupled with the intention to make that place one's permanent home; a person may have only one domicile any given time."

PUSD has asked their attorneys for a legal opinion regarding Kernan's residency compliance. They need this opinion to support that Kernan may serve based on a technicality, rather than adhering to the spirit of the law.

Due to overcrowding, PUSD has strict policies regarding residency for families. A student suspected of fraudulently using a Pleasanton address is promptly investigated and given a ten-day notice to vacate. The district must require the same from its trustees.

PUSD's character trait for the month of May is Integrity: "Having the courage to do the right thing. Integrity is the steadfast adherence to a strict ethical code. Ethics goes beyond obeying laws. It also involves abiding by moral standards."

The California Attorney General states that, "Both the public and the district have an interest in the integrity of public office and in the qualifications of their officials." In the best interests of the office, is time for Mr. Kernan to step down and make room for someone who can truly represent the interests of Pleasanton residents.

Web Link

1. April 2006 the Kernan's sold their home on Tanglewood, Pleasanton, Ca.
2. April 2006 the Kernan's subsequently purchased a home at 4515 Superior Dr, Camino, CA.
3. Kernan has stated that the permanent residence of wife is the Camino residence.
4. Re-appointed to Board November 2006.
5. Kernan was a partner with a Sacramento law firm. In fall of 2007 he opened his own private practice in an office in Camino. He maintains an office in Camino but only a home based business license for the Pleasanton apartment.
6. Kernan serves as a representative of Camino Ca. on the board for the El Dorado Community Foundation.
Web Link

7. Kernan has land phone lines serving his Camino law office as well as the Camino residence. The home phone number listed for Pat on the district website was a cell number listed in his wife's name, it has been disconnected. Only cell numbers are listed for contact purposes for Pleasanton.
8. Kernan has been unable to attend meetings. School board agenda (5/1/08) states trustee Kernan will participate in board meeting by phone, (available by phone from 4515 Superior Drive, Camino, CA 95709,)

Julie Testa

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Pleasanton weekly please post the letter from PUSD's attorney. While it is intended to support Pat's position, I think it works against him.

For example it states:

"(Elec. Code 2031) If a person has more than one dwelling a rebuttable presumption exists THE DWELLING ON WHICH HE OR SHE CLAIMS THE HOMEOWNER'S PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION IS THAT PERSON'S DOMICILE. This presumption does not apply, however, if the address listed for DMV purposes is a different residence.

KERNAN CONCEDES THAT A PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION IS CLAIMED ON THE CAMINO ADDRESS. The attorney states that "while Mr. Kernan indicates that he claims a property tax exemption on his El Dorado property, his DMV listing in Pleasanton rebuts any presumption of residency in El Dorado."

Now consider this:

Kernan claims he is a resident of Pleasanton because, among other points, he has maintained his DMV records and voter registration in Pleasanton. He then says the fact that he was excused from jury duty, using the excuse that he lives in Alameda County, further supports his claim of residency. The question then becomes, how was he called to jury duty in El Dorado County if he has kept those documents showing the Pleasanton address?

Web Link

Superior Court of California
County of El Dorado

How Jurors Are Summoned
Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of registered voters and persons who have valid California drivers' licenses.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 16, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Good job, Julie, of gathering facts and shining light on this issue.

In reading the article and your posts I came away with a picture of a man who appears to be using every technicality available to him to hang on as a Pleasanton trustee while he establishes his new home and career in Camino, which he appears to have substantially already done.

Of course, tactically the time to challenge the legality of his residency is AFTER he votes on important, controversial issues. A finding in a court of law may well upset any vote. That's why we have courts - to keep everything fair. If the residents of Pleasanton as well as the Board and staff want that kind of board member, then they will deserve the future problems that his continuance as a board member will likely create.

Posted by Concerned dad of two PUSD students, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Julie, you are much admired by many in Pleasanton. Thank you for not only exposing Mr. Kernan to the light of day, thank you for all your advocacy work over the years.

Frank, you make some excellent points - Pleasanton residents need to get involved.

As for Mr. Kernan, it's time for him to step down. What a pathetic and shameful display of hanging on to power.

I have grave concerns about the cozy club our board of trustees has become. Who amongst them will take Mr. Kernan aside and whisper the magic words in his ear? And someone remind me of when the last time a board member was elected and not appointed?

