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A Spending Spree at the College District?

Original post made by Wise Owl, Alamo, on May 9, 2012

Another thread on the Danville Town Square Forum offers a link to a Grand Jury report on Education Board compensation in the county. The board with the highest compensation is none other than the Contra Costa Community College District with total compensation in FY2010-2011 of $93,932.

And who is the president of the Contra Costa Community College District Board? None other than Tomi Van de Brook.

Look for some outrageous votes for more compensation for the BOS if she gets elected.

Now some may say that the Grand Jury has an axe to grind. Maybe it does, but the numbers are real and stand by themselves without any political narrative which may be in the report.

Here's the link to the Report:

Web Link

Comments (18)

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Wise Owl,

Your thin feathers are showing. C’mon, who really gives a hoot, that the directors are the highest compensated? Because to be fair and honest, the much larger Countywide Community College District is being compared to the “smaller, local school districts”. One could make a very good case that his is like comparing a large corporate salary to that of a small business-of course the compensation is going to be higher.

Additionally, individual trustee’s are not named nor is their compensation. How can you be sure that any of them are even accepting the allowable compensation, including Tomi Van de Brooke. Often (not always) directors, commissioners, and trustees turn their pay back in or donate it to a worthy cause-but again, that is a personal choice.

Lastly you are obviously trying to make a case that it is Ms. Van de Brookes fault? Silly Owl, you know the President of any board does not have those powers. (That would be the decision of the state legislature which sets the limits and any change would take approval from the entire board.

Another bang up report from the Grand Jury, which lacks pertinent and relevant information. I guess it goes to the point of trying to get people stirred up over without providing all of the facts.

Are you really concerned about the finances management between Candace and Tomi? Still want to assign blame because of their respective titles? If so you should swivel your head around 180 degrees and really compare the two. Then I suggest you take a look at the difference in pay/Salaries/benefits between the Danville Town manager and the manager of the College Districts. (sorry, but I am not going to do your homework for you this time around-they are public information and on the web, look it up!) Not fair you say? Well look again comparing their respective budgets (between the town and the district). It is outrageous. This alone would demonstrate how much more conservative Tomi is than Candace. Those numbers are real and stand by themselves. On that note, you would want to vote for Tomi.

Or is it just a case of you not being such a wise owl after all?

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

Well let's see...

You pooh-poohed the Contra Costa Times article.

And you pooh-poohed David Twa's financial report (source of the CC Times article).

And you pooh-poohed the College District's own numbers.

And you pooh-poohed the Grand Jury report.

So it would seem that any information that does not meet with rigidly held preconceived notions cannot be acknowledged. Fortunately, the voting public will not bury its head in the sand when it comes time to select Candace Anderson as the Supervisor for District 2.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

Informed Resident is a shill for Mary of course. I am voting for Candace, aside from her vastly superior experience I am ready to do my part to put the Nejedly cabal out to pasture one step at a time. Don't forget Mary's brother is on the Central San board and is collecting over $30,000 per year in health care benefits. They had supped at our trough long enough. For Informed Resident to demean the Grand Jury is indicative of his view that he and the Nejedlys think they can play by different rules than the rest of us citizens.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Wise Owl and jrm

Really, is that what you got from my posting? That was your best shot? Yawwwwwwn.

I guess when you are good a picking cherries, then you miss the point no matter what you are reading. So sad.
David Twa’s report was very accurate. Taking it out of context was not. The CCTimes and the GJ are known for their ability to take things out of context or apply them as “they” see fit, lacking any experience and knowledge. You might know it as "Monday morning quarterbacking" which is further exacerbated by those that don’t know the game-and people like you, who buy into it. It is primarily why there is so much dysfunction. Whether you know it or not, around town and in the County, this “condition” is really no secret. If you doubt it, then why is the CCTimes circling the drain? You know as well as I, that the readership has lost confidence in their reporting and their editorial board (recently caught plagiarizing another paper!) Who does that? Geeeeeeesh.
You might want to reconsider what you call my "rigidly held preconceived notions". They go a bit farther than you might ever know, but unfortunately you will never know why or how. It is reality Wise Owl.

