Elections 2012: Matthew P. Moran, Candidate for OUSD Board of Trustees

Orindan Matthew Moran is running for one of two seats on the Orinda Union School District Board

General Information

Name : Matthew P. Moran
Age : 49
Place of residence : Orinda



Attended college : Yes
College : UC Santa Barbara
Degree : BS
Year of graduation : 1987

Grad school


University : NA
Area of research : NA
Year of graduation : NA

Employment Information

Job titles held : NA
Employers : Co-owner, Moran Plumbing Supply, Oakland, CA

Political Information

Party affiliation : Non-partisan
Running for a: Local office
Running for position: OUSD Board of Trustees
Incumbent: Yes
Previous elective offices : NA
Unsuccessful bids for elective offices: None


Campaign Manager

Name : Shauna Simmonds


Other facts

"During the past four years, it has been my privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Orinda Union School District.  I have worked with the superintendent, his staff, my fellow board members, site principals, teachers, and the community to provide the best education for all Orinda school children.   With your support, I will continue to focus on the following goals:

Provide an excellent public education for every student:  during the past few years, all five of our district schools have received the coveted California Distinguished School award.  On every level, our schools are among the top in the state.  We must maintain this dedication to excellence.

Keep funding cuts away from students:  despite the drastic cuts to public education, our district continues to offer a full one hundred and eighty day school year, small class sizes, and a broad curriculum including music, art, science, physical education, computer science, audio visual production, wood shop, and foreign languages.  We must remain focused on offering a well rounded education to all students.

Collaborate with partners in education: as a district, we continue to do more with less.  We work in partnership with our teachers, principals, and the parent community to provide this rich educational experience.  None of this is possible without the commitment and financial support of our parents’ clubs and the Educational Foundation of Orinda.  As a district and community, we must continue to this collaborative approach to local education.

Our children deserve a great public education.  I will dedicate my time and energy to do everything I can to ensure they receive it.  I would appreciate your vote in support of this effort."

