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  • Saturday, November 04, 2006

     

    OUSD TRUSTEES GAVE GODLEY POWER TO HIDE SPENDING FROM OUSD TAXPAYERS

    SPECIAL EDITION
    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    The Greater Orange Communities Group DROPS THE BALL and apologizes as:
    OUSD TRUSTEES GAVE GODLEY POWER TO HIDE SPENDING FROM OUSD TAXPAYERS


    The watchdog group, the Greater Orange Communities Organization has issued an apology to the community for what it terms “dropping the ball” on catching the Orange Unified School District Trustees giving Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley sweeping new power to hide OUSD spending from taxpayers. The powers were granted in Board Policy changes to its personnel policies in the OUSD Board Policy 4000 series at the OUSD Trustees May and June Board Meetings.

    The Greater Orange Communities Organization keeps track of spending by the OUSD School Board in the Orange Unified Schools Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLAR WATCH (see below). The on-going tally keeps track of educational tax-dollar spending in Consultant Fees, Attorney Fees, and Administrative Conference and Travel spending. The last administration spending was reported in March of this year under the original policy long standing Board Policies 4133/4233/4333 that required that Out of State Travel/Conference request be placed on the public agenda for public approval by the OUSD Board.

    The Orange Unified Trustees voted to change that policy in May and June to allow the OUSD Superintendent to approve the out-of state travel, thus removing it from public scrutiny and an OUSD Board vote. The new arrangement was missed by the local watchdogs and only came to light as the Out-of State Conferences no longer appeared in the public OUSD Agenda. In addition, four OUSD Middle School Principals and Administrative Director Christi Reider two weeks ago went on a four day weekend junket to Washington D.C. without it being approved by the OUSD Board. An inquiry revealed the new Board Policies ended the public agenda notification and vote by the elected OUSD Trustees.

    The Greater Orange Communities Organization in issuing their apology also criticized the OUSD Trustees for “rubber stamping their oversight duties away” and for making the OUSD Superintendent a “Super-Superintendent by granting the position powers that will last way beyond the current Trustees tenures”.

    Godley has continued to try and circumvent the intense public scrutiny that the local electronic media provides to the Greater Orange Communities voters and taxpayers. The reporting of trustee, administrative, and employee conference and travel expenses has resulted in many of those travel arrangements being cancelled including a trip by Trustee John Ortega to Texas as well as a junket connected to controversial consultant program Focus on Results to Canada by OUSD Administrators Cheryl Cohen and Fran Roney.

    During Godley’s attempt to end the $8,000 a-year community broadcasts of the OUSD Board Meetings to the public, much was made about the fact that shortly before trying to end those community broadcasts, the OUSD Board approved a nearly $8,000 for a weekend junket to a Las Vegas internet conference. After much public outcry, Godley announced he had found the money to continue the community broadcasts. In addition to Godley trying to end the public broadcasts of the OUSD Meetings, other examples of reducing public scrutiny include:

    OUSD Trustees approved Godley’s plan to move the OUSD Assistant Superintendent’s to the Leadership Pay Schedule ending the OUSD Board publicly approving their Contracts and new Salaries.

    Godley unilaterally removed the second Public Comments section from the end of the OUSD Agenda. After a public outcry, and the OUSD Board having to vote to hear late comments from community members who wished to address the Board, the second Public Comments section was reinstated.

    Godley unilaterally censored the last ten minutes of OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco’s comments at the September 14th 2006 OUSD Board Meeting from the community broadcast. Godley insisted he did it to protect former Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich. Only two minutes of Rocco’s comments involved Rich. The rest of Rocco’s statement that was also censored form the community broadcast including questioning OUSD Administrative nepotism, a verbal confrontation with Trustee John Ortega, and a shaken OUSD Kim Nichols barely being able to adjourn the meeting. Godley defended his censorship in part by reminding the public they could buy the un-censored meeting version for $10 at the OUSD District Office.

    The current OUSD Trustees were also criticized for not answering the emailed inquires about the out-of-state travel issue, but quickly answering inquiries of a political nature. Rick Ledesma, Melissa Smith, Kim Nichols and Kathy Moffat all failed to answer an email inquiry about the policy change. Kim Nichols had however quickly answered an email request for comments about her web-site being used to send a 1000 spam messages to opponent Paul-Dean Martin’s personal email account. Kathy Moffat also failed to respond to the email inquiry about the Board Policy changes, but had quickly issued a statement about responding to an inquiry about her campaign website originally being listed as having the non-profit Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance registered as the Administrative Organization of the campaign website.

    Godley Censorship:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/metro-talk_23.html

    Rocco vs Ortega:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/09/special-report-rocco-censure-report_28.html

    Rocco’s Ben Rich Statement:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/ousds-nichols-plays-gay-republican.html

    Moffat Comment:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/11/moffat-campaign-website-controversy.html

    Nichols Comment
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/10/moffat-political-campaign-website-non.html

    We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.”
    -OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma 9/22/05


    Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2006
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2006: $ 849,717.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    6/22/06 Douglas DeVore Speech $ 2,000
    6/08/06 Focus on Results $164,400
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000
    Total $176,400

    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    7/20/06 Parker & Covert $100,000
    7/20/06 Parker & Covert $ 50,000
    7/20/06 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 30,000
    6/22/06 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 50,000
    6/22/06 Parker & Covert $175,000
    4/20/06 Parker & Covert: $ 50,000
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000
    Total $655,000

    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel:
    2/9/06 Roney and 5 principals to Florida $ 10,623
    2/23/06 Roney and 2 principals Tx/ Fl $ 4,050
    3/09/06 2 to Florida Conference $ 3,644
    Total $ 18,317


    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2005: $ 978,300.000:
    Total 2005 Conference Administrator/Board Fees: $ 7,500.00
    2005 Attorney Fee Tally: $730,600.00
    Total Watched 2005 OUSD Consultant spending: $ 270,200.00


    Orange Net News
    Independent, Local, UNCENSORED News and Viewpoints”

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