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PUSD vs Signature: In the budget or not?

Original post made by Tessio, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on Jan 13, 2010

Was the PUSD vs Signature lawsuit factored into the budget?
Alameda Superior Court awarded around 3 million dollars plus legal fees to Singature Porperties. After loosing, PUSD hired Singature's law firm to sue PUSD's legal team for giving them bad advice. I understand that no money has been paid yet. Signature is giving PUSD time to persue this legal angle before demanding payment.

From a financial accounting perspective, was this included in the budget as a likely expenditure or has it already been factored in?

Can anyone shed light on this?

Comments (5)

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Good question. I know the district used to participate in an insurance pool to cover things of this nature. Don't know if they are still in it or whether it would cover this large amount. It would be a good question for the Or ask Luz Cazares.

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Posted by not a teacher, but...
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:49 pm

it seems like by highlighting step and column they are really throwing teachers under the political bus. I'm not saying it's not an issue to be considered and evaluated, but I also think the mold problem at Hearst didn't help, the assistant superintendents renewing their contracts at the same rate of pay for 3 years isn't helping, the lawsuit referred to on this thread didn't help, deferring a payment to that fund for benefits other than pensions didn't help, relying on developer fees that were not a sure thing did not help... I think the district is sort of manipulating the public by putting such an emphasis on step and column. They're trying to get us fired up about it and to overlook other bad decisions that were made by them.

I honestly think most teachers just focus their energies on their jobs and when this whole thing came about last year before the parcel tax, they were blindsided by the vilification they got for a pay structure that had been the status quo for a very, very long time.

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Posted by not a teacher, but...
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Oh! And spending $40,000 on a headhunter for a new superintendent isn't helping either!

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Posted by answer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Since the Signature lawsuit was for facilities, they will probably pay for the lawsuit through the facilities fund and not operations. That means they will probably have to use the Sycamore Fund to pay this which means less money for facilities and we will no longer have interest on the Sycamore Fund to use for technology. The facilities fund is actually a house of cards now. The district has already obtained a line of credit from the city to help make payments on the facility loans. Just like what was being said before; borrowing money to make the interest payments on a loan is just like using a credit card to make the minimum payments on another credit card. Sure way to fail! Thought the district was supposed to lead the students by example. We are in real trouble now.

To add to above, extending contracts that have excessive auto allowances for management. It is not like we have the employees drive all over the state. The district is in Pleasanton. Plus, our district owns a bunch of vans and probably a few cars that sit around in the district parking lot. We should be using those instead of paying an allowance if there is a problem here.

I am SO mad that the contracts with management were just done for 3 years so the superintendent can sock us expenses for three years after he is gone. The gift that keeps on giving...

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 14, 2010 at 6:18 am

Not . . . There are any number of us that realize all the decisions--from bad to horrendous--are at the heart of the matter. The raises I've spoken about, given over three school years, is one you should add to your list, and it floats S&C up to unsustainable levels. Running a parcel tax at $250,000 without benefit of knowing what, how much, how long, or whether it had any support at all is another real clunker. And "answer's" answer could be right. Still suggest someone submit this so the answer gets posted at PUSD.

The only thing I will disagree with you about is the consultant for hiring a superintendent. There is no way the board can do this alone, and staff cannot be hiring their own boss. This is one of the correct decisions. Hiring a consultant for a parcel tax, IMO, is another correct choice.

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