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  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014


    OUSD 5-2 against Super Sports lease

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of   Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD Board votes 5-2 against
    Super Sports lease at Peralta

    At their last regularly scheduled meeting on September 11, 2014 the Orange Unified Board of Trustees voted 5-2 against an 18 month lease extension for the Super Sports complex at the Peralta site. 
     The  current lease expires in March 2015.

    Opposition to the proposed lease extension (which included a clause that OUSD could not offer to sell the land during the lease period) drew fire from both Trustee Rick Ledesma and Trustee Timothy Surridge. Both stated that they were against the clause preventing the Peralta site from being sold as well as belief that the district was in an enhanced position to dictate other terms-or find another operator if the property was not sold. The two Trustees are running for re-election and have had their opponents endorsed by the Peralta neighborhood group and other Greater Orange open space advocates

    Trustee Kathy Moffat who made the motion to approve the contract extension (with Surridge seconding the motion-then voting against it) cited numerous reasons for approving the lease extension- including her opposition to selling the land for development. Moffat has long maintained that the land (which is zoned by the City of Orange for housing) should be saved for the distant future needs for Orange Unified.

    Trustee Diane Singer also voted to deny the lease stating she wanted district staff to come back at a future meeting as an informational item (which cannot legally be acted upon) with more information on possible leasing options.

    OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni joined with Moffat in voting to approve the lease extension- OUSD President John Ortega, and Trustee Mark Wayland voted with the majority against the extension.

    Male OUSD Trustees vote to exclude 17 word reference to prohibit "unlawful activity such as rebates, kickbacks or other unlawful considerations"  
    A routine Board Policy vote became a protracted battle of the sexes parliamentary struggle over deleting anti-corruption wording from a Board Policy at the September 11, 2014 OUSD Board meeting. At that meeting the four OUSD male trustees majority again voted to trump the three female trustees ongoing concerns for assurances for an open and transparent OUSD polices and procedures. In the resulting discussion the integrity of the Measure K process was specifically cited, but other wide-raging ethical concerns on the deleted anti-corruption wording  have been raised. 
    ( For more information on MEASURE K CLICK ON: MEASURE K).

    The Board Policies facilities section on "Architectural and Engineering Services" (9-11-14 Agenda pages 33-38) had new wording that specifically deleted six areas that the then current Board Policy required the Superintendent to ensure.  Number two on that deleted list specifically stated the Superintendent was to ensure:

    "Practices which might result in unlawful activity such as rebates, kickbacks, or other unlawful considerations are prohibited (Government Code 4526)."

    Included at the end of the Board Policy is the note:
    "(Legal Reference next page)"

    Government Code 4526 is then referenced on the next page.

    When the deletion was brought to the attention of the Board during Public Comments from Surridge's  election opponent Attorney Florice Hoffman, Trustees Dr. Alexia Deligianni, Kathy Moffat and Diane Singer tried unsuccessfully to have the 17 deleted words in the original Board Policy that specifically listed unlawful activity such as rebates, kickbacks, or other unlawful considerations are prohibited  reinserted into the new policy or delay adoption until district staff could investigate why the words were recommended to be deleted.

    Trustee Rick Ledesma argued that the deleted wording was not needed because if Measure K passed it would have "lot's of oversight".  Ledesma also questioned why it was brought forward by a community member running for the school board.

    Trustee Timothy Surridge stated that it was wasteful for the district staff and attorney to re-look at the Board Policy.

    Trustee Mark Wayland stated that he just read the item and that he understood it and that it was time to move forward because he did not agree to putting things off.

    President John Ortega appeared to revert to his pre-presidential and less statesman-like frustration declaring "Welcome to the political season"  as he declared the deleted words were brought up in the "9th hour" of the Board Policy adoption.

    In the end, the vote to reconsider the Board Policy that would eventually lead to the reinserting of the wording spelling out the illegal activity the Superintendent was to make sure were prohibited was defeated with the three women trustees Kathy Moffat, Diane Singer and Dr. Alexia Deligianni voting to move toward re-inserting the language into the Board Policy and the four male trustees- Rick Ledesma, Timothy Surridge, Mark Wayland and John Ortega voted against reconsidering reinserting "rebates, kickbacks, or other unlawful considerations are prohibited" back into the Board Policy.

    That however was not the end of the controversy. Fast forward to October 16th.

    On the October 16, 2014 Agenda, Board President Ortega and Trustees Rick Ledesma and Timothy Surridge have added Item 12B (Agenda pages 6-8) a resolution on Measure K.

    The Agenda states that:
    "The Resolution provides assurance to the community that Measure K projects will be awarded on transparent open and competitive bidding practices..."

    The watchdog group the Greater Orange Community Organization* reacted to the resolution when it was published in the Agenda on Monday October 13 with a released statement ( CLICK ON: 293+ 155 Reasons). 

    The next day, Trustee Mark Wayland responded in the comment section of the post which was reposted here: (CLICK ON) WAYLAND

    Four Plans to reinstate elementary music program reviewed
    Also at the September 11, 2014 Board meeting, the OUSD Trustees heard details of four plans to reinstate the Elementary Music Program that was ended in 2008 due to the budget crunch of the Great Recession.

    Four models based on a year-long study process that the OUSD Administration has conducted were outlined. District-wide start-up costs ranged from $754,000 to $2.5 million depending on the plan make-up.

    Further study and work on the models and development of an Action Plan are planned for two Strategic Planning days over the next two months for the committee and a wider group of invited stakeholders.

    INSIDE the October 16, 2014 OUSD Board Meeting
    OUSD Board President John Ortega will be teleconferencing from a hotel in Sacramento.  the local watchdog group Greater Orange Community Organization (GOCO) noted in an email on Monday 10/15 that the OUSD released agenda did not specify where in the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel the teleconference would be held. The California  Brown Act requires that the teleconference be publicly posted at the hotel and that it take place in a public area that the public has access.   GOCO indicated it would be following up with the hotel and California Aware  to insure the Brown Act is followed.  Any Board votes taken during an illegal meeting could be nullified.

    Other Board  Agenda items include:
    4B 1&2 Selling of  Riverdale and Killerfer properties
    4D Superintendent Review-Discussion of Evaluation Instrument
    12 A  Sale of Riverdale property
    12B Measure K Resolution (see above)
    12 D Community Foundation of Orange Presentation $4,000 donation to OUSD High School athletics

    Page 19- $17,050 for architectural drawings for upgrades to 3 portable classrooms at Richland H.S.
    Page 21-20- $429,170 in needed urgent repairs to 6 OUSD Schools
    Page 56-Resignation of Lori Davis, Director of Support Services

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday, October 16, 2014

    CLOSED SESSION NOTE Time change 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For the AGENDA-

    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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