CUSD report

School board revisits previously tabled issues

The Cloverdale Unified School District Board of Trustees reviewed a pair of formerly postponed issues during its regular meeting on Sept. 11, tackling both paying off its property lease with school bond money and creating a salary plan for the superintendent.

Both issues were brought up during board meetings during the 2018-19 school year, but were postponed after continued clashing between the board and the public. Both items were approved by the board, 5-0.

Property payment

The board approved paying off the district’s lease of a property on the south end of town, in unincorporated Cloverdale (earlier in the evening, the board reviewed a presentation from one of the parties developing an adjoining property regarding annexation).

The district purchased the land in March 2018 as a way to solidify the possibility of the district having usable land for the future, and doesn’t currently have a development timeline or plan associated with it.

The property was originally purchased for $1.683 million, and according to the meeting’s agenda packet, paying it off will total $1.705 million. However, paying it off with Measure H money will save the district $617,883 in interest out of the General Fund.

The repayment of the lease was initially brought to the board in April, but failed in a 2-2 vote. During the April meeting, the public voiced concerns over the district’s transparency regarding the bond money — since then, it has held a town hall meeting devoted to discussing the funds as well as added a Measure H update page to its website.

Additionally, the board voted to use $809,840 in Measure H funds to pay off its Prop 39 lease that was used to make energy efficient upgrades to the district, including occupancy sensors, LED lighting and WiFi-based HVAC controls.

Salary plan

At the recommendation of Board of Trustees President Todd Lands, the board also reviewed the creation of a step increase for the superintendent position. This item was initially brought forth during at the board’s June meeting, but postponed at the request of both the teachers and the superintendent since the Teachers Association of Cloverdale (TAC) had yet to reach a negotiation agreement with the district.

TAC reached a tentative agreement with the district on Aug. 30 and, as of press time, had yet to vote to ratify.

According to an update put out by Lands on Sept. 12, Superintendent Jeremy Decker “has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to receive a higher increase than teachers.”

As such, Decker’s three-year salary schedule mirrors the tentative agreement with TAC — both the steps and raises of the schedule are 2% each year for the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years with his benefits totaling $8,400.

The salary increase is dependent on both a positive evaluation and the district not being in qualified or negative status.

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