News


School board: Dauber wins, tight race between three newcomers

Term limit, bond measures pass comfortably

Palo Alto school board President Ken Dauber, center; wife Michele Dauber, left; and retired school district nurse Linda Lenoir, right, celebrate his re-election to the Board of Education on Nov. 6, 2018. Photo by Veronica Weber.

UPDATE: As ballots continue to be counted, the results for this race have not changed significantly since Election Day. The Registrar of Voters is posting updates at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily on its website.

Incumbent Ken Dauber won re-election to the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday, but a nail-biter of a race for the second open seat is continuing, prompting speculation that a recount may be needed.

With all precincts reporting by Wednesday morning, Dauber, the current president of the school board, received 27.28 percent of the vote, or 6,860 votes. A software engineer, Dauber was elected to his first term four years ago and ran on similar issues in 2018, including transparency, compliance, student mental health and more effective governance. In 2014, he was the top vote-getter with 29.5 percent, or 10,709 votes.

Special-education advocate Stacey Ashlund, attorney Shounak Dharap and Kathy Jordan have been locked in a tight race since unofficial results came out after 8 p.m. on Tuesday. By 11 p.m. Dharap had gained from fourth to second place, with an incredibly tight margin, at one point as narrow as a single vote, separating him and Ashlund.

By Wednesday morning he pulled slightly farther ahead, with 5,451 votes compared to Ashlund's 5,426. The margin only increased by one vote by a Thursday evening update posted on the Registrar of Voters website, as ballots continue to be slowly counted.

By Thursday evening, parent Kathy Jordan was 79 votes behind Ashlund with 21.26 percent of the vote, or 5,348 votes.

The county registrar requires an automatic recount in contests with a margin of victory less than 0.25 percent of ballots cast or 25 total ballots, according to an official canvass manual. Spokesman Steven Spivak said the registrar doesn't expect to announce a recount in any race until the third week of November, as vote-by-mail, provisional and damaged ballots continue to be counted. As of Thursday, there were 290,000 uncounted ballots county-wide.

View an interactive graphic showing the tight race between Ashlund, Dharap and Jordan.

Dauber said he was "encouraged" by the results of the election.

"I think it's a clear sign that community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district and wants to continue that progress," he said. "I'm grateful to the voters for their confidence in me and will work hard for the education and wellbeing of all of our students."

Dharap spent the evening surrounded by supporters at a joint election party he held with City Council candidate Cory Wolbach at The Patio in downtown Palo Alto. He was monitoring the updated results into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"Every vote matters," he said Wednesday morning. "We say that a lot during elections but it's particularly clear when there's a margin of 25 votes."

He described himself as the "underdog" among the three leading challengers -- a younger candidate with no children or yearslong advocacy record. A contentious debate over reporting weighted grade point averages prompted Dharap, who graduated from Gunn High School in 2008, to get more involved in district issues last year.

"The fact that a young, non-traditional candidate like myself is in such a tight race is really a testament to the community that rallied around my vision," Dharap said. He ran on commitments to transparency, legal compliance and student well-being.

If he loses, Dharap said without hesitation that he plans to run again for a seat on the board in 2020. He called the campaign experience "life-changing."

"There are not many times in life you get to see so many different perspectives on issues that at first glance can seem clear cut. When you're talking to hundreds of people in a week you begin to see the shades of grey," he said. "Whether I win today or I don't and I run again in two years and I win then, that's an experience that's going to inform how I govern."

Ashlund, a longtime advocate and district parent, held an electionn night party at Celia's Mexican Restaurant in Barron Park. She said that she had expected a close race.

"Results this close show that our community feels the three of us are all highly qualified for the second seat on the board," she said Wednesday morning. "As mail-in ballots are counted, we are reminded how much every vote matters -- especially those from young, new voters. Local races are where we can really feel our individual impact in the democratic process."