Posted by Barbara, a resident of Downtown
on May 16, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I see there is a thread regarding this matter that started on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm. Pat Kernan must resign. We have attorneys for the school district wasting taxpayer money researching where his primary residence is. Hmm, do you think these attorneys want to blow the whistle on a fellow attorney – just wondering. What's with the jury duty summons? Is he registered to vote in two counties? Will someone investigate and find the truth? Is PW a true community advocate or are they too comfortable being up close and personal with local politicos?

Posted by Samantha, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on May 16, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I feel like it is a sham to the voters when politicians actually live somewhere else than the district they purportedly represent. I don't understand how these politicians can lawfully hold office when they obviously have sold their home in Pleasanton, moved to a home somewhere else outside the city, and are only tied to the district by what appears to be a temporary rental apt in an apartment complex and a cell phone #.

First there was the supervisor in SF that was charged with fraud for saying he really lived in SF when in fact he predominently lived in Burlingame, then just recently Chris Kavanagh in Berkeley was charged with fraud and perjury for claiming he lived there and in fact his real primary residence was Oakland.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted the DA from Alameda County as ---

"District Attorney Tom Orloff said Kavanagh had been arrested on suspicion of five felony counts - three of voter fraud, one perjury charge and one grand theft count for accepting a monthly stipend and health insurance benefits while serving on the Berkeley rent board.

Orloff said it was the first time in his memory that Alameda County has filed such charges against an elected official, but he expressed confidence his office could make the case stick.

"We have to be in position to really show it was sham," Orloff said, "and we must think we can do that or else we wouldn't have charged him." "

I'm really disappointed that this is now happening in Pleasanton, the so-called 'Community of Character.'

Posted by Ptown Mom, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 16, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Mr. Kernan should be familiar with the legal expression: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are--it is a duck.

Apartment v. single-family home?

Land lines v. cellphone?

Home office v. partnership?

Mr. Kernan may be barely meeting the minimum standards of claiming residency, but the "spirit" of how he is living his life suggests that Pleasanton is no longer where he hangs his hat.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 17, 2008 at 7:49 am

Pat has been well respected in the Pleasanton community; he should resign with dignity in response to the communities concerns.

The superintendent and school board needs to consider their role in allowing this to continue this long.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 17, 2008 at 10:21 am

If Pat had a school age child, would that child be allowed to attend Pleasanton schools based on the apartment? Probably not. Even if the child were allowed to attend schools here in Pleasanton, would Pat or his wife be able to bring the student to/from school every day, attend Open Houses during the week, and fully participate in school life in Pleasanton? Probably not.

Pat Kernan must resign. He has served this community and is now time to move on. As others have pointed out, there was a case in SF where the person was convicted of fraud - the district, the board and Pat must look not only at what is right, but at their own role in potentially breaking the law.

Posted by Michael, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I read in the Valley Times that the District used a law firm called 'Lozano Smith' for their legal advice. Why would Pleasanton contract with a law firm that was recently sanctioned state-wide by a Federal judge for ethics violations? He ordered the entire firm to have ethics training and indicated Lozano Smith engaged in "repeated misstatements of the record, frivolous objections to plaintiff's statement of facts, and repeated mischaracterizations of the law." Take a look at this article from this law web site Web Link

Also, this whole explanation of the apartment as a law office business sounds bogus to me. How can you run a law office out of an apartment in an apartment complex without going through a process with the Planning Commission? Anyone who runs a business out of their home where clients visit have to fill out an application and go to the city's Planning Commission. How long has he been running an illegal home occupation out of this apartment?

Posted by Minneapolis, a resident of Del Prado
on May 17, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I heard today that Pat Kernan really lives in Camino. I think it is unfair to students, teachers and parents that have elected him to office.

I recently moved from Minnesota and when Mr. Kernan's brother passed away, if this is the same Kernan family, the funeral notices from Minnesota listed Pat Kernan as a resident of Camino, California, not Pleasanton, California. The Kernan family looks like they believe Pat Kernan lives in Camino.

Web Link

Thomas Peter Kernan, 65, of Red Wing, died Wednesday, at his residence. He was born June 25, 1941, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Phillip and Mary Frances(Beck) Kernan. He graduated from DeSalle High School in Minneapolis in 1959, from the University of St. Thomas in 1964 and received his master's degree from Wayne State University in 1969. On August 7, 1965, he married Patricia Lordan and they were married until 1999. Since 1969 he has been a Red Wing resident. For 34 years he was employed at the Minnesota State Correctional Facility in Red Wing, retiring in 1999. He was a member of the Amateur Hockey Association since 1973, serving as President for five years, the Bergwall Management Committee and the Prairie Island Area Building Committee and also was a rink official for both boys and girls hockey. A train enthusiast, he was a member of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Historical Society. He was also an active member and volunteer for the Red Wing Area Seniors and was a founding member of the Gandy Dancers. He also enjoyed sports, watching ESPN and spending time with his family.

