Randall Putz for Big Bear Lake City Council

July 14th, 2014
Randall Putz for Big Bear Lake City Council
Randall Putz representing Big Bear in Sacramento

I will be on the ballot again in November, this time running for Jay Obernolte‘s Big Bear Lake City Council seat as a result of his moving forward in the Primary Election for State Assembly.

Why I want to serve on City Council:

I love our Valley and want to help the City of Big Bear Lake be even better. I want to insure the best parts of Big Bear remain the same. The reasons we live here, and the reasons why so many guests visit each year, must be preserved. At the same time, the existing Big Bear qualities we cherish must be balanced with evolving economic, environmental, and cultural realities to insure a viable and vibrant future. I will build on the good work already done so that we can continue to benefit from the promise Big Bear holds, so that our families and our visitors can safely enjoy a peaceful, enriching, and beautiful Big Bear Lake. It would be an honor to continue to represent you. I hope you will help me deliver on that Big Bear promise.

Randy’s Big Bear Equation:

Maintain the Big Bear we love + Continue to update & innovate = Viable & Vibrant Community

The Experience Randy Brings to City Council:

I have helped lead and initiate meaningful change in our Valley, most recently serving as a twice-elected Bear Valley Unified School Board Member, with 6 years of experience in public service, lobbying on behalf of Big Bear at the County and State levels. I have deep roots in our Valley as a longtime resident and local businessman, and raised my children here. I was also a founding Board Member of both the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation and the Bear Valley Education Trust. My love of our Valley, combined with my experience, positions me to hit the ground running as a City Councilman.

Testifying before the State Board of Education

July 11th, 2014
Randall Putz testifies before the California State Board of Education
Randall Putz representing Bear Valley Unified School District before the State Board of Education
Bear Valley Unified Local Control Accountability Plan

I was invited to testify before the California State Board of Education on July 10, 2014, to share our Bear Valley Unified School District‘s experience creating its first Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) as mandated by the recent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation.

While I had been to Sacramento before to lobby our State lawmakers on behalf of our schools and Valley, I had never provided testimony before the State. It was quite a production – we were lined up and I was speaker #46, given just 1 minute to speak. It was a good reminder for me of how intimidating it can be to address a Board.

I wanted to let the State Board members know that it is important to keep the “Local” in the LCFF and LCAP, as I believe our local community knows what is best for its local children. (See my testimony below.) As an example of innovative work that can come from the local level, I also mentioned our District’s LCAP Infographic, to find out later that the State Board members specifically mentioned it during their discussion as a good tool to reach out to parents and the community. I must say it is gratifying when the State of California takes notice of your School District’s hard work.

Here’s my testimony:

Hello, I’m Randall Putz, a School Board Trustee from Bear Valley Unified, a small rural district in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

I urge you to keep the “Local” in the LCFF. As a result of our LCAP process, our District is energized and revitalized, with more latitude and money, to develop innovative education programs tailored to the needs of our local children.

I have here, and you should have in your materials, our District’s LCAP Infographic, one example of our unique local solutions that distills the State LCAP template down from 47 pages to 8. This infographic efficiently demonstrates the hard work and good things we do for our students, engages our stakeholders, and even communicates to the English-challenged.

We have a significant investment in the steep learning curve of our LCAP, over 1000 hours, and need a chance to capitalize on that investment, without excessive State tinkering.

Thank you for being brave enough to trust local elected officials and their communities to determine what is best for their local children.

Investing in Education – Proposition 30 Interview

January 9th, 2013

I really do believe education is one of our best investments. Here’s a recent TV Interview I did on California’s Proposition 30 passage (fast forward to 19:53 in):

Re-elect Putz to BVUSD Board of Trustees

September 30th, 2012

The following information summarizes what I have worked toward with my fellow Board Members over the last 4 years, how it has helped positioned our School District for forward progress in difficult times, and what I plan to do should I be re-elected on November 6th.

If you support my leadership, I’d appreciate your vote. Beyond that, however, I’d appreciate your help spreading this message. Please ask your friends to support the momentum we’ve gained by voting for me as well. I need you to help me help our Valley’s children.