Ashlund wouldn't say whether she would run again in two years if she loses, but said that her "commitment to the issues has not changed" and she will "continue taking this one step at a time."

Jordan, who ran primarily on criticisms of the district's handling of Title IX cases, fiscal management and other compliance issues, said Wednesday morning that she heard a "clear desire for change" throughout the campaign. She out-fundraised her competitors with more than $50,000 in campaign contributions.

"There are many votes left to count, so we'll wait to see what the final results are," Jordan said. She was unsure whether she'd run again if she loses.

In the final days of the school board election, the campaign tone took a contentious turn, with parents forming a campaign committee in opposition to Jordan and sitting school board member Todd Collins loaning the committee money to pay for an advertisement criticizing her interactions with student-journalists.

Jordan said she was "surprised by the level of negative campaigning that went on.

"But we're hanging in there," she said. "I'm still standing. I think we sent a strong message, and that's important."

Two parents who worked on Jordan's campaign team attributed a civic awakening in the local Chinese community to Jordan. For some Chinese-Americans in Palo Alto, this election was their first time canvassing for a candidate -- and for others, even their first time voting, the parents said as they watched results come in during a small gathering at Jordan's house on election night..

"We want to make our voices heard, really take a very active part in this democratic process," Amanda Chi said. "Usually you see Chinese-Americans being described as a so-called silent group ... but this time we do see the differences."

She said she hopes the school board election has helped to "awaken the sense of community in our Chinese community, especially to be more integrated into the entire community."

She and parent Vicky Huang, who are both Chinese-American, said they supported Jordan for her commitment to transparency and because they believe she, if elected, will take concrete rather than "artificial" steps to address what they described as "damaging" stereotypes about the Chinese community and other ethnic groups in Palo Alto. Most recently, racial and ethnic fissures in the school community were brought to the fore by a heated debate over the renaming of two middle schools.

Chi described Jordan, a former professional tennis player, as a person with "a strong will to execute."

"We do not like lip service," she said.

Candidate Alex Scharf, a recent Palo Alto High School graduate, received 7.39 percent of the vote, or 1,859 votes, as of Wednesday morning. Christopher Boyd, the director of an after-school program, received less than 1 percent of the vote.

Reached between election parties, Scharf said he was happy to get the number of votes that he did.

"Hopefully getting that many votes, people can recognize that I have good issues and I'm not very likely to win but at least the other candidates hopefully take what I said seriously and make some changes based on what I said," Scharf said.

Boyd wrote in an email that he was "grateful" to have participated in the campaign and called the other candidates "outstanding citizens of Palo Alto that deserve great applause for their achievements in life and for their participation in the election."

Dauber won 36 out of 47 precincts in Palo Alto. For more on the precinct-by-precinct results in the race for the second seat, view this interactive map that shows where each took a lead over the two other challengers.

Between the three leading newcomers, Dharap's support is spread throughout Palo Alto. According to unofficial results, he has won precincts in the Crescent Park, Old Palo Alto, Professorville, Leland Manor, Triple El, South of Midtown, Palo Verde, Fairmeadow and College Terrace neighborhoods, as well as the area surrounding Gunn High School.

Among the three, Ashlund has won precincts in downtown North, University South, Old Palo Alto, Southgate and areas close to Stanford Shopping Center. She also took the lead in Barron Park, part of the Greer Park neighborhood and Los Altos Hills precincts, according to the unofficial results.


Jordan's support is sprinkled throughout the city. Among the three leading newcomers, she has won Evergreen Park, two precincts that make up the bulk of the Duveneck-St. Francis neighborhood, the precinct where Ohlone Elementary School is located, a section of Midtown, one of three precincts in Adobe Meadow/Meadow Park, Palo Alto Orchards and the neighborhoods near Esther Clark Park and Alta Mesa Memorial Park.

Dharap and Jordan are tied in three precincts.

