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Trustees Reduce Own Pay
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Reducing board compensation and freezing travel and conference expenses were items approved by the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees at the Nov. 8 regular meeting.

The trustees voted unanimously to reduce their compensation equal to the cuts that the bargaining units, administrative, management, and confidential staff will take for 2010-2011. The trustees are currently compensated at $314 per month, which includes a 2.5 percent reduction they took for 2009-2010 of monthly base pay of $317. The trustees also receive health benefits at the same rate as the district’s classified employees.

Board compensation is set by state law according to a district’s ADA (average daily attendance). The reduction will result in a savings to the district’s general fund.

The board also voted 5-1 to approve the freezing of all board travel and conference reimbursement for 2010-2011 with the exception of money already paid for one board member for an upcoming conference. Trustee Bill Dyer was the dissenting vote. He had made a motion to freeze board travel and conference reimbursement including money already paid for conference registration but it failed for lack of a second. The board has a budget of $4,200 for conference and travel reimbursement.

At the October special meeting, the topic of where money would come from to pay for a consultant for a superintendent search was discussed. At the Nov. 8 meeting, Superintendent Fred Rich reported that money to pay for the search consultant would not be taken out of the general fund, it would come out of the board’s “discretionary” fund.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the contracts for all three assistant superintendents to be extended through June 30, 2012. The three assistant superintendents — for business, curriculum, and human resources — all received satisfactory or better evaluations.

Also in other business, the board unanimously approved a request by the Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing to reduce the developer fees for a deed-restricted 50-unit senior housing community planned within district boundaries. The rate for residential fees is $2.97 per square foot; however, with the reduction, the fee will be at the commercial rate of 47 cents per square foot.

In reports, Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Hern provided the board with a review of all facilities projects and fund balances dating back to the junior high school gym project in 2004 to the present. The information showed project savings and monies that the district has at its disposal to use toward building projects, either modernization or new construction. The total net funds available will be $3.36 million once it is “closed out” by the state, giving the district the okay to use it two years from now. Some of the project savings money was already available for use and was put toward the high school’s aquatic center.

The next regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees will be Monday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 No. Second.