Ed Heron, Fiscal Hawk

School Board Incumbent Running Again

Thursday, November 1, 2012
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Ed Heron has something that none of the other school board candidates ​— ​all profiled in previous Santa Barbara Independent articles ​— ​can boast: a record of service. The only incumbent running for one of three open seats, Heron is also the only current sitting Republican on the ostensibly nonpartisan body. His fiscal hawkishness is evident at meetings as he is typically the first person to ask questions about balance sheets and budgets, boasting in his campaign literature about the district’s positive financial certification.

Ed Heron
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Ed Heron

On the other hand, he sided with liberal boardmembers to issue a new charter for César Chávez Elementary School, now called Adelante. He broke with the more liberal trustees, however, when they argued against lowering the price tag of two parcel taxes that failed on the June ballot. Heron felt that lowering the amount of the taxes before putting them back on the ballot this fall would help to neutralize opposition. He does support the taxes, however.

A Santa Barbara lifer, Heron left for college and a short career buying up property in metropolitan Los Angeles so that Caltrans could build Southern California’s extensive highway system, returning, however, to take over his father’s real estate business. The company was bought by Prudential and eventually Coldwell Banker, Heron moving up the ranks in those national firms, all the while following in his father’s philanthropic footsteps by serving on area boards, commissions, and philanthropies, most recently as the president of Partners in Education. This service has gained him a bevy of bipartisan support.

Although he sharpened his tongue at a recent debate appearance, rebuking some of the positions staked out by opponent Lou Segal ​— ​the other candidate without the built-in advantage of being on the Democratic ticket ​— ​Heron says at all of his public appearances that his goal is and always has been to bring “dependability, trustworthiness, and civility” to the Board of Education.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

What is Heron's record voting for or against Santa Barbara local teacher union demands?

Where does Heron stand on Obama's federal funding of Race to the Top which the California teacher union lobby has blocked because of its opposition to classroom performance accountability demands.

Why is Heron called a fiscal hawk when Santa Barbara schools keep loading our property tax bills every years he has been on the board?

Hawks are good; but the vultures have to go. There is a choice this year. Vote wisely.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 8:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

1) The local Teacher's Association and the teachers they represent in the four years I've been on the School Board have made very few if any of what I would call demands They have worked closely helping to adjust downward revenue and expenses by $20,000,000 during this time period. The have agreed to take 7 furlough days which amounts to a 4% salary reduction. In the hardest vote I've had to make I did vote NO on a off schedule increase using Federal Funds because I thought it was not fiscally correct but lost 4-1.
2) The Race to the Top opportunity is just partially based on performance accountability. There are at least 4 or 5 other threshholds that have to be met and we along with many other Districts in California simply do not meet them. We will in the future and will work with the Teachers Association and I believe they will be cooperative in the process as long as it is fair.
3) I was not on the School Board when H & I were put on the ballot in June, 2008 or any of the previous bonds over the years but I did support H & I and it was not a result of the 2008 economy meltdown. They specifically were for "enhancements" to existing programs. No one had any idea that in the following four years the economy would tank and the State would stop funding education in accordance with Proposition 98. I did vote for the Bond Funds in 2010 along with the majority of the Santa Barbara community and I would be happy to take anyone on a tour of our 22 schools and show you the many outstanding improvements to our facilities that have been made and still to be made as a result. Our technology infrastructure was "crumbling and shocking" in 2008 and now we have wireless capability at every school and the infrastructure to support it. The District has 179,000 square feet of facilities and the only way to make structural upgrades or needed additions to them is with Bond Financing. I am very proud of that vote and am sure our students receive a better education as a result.
4) As it is explained above I tried very hard to get the amount asked for in A&B reduced and was partially successful. I supported the motion because if it is not passed the School District will need to reduce programs and services by $1,700,000 starting July 1, 2013 and these could include reductions in music, math, science, the performing arts and technology. I can't believe our community wants this to happen. If 30 doesn't pass the School District may lose $6,000,000 this year and in future years. If this happens beginning implementation of these serious results will be seen starting February 28, 2013. Will we see you at this meeting so that you can watch first hand the drastic results on our teachers and administrative staff of voting no if they happen to fail?
The voters can decide whether or not I'm a hawk or vulture. Please. If anyone has any questions please call me on my cell, 895-4586 or by email at anytime.

EdHeron (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 3 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm surprised Louse Gal hasn't chimed in.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 3:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice explanations Ed, but the bottom line in everything you just said is asking more tax money, or else. More money has been already been coming in as the state economy is weakly recovering, thanks to an automatic share going to K-12.

50% of all state revenues already going to schools. Something is fundamentally wrong when 50% of all state revenues which are slowly increasing every year cannot provide a good California public education.

Something is wrong when this slow increase in schools funding is not even recognized and instead all we keep getting is gloom, doom, threats and odd claims about losing money. No wonder voters today are more cynical than they were when this first parcel tax was passed.

You get the money you get. There is no golden benchmark that allows you to say some years this amount is a cut, and other years this is a bonus to go wholly for more personnel perks and benefits. There are no cuts to education. There is only the money you get every year to do the job. Just do it.