Dharap's slim lead is particularly tenuous given the number of ballots that have yet to be counted. County-wide, only 55 percent of ballots had been counted as of Thursday, according to the Registrar of Voters.

In the 2016 school board election, the vote counts increased by as much as 5,000 from the Thursday after Election Day to the final results.

Dauber and whoever is elected to the second seat will join trustees Melissa Baten Caswell, Todd Collins and Jennifer DiBrienza on the dais.

A bond measure and term limits proposal also on the ballot both passed comfortably. About 68 percent of voters supported the $490 million Measure Z, which will fund the next major phase of facilities improvements across the school district, and 72.34 percent voted "yes" on Measure Y, which will limit board members to two, four-year terms in office.

Measure Z campaign co-chair Susan Usman was celebrating at the Old Pro in downtown Palo Alto after the unofficial results came in.

"We're very happy," she said, "We're hoping to get to 70 percent of the votes but a win is a win. We'll take it."

Dauber, who supported the term limits measure, said that the results indicate the "community wants as open a process as possible for running for public office, including the school board, and term limits are an excellent mechanism for doing that."

This story will be updated as more results are released.

Related content:

Second seat in school board race still too close to call - Nov. 11, 2018

Weekly journalists discuss the election results on an episode of Behind the Headlines. Watch the show on YouTube or listen to the podcast version, available through Apple or Google Play.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

68 people like this
Posted by A clear sign??
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:49 pm

A clear sign?? is a registered user.

Dauber says that his 28% of the vote is, "a clear sign that community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district and wants to continue that progress,"

Is it? Looks more like 70% of the voters are not happy with the direction of the district. Or, let's assume that everyone voted for 2 candidates, then at 28%, it's still a long way from a clear sign.

Typical school board delusion. The glass is ALWAYS 3/4 full and we'll ignore the other 1/4.


89 people like this
Posted by Lemmings
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 6, 2018 at 10:06 pm

So frustrated that measure Z is passing so comfortably. Most people in this town will vote for anything school related without any questioning or due diligence, and PAUSD knows this. Makes me sick because of the recent lack of fiscal responsibility in PAUSD.


39 people like this
Posted by Happy Dauber voter
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 6, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Go Ken! Leadership and ideas matter! Love the vote of confidence in Measure Z! Huge victories on both.


34 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 6, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Parent is a registered user.

@A Clear Sign
Sorry, but you don’t seem to understand vote tallying for elections when we get to cast two votes for two seats. Dauber is getting 28% of all votes cast. More correctly, about 60% of the electorate voted for him.


34 people like this
Posted by Milliard
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:36 am

Ken Dauber is the right choice for the school board. He has the experience, the competence and the depth to lead the school board. Above all he cares about lifting the performance level of all students in Palo Alto which help to prepare them for a world class education for the twenty first century.


10 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:00 am

@Parent, I doubt that 60% of our electorate voted at all.


38 people like this
Posted by the #s
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 6:49 am

The incumbent edge and that Ken Dauber landed endorsements from both newspapers should have handed him a landslide but he fell far short of that.

So no this is the opposite of a clear message that the Palo Alto "community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district."

Votes for Dauber yesterday = 7K.
= < 1/2 of the 15k Palo Altoans who voted yesterday.
= much < than the 11K who voted for him 4 years ago.


17 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:10 am

It takes time for perception to catch up with reality, esp. on a topic like school governance that relative few people follow. The district had a tumultuous four years (McGee, sexual assaults, budget errors, more) and people rightly questioned how things were being managed.

Things have vastly improved - as both the papers pointed out - but for the average headline reader, the most recent big event was the Superintendent was being hustled out for incompetence just over a year ago. It takes time for that impression to fade.

Dauber did fine - more importantly, the bond got 68%, which is impressive since they have just finished a 10 year bond program, so can't exactly say the place is falling apart. Confidence and support for the schools remains strong.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Fairmeadow

on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:19 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


23 people like this
Posted by A clear sign??
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:34 am

A clear sign?? is a registered user.

