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  • Tuesday, September 11, 2012


    Peralta controversy heats up as OUSD set to approve contract

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

    Peralta Site Project controversy gets heats up
    as OUSD set to approve developer contract

    As the Save Peralta Property group gets political, reaches out to the Orange Needs Parks members and starts meeting at a new venue to accommodate its growing numbers, the Orange Unified School Board majority is set to approve in Action Item 12 B (pages 9-27) an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Fairfield Residential LLC at their Thursday September 13, 2012 OUSD Board Meeting. Save Peralta neighbors are expected to attend and address the OUSD Board as the struggle over Peralta shifts to the November election and then to the City of Orange.

    The August 23, 2012 OUSD Board Meeting again saw Peralta Neighborhood residents address the OUSD Board. However, it was minority OUSD Board Member Kathy Moffat speaking up against the OUSD Board Majority on the Peralta Site that shook up the meeting. Moffat publicly warned that the OUSD Board majority’s march toward development may have a back story.

    With her ally Trustee Diane Singer not present because of an illness, Moffat bravely went where no Board member has gone before by stating that if there was a connection between 2010 campaign contributions to fellow trustees Rick Ledesma and Tim Surridge from local developer John Martin (JMI Properties) and the Fairfield Residential LLC that was chosen for the ENA, then that needed to be made public. Martin is a well known local developer who is involved with the Ridgeline project, the Rio Santiago project and worked against Orange Park Acres fight for Proposition FF over the Ridgeline property (see links below).

    Moffat’s accusations were answered directly by OUSD Board President Tim Surridge who asked Moffat if she got her information from the “blogs” ( no not /O/N/N/…but see links below from Orange Juice and Voice of OC)? Moffat replied no the newspaper. Then a surreal moment for long time Board members occurred. When the more conservative Surridge asked Moffat "Which one?". Moffat told him “the Foothill Sentry” (yes that’s right Moffat quoted The Sentry). Surridge (yes we said he was the more conservative) then told Moffat that that was “just a monthly” (taken by many to imply that it was not a real newspaper).
    Yes on the Surridge Board it has come to this, Moffat quoting The Sentry and the conservative trustees questioning The Sentry!

    Surridge continued to engage Moffat asking her if she had seen any proof "like campaign statements"? Moffat replied no. Surridge then went through the history of the process to develop the surplus property in the district, reminding everyone that the process started in 2008, two years before he was on the Board. He reminded Moffat that until recently, the OUSD Board votes on the surplus property had been unanimous 7-0 votes. Surridge asserted that Moffat’s comments were fabrications and there is no connection between Martin and the national recognized company of Fairfield. He defended Fairfield’s bankruptcy as a “reorganization” brought on by the financial collapse and Great Recession and stated that the company’s financial audits received high rankings. He further questioned Moffat’s claim that the peralta site would ever be a school site, and asserted that in any case, OUSD could not afford to build a new school. He asserted that Moffat's statements that the site would be needed for a school was an idea was a “conclusion on your own”. He repeated several times that he felt the Moffat comments were counterproductive to the process and the image od the Board.

    Ledesma then took acceptation to Moffat’s assertion that it was the Board’s duty to be “Trustees for the asset for all time”. Ledesma stated that Sacramento state government was broken and that OUSD took a 20% funding cut since the recession started. He stated that the Board had tried to pass Bonds and failed and that it was the Board’s duty to maximize its assets in light of the financial hardships and develop its recourses. He said he and Moffat differed on the development of resources.

    Ledesma stated if the development was in his neighborhood he too would be protesting.

    The Martin INFO-CLICK ON:

    Martin BLOG

    Voice of OC


    Report on what to do with Silverado and Riverdale sites

    Agenda Item 12 A (pages 4-8) is the 7-11 Committee Final Report on the OUSD properties of the former school sites of Silverado and Riverdale elementary schools . The Advisory Committee is recommending that both sites be either sold, leased or exchanged to get the school district the highest and best value.

    OUSD loss in Federal Lawsuit reported at $173,932.80
    OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen reported that in Closed Session the OUSD Board voted against appealing the decision on Federal Case SACV11-01253.

    The Greater Orange Communities Organization (GOCO) reports that in that federal case, parents of a six year old OUSD student identified in court documents as “CK” filed suit against OUSD for failing to provide an appropriate education to the boy who was first qualifying for special services as Language Impaired, but later changed to being on the autistic spectrum. GOCO reports the judgment against OUSD was issued on 8/20/12 for a total of $173,932.80. Of that total, $20,214.00 was for reimbursement for private educational expenses, the remainder amount of over $150,000 for legal fees.

    INSIDE the September 13 Agenda

    12 C (pages 28-35) Adoption of the Revised Budget
    12 D (36-39) Refinancing 2003 Certificates of Participation at lower interest rates
    12 E (40-43) Board Policy Revisions- Educational Services
    INSIDE Canyon H.S.- Principal Dr. Greg Bowden on leave
    More news from Canyon High School comes on the heels of a story that went international concerning the OUSD Administration putting a halt to a senior week dress-up day called “Seniores" and "Señoritas".

    Now, Canyon H.S. Principal Dr. Greg Bowden is reportedly out on a medical leave.

    The Canyon High School administrators were ordered by the OUSD Administration to undergo “diversity and sensitivity training” after former student Jared Garcia-Kessler filed a formal complaint about the Canyon High School event titled “Seniores" and "Señoritas".


    INSIDE former OUSD Superintendent Godley’s retirement bonus
    (Beginning 8/2008)

    (beginning 8/2012)

    * 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 OUSD Board Meeting Thursday September 13, 2012 -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION Begins at 6:00 pm
    OPEN SESSION Begins at 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
    Is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    "Independent Local Insight”

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