Dear Ms. Parrell,
We have not met, but I have followed closely your almost two years as a member of the Antelope Union High School District Board of Trustees.
In all that time you have aligned yourself with Victoria Ruffin, and, until his resignation, with Bob Davis.
The three of you have conducted yourselves as no other Board members I have seen in 40 years of covering/following local government.
I have seen plenty of Boards squabble, I have seen plenty of Board members act out of their own interest, I have seen plenty of Board members put personal, petty politics ahead of doing what was right.
But even those Board members could set aside the bickering long enough to vote for the basics, to keep the government functioning.
Even those Board members had some compassion for their constituents.
And, because the voters are normally shrewd enough to see through charlatans, bad members are normally in the minority and limited in how much harm they can do.
You, Ruffin and Davis engaged in a litany of petty political stunts, such as firing a perfectly competent attorney and replacing her with a Los Angeles firm that charges $400 an hour.
That lawyer, famously, was photographed sleeping at his first meeting.
I could go on. And on.
When Davis mercifully resigned, the damage the former majority could do was at least limited.
But since then, Ruffin, with you following along, has brought the District to a standstill in many ways.
Since the departure of Davis, there are two Board members who care about the district on one side — and you and Ruffin on the other.
In just the last meeting, Ruffin refused, with you following along, to vote to allow the district to have representation in the California Interscholastic Federation sports organization.
That means plans will be made for sports leagues and how to proceed in the time of Coronavirus with zero representation from this region.
Ruffin refused, with you following along, to deny employment to a perfectly qualified African-American teacher candidate.
You wouldn’t give your reasons, but the only thing one can infer is that he supported — as any decent person would — the recall of you and Davis and Ruffin from the Board.
And Ruffin, with you following along, refused to allow the business manager to transfer money from one fund to another, a needed step in the time of diminished funding because of the virus.
And Ruffin, with no evidence, accused Superintendent David Vierra, of “engaging in corruptness” and demanded he resign.
Ruffin may have redeeming qualities, but if so, she has yet to display them in her work as a Board member.
I write to ask you why you align yourself with such a person. Ruffin is going to do what she does — what is your excuse?
You are the one who can do the right thing and stop following her. A 3-1 vote renders her powerless.
How can you deny that teacher a job he so richly deserves, and by all accounts would be good at?
How can you stand by and allow Ruffin to denigrate district employees and even the nonvoting student Board members?
How can you jeopardize the students’ education by not allowing the district to take needed financial steps?
I think of Joseph Welch addressing redbaiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954:
“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Ms. Parrell, have you no sense of decency?
There is an election in November to fill that fifth seat. Only one issue matters — whether the candidate will side with Board members Jill McGrady and John Rush to stop this reign of terror. That is all.
Why don’t you do the right thing and stop it now?
William P. Warford’s column appears every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.