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  • Tuesday, August 23, 2011


    OUSD keeps Covert as Christensen Administration begins

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

    Spencer Covert remains in OUSD with 2-5 Board vote
    Orange Unified Board President Rick Ledesma was handed a rare defeat during the July 28, 2011 OUSD Board Meeting on Action Item 12 B (Agenda page 5) as the OUSD Board voted 2- 5 against Ledesma’s proposal to replace long-time OUSD law firm Parker & Covert. Ledesma sought to replace OUSD’s lead counsel Spencer Covert of Parker & Covert as lead negotiator for OUSD with its employee groups with Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo. Only OUSD Trustee John Ortega voted with Ledesma to replace Covert, who was once replaced in OUSD by various right wing counsel under the Radical Board, but then brought back as lead counsel in 2001 after the Citizen’s Board won the Recall election. At the May 12, 2011 Orange Unified School Board meeting, OUSD Board President Rick Ledesma recommended that OUSD change legal representatives for negotiations with its employee groups. Ledesma asked the OUSD Board for consensus to have staff ask for a quote from law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo to be the legal representative for the district in employee negotiations. At that time Ledesma stated it was “good business sense” to occasionally rotate firms for a fresh perspective. While Ledesma during the May meeting was getting the consensus of nodding heads to pursue the switch, only Trustee Kathy Moffat spoke up at that time with concerns. However when the proposal was brought forward at the July meeting, most of the Trustees spoke up against the switch for various reasons, many echoing the concerns Moffat had initially raised in May.

    The July 28 meeting was also the last for the popular retiring OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier.

    INSIDE the August 25, 2011 OUSD Board Meeting
    The August 25, 2011 OUSD Board Meeting will be the first official meeting for incoming OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen. As OUSD’s first Deputy Superintendent, Christensen was a familiar figure at OUSD Board Meetings keeping the OUSD Board updated on the OUSD’s responses to the states financial crisis. Christensen is widely credited with making OUSD a standout in the state for fiscal management during the current budget crisis. If anyone on the Board was hesitant about moving Christensen up from his stellar performance as OUSD’s head budget guru, the August 28 Agenda may lay any fears aside that Christensen will not keep an eye on the hard-won fiscal soundness that has made OUSD the envy of statewide educational insiders. Under the Consent Agenda Item 14 F (pages 21-23) Christensen will remain a member of the OPED Bond Board of Authority. In addition, Thursday’s four Action Items 12 A-D (pages 1-13) are applications to the state to waive state requirements for an open bidding process on four district surplus properties. While on the face of it, retreating from an open bidding process may not seem like an ideal course of action, but as the Christensen Administration explains it, the purpose is to give OUSD greater flexibility to not only get the right price for the properties, but also the right match for the surplus properties since two of them ( Killefer and Walnut) are adjacent to existing school sites.

    Earning the trust of the community over these last 2 years also earns the OUSD Administration community support for this waiver and the reasoning behind the waiver request. We expect the OUSD Board will vote to support the waivers.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):

    * 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 a 6% lifetime formula calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. 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 taxpayer 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.


    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at

    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/ Orange Net News
    “Independent Local Insight”

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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