Archives for December 2007

Sure-shot prediction

Following the pattern set by of one of our readers we are able to predict that Tim Bee will NOT be elected to CD-5.

cd-5 bee.jpg

Press Release: Maricopa GOP On The Passing of Cal Holman

For immediate release: December 31, 2007
Contact: Frosty Taylor,

Sympathy, Fond Memories Reach Out to Former Rep. Cal Holman’s Family

The Maricopa County Republican Committee Executive Guidance Committee (MCRC EGC) wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the family of long-time dedicated Republican Cal Holman, who was killed in a three-car accident Friday afternoon while turning into the street that led to his home. Holman’s car was struck by two cars, reportedly racing down Scottsdale Road. The two drivers of the other vehicles have been arrested on suspicion of second degree murder charges.

Rep. Holman served as a legislator from 1975-85 for what was then Legislative District (LD) 24 in North Phoenix/Paradise Valley/Scottsdale – prior to the boundary changes and term limitations. Holman also served as chairman for the former LD24, both before and after he served as a legislator. He was a Harvard graduate with a MBA from Stanford.

MCRC Chairman Lyle Tuttle said, “Holman’s many years of service to the Republican Party will long be remembered.”

LD8 Chairman Royce Flora, where the Holman resided, said, “Cal was one of hardest working and most dedicated Republicans I have ever known. His loss is felt by all who knew him. Cal holds the record for the most Republican’s registered.  One year he personally signed up about 100 precinct committeemen. He usually wore shorts and a Van Gogh tie.  He always had a clipboard and registration forms.  If you look closely at the remains of his car shown on TV, you will notice his red, white and blue bumper sticker that said ‘register to vote.’”
Senator Pete Corpstein, who served in the Arizona House in the 70s and 80s with Holman and then LD24 Senator Sandra Day O’Connor, said, “Cal was one of the most dedicated Republicans I’ve ever known. There was no loafing on the job with him. He was a district chairman before and after he served in the legislature.  He was great organizer and did a wonderful job as a district chairman. He was a hard worker.”

Frosty Taylor, a reporter/editor who covered the northeast valley for over two decades,  said, “The trio of Holman, Corpstein and O’Connor helped the struggling Paradise Valley/North Scottsdale area through a multitude of rapid growth/political problems in the 70s and 80s. They were familiar faces at numerous community meetings, chamber banquets and political events. Cal was dedicated to the betterment of the district he represented. He will be missed. I chatted with him at a convention just a year or two ago and he still had the political passion that he had 30 some years ago.”

Condolences can be sent to his wife Elizabeth at 8494 N. 72nd Place, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Jan. 3 at the Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

In lieu of flowers please send contributions to the Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Foundation – Cal Holman Scholarship Fund, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club, PO Box 5917, Scottsdale, AZ 85261.

To leave computer messages for the family on a Guest Book for Calvin Holman hold CTRL and click on or the  East Valley Tribune guest book link at:

Your Predictions

Rather than present our predictions for 2008, we’d like to hear from our readers. This is your opportunity to lay it all out on the table and tell us who you think the biggest political winners and losers will be for 2008.

Who will win the Arizona Presidential Preference Election? Who will the GOP Presidential nomination? Will the State Legislature be retained by the Republicans? Who will be caught in a scandal? Who will resign? Who will be appointed? Will there be a recession? Will the housing market recover? Who will close their doors? Who will open? What will be the biggest trends?

And in case you’re wondering, at this time next year, we’ll review whose crystal ball was more accurate? Maybe your prediction will be history in the making?

So let the predictions begin and feel free to announce your long-shot along with your sure-shot!

Happy New Year!

Republic’s Top Political Stories

On Wednesday, Sonoran Alliance issued its list of top political stories of 2007.

Today, the Republic went public with its top 10 (+5) list. Reading their list is an exercise in perspective especially when it comes to immigration reform by Arizona officials.

Here is the Republic’s list:

1. Governor OKs toughest migrant-hire law in U.S.

2. Judge: Sanctions law stands Business and Hispanic civil-rights groups twice tried to block the sanctions law from taking effect, and both times, they were rebuffed by U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake.

3. State lays out rules for new smoking law; bar owner challenges measure in court.

4. Legislature passes tougher drunken-driving laws.

5. Arizona joins other states in push for tougher emissions laws.

6. Judge again orders more money for English Language Learner programs.

7. Voter-ID law’s key elements upheld.

8. Businesses deal with new minimum-wage law.

9. Vet home fined, may lose funds.

10. State may give benefits to domestic partners.

11. Restrictions placed on teen drivers.

12. Lawmakers pass new clean-air regulations.

13. Napolitano allows fuel-efficient vehicles to use hybrid lanes.

14. Mortgage fraud becomes a felony.

15. Lawmakers crack down on copper thefts.

Tucson Ron Paul March a huge success.

     The Ron Paul Tucson Meetup group held a very successful march on Saturday. They met at the east side of Randolph Park and marched the 4 miles around the park. The news estimated that over 200 people participated.

     At the GOPAC school in September they talked about earned media. Saturday’s event was a textbook case on how to generate media coverage. Plan a big event, contact the media, and show up in force.

     Video can be seen at the You Tube link above and photos can be seen at the web page. If you would like to get involved the Tucson Meetup group is quickly closing in on 300 members.

     Voters wishing to reregister their party should be able to do so online at ServiceArizona.

Update: The march received even more coverage on Channel 9 at the 10:00 broadcast. Campaigns live for exposure like this.

ron paul tucson march.jpg

Calvin Holman (1931-2007)

Former State Legislator Cal Holman was killed yesterday in a horrific car crash. He was 76.

The crash involved two men who were likely racing at speeds exceeding 70 mph. Both men were arrested and have been charged with 2nd degree murder.

Cal was still very active in Republican party politics particularly in North Phoenix and Scottsdale. He served in the Arizona Legislature from 1975-1985.

On behalf of the writers of Sonoran Alliance, I’d like to express our deepest prayers and condolences to his family. He will be missed.

(Arizona Republic story) | (East Valley Tribune story)


by Gayle Plato-Besley, M. Ed.

The comments are coming in regarding my last post. It was a post not a report so it didn’t have minutiae of how to change everything and create a perfect school. As to that, I recommend all educators- especially those in political office read everything  Dr. William Glasser writes, with at least a read of Quality Schools.

This lowly writer can only offer a few thoughts out of my simple head. I did not elaborate on the

how-to of reform –through the eyes of this educator, I will give it a try:

Simplify Administration:

One Superintendent, one Education Lawyer on retainer, one CPA, One Special Education Coordinator, Administrative Assistants for each administrator if needed; three-five Site Administrators (liaisons representing principals and the schools  to superintendents) – one for high school, one for middle school, and one-three for the elementary schools. Any programs of need like Title I, ESL, or Prevention/Wellness can be part time stipends like offered coaches. You cannot tell me a girls volleyball coach doesn’t put in as many hours during a season as an ESL coordinator. Yet, the coach may only get a few thousand extra a year, while a Coordinator holding an admin. certificate gets 45-60K. PLEASE. That makes no sense and following rigid guidelines is not a good defense. We expect teachers to follow laborious guidelines with every IEP or 504 plan, let alone in administering testing. We can find expertise in-house.

Require Site Administrators to travel back and forth to the Central Office, working with the principals, sharing their space. One Principal per school. If that seems odd with the high school housing many more children, I recommend that Central Administrative Offices help out with any unusual and high need concerns. Superintendents do this now with high-end discipline or Special Education complaints. Central Office should be housed in a really nice double-wide modular building on the high school campus. Are you laughing? Look at Cave Creek School Unified School District. For years, the administrative offices were in a trailer. This is consistently one of the best districts now with all schools excelling. That functional space use was really savvy and voters and parents appreciated that the best buildings went to the kids. Voters passed the bonds regularly, but that has changed. But then, so have the Superintendents.

Simplify All Meetings:

Robert’s Rules cannot fix a meeting in free-fall. I can remember waiting to speak at a district meeting, it was 9:30 at night, and I had a hour wait at least. The President of the United States can hold a cabinet meeting in 45 minutes but we can’t decide on drinking fountains at our schools. Staff meetings, teacher trainings, community committees are a huge blob of inefficient drivel. No community meeting should last more than 90 minutes, and no staffing more than 45 minutes. Table it or assign to sub-committee and move on. We believe our time is valuable, so state employees better value the client’s time. Appoint a Robert’s Rules Czar, introduce him and let him take it on. It works.

Hire Experts From Within:

I worked with more than a few teachers who just happened to be experts in another area–law, advertising, statistics, and technology. I read that Steve Wozniak (Co-Founder of Apple) is now a middle school teacher in California. Can you imagine him sitting at a teacher training regarding technology in the classroom, as the high paid advisor from some savvy company tells him how to use graphics for presentations? I love it. My principals had no clue what my peers could offer and never asked for their help. Gosh and it would have been really cheap labor too.

