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  • Saturday, July 19, 2008


    OUSD July 22nd Meeting to hire Dreier as Superintendent

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

    Agenda for July 22 Meeting to hire Dreier
    At the June 19th, 2008 Orange Unified School Board meeting, outgoing OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley announced that a Special OUSD Meeting would take place on July 22nd to hire Dr. Renae Dreier from Greeley, Colorado District 6 School District. The Agenda for that July 22nd meeting has now officially been posted and Dreier will officially be the new OUSD Superintendent. Despite Godley’s de facto announcement of the hiring of Dreier, a three panel OUSD Board Committee, Wes Poutsma, Kathy Moffat and Kim Nichols, scheduled a trip to Greeley, Colorado to “interview” the community on their de facto choice a couple of weeks later. The necessity of that trip (duped the Dreier Junket by local tax watchers) coming in the mists of a statewide financial crisis was questioned at the June 19th meeting by OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco. Rocco questioned who was going and who was paying for the trip. Poutsma rattled off the committee members and added that “the district” (a.ka. local taxpayers) were paying for the trip. Rocco suggested it would be more cost effective to hire a new superintendent on an “interim” basis.

    Meanwhile, Dreier’s school district Board in Colorado is scheduled to meet the morning of July 23rd to appoint her already named successor, even though Dreier has not announced she is officially leaving Greeley. The apparent “contract ballet” between OUSD, Dreier, and the Greeley Board is being played out behind the scenes even as everyone knows the outcome in a process that has a strange backroom-dealing, make-believe, emperors new clothes and fairytale quality not seen since the old Recalled Board was ousted. Not the high point for open government that this Recall Replacement Board was originally elected to institute.

    July 22nd Meeting: OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 5:30 PM, Regular Session: 6:00 pm

    June 19th OUSD Meeting Recap

    A “better place” gives a “Good not Great” Farewell to Godley

    OUSD President Wes Poutsma read a resolution of appreciation for outgoing Superintendent Dr. Godley that recapped his 40 year career and called Godley one of the “elite educators in the State of California”. Godley then in a short speech looked back on his 40 years in education stating that he hoped he’d be remembered for making OUSD “a better place”. Godley’s modest farewell of leaving OUSD “a better place” than when he came is a far cry from Godley’s much trumpeted Good to Great private sector scheme. Based on the Jim Collins book of the same name, Godley’s goal was to use the private sector model to take OUSD from “Good to Great”. Some community critics contend that the only success Godley had in moving anything in OUSD from Good to Great was moving his salary from “Good to Great”.

    The short farewell exchange at the OUSD Board meeting was in stark contrast to both times popular former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert French (Godley’s predecessor) departed OUSD. French, a familiar fixture at campuses across OUSD made a grand farewell tour of every classroom in OUSD when he retired and received countless kudos’ from the Board, staff and community. In contrast the less personable educrat Godley, rarely visited schools and his disconnect from the Greater Orange Community on almost all levels was evident in the farewell. The brief farewell ceremony lacked any heartfelt kudos from the Trustees or community as Poutsma highlighted Godley’s career of 40 years with a bureaucratic style resolution. Glaringly absent was any farewell kudos from other Board members, especially the so-called Godley Majority that routinely had dumped numerous kudos’ and accolades on Godley over the years as they continued to increase his pay literally right up until the final weeks before his retirement announcement. Finally, as if to dramatically summarize the Godley Years at OUSD, at the end of Godley’s short goodbye speech the outgoing superintendent’s OUSD Board nemesis Trustee Steve Rocco shouted out, “There is one person on this Board that won’t forget about you anytime soon!” Perhaps, in a strange way, it was fitting that this was the only emotion at an otherwise uneventful almost Soviet-style proper bureaucratic good-bye for the 40 year career educrat as OUSD Board President Wes Poutsma dutifully ignored Rocco’s ceremony ending comment and moved on to the next agenda item. And so the Godley Good to Great Years ended and OUSD moves on to the Dreier Era.

