RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA — The 2020 election is heating up in Los Angeles County, and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of state representative and senate seats.
Closer to home, Patch has asked candidates for city council races to discuss their campaigns, publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
In Palos Verdes, Jeff Frankel is running for one of the open seats on PVPUSD School Board.
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Rolling Hills Estates
Where appropriate, add specifics about office sought: i.e., State Senate District 1, State Assembly District 2, Temecula City Council District 1, etc.
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, Governing Board Member
Party affiliation (not needed in non-partisan races, including county, city and school offices)
Daughter in the school district
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
State University of New York with a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities
30 plus years C-level Executive and International Business Consultant, Managed Budgets in Excess of One Hundred Million Dollars.
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
Board-Appointed Member of the PVPUSD Budget Advisory Committee.
Board-Appointed member and committee-elected Vice Chairman of the PVPUSD Citizens' Oversight Committee for Measure M (Parcel Tax).
The single most pressing issue facing our (state, district, community, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Covid 19 Pandemic
The Covid 19 Pandemic is causing havoc on our way of life. It has flung the PVPUSD into unprecedented times.
Our physical schools have been closed. State tax revenue is down and it is contemplated that school funding will be cut in future years.
Adversity always brings opportunity. We are now reimagining the delivery of education. Distance and hybrid learning is forcing the use of classroom technology in ways we have not seen. Over the next year mistakes will be made. This is where we can pursue opportunity of listening to our students, parents and teachers. We have to react not only to our childrens educational needs, but also to their social and emotional needs. Constant evaluation and course correction must become the PVPUSD mantra.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
At PVPUSD we have hundreds of teachers and at least one principal at each school that are extremely talented. The question becomes what "Value Add" does each candidate bring to the table that the school district does not already have?
Managing a school district is much more than the classroom experience. It is made up of many moving pieces. PVPUSD is a mini city that serves 11,000 students. It has a health department, athletics, food services, human resources, purchasing, payroll, technology & computer services, preschool programs, before and after- school care programs, after-school enrichment programs, and adult education. Maintenance on two early childhood centers, ten elementary schools, three intermediate schools, two comprehensive high schools one continuation school and the district administrative offices.
Unlike the other candidates I have been both involved with the district for years by working countless hours on various school board appointed committees and have a vested interest with a child in the district.
During my business career I have had hands on experience in many of the departments that make our district function. Having served as a top-level executive I understand organizational structure and how various departments work together. I bring a successful business career and an understanding of our school district’s finances through my work on the PVPUSD Budget Advisory Committee.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
I focus on identifying opportunities for positive solutions.
Ms. Reid has served as board president and knows the history and reasons for past decisions. Of Reid, she has ensured continuity during the last school board elections when two new board members were voted in.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
As a member of the BUDGET ADVISORY COMMITTEE, I understand the district’s finances and committed to maintaining balanced budgets as achieved in 2019 and 2020.
At major companies, I have executed budgets in excess of 100 million dollars. My knowledge and experience are critical to address the needs of the District.
I worked with a team that turned a near bankrupt Shark/Ninja appliance company into a profitable powerhouse.
STUDENTS DESERVE TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL:
Struggling Students: Increase study skills & executive functioning support, expand our AVID program.
Special Education Students: Have the resources they require and reasonable challenges put forth to achieve best outcomes.
GATE Students: Create a solid program that starts in elementary school they could feel proud of and stimulated to learn more.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
True accomplishments are ones that are not easily recognized. The accomplishment that I would cite is the ability to change institutionalized culture for the better. It requires working with others, getting buy in, and most important listening. It is an accomplishment with long term lasting effects.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Changing the districts culture:
Instead of looking for a reason to say no, look for the reason to say yes to new ideas.
Never accept the status quo, constant evaluation and course correction becomes the PVPUSD mantra.
Why should voters trust you?
Judge me by my actions instead of words.
As Vice Chair of the committee I proposed and executed a yearly communication document informing the public the amount of funds collected and how they were allocated and used throughout the year. The transparency allows the taxpayers to view how their hard-earned dollars are spent to support quality education in PVPUSD.
As a member of the Budget Advisory Committee I have taken the approach of identifying waste and bringing attention to not-before-seen revenue opportunities. I have been encouraging PVPUSD to participate in a program designed to reimburse the district for many services that our Special Education Program students receive such as speech therapy, physical, and occupational therapy, to name a few- through the Medi-Cal system. This same program will also reimburse PVPUSD for some of the costs of transportation, administration costs and IEP meetings.
I found a program offered through the California Department of Rehabilitation meant to provide job training in the form of skills classes with coaches paid through the state. Currently, PVPUSD pays for this service in our “Transition to Independence” Program.
These are just two examples of creative ways the PVPUSD could continue much needed support services while reallocating the monies formerly paid to further addition programs.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
I view school district fiscal policy much different than most. I evaluate every dollar spent against the cost of adding an additional teacher thus reducing class size.
Will the cost of a new accounting system provide increase operational efficiency so that more money in the future can go into the classroom? Does the benefit of air conditioning out way the added expense of utilities cost? Much more than the initial cost of an expense item must be taken under consideration.
As a low funded district by the state we must search out every possible avenue of revenue. We need to continue to strive for balanced budgets, avoid dipping into district reserves and increasing debt.
Our school administrators make the budget available the way arcane school district accounting works. The presentation of budget items is not a typical financial statement. In order to have true transparency, the budget must be made available to the community in a way that it is understandable.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
If I can't be effective I do not deserve to finish my term.
The best advice ever shared with me was ...
Listen, listen & listen, evaluate, course correct.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Please visit my website for more info at Frankel4pvSCHOOLS.com
My daughter with special needs, Jillian, was refused participation in school extracurricular activities. I posed the problem on NextDoor and was brought to tears by the overwhelming support my daughter and I received from our community. The collective push forced the District’s hands and allowed Jillian to be “part of the group”. Being included and accepted is better than any therapy session Jillian could have had. The high school students took the time to make Jillian a heart-warming video. I don’t know if the students know what a positive impact this had on Jillian or our family. To this day, it still makes me emotional, and I am forever grateful to these acts of kindness.
A community working together is a powerful thing which I have been a fortunate recipient.