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vote with the majority. Key board decisions are often split, with Surridge, Ledesma, Wyland and Ortega voting one way, and Kathy Moffatt, Alexia Deligi- anni-Brydges and Diane Singer voting another. Strengthening the majority block would ensure that anything proposed or opposed by Moffat would be overruled. Salas confirmed that suspicion
right away. Up for discussion at the Oct. 15 board meeting was a proposition to divide OUSD into “separate facilities improve- ment districts” aligned with at- tendance boundaries for its four high schools. The concept is be- ing considered because the 2014 bond measure that would have funded renovation and modern- ization of the high schools was defeated overall, but passed by
voters in proximity to Orange and El Modena. Had the vote for that measure been separated, propo- nents of subdividing the district argue, work would be underway at those schools.
Look both ways But Tim Surridge was not at the meeting that evening. When the facilities district item came up, Ortega motioned that it be contin- ued until Surridge could be there. Moffatt objected, noting that the item was already agendized, the public was there to hear it, and postponing it would waste time. Mark Wyland agreed, pointing
out that board members occasion- ally miss meetings and that the agenda is followed without them. Greg Salas also agreed. “There are six of us here,” he said. “I think we should hear the item.” But when asked to vote on a continuance, Salas
his stated concurrence with Mof-
VP resident honored by Sons of Italy
Villa Park resident John Rus-
so, Sr. was awarded the Distin- guished Member Award from the Order Sons of Italy in America Renaissance Lodge for his con- tinuous 40 years of service to the community. The award was presented at the
annual Columbus Day and Italian Heritage Month celebrations at the Bowers Museum, Oct. 4. Villa Park Mayor Diana Fascenelli also presented a proclamation from the city. Russo has fundraised for nu- merous charities,
educational programs at Chap- man University, California State University, Long Beach, and the Bowers Museum, with a focus on student scholarships and Italian language programs. Russo retired from Santa Ana College as dean of science technology. He had volunteered as an assistant Boy Scout leader and his son, John Russo, Jr., achieved Eagle Scout rank. During WWII, Russo served on a B-24 bomber and earned the rank of Lt. Colonel during the Korean War.
fatt and Wyland, and sided with Ortega and Ledesma. “Did he just do that?” one befuddled meeting- goer asked. Alexia Deligiani- Brydges also voted to table the discussion and, with a 4-2 vote, it was.
Back in the saddle One week later, during an un- expected special meeting, the board agreed to the preliminary work needed to identify separate facilities improvement districts. In a 6-1 vote, trustees directed OUSD staff to develop maps drawn along high school atten- dance boundaries. Since atten- dance areas do not coincide with precincts, attendance area maps are necessary to determine how the vote breaks down if a bond is put on the ballot next November. Surridge was at that Oct. 22 meeting, but Kathy Moffatt was not. She participated via tele- phone, emphatically opposing improvement districts. She said fixing some schools, and not oth- ers, would create a disparity that could last for decades, and that it
would create inequality in educa- tion.
Assistant Superintendent Joe
Sorrero stressed that the vote that evening was not to approve sepa- rate districts, but simply to lay the groundwork. “This is just a call for mapping,” he said. The board can decide later whether or not it wants a bond measure split into facilities districts. The board has not yet decided
to float a bond measure in 2016, but agreed to prepare for a sepa- rate-district option, nonetheless. “It gives us options for later,” Ledesma explained. Moffatt was the sole dissenter.
Finding, funding fixes In a separate discussion, the
board addressed the value of spending district funds on facili- ties assessments. Trustees were given three options: spend $150 thousand to identify the facili- ties needs of OUSD elementary and middle schools (last done in 2003); spend $300 thousand to update the high schools’ as- sessment prepared for last year’s
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
bond measure; or use $500 thou- sand to create a comprehensive, long-term Facilities Master Plan. Kathy Moffatt attempted, via telephone, to make a case for a long-term master plan for all schools. She noted that board policy requires it have one “at all times,” yet no current plan exists. “Not having a plan is irrespon- sible,” she said, “We are in viola- tion of the law. We don’t know the specific needs of each school. We need to pass a bond, and we need the community’s faith and trust.” She further suggested that the use of a portion of a one-time $10 million allocation expected from the state would be a “good use for some of that money.” Her motion to approve that option was not seconded. After a brief debate over the
merits of the other options, and the details of each, the board voted 6-1 to do nothing. “I don’t want to spend the money,” Sur- ridge advised. Nonetheless, the district will be spending close to $500 thousand for a special election.
Villa Park Mayor Diana Fas- cenelli presents Sons Of Italy honoree John Russo, Sr., with a proclamation applauding his 40 years of community service.
Russo and his wife, Pearl, have
two children, both of whom have careers in education.
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