Thursday, March 26, 2009

{The Sun 3/26/09}

Grand Terrace urges school name change
By Stephen Wall Staff Writer
Posted: 03/26/2009

GRAND TERRACE - The city wants the Colton school board to reconsider its decision to name the new high school in town after a longtime Colton resident.
In a letter delivered to the school district Thursday, the City Council unanimously expresses "dismay and disappointment over the naming process and the ultimate name selection" for the school.
The council "sincerely and fervently requests" that the school be renamed Grand Terrace High School, the letter says.
The school board voted 5-1 two weeks ago to name the school after retired trustee Ray Abril, Jr., who served on the board from 1973 to 2001.
The $82 million campus, on Main Street east of Taylor Street, is due to open in fall 2011. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled April 4.
The Colton Joint Unified School District conducted a public survey requesting nominations for a name. "Grand Terrace High School" was the overwhelming winner. "Ray Abril High School" came in fourth place.
It was "unconscionable" for the board to ignore "the clear mandate" from Grand Terrace residents who were "a driving force" behind the passage of two bond measures that helped provide money for the high school, the letter states.
The city also assembled prime commercially zoned land for the high school and sold property to the district at "a very fair market value," according to the letter.
Residents also sacrificed two sports fields at a city park for the school, and city staff helped two businesses relocate elsewhere in town so the 67-acre campus could be built, the letter says.
The city also paid for off-site infrastructure improvements needed to build the school, the letter states.
The letter notes Abril made "significant contributions" to the district and perhaps should be honored with a facility named after him in Colton.
Patt Haro, the lone board member to oppose naming the school after Abril, said she would ask her colleagues to revisit the decision.
"I believe firmly that the people should be listened to," Haro said. "I believe Ray Abril should be honored. I respect him immensely. I just don't think this is the venue to do it."
Board member Kent Taylor said he stands by the name.
"I support the decision that was made based on all the input I received from Grand Terrace residents and Colton residents," Taylor said.
Taylor said the naming controversy distracts from the "wonderful accomplishment" of Grand Terrace finally getting its own top-notch high school.


Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

If Kent Taylor stand by the name... I must ask the question...

What was Mr. Taylors motivation for this decision? Money? Coersion? The need to fit in? What!

Mr. Taylor... there is nothing wrong with having a differing opinion than your colleagues. Look at Pat Haro...who stood up as the lone one "nay" vote. She is a hero in Grand Terrace, and a woman to be admired for her strength and
character. It takes a lot of "chutzpa" to do what she did.
She will most likely have a seat on the School Board next Election.
The rest of the Board needs to think about their positions.

I wonder... how many residents of GRand Terrace did Mr. Taylor ask about the name Ray Abril Jr.

I wasn't asked. WE are a small community. Surely... if he had asked even 100 residents of Grand Terrace, those 100 would have mentioned the question and soon, all of us would have heard about the question. CAtch my drift?

We all know each others business in this City.
It is a close knit, family oriented city that is exceedingly proud of the things we have been able to accomplish within our small borders.

Mrs. Haro... THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTE! You now have MY VOTE!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think Kent Taylor is lacking the "chutzpa" that it takes to stand up for our...and supposedly his community...and the people who supported him.

Tell me...has ANYONE READ ONE comment FROM ANY OF THE PEOPLE HE ASKED SHOWING SUPPORT OF THE NAME CHANGE!!! Kent Taylor is full of it!! Come on people...if Kent Taylor asked you...step up and defend him, HE SAYS YOU ARE OUT THERE...WHERE ARE YOU!! Do it anonymously. Point is, I would like to read just ONE...JUST ONE comment defending the Board-voted name for our GTHS!!! ONE...COME ON...HAVE SOME *#@! HUEVOS! The quoted comments by Kent Taylor only shows arrogance...


Sandra, you are dead on with this, if he asked several people and they all supported the Ray Abril name...oh, that's must have been the 17 votes that were for the Ray Abril name. Clearly not even close to the amount that was voted for GTHS!!!

Hats off to you and your huevos Pat Haro...BRAVO!

Anonymous said...

The more one thinks of this, the more it stands out as a cheap political play. The board had RA jr. name picked long before the final vote. This board should consider moving to Washington D.C. They would all be right at home there. This business is really sick. Perhaps the folks of Grand Terrace should picket the Jr. High School ground breaking cerimony.
Richard Fandel

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fandel, thank you for your support...

Correction, and with sincere and all do respect....this is a High School we are fighting for, not a Jr/Middle School. All the more reason for an outrage! And yes, picketing the Ground Breaking is a fab idea and should be seriously considered.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that the blog administrator singled out Kent Taylor, his betrayal, and his continuing decision to stand by this betrayal. I agree with all comments that have been posted here. We must first, get this name change done...and then we must equal or exceed this effort with the removal of Taylor from his seat. At a minimum, he must not be re-elected. I have supported him from the start and for that, I apologize. Obviously the seat doesn't mean that much to him, so lets give it to someone who cares.

Brian Reinarz said...

That last comment WAS NOT anonymous. It was written by Brian Reinarz of Grand Terrace. I just hit the wrong button.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe people re-elected Taylor. Remember, you just put him back in office and look how he thanks the community he lives in.

Anonymous said...

Whats Funny is they are going to name the high school after Ray Abril Jr's father. Ray Abril. They are not going to call it "Ray Abril Jr. High School" They will keep the "Jr" out of the name so it will legally be the name of his father.