Tag Archives: cabaldon

‘West Sacramento Promise’ hopes to give free first-year college tuition for local grads

CHRISTOPHER CABALDON, Mayor of West Sacramento. (News-Ledger file photo, 2013).

CHRISTOPHER CABALDON, Mayor of West Sacramento. (News-Ledger file photo, 2013).

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 12, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

What if local high school graduates knew that if they took the proper courses, they would be guaranteed a place in the local community college – and their first-year tuition would be free?

That’s the premise of the “West Sacramento Promise,” a plan being developed by the West Sacramento Foundation and Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

If successful, the local version of the “Promise” would follow in the footsteps of programs set up in other cities, where local governments or philanthropists chip in to start a college savings account for young kids in the school district or to otherwise subsidize college costs. Most famous is the “Kalamazoo Promise,” where donors in that Michigan city guarantee to cover college costs in the state’s public education system for high school graduates who earn acceptance.

Cabaldon mentioned the “West Sacramento Promise” idea during his “State of the City” address last month. Yesterday, he talked to the News-Ledger about it in a little more detail.

“It’s part of the ‘Future Ready’ program I’m doing with the West Sacramento Foundation,” said the mayor. “It’s essentially a trust fund to support a variety of initiatives that help youth become more college- and career-ready.”

“The (West Sacramento Promise) concept comes from Long Beach,” he added. “It’s basically a partnership between the schools, local community college and the students.”

“If you graduate from River City High or the West Sacramento Early College Prep school, and you, as a student, have done all the right things, then you know you will have a place at the community college,” stated Cabaldon. “And what they’ve done in Long Beach is that they have used funds to pay (the student’s) tuition for the first year at community college.”

If successful, said Cabaldon, the new program here would address several big problems that discourage local students from entering college, or finishing degree program:

One is that the program would require participating students to complete the “A-G curriculum” college-prep track at the high school. They’d also have to rack up some college-level credits while in high school. Students could do that either by completing some “advance placement” courses in high school or by jointly enrolling in some community college courses while in high school. This would make local grads better prepared for college, said Cabaldon.

“Something like 70 to 80 percent of the students we send to community college now need remedial courses,” Cabaldon said. “This makes them less likely to complete their degrees or certificates.”

The “Promise” would also ensure that the local community college will hold a place for West Sacramento grads – giving them preferred enrollment.

And it would reassure them that the first year of tuition in that college will be free. Tuition in the Sacramento City College system runs $46 per unit, and a full-time student takes a minimum of 24 units a year.  While a lot of lower-income students already qualify for a fee-reduction waiver, they often don’t know it, said Cabaldon. The “Promise” would make it simple, at least for the first year.

“We’d be saying, ‘you’re not going to pay,’” he stated. “You are either going to get a fee waiver, or we’re paying, but you’re not going to pay.”

The “West Sacramento Promise” is still in its formative stages, said the mayor, and it’s being developed in tandem with a similar initiative in Sacramento.

How much will it cost?

Cabaldon said he doesn’t have an estimate, but he believes it will cost less than $500,000 per year to fund.  The first big project to raise seed money is a “GearUp” bicycle ride planned for October 12. Basic details of the ride are at www.gearup4youth.com.

Cabaldon said he doesn’t have an estimate, but he believes it will cost less than $500,000 per year to fund.  The first big project to raise seed money is a “GearUp” bicycle ride planned for October 12. Details of the “Future Ready” program in West Sacramento can be found on FaceBook, said the mayor.

The West Sacramento Foundation is at www.westsacfoundation.org.

  On February 13, The News-Ledger published an editorial on a related subject. The News-Ledger suggested a new effort to create a $50 college savings account for every local kindergartner. You can find that editorial here.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

 

‘State of the City’ event returns

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (News-Ledger file photo)

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
(News-Ledger file photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — MAY 13, 2013 —

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon will deliver the keynote “State of the City” address during Thursday’s annual civic dinner at city hall.

Cabaldon is serving his fifth consecutive two-year term as West Sacramento mayor — he’s the only person elected to the post since voters opted to make it a separately-elected office, beginning in 2004.

The May 16 event will also include presentation of civic awards to four local citizens and businesspeople. Award winners will be:

— Broderick Restaurant, in the “Pride” category

— Food Action Team, in the “Prosperity” category

— Beverly Sandeen, for “Service”; and

— Friends of the Main Drain Parkway, for “Community.”

