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    Gilbert Saves District Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

    Joann Gilbert helped save the Rialto Unified School District hundreds of thousands of dollars when she voted to award former superintendent Edna Davis Herring the previously negotiated severance package. Had the board not done so, Herring could have taken the district to court to force it to honor her contract.

    (Rialto, Calif)   When Rialto Unified School Board member Joanne Gilbert learned that then Rialto Superintendent of Schools Edna Davis-Herring was resigning and asking for her contractually obligated severance pay, she was not surprised.

    “It was 2009 and the three newly elected board members had run on a platform to get rid of Edna,” said Gilbert.

    “It was clear that three new board members did not want her to be their superintendent.  I thought it was quite courageous of Edna to save the district from a long and potentially continuous fight with newly elected school board members and resign,” said Gilbert.

    When appointed heads of major government organizations, such as a school district, city managers or county chief administrative officer are hired it is customary for them to negotiate and receive a severance package that outlines what they receive if they are fired or they resign.

    “The best time to negotiate your exit strategy is before you get hired.  Edna knew that and we agreed to what we believed was a good contract,” said Gilbert.

    Gilbert says the board accepted her resignation and paid her severance package to prevent a prolonged legal fight.  She had a legally binding agreement,  “If we denied Edna’s board approved severance package she could have sued and won.  Then we would have been obligated to pay her plus damages and legal fees.”
    Herring’s contract included a compensation package that paid $189,000 a year plus benefits.  Her severance package was for 18 months of pay and benefits totaling about $300,000.

    A recent mailer sent to district residents accuses Gilbert of “squandering tax dollars with a gift to her friend.”

    “That could not be further from the truth,” said Gilbert.

    “If the district fought the severance, Edna could have filed a lawsuit and the district could have easily spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and kept the district embroiled in controversy for years,” said Gilbert.

    She added, “Three other board members and I chose to spare the district the cost and heartache and accept our contractual agreement.  We did the right thing for the district and the students.”
    There are many Rialto residents who agree with her and support her re-election.

    Gilbert’s supporters include: RUSD Superintendent, Dr. Harold Cebrun; RUSD Board President Joseph Martinez; San Bernardino Valley Community College Trustees: John Longville and James Ramos; The San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee; John Wall, Chairman of the San Bernardino Democratic Committee; AFL-CIO; United Food & Commercial Workers; Rialto City Councilmember Deborah Robinson; San Bernardino City Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson and California State Assemblymember, Wilmer Amina Carter, to name a few.  (A complete list of endorsers is listed below.)

    “I know first-hand of the type of commitment trustee Gilbert has to the success of our student educational goals. When dealing with issues and concerns not sufficiently addressed by school administration, not only does she ensure that the matter is addressed, but works diligently to discover alternative ways to maintain the primary objective of keeping our students in school,” said Rialto City Councilmember Deborah Robertson.

    “I ask the people of Rialto for their vote on Tuesday, November 2 and allow me to help this generation of Rialto children earn a great education,” said Gilbert.

    About Joanne Gilbert

    Joanne has been on the Rialto School Board for 9 years. Prior to that, she was a teacher and educator in public education for 29 years teaching classes in all grades from middle school to adult education.
    Under Joanne Gilbert’s tenure, the Board has returned to a strong emphasis on visual and performing arts being part of the classroom curriculum, and rebuilding music programs.  In fact, several schools have made great strides in improving their Academic Performance Index (API) scores, with some exceeding the 800 point level, including Trapp, Myers and Fitzgerald Elementary School being named as California Distinguished Schools.
    Joann is committed to Rialto school district students excel academically.

    Endorsement List for Joanne Gilbert
    1.     Assemblymember, Wilmer Amina Carter
    2.     John Wall, Chair San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee
    3.     John Longville, San Bernardino Community College Trustee
    4.     James Ramos, San Bernardino Community College Trustee
    5.     Joseph Martinez, RUSD Board President
    6.     Dr. Harold Cebrun, RUSD Superintendent
    7.     Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, San Bernardino, Riverside Counties
    8.     Brian Townsend, The Precinct Reporter
    9.     The Black Voice News
    10.  United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW)
    11.  Westside Action Group
    12.  Citizens of the Inland Empire PAC
    13.  Walter Jarman
    14.  The Original Rialto Democratic Club
    15.  Deborah Robertson, Rialto City Councilmember
    16.  Midge Zupanic, President Rialto Chamber of Commerce
    17.  Ernie Mitchell, Retired Fire Chief
    18.  Alton Garrett, Garrett Management Enterprises
    19.  Lillie Houston, Farmers Insurance Broker
    20.  Phillip Ewell, Santa Monica City Manager, Retired
    21.  Richard Grandos, East Rialto Kiwanis
    22.  John Brockhouse, Accountant
    23.  Rosie Jazwiec, Health Care
    24.  Artist Gilbert, Retired L.A.P.D.
    25.  Abraham Mubashshir, Teacher
    26.  Daren Gilbert, Teacher
    27.  Barbara Govan, Corrections Officer
    28.  Ethel McAfee, Retired
    29.  Dr. Mildred Henry, CEO The PAL Center
    30.  Margaret Hill, Assist. Supt., San Bernardino County Schools
    31.  Teddy Harris, Rialto Unified School District Parent
    32.  Gwendolyn Nelson, San Bernardino County
    33.  Reverend Raymond Turner
    34.  Marge Mendoza-Ware, Colton School Board
    35.  Kent Taylor, Colton School Board
    36.  Acquanetta Warren, Fontana City Council
    37.  R.J. Thomas, Retired, US Air Force
    38.  Marcus Houston, Retired, US Air Force
    39.  Hattie Inge, Retired
    40.  Barbara Horzen, Parent
    41.  Julie Dawoodjee, RENTECH, Inc.
    42.  Dennis Mobley, San Bernardino County Schools
    43.  Walter Hawkins, Westside Action Group
    44.  Monique Conway, Principal
    45.  Shelia Futch, CA State Assembly Representative
    46.  Stan Futch, Retired Fire Chief
    47.  Van Howard, Photographer
    48.  Willie Anderson, Corrections Officer
    49.  Alayna Gilbert, Teacher
    50.  Vernon and Odessa Braggs, retired
    51.  Larry Davis, East Rialto Kiwanis
    52.  Joan Davis, Bank of America
    53.  Eric Witherspoon, Principal
    54.  Pauline Tidler, East Rialto Kiwanis
    55.  Max Tidler, East Rialto Kiwanis
    56.  Alphonso Twine, Retired
    57.  Rikke Van Johnson, San Bernardino City Council
    58.  Dale Estvander, East Rialto Kiwanis
    59.  Dr. Willie Roberts, San Bernardino Valley College, Retired
    60.  Ann Porter, Retired
    61.  John Longville, Sr., Retired
    62.  Donna Longville, Retired
    63.  Linda Wilson Gomez, City of San Bernardino


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