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  • Sunday, February 03, 2008

     

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE

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

    OUSD opens a semantic can of worms about the
    Legislative Coalition…

    “If it isn't broke, don’t try and fix it”
    -Orange Unified Trustee Rick Ledesma comment on
    Legislative Coalition reclassification 1/17/08


    The Orange Unified School Board spent most of the January 17th meeting discussing and apparently agreeing that Orange Unified’s unique Legislative Coalition Committee would continue to operate as it is with just a semantic name change. The change was to a Citizen’s Advisory Board from the long standing moniker of “a Committee of the Board”. The OUSD Administration position was that under the OUSD Board policies the designation of “a Committee of the Board” did not exist. During the discussion, long time community activist and Legislative Coalition member Christina Bayles addressed the Board asking whether Board Policy could be updated to specifically pertain to the Legislative Coalition’s unique status since the Board Policy outlining Citizen’s Advisory Boards appeared to her not to exactly fit the way the current Legislative Coalition Committee works. A longwinded response from OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley seemed to imply that the OUSD Administration was sticking with the Citizen’s Advisory title and was not interested in another policy change.

    While most of the OUSD Trustees and OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley continued to insist that the change was semantic in nature only, Trustee Rick Ledesma asked that the “human side” of the situation to be considered. Ledesma pointing out that he has not always agreed with the Legislative Coalition and that many members of that group also worked against him in the last election, however despite differences, he stated he strongly supported the mission of the Legislative Coalition and pointed out that the committee had empowered many community members to involved with OUSD. Ledesma called for the Board to hold an informational meeting with Legislative Coalition members to communicate fully about any questions or concerns the committee members may have over the redefinition. Ledesma pointed out he understood the administrative reasoning, but countered there was a “human side” to the situation that he felt needed to be addressed fully. Trustee John Ortega agreed with Ledesma and tried to separate the Legislative Coalition item from the other committee items in the long discussed motion. Board President Wes Poutsma denied Ortega’s request as Poutsma tried to move the meeting along. After almost 40 minutes of discussion, Poutsma’s ruling to limit debate came under fire from Trustee Kathy Moffat who stepped up to defend Trustee Lissa Smiths’ right to chime in after Smith had accidentally been over looked by Poutsma. In the end, the vote for the confusing motion was an unusual 4 yes (Moffat, Nichols, Smith and Poutsma) and three abstentions (Ortega, Ledesma and Rocco). However, it wasn’t over yet. Ledesma’s explanation of his vote to abstain (he felt an Information Item involving the committee was needed before a vote on the Action Item) became another point of a contention from Moffat who apparently took exception to Ledesma’s vote explanation as a criticism of the process.

    VILLA PARK E.S. HISTORIC BUILDING DEMOLISHMENT EIR
    The public hearing for the Villa Park E.S. historic buildings Environmental Impact Report will be Wednesday February 13, at 7:00 pm at Villa Park Elementary School. This is another step towards the OUSD Staff goal of demolishing the historic buildings. The December 13, 2007 OUSD Board Agenda (page 30) stated:

    “Two buildings remain from the original school on Villa Park Elementary School campus. The buildings have been determined to be structurally unsafe. They are vacant and have been fenced off to prevent unauthorized entry. Because the buildings are unfit for occupation and represent a safety hazard, they should be demolished as soon as possible”.

    Other January 17th meeting items
    Agenda Item 12 C - pay hike for OUSD Administrators PASSED 4-2 Yes-Moffat, Nichols, Ortega, Smith and Poutsma. No- Ledesma and Rocco
    Agenda Item 13 A- Independent Audit Report on OUSD’s finances view this on line: CLICK ON: OUSD AUDITS

    Agenda Item 13 B-
    Year 2/ 2nd Quarter Status of Three Year Strategic Plan
    This report led to a discussion of the problem of rejecting outdated and incompatible technology donations from well meaning community members and how explaining why the district cannot accept the donations is a delicate matter that needs to be communicated and explained in an inoffensive way.
    Consent Item 14 D - $7,500 more to the Center for Demographics PASSED 6 Yes, 1 No (Rocco)

    AGENDA REVIEW: February 7th,
    2008 OUSD Board Meeting

    Action Item 12 B (page 9): forming a District Advisory Committee to recommend disposal of surplus real property. The seven members will be: Diana Flores, Jan Miller, John Miller, Jim Reichert, Dan Slater, William Steiner and Ann Truex .
    Consent Items (page 50): law firm of Parker & Covert $100,000 to “assist the District in litigation of ongoing special education matters”.

    Community DONATIONS: Dirt Devil Vacuum to Canyon H.S. from Garth and Victoria Webber; Printer and Scanner to Villa Park H.S. from Kerry Wright; Running Springs PTA- $12,000 for Smart Boards; Yorba PTSA-$500 for Top Torro T-Shirts; Canyon H.S. Band Boosters- $6140 for stipend; Olive PTC- $402 art supplies; El Modena ASB- $1651 for salary support. For a complete list of Community DONATIONS see the OUSD Agenda pages 16-17.


    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:
    $300,000 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    TOTAL $300,000

    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 February 7, 2008.
    To view the agenda CLICK ON: AGENDA

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 7:00 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
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