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  • Tuesday, December 06, 2011


    OUSD Board rejects returning to Rotating Officers

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

    OUSD Board rejects returning to Rotating Officers

    At the November 17, 2011 Orange Unified School Board meeting, the Board rejected on a 2-5 vote returning to the practice of rotating Board officers, keeping the current policy of electing them. Trustee Diane Singer sponsored the proposal to revise the Orange Unified School Board Policies to again include the rotation of Board officers as first implemented by the Citizens Board that was elected after the 2001 Orange Unified Recall election.

    Currently Trustee Kathy Moffat and OUSD Board President Rick Ledesma are the only remaining trustees that were elected as part of that original Citizens Board that implemented the package of Board Policy reforms dubbed the Recall Reforms that included the rotation of officers. A few years later, the controversial election of Steve Rocco to the OUSD Board proved too much for the then citizens majority and they began changing Board policies. Those changes including eliminating the rotation of officers to deny Rocco any leadership role as they simultaneously tried to pursue a recall against Rocco.

    At the November 17th meeting it was Moffat who moved Singer’s proposal and asked her fellow Board members to support it. Acknowledging for the first time in public (without mentioning him by name) that Rocco’s election was the motivation behind the change away from the rotation system, Moffat noted that having served under both systems of rotation and election, in her experience the rotation system was a “healthier one”. Moffat explained that she felt under the rotation system it gave proper perspective to the officers, making their service more positive, and avoiding the feeling that the Board President’s position was a “super board member” position. Moffat noted that if the situation ever again arose that the by-law needed to be changed, it could.

    Trustee Mark Wayland reasoned that some members are not as prepared to be Board President as others. Wayland also countered the argument that rotation of officers ensured fairness with the statement, “Life is not fair”. Trustee Timothy Surridge, who has often been a bridge builder between the majority and minority members, reasoned that the Board President must be a “consensus builder” and an election ensures that the Board President “has support”.

    The 2-5 vote had Moffat and Singer voting to return to the rotation system with Wayland and Surridge being joined by Trustees Rick Ledesma, Dr. Alexia Deligianni, and John Ortega to oppose the change.

    Agenda Item 9 A (Agenda page 1) for this week’s Thursday December 8, 2011 OUSD Board Meeting is the Annual Organizational Meeting that will elect new OUSD Board officers for next year.

    Villa Park Councilman Robert Fauteux praises OUSD Superintendent

    Villa Park Councilman Robert Fauteux is no stranger to the OUSD Boardroom. Commenting for years in the Foothill Sentry on OUSD, his November 17 reason for his appearance before the OUSD Board was remarkable for anyone who has followed Fauteux’s career. The councilman stood before the OUSD Board to heap praise on Superintendent Michael Christensen for his attendance at a Villa Park City Council Meeting to hear community complaints about the traffic centered around OUSD’s four schools located in Villa Park. Fauteux also praised the Superintendent for beginning the work to address the traffic issues that with City of Villa Park staff and officials. While he was there the councilman also invited everyone to the Villa Park Great Dry Land Yacht Parade on Sunday December 13- and you know what- we could tell he really meant it.

    OUSD sound as California prepares to pull the Budget Trigger

    After a stellar Annual Audit Report from the independent auditor, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Joe Sorrera gave an update on the financial outlook for OUSD with the prospect of an estimated $3.7 billion California budget deficit forcing double trigger budget cuts built into this year’s California budget. As the weak economy continues to take its toll, OUSD could see a loss of $8.1 million dollars. With a current $13 million dollar reserve (due in part to lower interest rates on its OPED Bonds) OUSD should not have further budget cuts or be required to cut further days off its school year this year. The two outlying years will require applying for continuing the Class Size Waiver in grades 3-8 for two more years and may require further negotiations to extend current pay agreements with its employees through 2014 to offset continued projected revenue losses.

    No takers on OUSD Killefer site or OUSD Bond offer

    The economy is taking its toll on more than just tax receipts from the Sacramento. The opening on bids for purchase of the OUSD Killefer property site on Lemon Street in Old Towne proved anti-climatic as no bids were received for the site during the Public Hearing at the November 17 meeting.

    Meanwhile, a day later on November 18, Standard and Poors withdrew it’s A plus rating of OUSD 2008 Bonds because no one bought them.

    For More Information CLICK HERE: OUSD BONDS

    Superintendent Christensen pushes back OUSD Strategic Plan goals to 2014

    Explaining to the OUSD Board that the OUSD 3 year Strategic Plan was good but “We need more time”, OUSD Superintendent Christensen extended the timeline to accomplish the goals to 2014. Honestly explaining to the OUSD Board that “The timelines [to accomplish the goals] are moving back because they cannot be met”, Christensen used the example of technology as how the economy has impacted meeting the goals. Citing the lack of funds to upgrade technology, the elimination of teacher in-service days to train on new technology and the shear stress and workload on the district’s human resources, the forthright Christensen explained “We are not finished with what is in place” and therefore needed to extend the timelines assuring the Board that “We are moving ahead”.

    INSIDE the December 8, 2011 Agenda-New Xerox Machines

    While officers for next year will be decided at the December 8 OUSD Board meeting, perhaps more interesting to teachers and support staff is Consent Item 15 D (pg 50). OUSD’s current 5 year lease with Xerox Corporation will expire in June, 2012. The Agenda Item reports the new lease includes: new copy machines throughout the district with the latest technology; and a 17% savings over the current contract (less machines) a five year $940,000 savings.
    Announcement 10 E (Agenda pg 5-6) Proclamation recognizing Villa Park’s 50th Anniversary
    Announcement 10 F (Agenda pg 7-8) Proclamation recognizing the Orange Chamber of Commerce 90th Anniversary
    Action Item 13 A- (Agenda pg 9-42) First Interim Financial Report on 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.

    NEXT BOARD MEETING December 8, 2011
    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday Nov 17, 2011 -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 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”

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