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  • Monday, September 09, 2013


    PR campaign for Peralta development?

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/ Independent insight into OUSD
    At the regularly scheduled Orange Unified School Board meeting on Thursday September 12, 2013, Action Item 13F (page 30) is a request from Trustee Rick Ledesma for a "Community Outreach" on the controversial proposed Peralta site lease. The item states in part: "staff be directed to provide lease information on the proposed Peralta site lease to all parents in the District" .  It  continues "That information might be presented in the form of, but not limited to, a fact sheet flyer, town hall information meetings, and/or any other form of communication that best describes to parents the business details of this project."

    The Agenda item ends with "but in every case should refer parents to the District website".  

    The attempt for the Ledesma PR Resolution comes after months of near universal community opposition and organizing against  the project. The only community members to ever speak in favor of the project have been the four trustees- OUSD Board President Tim Surridge,  Rick Ledesma, John Ortega, Mark Wayland who have pushed the project forward.  Of the hundreds of  citizens who have rallied, walked neighborhoods, attended Board meetings and of the numerous dozens who have spoke in public about the project at OUSD Board meetings- those four trustees are the only ones on record for the project- and they are a slim majority. Three other Trustees are on record and have publicly spoken against the project- Dr. Alexia Deligianni, Kathy Moffat and Diane Singer. 

    Capitalizing on the longtime frustration with development in the north Orange County Metro center,  the neighborhood opposition has organized a coalition that unites political and geographical factions from across the City of Orange and throughout the Greater Orange Communities.  Hundreds of yard signs opposing the project dot the Peralta neighborhood yards and have started to be seen in other areas. The Greater Orange political elite, media elite and community leadership all appear to united against the four Trustees and the Peralta project.  As one Peralta opposition leader put it noting that the OUSD Board is split along gender lines- "Those four men have even managed to alienate women". Not a good sign in a community where the largest city has twice elected women mayors in the most recent elections.

    That community leader also noted that the PR campaign's Fiscal Impact in the Agenda Item is listed as  Unknown"Voting to spend school money on a PR campaign for high density apartments is just another nail in the Peralta Project coffin... and political careers."

    Shrewdly, the Save Peralta Property  organizers have a two pronged organizing path- as a neighborhood association with an  integrated  communications outreach as well as organizing politically. 

    After being "flip-flopped" by Mark Wayland in the last election cycle, the group is already gearing up to target Surridge and Ledesma in the 2014 cycle, while protecting allies Singer and Moffat. "Next election we want a new majority that represents the voters, not the developers".

    Not taking any chances on the all or nothing attitude of the 4 against the world mentality of the Surridge majority, the Save Peralta group has already began to focus on the city approval focus with the tag line "Stop the Residential Rezoning". 

    With Ledesma and Surridge apparently willing to put their seats on the line for a losing cause, that goal may not be far fetched.  That is most apparent in the politics of the publicity campaign. The Ledesma PR Resolution specifically refers the "parents" back to the OUSD website.  The OUSD website currently has six Peralta information links.  Those links open 119 pages of information. Parents who are intrigued by any OUSD communication on the proposed Peralta apartment complex and do a Google web search for more information will be directed to over a year's worth of publicity on numerous sites CLICK ON GOOGLE.

    As one long time Greater Orange political activist noted "Surridge lost the political message as soon as those lawn signs went up". 

    The Orange, blue and white signs lawn signs feature a simple orange circle\slash over the words HIGH DENSITY APARTMENTS. The veteran of decades of political activism added "Nothing the District puts out at this point can counter those signs simple message and really will be a waste of staff time and money".  

    The Save Peralta signs are so popular, the group has had trouble keeping up with the demand.  A neighborhood leader added "If Ledesma expects to see hundreds of OUSD parents rallying around  signs with YES to High Density Apartments...he is delusional".  

    To further illustrate the political naivety and disconnect of the OUSD  Board leadership, the September 12 meeting includes Information Item 13 E (Agenda page 6)-put on the agenda by Tim Surridge.  The topic?  Apparently Surridge's favorite: 
    "Board President Surridge requests that the Board of Education discuss the disposal and/or utilization of the Riverdale school site to maximize District revenue."

    Just as the Edu-crats start to fall all over themselves running from the dying last gasps of the failed testing regiments of now sadly laughable law named No Child Left Behind (NCLB) OUSD's September 12th Agenda features a Believe-it-or-Not moment.

    Fairhaven Elementary School-last year recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School-is the subject of Agenda 12 D- A Public Hearing into a waiver over "Adult Testing Irregularity" and statistics. 

    With the intrigue of 2 student IEP's and the allowable reading test questions to students- and the difference between 18 out of 369 or 18 out of 370 students (equaling 4.86% as opposed to the deadly 5% threshold) has turned district educators into statisticians that would make Major League Baseball aficionados or NFL fantasy league players jealous.  Yes we know Fairhaven is the home of the Safe Harbor statistical miracle...but come on lets all get real.

    It could be Edu-crats NCLB self image!
    Need more proof than the latest state scores and the dozens of federal waivers being granted that the worst fears of NCLB have come true? Just read pages 9 and 10 of the OUSD Board Agenda and see image of their "god" the edu-crats have molded education into. 

    INSIDE the OUSD Board Agenda
    The following are noteworthy highlights of the OUSD Agenda. For the complete agenda see the link below.
    Closed Session
    Action Items
    Information Items
     NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING September 12, 2013
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 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

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