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  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014


    More OUSD property controversy and...

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    eLECTION Watch 2014
    3 OUSD Incumbents face challengers
    Orange Unified Trustees Rick Ledesma, Kathy Moffat and Timothy Surridge will all face challengers in their bids for re-election in November.  Trustee Diane Singer filed for re-election, but faces no challenger.

    The November election will determine the control of the OUSD Board by keeping  the Surridge majority of pro-developer self-identified "alternative spenders" or returning the majority to the education centered "prudent progressives" led for years by Kathy Moffat.

    In OUSD's unique election system,  trustee candidates must live in the Trustee Area they run to represent, but are elected by all the voters in the district.

    In Trustee Area 4, Kathy Moffat will face Larry Cohen and Brian G. Harrington.  In 2006, Cohen  challenged OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma in Trustee Area 7. In that race, Cohen lost with 41.8% of the vote to Ledesma's 58.2%. This is Harrington's first attempt at an OUSD seat.

    Rick Ledesma
    In the Trustee Area 7 election this year, Rick Ledesma will also face two challengers. Once again former OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco will be on the ballot to face Ledesma.  The two last faced off in  2010 after Rocco was re-districted (the Nichols' Redistricting) out of his trustee area into Ledesma's area. Rocco lost that election 27.8% to Ledesma's 72.2%. Since leaving the OUSD Board, Rocco has continued to run for various offices and stayed controversial. In  2009 Rocco was convicted of a misdemeanor theft of a half a bottle of ketchup (the Ketchup Caper) from Chapman University.  Last year Rocco qualified a recall petition against Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. As a one-man-recall committee,  Rocco did not get  anywhere near the over 13,000 signatures needed to be submitted.

    Dr. Tim Perez
    In his first run for public office,  college professor Dr. Tim Perez will also challenge Ledesma.

    Florice Hoffman
    In Trustee Area 5,  Trustee Timothy Surridge is being challenged by Orange Attorney Florice Hoffman. In 2008 Hoffman came in third in a three way race for the OUSD Trustee Area 3 seat with 31.5 % of the vote. 

    Surridge and Ledesma along with OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni (who is not up for re-election) present themselves as the fiscal conservative alternative spenders of the OUSD Board. Deligianni was the only OUSD Board member not to vote to place the OUSD 2014 Facilities Bond on the ballot and has signed the ballot argument against the OUSD Bond.  However, according to the conservative Transparent California site, Surridge and Deligianni are the highest compensated OUSD trustees because they are the only two trustees taking almost $5,000 a year in taxpayer provided "employee benefits" of educational tax dollars for their typical once a month meetings.

    Surridge takes OUSD employee benefits
    Records show Surridge and Deligianni  in 2013, for the 16 meetings (12 regular once a month meetings plus 4 called special meetings) both far exceeded the other trustees compensation by also taking OUSD "employee benefits". Surridge's meeting stipend and "employee benefits" totaled  $13,353 or $835 per meeting and Deligianni's total yearly compensation with the "employee benefits" totaled $13,212 or $826 per meeting.

    In contrast Moffat and Singer, OUSD's minority "prudent progressives" were far more fiscally conservative with taxpayer's money- not taking the taxpayer provided "employee benefits" of educational tax dollars. The two prudent progressives collected only the monthly meeting stipend. For 2013 Moffat collected only $8,475 or $530 per meeting and Singer $8,443 or $528 per meeting.

    To view OUSD Trustee compensation CLICK ON: 

    OU$D Bond WATCH 2014
    OUSD Bond Measure K
    The Orange County Registrar of Voters has assigned the Orange Unified High School Facilities Bond as Measure K.  The Bond will raise about $74 million for each of the four OUSD high schools costing only about $39 a year  for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

    OUSD voters in 2004 rejected two OUSD Bond measures by narrow amounts.

    OPTA battles to save historic Killerfer Site as the OUSD Agenda lists sale negotiations to developer
    The newest controversy to engulf the selling off of OUSD property is the attempt of OUSD to sell the Killerfer site to a housing developer. As part of the Surridge majority's plan to sell OUSD surplus property to developers, a split Orange Unified Board  voted in April 2013 to sell the Killerfer site to Olsen Urban Housing for a housing development.  

    The Old Towne Preservation Association (OPTA) is trying to save the former Killerfer School site buildings from being torn down.  The OPTA is trying to get the site's buildings placed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first schools in California to voluntarily desegregate before the landmark 1947 California desegregation case Mendez vs. Westminster. That case included the El Modena School District plaintiff Lorenzo Ramirez as one of the five families that successfully helped end segregated schools in California.  After the case won in California and in a federal appeal, based on thr rulings then California Governor Earl Warren signed the law ending segregated schools in California. Warren then went on to be the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and it was his court that issued the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown vs Topeka Board of Education that ended the "separate by equal" doctrine in public education across the United States, thus ending legal segregated schools.

    The Killerfer School was racially integrated in 1943 when the school for the Hispanic population, the Cypress Street School (located a block away), closed.

    This month, OPTA notified OUSD that they were in the process of getting the Killerfer historic school site placed on the National Register of Historic Places. OPTA has hired a consultant to work on the designation that has included filing documents to nominate the site as historic to the California's State Historical Resources Commission. 

    If the site does get placed on the National Register of Historic Places the buildings could be adapted for re-use, but not destroyed.

    The purchase negotiations are currently on-going and are listed  in the August 14th Agenda as Closed Session Agenda Item 4 C. comments on the Closed Session Agenda items can be made before the OUSD Board adjourns to Closed Session at 6:00 pm.

    Recap: Inside the OUSD July 24, 2014 Agenda
    At the July 24, 2014 OUSD Meeting the OUSD Board voted to:
    ·        Extend negotiations with Olsen Urban Housing for selling the Killerfer site
    ·        Reschedule an action of the Riverdale site pending the outcome of negotiations with the City of Anaheim
    ·        Deny the application for the Nopilhuan Charter School because of numerous faults in the application
    ·        Prepare to address disabled access problems with Fred Kelly Stadium due to a complaint to the federal Office of Civil Rights
    At the July meeting, the OUSD Board also had the first reading of numerous changes in Board Policies.

    Peralta Lease returns to OUSD Board on 8-14
    The Peralta Golf Partners lease of the Peralta School site will again be on the OUSD Agenda.  Action Item 12 D extends the current lease that will expire in October 2015 for one year-until October 2016. The Peralta lease extension was placed on the February 20, 2014 agenda, but at the beginning of the meeting it was announced that it was pulled from the agenda for further negotiations.  

    This week's agenda item's staff recommendation states that during  the lease period the district will not solicit the site for sale.

    Inside the OUSD August 24 Board Agenda
    Closed Session
    Item 4C- discussions of sales of Killerfer and Riverdale sites
    Open Session
    Item 12 A- Approval of $300,000 for first phase project development for the 4 high schools if Measure K were to be passed by the voters in November
    Item 12 C- Trustee Singer has asked for OUSD Trustees to attend a training on Bond transparency
    Item 12 D-Peralta 1 year lease extension
    Information Items
    Items 13 B- E- Numerous Board Policy changes

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday August 14, 2014

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 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

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