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So Far, No Pay Cuts for CUSD Trustees

An approved decrease in school board compensation won't appear on trustee paychecks until October. But now one trustees wants no pay.

trustees voted in June to dock their own pay by the same amount teachers’ salaries were being cut – however, that hasn’t happened yet.

Now the trustee who introduced the idea wants to strip the stipend completely. The matter will be on the agenda at Monday's meeting.

As trustees were at the June 27 meeting, Trustee John Alpay amended the budget to include a decrease in board stipends.

“I don’t think anyone should go untouched by this,” he said at the time.

Alpay’s idea was to figure out the percentage of cuts teachers face, adding together the hits they will take in salary (1.2 percent), a six-month freeze in automatic pay increases and furlough days (eight unpaid days).

If Gov. Brown’s Prop. 30 doesn’t pass, the teachers may face an additional 1.5 percent paycut and 10 more unpaid furlough days. Alpay said trustee compensation should be similarly impacted if those cuts come to pass.

District personnel, however, have had a hard time figuring out how to calculate the new trustee stipend.

“I think the delay is due in part to the fact that I have repeatedly told staff that their calculated reductions were not high enough and were in fact inconsistent with the direction provided by the board,” Alpay told Patch.

Capo spokesman Marcus Walton said the decrease will be reflected in the October checks and will be retroactive to the start of the fiscal year in July.

But it may all be for naught because now, Alpay wants to cut trustee compensation altogether.

“Since we are calculating a percentage cut from a measly $375 per month, I'm thinking we should have followed the example set recently by the City Council in Orange in eliminating all board member compensation,” he said.

Board pay is set at $750 a month. However, in February 2008, trustees voted during a budget discussion to halve the amount, and subsequent boards have kept the reduced allotments.

Not long after Alpay was first sworn in nearly two years ago, he asked fellow trustees in an email that they consider restoring trustee compensation. He said that the 2008 action violated the state’s open-meeting laws. No action was ever taken on the request.

The June 27 amendment to decrease stipends will actually restore them completely at the end of this year.  

“At the end of the fiscal year, compensation shall be restored to levels set forth in board policy 9250A [the $750], and I ask the board to schedule and revisit the idea of compensation to determine what, if any, additional cuts would be appropriate for the next year,” he said in June.

Alpay said he asked President Gary Pritchard to put the topic of trustee compensation on Monday's agenda “so staff does not waste any further time with these numbers.” 