Survivors include three children, Anne (Shawn) Grunzke of Washington D.C., Michael (Kelly) Kernan of Maple Grove and Colleen (Cory) Sell of Missoula, MT; 4 grandchildren, Jenna and Tyler Grunzke and Christopher and Jack Kernan; one brother, Patrick (Marcia) Kernan of Camino, Calif. and his former wife, Patricia Kernan of Hager City. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 brothers, Michael and Father Timothy Kernan.

Funeral will be 12 noon Saturday at the Church of St. Joseph with Father Thomas M. Kommers officiating. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Friday with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service at Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials preferred to Red Wing Area Seniors.

Posted by JT, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 18, 2008 at 7:19 am

I am sorry for the Kernan family's loss.

Posted by Be Fair, a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2008 at 8:08 am

My wife and I have a house at North Tahoe. She stays there more than I in that she has retired. At times, we claim Tahoe - others Pleasanton. Can't believe the way people react regarding where Pat lives. My wife says some of the same people who sought term limits years ago in an effort to have Juanita off the board may be involved.

Posted by Mom/Teacher, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 18, 2008 at 10:29 am

I am so disappointed how negative Pleasanton is becoming. It's all about getting one's way and shoving the ones out that aren't helping you get what you want. Many Pleasanton residents have vacation properties and second homes.

Posted by tax preparer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2008 at 10:31 am

Be Fair--Is your North Tahoe home on the California or Nevada side and which one do you list for tax purposes? It may be a more critical financial decision for you than Pat since Nevada does not have state income tax. But, just like the election code, the PRIMARY residence is to be used for income tax purposes. You can't have it both ways when it comes to taxes.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I absolutely support term limits for all members of our school board. Our City Council has term limits; all elected bodies should have term limits. Without term limits the relationships between our elected bodies and the government employees they oversee becomes too familiar and the elected official become ineffective.

Residency requirement is a law to ensure local representation.

The Camino home that Kernan owns, claims homeowner exemption on, and his wife resides at does not meet the legal criteria for a vacation home. The apartment that is rented and that is the residence of his adult children does not meet the criteria for his primary residence.

It is not being negative to hold elected and government official accountable, it is the responsible thing to do.

Mr. Kernan had the opportunity to resign before this was made public he chose not to.
The District Attorney will decide on the legal consequences but the public needs to hold the Board and the District accountable for the unwillingness to hold their board member
to the spirit of the law.

PUSD holds our children to a higher level of integrity than they are demonstrating.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 18, 2008 at 5:43 pm

It's a slam dunk

Step down and apologize.

As for the Board. Quit dancing around this with technicalities.
He got out of jury duty in his home county is a pitifull defenense.

Posted by parent, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 18, 2008 at 8:05 pm

In the City of Planned Clipboard politics, lets get the clipboards out and start a recall petition. Maybe that will get someone's attention!!!

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 18, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Please tell the school board and superintendent how you feel.

Send email to:

Posted by P Town, a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Have to agree with Mom/Teacher - well said.

Posted by Integrity counts, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 19, 2008 at 4:20 am

If this trustee does not resign he must be recalled!!!!

Posted by Mary, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I don't understand why a couple of posters here think it is disappointing that others expect our community leaders to conduct themselves honestly and with integrity! Why would our Community of Character expect anything less??? This has nothing to do with "shoving ones out" or the fact that many people own vacation homes. It seems very clear to me that this man has moved out of our community (his own family even thinks so) so he should have resigned or certainly not been appointed in fall 2006. The fact that he and the district are trying to defend his status is what is truly disappointing in my opinion.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 19, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I remembered a post from Emily Atwood about this topic a while back. The response about Kernan's home phone number didn't make sense to me so I called the city about business license requirements. I was told that listing a home phone number was certainly allowable and not in violation of a home business license. And the number listed was a cell number anyway! So did Emily get the response twisted or was it another lame excuse that has NO TRUTH to it?