The annual dinner is sponsored by the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. For event information (individual tickets are $65), click here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

RCHS students practice interviewing

A mock interview with River City High School student Eric Bedford (right) produces a light moment, as Bedford’s classmates and the interview panel look on. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, one of the panelists, is at near left. (Photo by Diana Demyanova, RCHS student)

A mock interview with River City High School student Eric Bedford (right) produces a light moment, as Bedford’s classmates and the interview panel look on. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, one of the panelists, is at near left.
(Photo by Diana Demyanova, RCHS student)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APR 3, 2013 —

A panel of local businesspeople showed up at River City High School on March 11 to help prepare some of the school’s seniors for the job market. Panelists staged mock job interviews with a number of the students, as the kids’ peers looked on.

The goal was to help the kids get ready for the job market, and provide them with both interview practice and tips for the interviewing for a real job.

“I felt extremely nervous because I’ve never done this before,” reported one student, Maurise Rodriguez.

[adrotate group=”7″] Did she feel the practice interview would help her in the “real world”?

“Yes, (because) you get to see how it’ll work in the real world,” answered Rodriguez.

Panelists included Jeremy Springer of the Davis Energy Group, Mark Gini of Californiat State Teachers Retirement System, Monda Korich of The Eatery restaurant, Kyle Glanker of Kitchell Construction Management and Mike Costello of Brew It Up, along with West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

The second-annual round of mock interviews was organized by social studies teacher Ronica Carlisle.

Information for this article was provided by Ronica Carlisle and Katrina Bueno of River City High School.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Police investigate possible threat to mayor

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 12, 2012 —

West Sacramento police are looking into what may have been a threat to the safety of Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

A post on another person’s Facebook social media site accused Cabaldon of selling the region’s groundwater, referred to him with gay slurs (Cabaldon is openly homosexual) and promised that the author and his father would confront the mayor at the next “town meeting.”

Cabaldon initially replied cavalierly, saying “When writing to me, please spell f___ correctly & (to be fair) only threaten me with one on one physical assault.”

[adrotate group=”9″]   Later, the mayor decided the issue needed to be taken more seriously, and he reported it to police.

A police department spokesperson told the News-Ledger the department was looking into the matter, including verifying the identity of the person who actually made the post and “working to see if a crime has occurred.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

State audit says West Sacramento’s handling of redevelopment property was clean & legal

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 14, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento has become the first California city to be certified by the state controller with a clean bill of health for the manner in which the city “wound down” its redevelopment agency assets.

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON (News-Ledger photo)

When the state abolished redevelopment agencies in a revenue-raising maneuver, cities like this one were left with property assets – some of them major – that were owned by the redevelopment agency, but suddenly in danger of being divvied up and parceled out. West Sacramento handled its redevelopment assets in various ways, putting acreage near Stone Lock under purchase option to the locally-controlled Port of Sacramento, and moving small potential “right of way” properties along roadways to the city itself.

The office of State Controller John Chiang has just announced that transfers like these were in compliance with the law. The properties transferred to the city served an obvious governmental purpose, he said.

At the same time, his office found the City of Hercules inappropriately handled $51.1 million of its assets, which must now be turned over to the local “successor agency” to the redevelopment agency in Hercules.

“We’re the first city in the state to have a completely clear audit,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon told the News-Ledger. “The controller’s office was auditing whether the transactions that occurred as the redevelopment agency was winding down were appropriate. Some cities had problems.”

How much property did West Sacramento move out of the agency?

[adrotate group=”7″] “In the range of $70 million, with some as large as parts of the Stone Lock District and some more like 50 square feet,” he said. “Most are not really high-value properties, like those rights-of-way. Our concern was that if we gave them up and they went to auction, somebody could pick them up for next to nothing because they had no development value. Then they could essentially hold us hostage and try to extort the taxpayers for huge sums of money because we need them (for road expansions and such).”

The audit process isn’t over, said the mayor. The state still needs to sign off that West Sacramento transferred some of its pre-existing tax obligations in a legal manner. The redevelopment agency had committed some of the local property tax increment to projects like the Bridge District and Stone Lock District, and the state needs to give approval for those commitments to continue.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

City’s incumbents reelected, but West Sac school board race too close to call

[adrotate group=”7″] FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 14, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento voters spoke last week on several local issues.

A week later, what we know almost for certain is that city council incumbents Bill Kristoff and Oscar Villegas fended off professional boxer Oleg Maskaev to retain their seats on the council, and Christopher Cabaldon will get another term as mayor. He ran unopposed.

It’s also pretty clear that challenger Katie Villegas, executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, will get a seat on the local school board.

But with absentee ballots and provisional ballots that made up about a quarter of the local vote still to be tallied, it’s less obvious which other two candidates will win a school board term.

Second place candidate Alicia Cruz has 4,915 votes so far, followed by incumbent Mary Leland at 4,598 and incumbent Dave Westin with 4,510. With 3,000 ballots yet to be fully processed, that cluster – particularly the 88-vote spread between Leland and Westin – doesn’t look overly secure. There’s only room for two of those three candidates to join Villegas as winners in the Washington Unified School District race.

