Former Oregon School board member P.J. Kapfhammer continued his criticism of the teacher’s union, the Oregon City Federation of Teachers, during a board meeting Monday.
Soon after, lifetime Oregon resident Dan Saevig, 52, was appointed by the school board Monday to fill the vacancy left Kapfhammer, who resigned last month.
Kapfhammer, who had served since 2011, promised that he will continue attending every board meeting. He believes he can be more effective as a resident than he was as a board member.
“I will be here every month with new information. God knows, I can back this up,” Kapfhammer said. “I took it all with me. I know everything. I am well-rehearsed in what goes on in this district every day. So, I’m still coming around.
“So if some of you think I wasn’t coming back, get used to it, because I have more rights on this side than I’ve ever had on that side. I am going to be here every time to tell the truth, and if I lie, please fix me up.”
Kapfhammer referred to the union as “the bully.”
“Do the right thing and finally take on ‘the bully.’ I know you think I was the bully, but this district has been going backwards for 10 years,” Kapfhammer said. “You’ve lost two superintendents, you’ve lost board members who never seek re-election, and you lost two levies in a row, once by almost 80 percent.”
Kapfhammer also vowed to fight school levies, alleging that Oregon’s teachers’ and administrators’ salaries are higher than other districts that have performed better in standardized testing. The co-owner of Maumee Turf Center in Oregon, Kapfhammer said he now believes he can be more involved by not serving on council.
“I will tell you that I can be me again, and I like being me, and I don’t give any excuses for it. So, if you think I’m a bad guy, I’m OK with that. If you think I’m a good guy, I’m OK with that, too. I really could care less what people think about me, except for my family, and I have their love and support,” Kapfhammer said.
“There are a lot of pride and misconceptions that have been said, and I worked. You guys know I didn’t care that I was the bad guy, but I never did anything without majority support and the superintendent’s support. I worked the whole time and I wore it with pride. I stuck my chin out and I got punched right in the chin. I’m not that guy anymore, and I’m not sitting in that chair.”
Some of his allegations have been disputed by school officials, including comments Kapfhammer placed on Facebook about personnel and union matters.
Monday, Kapfhammer spoke publicly to the board for about 15 minutes, claiming the district was underperforming academically compared to other suburban schools, and saying there remains plenty of work to be done.
“Essentially, when I resigned, I thought that in the work we put in for two-and-a-half years, I believe that we set the foundation for improving and the reconfiguration of computers and took it upon ourselves to be proactive and get a lot of stuff done,” Kapfhammer said.
Kapfhammer’s resignation was sudden, announcing it at the start of the June 9 board meeting.
“In those two-and-a-half years, and most of that time serving as board president, there are restrictions made on the board president, and I’m sure you’ll all agree, you have to deal with a lot and not speak about much,” the former board member continued.
“I felt as if I was becoming a distraction and not in agreement with some of the places and things that this district is going towards,” Kapfhammer said. “I care too much about the district and the kids — I only ran because of the kids. And, it was time for me to leave. I can actually do more work and be more outside the box than you can do inside the box — I learned that in my two-and-a-half years.
During his public comments, Kapfhammer was complimentary of Superintendent Dr. Lonny Rivera, board president Carol Molnar, and vice president Jeff Ziviski.
“During that time, I saw a lot of hard work from administrators and teachers in the district,” Kapfhammer said. “I know the superintendent is here 12 hours a day, and board member Carol Molnar is, in my opinion, what every board member should be.”
Ziviski and Kapfhammer were both elected in 2011 after campaigning for more transparency on the board and against the board’s approval of pay hikes for administrators. Ziviski has told The Press that he believes Kapfhammer was the right person at the right time to serve on the board.