"Upon calling Pat Kernan, he said he lives and runs a home office out of the apartment listed on the school district's website. He said it's the same as his voter registration, driver's license, etc. The home phone number listed on the district website has been disconnected, and he said he is unable to list his home number as it violates his home business license.
Posted by Emily Atwood, Pleasanton Weekly reporter, on Apr 7, 2008 at 9:54 am "

Posted by We the people, a resident of Civic Square
on May 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Mom/Teacher & P Town, while I respect your position, I, and many others, completely disagree. Mr Kernan needs to do the right thing and resign his position. Pressure from us, the citizens of Pleasanton, need to make our voices heard. Remember, elected representatives and city employees work for us, The People.

Posted by John Jones, a resident of Amador Estates
on May 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Mary - it is the manner of the message and the need to take shots. There is absolutely no respect or compassion shown as bloggers claim honesty and integrity. Read the messages - many are hostile and negative. Nearly all are self rightous and condescending. This is the problem inherent with blogging. We all assume that we know more than we do and write as if we have all the facts. We don't - at times, we, actually, have to trust. After only a year in Pleasanton, just reading this blog, it appears that one person raises the issue (possibly with justification), pushes the weekly to report, starts a blog, and does all that she can to make it a public issue. Read the comments from bloggers: "cozy club," "pathetic & shameful," "so-called Community of Character," "walks like a duck." I also have concern about a statement that I read as, at least at one time, threatening: "Mr Kernan had the opportunity to resign before this was made public and chose not to." This seems very personal. Mary - the point may be valid. It can, however, be handled with far more class than I see here.

Posted by 5.0 Jughead, a resident of Birdland
on May 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Well, well, well...seems we have an ILLEGAL hanging around the fort...

What to do? Do what Plutonians do and behave like cry babies and whine online.....sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesch!

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm

What is the individual's motivation for continuing to serve on the Pleasanton School Board?

Posted by Jim, a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Ask him and let us all know. Here is his email .

Posted by Yota, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on May 20, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Community of Character---what a croc! Community of Character when Convenient is more like it.

Posted by Chris, a resident of California Reflections
on May 20, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Community of Character for the Kids... Community of 'laws don't apply to us' for the district.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 20, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Thank You Julie for your efforts in the community. Pat is dead in the water and Mr. Casey needs to do the responsible thing.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 20, 2008 at 11:07 pm

This last statement by Bill is a bit confusing.

"Pat is dead in the water and Mr. Casey needs to do the responsible thing."

It suggests that Superintendent Casey has hire/fire authority over Mr. Kernan or something of the sort. Rather, the Board has that power over Mr. Casey. So, don't make him responsible for Mr. Kernan.

A more accurate call to action would be that Mr. Kernan should do the responsible thing, which would be to resign his position.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 21, 2008 at 1:23 am

Frank you are, of coarse, correct.

But remember that the district has been keeping the arraignment quiet for three years, even through an election. I know there would have been challengers for Kernan's seat if his move had been disclosed.

Most of Pat's fellow board members feel they have no responsibility. Rather than ask for an opinion from the attorney that is on their payroll, they should request an opinion from the Ca. Attorney General. That request must come from the district.

Please share your concerns with them.

Posted by Useless, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2008 at 7:35 am

Kris Weaver has her own agenda on items and tends to not listen to the community for which she works. Perhaps a move to oust her AND Kernan would be to the overall benefit of the School District.

Posted by raven, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Recalls are expensive and this school district barely has enough to get done what needs to be done. This community can get things accomplished by attending the school board meetings and sent many emails asking Kernan to step down. Pressure from the public always works well.

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm

When I do the arithmetic I get two years, not three years, from the sale of the Pleasanton home in April 2006. I think the clock begins at this point and in a reasonable time thereafter normal people cannot argue their actual home resides in the former community because their entanglement in the new community intensifies during this time. This very much appears to be the case in this situation. Mr. Kernan appears to be using every technicality available to him in order to hang on.

Now I don't know who all these board members are except for the Steve who previously fretted about Jennifer's hawk. It's hard for me to imagine there may be some sort of group consensus and complicity regarding Mr. Kernan's apparent illegal holding of office. More likely we just have a group of ordinary citizens who have supposed that professional staff watches over all proceedings and circumstances and would advise them when and if irregularities appear.

Maybe this is where Mr. Casey did not fulfill his role. Maybe he is fulfilling his role. Don't know for sure.

