One of our newest Board Members has taken her role beyond the traditional bobblehead Trustee that only nods yes to the Superintendent and Unions. At least one Board Member has not waited to be spoon fed by the District.
Valerie Arkin seemed surprised when her fellow board members did not actively work on their own version of budget cuts, but they instead waited to be directed by the District and budget committee. The budget committee is made up of a couple of parents but primarily district employees and Union reps each with their own special interests.
Arkin presented her own plan. Arkin's proposal would save Class Size Reduction, Academic Intervention programs and Counselors. It includes $2,146,000 in cuts to Administration, plus Management salary rollback (3 days, per mgmt) $121,500,and Car Allowances (per mgmt) $120,000.
"The cuts and the $175 parcel tax revenue would provide the district enough money to more than balance the budget in this fiscal year, and would keep it solvent for the next fiscal year, said Arkin. "I think with all of this (the cuts, without losing CSR and other programs), I could get the community on board (for a parcel tax)." She got applause from the audience."
Trustee Jim Ott said, "I applaud you putting pen to paper. These are things that are important."
Pat Kernan added, "Great job. You are light years ahead of me. I'm at the macro level. I'll catch up."
Gee… there is a surprise someone that is light years ahead of non-resident trustee Kernan.
I applaud trustee Arkin for looking beyond what the District wants us to see. She concedes her plan still needs work. The District should not waste the money on a special election in June and further explore this kind of thinking. With this kind of leadership the school board may have a proposal that the community can embrace by the November ballot , saving the $230,000 cost of a special election.