“Between provisional ballots and absentee ballots that were dropped off at the polling places, I would estimate a little over 3,000 remain to be counted (in the West Sacramento race),” said spokesperson Tom Stanionis of the Yolo Elections Department. “That’s about 25 percent of the votes cast.”

What are “provisional” ballots?

“When somebody shows up at a polling place and they aren’t on the list, or they are on the list but they were mailed an absentee ballot which they can’t find or produce, we go through and research each one to see if that person can vote. Typically, they’re voting in the wrong place.”

The elections department is allowed up to 28 days to finish its vote count, but Stanionis said staff at the Woodland office would like to finish earlier – perhaps ahead of Thanksgiving next week.

KATIE VILLEGAS: Top vote-getter in the race for three seats on the school board (News-Ledger photo)

Villegas – top candidate in the school district race – told the News-Ledger she is “super excited” about her apparent top finish. She’s over a thousand votes ahead of second-place Cruz. Why does she think she succeeded?

“I worked seven days a week for about 10 weeks on this campaign,” she said. “I hit about 3,000 homes walking precincts. I think (the win came from) everything combined – the hard work, the message, and the work I’ve already done in the community,” she said.

Does she have a plan for “day one” when she’s seated on the board next month?

“I think I still have a lot of meetings before day one,” Villegas answered. “There’s a school board conference, meeting with the  (district) cabinet, touring schools. I think I’ll be getting up to speed pretty quickly.”

Westin, at least for the moment, appears to be losing his seat on the school board. But swing of about 90 votes could change that.

“With 3,000 votes not being counted, and the race so close, it’s too early to tell,” he commented to the News-Ledger.

Westin is perhaps the board’s best-known member in recent years, serving as president of the board during a period of dramatic student test gains.

Westin thinks some campaigning against him by an independent group is responsible for his current fourth-place in the standings.

DAVID WESTIN: former board president is now in fourth place, but hopes final ballots will lift him into the winner's circle (photo from WUSD website)

“We ran a clean, honest, positive campaign,” said Westin. “They ran a closing-in-on $50,000 special interest, developer-funded attack campaign specifically designed to go after me on false, misleading and inaccurate information. . . if they hadn’t run that, this would have been a blow-out result.”

Westin was referring to mailers by the “Keep West Sacramento Moving Forward” organization claiming the school district is a “mess,” and that claimed only eight high school juniors out of 500 here “are considered ‘college ready.’”

Their mailers urged a “no” vote on Westin. One mailer featured Mayor Cabaldon and Yolo County Supervisor suggesting “yes” votes on competitors Villegas, Leland and Cruz.

  Do you like what you see here?

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  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Unofficial West Sac ballot results:

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012 –

UPDATED Nov. 13.

With about 3,000 “provisional ballots” (representing about 25% of the vote in this race) still being sorted at the Yolo County Elections Office as of Nov. 13, the results are still early & unofficial. But here is how the local races in West Sacramento are shaping up. One change from the first reporting here: school board incumbent Dave Westin has dropped out of the top three, and challenger Alicia Cruz has stepped into one of the three winner’s spots in that race.

As of now, 100% of the precincts have reported,, but the results are still unofficial. Election officials have 28 days from the election day to finish counting, and are trying to finish sooner — perhaps by Thanksgiving.

 

MAYOR

Christopher Cabaldon (unopposed)          10,287 votes, or 100%

 

CITY COUNCIL (top two)

WILLIAM ‘BILL’ KRISTOFF (Inc.)            8,262 votes, or 45.7%

OSCAR E. VILLEGAS (Inc.)                          8,035 votes, or 44.5%

OLEG MASKAEV                                                         1,768 votes, or 14.0%

 

WASHINGTON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Board of Trustees (top 3)

KATIE VILLEGAS                                                  6,619 votes, or 48.7%

ALICIA CRUZ                                                          4,915 votes, or 19.6%

MARY M. LELAND  (Inc.)                                  4,598 votes, or 18.3%

DAVE WESTIN  (Inc.)                                                 4,510 votes, or 18.0%

COBY PIZOTTI                                                              1,930 votes, or 7.7%

WALT R. BOWMAN                                                     1,496 votes, or 6.0%

ROY SIANEZ                                                                  1,469 votes, or 5.9%

 

MEASURE G, Revenue Uses Advisory Vote

YES: 10,269 votes, or 87.4%

NO:  1,483 votes, or 12.6%

 

West Sacramento voter turnout: 6,264 of 23,168 Registered Voters (27.0%)

 

Copyright News-Ledger 2012