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  • Sunday, February 17, 2008


    OUSD Superintendent Godley’s salary will go from Good to Great

    Metro Views ____________
    Giving Voice to the Greater Orange Communities
    Viewpoints from the Greater Orange Communities

    OUSD Superintendent Godley’s salary will go from Good to Great with a “Golden Handout” from OUSD Taxpayers

    Imagine after working in the private sector for only 5 years, accumulating six retroactive raises (four in the last six months), then after announcing your retirement giving yourself a 6.5% bonus for the rest of your life. A similar too-real-to-believe scenario is being played out right now in Orange Unified as Orange Unified Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley, who announced his retirement just two weeks ago, this week tries to push through a Supplemental Retirement Plan for teachers and administrators who have only put in five years of time as employees of the district. We believe it is not a coincidence that sources report only five years of employment with the district will be needed to take advantage of the up to a 6.5% bonus payment for life. Godley will have just over five years as an OUSD employee as of his June 30th, 2008 retirement date. The Orange Unified School Board is scheduled to vote on this Golden Handout paid for by the taxpayers of Orange Unified at this week’s Thursday February 21st OUSD Board Meeting.

    The Supplemental Retirement Plan on the agenda is commonly known as a “golden handshake”. The bonus idea is to save money by enticing older long term staff (who have the highest salaries) to retire early and replace them with younger less expensive employees. The plan , Agenda Item 12 C, is a vaguely worded agenda item that is short on facts and details. Similar plans have been offered in the past to save money, but those plans targeted long-term dedicated OUSD employees who have given a lifetime of service to the children and community of Orange Unified. Offering them a retirement “buyout” was fiscally and ethically responsible and a win-win proposition. Those early buyout plans were not proposed for the benefit of any particular employee. To now present a plan that gives almost $15,000 a year bonus for life to Superintendent Godley, who only worked for OUSD for a little over five years, is not a golden handshake, but a golden handout courtesy of the Orange Unified taxpayers. Allowing Godley, who has announced his retirement, to now make the Supplemental Retirement Plan apply to him is not a buyout, but a sell-out of OUSD taxpayers.

    When the current majority of the OUSD Board was elected in the Orange Recall, the very first action of these Board members was to rescind the golden parachute granted in an eleventh hour vote by the outgoing defeated Board Trustees to top OUSD Administrators who were complicate in OUSD’s Lost Years. For these same OUSD Trustees to now capitulate to a bureaucratic golden handout would be nothing short of hypocritical and nothing short of fiscally irresponsible with the educational tax dollars they are entrusted with.

    Clearly the majority of the OUSD Board was happy with the performance of Dr. Godley. He knew that and received raise after raise, praise after praise. The OUSD Board extended his contract just last year and compensated him for staying. Clearly this Board was played as Godley will not stay. It appears to us the Board realized that they had been played just two weeks ago when they sat stone faced during Godley’s retirement announcement.

    Are Supplemental Retirement Plans a wise budget move? In the past they have proven to be so, however to now offer a plan to employees that have only worked for the district for five years is clearly a bureaucratic budget ploy for one last raise for the outgoing Superintendent courtesy of the children of OUSD.

    The Greater Orange Community Organization urges a responsible Supplement Retirement Plan to save money and reward long term employees for their dedication to the OUSD Community, not what amounts to a life-time retirement bonus for Superintendent Godley.

    A five year employment requirement for a Supplemental Retirement Plan is a thinly veiled Godley Golden Handout to reward a brazen budget manipulator (how many other five year employees will retire?). If the so called OUSD Godley Majority approves a Supplemental Retirement Plan with a minimum five year employment requirement it will not just be hypocritical, it will be fiscally irresponsible.

    We know that the OUSD Board still listens to the public.
    To weigh in on this issue email your opinion to the OUSD TRUSTEES at:

    Viewpoint from
    The Greater Orange Community Organization

    Metro VIEWS
    is an open forum to express viewpoints on local Greater Orange issues.
    Views expressed in Metro VIEWS are not necessarily the views of the NETWORKS that ECAST or post them.
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Please take back Godley's money. Pay no handshake under 10 years' service and only to teachers. There is no money for highly paid officials.
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