FERNDALE VIEWS:  School Board Elections are May 4, 2010.  These letters are in support of Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick.  For letters about Nan Kerr-Mueller and Kristy Stoll go to www.ferndale115.com/VIEWSkands.html  Send your letters to editor@ferndale115.com.

For more information on the Moeser and Frederick campaign, go to www.ferndalecbe.org.  For more on the Kerr-Mueller and Stoll campaign, go to www.nanandkristyforschoolboard.com.Citizens for Fair Ferndale also has candidate questionnaires available at http://www.fairferndale.org.

Please note that the Ferndale 115 News DOES NOT endorse candidates, nor does the editor and publisher vote.  Our goal is to facilitate open discussion and to teach people to understand issues by looking at multiple sides.  We strongly encourage readers to use the links we provide and learn more about all issues, especially before voting.



You asked for supporters to write in with their opinions. I have an extremely brief one:


“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”


Karen Breen-Bondie



Re-elect Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick

By Jim O’Donnell, Ferndale resident


In the May 4th election for Ferndale School Board, we find the most competitive race in recent memory.  With four compelling candidates, it’s a difficult vote for an important office.  Think about the stakes: our children’s education, the future of the community, property values and our community’s values.


I choose to support Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick after a long review of the candidates’ positions, character, temperament, and experience.  My analysis was in the context of a school district that is has improving academic performance, is financially stable (unlike most surrounding communities), and has superb music, fine arts, athletics, and honors programs.  There is so much going right with the district.  Much of that is the result of the decisions of our current school board, of which Chuck and Carol have been important leaders.


All four candidates are honest and hard working.  All four care deeply about the kids in our district and want to see the best.  Carol Frederick and Chuck Moeser have deep knowledge of and experience with the district’s finances, programs, and operations.  More importantly, they understand that the role of the school board is to set the strategic direction and formulate policies that enable the administration to manage the district on a day-to-day basis.  They also have the temperament to listen to the community, forge consensus on key issues facing the Board, and to know what’s best done by administrators or volunteer organizations.


Many of us want to see increased transparency and more community involvement in Board committees and the Board’s decision-making process.  Chuck and Carol have made firm commitments to make this happen.  Moreover, they have the experience to gather many voices from the community and channel that involvement into constructive change.


Some have raised the banner of generational change and the need for board members who have children in school right now.  As a member of Generation X with young kids in the district, I’m all for that change.  But in a process as complex as school district governance, I’d like to see new candidates engage in different district-wide activities and committees for a few years before going to the Board.  It’s also important to have experience with children of different ages in the district.  Carol and Chuck remain actively engaged with students and teachers, even as their children have graduated and become successful adults.


Over the next four years, our district will face deeper budget cuts from Lansing, more unfunded mandates from Lansing and Washington, declining property tax revenues, and other issues unknown to any of us right now.  We need experienced leadership, wisdom, and progressive values on our school board.  That’s what Carol Frederick and Chuck Moeser will provide.  Please vote for Carol and Chuck on May 4th.


-Jim O'Donnell



Voter Education for School Board

by, Derek Smiertka


I read with interest Mr. O'Donnell's endorsement of Mr. Moeser and Ms. Frederick for Ferndale School Board.  I intend to vote for them due to name recognition and Mr. O'Donnell's support alone.  I know absolutely nothing about these people and very little about the jobs they do.  I know my taxes support the school district but how and why money is spent is a mystery to me.

I do not feel I am alone.  Mr. O'Donnell's letter mentioned the need for "increased transparency and more community involvement in Board committees and the Board’s decision-making process."  Is this a reference to the parents involvement?  Or is this a reference about the taxpayer's involvement?

Wouldn't a consolidated election matched with local municipal elections inspire more community knowledge and therefore more support for our district?

I have no kids but am happy to pay for good schools.  I understand we have decent grades as a district but can use some improvement.  Perhaps the "new" Board can take a few minutes to educate the public on their jobs and the district as a whole.

--Derek Smiertka


Dear Friends and Fellow Ferndale Public School District Citizens,


We would like to make a public statement in support of Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick for re-election to the Ferndale Board of Education.


We have known Carol Frederick for many years, since our children began attending Ferndale Public Schools together. We have always been in awe of Carol and her dedication to the district. She has always volunteered her time to advance the goal of making the district one of the finest places to shepherd our children through the educational process. Carol has dedicated her time to improve the district at many levels, including the PTA’s, The Ferndale Education Foundation, The Fine Arts Boosters as well as membership on numerous committees. Carol was a well-rounded and knowledgeable volunteer before she even considered running for school board. We consider this not only laudable but also necessary for a candidate. Knowledge of the system prior to taking a decision making position is paramount to the sustainability of our district. Carol Frederick, without question, has shown that she has learned the lessons necessary to guide us through what will most surely be one of the most difficult financial times in the history of education in our state.