I have and will continue to:


I’ve always remembered that Bear Valley Unified School District, first and foremost, is about our children, keeping education cuts as far away as possible from students and essential programs, and making difficult financial decisions while still focused on children. I will continue to keep students the priority and minimize the direct impact on them.


We have successfully retained a very capable and engaged Superintendent who has embraced our Community and its children. As Board President and a former founding member of the Bear Valley Education Trust, I have worked hard to build consensus among the District leadership and foster support for our Schools among our Valley community. I continue to promote a District culture of empowerment and accountability that keeps the Board properly focused on governance, oversight, and strategic policy. I will continue to maximize existing resources, hold District employees accountable for great performance, and grow alternative means of support for our School District.


With an updated District Strategic Plan focused on our children’s critical 21st Century Skills now in place, we are well positioned to tackle the education challenges ahead in a thoughtful, caring, and consistent manner. I will continue to advocate and lobby on behalf of our children at the local, County, State, and Federal levels, building consensus, and encouraging others to place a higher value on education. I believe “business as usual” will kill Public Education and that we must figure out ways to do an even better job with even less money. I look forward to helping lead our District toward a bright and innovative future.

By all accounts, Big Bear enjoys great schools, and does so through the dedication, hard work, and generosity of our District Employees, Parents, and Community. We have several California Distinguished Schools and have even been ranked as a Silver Medal school in the top 8% of all high schools in the Nation by US News and World Report. Personally you, like I, probably have benefitted from our schools, and I am grateful my children now flourish in college due to the Big Bear education they received.

I’d encourage you to help maintain consistent District leadership by also voting for Bev Grabe and Paul Zamoyta, both of whom have worked hard for our students and have been an important part of the District’s progress. Thank you for your consideration, for supporting our Big Bear students, and for voting Putz on November 6th.

– Randy

Measure M gets 51% of the Vote, But Not Enough To Win

July 11th, 2012

While a 51% majority of Big Bear Valley voters supported Measure M, unfortunately the 67% needed to pass the Measure did not materialize. I am grateful to the many people who worked hard for the votes we did get. For those of you who voted in support of our students, for those of you who value investing in our Valley’s children, I thank you. See the final election results at the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters.

California Edition Interview for the Trails Foundation

July 5th, 2012

My recent interview for the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation, on Charter’s California Edition:

Advocating For Our Students, For Our Schools

December 13th, 2011

“No generation of educators in the history of the world has been asked to do what Americans now demand of their public schools.” This quote from Jamie Vollmer is dead-on. Motivated in part by Jamie’s presentation at the recent California School Board Association’s Annual Education Conference, I wrote and recorded the following Public Service Announcement for our local radio station, KBHR:

Listen to the PSA

Special thanks to KBHR’s Angela Meyers, and especially Rick and Cathy Herrick for their ongoing support of our local schools. The transcript:

BVUSD Radio PSA – 12/9/11

Hi, I’m Randall Putz, President of the Bear Valley Unified School Board of Trustees. Three years ago when the Valley elected me to the School Board, I was charged with advocating for public education. And if there was ever a time our local schools needed advocacy, it is now. As you know, our state of California, is remarkable in many ways. But unfortunately one way California is remarkable is in its lack of support for funding public education. California ranks almost dead last – 49th out of 50 states – in how much it spends per student on education. And even then, the state doesn’t pay the full bill, withholding funds through differrals, and when the State finally does pay, it pays late, putting a severe cash squeeze on schools. When the voters demand the State make good on its education responsibilities through Proposition 98, even that gets ignored, to the point where several organizations are currently suing the State to force it to meet its education obligations. Its a tough time for education – the worst since the Great Depression.

