Hot issues spark joint meeting of FUSD Board and City Council
FUSD Superintendent Sweeney welcomes new school board member Michael Saviers at Tuesday night’s meeting.
By Carol Wilson — Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Theresa Marvel, President of the Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association said “You did not create the financial mess we're in, but you do have the opportunity to create a win for students by keeping keeping low class sizes, keeping our graduation requirements and keeping Sierra High.” “Let students win every day in our community.”
Newly appointed provisional Board member Michael Saviers took the oath of office at a joint meeting of the Fillmore Unified School District Board and the City Council Tuesday night March 29.
A packed audience witnessed the ceremony as Superintendent Jeff Sweeney swore in Saviers, who was then introduced to the City Council. Saviers replaces David Dollar, who resigned. “I look forward to the challenges of the next eight months,” he said. “I'll give it my best.”
Board member John Garnica read a joint resolution between the school district and the city council to have a cooperative governance relationship for the benefit of the community. Mayor Patti Walker said, “When I speak in other communities about our relationship they are in awe and jealous.”
Theresa Marvel, President of the Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association, congratulated the new board member before she asked the board to rescind 67 Reduction in Force (RIF) notices. “You did not create the financial mess we're in, but you do have the opportunity to create a win for students by keeping keeping low class sizes, keeping our graduation requirements and keeping Sierra High,” she said. “Let students win every day in our community.”
Parent Kelly Kause told the board, “I'm concerned about the teacher layoffs. She has a daughter who is a junior in North Carolina. “She will not be able to move back here because I'm afraid the graduation requirements will be too low to allow her to be accepted into college,” she added.
Board President Tony Prado responded that fliers are circulating in the community which have untrue information concerning the board's actions. “The board is not interested in 'stuffing' K-3 classes,” Prado said. “If a high school student wants to fulfill the A through G graduation requirements he or she may do that.”
It was brought to the board's attention that the water recycling project is under budget and on schedule. Consultant Glen Hille said that 99.9 percent of the project has been completed at the high school. He said some work remains to be done at the middle school and they've reduced the flooding impact that used to cause ponding on B Street and Sespe Elementary will have new spray irrigation next week. Mayor Walker said, “We have an additional funding source, so we are going to expand B Street.” New board member Saviers asked if they are going to take samples of the water at the schools to ensure that it's good and of pure quality. Hille replied that monitoring of the water is being done.
There was some discussion of the aquatics center and the use of it. Assistant Superintendent Mike Bush said they need two lifeguards all day, but they have a budget issue. “We're looking at different ways of financing,” he said. “In order to offer it as part of the PE program we have to have two lifeguards per class plus a certificated teacher.”
The pilot Running Club's representatives asked to be included in planning the times that the community can use the track at the high school. Councilmember Laurie Hernandez suggested that the council and school board continue working together on the plan for the runners and walkers of the community.
The school board's next meeting will be Tuesday, April 13 at 5:00 pm at the FUSD office at 627 Sespe.
The next council meeting will be April 13 at 6:30 pm with the Senior Center Board at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue.