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  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015


    Peralta lease, employee costs etc...

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD          
    a news service of  Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD trustees vote...
    No sale for Peralta, Yes to employee contracts;
    while community leaders take trustees to task
    Dysfunction was on parade as the Orange Unified Trustees at their January 22, 2015 meeting argued, voted and belittled each other in front of a full house of employees and community members.  

    Several times Board President John Ortega had to warn the audience to exercise proper decorum as the out-numbered Trustees faced a hostile audience on the numerous issues.  Despite being out-numbered, the trustees kept to their well-known positions.  There were however some unexpected highlights.

    Trustee Mark Wayland took the Peralta neighborhood to task for not supporting Measure K despite the fact that they had said they would rally around a bond issue if Peralta was not sold.

    In the end, after rehashing years-old arguments, positions and trying to even on-going political scores the OUSD Trustees failed to gain the "super majority" needed to sell the Peralta site. The 4 yes votes came from Ortega, Wayland, Surridge and Ledesma. The three no votes Moffat, Singer and Deligianni.

    Also, after two delays amounting to almost two months, the OUSD Board approved all the employee contracts they had negotiated by a 5 to 2 vote. The two no votes were Trustees Ledesma and Surridge.  Speakers from the audience before the vote called on the OUSD Trustees to renew the Peralta Golf Partners lease on a month to month basis when the current lease expires at the end of March. Item 15 A (page 5) on the February 26, 2015 agenda is  asking the Trustees to approve a month-to-month lease with the Peralta Golf Partners.  The agenda item also includes a back-up proposal that in the event the Trustees do not vote for the month-to-month  arrangement with Peralta Golf, to allow the sub-leasers to continue operation by paying OUSD directly.

    Trustees Rick Ledesma took Singer and Moffat to task for their union endorsements and contributions and called for them to recluse themselves in the contract votes. Ledesma however, after not receiving the Republican Party endorsement ( because of his support for Measure K), also had sought the endorsement of the teacher's union.  In fact Ledesma, who after originally being elected in the 1990's to the OUSD Board was then defeated in a reelection bid by the ultra reactionary Jacobson Majority. Ledesma  won back his seat in the 2001 Recall as part of the slate known as the Citizen's Board that was endorsed -and largely paid for by -the teacher's union. It was Ledesma who was for many years was the champion of ensuring the resulting Recall Reforms of that Citizen Board's election- largely written by then OUSD Board President Bob Viviano- were preserved.

    Trustee Timothy Surridge also took  Moffat and Singer to task for their union support  calling it a "quid-pro-quo".  Surridge too  sought the endorsement of the teacher's union after being rebuffed by the Republican Party for his support of Measure K.

    After hours of watching the Board reach higher levels of dysfunction, numerous speakers took the Board to task for the continued dysfunctional antics. As the meeting wore on, Board President John Ortega acknowledged those comments and took responsibility for this parts and commented about moving forward.

    Meanwhile, after years of being on the Board, Dr. Alexia Deligianni seems to have found her voice. Her unapologetically in-your-face defending of her stance on Measure K to Ledesma and Surridge seemed to take the whole room by surprise. Her feistiness continued as she outlined other options to explore for facilities improvements and as she voiced concern for students and school staff's working conditions and supported the new employee contracts after outlining the sacrifices of the district's employees.  To end the meeting Deligianni pulled a Consent item for what she called the outrageous hourly rate by her estimates of $250 an hour, as an OUSD administrator defended the cost by saying the expensive parent trainings were "popular".  Deligianni ended up being the lone "No" vote against the expense.

    Old Towne Preservation Association wins state vote on Killefer site
    Last month the California State Historical Resource Commission voted unanimously to approve the Old Towne Preservation Association's (OTPA) request to nominate the former OUSD Lydia D. Killefer Elementary School to the National Register of Historic Places.

    Built in 1931 and later re-named for the school's first principal Killefer.  It's historical significance is as one of the first schools in California to voluntarily desegregate allowing Latino's . With the closing of the nearby Latino-only Cypress school in 1944, Killefer was desegregated three years before the California case-Mendez v Westminster- desegregated schools across the state in 1947 - a full seven years before the landmark 1954 U. S. Supreme Court case Brown v Topeka mandated desegregation  nationwide.

    Named for Lydia Killefer who was a school teacher and then a principal, born in 1872, her father Joseph Killefer was a Civil War veteran of the Union Army before moving to Orange in the late 1800's.

    The application for approval of the nomination also highlighted the architectural style of Spanish Revival and the fact the building is one of the few survivors of that style of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. 

    Lat year the OUSD Board voted unanimously to sell the 1.7 acre property located at 541 Lemon to the highest bidder, the Olson Company, for $5.1 million for a housing development.  After the OTPA move toward historical recognition,  Olson backed out of buying the property. OUSD then turned to the second highest bidder, Western State Housing.

    While a designation on the National Register of Historic Places does not preclude the buildings from being demolished, it can help to make it slightly less likely when the process goes before city officials.
     For more information CLICK ON:

    INSIDE the February 26 Agenda 
    Chicago Peninsula Hotel Lobby
    Trustee Kathy Moffat will participate in the meeting by teleconferencing from the Peninsula Hotel lobby in Chicago, thus requiring by California law that all votes be roll call votes.

    Select Agenda Items ( see link below for complete agenda).

    Work Study Session Item 4 A: Measure K - Bond Election Information and Discussion Study Session - 5:00 pm

    Action Items :
    Item 15 A: Peralta Site Lease Item
    Item 15 B: Deferred Maintenance Projects
    Item 15 C: El Rancho Charter Proposed Construction Project
    Item 15 D: Cost of Labor  Agreements request by Trustee Rick Ledesma

    Informational Item:
    Item 16 B: Information on the Budget Development Project

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING February 26, 2015
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    Work Study Session: 5:00 pm
    CLOSED SESSION- 6:30 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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