Stop Hiring Consultants After Elections: 

There is no better statistical sampling of the local voting public than an election.  If you get results you don’t like as an administrator, I say, acccept the local decision.  Get creative and re-evaluate.  Why did the bond fail:  the People did not like your plan to use the money. Come up with a new plan and don’t try to figure out why you lost.  Would you hire a consultant to see why you won a bond?  Never.

Do you have ideas about reform?  Add on please—



Arizona Public School Re-Districting Misses Point

by Gayle Plato-Besley, M. Ed.

The Arizona Republic published a story regarding school districts and the restructuring of the local governing bodies: ”The report submitted Friday by the Arizona School District Redistricting Commission would affect more than 330,000 Arizona students. Twenty-seven districts would replace the existing 76 elementary and high-school districts, eliminating 49 districts of the state’s 227.”  ( )

The proposal slated for a November ballot, was submitted to Governor Janet Napolitano purely in an informational capacity.  Unfortunately, the real solution is missing from the report.  Centralization of administration not all programming in districts, would alleviate at least 5% of districts’ budgets without losing all local decision making.

District Administrators including Superintendents, Fiscal Administrators, their support staff, and most importantly principals and assistant principals make up approximately 9-10% of each school district’s budget. (  Yet, ask any teacher, and you will hear that school site administrators are pulled out of the schools they manage up to half of the school week for district-based meetings of budget, maintenance and operations, and overall district business.  This includes strategy sessions to hook voters regarding budgets, bonds, and tax expenditures.

We, as citizens, remember principals from a child’s perspective.  Like Bart Simpson duping Principal Skinner, we do not know exactly what the average administrator does.  The job is grueling and maybe a bit redundant.  In addition to the management of the individual school including all discipline, parental concerns, classroom function, local testing and student achievement, there is the daily budgetary challenge.  The day begins at sunrise and often does not end until well past sundown.  Meetings are endless and more and more administrators are pulled farther from the children they are there to help.

The good administrators are out with the kids as much as possible, and the bad one are ghosts on campus only known by the troubled few.  School administrative assistants, registrars, and office receptionists are the life blood of the school.  Disciplined children are plopped down at their desks while everyone waits for the administrators to ‘get back from a meeting’.  If a teacher has a regular history of office referrals, he or she is professionally dinged as not managing the class. Reality is, most projects pulling the principals away could be reassigned.  A central hub of a few district administrators makes more sense. 

Battle of the Bulge

Corporate America learned years ago- get lean.  Many managerial and administrative positions were scrutinized and consolidated.  Once better defined, certain jobs were subcontracted and accountability became the key to good contract work.  Education could take a lesson from the likes of former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch. Famous for his basic advice, Welch says, simplicity, self-confidence, and speed are the key principles of success in business. He’s also stated, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Governmental agencies are adapting, and are successfully cutting budgets.  Contracting jobs  can work when there are clear goals and monitored activity, leading to more efficiency. If each hour is billable and the contractor knows his company can be booted for poor performance, the job gets done.   But how can education adapt?  I read a very telling piece put out by the National Education Association (NEA) stating the evils of contracting and capitalism.  Here is an excerpt:

“These forces, combined with support services contracting, amount to an attempted private sector takeover of the entire system of public education. If these forces were allowed to continue unabated, one could imagine a system of public education where nearly all administrative, teaching, support, and even cultural functions would be controlled by private companies, reducing the role of elected school boards to glorified contract administrators. Clearly, this prospect gives new and deeper meaning to the term ‘privatization.’” 

That quote sums it all up.  Scare the public into believing that private contracting will take over all political control and eliminate the school board and citizen choice.  Either education must face trimming of administrative and support costs or become the dinosaurs- extinct.

Eliminate Redundant Administrators
:  One per school who stays at the school, managing school issues directly related to educating the children.  Create a liaison to the district superintendent; this liaison conveys school needs and manages legal, maintenance and operations, and unusual challenges of personnel or parental concern. If there was one liaison per 3-6 schools, coordinating testing issues, funneling legal concerns, communicating specific budgetary needs and wants, and attending all of the meetings related to his region, the one principal is free to do his job properly.  

Get rid of multiple assistant principals doing the site-based work.  One principal is plenty and it’s a much more rewarding job to be at the school helping children, parents, and teachers. 