Speaking of reality, or lack of it, how are things working out for you lately jrm? I am sooooooo very sorry to disappoint you again, but I am not a shill for Mary. In fact the very thought of that is laughable. I just give credit where it is due-and for some strange reason you are overlooking the obvious fact that Piepho doesn’t need a shill...she has NO competition! Based on your heated posting, I’ll bet that just chaps your hide. If that didn’t leave a mark perhaps this might; Why don’t you spend less time popping off and check out your own “assumptions”. Piepho’s brother does NOT collect over 30k per year in health benefits. Pick up the phone-I did. Fact is he doesn’t collect. I challenge you to check into it and get back to us with an apology. And while you are at it, why don’t you pour though the Grand Jury Reports that you tout? Have you even read them-or is that asking too much? I am sure they are just loaded with the names Piepho and Nejedly…what? No? Ahhhh, caught you with your pants down?

Try as you might, the only thing you stain is your own credibility…one post at a time. Again, how is that (anger) working out for you? Sorry to be “curt”, but when people try to disparage others, absent of the facts, I have little tolerance. As for your hate of the Nejedly family name-well that alone speaks to your frustrations. I don’t think it needs defending. Nice try….you probably just gained Tomi Van De Brooke a few dozen votes.

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

Ah, the scent of desperation.

Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

It is a matter of public record that as a member of the Central Sanitation Board James Nejedly received $35,636.00 in health insurance benefits in 2010. When that fact was revealed in the press he expressed surprise and said "I'll look into that"...
Next we have Mary Piepho's effort to have her husband appointed to an obscure cemetary board at the 11th hour only to have that unethical move challenged by the rest of the BOS.
It is things like this that cause me as an informed and educated citizen to say enough is enough, at least by my own personal standards of ethics and I will vote accordingly.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

@ Wise Owl, If reality and fact only represents a scent to you, then you ought to quit holding your breath. Oxygen starvation could be what is leading to your incorrect assumptions.

@ JRM, I suggest you follow up on each one of your assumptions as well. You know what they say about assumptions. If we don’t get an apology out of you, then I will know that you did not look into the allegations that you are making. Jim Nejedly does not receive a health insurance benefit-that is old news, and Piepho did not make any effort into appointing her husband. You should check a little closer because the fact is the BOS specifically without Mary Piepho, made the recommendation to appoint Piepho’s huband. The record shows it was initiated by Supervisor Gioia. You must have been reading (and quoting) opinions again from a second party, weren’t you? You don’t even have to answer that JRM, I know for a fact that you are. Pathetic.

Reading things third hand instead of reading them from the source is the very thing that has made you un-informed and educated. If the CCTimes is your personal standard of gathering information, then I say no wonder you vote and think the way you do. I can’t help you there...

Funny how those pesky facts get it the way of your tabloid assumptions.

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm


Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Let me just say I am now honored to be yet another subject of the vitriolic bile of the "Informed Resident of Another Community".
I indeed have a much more tolerant view of social issues than Candace but it is her experience that makes her the better choice. I have dealt with a number of "Public Relations" firms in my 30 years of healthcare experience and that seems to be Tomi's claim to fame, other than of course being Mary Nejedly Piepho's Chief of Staff. I went to her electon website to get the broader view of her message in an honest effort to learn more before I vote by mail tomorrow and it was so vacous I felt this candidancy was mere patronage sustaining the Nejedly cabal. I encourage all of you to read her message why we should vote for her and make your own decision.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2012 at 12:06 am


You have a pattern of attack others with nothing but hyperbole and then you accuse me of vitriolic bile? Nice. It’s very telling that you made the time to go to Tomi’s website but did not have the time to follow up on your former accusations re; Grand Jury Reports, Board of Supervisors records/minutes or even Jim Nejedly’s healthcare benefits. Or maybe you did, and discovered what you assumed and fabricated was not there. You see, I have, and I know that by you doing so, would only serve to disprove your former comments. This is why you avoided it…. Therefore I couldn’t possibly take anything that you proclaim to be honest of forthright. Simply put, your credibility is lost.

Interesting how you process the truth to fit your anger and bitter perspectives.

Your transparency and desperation is pitiful to which there is no honor.

