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  • Thursday, July 24, 2008


    Metro VIEWS: Is this a cost the taxpayers should have to bear?

    Metro VIEWS _
    A community service of the
    Greater Orange Communities Organization
    Giving voice to the Greater Orange Communities

    Is this a cost the taxpayers should have to bear?
    A viewpoint of Jerry Winant*

    If it is truly legal for OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith to run for one Board seat without giving up the other, is it ethical? If Ms. Smith wins, without first giving up her seat in Area 1, then won't OUSD or Orange County have to pay for a special election to replace Ms. Smith?

    Is this a cost the taxpayers should have to bear?

    Certainly, this would seem fiscally irresponsible of Ms. Smith to want to place this financial burden on the school district or the county, just so she can maintain a seat in a trustee area.

    In waiting for a replacement to be elected (should Ms. Smith win the seat in Trustee area 3 in November), won't the district APPOINT someone of their own choosing to represent Area 1 until a new election could be held? This may or may not be someone who would truly represent the voters of that area but would likely be 'friendly' to the administration and might not be an 'independent thinker'. I think the Orange Unified District deserves better than this.

    Ms. Smith now lives in Area 3. I believe she should resign her seat in Area 1 so someone who truly lives there can run in this election in November. I welcome her running in Area 3 where she belongs (and where I intend to run, as well). It seems like the right thing to do and would be a good example of fairness for the young people in this District who should look up to and respect the Board members for their integrity, honesty and fairness.

    Another note of interest is the fact that the school board would hire a new superintendent for a three year term at a raise of $75,000 a year from her previous job with what appears to be less than glowing success at improving test scores in her previous district.

    I wonder how the teachers and classified staff in OUSD must feel about the large raise, while the whole statewide community of education in California is tightening their belts and trying to cut wherever they can to meet the governor's proposed budget. Certainly it is a raise they will never see.
    Was this a wise move?

    Was it also wise to encumber the District for three years with this new Superintendent, knowing that there will be an election in a few months, thus encumbering the new Board with a hefty, multi-year contract for this new unproven leader? Teachers are offered one year contracts and are under constant pressure to show improvement in their students. New teachers can be released after one year if their performance is unsatisfactory.

    Shouldn't the new OUSD Superintendent have been hired with these same expectations?

    * Jerry Winant lives in Orange and has pulled papers for the OUSD Trustee Area 3 seat. He currently teaches Home Education for students in Grades K-12 in the Lake Elsinore Unified School District at Gordon Kiefer School, is an administrator designee and is the online education coordinator for students in grades 5-12,

    Opinions expressed in Metro VIEWS
    are not necessarily the opinion of the networks that post it.

    Metro VIEWS is a community service of the
    Greater Orange Communities Organization

    Ecast on the

    The District will not have a special election under the guise of not wasting money. Remember they did not want a special election to recall Rocco; they just redistricted him out of his seat. They will appoint a crony so that no one will be able to question the Nichols majority. It takes 2 Board members to get an item on the agenda. It takes 4 Board members to pass an item. The Nichols’ Board hates democracy and transparency. Rocco was the excuse they needed. Nichols wants control. Also Smith's consultant was the paid consultant for the Bond measure for Santa Ana Unified in June and he did the first failed bond measure for the OUSD. I guess we know who will do the next OUSD bond.
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    Greater Orange News Service is a community service of the Orange Communication System /OCS/, the communications arm of the Greater Orange Community Orgainization