The deal really lies with Mr. Kernan. He dragged the board and staff into this maelstorm by his behavior and one might view that the board and staff are victims, too.

The fundamental issue here is an illegal voting member of a public body puts all votes at risk of being declared invalid in a court of law. For this reason, Mr. Kernan's status has to be absolutely validated right now, before any further time elapses.

Now if I were one of the board members at the next meeting I would want Mr. Kernan's status settled ASAP. Wouldn't you?

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 22, 2008 at 2:23 am

IMO, the only way this issue will be resolved is when someone with big bucks takes the issue to the State Attorney General for an opinion, as was done in the Web Links mentioned previously, or at the ballot box in 2010. To expect PUSD to investigate one of their own is rather silly(Mr. Casey stated residents can challenge the issue in court).

Residents can scream and yell on a forum such as this and as long as that's as far as it goes nothing will change. Mr. Kerman doesn't seem to be concerned. If he were, IMO, he would have personally addressed the issue publically by now.

Wouldn't put much stock in expecting the rest of the Board of Trustees getting involved. It has no individual bearing on them at this time.

Posted by Useless, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2008 at 4:47 am

Mr. Kernan will never step down nor will the board force his removal. Remember, he's an attorney.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

I stand corrected it seems like it has been much longer but it has been two years, still too long.

The District Attorney is looking at this now but they have not committed to "investigating" it yet. The Ca. Attorney General said they would issue an opinion if asked to by PUSD but they will not respond to a request from the public. They say the school district is responsible for the integrity of their elected body and will issue an opinion if ask to by PUSD.
The school board has made the community of character a requirement for our kids and all adults in the district they can not exempt themselves.

In order for the seat to be open for the November ballot and not be another appointment Kernan must resign in the next two months.

The superintendent and the school board are responsible. Please email them.

District Attorney:

The superintendent:
Board President:
Board Members

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 23, 2008 at 12:15 am

"The Ca. Attorney General said they would issue an opinion if asked to by PUSD but they will not respond to a request from the public".

Does anyone really believe PUSD will ask for an opinion. In my opinion - CASE CLOSED.................

Just keep the action, or lack of, of the Trustees in mind when they come up for re-election.

Why is Mr. Casey involved in this? He reports to Mr. Kernan and the other Trustees. Employee investigating his boss??? Per Larry The Cable Guy - "Now that's funny right there"!!!

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I don't think emailing the board and Casey will do any good. They have shown complete apathy towards the situation... by now they should have made a public statement justifying Kernan's board membership and/or publily request his resignation.

The only thing we can do is run for the board seats that are coming up - does anyone know the deadline to apply for this? Once you get new people on the board, they can request an investigation by the attorney general.

Julie: thank you for all you do, I truly admire your courage. If you have information about when/how to sign up to run for the board, it would be beneficial for this community to see that, so that we can slowly begin to have new faces, new/fresh ideas in Pleasanton, and people that are non-residents can be voted out, either through a majority on the board, or by the attorney general's investigation.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2008 at 8:35 pm

My neighbor just mentioned another way to let our opinion (about Kernan on the board) be heard: let your wallet talk - wise advice from an older person who's lived in Pleasanton for more than 30 years.

Posted by Distraught, a resident of Las Positas
on May 23, 2008 at 10:15 pm

As a teacher in the area, I do have to stand up for Mr. Kernan based on his work ethic. As a school board member I have seen personally that he is dedicated to this district. He actually comes out to the school sites and volunteers his time. He tries to stay involved in the community he is working for, and not just as a publicity stunt. I can't say the same for any of the other board members currently serving. Does he or doesn't he live in Pleasanton ? I don't know. I do know if he is commuting back and forth in an effort to genuinely support our schools, I would prefer that to the school board members who live down the street from our schools yet never step foot on the school site.

Posted by Ed, a resident of California Reflections
on May 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Pat would have left a positive legacy if he had resigned when he moved out of Pleasanton. He has done himself and the community a disservice to disregard the law that governs elected office.

I agree with Anonymous.
Let the district know there will be no support for a parcel tax.

Posted by Sad, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 24, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Residency aside, Kernan has been a good solid Trustee on our School Board. Reading the posts in this thread saddens me in that probably one of the main reasons most people live in Pleasanton is the awesome school system we have and yet behind the curtain of a blog people just rip away. Maybe our school board should just build that extra High School regardless of cost...would that make Jules happy? Seems the first chance someone gets to drive a wedge...they do. Sure, don't support a parcel tax...why not take your anger or irritation or political agendas out on the students...they don't have a voice here nor do they vote...really a safe demographic to take advantage of.

