Mark Earnest, San Clemente
I have never met John Alpay. I can only assume that he works hard and does his best to be a good husband and father just like I do my best with my own four children. What troubles me, however, is that Mr. Alpay seems to do whatever it takes to advance his personal political agenda. His placement on the CUSD school board provides a perfect example.
As a result of the 2010 school board recall, which came about in part due to Mike Winsten refusing the union’s request to increase class sizes and fire hundreds of young teachers to save money for older teachers’ salaries and pensions, Mr. Alpay was “elected.” I use that term loosely because we did not vote for Mr. Alpay in the normal sense one might think. He snuck in the back door by virtue of being the only candidate on the ballot when the recall passed.
Mr. Alpay got his name on the ballot because the teachers’ union put him up to it. In fact, Mr. Alpay never intended to run for school board; he has much loftier goals— he wants to be mayor.
But after getting embarrassed in his 2008 bid for City Council (he received a whopping 5.4% of the vote, Mr. Alpay needed a boost to his resume and saw jumping on the board as a golden opportunity. And, because the union was doing all the recall campaign work, he had nothing to lose.
The most disappointing part of Mr. Alpay’s 2010 election is the fact that he appears to have affirmatively misrepresented himself to voters. Just prior to the recall, Mr. Alpay boasted that he was “not a union-backed candidate” and had been saying that “since Day 1.” His own press release further promised, “Under no circumstances shall I seek or accept union assistance or support. Mr. Alpay has either completely flip-flopped from two years ago or he was not being honest with voters from the outset. I want to believe Mr. Alpay was sincere in 2010, but his pro-union votes since his election, even when negatively impacting our children, and his union-funded advertisements (for example, the teachers’ union paid for Mr. Alpay’s door hangers) call his original statements into serious question.
Finally, it is worth noting that, from what I can see, Mr. Alpay has no intention of serving the full four-year term should he be re-elected to the board. Instead, he will likely take the next step on his path to mayor by running for city council (again) mid-term, leaving our children in the dust. Then again, maybe he will just wait for the teachers’ union to tell him what to do.