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  • Saturday, August 18, 2007


    A new salary to be approved for Orange Unified Superintendent:$240,236

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

    A new salary to be approved for Orange Unified Superintendent:


    * Plus 2% annual longevity raise; plus $2500.00 a year for his doctorate; plus the OUSD Board reserves the right to INCREASE the salary “from time to time”

    The Orange Unified School Board of Trustees are scheduled to approve a new pay hike at their August 23rd, 2007 meeting for Orange Unified Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley. This new third amendment to Godley’s contract comes one week after the release of a disappointing California STAR testing reports for Orange Unified (CLICK ON: SPECIAL REPORT), and just 7 months after granting Godley a raise in the second contract amendment this January 2007.

    The August 23rd amendment surpasses all pervious OUSD Superintendent Contracts including the controversial eleventh hour “golden handshake” contract granted by the Recalled Orange Board to former Superintendent Barbara Van Otterloo. The Van Otterloo contract was rescinded by the newly elected OUSD Board immediately after they assumed office. The new Godley contract amendment grants a precedent shattering automatic 2% annual “longevity” raise (almost five thousand dollars next year) every year for the remainder of the contract. In addition, the contract grants Godley (a long time doctorial holder and former college professor) a yearly $2500.00 bonus for his doctorial status upping Godley’s total yearly salary to $242,736. It was unclear from the amendment (see Agenda page 37) the date when the 2% yearly raise takes effect. Several dates are mentioned in the amendment. Godley’s hire date October 21st is in the amendment, as is the original contract date of March 10th, and the retroactive effective date of July 1st for the pay hike amendment.

    When Godley became OUSD Superintendent, one of his early accomplishments was moving the top OUSD administrators from Board Approved public contracts (listed in the public agenda) to the regular OUSD Administrators Pay Matrix that included yearly longevity pay increases. Until now, the Superintendent was the only OUSD employee outside a yearly automatic pay raise and accountable to the OUSD Board and public scrutiny for any pay increase.

    Finally, the new Godley contract amendment states:

    “During the term of this Agreement, the Board of Education reserves the right to increase from time to time, and effective upon the date determined by the Board of Education, the salary payable to the Superintendent, dependent on the Superintendent’s performance and the financial condition of the District as determined by the Board of Education.”

    Godley has enjoyed widespread support from the five majority (nicknamed the Godley Majority) OUSD Board members: Kim Nichols, John Ortega, Kathy Moffat, Lissa Smith and Wes Poutsma. Trustee Rick Ledesma voted against Godley becoming OUSD Superintendent because the process was not open to a pool of candidates. Godley served as OUSD Assistant Superintendent and was recommended for the top post by former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert French. Ledesma, while staying on publicly courteous terms with Godley has also voted against pay raises for the Superintendent. Courteous is far from anything Trustee Steve Rocco and Godley had ever had between them. Godley rarely even acknowledges Rocco after initial exchanges between the two. In one locally famous instance that many see as the final straw, Rocco addressed the superintendent as Mr. Godley and repeating that salutation after being corrected it was “Dr. Godley”.

    Godley’s current contract is effective through June 20, 2009.

    Agenda Item 13 B on the August 23rd agenda is a discussion on possible changes in the OUSD Trustee Areas. The current Trustee Area system has 7 trustees elected by the whole district, but living in and representing one Trustee Area. The rational behind the proposal to rearrange the Trustee Areas is because of population shifts.

    Could this open a can of worms with the whole election process? The current system has made it difficult for total OUSD Board control with a unanimous school board. While recent OUSD Board philosophical/political splits have had solid majorities, they all have had pesky minorities: the Marty Jacobson Recalled Board with a 5-2 majority split; the Orange Recall winning Kathy Moffat/Lissa Smith Citizens Board (5-2); and the current Godley Majority Board (5-2). Also, the current system has made it difficult for Trustee Majorities to recruit in certain trustee areas.

    JULY 19th Meeting: Typically untypical
    OUSD Trustee Lissa Smith’s participation in the July 19th 2007 OUSD School Board Meeting by telephone from Purdue University in Indiana wasn’t the only typically untypical happening at the OUSD Board’s middle of the summer meeting. The traditionally short meeting was kept that way after OUSD Board President Kim Nichols called a recess after the still bandaged Trustee Steve Rocco (Santa Ana police have confirmed Rocco was attacked in Santa Ana last month) tried to talk about the current Recall attempt aimed at him.

    First Rocco discussed during the agenda’s Board Member Comments section his pending appeal of the lawsuit that was thrown out of court concerning the OUSD Censure of him. In that case he was ordered to pay the OUSD court costs amounting to $37,000. Rocco announced that his school board wage had been garnished by OUSD as well as a lien placed on his house. When then trying to move to the topic of the Recall, Nichols repeatedly told Rocco that the Recall was not OUSD business. When Rocco continued to insist it was, Nichols called a recess, which many mistook as adjournment. As Nichols banged her gavel for the recess, Rocco stated that OUSD Superintendent Godley was involved in the attack on Rocco. The Board later briefly reconvened from their recess to adjourn to a continued Closed Session.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda for August 23

    • Item 12 A and B: Approval of the agreement for renewal of the El Rancho Charter. Read the agreement on pages 22-33 of the Agenda.

    • Item 12 C: Superintendent’s Goals: with last meeting’s 4th Quarter Status Report on the 3 Year Strategic Plan all but abandoning a new OUSD Bond election anytime soon, Godley’s own Facilities goals are non-existent. See the 15 Godley goals (that’s over $16,000 a goal at Godley’s new salary) on Agenda page 37.

    • Item 13A: The can-be controversial Student Calendar proposals for the next 3 years (can be viewed on-line for all your vacation planning).

    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

    $ 854,159.00 Total*
    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    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
    6/21/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis (pg 25) $ 75,000
    6/21/07 Parker & Covert (pg 25) $ 200,000
    6/21/07 Parker & Covert (pg 72) $ 150,000
    6/21/07 Atkinson, A.L.R and Romo (pg 72) $ 150,000
    Total $852, 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 June 7th, 2007.

    For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 6/21/07 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

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