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  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008


    Kathy Moffat tries to amend OUSD retirement deal…

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

    "It doesn't make sense to me to include
    the superintendent"
    OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat

    Just before the Orange Unified School District School Board voted to approve the "Golden handshake" buyout of top-paid teachers, administrators and OUSD support staff, Trustee Kathy Moffat dropped the equivalent of a mega-ton bomb at the May 8th OUSD School Board meeting with an amendment to exclude from the sweetened retirement deal OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley who announced his retirement just weeks before the OUSD Administration first proposed the up to 6% retirement buyout for OUSD employees. Godley had come under widespread criticism for the timing of his retirement announcement (it came on the heels of big pay hikes) and shortly after his own retirement announcement the announcement for the buyout package. One OUSD watchdog group, the Greater Orange Community Organization, labeled and linked Godley's rapid pay hike- retirement announcement- buyout plan as in their view "akin to white collar insider trading". Godley in a local print media article defended his participation in the buyout plan because he too was an OUSD employee.

    A long time staunch vocal supporter of Godley, Moffat clearly made the point in explaining her position that she did not want her amendment to be "misinterpreted" and went on to describe Godley as "an excellent" person with accomplishments too numerous to list. Moffat then went on to eloquently present the case against Godley getting the estimated upwards of $15,000 a month additional retirement pay out. Moffat stated that the retirement buy out was not a plan tied into salary increases, rewards or performance incentives, but a plan to save the school district money by giving the district more "flexibility" by allowing the district hire replacements at a lower wage or not replace certain positions. Moffat pointed out that the position of superintendent must be filled and that traditionally newly hired superintendents starting salaries are at least the level of the last superintendent they are replacing. Moffat reasoned to that Godley's retirement situation did not fit the purpose of the "application" of the buyout program.

    No one appeared to be more shocked at the motion from Moffat as rival OUSD Board member and frequent Moffat critic Steve Rocco. An obviously shocked Rocco went into one of his trademark tirades against Moffat even as he agreed with her. In the end (on a roll call vote called for by Trustee Rick Ledesma), a somewhat confused Rocco joined Moffat and Trustee Rick Ledesma in voting for the Moffat Amendment (to deny Godley the buyout). Mofatt’s amendment failed by a 4-3 vote as Wes Poutsma, Kim Nichols, Melissa Smith and John Ortega on record voting against the Moffat Amendment to exclude the superintendent from the buyout.

    OUSD Trustee Kim Nichols explained that she voted against the Moffat Amendment because it was "dangerous" to vote to include some and exclude others based on the criteria that Moffat outlined. The OUSD Board then voted 6-1 to approve the buyout for all OUSD employees. The buyout is estimated to save the district $ 2 million dollars a year for the next five years.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda May 22nd
    The OUSD School Board will continue to fill positions of retiring administrators, at its regularly scheduled May 22, 2008 meeting. They will fill four elementary principal positions and announce the new principal of Richland Continuation High School.

    California Elementary School will be honored for it academic achievement as part of the federal Title 1 program designed to give schools with a high proportion of under-achieving students more federal dollars. California Elementary School is one of 239 Title 1 California schools honored by the state for outstanding gains in California's standardized testing program.

    Agenda Item 12 B (page 5) is titled ASSUMPTIONS TO INCLUDE IN THE 2008-2009 Budget include proposed possible cuts to OUSD programs and jobs when the final state budget is completed and the full extent of the state education budget is known. Agenda page 6 includes the full list of “assumptions”. They include: Special Education office reorganization; school office staff reductions; eliminate Library Media positions at the middle schools (leaving only the librarian and sharply curtailing library operations); $250,000 in general fund elimination to the Elementary Music Program; elimination of 3rd grade and 9th grade English class size reductions); small school site consolidation.

    INSIDE Community Donations
    Canyon HS ASB- $3,200 for sports Stipends; Olive PTC-$2124- Traveling Scientist; Villa Park HS Softball boosters $1600 -Stipends; El Modena ASB-$1225 Boys Soccer; Wells Fargo Bank $138 to Nohl Canyon-supplies.
    For a complete list of this month’s community donations see page 10 of the May 22nd agenda.

    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

    Former Superintendent Godley’s total “golden handshake” bonus (beginning 8/2008): $00.00


    $314,500 Total
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    2008 TOTAL $314,500

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00
    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:
    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 22, 2008.

    For more information CLICK ON: AGENDA MAY 22

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