The meeting begins a 6 p.m. but unless you want to see the awards being handed out, don’t rush to get there.

As usual, the most important items are placed near the end of the agenda. Around this time, the friends and families of the awards recipients have gone, the student reps have left, the public comments section is done and some of those people are gone, too. The only people left in the audience are a few district employees and perhaps a few concerned citizens.

Tonight, the board will rubber stamp a recommendation to support a resolution calling for the adjustment of trustee area boundaries. As I wrote, the areas are being adjusted based on the number of people distributed in the district. Here is a link to Map B, the new proposed boundaries:

My only area of interest on the new map is Area 7, which is represented by Walt Davenport. In the new Area map, there is a large chunk of one corner that will be delegated to Area 5 but for the most part, the Latino-dominated Westside of Costa Mesa will remain intact.

This is a partner companion to a resolution to hold Trustee elections by Area instead of via the current at-large system. This is a good development. I only hope that any district communication to the public indicates that the reason for the changes was the threat of a major lawsuit.

But wait, there’s more!… And You May Not Like It

The next-to-last item on the agenda is a recommendation to give Supt. Frederick Navarro more money. The motion reads, “It is recommended the Board of Education approve the merit/performance salary supplement contribution based upon the Superintendent’s exceptional performance rating for the 2015-16 fiscal year and as a result approve and authorize the contribution in the amount of $26,500  within 30 days to a Tax Sheltered Annuity selected by the Superintendent.”


Exceptional performance? Apparently, the long list of bungled projects, bad decisions, and lawsuits had no impact on this board. OK, if they want to hand out more tax dollars like they always do, fine. But “exceptional performance?” Really?

Then there is that “Tax Sheltered Annuity selected by the Superintendent.” Here we go again…

Here’s the “Current Consideration” wording from the agenda:

‘The Board of Education has completed the Superintendent’s annual 2015-16 performance evaluation and rated the Superintendent as “exceptional.”  As a result, the Superintendent is entitled to a Letter of Award signed by the Board President for the Superintendent’s “Exceptional Performance” rating, thereby providing the Superintendent with a  District contribution in the amount of 50% of the 2015-16 Internal Revenue Service limitation amount for a Tax Sheltered Annuity. The contribution of  $26,500 represents 50% of the IRS limitation amount in 2015.   The District shall effect payment to the Tax Sheltered Annuity designated by the Superintendent no later than 30 days from receipt of the signed Letter of Award.”

OBTW, this raise is not mentioned in the district’s “Board Meeting Brief.”

Business as usual on Bear St.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD