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Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor, Ojai Valley News – October 16, 2020

Starkweather for OUSD

Janet Sager Knott – Meiners Oaks

There are many reasons to vote for Jeffrey Starkweather for Ojai Unified School District to represent the new district area covering Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte: his deep roots in the community, his impressive professional experience as a former newspaper publisher, journalist and civil rights attorney, and his vast knowledge of and passion for the importance of public schools to our community’s resilience.

I especially like the fact that all of his endorsements listed on his ad are from organizations and individuals from our local community: the Ojai Valley News, the Ojai Valley Democrats, an Ojai Unified School District Board member, two Ojai city council members, an Ojai planning commission member, a water district board member and a diverse swath of other community leaders, educators, parents, activists and long-term residents of Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte and the Ojai Valley.

His endorsements are a reflection of the respect he has from people who know and love our community.

By contrast, his opponent’s endorsements come largely from organizations and professionals in Ventura and Oxnard. I received a card from her that showed only one local endorsement, from Ojai.

The choice is clear. Jeffrey Starkweather will be a strong voice for parents, students, teachers and residents of Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte and the entire Ojai Unified School District. We would be fortunate to have him be the first OUSD Trustee from Meiners Oaks/Mira Monte.


Letter to Editor, Ojai Valley News, October 9

Starkweather for OUSD

Leslie Fausset – Meiners Oaks native

I have known Jeff Starkweather most of my life. We attended Ojai Unified elementary, middle and high school together. Jeff has spent his adult life dedicated to fairness, equality, and dignity. I know him to be open, informed and passionate.

After forty years in public education and as a former school teacher and school superintendent who served as chief deputy superintendent for the California Department of Education, I know what it takes to be a constructive, contributing school board member.

One must be a good listener, be able to hear conflicting and opposing views, do thorough research, and be ready to make difficult decisions. The most important quality is to consistently and always put students first. I have every confidence that Jeff will do that and will be an excellent steward for the Ojai public schools.

I enthusiastically endorse his candidacy for school board!

(Writer is a graduate of the Nordhoff Class of 1965)


Letter to Editor, Ojai Valley News, October 9

Ojai need Starkweather

Rex Meach  – Meiners Oaks

Having grown up in Meiners Oaks next door to Jeff Starkweather and having closely followed his activities for the last fifty years, I can hardly imagine a more broadly qualified individual to sit on the Ojai School Board.

As the editor of a community newspaper, he has covered school issues with the insights uniquely available to a journalist who knows nearly everyone in town.

As a lawyer who has represented parents, teachers, and administrators, he understands the need to balance the sometimes conflicting interests of the various stakeholders.

As an active citizen, he successfully organized the campaigns of others  for local office where education was a primary concern and closely advised them throughout their terms in office.

As one time aide to United States Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, he understands the reciprocal effects of local and national decisions.

Finally, as a parent, he shared the responsibility of shepherding his own two children through public school.

With this candidacy, Jeff offers our community an entire lifetime of relevant experience.  I suggest that District 2 voters accept his offer on November 3.

(Writer is a graduate of Nordhoff High Class of 1966)


Letter to the editor, Ojai Valley News, October 2

Starkweather for School board

Blair Braney – Meiners Oaks

Jeffrey Starkweather is a homegrown OUSD graduate who’s moved back to his hometown to retire. Lucky for us, he likes to stay busy in his retirement and has been interested in helping making our school district the shining star it can be. His experience as a civil rights attorney and his work with students with disabilities will serve him well.

He’s got a great vision for transparency, equity in education, and real interest in supporting our students, teachers, parents, and community members who all have vested interests in our school community.

I highly recommend you visit his website www.jeffreystarkweather.com to check out his ideas and urge District 2 voters to vote for him in November.

(Writer is a graduate of Nordhoff High Class of 2003)


Letter to editor,  Oaji Valley News, September 25

OUSD needs Starkweather

Gloria Valladolid – Meiners Oaks

Hurray!  Jeffrey Starkweather is a candidate for District 2 Board of Education (BOE), representing the neighborhoods of Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte.  Because I am a retired high school teacher and administrator and live in Meiners Oaks and want the best candidate, I support Starkweather.

The first issue he identifies in Ojai to address our public school crisis is falling enrollment. He first advises engaging the community in developing a strategic vision and proposes stellar programs.  He is from Ojai.  As a lawyer Starkweather dedicated his life to civil rights and since retiring has been completely involved in our Ojai community, in particular, education.  He has been present at the several BOE meetings I have attended where he thoughtfully listened to speakers and contributed intelligently.

What I am really excited about is that Starkweather is retired and has all that time.  He promises to enthusiastically deliver himself full time to his responsibilities on the BOE to ensure that Ojai charges forward toward success in Ojai public schools.