Manteca Unified Trustee Sam Fant did not stick the school district with $4,000 in unpaid bills for using school facilities for community endeavors.
The ongoing ruckus over the conduct of school board members has led some to contend that Fant is somehow getting a free ride at taxpayers’ expense for his efforts to serve youth in Stockton’s Weston Ranch neighborhood.
Not true by a long shot.
Yes, there was a check for $1,200 from the Weston Ranch Junior Cougars youth football program for use of school district facilities that bounced. Yes, Fant is vice president of that organization.
Here’s the rest of the story. The check issued in October wasn’t deposited by the school district until February. A change in personnel in the district’s community facilities department led to the snafu. By the time the check was processed, the youth organization’s accounts had been drawn down.
Fant actually stepped up to cover a shortfall between money that was in the football organization’s account and what was owed the district.
Fant’s comments concerning a Facebook posting by Walter Woodward School office clerk Debie McLarty are now being investigated by the Sacramento law firm of Atkinson, Anderson, Loya, Rudd & Romo on the taxpayers’ dime. The firm was retained by Manteca Unified to investigate a complaint that apparently centers on whether Fant created a hostile workplace environment
A partner in that firm — Donna M. Matties — is in Manteca today and Thursday to interview individuals involved.
The Facebook posting was of a Duke of Hazards themed birthday party thrown for one of her kids which for obvious reasons included a Confederate flag.
And Fant — who happens to be black — for obvious reasons interpreted the flag in a way that McLarty never intended.
Fant before the board meeting where the Facebook photo surfaced as a point of discussion, told the Bulletin that it appeared to him to be a racist posting that wasn’t the best message that he felt a district employee should convey as an example for kids. He had downloaded the images from McLarty’s Facebook including one of President Obama that on his smartphone screen he said appeared to look like a bullet hole in his forehead. To the Bulletin reporter viewing it on his smartphone screen thought it looked like a Hindu religious mark. The original photo taken off a website was one of the President photographed as a fly landed on his forehead.
McLarty indicated that someone had posted the Obama photo to her Facebook page that has since been taken down.
On Tuesday, Fant said he was simply expressing his personal viewpoint and concerns as an elected official in bringing up the Facebook posting.
The investigator is trying to view the overall incident, connect the dots, and see what one plus one plus one adds up to.