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Friday, July 22, 2016
Trustees approve November Bond election
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
― William Shakespeare,
It took 7 votes-including a rare parliamentary maneuver to reconsider the final vote - but last night the Orange Unified Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a $288,000,000 bond measure for the November 2016 ballot.
The month's long prelude to the final votes-much like a blockbuster movie trailer- was nothing compared to two-and-a-half hour unfolding of the main event.
With two public hearings, five Action Items, a teleconferencing trustee (Mark Wayland from Pennsylvania), community members showing up last minute citing live meeting text messages, last minute resolution amendments, an Anaheim City Council member addressing the Board and a boisterous audience, it was again high political drama-OUSD style.
The evening's Agenda included the option of splitting the four high schools into two School Facilities Improvement Districts (SFID). The two SFID were split between the major communities that have traditionally voted for the last bonds and those that helped defeat those bonds.
The trustees representing the communities in the proposed SFID 1 (Canyon and Villa Park H.S. feeder neighborhoods)- Andrea Yamasaki, Kathy Moffat and Dr. Deilgianni-Brydges - all spoke out for a general all-district bond and voted against the two SFID. Citing polling data, the trio was supported by audience members who spoke out against the SFID and for a single General Bond for the whole district-including long-time Anaheim City Councilwomen Kris Murray.
Trustee Rick Ledesma and John Ortega led the arguments for the SFID stating that an approval of even one SFID would be the beginning of a path toward getting all OUSD schools updated.
Out-voted on creating both School Improvement Facilities Districts in two 3-4 votes (Trustees Rick Ledesma, Mark Wayland, John Ortega and Timothy Surridge all voting Yes), the split 3-4 vote was enough to deny adding bonds for the SIFD to the ballot in the later votes that needed a super-majority of 5 yes votes. That fact however, did not stop the back-and-forth discussion on the merits of SFID Bonds compared to a General Bond.
Lacking the needed super-majority vote (5 votes), the two Agenda votes to add the two SFID Bonds to the ballot both failed 4-3.
Adding to the general confusion of the voting process, last minute amendments to each Bond resolution was included to satisfy the requirements of the Orange County Taxpayers Association.
The last Agenda vote to add a General Bond to the November 2016 ballot passed 6-1 with only John Ortega voting No. Trustee Dr. Deilgianni-Brydges, who voted against the 2015 Bond (and signed the ballot statement against it) prefaced her Yes vote for this Bond by stating that the 2016 Bond did not include cosmetic updates she opposed in 2015, but concentrated on "curriculum" updates-specifically mentioning science rooms. Deligianni is seeking reelection to her Trustee seat after loosing a primary bid for the Assembly. Surridge took a swipe at Deligianni in the earlier SFID votes telling her "Nice to see you support a bond".
The 6-1 vote was enough to add the Bond measure to the ballot. However, the votes were not over as Trustee Kathy Moffat sought a unanimous trustee vote. In rare parliamentary procedure move, Moffat asked for a vote to reconsider the bond vote-in order to give Ortega ( who is up for re-election) the opportunity to vote with the majority and send the message to the community that the OUSD Board was unanimously behind the Bond.
The motion to reconsider the General Bond vote passed, then the second General Bond vote passed with Ortega (who first explained his original No vote) switching his vote to Yes making the final bond vote to add a General Bond to the November ballot 7-0.
OU$D Bond WATCH 2016
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