And yet despite these challenges, our local schools in Big Bear, our teachers, administrators, and staff, they do an extraordinary job under challenging circumstances. We have wonderful teachers and distinguished schools. This year Big Bear High School was 1 of just 2 high schools in all of San Bernardino County to receive distinguished school status. We have remarkable students and graduates. Maybe you noticed one or two in the Olympics or on top of Mount Everest. Chances are you, your family, or someone you know have benefitted from our Schools. Bear Valley Unified School District is one of the Valley’s largest employers, and frankly an important part of what makes our Valley the very special place it is.

Every year we ask our teachers to do more, and lately with less. But they have to, WE have to, keep teaching. Because public education is important, critically important. Education provides opportunity to children who otherwise would go without. Education makes better informed citizens. Education reduces crime. Education helps make sure that the doctor who takes care of you, the policeman who protects you, and the fireman who saves you, are all competent and capable. Education is always in our best interest.

Which is why I hope you will Join me, my fellow board members Bev Grabe, Ken Turney, Al Waner, and Paul Zamoyta, and our Superintendent Kurt Madden, in supporting our schools and our students. Please, visit a school, volunteer in a classroom, come to a Board meeting, or come to a student play or an athletic event. Come help us help our students. Thanks for listening.

Tour of California Comes to Big Bear – Again!

December 12th, 2011

Big Bear Lake has been selected as the race’s Stage 6 Finish on Friday, May 18, 2012. The City of Palmdale will serve as the Host City and start location for Stage 6, which ultimately finishes with a demanding climb to Big Bear. This is the second time in three years Big Bear Lake has been selected as a Host City, which reaffirms the mountain resort as a world-class road cycling destination.

Two years ago I served as Community Outreach Director for Big Bear’s Local Organizing Committee. Phil Hamilton and I did numerous presentations to local community groups and brought up professional cyclists to visit our local schools. We even had a student art contest with the wining pieces published in a calendar. I admit it was quite something to witness the peloton racing live up Summit Blvd with the whole world watching.

Footage from the Tour’s 2010 visit to Big Bear:

Cover of the 2010 Tour of California Big Bear Lake Student Art Contest Calendar (all participants received a limited edition silicon bracelet we made just for the students – the winner got a bike):

Randy’s Education Links

December 11th, 2011

Some of my favorite links collected during my recent travels on the BVUSD School Board:

  • Jamie Vollmer – I had the opportunity to hear him speak live to thousands of California School Board members in San Diego and found his message to be the most motivating to date. His list of  The Ever Increasing Burden on America’s Public Schools really drives the point home. Watch Jamie’s CSBA presentation here.
  • To Those Who Would Lead – A manifesto of sorts that does a good job of summarizing and contextualizing education, technology, and the 21st Century.
  • Saddleback iEngage – Fellow Board Member Paul Zamoyta arranged for a question and answer session with a couple of Saddleback teachers who were doing some impressive things with iPod carts in their classrooms, further underlining the huge opportunity before us. Also see a related article about how iPods help ESL students in Escondido.
  • The Kahn Academy – Another innovation in education with great potential that demonstrates how technology can better serve our learning minds. I enjoyed  hearing Sal sharing his remarkable story live at the 2011 CSBA Conference.

The Big Bear Climb – Stage 6 of the 2010 Amgen Tour of CA

January 16th, 2010

Millions of fans around the world will watch Stage 6 – The “Big Bear Climb” – of the Amgen Tour of California, which begins in Pasadena and finishes 130 grueling miles later in Big Bear Lake on Friday, May 21, 2010.

Hall-elujah in Boston

April 18th, 2009

Watch Ryan Hall in the Beijing Olympic MarathonBig Bear’s Ryan Hall run the Boston Marathon live Monday at 6:30am PST, Charter Channel 305, KNBC 4.4 with a digital (DTV) receiver, or online at www.universalsports.com.

Move A Million Miles Campaign Wins Award

March 19th, 2009

The California Recreation and Park Society Move a Million Miles for Ryan Hall awarded our community’s Move A Million Miles for Ryan Hall campaign its Champion of the Community Award, which is given to organizations for outstanding public service in the support of “Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs.” Recipients are chosen based upon their significant effort to influence and improve the quality of their community through parks, recreation and community service. At the local presentation ceremony (pictured) we were told that hundreds state-wide compete annually for this distinction and that it is a big deal in the Park and Rec world. Cool. It was a great experience to help out made even better with this nice recognition.

