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  • Thursday, December 12, 2013



    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD Male Trustees shut Women Trustees out of meaningful Board leadership roles

    The Orange Unified School Board voted along gender lines, 4 male trustees to three women trustees, to give the two most significant OUSD Board of Education leadership roles to men trustees Thursday December 12, 2013.

    Trustee John Ortega election as OUSD Board President was on a 4-3 vote. Trustee Mark Wayland nominated Ortega and Trustee Rick Ledesma seconded the nomination.  Trustee Diane Singer nominated Dr. Alexia Deligianni  and Trustee Kathy Moffat seconded the nomination.

    The 4-3 vote saw the three women trustees voting for Deligianni and the four male (Ledesma, Surridge, Wayland and Ortega) trustees voting for Ortega.  

    The OUSD Board Clerk job also split along gender lines.  Kathy Moffat nominated Diane Singer for the clerk's position with Dr. Alexia Deligianni seconding the nomination.  Trustee Mark Wayland  was nominated by Trustee Rick Ledesma and seconded by Trustee Timothy Surridge.  The four males again voted together 4-3 giving Wayland his third term as OUSD Clerk.

    Moffat nominated Dr. Deligianni  for  a second term as OUSD Vice President and Diane Singer second it.  The male trustees did not nominate anyone for the insignificant role of Vice President and Deligianni was elected 7-0.

    Moffat and Singer lose vote over meetings
    After Ortega assumed the role of OUSD President, the OUSD Board took up Agenda Item 9B, the 2014 Board Meeting Calendar.

    Moffat questioned the change in the Agenized proposed calendar with an earlier version that included more meeting dates. OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen explained that some of the meeting dates included in the earlier calendar had now been moved to "stand-by" date status.

    Moffat argued for more meeting dates arguing that others on the Board, including John Ortega had last year called for more meeting dates.

    Moffat made a substitute motion to send the dates back to staff to add regular meeting dates for consideration.  Meanwhile, Singer argued if more dates were not added then pushing the time back to allow the Board to get its work done and the public time to attend and not have to wait until late at night on meeting nights. 

    Ledesma, Wayland and Ortega all expressed doubts about adding meeting dates. Wayland insisted that if the Board stayed "focused" during meetings then they could get the work done in a reasonable time. Other arguments ranged from stress on staff  time to being able to schedule meetings as needed.

    Ledesma stating that unlike Singer and Moffat, he had not heard from anyone in the community that was concerned about the meeting times.  Moffat reminded the OUSD Board that the Peralta community representatives  all through last year had made repeated remarks about the timing and frequency of meetings.

    Timothy Surridge remarked that meeting scheduling should be at the staff's discretion. Surridge also noted that the Orange City Council now only meets once a month and credited " my conversations" with the  Council that they only meet once a month.

    In the end, on a voice call vote asked for by Moffat the vote was 4-2.  Deligianni, without explaining her reasoning, joined Ortega, Ledesma, Surridge and  Wayland in defeating Moffat's amendment. Moffat and Singer voted for it.

    The vote was again split 5-2 in approving the calendar for the 2014 Board meetings.

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    Not a bad report, but as usual, incomplete, It should be noted that Moffat made the point that almost all school boards have two meetings a month, she should have been reminded that OUSD has one of the smallest amount of staff to prepare these meetings, also, shutting the women out of meaningful roles, if for any reason Mr. Ortega is unable to continue on as president, it goes right to Deligianni. as the saying goes, one heartbeat away. In keeping with what Wayland said about keeping the meetings focused, lets remember that Ms. Moffat spent the better part of an hour telling everyone about the conference she went to in San Diego with most of the other board members, she then went on to pass paperwork to all the board members that probably said, much the same thing. I think that all of the OUSD board members can read, so why take up, as Ms. Moffat reminds us all, valuable time with something that it appears she alone is interested in. I would venture to say that if Ms. Moffat kept on point, on task and focused, these board meetings would be over in half the time they are now. Twice in the past year, a board member "called for the question" just to shut her down. Its obvious that she is not in a position of power as she was for so many years, and it does not sit well with her. What a shame.
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