Next time maybe you will put more time into finding the truth. That would be a great first step.

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 12, 2012 at 7:58 am


Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm


Something dawned on me today claimed 30 yrs. in the healthcare industry did you not? So your concern regarding Jim Nedjedly's heathcare benefits must have led you to the conclusion that the cost would have been due to his family coverage. If that was or is such a big deal to you (you have raised the issue several times) then you must be beside yourself that Candace Anderson has a family of eight!

Personally I wouldn't have even given it a second thought (I am just like Jim Nedjedly and most Americans; I couldn't tell you what my employer pays for my benefits, including healthcare).

If you, or I, or any of us are going to think along those lines then every little issue must be considered-even the prospect of 10 percent or more of a salary going to a church that we may or may not support.

Thanks for bringing these concerns to my attention. I'll be sure to spread the word.

Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Please do keep spreading the word, at some point Tomi and Mary will realize your invectives are not all helping their cause and you will have to go back to your own community concerns. Educated people like me who post on this thread want to let other Contra Costa voters know that the Nejedly family is using little known county boards like LAFCO, the Central Sanitary District and the Knightsen Cemetary District and Tomi's college board position to feather their own nest. We now know thanks to the hard work of the press that this rip off has been going on for years. We all have seen examples of politicians decrying the "media bias" while their abuses were finally exposed. Do not vote for Tomi, remember David Piepho's 11th hour attempt to get on the cemetary board, and please read the Grand Jury report my fellow citizens. Of course "Informed Resident of Another Community" (and by the way where do you live? Los Angeles? You sound like a Dodger fan) will not want you to know about James Nejedly, David Piepho and Tomi's only qualification is she was Mary's Chief of Staff as her main qualifier to be worthy of a BOS position. Your Mormon bashing and comments about her family size are sad and very inappropriate. As Tomi's people read your threads as we approach the day to sent in our mail in ballots I am sure she will muzzle you. I am mailing in my ballot this coming Tuesday as I will be traveling on the day of the vote, I don't have a County pension but I will be working hard that day to pay for those who are fortunate enough to retire at 53 years old at a rate of $125,00 per year, with health care benefits for life. You now have the attention of people like me, and let me tell you, Tomi needs to tell you to go back what ever thread you were polluting 12 months ago because you are toxic to her cause and your relentless posting as a newby is more damaging than informative.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm


Looks like someone missed their anger management class. You have a very active imagination and obviously you confused yourself once again. You really had me going there with your conflicting statements but then I realized you were so angry you couldn't possible make sense.

I sure hope you did not spend a lot of time on that JRM.

Why so angry? Was it that you were caught making so many assumptions or was it that you have been exposed making purposeful false accusations? It’s interesting how you find fault with people that have actually stepped up to help their communities. After reading your rants, I have a better understanding why you don't like successful people. They simply represent everything you aren't.

While I never attacked or identified Candace's religion, you seemed to do a bang up job of pointing it out. I'm sure she really appreciates your "educated" support.

Maybe someday you can turn that anger into something positive. Life is too short for you to stay angry about things and people you don't understand. In your case, some things are better left unsaid. For instance you’re experience of 30 yrs. in the healthcare field; That wouldn’t by any chance be the very same healthcare industry that is killing our economy with grossly inflated premiums, the same high costs which are putting families in peril, and pitting employers & employees against each other would it? Probably not something to be bragging about…

However, what I found most telling was your hypocritical assault contained in your commentary. Specifically where you referred to yourself as being “educated”.

Educated people like you?

Wouldn't an educated person know how to spell cemetery correctly?
Wouldn’t an educated person who actually read the Grand Jury Report know the correct names of the districts they are referring to?
Wouldn’t an educated person know that LAFCo (the most powerful land use board), and Central Sanitary District (one of the largest special districts), and the “Byron-Brentwood-Knightsen Union” cemetery district (not Knightsen Cemetary District) are not really County boards at all?

The bigger issue remains why would someone that “claims” to be such an educated person, try to tarnish one of the most popular political families in the county? Let's not forget the Nejedly’s and the Piepho’s are ALL elected, and have been over and over for decades.