City of Big Bear Lake Bike Maps

March 17th, 2009

My latest Gobo bike map project is now widely available. Big Bear Lake Bike MapThanks to the support of the City of Big Bear Lake, the Big Bear Valley Trails Coalition, and several local businesses, Big Bear Lake Bike Maps are now available to help you find great road riding in Big Bear Lake. You can find the bike maps in many places around the Big Bear Valley, including the Visitor Center in the Village, the Discovery Center, bike shops, and many card racks located in local businesses. An online version is also available for download here.

The user-friendly maps label bike routes by degree of difficulty, and include points of interest you will find along your journey! The maps also correspond with milepoint markers along each route, making it easy to always know where you are. Stay tuned for a Valley-wide version that will include all trails and all activities…

A Sincere Thank You

November 7th, 2008

Put a Putz in OfficeA sincere thank you to the many supporters who helped elect me to the Bear Valley Unified School Board. I want you to know that I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead and will make good use of the responsibility the public has entrusted to me. As I have witnessed first-hand, our Valley’s schools are blessed with many fine educators and staff, and I look forward to helping them make sure we continue to put the needs of our children first and make our already distinguished schools even better.

CongratsAnother heartfelt thank you goes to my fellow candidates who cared enough to run: Sharon Congdon, David Foltz, Jim McGowan, and Richard Weathersbee. The quality and quantity of candidates makes me proud of our Valley, and I hope each will still put their skills and experience to work for the benefit of our children. Congratulations are in order to Paul Zamoyta and Bev Grabe on their successful bids and with whom I look forward to serving along with continuing Board Members Ken Turney and Debra Sarkisian. Last but not least, I want to acknowledge the service of our departing School Board trustees, Phil Hamilton, Larry Poland, and Julann Warren. My own children’s extraordinary experience in our Schools is in no doubt due to the hard work of many caring individuals throughout our District, like them, who have come before me. As Superintendent Ferraud said, we have big shoes to fill. And I am grateful for that.

Please continue to let me know what about our schools is important to you.

Election Results

November 4th, 2008

rov_header_small.jpgAssuming you have already voted, here’s a link to San Bernardino County Election Results: www.sbcounty.gov/rovelectionresults/. To see the School Board race, click on Schools, and then Bear Valley Unified. They will start posting results around 8:30pm PST. First they post absentee ballots, then precincts ballots as they come in throughout the night. Election results aren’t officially certified until December 1.

3 things that make Randy a unique School Board candidate

October 22nd, 2008

Bear Valley FansSeveral people have asked what makes me unique as a School Board candidate. Here’s a few of them:

1. I currently have children in our School District. My daughter and son started in Big Bear Elementary and now are at Big Bear High. As a parent, I have a current perspective and first-hand knowledge of the impact our schools make on children and their families.

2. I am not retired and I am not an ex-educator. All of the other candidates running are one or the other, and many are both. My background is in business, communications and technology, which gives me a breadth of real-world experience I think will be refreshing and helpful on a well-balanced School Board.

3. I am strong in technology. I’ve bought, taught, fixed, and made technology solutions for many different organizations for many years. I understand computers, and the important role they play in preparing our children for careers after graduation. My technology expertise will helpful to our District as we increase technology proficiency among our educators and students.

Endorsements: A Broad Base of Support

October 21st, 2008

Thumbs UpIt’s always better when someone else says it, and I would encourage others to talk to some of these people to see why they think I would be a good choice for School Board. I am fortunate to have a broad base of community support including:

Bob Angilella
Craig & Jeannie Antes
Ashley Arden
Senator Jim Battin
Cassy & Rich Benson
Gary Berwin
Erin & Tim Brigham
John & Teri Brisson
Kathy Campbell
Julie & Rob Carpenter
Ken Dally
Joelle & John DeLandtsheer
Heather & Ted Devito
Senator Bob Dutton
Malissa Parker Forry
Tina Fraynd
Jim & Trish Gordon
John & Julie Grandi
Gen & Gunny Gunnarson

Joe Haeckel
Mickey Hall
Phil & Sue Hamilton
Liz Harris
Derek Hermon
Steve & Shelli Hirschler
Rebecca Hrabia
Chuck Hulett
Sean & Suzie Jacques
Bill & Mary Jo Jahn
Michael Karp
Gary Keller
Dottie & Tony Kerst
Dick Kun
David Leach
John Levy
Karen Lundgren
Dan McKernan
Sarah Miggins
Stan Miller
Carol Mulvihill
Gina Olvera
Michael & Tanya Perry
Kenny & Sandie Proctor
Monique Rangel
Theresa Reagan-Blood
Chris Riddle
Lisa Rigdon
Sharon & Jay Rizzo
Paul Romero
Janine & Peter Sutherland
Jose Tapia
Dennis Thomas
Brent & Bonnie Tregaskis
Al & Jo Anne Waner
Julann Warren
Tim & Tyler Wood

High-Powered Rocketry Level 1 Certification

October 13th, 2008

Level 1 HPR CertificationI blame my son. His enthusiasm for reaching the heavens has been contagious. At his urging, we have recently attended several high-powered rocketry launches at the nearby Lucerne Dry Lake Bed with the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC). And if you have even a trace of testosterone in your body, you can’t help but get excited each time one of the large rockets launches skyward with a thunderous roar.

RocketeerLevel 1 HPR CertificationSo we started building some smaller rocket kits and have worked our way up to our Tripoli Level 1 Certification, which we achieved at this month’s launch. We had to successfully build, load, launch, and recover our rocket with an “H” size engine. With this certification, we can now fly bigger engines in bigger rockets. This kind of amateur rocketry can eventually lead to scratch-built, cutting edge missiles like we saw at the BALLS 17 experimental launch in Northwestern Nevada over Fall Break. Probably an appropriate past-time for the budding astronaut in the family.

(Here’s some video of our 4″ Goblin ascending on an I-115 W.)

Why I Run… for School Board

September 20th, 2008

I get this question a lot: Why do you want to be on the School Board?

Easy – I have had an extraordinary experience in our School District with my children and I want to help make sure that same kind of inspiring experience continues to grow for other children and their families.

As a parent, it is quite something to pick up your teenage daughter after school and have her gush about what a great day she had, how much she loves her teachers, and how much she enjoys learning in school. And have that be a regular occurrence.

Or have your son, who flirted with Ds and Fs in Middle School, get inspired by a teacher who helps uncover a passion that propels him to As and Bs. And more importantly, have that inspiration change his focus from what trade he would consider after high school, to what college is best to pursue a career in astrophysics and a dream of traveling to Mars in 2030.

My family has been fortunate enough to have experienced these kind of life-altering experiences because of our Valley’s schools and teachers. I simply want to do my part to help make sure other families have the same or better experience. I appreciate your vote and support to help me do that.

2008 Bear Valley Unified School District Board Candidates

This is why Ryan is a Champion

August 29th, 2008

Champion Ryan HallAs I get older, it becomes increasingly clear to me that our attitude is the single biggest influence on our lives. So many times I have witnessed people torpedoing themselves because they adopt a destructive attitude and give up their power by blaming others. Far fewer times I have seen people rise to the top because they choose to accept responsibility and adopt a positive attitude.

Ryan Hall’s latest personal blog entry reminds me WHY he is a champion. Yes, he is probably gifted with physical attributes that makes him well-suited for running, but that alone cannot make him, or anyone, a successful athlete. Success relies on attitude. After his 10th place Beijing Olympic Marathon finish, Ryan doesn’t complain or blame, yet he is still honest about his feelings. He is grateful for what was, chooses to see the good, yet still presses on. He has the ATTITUDE of a Champion.

Read the words of a Champion – Ryan’s post-Olympic Marathon blog: http://www.thefinalsprint.com/2008/08/ryan-hall-post-olympic-blog-entry/

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