Ruehlig responds to letter supporting Belle

Strong words are but noise if not verified.

Responding to an October Letter to the Editor [published in the Antioch Herald] by Rev. Austin Miles, a supporter of my opponent Jeff Belle, on criticism of a decision I made as Area 5 Trustee for the CCC Board of Education, here are the facts.

Contra Costa is a Class 2 county office of education (COE) serving 171k students.  Of the 10 Class 2 COEs in California, Contra Costa has the 4th highest cost of living; yet has the lowest compensated county superintendent.  In comparison, there are district superintendents in Contra Costa and Class 3 county superintendents in California with higher salaries/benefits than our own Class 2 county superintendent.

Yes, I voted to give a modest 2% salary increase for the county superintendent, similar to the salary increase provided to all other COE employees to adjust to cost of living changes.  Where does Rev. Miles get his information of a $40k salary increase?

Contra Costa COE is financially healthy with a positive certification and a 6+% reserve.  Although 7 employees were given layoff notices in March 2014; two voluntarily transferred with their career tech programs to the local district while the creative move to offer the Supplemental Early Retirement Program (SERP) allowed the agency to retain the other five.  SERP prompted voluntary retirement of 51 top-step salaried employees, replacing them with 46 lower-step salaried employees.  This reorganization will bring 1.3 million in savings over the next 3 years.  Rev. Miles is misinformed in claiming “38 school staff had to be laid off due to lack of funds”.

Education is a non-partisan issue.  From school, college and county board trustee, to county and state superintendent, no elected position in education is party affiliated.  I dismiss Rev. Miles’ reference to a political party for its divisiveness. 

Common Core is a serious issue and deserves serious consideration.  Mr. Miles‘ use of political rhetoric that Common Core “is so important to the Communists that a 500 million bribe was given to Tennessee to push it in” is delirious.  Irrational criticism of a system in its infancy exploits the situation for personal and political gain.  Mr. Miles does not offer solutions; only chatter that adds to the many challenges of implementing a new standard.  There are many intelligent questions that need to be asked about Common Core.  Why resort to silly?

Focus on policies, not politics.  Passing Prop 30 in 2012 guaranteed funding.  Adopting the Local Control Funding Formula in 2014 simplified financing.  Implementing the Local Control Accountability Plan decentralized goal setting and defined ten priorities to measure success.  California is at a crux.  To create the best comprehensive educational program for our children, we need the collaborative effort of stakeholders. Let’s stick to just the facts.

Cynthia Ruehlig


2 Comments to “Ruehlig responds to letter supporting Belle”

  1. Cynthia Ruehlig on Rev. Austin Miles

    It was indeed disappointing to see Cynthia Ruehlig engage in ad- hominem attacks regarding my positive story on County School Board Candidate Jeff Belle. This I did not expect since it was obvious in my story that I had great respect for Mrs. Ruehlig, and her husband Walter, both of whom I liked, even though I had met them on only a couple of occasions.

    Rather than addressing the expressed concern of a voter, she hurled vitriol at me personally, stating that my words are “noise,” that I am “delirious” with “irrational criticism,” “not sticking to facts,” my use of “political rhetoric.”(?) Furthermore, I am “misinformed,” “only offer chatter,” “exploits a situation”(?)and concludes with her proclamation that I am “silly.”(?) Wow! All that for writing a favorable story about her opponent. and questioning one action she took. These insinuations in her subtle but skilled language were peppered throughout her response letter, meaning she would duck the question. Now there are even more questions to pursue.

    It appears she has resorted to the old straw- man argument, so common in politics, using me to distract attention away from the actual issues. Mrs. Ruehlig is reminded that the race for the County School Board is between Cynthia Ruehlig and Jeffe Belle, NOT Cynthia Ruehlig and Rev. Austin Miles.

    She is cautioned against publicly attaching further degrading descriptions to me since that would present legal problems.

    Rev. Austin Miles

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