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  • Monday, January 14, 2008

     

    “Our Superintendent gets more raises than God” -OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco

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


    “Our Superintendent gets more raises than God”
    -OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco

    OUSD Superintendent Godley gets another
    3.5% Pay Hike four months after last one


    Just four months after an unprecedented pay hike to Orange Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley’s contracted salary, the so called Godley Majority of the Orange Unified School Board approved another retroactive 3.5 % pay hike in the Superintendent’s salary and all other district administrators at the December 13th Orange Unified School Board Meeting. This week at the January 17th, 2008 meeting, the Superintendent has asked the OUSD Board to approve another .25% retroactive raise for the district administrators (Agenda Item 12 C page 9).

    In June 2006, Godley received a 4.75% retroactive raise. Then in August 2007 the next pay hike for Godley put his salary over $240,000 annually and included an unprecedented automatic 2% annual longevity raise, and a yearly $2500.00 bonus for having his doctorial degree, in addition that pay hike was also retroactive. The current retroactive pay hike of 3.5% goes to July 2007 which is one month before the last Godley pay hike in August 2007.

    The latest 3.5 % raise given at the December OUSD Board meeting to Godley and the rest of the OUSD administrators (collectively known as Leadership) was again a result of an identical raise given to the district’s Classified (support) staff. OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma again took exception to the tactic of automatically granting the district administrators a raise every time the OUSD Administration successfully reaches a negotiated salary settlement with the district’s labor representatives. After much discussion on both sides, the final vote for the unprecedented salary hike for the OUSD Superintendent was 4-2. The Godley Majority- Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    Since the December OUSD Board meeting the OUSD teacher’s association reached an agreement with OUSD for a 3.75% pay hike. That agreement is on the January 17th Agenda (Agenda Item 12 B page 8) and is followed by a “me too” request for the OUSD Leadership for an additional .25% retroactive pay hike over last month’s 3.5% pay hike. In negotiations with the teachers, the teachers gave up a counseling position and cuts to paid hours of librarians and school psychologists to achieve savings to get the .25% raise over the 3.50% classified had settled for and the OUSD Administrators got also. The idea was that the teachers effectively paid for the .25% increase over the other bargaining group with the contract concession cuts. However, what the Leadership (district administrators) gave up to earn the “me too” .25% hike just 1 month later remains a mystery. Agenda Item 12 C states:

    “The Superintendent has met and conferred with the representatives from the leadership group for the second time on the topic of compensation for leadership employees…

    “In order to pay for the additional .25% increase, adjustments to salary and work year for selected leadership positions have been made.”

    Just who those “select leadership positions” are and what the “adjustments to salary and work year” means is yet to be seen.

    Board Majority votes Rocco out of his District based on three released demographic scenarios- but…not all possible scenarios made public

    OUSD Trustee Melisa Smith characterizes the move as “A gift from heaven”

    Denying any political motives, at their December meeting the OUSD Trustees Godley Majority voted to approve the third of three released demographic scenarios that would readjust the OUSD Trustee Areas. In the third released scenario that was included in the December 13 OUSD Board Agenda, the current residences of Trustee Steve Rocco and Trustee Melisa Smith would be moved from their current Trustee Areas to neighboring Trustee Areas currently filled by other sitting trustees. The move would eliminate Steve Rocco from running again at the end of his term in November of this year. Smith would remain on the Board until her current term expires in 2010.

    With numerous controversial attempts to deal with Trustee Steve Rocco and coming on the heels of the unsuccessful Rocco Recall Attempt, the OUSD Trustee Area Readjustment was bound to be seen as political especially since it would strip Rocco of his Trustee Area. The often controversial Rocco accused the Board majority of “playing politics” and attempting to gerrymander him off the OUSD Board. Trustee Melissa Smith, a frequent adversary of Rocco’s and an active worker for the Rocco Recall Attempt proponents, defended the legitimacy of the readjustment process, but later added that the fact the Board would also be able to get rid of Rocco by the readjustment was “a gift from heaven”. Trustee Kathy Moffat stated that she was ready to push for a delay to allow the community to have more input on the readjustment plan, but since the community appeared to be indifferent about the agenda item (based on the lack of any communication from the community) she would also support the released third scenario.

