Sunnyside receives formal complaint of Kristel Foster’s use of work time to campaign for re-election in TUSD
Three Sonorans Note: I received this email from an individual that did provide her name, but I have taken it out and replaced it with XXXXXXX below. Her message to me wrote:
I have sent this to you at the recommendation of some individuals with whom I have spoken and am doing so with some trepidation. I am not interested in being in the spot light and am not seeking to speak to anyone from the media. I have submitted a very thorough letter to those listed in the below email. It contains all of the evidence needed. What I hope happens now is that those of you in the media will, along with bloggers, place pressure on Sunnyside School District to actually conduct an investigation. I attempted to send my complaint to the Pima County Integrity Committee but was not able to find a contact email.
I thank you in advance for your attention to this.
I wonder which “aggressive blogger” Kristel Foster is referring to in her response below? Perhaps David Safier at the Tucson Weekly who is very aggressive in his support for HT Sanchez and his TUSD board majority?
Date: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 9:44 AM
Subject: URGENT- Formal Complaint: Kristel Ann Foster’s Use of Sunnyside School District Work Time to Campaign
To: EvaD@susd12.org, BekiQ@susd12.org, BuckC@susd12.org, DanielH@susd12.org, EricG@susd12.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 20, 2016
Dr. Steve Holmes, Superintendent and
Honorable Members of the
Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board:
My husband and I are new to the community and although we are not yet unpacked in our temporary apartment as we search for our Tucson home, we want to become engaged in the local elections as a way to get to know our new community. Historically, we have been involved in public school governing board campaigns and are avid supporters of public education. We attended the TUSD Governing Board Candidates’ Forum on Wednesday September 14, 2016 and picked up literature from the candidates as well as listened carefully to each of them as they responded to the questions. My husband and I agreed that we must learn a great deal more.
At about the same time as the forum took place last week, I was invited to attend a fund-raiser for Kristel Ann Foster as a candidate for the TUSD Governing Board. The invitation came by email to me and I printed the actual invitation as a reminder to respond. I deleted the sender’s email, however, I believe it was from Victoria Steele or someone who forwarded me Ms. Steele’s invitation. I wish I had paid closer attention to this fact but at the time it did not seem important. The invitation instructed that the address to the event would be provided upon the receipt of an “RSVP” to FosterforTUSD@gmail.com or 520-795-2180.
My husband and I are both interested in learning more about each of the TUSD candidates and I thought the event would support our goal, thus, I eagerly responded to the invitation during the morning of September 16, 2016 at 10:37 AM. Later the same day, I saw that I had received a response from Kristel Foster herself at 10:38 AM -just a minute after I had sent my RSVP. In her email Ms. Foster asked me to provide her with the name of the co-host who had invited me. I responded at 3:58 PM and noted that her inquiry was peculiar. At 4:29 I received a response which was even more peculiar. It did provide the address of the fundraiser location but also provided an explanation for the cloak and dagger approach to inviting people to her fund-raiser. The emails are provided below in time sequence.
Ms. Foster’s responses to me drew great curiosity and concern. I spent late Friday afternoon making several calls to individuals we have met who work for TUSD, have children in TUSD schools, or who are involved in local politics. Their input simply triggered additional inquiries for me to look into during the weekend.
I learned the identity of the blog (and blogger) that Ms. Foster mentioned in her email response to me. Then I learned of the recent campaign contribution controversy that she and one of her peers have been involved in. It was suggested to me that I view several Board meetings which are made available through video on the TUSD website and that I conduct an internet search on the TUSD news stories which have been covered by the media over the last six months.
One very knowledgeable retired teacher who was referred to me suggested that I read several of the court orders found on the TUSD website. He also forwarded me several desegregation updates which he had received from one of the plaintiffs. This same educator also stressed to me that Kristel Foster is not a classroom teacher, as she self-proclaims in her campaign but that her role at Sunnyside School District is to provide support to teachers who work directly with students who are English language learners in their classrooms.
I then asked how she could be running her campaign during work hours, which led to several questions asked of me and which resulted in my sharing the emails below. I was informed of the legal campaign requirements for a school board candidate and it was strongly suggested to me that I complete all of my research and then determine what, if anything, my next step would be, since at this point it was obvious that Ms. Foster is campaigning during work hours.
As I have reviewed and read volumes of media reports, blog opinions, court orders, Board meeting videos, and continued to speak to numerous individuals about TUSD, I have grown weary and angry. My remedy to both ailments is to become engaged in the TUSD Governing Board race realizing, without a doubt, that Ms. Foster must be ousted. Video of several Board meetings shows her conduct during Board meetings to be very unacceptable for any number of reasons. She plays the role of the Superintendent’s advocate rather than that of his supervisor and policy maker. She is rude and patronizing to members of the Board minority as well as to members of the public who address the Board with feedback which she obviously finds objectionable. I see that she consistently sides with the Superintendent in legally opposing progress in the oldest desegregation court order of which I know. At the forum it was stated that she has even voted against paying the legal fees to the Mexican American Plaintiffs’ attorneys as is legally required. She has never protested the payment to the attorneys who are working internally or externally on the case on behalf of TUSD. I found at least two specific stop-gap stipulations that have been required to push TUSD into complying with its desegregation court order.
What kind of Democrat is this woman? If I did not know any better I would think that my husband and I had been swept up into a time warp in the deep south during its ugly resistance to civil rights, inclusive of desegregation.
I am hoping that Kristel Foster is an anomaly in Tucson within the Democratic Party because as a progressive Democrat I cannot relate to her aimed hostility at social justice/desegregation; her efforts to minimize an outright bribe by a contractor who was awarded a $21,000,000 contract; her lack of humanity in dealing with her peers and the media in general; and her passive aggressive behavior which creeps out in one “gotcha” underhanded sarcastic moment after another during Board meetings. I hear from many that her attacks usually take place when those she attacks are not present. It is a cowardly and unprofessional way to conduct business.
The research I have conducted has been intense and in-depth and I am left without any other option than to formally complain to you about Ms. Foster’s campaigning activities during Sunnyside School District work hours. I am sure that my situation is one of dozens in which she took time away from her job in relation to her campaign and/or TUSD business. If she responded to my RSVP, knowing that it was campaign related, she is definitely responding to other RSVPs as well as conducting other campaign business.
It is the cumulative time on campaign and TUSD matters that must be of concern. Is this not stealing from the Sunnyside School District tax-payers and from the services that she is supposed to be delivering? Her conduct is not suitable for any “teacher,” public servant, TUSD Governing Board member, liberal Democrat, or ethical individual. Her laptop, cell phone, or computer (personal or business) should be seized in order to determine just how much time has been sucked away from her duties as a “teacher” to campaign herself into a position where she falsely states that she supports teachers. Someone who supports teachers does not smear their profession by claiming that she is one of them while she conducts herself in such a disgraceful manner.
During the forum she had several pieces of paper with information from which she was reading about the desegregation court case that she said she had requested that same day. Her request must have been made during work hours in order for her to have received it by the time of the forum. As other candidates spoke she constantly contorted her face in disagreement and even tried to converse with another candidate, who did not respond to her. Reflecting on these behaviors now further confirms how unsuited she is to be a TUSD Board member.
This to request that you immediately conduct an investigation into this matter and remedy the situation so that Ms. Foster’s campaigning during Sunnyside School District hours immediately ceases.
As I am sure you can guess I will not be attending Ms. Foster’s fund raiser. She may or may not take note of this fact but I do not care to have any further contact with her.
It is my hope that the information that I have provided herein is sufficient to provide you with the evidence needed to take immediate action. I am not interested in becoming any more engaged in this than what is presented here. I will inform those with whom I have spoken of this matter by forwarding them a copy of this complaint to them later today and I will make some limited effort to bring light to this matter through the media. I believe this will support transparency and accountability.
An experience that should have been positive has now evolved into a very negative one. As noted above, the referenced email exchanges are provided below along with the Ms. Foster’s detailed IP address information. I have also quoted the body of the invitation. I thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this matter.
Email exchange in time order:
On Sep 16, 2016, at 10:37 AM, XXXXXXX wrote: My husband, Joseph and I would like to attend your function
On Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Kristel Foster <email@example.com> wrote:
Thank you for your email! May I ask which co-host invited you?
Kristel Ann Foster
“…dream more than others think practical,
expect more than others think possible…”
On Sep 16, 2016, at 3:58 PM, XXXXXXX wrote:
This is certainly peculiar. I received an email invitation from Victoria Steele.
4:29 PM (47 minutes ago)
Thanks XXXXXXX! The party will be at Ron & Nancy’s 4848 E. Hawthorne Street, 85711
I agree—we just have a very aggressive blogger in town who is publicizing the event as well, and not to like-minded individuals. I am just being cautious today of the games he is playing. Thank you for understanding.
I look forward to seeing you next Friday!
Thanks XXXXXXX! The party will be at Ron & Nancy’s 4848 E. Hawthorne Street, 85711
The body of the invitation I received states: “Kristel Ann Foster & Cam Juarez for TUSD! Please join Ron and Nancy Barber, Mayor Rothschild, Ann Eve Pedersen, Steve Farley, David Bradley, Stefanie Mach, Bruce Wheeler, Dr. Randy & Susan Friese, Matt Kopec, Richard Elias & Emily Velde, Karin Uhlich, Regina Romero & Ruben Reyes, Paul Cunningham, Demion Clinco, Sylvia Lee, Martha Durkin, Mark & Lynda Hanna, Victoria Steele, Milta Ortiz, Mark Pinate, Montserrat Caballero, Sofia Ramos, Dr. Eve Shapiro, Marisol Flores-Aguirre
When: Friday, September 23rd 5:30-7:00 pm
Where: (address shared with an rsvp)
RSVP: FosterforTUSD@gmail.com (520-795-2180)”
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