I believe this has been the longest time between posts and you should know why.

Three weeks ago tomorrow, I came down with an undiagnosed illness – something far worse than a cold but not quite the flu. There were four really bad days, during which I binge-watched “House of Cards” between naps.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

It’s still business as usual on Bear St. At the school board club meeting tonight, the re-elected trustees will take their oath of office, there will be an award handed out to Deputy Something or Other Paul Reed for his service to the district, and…

… The board will nominate and approve without discussion the various representatives and liaisons for all the committees and councils with which they have associations. A trustee will nominate someone, another will second the nomination and the vote will be unanimous for each. No discussion. Anyone watching has a right to be cynical.

But wait, there’s more!

That would be item 21.e, which is buried so deep in the agenda that it is the last item before the exciting “Board Member Reports” (those are the few minutes that the club members take to tell each other where they have been instead of telling the public what they plan to do to improve academic performance and reduce costs.)

21.e reads, “Consideration and Approval of New Organizational Plan for Business Services Department”

And the recommended motion that will be rubber stamped reads, “It is recommended that the Board approve the revised organizational plan for the Business Services Department to include two new classified management positions: Assistant Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer.”

Yes, readers, you read this correctly: The trustees will approve the addition of two more bureaucrats.

How many administrators is too many? There’s no such thing at the N-MUSD.

Apparently, this potato is hot enough that Superintendent Frederick Navarro chose not to include it in his Board Meeting Brief, which is sent out “in the interest of keeping the community informed.” Perhaps he does not want you to be too informed of his plans to expand his administration and further insulate himself from day-to-day operations.

That’s the leadership the trustees have chosen for the district. I thought of this yesterday as I watched a news report on the OCC professor who is taking heat for expressing some personal views in class. Orange Coast College President Dennis Harkins – the equivalent of our schools superintendent – took the lead on this issue and spoke to the media. Gee, what a concept.

In the meantime, parents continue to get the shuffle, stall, and stymie over Swun Math, taxpayers still don’t know whether money paid to Reed to keep him from retiring continued to flow to him after he announced his retirement last April. And we don’t know why the superintendent waited five months to make the public announcement of Reed’s retirement.

Sadly, not one of the Trustees has chosen to ask about the Reed announcement and the money.

And not one will question why it will take nine months to complete the investigation into the Mariners’ Gold Ribbon award application. That’s another hot potato that they are hoping will cool down by doing the shuffle, stall, and stymie.

This is the last board meeting of the year. The next one is over a month away on Jan. 17. Not that it means anything – it’ll still be business as usual on Bear St.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD