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  • Saturday, March 18, 2006

     

    OUSD Trustees Laugh at ONN Report

    Kim Nichols

    At the March 9th Orange Unified School Board Meeting OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco announced he finally got his email, all 1200 plus. After OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma's motion to adjourn the meeting in the middle of another one of Rocco's signature end of meeting rants failed, Rocco went on to cite one of the backlogged emails. The email was an Orange Net News Special Report from July 27th, 2005 (posted below). The report concerned OUSD Trustees and OUSD Administrators conference expenses (including Wes Poutsma and Thomas Godley when they were Assistant Superintendents) after they had approved more money for the conference budget at their July 14, 2005 meeting. At the time, the Orange Education Foundation, with the OUSD Trustees and OUSD Administration's blessing, had sent a letter to OUSD parents asking for donations of $175.00 each to supplement the OUSD Budget to save classroom programs from cuts.

    Rocco apparently brought forward the report to use to bash one of his favorite targets- the OUSD Legislative Coalition. Board President Kim Nichols asked him the source of the document. Rocco stated it was Orange Net News at which point Trustees Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma and Kim Nichols laughed out loud. Rocco commented that they must not like ONN.

    A giggling Kim Nichols in a rare show of sarcasm stated "Not an actual reliable source of actual facts always". Nichols added, "And I'd like to know if you know who the author of that document is?"
    Rocco replied, "It doesn't have a name, I wish it did".
    "They typically, don't", retorted a chuckling Nichols.

    At that point Trustee Wes Poutsma threw up his hands, then gathered up his items and left the meeting.

    Rocco then went on to assert the report stated that the Legislative Coalition paid for trips for Trustees, which Nichols quickly denied. Nichols was correct, the Legislative Coalition never paid for trips for OUSD Trustees, OUSD taxpayers did. The items Rocco focused on state that Nichols, OUSD Trustee John Ortega, and former OUSD Superintendent Robert French went to Sacremento in March of 2003, as part of the yearly lobbying effort of the Legislative Coalition. Seeing the words Legislative Coalition, Rocco apparently jumped to the conclusion that Legislative Coalition paid for the trip.

    However, far from being inaccurate, the report is based on OUSD documents (for copies see below).The report gives the amount that OUSD paid for Trustees to go with the Legislative Coalition on its lobbying trip to Sacramento. The amounts were: Nichols (4/20 - 4/21 2004) $460.00; John Ortega (3/11-3/12 2003) $585.46; Former Superintendent Robert French (3/10-3/11 2003) $651.49; Smith (3/10-3/12 2003) $144.48.

    The information used for the report and the entire orginal July 2005 Special Report follow below. To request to receive either an emailed copy of the scanned original OUSD documents, or a FAXed copy of the orginal documents, email your request to: OrangeNetNews@verizon.net.

    For More information on the reasons and the Right to Anonymity in Free Speech, and its connection to the Founding Fathers of the United States CLICK ON:http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Anonymity/

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