Posted by Interesting, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 25, 2008 at 6:53 am

Residency aside????

You mean obeying the law and integrity aside!!!!!!

What an interesting twisting of the situation....hmm.....

Posted by Sad, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Yes, residency aside. The district has decided that Pat has a legal address. My point was that Pat has been a solid contributing active member of our school board. For someone who's is being scrutinized as negatively as he has in this blog I was wondering out loud what the motive is? Are you really concerned where Pat lives or do you have an axe to grind with our school district and Pat is now the target... Nothing twisted with my logic. Attack the system if you don't like it...respect the man. An even better suggestion is come out in the open, use your real name and run for the board....if you think you could draw enough votes or know enough voters in this town who respect you enough to vote for you.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Sad: the law is what it is, regardless of your feelings or Pat's contributions to the school district. I don't think people are attacking Pat, what is being criticized is his decision to stay on the board after he moved out of Pleasanton (which violates election code), and the board's decision to support that.

Posted by Fred, a resident of Valley Trails
on May 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm


Are you planning to run for a seat on the school board in the fall?

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm

" "One of the fundamental underpinnings of a representative democracy is that elected officials represent the area that they come from," said Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.

"Without commenting on the allegations that have surfaced, the notion of district elections is the notion that districts should be represented by people who come from the community." "

Web Link

Posted by Julie Testa, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 25, 2008 at 11:37 pm

I am probably the only person on this thread that is using my real name.
I am not an elected official or public employee.

For 15 years I have been consistent, questioning PUSD and the board of trustees on many issues that I have felt deserve public scrutiny. I have a personal interest in that I have had kids in this district for 18 years. I have no malice or agenda other than public accountability.

My issues have varied from campus overcrowding, the school board's pattern of appointing trustees rather than letting seats go to election, accountability questions on the many attempts to justify a parcel tax, and now asking that this residency question be addressed.

I have a great amount of respect for most of the trustees and employees of the district. My kids have done well in this district and the Pleasanton community. We have great schools, administrators, counselors, and teachers.

It is regretful that this residency issue was not resolved before it got to this point. The elected position is a matter of public interest. I have never intended this as an attack on the person in question.

There will be two seats up in November. Steve Brozosky has committed to not running so his seat can be open with no incumbent. The other is Kris Weaver's who has not yet declared whether she will run for reelection again. It would be appropriate for Kernan's seat to be open as well.

Steve Brozosky would like to help anyone that may be interested in running for his seat and has invited potential candidates to contact him. I would welcome hearing from potential candidates as well. I am not sure but I think August is when candidates will declare their intention to run.

Julie Testa

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 27, 2008 at 9:50 pm


You, too, don't use your real name.

No one in this thread has written that Mr. Kernan did not or does not do good things as a trustee. They criticize his obviously bad, apparently illegal decision to hang on to his position despite the fact situation regarding residency. Being a good trustee does not give him a free pass on otherwise possible illegal behavior.

What the rest of the board has done or not done regarding his residency, nor what the staff position on this issue is, actually is not that relevant when it comes to citizens' independent appraisal of the facts and their vocal opinion of those facts. The citizen input is very much less political and less conflicted than any of the above. And that's their right and duty to question such conflicts, and trying to shame them into shutting their mouth(s) by saying use your real name or "respect the man" or run for the board yourself may in your mind be meaningful, but is really not.

Your post is just another form of attacking the messengers since you don't agree.

The central issue here is Mr. Kernan's behavior, not the critics of that behavior.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 27, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Thanks Frank, well said.

You may be the only other person willing to back up what you say by using your real name.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2008 at 12:48 am

I'm glad to see this matter getting some attention by outside authorities after reading about this on these blogs for months. It sounds like Julie Testa is the one who finally pushed for an investigation. She's got guts that most of the rest of us don't have especially if you've got kids in school. My hat's off to you for trying to keep the school officials honest even if they have trouble doing the right thing. Like others have said, I don't want to hear another word from the schools about character education when the adults in charge feel that they are exempt.
It is also shameful that the district paid an attorney to write a letter reiterating the way Mr. Kernan wants to spin things. We parents have to PROVE our residency every single school year to the school district. So why can't we taxpayers insist he give us proof as well? I mean, come on, his family in Minnesota believed he moved so why wouldn't we?

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