Yes, I understand vote tallying. With two openings, if everyone voted for two, the most anyone could get is 50%. So you COULD double Dauber's 27% and come up with 54%. But not everyone casts two votes. If you look at the votes cast for the other two school related measures, the bond and term limits, you'll see about 15,000 people voted. That would mean approximately 46% of PA voters, interested in the schools voted for Dauber.

I don't consider that a clear sign.


88 people like this
Posted by confusing
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:44 am

Jordan said she was "surprised by the level of negative campaigning that went on."

This is confusing since Jordan ran a completely negative campaign. Was she surprised by her own negative campaign?


Like this comment
Posted by community member
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:01 am

Does anyone know if the mail-in ballots have been counted?


24 people like this
Posted by A Noteworthy Voter Bloc
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:39 am

>>"We want to make our voices heard, really take a very active part in this democratic process," Amanda Chi said. "Usually you see Chinese-Americans being described as a so-called silent group ... but this time we do see the differences."

>>>they supported Jordan for her commitment to transparency and because they believe she, if elected, will take concrete rather than "artificial" steps to address what they described as "damaging" stereotypes about the Chinese community and other ethnic groups in Palo Alto.

Strength in numbers. Change via a proactive candidate.


44 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:51 am

It was great that the Asian/Chinese American community got mobilized. It's worth noting that that community is not monolithic - there were Asian American supporters for all the leading candidates, and of course one candidate is himself Indian American. But getting more people engaged with civic and school affairs can only be a benefit, to make sure the voice of the community is clearly heard. Thank you to all those who got engaged in campaign politics for the first time - win or lose, I hope you continue.


20 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:08 am

@community member: Check here to see if your vote has been counted: Web Link I dropped mine off at 7pm and it has not been counted yet.

I'm dismayed that only 34% of registered voters voted in Palo Alto when 80% of the residents have college degrees: Web Link. 885,764 registered voters, 304,303 voted. Web Link

Maybe people don't realize that they can leave blanks if they have no opinion? But a Palo Altan with no opinion? Nah.


10 people like this
Posted by Number Checker
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

Dear "Voter",

Your larger point about low voter participation may be correct, however, the link you referenced lists the voter turnout for all Santa Clara county, not Palo Alto. It cannot be true that only 304,303 voters cast ballots for the Palo Alto School Board race out of 885,764 registered voters, because the population of Palo Alto is only about 67,000. (64,403 in the 2010 census to be exact.) The numbers you cite are for all of Santa Clara County.

One might hazard a guess that there are only about 30,000 registered voters in Palo Alto (excluding children, non-citizens, people who didn't bother to register to vote, etc.) So if 25,147 votes were cast in the School Board race, and each voter voted for 2 candidates, one might surmise that 12,573 people voted. This would imply a voter participation rate of ~42%. Still not ideal in a city where 80% of the population has college degrees, but better than the overall 34% rate for the county as a whole.


14 people like this
Posted by Just ice
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by Local parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:06 am

“So frustrated that measure Z is passing so comfortably. Most people in this town will vote for anything school related without any questioning or due diligence, and PAUSD knows this. Makes me sick because of the recent lack of fiscal responsibility in PAUSD.”

@Lemmings,
I agree. But if you look at all school funding measures since the threshold got changed to 55%, it’s hard to lose even when the district has such a vague bond and horrendous history. We must demand the Weekly do a better job now of ensuring the district is more accountable and moves forward with a better process for the funds. They should do the planning first including Cubberley, and if they need more funds to truly give us all modernized campuses, they should hold a capital campaign. Otherwise, and this is sadly a prediction, we will end up again with a few new whiz bang buildings we could have gotten for far less money, and still a majority of school happening in old delapidated buildings. And in a few years when everyone forgets what was really promised, they’ll ask again for the things the last bond didn’t cover.