    Villa Park community leaders publicly commit to new Bond Measure

    The June 19th OUSD Board meeting also had a scene that Hollywood just weeks ago would have categorized as “science fiction” , as fiscal conservative Villa Park Councilmember Rich Ulmer read a letter to the OUSD Board from fellow fiscal conservative Villa Park Mayor Brad Reese supporting the placement of a Facilities Bond on the November 2008 Ballot. That Bond measure would include monies for the restoration of the Villa Park Elementary School historical buildings as well as monies to upgrade schools across Orange Unified.

    The public endorsement letter, sought by the OUSD Trustees, was a huge policy shift for Villa Park community leaders. The Villa Park community had voted overwhelmingly against the twin OUSD Measure A Bond proposals which helped insure the measures defeat. In the Reese letter, the Mayor stated it was his wish for Villa Park to be a “true partner in the improvement of all the district’s facilities” and pledged his support for the “mutual endeavor” of a facilities bond. The public endorsement sought by OUSD Board members who had been burned twice at the polls with Bond measures seemed to be the final piece of the puzzle in placing a new OUSD Facilities Bond measure on the November 2008 ballot and a dramatic 12th-hour reprieve for Villa Park’s oldest historic buildings that OUSD Staff had sought to demolish and a new Bond measure would now save in a real-life Hollywood-ending fashion.

    The next Villa Park City Council meeting will be July 22nd, 2008 at 6:30. Villa Park officials will be formally saying good-bye to former Mayor and City Councilmember Rich Freschi. Termed out after being elected to his second term, Freschi resigned after being elected as a Director to Serrano Water District Division 1.

    Sentry writer questions $30,000 Consent Agenda item

    Also at the June 19th meeting, former Villa Park Councilmember and Foothills Sentry writer Bob Fauteux questioned a $30,000 Consent Agenda 14 C Item to pay the political lobbyist firm School Innovations Advocacy. After Fauteux's three minute Blue Card presentation, fiscal watchdog OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma pulled the item for discussion. OUSD Staff reported that the firm helps the district in attendance related issues including trying to expand the California Average Daily Attendance language to be more inclusive of computer offered courses. After the discussion the Board approved the lobbying contract by a 6-1 vote (Rocco voted No).
    For more Insight into School Innovations Advocacy, CLICK ON:

    The federal and state educrats are again screwing up kids. How about making kids hate math! Algebra I for all California 8th graders is one of those pie-in-the-sky programs bound to cost millions of tax dollars and screw up a generation of California kids. What Whole Language was to reading, requiring Algebra 1 to unprepared middle school students could be to math. Three cheers for the EDUCRATS!
    and… Math Alert

    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*

    $764,500 Total

    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/19/08 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    6/05/08 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 40,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $150,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $200,000
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    TOTAL $750,000
    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
    TOTAL $ 14,500

    2008 TOTAL $764,500

    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using the 6% lifetime formula. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.

    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: $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 July 22, 2008. For more information


    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 5:30 PM, Regular Session: 6:00 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/
    “Independent Local Insight”

    Teachers sign a one year contract every year. I understand that the new Supt. is being offered a $250,000 contract for three years. I would recommend a 1 year contract at $150,000 with incentives based on test data and other benchmarks. If she reaches those benchmarks then maybe she will have earned and is worth $250,000. If she doesn't, then a new contract can be negotiated or a new supt. who would be more effective can be sought. This is similar to what new teachers are offered in a contract. Also, there may be two new Board members who will be elected in November. Why commit them to keeping the new Superintendent around for two and a half more years if she is not effective and does not work well with the new Board? If given a three year contract now the OUSD would be stuck with an expensive buyout clause which I am sure is in her contract. I suggest an offer of a one year contract.
    Let's hire someone who is willing to prove their worth right away!
    Jerry Winant
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