We have not known Chuck Moeser nearly as long as we have known Carol, but in the past three years Katrina has worked closely with him on the School Board. We have learned that Chuck is a very knowledgeable and dedicated public servant. Further we have found him to be a tireless champion of public education who has faced controversy and conflict with a straight forward and openness that is refreshing in an elected official. As an example, Chuck dealt with the controversial issue of restructuring our district several years ago. His leadership and experience assisted us in understanding the pros and cons of the issue, and ultimately has made our district stronger and more viable. Chuck is also an outstanding volunteer. We consider him one of the jewels of our district. Chuck assists or attends a diverse cross-section of events and programs associated with our schools.


Our son Sean graduated from Ferndale in 2008 and is attending MSU and we feel the great education he received from Ferndale Public Schools prepared him for a lifetime of learning. Our son Connor is in 10th grade at Ferndale High School and is enjoying all the opportunities he is offered there including not having to pay-to-play sports. Daniel our youngest son is in 7th grade at Ferndale Middle School and is also happy to have a full selection of classes to pick from. We believe our sons have been directly impacted by the great financial decisions that Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick have made to keep Ferndale Public Schools a full service school district.


Please join us in voting for Carol Frederick and Chuck Moeser on May 4th for re-election to the Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education.


Sincerely, Tim and Katrina Collins (Tirelessly Involved FPS Parents)


Hello Ms. Proxmire, thank you for this opportunity.

I am writing to support the candidacy of Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick for Ferndale Board of Education.  Most of the community knows the great things Chuck and Carol have done for our Ferndale district schools, and their record speaks for itself.

All we know about Kristy Stoll and Nancy Kerr-Mueller is what we can glean from their campaign literature, the statements they have made during two candidate forums, and the statements of their supporters.  This is what truly concerns me.

For example:

During their first forum, neither Ms. Stoll nor Ms. Kerr-Mueller could not name the different committees on the Board of Education, or what these committees even did.  As matter of fact, neither of them have been on any of these committees, nor did they attend any BOE meetings until recently when they decided to run for office.

When asked about the possible budget cuts to our schools based on reduced school funding from the State, their platform has suggested a new "GLEE" style Performing Arts academy at the Oakland County CASA school, without a proposal for timing, enrollment, and most of all, cost.  According to Ms. Stoll during her last debate "You have to spend money to make money."

Ms. Stoll and Ms. Kerr-Mueller have repeatedly made the false assertion that there is an exodus of parents leaving the district.  In fact, according to district's Enrollment statistics, the numbers of students both  entering and leaving the district has remained essentially the same for over ten years.

What Ms. Stoll really means, and what she repeatedly mentions, are that a few families in her own community of Pleasant Ridge who could not get into JFK, their first choice  school through the the district lottery.  Rather than choose another more diverse Open Classroom school such as Roosevelt Elementary, these parents chose to leave the district. Not surprisingly, JFK is the school of choice for the majority for their supporters.

It is public knowledge that this group of disgruntled JFK parents from the affluent section of our school district have banded together with the goal of effecting changes to the JFK student lottery to increase Open Classroom openings and to eventually remove Gary Meier as Superintendent because he treats them as mere equals, as he should.  Ms. Stoll is their candidate of choice.  It is also public knowledge that the group had to work to find a non-JFK parent to "balance" their ticket and achieve the appearance of inclusiveness, and that many respected members of the local school community turned them down once they discovered their real agenda.

If you read the letters from Stoll and Kerr-Mueller's supporters, you will notice a number of people talking about new programs for their "gifted and talented children", about "maintaining dialogue", and "geographic" concerns.  It is not hard to read between the lines.  Ms. Stoll and Ms. Kerr-Mueller are using Open Classroom as a screen for a one-issue campaign--letting the parents of JFK, 10% of our school district, control the agenda for the other 90% of our diverse school community.

We should not and cannot let this happen to our schools and our community.  I urge to you to look at the statements of the candidates and their supporters, reflect on their inexperience, and reject their agenda of privilege.  Place your trust and your vote in the hands of the team with proven experience for the WHOLE Ferndale school district--Chuck Moeser and Carol Frederick.

If this letter makes some people angry, or I lose some "friends" over it, so be it!
This is not a popularity contest, there is much more at stake, my child's education, our children's education.  I've lived in, and supported this School District for over 20 years.

Thank you.
Mary Arnett

P.S.  This is a video clip from the 1st School Board Candidate Forum held by the Ferndale PTA Council, please watch it, watch them all, or just skip to the 5:40 minute point.  http://www.youtube.com/user/FerndalePTACouncil#p/u/6/axwtnCMI2Hw