19 people like this
Posted by 25 votes!!
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:15 am

Can you even imagine losing by 25 votes? Shows how important it is to get to the polls. No dog in this race but that’s crazy.


8 people like this
Posted by According to Registrar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:53 am

According to Registrar is a registered user.

There are 45,592 registered voters for school-related issues in Palo Alto, there were 16881 ballots placed. for a turnout of just under 37%.

For city election, there are 39,866 registered voters and 14826 ballots were placed for 48.5%

Parts of Los Altos Hills votes for school-related items


32 people like this
Posted by Arthur Keller
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Arthur Keller is a registered user.

The votes tallies posted by the Registrar of Voters around 8pm last night reflect the Vote-by-Mail ballots received and processed through Monday and the Vote Center early voting ballots. California state law allows Vote-by-Mail ballots to be counted up to seven days before the election, but the vote tallies may not be released until after the polls close.

Ballots handed into the polling places (and many, many ballots are handed in that way) will be counted today and the next day or two.

California state law allows Vote-by-Mail ballots to be counted if they are received by the third business day after Election Day (this Friday) and postmarked on or before Election Day. So we will see the vote tallies increase through Friday.

Once all regular ballots (in-precinct, Vote-by-Mail, and early voting in Vote Centers) are counted, then provisional ballots will be counted. Provisional ballots are given to those not in the poll books at the polls, and also to those who were issued (and maybe not received) their Vote-by-Mail ballots. Santa Clara County historically has counted most provisional ballots.

After the vote tally is completed, a 1% manual audit is performed. See Web Link

A candidate or other person may request a machine recount or a manual recount of a race. There may be a fee associated with this process. See Web Link and Web Link


21 people like this
Posted by Just the facts, please.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Just the facts, please. is a registered user.

Horrendous history? The last school bond measure is one of the areas where PAUSD has been doing a great job. Multiple large projects have been implemented across the district delivered on time and on budget.

The fiscal problems were not with bond measure management. They related only to parts of the budget that were controlled by Cathy Mak--who has since left the district.

The current bond measure team will remain in place to implement the remaining projects that PAUSD laid out publicly BEFORE the last bond measure. Measure Z is a planned extension of the last bond measure. PAUSD was forthright in telling the public they planned to do this BEFORE we approved the last measure. I sat in the audience in the Board meetings where they did so.


23 people like this
Posted by How elections work
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm

For "a clear sign":

People vote. They pick a winner. The winner takes office and makes policy based on getting the most votes. Their authority doesn't depend on turnout, how many people voted in some other election or some other issue, etc. It comes from getting more voters than the loser(s). In this case, Dauber got more votes (many more votes) than anyone else. He's elected. Someone will come in second. That person will be elected too. Other people will not be elected. They have lost, and they don't get to make policy because the people who voted preferred that someone else (the winners) do it.

In every election there is an argument that somehow the winner shouldn't get to make policy, because some people didn't vote. There is often an assumption that if those other people had voted, they would have picked someone else.

In an election, though, not voting doesn't create a shadow vote that other people can claim. It just means that you don't get counted.

If Jordan comes in fourth (which I hope she does), she will have lost. See above. If she wins, we can talk then about what the voters meant when they elected her.


20 people like this
Posted by A clear sign??
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:18 pm

A clear sign?? is a registered user.

@how elections work,
Yes, I understand that. If you read my post, your response has nothing to do with anything you are trying to explain. It says nothing about winners or losers. You even bring up making policy and Kathy Jordan. I didn't vote for Jordan. Voted for Dharap and Ashlund.

My point is that Dauber stated that his 27% of the vote is, "a clear sign that community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district and wants to continue that progress,"

That can't be how he actually views this election. It is not a clear sign. In fact, he received a lower percentage and fewer votes than in 2014.

How is that seen as a success?

Also, not sure why you care if Jordan comes in 4th, 3rd or last. As you said, if you don't take the top two, you've lost.

