News

Lackluster attendance seen at forum for superintendent search

Community can submit feedback to search firm through form found on PUSD's website

The community was represented by three people seeking to give input to the superintendent search firm Wednesday evening. The low attendance rate at the open meeting could have been due to a well-attended community forum the previous night or that concerned citizens packed city hall for a discussion on BART's plans to extend to Livermore.

Despite the small group, Carolyn McKennan of Hazard, Young and Attea & Associates sought consensus from the group in three areas: Pleasanton's strengths, concerns for the future and recommendations.

The information, she said, would be compiled into a leadership profile that would show the priorities facing the subgroups and the entire community as well. Findings are to be presented at a special board meeting Feb. 2 and would then be used to gauge potential candidates.

The community is invited to provide feedback at another workshop at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the board district offices. There is also a form that can be downloaded through the district's website, www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us, and sent to HYA at 1151 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL, 60025; office@hyasearch.com; or faxed to 847-724-8467. The forms should be sent by Jan. 29, in order to

The parcel tax issue continued to be debated issue among the group, but all were able to agree that the future financial situation is of concern, that Pleasanton is a desirable place to live, and that the future superintendent's salary and benefits package was of concern.

McKennan said HYA had completed similar sessions with certain stakeholders of the community, such as the police and fire departments, Chamber of Commerce and the city.

Comments

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Posted by Not feeling like a Stakeholder
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jan 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

Could the low turn out be because as parents and citizens, we feel like no at at the Board office is listening anyway??

They are going to hire who they want to hire and justify it anyway they want.

I feel bad for the families with younger students. You will not have the same experience in Pleasanton as our family.

Solutions need to come from many different sources. Sacrifices need to be made across the board, not just by the students themselves.


Like this comment
Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

Or could it be because 200 people were at the budget forum the previous night?

It's hard for me to arrange to be away from home in the evening two nights in a row, on short notice. I'll attend the superintendent search meeting next week (Jan. 14).


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

This is an excellent case for an email link that gives everyone a voice and does not go through district channels. Be sure to indicate your thoughts are for Pleasanton. Here is one way. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

The main qualification we need is someone that represents the parents and students and not the union. We need to cut costs without affecting the quality. That means cutting out the waste, cut administation and overhead primarily but also the teachers and support staff to a lesser extent. Finally this person needs to take a 10-15% paycut from the previous Supdt. Is this a job for Superman? I don't think so.


Like this comment
Posted by Sally
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jan 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The consultant indicated that $250K will be the salary range. Business as usual in PUSD.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm

That, unfortunately, is because they build on the current salary of the person leaving and not up from what the person is making already. For example, if you find a qualified person making $150,000, where is the justification for giving them $100,000 more? And this would be particularly true if it is an assistant superintendent with no experience as a superintendent. How do you justify paying an incoming, unexperienced person, the same or more than the one walking out the door with years of experience (such as it is)?


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I think no one showed up because they felt it wouldn't make any difference. Only 2 board members seem connected to the community.

I'll have to wait for school board elections to feel that I have any say.

I think "Concerned" is on the right track but the majority of the board is out of touch and wouldn't listen anyway..


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

With our broken model there is no way on earth that we can pay $250K, which is over $3330K with fringes. The number one criterion should be the salary below $200K preferably well below. The consultants are a joke bidding up these salaries just like Boards of Directors bidding up CEO salaries. We need a major revolt.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

To Concerned,

"The number one criterion should be the salary below $200K preferably well below"

Wonderful. Pay no attention to qualifications for doing the job. Just get the cheapest applicant possible.


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

To Kathleen,

"For example, if you find a qualified person making $150,000, where is the justification for giving them $100,000 more?"

This is done is business all the time. You pay a competitive salary for a position as an incentive for the person to stay. Take an extreme example. Supposed we hired a qualified person who had taken some time off to do volunteer or missionary work for a year. Would we expect that person to forgo his salary while working as superintendent. We shouldn't pay more or less than a comparable salary for a top school district in the Bay Area, in my opinion. If the going rate is $250,000, then that is what we need to pay.


Like this comment
Posted by ConsiderThis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

If you all want to see this opening as a tremendous opportunity to be innovative and to affect positive change, here is a recommendation.

Consider someone from the "private sector" instead of the same cookie-cutter, government run, public sector school administrators? There should be a considerable pool of very talented people who may have "breakthrough" ideas and experience.

Think creatively...hire someone with NO public school admin background and impressive credentials in the PRIVATE SECTOR.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:08 am

Reader, I worked in the private sector. I expect there to be some adjustments for taking a superintendency. You may, however, have missed when I said candidates shop the state for other superintendent contracts and negotiate for the best of the best. That is regardless of budgets, size of the district student population, expectations or needs of students, etc. So I don't agree you can just come in and say its $250,000--and this is a firm I rooted for.

As to not having school experience worked in LA I believe, but I think it was a former governor from another state. I'd have to go back and look. It is a viable idea if the right candidate steps forward.


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Posted by Family of Teachers
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

There are currently several districts in the East Bay looking for a new Superintendent, including Fremont. This will increase the competition for anyone of quality willing to take on this job, no matter what their background (public or private). Just a fact.


Like this comment
Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Livermore too and the homes are more affordable!


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I am interested in hiring someone from the private sector who has a proven track record of success in turn-arounds...not that PUSD is a "turn-around" because it is a great school system but, realistically, there are some very tough financial issues to tackle and it can't be put in the lap of someone who might be longing to put in time until retirement. We need to be very careful about a "short-timer". Also, we need someone who can separate themselves from the Board, the teachers and the unions and focus on results for the students and the community...omeone with a "true-north" on their internal compass.

Does anyone remember a few years back...didn't Signature Properites secure a couple of million dollars for the district that it didn't know it was entitled to? I don't want to go down the road of all the ill-will with Signature but..my point is that a private sector person can do big things for us without having spent a career in education. I think we need to think outside the box - not go down the same road.


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I agree with the private secotr idea. We need someone with bottomline experience to provide quality education at a reasonable cost by eliminating waste. The Governor's budget is imposing big cuts on state employees. We need the same at the countyand city levels including school districts. If we want the rank and file to take 5-15% cuts those at the top have to lead by example by taking bigger cuts. Given the current situation the Supdt. has to take a pay cut. Otherwise the whole budget exercise is a joke. We have to stick our guns. OBama will have to take big cuts this year as the Treasury debt auctions will start failing as the debt runs into trillions. The new Supdt. pay is a critical issue to show that we mean business.


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

I personally would like to see someone who has a clue about education not just money. We have Luz to be the specialist on finance- we need someone with a strong educational vision who can apply their skills in knowing what schools and students need to be successful.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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