"Rozzana Verder-Aliga: a Proven Failure"
2013-10-23 by Margaret Malone, posted at the "Vallejo Independent Bulliten's Primal Scream" column
Note: All opinions expressed in the "Primal Scream" column are those of
the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent
Rozzana Verder-Aliga was on the Board of the Vallejo City Unified School District, (VCUSD), indeed was President in 2004, leading up to and during a fiscal collapse of epic proportions. In 2004, the VCUSD Board was forced to request a $60 million bailout from the State -- the second largest bailout in California's history.
This was no gradual or unavoidable slide into insolvency, a lost labor dispute or a failed public works project. This bankruptcy was caused by blatant mismanagement and complete abdication of responsibility by Verder-Aliga and the VCUSD Board.
It was revealed in a Grand Jury investigation in 2004-2005 that Verder-Aliga and her Board colleagues had allowed gross overestimating of enrollment and underestimating of salary expenses to hide budget shortfalls, and had approved union contracts they couldn't afford.
Just as an example, Verder-Aliga was told by District staff in a Board meeting that enrollment would increase by 200 to 250 students in the next year. Her budget packet, however, noted a budget line item that projected growth of 1,757 additional students with a corresponding revenue increase from the state of $8 million (State funding is tied to the number of students enrolled).
An additional 200, 250, or 1,757 students -- does it really matter? Because it was all fake. If Verder-Aliga had been doing her due diligence, she would have questioned ALL of those numbers in light of the fact that enrollment had been steadily declining for the past three years at least -- the VCUSD had already lost 500 students and a corresponding $1.6 million in State funds.
Verder-Aliga and her colleagues must have been asleep at the wheel to miss that big of an overestimate in the face of declining enrollment. Did Verder-Aliga not read her budget packets? I'm sure they can be large and difficult to get through, but isn't that why she was elected?
The VCUSD Chief Financial Officer stated in the October 1, 2003, VCUSD board meeting that the VCUSD budget had been revised and that the District was in the black. Board members stated they were "excited about the news" and "praised the Chief Financial Officer for a job well done". When in actuality, VCUSD administrators had been told by the Solano County Board of Education that the VCUSD budget was in deficit.
Verder-Aliga's response in a news article: "The whole board was in shock. It was unbelievable."
Here are some pretty damning findings by the Grand Jury about Verder Aliga and her Board colleagues:
Finding # 1 – The Vallejo City Unified School District Board failed in its responsibilities as the governing board by not asking the proper questions that would give them enough credible information to make competent budget decisions.
Finding # 4 – The VCUSD School Board did not keep the public informed of the district’s budgetary problems...The board kept the budget information from the public by discussing all budget problems behind closed doors. It appears that the re-election campaigns of two board members may have had an impact on the board’s decision in keeping the budget problem from the public.
In the Grand Jury interviews, when asked why it took so long for the Board to speak publicly about the budget problems, the response was, "2003 was an election year for two board members and a former board member was also running [against them] . . . To keep things in the proper prospective, no one wants bad news to get out, especially the board members who were up for re-election...politics does play a part in decision making.”
Verder-Aliga's failure on the School Board, wasn't just her personal failure. She inflicted damage on a generation of school children. She damaged the reputation and economic viability of the City of Vallejo and cost us taxpayers millions of dollars. Her ineptitude, her inability to read a budget document and ask pertinent questions, her ability to be fooled and her willingness to "go with the flow" because it was easy -- that would make for a TERRIBLE council member.
The Vallejo City Council and Vallejo taxpayers do not need the likes of Verder-Aliga. Quite the opposite. If you have independent candidates not beholden to special interests, and who aren't always thinking about their own position or their re-election -- politics would never play a part in decision making.
Verder-Aliga epically failed Vallejo once. Let's not give her a second chance. Vallejo deserves better.
Interesting: Verder-Aliga, on her bio on the Fighting Back Partnership Board website, fails to list her years as a VCUSD Board Member. Embarrassed? Indeed. (http://fight-back.org/about_board.php)
Meanwhile, at Topix.com [http://www.topix.com/forum/city/vallejo-ca/TE1B66G39OH6EKKS6], a re-post of this article attracted the attention of a certain supporter of corruption in Vallejo, Sam Kurshan, who writes:
Is this another example of the unity Gomes and VIB have called for? Ha!
A VIB supporter whined: "You really are a piece of work,aren't you. You have nothing that can support you Jumpstart machine candidates so you fling mud, fling mud, fling mud. Not much for the electorate to chew on, but thats ok because they are just stupid manipulated sheeple. Right?"
Let's stop the bull shit and lies and get something straight for the record once and for all:
VIB was started based upon a personal hate filled vendetta aimed at Vallejo's public safety unions after they stopped backing Joanne Schivley, who was backed by them and took their money for years.. For years it went on, especially around election time when it became vicious. The last few elections the unions sat out, or at least did not play a highly vocal and visible role like they are now and basically took this vile attack against them lying down. Now that they are defending themselves by using the exact same mud flinging tactics they are being called out by the original haters, VIB. And why, because the unions have bitten back hard through the large war chest they have amassed. Now if VIB had that kind of money and aggression, they wouldn't be whining about the crap being flung back at them, right in the direction it originally came from. The call for unity from one side of Gomes mouth while continuing to bash the unions, especially VPOA is hypocrisy and is seen as a phony attempt at peace. Actions speak louder than words and the consistent actions of Gomes, Brown, Schivley, Garman and the VIB crowd spell only one short thing: Hatred and division and that is why they are finished on November 5th.
Don't start the fire if you can't stand the heat!
Senior Mental Health Manager, Solano County Health & Social Services
Board Member since 2006
Dr. Verder-Aliga has been a community volunteer for over 30 years. As a Community Organizer she spearheaded the grassroots participation of the Filipino American community in addressing alcohol, drugs, teen pregnancy, gangs, family/parenting issues through the Filipino Task Force of Fighting Back Partnership in the early 90's. A Licensed Marriage Family Therapist by profession, she currently works as Senior Mental Health Manager for Solano County Health & Social Services. Her work focuses on serving the social and mental health needs of children, seniors, veterans and families in Solano County.
Dr. Verder-Aliga was also re-elected to a second term on the Solano County Board of Education last November 2011. She has been on Fighting Back Partnership's Board of Directors since 2006. She is also a board member of several other local non-profit organizations. A resident of Vallejo for 32 years, she is married to US Army Retired Colonel Nestor Aliga and they have three sons.
Senior Pastor, Church on the Hill
Board Member since 2008
Scott Peterson is the Pastor at “the Hill” in Vallejo. He and his wife, Betsy moved to Vallejo in 1986. They have 7 children and 10 grandchildren. Prior to Pastoring, Scott had an 11 year career in radio and television broadcasting. He is also involved in the Rotary Club of Vallejo and serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations. The Hill is very active in serving the city of Vallejo, planning and participating in various community outreach programs.
Board Member since 2003
Terrye Davis is an attorney specializing in Wills, Trusts, Probate, Landlord/ Tenant and Real Estate law. In addition to being a Fighting Back Partnership Board member since 2003, she serves on the Sutter Solano Advisory Board. Terrye volunteers with the Willie B. Adkins Project and at the Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club where she coordinates the Keystone Leadership Group. She is a Sunday School teacher at Lighthouse Covenant Fellowship. She also works with girls, ages 13 to 18, who are members of the Delta Gems Leadership program, a program administered by her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.