Next time you respond to a post, try to stay on topic. If you have your own message you would like to convey, feel free to do so.


14 people like this
Posted by Neighborhood Analyst
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Clear sign:

Here's another way to look at it. About 16K people voted on school items (bond, term limit); there were 25K votes counted for school board. So, assuming those same 16K people voted on that, 9K voted for 2 people and 7K voted for just one ("bullet vote") (9x2=18+7=25)- not surprising since Jordan and perhaps others had people encouraging bullet voting.

Dauber did not encourage bullet voting - he urged people to vote for himself and Dharap (as did the papers). So if you assume none of the 7K bullet voted chose Dauber, his maximum vote was 9K. Out of that 9K, he has about 7K, or 78%. That's pretty good.

There's a bunch of assumptions there, and some are certainly imperfect - I'm sure Dauber got a few bullet votes, and I imagine some of the bullet voters wouldn't have cast their second vote for Dauber anyway. But it's a reasonable way of looking at the situation, and it seems to back up Dauber's claim of solid support.


6 people like this
Posted by A clear sign??
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:41 pm

A clear sign?? is a registered user.

@Neighborhood Analyst
I'm confused as to where you came up with the 9K voting for two people and 7K voting on one person.

As "According to Registrar" states, there were 16,881 ballots placed. Of those, 7k voted for Dauber, bullet voting, or double voting is irrelevant. His maximum number of votes is 16,881, not 9K. He received 6,860 votes out of a possible 16,881.

Bottom line is he won, which is what matters. But, his claim of "clear sign happiness" is overstated.


10 people like this
Posted by Neighborhood Analyst
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm

@Clear sign - if there were 25.1K votes cast and 16.9K votes cast (thanks for that, I didn't see that number), then it's two equations, two unknowns, like in algebra class:

2x + y = 25.1K votes cast
x + y = 16.9K voters --> x = 16.9 - y
2(16.9 - y) + y = 25.1
33.8 - y = 25.1, so y = 8.7K bullet voters
x + 8.7 = 16.9, so x = 8.2K two candidate voters

Since Dauber has 6.9K, if you assume no bullet voters for him, then 6.9 / 8.2 = 84%, which is slightly higher than my earlier estimate. He probably did get some bullet voters, but I doubt nearly as many as for the others, for whom a close race made bullet voting potentially relevant.

You are right, he won and that is what's important. But since you disagree about the vote being a show of support for the district's direction, that why the above analysis is relevant.


9 people like this
Posted by How elections work
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Had Dauber lost, the conclusion would have been that the community rejected what he stands for, which at this point is continuity. If he wins the fair conclusion is the opposite.

The claim that he received fewer votes than in 2014 will probably be wrong by the time the votes are fully counted.

Using a larger denominator (everyone who voted in some other race than the school board) is a technique for making the ratio smaller, but it's not accurate. I saw someone try to do the same thing in the city council election, making the denominator equal to registered voters, not just to actual voters.


8 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Weekly Requesr
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

I'm hoping to see an update from the Palo Alto Weekly about the second winner. Looks very close for three candidates. Hoping to here an official update on this article from the Weekly on what happens next and when do they estimate the results and winner announced.

Thanks in advance


6 people like this
Posted by A clear sign??
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm

A clear sign?? is a registered user.

@Neighborhood analyst
I like the math, but your assumptions are a bit far-fetched. If, there were actually more bullet voters than two candidate voters (8.7K to 8.2K) how can you assume that none of those, or even a smaller number than others, were Dauber supporters?

It's not a relevant analysis unless the numbers are relevant. If you stick to the known quantities, you have 17k votes, 7k for Dauber.

@How Election Work,
Again, didn't say the community rejected what he stands for. Merely stating that he is painting a rosier picture than reality. Would be nice, that now that he knows he is returning to the board that he acknowledges that there is a large group of people, 10k out of 17k voters, that did not vote for him even after his four years on the board.


