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  • Sunday, May 20, 2007


    Orange Unified’s Rocco told by former Opponent he will run in 2008

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/ Independent insight into OUSD

    Orange Unified’s Rocco told by former Opponent
    I’m running against you in 2008

    At the May 10th Orange Unified School Board meeting, most of the now standard bantering about, from, or towards, OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco took place during the Public Comment section of the OUSD Agenda.

    The meeting started out with Rocco missing from his new seat on the rearranged dais (decorated with a “No Trespassing” sign) as he sat in the audience. At the April 30, 2007 meeting, Rocco had asked to be moved to the end seat (now occupied by Trustee Kathy Moffat) to be away from Trustees Wes Poutsma and John Ortega who Rocco has had heated exchanges (one of which was censored out of the OUSD cable broadcast to the community on orders of Dr. Godley). OUSD Board President Kim Nichols at that meeting told Rocco that she would decide the seating arrangement. May 10th, Rocco found himself moved to the center of the dais with Trustee Rick Ledesma seated to his right and an absent Trustee John Ortega seated to his left.

    During the May 10th Agenda’s Public Comments section, Rocco filled out a Blue Comment card and spoke from the public podium to address the Board. Rocco used his three minutes to complain about the new seating arrangement placing him next to Ortega and calling the district “the Voodoo Unified School District” and referring to OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley as “Witch Doctor Godley”.

    After addressing the Board, Rocco then took his seat and was followed in the Public Comments section by community activist Phil Martinez. Martinez was defeated by Rocco for the OUSD Area 6 Trustee Seat. Martinez attacked Rocco for not representing Trustee Area 6 and told Rocco he would be running against him in 2008 (Martinez had recently ran for the Orange City Council). As Rocco interrupted Martinez, Board President Kim Nichols continued to rule Rocco out of order and reminded Rocco he had had his three minutes of Public Comments and it was now Mr. Martinez turn.

    Other public speakers included Former Villa Park Councilman Robert Fauteux thanking OUSD for having Portola Middle School attend Law Day at the Orange County Civic Center and parents from Orange High School (including Phil Martinez) asking the Board to reconsider reassigning popular Orange High School Assistant Principal Jim D’ Agostino to Villa Park H.S.

    Orange Education Foundation –In or Out?
    Agenda Item 13B on the May 24th OUSD Agenda is a discussion on changing the Orange Education Foundation (OEF) bylaws taking OUSD Board Members off the Foundation Board. Over the past 10 years the Orange Education Foundation has provided an outstanding service to the community giving over $250,000 to OUSD as gifts, min-grants and to support such programs as Class Size Reductions. It has also taken heat for the Board like the controversial move when the OEF held in account $14,000 raised for music classes. That money was then turned over to the Board and caused a split in the community. More recently as part of the Board’s Strategic Plan, OFE hosted a Business Leaders Breakfast in April 2007 where OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley and Assemblyman Huff presented the business community with information (reportedly no Board member was in attendance). Last month, the OEF provided $4,000 in gifts for OUSD Employees of the Year.

    While OUSD Board members rarely attend (no OUSD Board member has attended for over a year) Dr. Godley and the other OUSD Superintendents have regularly attended. Community watchers are unsure what the May agenda item is about and sources close to the OEF state they were caught off guard about the item. Some long time Board watchers are speculating that part of the new community partnerships component of the OUSD Board’s Strategic Plan may be a more closely controlled fundraising foundation similar to the Legislative Coalition. As the OFE stands now it is a completely independent body. The direction of the discussion at the meeting may be a key. Is the Orange Education Foundation –In or Out?

    Agenda Item 12C- Chapman University is appealing paying developer fees on the new athletic facilities it is building
    Agenda Item 13A- Public Hearing for Renewal of the Charter for El Ranch Charter School
    Agenda Item 13B- Orange Education Foundation- A discussion on the OEF Bylaws and the question: Should OUSD Trustees also serve on the OEF?

    Edison International-$120 supplies to La Veta E.S.; J. Hanna-$307 supplies California E.S.; McPherson ASB-$330 for substitute salaries; Target Corp- $190- Sycamore E.S. transportation costs; El Modena H.S. Baseball Boosters-$6350 in Stipend Salaries; Irvine Co- Lampson E.S. Pennies for Prevention Program; Villa Park H.S. Girl’s Softball Boosters-$1600 salary stipend. For a complete list of community donations see Agenda page 12.

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

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2007:$ 294,090.00 Total

    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    Total $ 16,590

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    2/08/07 Miller, Brown, and Dannis $ 7, 500
    2/22/07 Parker & Covert $ 45,000
    5/10/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis $ 50,000
    Total $277,500

    2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06*

    *JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to APPROVE Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $ 849,717.00*
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally: Total $176,400
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally: Total Approved $655,000
    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel: Total $ 18,317 *
    * JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to
    APPROVE OUSD Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2005: $ 978,300.00:
    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

    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday May 10, 2007.
    For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 5/24/07 Regular Session: 7:30 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD

    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight”

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