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Dan Avery September 08, 2012 at 07:07 AM
fact checker, I'll state this as kindly as I can. Based on every statistic I've seen from the state and the feds, if I had kids in California they would attend private schools. And I fully realize that Jefferson was correct in his statement that democracy can't survive without a system for free education. I would willingly send my kids to public schools if I lived in Iowa, Washington state, Minnesota, Mass, and so on. I wouldn't do that if my state fell below the top 20, especially if the school district my kids would be forced to attend wasn't in the top 20 in a state that wasn't in the top 20 nationwide. Maybe I'm just a quality freak or a snob. Take your pick.
fact checker September 08, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Can you share the source of that ranking?
randy September 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Dan, so is Irvine Unified, no good?
Dan Avery September 08, 2012 at 06:48 PM
fact checker, I pulled those numbers from a variety of sources like the U.S. Dept of Ed, CA's web site, OC's web site. They are generally not disputed. You can find the same stats elsewhere. Google is your friend. Especially if you want to call yourself "fact checker." To use a rhetorical move I learned from Jonathan Swift, "I have nothing to gain by putting forth those ideas as I don't have any children and my wife is beyond the years of child bearing." Recognize where that comes from. It's a paraphrase and not an exact quote. If your education is any good at all you'll know it immediately.
Dan Avery September 08, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Randy, you tell me. Take a look at where California ranks nationally. What do you think? By the way if you take a look at the top 70 zip codes ranked according to highest education level, two are in the state of California. Palo Alto, and the community right next door.
fact checker September 08, 2012 at 11:05 PM
What you don't know then, if you have no personal experience with the schools in CUSD, is the truth. Pull all the statistics you want. Then go visit the schools, talk to parents, speak to students or, here's a thought, listen to the teachers. You might get a better idea. So glad you could stay in the area, what with not having to worry about the schools and all. UCI is a great school, if you take advantage of what is offered. If you don't go to class, don't do your homework, don't speak the language fluently, or don't pay attention to the professor, you won't get much out of it.
Kathleen K September 10, 2012 at 04:21 AM
As many, many others have said, Ken Maddox's opinion is not trusted or valued. That's why he was removed from this board, and why he has to hide behind a fake name. Get the hint...get lost Maddox.
cusd mom September 10, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I think we would rather read posts by Kathleen Kay.....lol. Obviously Kathleen K has a personal vandeta against a former board member. She comments on EVERY post of his with usual vitrol.
Jane lambson September 10, 2012 at 08:28 PM
However, it is interesting to note that the former Fleming Trustees have been excused from your outrage. If you know so much about the lawsuit, then you know darn well that it was signed off by all of the Trustees well before A,B,C, Winsten, and KLM. Sheila Benecke – approved of the settlements Mike Darnold – a Capo Unified Children’s First (CUCF) supporter approved Sheila Henness - a Capo Unified Children’s First (CUCF) supporter approved Duane Stiff – an endorser of new union endorsee John Alpay (CUCF candidate) approved James Fleming – Disgraced Superintendent and critic of the Reform board approved. Why aren’t you mad at them?? As for KLM, he was forced to vote because he had no conflict of interest standing. All of these transgressions occurred prior to 2008. He was not voted in until the summer of 2008.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM
FYI, there is apparently more than one Jane Lambson. This one has a lower case "l." This is a gentle reminder to those commenting. Under Patch's terms of use, readers are encouraged to use their real names in comments so as not to be misleading in any way.
fact checker September 10, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Using one's real name hasn't worked out too well for teachers.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 10, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Understood, but using a name to mimic another known commentator here isn't working out either. Please everyone, choose an original name. No one's really fooling anyone. Thanks!
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Does anybody really expect this intellectually challenged imposter to tell the truth and actually state facts? NOT.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 01:05 AM
fact checker Unless you're an attorney or judge, leave the legal opinion to experts. FYI, the board waived the attorney client privilege so that the attorney appointed by the insuring agency for CUSD to represent CUSD/the trustees could explain the settlement to the public. If you would have actually checked this facts you know that the appointed attorney and the insuring agency negotiated the settlement; the board had no role in the negotiations. They were simply asked to approve the settlement after it was negotiated. As Ken noted, if the board didn't approve the settlement the insuring agency was pulling coverage and CUSD's defense, leaving CUSD basically defenseless unless CUSD put up its own money to defend its self and pay any damages award. Oh, and I forgot, the insuring agency, the entity on the hook, valued the claims against CUSD at over one million dollars. Yeah, that sounds like a board trying to hide thing and benefit friends. Your fact checking skills leave a lot to desired.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Imposter I know it's hard, but try posting facts, not the fiction that churns in your head.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Kathleen Kay You bear a very eerie resemblance to Glen Close's character in Fatal Attraction with your infatuation with Ken Lopez. Any other issues you want to tell us about?
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Dan There you go again, stating facts to support your position. What a novel idea.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 01:21 AM
PAL No, that's not the deal the board voted for. That's the deal you and other union lovers would like the public to believe was voted on. That's why "I'llpay", Prtichard and the rest did not want a legal opinion. As the DA noted in his reports certain trustees (the union backed trustees) didn't want a legal opinion because they were scared the opinion might be different than wanted they wanted to do, give back millions to the union. How CTA orchestrated the recall of Lopez and Winsten, the change in how trustees are elected in CUSD, and the payback of millions to the union are a few of many examples why Prop. 32 is on the ballot.
Capo Parent Too September 11, 2012 at 03:40 AM