13 people like this
Posted by Loser much?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Loser much? is a registered user.

Ken won. Twice.

Go Ken!


11 people like this
Posted by Barron Park Dad
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm

I sure hope Jordan doesn't win. We have Ken Dauber, who uses a scorched-earth policy of "working together." Just ask anyone from the Gunn site council a few years ago - when he was invited to discuss college counseling - he gave his presentation and then left. Wasn't interested in what Gunn admin had to say.

Kathy sounds just as bad.


12 people like this
Posted by Wow!
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Dauber gave a presentation and then left? That sounds terrible! Who could work with somebody who leaves after giving a presentation??!? Unbelievable!

Also I was on the Gunn PTA for several years until last year. I don't remember this presentation. Can you provide some more details? It sounds like a horrible experience. Did he even close the door when he left? Or did he just leave it open, which would add insult to the injury of leaving after making a presentation?


20 people like this
Posted by trump supporting student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 4:47 pm

kathy jordan’s rhetoric was divisive and wrong she attacked student journalists simply because she disagreed with them. i am glad she lost and this shows that you cant just spend alot of money and win an election.


8 people like this
Posted by Charade
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Seriously considering moving out of Palo Alto School District... and Palo Alto.


6 people like this
Posted by PAer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

@Neighborhood Analyst Your analysis was too advanced for them.


3 people like this
Posted by Get your math right
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 6:49 pm

@Neighborhood Analyst, You need to go back and review your elementary math. First, your assumption that Dauber voters are all non-bullet-voters (i.e., they all voted for another candidate besides Dauber) is baseless. Even if we assume that were the case, it still makes absolutely no sense to calculate a Dauber approval rating among the non-bullet voters. I agree with @clear sign?? —his approval rating is ~40% among those who voted.


5 people like this
Posted by why do our politicians mimic Trump?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm

"Dauber, received 27.28 percent of the vote" "[Dauber] thinks it's a clear sign that community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district and wants to continue that progress,"

Why does that comment remind me so much of Trump? Oh, yeah, so, that would mean that Dauber believes the community was even happier with direction that incumbent Caswell, who won with 12,827, or 27.57, was leading the district when Dauber came in fourth.

Get real.


8 people like this
Posted by Not A Clear Sign
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Not A Clear Sign is a registered user.

@ Dauber quote: "I think it's a clear sign that community is happy with the direction that the school board is leading the district and wants to continue that progress," he said.

Mr. Dauber does not speak for me or my family. And given that he received only 27 percent of the vote, he does not speak for the "community". The only clear sign is Dauber's arrogant, egotistical and presumptuous statement. I'm so tired of elected officials (especially those who did not even receive more than 27 percent of votes) having the audacity to speak for "the community". It's exactly why I did NOT vote for Dauber. (Instead I voted for an intelligent, transparent, honest candidate with high values and no hidden agendas or conflicts of interest - I'm rooting for you Shounak.)


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:20 pm

"intelligent, transparent, honest candidate with high values and no hidden agendas or conflicts of interest"

Just trying to figure out - you think Dauber is NOT any of the above things? What "hidden agenda" or "conflict of interest" do you think he has? Why do you think he is "dishonest"? What do you think of the other board members? The idea of our board members as a bunch of scoundrels and opportunists doesn't comport with my experience. Is that what you meant?


29 people like this
Posted by Rajiv Bhateja
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Very glad that Ken won and came in first place. Regardless of all the micro-math and the carping, first place is great.

I think Ken has done a great job bringing a reasoned, data driven approach to the board. To those who criticize him and his work while themselves cloaked in anonymity, try public office sometime. See how many people agree with everything you're doing. And try and keep your enthusiasm and motivation alive in the face of false accusations.

Thank you Ken for all you've done -- and will now continue to do. I hope you (hopefully with Dharap) continue to make sound responsible decisions and take us to new heights.