    With the process under attack, and approval needed next by the county Committee on School District Organization for the plan to move forward, the OUSD Staff called Deborah Deip, the Director of the Center of Demographic Research (CDR) at California State University, Fullerton to explain the process (the CDR did the survey work and produced the scenarios for the OUSD Board consideration in the agenda). Deip explained that the CDR was told to produce two scenarios not moving the trustees out of their areas, and one scenario disregarding were the trustees live. It was those three released scenarios that were placed in the Agenda Item. The OUSD Administration recommend one scenario as superior over the other two (Scenario #3) based on the demographic information. However, Diep’s explanation of there only being three scenarios was later contradicted by none other that OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley.

    Speaking after Diep, Godley mentioned that the CDR also produced six other scenarios which Godley stated were rejected by the OUSD Staff. Therefore By Godley’s own account, only three of the nine scenarios (maps and demographic information) produced by the CDR were released in the agenda. Godley implied that only the OUSD Staff (and not Board members) were privy to the Rejected Six Scenarios and the statistical information on population of those rejected scenarios. It was the statistical information based on the low population deviation extended out to the year 2020 that was the stated reason the OUSD Staff supported the third released scenario. It was that same third scenario that Trustee Smith characterized as “a gift from heaven”.

    The question however is was there also a gift in the Rejected Six Scenarios for Rocco? Could one of the Rejected Six Scenarios have been equal to keeping the statistical deviation that caused the staff to support the released third scenario while also keeping Rocco in his district? Or did any of the Rejected Six Scenarios have undesirable moves for other Trustees while keeping Rocco in his Trustee Area? All of this will remain speculation without the release of the Rejected Six Scenarios Dr. Godley revealed were in existence.

    After much discussion on both sides, the final vote for the redistricting scheme was 4-2. The Godley Majority- Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    Legislative Coalition now a Citizen’s Advisory Board

    Community leaders on the Legislative Coalition showed up in force to question the change to the Board Committee that no one seemed to want to commit to knowing about. In a convoluted explanation that seemed more appropriate to a grade-schooler trying to talk her way out of a lie, OUSD Trustee Kin Nichols tried to explain what she said at a November Legislative Coalition meeting and what her intentions were with Legislative Coalition that could of caused such misunderstanding. To make the matter even more strange, Trustee Steve Rocco, a long time critic of the existence of a Legislative Coalition, became its most vocal supporter of the evening. Even OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley had trouble finding words to describe what he was suppose to do with the Nichols-inspired-Agenda-Item. In the end the January 17th Agenda 12 D has the Legislative Committee’s long time designation as a “committee of the Board” changed to a “Citizen’s Advisory Committee” apparently with no Board member representation. What does this mean? At this point, nobody seems to know.

    Villa Park Elementary School Historic Buildings

    Trustee Kathy Moffat blew a fuse apparently angered that Orange Net News tipped off the community about the public agenda item that OUSD Staff is seeking the demolition (their word not ours!) the VPES historic buildings and concerned citizens showed up to question it! Read all about it at:
    MOFFAT MAD

    Musical Chairs: New Officers for 2008
    Godley Majority members were elected to all the Board’s leadership positions.
    Trustee Wes Poutsma was elected Board President and Melisa Smith was elected Vice President by a 4-2 vote: Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, and Kim Nichols all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent for a family matter) and minority Trustees Rick Ledesma and Steve Rocco both voted No. Outgoing President Kim Nichols was elected the new Board Clerk by a 5-1 vote: Trustees Kathy Moffat, Melissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, Kim Nichols Trustees, and Rick Ledesma all voted Yes (Trustee John Ortega was absent and minority and Steve Rocco both voted No.

    January 17th 2008 Meeting Agenda Watch
    Agenda Item 12 A- (page 5) Extend Assistant Superintendents contracts to 2010
    Agenda Item 12 B- (page 6) Pay hike to teachers with contract wording changes
    Agenda Item 12 C - (page 9-10) this month’s pay hike for OUSD Administrators
    Agenda Item 13 A- Independent Audit Report on OUSD’s Finances
    Agenda Item 13 B- Year 2/ 2nd Quarter Status of Three Year Strategic Plan
    Consent Item 14 D - $7,500 more this month to the Center for Demographics

    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 2008:
    $200,000 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (1/08 to 6/08) $200,000

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2007:
    $704,090.00 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
    9/27/07 Dr.Daggett Speaker Fee $ 35,000
    11/15/07 OCDE High Priority Consultants $115,000
    Total $166,590

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    (6/07-12/07) $200,000
    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
    7/19/07 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    Total $537,500

    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 January 17, 2008. For more information
    CLICK ON: BOARD 1/17/08

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM , 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/

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