Why would such an educated person try to chastise someone for an uncontrolled healthcare cost benefit because of they have a normal sized family, but don't apply the same critique to Candace Anderson, (who has a family of eight and would have a greater associated healthcare cost)?
Why would such an educated person who claims they have been in the healthcare industry for 30 years be so jealous of those smart enough to retire with a nominal pension?
Why would such an educated person try to convince everyone that what they read in the paper has more value than reality or more importantly that which is public record?
Why would such an educated person be too lazy to actually research the issues he raises?

Shall I go on? Yeah, you sound real educated... or at least you think so anyway.

If posting a few facts is all it took to get your attention then I am glad I was able to help you. Now please, let's get back to the topic because obviously, you aren't very good at this one.

Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Thanks "Informed Resident" can you tell me how in the heck Tomi got on the Community College Board in the first place? How does one get these board positions that provide health insurance at our expense? Please enlighten us citizens, or perhaps this is a great forum for Tomi to tell us how she was approached with this opportunity and who brought it to her attention? She does not need your did this sweetheart deal come about for you? June 5th is approaching.....was this Nejedly influence peddling? In the interest of public tranparency how did your appointment come about? I know IR will claim I need anger management for asking the question but it is a legitimate question and I hope you will respond.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2012 at 7:41 am

I am also mailing in my vote on this election.

My vote is NOT based on:
Candidate's religion;
Size of candidate's family;
Alleged ties to a political family;
Grand jury report(candidates not in report)
Political party;
Prior employment in public relations;
Number of committees served on;
Amount of health insurance benefits she has;
Endorsements by other politicians.

My vote IS based on how has this candidate dealt with an important local issue that actually directly affects my family, my neighborhood, and my community.

It is for this reason that I am NOT voting for Candance Andersen. As a long time town council member, and now as mayor, she has completely failed to stop the illegal development at Magee Ranch, that will drastically affect the quality of life for so many people living near Green Valley Elementary School, Los Cerros Middle School, and Monte Vista High. The traffic is already horrible, and now will be unbearable, causing safety concerns. The development will permanently alter this beautiful landscape, destroying the environment.

I do not expect much from our politicians, but Mayor Andersen's actions on this illegal development are unexcusable. I know many of my neighbors have made it clear that this issue is driving them also not to vote for Mayor Andersen. I think she has underestimated how important this issue is for so many of us in Danville, and will be surprised that it could actually cost her this election.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am


Once again you have contradicted yourself. You ask me questions then you suggest you don’t want the answers coming from me.

Perhaps I can accommodate you after all. The facts speak for themselves, since the answers you seek are ALL contained in the Grand Jury report that you were raving about which was linked in the original posting of this thread. Web Link You should re-read it especially since it’s only 8 pages and can be read in under 10 minutes.

You asked; “Can you tell me how in the heck Tomi got on the Community College Board in the first place?”

GJ report; “The Grand Jury surveyed the 18 education districts in the County that support all or some of grades K-12 on the compensation for their board members. The Contra Costa Community College District and the Contra Costa Office of Education were also included in the survey. Each board has five elected members.”
KEY POINT: Each board has five ELECTED members.

You asked; “How does one get these board positions that provide health insurance at our expense?”

GJ report; “Each body has five elected members” “Compensation ranges for college districts are set by State Education Code section 72024, based upon full-time equivalent students (FTES) the prior year. Contra Costa Community College District’s FTES count is around 30,000, which entitles each board member to receive $750 per month.” “Variation in total compensation is determined by; 5. Types of benefits offered to board members, such as health coverage, life insurance, or
retirement benefits.”
KEY POINTS: Each board has five ELECTED members, Compensation is set by State Education Code, and Benefits offered to board members include health coverage.

Frankly, I am surprised that such an educated person did not know all of this (especially if that educated person claimed to have already read the report). Further, this was an extremely short report limited to 8 easy to read pages.

In the name of public transparency, I do not speak for Tomi. I only present the facts which are often absent from the self-proclaimed ‘educated’ who dwell here.

Hope these legitimate answers help you better understand what you claimed to already know.

Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on May 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I just mailed in my vote by mail, sooo much easier.

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