I love how Capo Parent and others would like us to believe the trigger language wasn't met even though the board got legal opinions stating otherwise. And that if they had gone to a legal battle they would have lost, had another strike and wasted more money on lawyer fees, but that's what Ellen and Sue want for this District. They want more fights with the Union because they don't want to admit they signed such a lousy contract in the first place. But it needed to be honored rather than throwing our District into more chaos. Rather than taking responsibility for a badly written contract it's so much easier to blame the new Board for honoring the contract by saying they they broke the law, etc. All subterfuge for a previous board's extremely bad management. And then they had their supporters sue because they didn't get their way. It's my way or a lawsuit with these board members and their supporters, chaos and more chaos for our District and demonize our teachers.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 03:51 PM
CPToo Instead of engaging in aimless, nonsensical ramblings try making coherent points. Bottom line, your facts are wrong, there is no semblance of logic and rational thinking, your analysis makes no sense and your conclusions are pieces of fiction. All in all, par for the course for you.
fact checker September 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Then why did other trustees (with a far smaller conflict) abstain? You always leave out the fact that the premise of the suit (the so called "enemies list) was found to be groundless in the case against Fleming. All the legal "justifications" in the world don't excuse the unethical behavior of Mr. Lopez (not to mention his unprofessional demeanor on the dais). It would be great if he would just leave CUSD alone and move on to other ventures. Mr. Lopez, you could (and should have) abstained. As it turns out the insurer was wrong. Your efforts to salvage your reputation fall short because you have no regrets and no apologies. And your continuing judgement of the current trustees is rubbing salt in the wound. Go reinvent yourself somewhere else.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 04:12 PM
PAL When you rag on CTA and Union First aka Children First for what they did in the last election you might have some credibility. Until then you're simply a union tool.
Capo Parent September 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
fact checker Instead of posting facts you're engaging in personal attacks, not surprising. Bottom line, the former board did the right thing in voting for the settlement for the reasons that have been posted many times. Since you can't and won't check the real facts how about changing your moniker to "fiction writer," it would be much more accurate.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
CP, rather than attack other posters, please explain WHY you think they're wrong, focusing on the issues, not personalities.
Capo Parent September 13, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Penny I did focus on the issues, but CP2 can't or won't get it. What's the old adage, you can take a horse to the water but you can't make it drink. Kinda of like CP2, you can lead him to the facts, but he or she won't accept them. Can't debate someone who refuses to recognize reality.
Capo Parent Too September 13, 2012 at 05:39 AM
It's completely valid and I'm sorry it doesn't make sense to you. it's going to be a case of, we don't agree on the contract language. The board got advice from lawyers, this is a FACT and they were advised not to breach the contract with teachers or face another strike, losing a lawsuit, lawyer fees, etc. This is what Sue and Ellen would have wanted. More chaos, why? Because they didn't want to admit they actually signed a really bad contract because they assumed there wouldn't BE ANYMORE MONEY in the revise. BUT THERE WAS more money in the revise and the word "and" made the change. Language, badly written contract language made the difference, but your side would like to make it about secret meetings, which is false and fabricated and then sue the District (boy you guys love lawsuits), and that's why you keep talking about this trigger language and how this new board honored a contract they didn't approve. So, to fit this narrative, you bash teachers, etc. It's all great theater here at the Patch but doesn't do one thing to actually solving a 50 million dollar budget hole that was caused by a really badly written contract. Fiction to you, reality to me, if we refuse to actually agree on what happened, then there is no reason in actually having a back and forth. BUT I refuse to let you and others keep spinning your yarn.
Sharon Y. September 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM
CP2, your argument about the trigger is flawed, first no lawyer gives a legal opinion that is not written, and no such document exists and if it does it has been held from many public records which would then be another problem. 2. Aside from the original give backs to political donors, aka the union, several other things occurred over the last year and a half to put us in such horrible fiscal crisis A. The flawed early teacher golden handshake B. The 30 thousand to help unions negotiate C. The vote that opened the contract to lift cap on the medical for teachers only D. The money paid to union bosses that do nothing to help our kids These are just a few BAD things you good ol' boys Pritchard and Alpay support, as a result we will see up to 18 days of lost education in over crowded classrooms. This is their fault.
Capo Parent Too September 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM
A and C were meant to save money and you have no proof they didn't. None. So you're list is wrong. It's merely to confuse parents. B and D are a drop in the bucket and standard in districts because unions are part of every District. Demonizing them, our teachers and the process takes away from the issue as well and attempting to answer the question, how do we solve this issue? Again, it all comes down to bashing the unions and the teachers, which does nothing to solve a 50 million dollar budget gap. As for a legal opinion that's not written, tell me that about the money given away to the last boards supporters that Lopez-Maddox keeps going on about and get back to me.
Capo Parent September 16, 2012 at 04:29 PM
CPToo Here's facts and logical analysis for you. The retirement golden parachute, opening up medical, and giving back money to union groups that had no restoration language in their contracts in the face of declining enrollment and a multi=million dollar deficit are undisputed examples of fiscal mismanagement. As for your claim that the golden parachute and the lifting of the cap on medical are "meant" to save money, that's the BS line from the teachers union and CUSD. Neither has produced a complete and valid analysis to show that CUSD is saving any money. Arguing that paying $30,000 to teach the union to negotiate better and CUSD paying union bosses salaries & benefits when do no work at all for CUSD, are "drops in the bucket," is the type of argument one makes when they can't think of a valid argument. The foregoing is troubling and consistent pattern of fiscal mismanagement and irresponsibility.
O Captain! My Captain! October 15, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I'm voting for Steve Lang for CUSD school board. Good businessman with no political favors to repay. (www.stevelang4cusd.com) On the other hand, check out how his opponent, John Alpay, has voted time and again to cut instruction time, increase class sizes, and waste money hurting teachers and the district. (www.whoisjohnalpay.com)

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