Speaking for myself and at least 6+K other voters, we appreciate the job you're doing. And that's a lot more support than the anonymous naysayers have. THANK YOU!


19 people like this
Posted by Sore loser much?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 8:21 am


Ken came in FIRST. Both times. He came in first, twice. Two times, Ken was first.

All you sad sore losers make no sense. He's done a great job. Even the yellow Post literally apologized to Ken for not endorsing him the first time, endorsed him, and called him the "voice of reason" on the Board. You are just making yourself look ridiculous.

Be grateful that anyone of Ken's caliber would even want to be on a local school board. That's unusual.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 9:44 am

The interactive map referenced in the article is interesting:

Web Link

Thinking of the lawsuit regarding district representation vs at-large, if Kathy Jordan represents a particular voting bloc, it might be possible to create a "Gerrymander" Web Link by combining Ventura and "South of Arastradero". I am not saying that I think PAUSD should actually do this, just that, with politically appropriate gerrymandering, it might be done.


15 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 8, 2018 at 9:53 am

rsmithjr is a registered user.

1. Regarding Ken Dauber:
It is understandable that people are angry with the district, given the problems and especially staff issues.

An important point about Ken Dauber was that he was pretty much right throughout. He recognized the importance of the Title IX issues, and he voted against the union contracts that turned out to be based on inaccurate preliminary numbers.

He was always calm and deliberate, and the voice of reason.

2. Bullet voting
I don't see much evidence of bullet voting. However, sometimes people do bullet voting because they know and like one person, but just aren't familiar enough with the rest to make a choice. I voted for a city council person I didn't know a few years ago, and ended up regretting it after seeing his performance.

3. Kathy Jordan
Kathy would be more effective as a district critics if she could modulate her behaviour and get along better with people. Critics who get more respect tend to get more done.


4 people like this
Posted by The math
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:38 am

By the math, over 8k people bullet voted. That's the only way you get 25k votes from 17k voters, who each get 2 votes. It is pretty surprising to me too but I don't see any other conclusion, does anyone else?


12 people like this
Posted by Paying attention?
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:57 am

To "not a clear sign" who's down on Dauber and up on Dharap, you do realize that they were practically a slate? I never heard Dharap do anything other than praise Dauber. If Dharap wins it will be the clearest possible vote for continuity.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2018 at 2:40 pm

@The math, try 17k voters, 12.5k vote for two, and 4.5k don't get that far down the ballot.

@Anon, would that be a Kathymander?


14 people like this
Posted by Don't Waste My Time
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2018 at 2:47 pm

> Dauber gave a presentation and then left? That sounds terrible! Who could work with somebody who leaves after giving a presentation??!? Unbelievable!

He apparently conveyed what had to be said and moved on. His time is very valuable.
Most people don't understand these kinds of things.


2 people like this
Posted by The Math
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

@musical, I believe that about 17K actually voted for school board. That's what someone else reported earlier in this thread. It makes sense, since it is a little higher than the just under 16K that voted for Measures Y and Z. If that's right, it means a lot of bullet voters.


7 people like this
Posted by sore loser much?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:38 am

I was at the meeting at which Dauber made a public comment, which was 7 years ago, long before Dauber was ever on the School Board when he was just a parent. It was a Site Council meeting and Dauber was there to ask the Site Council to consider recommending to the School Board the adoption of a Teacher Advisor program as they have at Paly (and which Gunn now has, thanks to Dauber). After that topic was considered and the meeting moved on to another topic as people often do in public meetings. In fact, the Site Council said that they did not know if they had the ability to even consider the subject and then the meeting moved on and Ken said thanks and left.

Sour grapes apparently has no limit [portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:11 am

Alum is a registered user.

Measure Z is great in principle, and having spent literally thousands of hours in Paly's 900s building over four years, I can agree that a new STEM/CTE lab would be a huge gain. I am doubtful the money will actually get there though—last year we were told the 900s building wasn't up for demolition any time in the near future.


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