Contract all Social Services-
I am a school counselor with years of experience and I can attest to the misuse of this role.  No one in administration seems to grasp the job.  Short-term solution focused counseling offered on site is a great idea, but when the counselor is pulled in to do discipline or even scheduling, the role is watered down and the trust between child, parent and educator is limited.  Social Workers and Counselors are best an outsider to the system as the job is one of child advocate.  Without be-laboring the point, there is a clear trend toward this and it helps offer good programming on the parents’ schedules too: evening sessions for family or child counseling.  All coordination of services can be done too with a representative attending any meeting needed just like any contractor would do per definition of the services.

Avoid Hiring Consultants:
Nothing frustrates parents and voters more than a misappropriation of funds then followed by a committee to study said misuse, only then to determine that a consultant is needed to review why the whole mess started.  Buck Passing 101- all on the tax dollar’s dime.  Select a Jury of Peers including a community quorum.  QUORUM is the key word as one guy who owns a business in town with a desire to run for office is NOT a good representative of the community.

Does the lean approach really work in education:

School Nurses have all but been eliminated in many districts; one or two RNs oversee the local site staff.  When it all began, this budget cut scared the band-aids out of educators and nurses alike.  Scary news stories of how kids would be dying on the playground surfaced. Yet, the system generally works and  health service budgets are leaner.  The key, once again, is a health office assistant at every school trained and monitored by an administrative school nurse.  It isn’t easy but it is fiscally sound. Especially since very little medical care can be administered by a school official anyway.  Standard rule is always call 911 regardless if it is done by a nurse or not. Schools cannot treat nor prescribe anything. Many larger schools in high need areas are housing private health clinics too. All without much complication.  

NEA fears change and revision of bureaucracy, and outsourcing is the bane of many an educator.  It implies the public educator is a peripheral dinosaur.   Simply put, the NEA needs to get over the fact that this is a Capitalist society.  School Districts are not  socialist, commune-like villages.  Schools need to reflect society with success based on the American Dream: small business, corporate structure and competition. 

About the author: Gayle PLato-Besley, 43, is a writer, social studies teacher, and certified counselor with over 19 years experience working with children and families. Her experience includes work as a school counselor in local school districts, private practice, and a secondary level teacher of U.S. Government, Economics, and History. Gayle’s writing has been featured in the Arizona Republic, the Sonoran News, AZNET News, and the Foothills Focus. Her blog,, covers  a variety of political topics.



Top 25 Political News Stories of 2007

As another year comes to an end, Sonoran Alliance announces what it believes to be the top 25+ political news stories for 2007.

Whether it was the huge immigration policy fiasco with the fingerprints of the Arizona congressional delegation all over it or the battle royale between the weekly rag, Phoenix New Times and Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio, this year has been fairly eventful – and it isn’t even an election year!

As we present these top political stories, we’d love to have your thoughts and comments. Would you rank these differently? Are we missing anything?

1. Arizona Congressional Delegation Embroiled In Federal Immigration Reform
2. Thomas and Arpaio vs. Phoenix New Times
3. Arizona Employer Sanctions Law and Lawsuit
4. Randy Pullen Win GOP Chairman
5. Senator John McCain Announces Campaign for Presidency
6. State of Arizona Confronts Budget Shortfall
7. Paul Charlton Resigns from US Attorney
8. Senator Jon Kyl Wins GOP Whip Position
9. City of Phoenix Elections: Laura Pastor Loses in Upset
10. Congressional District 5 Race Heats Up
11. Congressional District 8 Race Heats Up
12. Thomas and Arpaio vs. Terry Goddard
13. Phil Gordon Reverses Illegal Immigration Non-Enforcement Policy
14. Congressman Rick Renzi Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2008
15. Mesa Approves Waveyard Project
16. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors vs. Superintendent of Schools, Sandra Dowling
17. Scottsdale Adopts Pro-Homosexual Policy
18. Pinal County Manager Stan Griffis Pleads Guilty
19. Representative Trish Groe Pleads Guilty to DUI
20. Judge Dismisses Case Against Representative Russ Jones
21. Dueling Tax Initiatives Launch Statewide Efforts
22. Marty Shultz Launches statewide Transportation Sales Tax Effort
23. Rick Romley Fails to Win VA Job
24. Mesa School Enrollment Drops Significantly: Falls Under Employee Sanctions
25. Giffords Marries Rocketman
26. Fife Symington Resurrects UFO Story

Time to choose

Arizona does not vote in the presidential primary until February 5th but the deadline to get registered, Jan 7th, is rapidly approaching. Those registered as Independent or No Party are not eligible to vote in the presidential primary and should re-register with a party if they wish to participate. Most of our readers are probably with a specific party but if you have a friend who is not direct them to ServiceArizona to re-register. Also, anyone who has moved or change his/her name should re-register. For more information see the Secretary of State web site.