john caronna September 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I've worked with Matt on the Educational Foundation of Orinda for many years and we are lucky to have someone with his passion and dedication on our school board. Its fantastic news that he is running for a second term on OUSD board.
Miles VanBuren September 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM
These are pretty serious allegations Chris F. especially as they pertain to a student be "vilified" by a Principal of our public schools, Superintendent receiving bonuses and contract extensions for favors from the Board President Moran...What proof do you have that any of these statements you are making actually happened. Frankly without any facts you are coming off as a bitter parent on the losing end of a public fight. "Show us the beef" or please end your rants we get it you don't like Matt Moran. Personally I do not know the man so I would be interested to hear the facts to back up your allegations.
Jim Collins September 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Miles I believe Chris has already stated a number of facts but with a little research i have confirmed the following: the measure B parcel tax funds were not kept in a seperate account as promised to the voters but mixed with the general fund. This not only violated the published ballot language in the voter pamplet but was a major violation of the voters trust. Also when an independent oversight committee was finally established to report to the public they didn't even notify the public about their first "public" meeting. If the Superintendent actually sent out e-mails explaining how to word the ballot language so that the reporting requirements to the public would be limited, that would forever betray most voters' trust. Could someone publish any of these emails? On would think that at this point the board would have an obligation to the public as elected officals to address this issue head on otherwise why would the public ever vote for addition funding of any kind. As role models for the district's children are you not telling the kids it's ok to break the rules as long as it's easier and in your own best interest. On the issue of the Principalat Wagner Ranch's behavior/style there is now a copy of the public board meeting on the patch where you can see parents/voters over and over again expressing their frustration that their safety and enviromental concerns at Wagner Ranch had not been addressed by the district. Page 1
Jim Collins September 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM
page 2 My question would be did the board interview all these parents and did they find merit in any of the many many public statements? The buck should stop with the Board if they didn't follow through with every concerned parent they messed up. In California workplaces if our employees had their conversations videotaped and were harrasssed by company leaders those responsible would no longer be employed. Are we by not following a higher standard for the district's children then what is required of working adults putting the students at risk and exposing the district to potential liability. ? Given we are considered one of the best school districts in the state from a test taking standpoint is the current leadership the best we can do for the children?
WAO September 30, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Part 1: Another question the community might ask of Matt (as it relates to his re-electability) is why he choose NOT to place the Wagner issue on the OUSD public agenda as soon as he knew about the situation (which was the month he was elected, November 2010, as he and I met over coffee and I provided letters, details and summary of conerns). As I understand it, the Board President (Matt Moran) and the superintendent are the most influential in terms of what does/does not get onto the OUSD public agenda. Board members (Brown Act comes into play here) can NOT speak to each other about any topic until it first goes on the School Board Agenda for them to discuss as a group. This is to ensure that conversations DO NOT happen amongst the Board in private. Seems like an issue of this magnitude should have been imediatley placed on the Board agenda for discussion and resolution. This should have happened the minute you were elected. So from November 2010-May 2011, the Waganer topic was taboo for the 5 Board members to discuss and review .
WAO September 30, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Part 2: So all was silent from OUSD on the Wagner topic for 7 months, while parents grew more concerned, frustrated and angry. Incidents at Wagner continued and parents decided to take matters into their own hands. Finally, in May 2011, a handful of brave parents found the courage to speak out publically during the PUBLIC COMMENT period (available for anyone to speak at any Board meeting). Here parents could speak to the Board, but the Board could not answer back or comment (since it was never placed on the Board agenda as an item). Here’s the public comments video. http://blip.tv/persingers/orinda-union-school-board-meeting-may-9-part-1-5148002 During this meeting parents provided even more letters of concern (letters by then mounted to over 30 families). This was humiliating for families, but they felt it necessary to help the Board understand the types of serious issues needing to be addressed.
WAO September 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Part 3: These vocal parents were disparaged, mocked and ridiculed by a handful of parent supporters (pushing NOT to investigate the concerns), including one former Board Member. Even Matt Moran himself contacted one parent speaker after the meeting and told him he should be ashamed of himself for speaking out publically. Finally, with continued parent pressure, the topic was placed on the Board agenda. That was in June 2011, the last school board meeting of the year, after school had already let out for summer, many families where already on vacaiton. A notice went out on a Friday afternoon for a next Monday Board meeting (2 days notice). Concerned families that spoke out the month prior, were NOT contacted or notified that the topic would be on the agenda and/or encouraged to attend that meeting. This is what happened under Matt’s watch as OUSD Board president.
Chris Nicholson September 30, 2012 at 08:09 PM
These are thankless jobs. I don't know why anyone would bother running. I think candidates must either (i) have a very narrow and specific ax to grind or (ii) be unusually generous with their time and with their commitment to our kids. I think a big part of these elections is to bucketize the candidates. Another important concept is proportionality and context. All this Measure B stuff does smell bad--- and I think some rules were bent beyond reason. But the motivator for cutting through red tape seems to have been benign. And I think they fixed it. Similarly, and here I don't have as much context, but if you look back at Wagner since the video taped Board Meeting, you'll find that suspension rate has reverted to (or below) normal and test scores are up. This tells me that, whatever the imperfections are or were at Wagner, the big picture story is pretty good. Makes me skeptical of candidates whose platform seems to be mainly slinging mud about problems that have already been solved.
