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School district stands by litigation over Neal School

Original post made on Jun 18, 2008

After meeting in closed session Tuesday afternoon regarding the judge's ruling in favor of Signature Properties, the school district briefly reported on discussion, but will wait on legal counsel before confirming further action.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 5:06 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Nobody wins
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

As always in a lawsuit, the only money being made is by the lawyers. I won't be surprised if the district keeps up efforts to win this futile battle. Asking a lawyer to recommend whether or not to pursue a case is like asking a waitress if the food is good in thier restaurant. What a waste.


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Posted by Roswell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:39 am


Sadly the winner is Signature Properties. You can bet the Jims, Ghielmetti an Mckeehan, have been celebrating.

For them it is all a game of power. They have outwitted all of the PUSD and City's attorneys.

Or have they... was it an inside job... was it botched on purpose? It doesn't seem possible to have so many be so incompetent.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

The Neal site will end up in the hands of a developer to pay for the board's incompetence.


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Posted by It's Only The Beginning
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm

of litigation involving the PUSD. This one is the biggest but mark my words, there will be more.


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Posted by Concerned dad of two PUSD students
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm

What an absolute colossal failure on the part of our school board and superintendant. Let's do some quick math. $2M for current legal fees plus $2.5M for the builder attorney fees and court costs, not to mention at least $400k for design drawings. Oh, don't forget the $1M to remove the two traffic calming circles and how much do you think those circles cost us in the first place, hmm, let's just low-ball it and say $250k. Well , what does this simple addition problem add up to? That's correct, tax payers of Pleasanton, over $6,000, 000! I bet we could have paid for that school after all, if we would have agreed to work with the developers instead of trying to strong arm them. $6M + $8.5M would have built a nice school.


This is real money we're talking about -- accountability is called for. The thought that our board and superintendant would even think of appealing this ruling is beyond reason. Hmm, or is it simply insane!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


Developer Jim McKeehan said it best: "This is a classic example of what happens when small-minded politicians attempt to micromanage an issue that they don't understand or comprehend and run roughshod over the people on staff who do have the experience and knowledge to properly address the issue".

We're flat-out lucky McKeehan and Jim Ghielmetti don't plan to sue the district for slander.

Maybe it's time for Superintendant Casey to pack his bags and head back to Watsonville. He's clearly out of his league here. And I'm not seeing leadership from other board members either. Thanks for the lack of quality legal advise, Pat Kernan. Pat, you need to give up your seat and head back to the Sierra foothills, where your primary residence is. Now is a good time to make the move, Pat.


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Posted by curious mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Did you move here to Pleasanton because of the schools? When? Since twelve years ago or more recent?
Please advise 'dad of two PUSD students of Harvest Park' as I am 'just curious'.


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Posted by Eco Doc
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 21, 2008 at 8:20 am

We have a saying in the biz world - if you are in a deep hole, stop digging.

Mr. Ott, Mr. Kernan and Dr. Casey - learn from Nelson F. and cut your losses now. Stop throwing money at the issue. Figure out a way never to blow $2-$4M on a lawsuit with no merit in the future, and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) - hire REAL lawyers and business negotiators the next time you consider a deal (or lawuit) for more than $1M. Your current lawyer is lacking severely - replace him. Participating in the post loss denial and cover up that is starting just makes it worse for you all and for the kids in the District.

Your lawyers, staff (ditto for City of Pleasanton lawyers) and Dr. Casey failed us all. Yes, Dr. Casey wasn't here for the start of this mess- but he could have and should have pulled the plug a long time ago. That's why we pay him the "big bucks." If Dr. Casey can't make the tough calls, find someone who can.

One positive thing that may come out of this, though, is PUSD has angered enough parents who care in this district to shake up the little rubber stamp kaffeeklatsch and get three votes who are effective, critical board members. Of the two there now, one is leaving and it takes three to make anything happen.

PS - if test scores and state rankings are considered vs. what we spend in this district - we have been falling behind for a decade. We need more money in the classroom - not on administration and lost lawsuits.


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Posted by Concerned dad of two PUSD students
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm

curious mom: We have lived in Pleasanton since 1996. Our children have attended PUSD schools from kindergarten to their current grade levels. My wife and I where both born and raised in the bay area and attended public schools (through our college years). We care about what is best for ALL Pleasanton students.

Eco Doc: Your comments are right on target.


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Posted by Annoyed
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 26, 2008 at 7:42 am

Dear COncerned Dad-
If you are so concerned about our "lack" of integrity of the matter at hand, then why don't you pick up your family and get packing to a better school district..oh yeah, that's funny, Pleasanton is one of the top ranked school districts. Hmmmm.That's funny.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2008 at 9:47 am


Dear Concerned Dad,

Don't be shamed for challenging incompetence and asking for accountability.

The district was definitely out lawyered all the way around.

But Ghielmetti and the McKeehans are the ones that really played this community. They should never be allowed to do business in this community again.








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