Turning down Prop 30 and A & B is the only way we can find out why 50% is not enough. Because, if we don't turn it down this year, next year there will be Son of Prop 30 and Measures C & B, ad nauseum.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 9:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not sure where your 50 percent number comes from. Just Google Proposition 98 and you will see that Education has not received the promised amount for years. Currently Education receives about 77 percent of what It is entitled from the State. It was recently declared constitutional that the Governor has the right to take the money regardless of what Proposition 98 required. A and B are for four years and 30 is for 4-7 years. I simply don't believe that if passed similar measures would follow year after year.
I would like to add that I am very proud of the cross section of the community that supports me for another 4 years including Democrats and Republicans. I have not received any financial support from any source and have no expenses to report. For a complete list of my supporters please go to

EdHeron (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 10:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati's same tired old rant hating the idea of any tax increase, hating unions, uncaring about the education of children in our state. I'm voted for Ed Heron!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 5:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ed, as a fiscal hawk how much money does SB schools send out to the union bosses off the top of all SB district paychecks every year?

CalFacts states with full government authority it spends $11,000 per student in California. If you are not getting that money in SB, as a fiscal hawk explain why not? Where is this $11,000 per student leaking out along the way by the time it reaches SB schools.

And if all you get is what you get, you still don't make a case why we in the public should make up any perceived "deficits" you claim you need every year.

There is no golden benchmark reference point. Schools get what they get. Budget accordingly and stop making promises to your unions when you don't have the funds to support them.

Sure, every year you can come back and demand local taxpayers pony up more funds for schools and your continued unsustainable union promises with increasing levels of histrionics.

Sometimes you win; but last June you lost. As you should have. Now you claim you need to make these prior temporary parcels taxes permanent, because you are now budgeting with the expectations these are now your new budget floor.

"Cuts" will ensue because you did not view these as temporary bonuses provided schools at tax-payer sacrifice. Now you demand these taxes be made permanent - every four years - from here on out.

But of late local tax payers suffer school tax fatigue, loss of confidence in SB school board accountability, and unremitting failure of adequate performance results.

Just sayin'

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's parse out Dr Dan's arguments against anyone who crosses local teachers unions demands for more money:

-----tried old rant
-----hates taxe increases
-----uncaring about the education of children in this state

Translation: give us more money or we will attack you personally and say you hate children.

Voters: you don't have to fall for this level of personal attack any longer.

The best thing you can do for education and the children in this state is hold your schools accountable for results, demand reforms and get far better value for the large amount of money schools are already getting from your state tax dollars.

Doing more of the same for even more money is no longer the answer.

The California teachers union lobby is intentionally blocking federal education monies because they refuse to accept the reforms that come along with these new infusions of federal money.

Instead they come to us locally crying they are out of funds, with unending demands we make up the difference for their own refusal to meet the federal funding education reform guidelines.

If you think this is the way to "care about children" then by all means let them extort you with Measures A and B. And be ready next year when they come back again with Measures C and D.

Ad infinitum ..... all because those who claim they "care about the children" in fact are the very ones who do not.

Demand teacher union reforms and getting California in line to also get federal education dollars ...if you truly care about children in this state.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 9:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

against anyone who crosses local teachers unions--
we will attack you personally --
this level of personal attack any longer--
get far better value for the large amount of money schools are already getting from your state tax dollars--
extort you
THESE phrases above from Oblati's wild ravings..uh, compare them to Ed Heron's thoughtful comments! It's all about the cash for Oblati, that's clear enough. I told Oblati s/he hated UNIONS, not children; and that s/he is "uncaring" about children....Kingsprawn needed here!
The number per student, Oblati, is closer to $9000 @ student, not $11,000, and New York State spends $19,000 per student...oh yes, must be those danged unions in New York.
YES on 30, yes on A and &, vote for Ed Heron.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Prop. 30 is pretty straight forward, I find people looking for excuses not to vote for it instead of solid reasons. YES on 30 is a vote for the future.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 12:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

New York is able to spend more money per student because they accepted federal Race to the Top monies, and accepted the required education reforms.

California teachers unions have consistently rejected these additional federal monies because they have refused to accept education reform.

Now California teachers are demanding we fork over more money to them because they refused this federal demand to reform their policies. So who really "hates children" and is blocking their educational success?

Looks like it is the California teachers unions who are starving the state system because they almost virtually alone in the entire country are refusing these federal education dollars that are sitting on the table right now.

Don't ask us locally to make up this money they refuse to take just because the statewide California teachers union lobby is refusing its terms.

Local voters can keep voting more parcel tax money because for good reason they like their local teachers. But if local voters don't recognize what a vice grip the statewide teacher unions are doing to starve this system from as a whole because of their refusal to reform statewide educational policy, there will be no end to keeping California schools in constant fiscal crises.

Be sure to ask Das Williams and Hannah-Beth Jackson why they dare to call themselves "education candidates".

They are both fully part of this California teacher union roadblock holding our children hostage just so they don't have to face the federal accountability demands. It is their actions that will keep California locked into these exceedingly poor education outcomes, while their only response it to cry they need more money. Your local money, because they refuse to reform in order to get federal money.

So when you trot out state to state comparisons, please compare apples to apples next time. Comparing the big Apple to the Big Orange just doesn't cut it.

BTW: Considering the deplorable condition of many NY schools, they too are getting very little value for their money spent too.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 12:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati writes much, says little; Race to the Top has horrendous flaws, which Oblati would know little about but somehow manages to slam NY schools -- BTW -- too.
Votes YES on 30 (no on 38). And yeah, Das Williams is such a captive and he's no good spokesman for 30. It doesn't change the need our public school children have for these funds.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The current number of students graduating from SB schools in need remedial course work before they can attend college is a .....horrendous flaw. Take a bow, SB schools in your Race to the Bottom.

Dr Dan has no trouble sending you there because there is no source of money that comes with demands for reforms that he is not willing to turn down because he likes this current status quo of local high school failure.

Reform your practices SB schools and graduate students with at least proper basic skills. Not too much to ask now, is it?

Oblati (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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