Anita Harness September 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Thankless jobs. Yes. I once served on a school board. I knew within the first 6 months that I would never run for another political office and would not seek re-election. It was the worst 4 years of my life. People who want to do these jobs may be very nice, wonderful people but they have a screw loose.
Jim Collins October 01, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Chris, I think you are missing the boat on Wagner. The issue was never test scores but follow up with parents on enviroment issues at the school, specifically with the Principal. With many many parents seen speaking out on these issues at a board meeting nothing happened.No follow up with them. Basically the issues seemed to be swept under the carpet. My kids are grown but this doesn't given me much comfort that kids and parents are being listened too. Action or in action of this type can lead to much more serious issues that wreck childrens lives. It's not like this has never happened in our surrounding area. Jim
Chris F. October 02, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Miles here is a link to the voter pamphlet that was passed, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cocovote.us%2Fgetdocument.aspx%3Fid%3D165&ei=lvlhUIivPML7iwL_uIHICg&usg=AFQjCNGm_Rff7YJc7fCwcsOxs1iqS5M-6A&sig2=IASNaN5B1837ea_mvlt6Sg Sad thing is it was routed around for the Superintendent and his handpicked board of vendors teachers and out of city people that never kept any minutes nor was there proof of meetings. It must be nice to be awarded contract extensions by the President of the school board when you circumvent the ballot measure. With the knowledge would you vote for these people? Must be something going on around here!
We want More October 02, 2012 at 05:21 AM
this is pretty revealing http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21661700/orinda-union-school-district-election-roundtable-2012?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com
Jim Collins October 02, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I too just watched the roundtable and am troubled with Mr. Moran's take on the Moraga abuse issue as it relates to Orinda. I seems the first thing that a community questions or says when abuse is discovered is exactly what Mr. Moran quoted during the roundtable which was "I trust nothing like this could happen in Orinda". Sarah B and Bekki G seemed to address the issue with a more progresive approach by guaranteeing they will listen to all students, teachers, and stakeholders and act accordingly. In addition, one would think Sarah and Bekki's many many hours of volunteering have provided them with a better perspective of how the school operate, areas we can approve upon and provide them with the ability to define a vision for the district. Since almost all in school volunteers are women a move to elect only men during this election cycle is not representative of our schools and would not reward volunteer work at th site level. Mr. Moran also describes his style as approachable but this seems inconsistant with his scolding and belittling in public and on email parents who speak out on district issues if he doesn't agree with those parents opinion. Jim
Gene Terry October 03, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Vote for anyone except Matt Moran. He turned his back on Wagner children and families, then shamed the parent and community whistle blowers that called the principal and superintendent on the carpet. As if that wasn't bad enough, he then fabricated stories about the families that spoke out publicly so he could justify not taking any action. 30 families from Wagner are not all "just creating a problem". There "is" a problem and it continues to present day. Shame on you Matt. Shame on Orinda if Matt gets reelected to the OUSD Board.
We want More October 04, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Andrew - As the brother of someone running against Dr Gilbert, I find it curious you are bringing up irrelevant, old news that does not have much to do with her considerable record as a hands-on community volunteer, with significant real-time experience with children. http://www.orindaassociation.org/onlineedition.htm Instead, I'd like to focus on the current record, for example the CCT Roundtable. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21661700/orinda-union-school-district-election-roundtable-2012?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Your brother's solution to improving schools is to "target under performing students" and his frightening position on abuse was that "this could never happen in Orinda" is even more disturbing. He is completely out of touch. His definition of himself as 'approachable' is a LOL joke! Your brother's responses to the Orinda News questions were ridiculous. All of the other candidates clearly spent at least 5 minutes responding to the Orinda News questions. Does he not understand what is going on or was simply too self-important to respond? Dr Gilbert is willing to ask questions & is not a willing party to the 'group think' that has invaded our community. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. I'll vote for newbee resident Lurie, Ms Butler and Dr Gilbert long before I support your bro Matt Moran and his simplistic understanding of education.
Jim Collins October 10, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Mr. Moran, It sure would be helpful for you to clarify your honest opinion on Prop 30. In May on the website 4LAkids you stated you would never support Prop 30 unless certain criteria are met such as pension reform and fully funding schools. You also urged Californians to vote NO. Your demands have not been met or even come close to being met yet you now say you support Prop 30. So where do you honestly stand? Please go to the following web site to review Mr. Moran's May position: http://4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2012/05/analysis-browns-school-finance-reforms.html
Orindan November 04, 2012 at 06:05 AM
As the old saying goes: If it walks like a ducks, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck... it's a duck. In this case, the "duck" is a "weasel" and "it" is "Matt Moran". We have only ourselves to blame if a spineless, self-dealing double-talker like Mr. Moran is re-elected.


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