Santa Paula Times

Santa Paula Unified School District Board rejects creating new position

May 22, 2013
Santa Paula News

Trustees of the Santa Paula Unified School District have voted to postpone creating a director of human resources position.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Howard Hamilton proposed creating the new position at their meeting last Thursday. On a 3-2 vote the board decided to hold off creating the position. 

Dr. Hamilton had also proposed moving forward with a job description and salary. Board President Christina Urias and board member Chris Wilson cast the two yes votes.

Trustee Michelle Kolbeck was the first to question the move. She felt that they were “jumping the gun” because the district does not yet have a budget in place. 

Board member Diana Ponce-Gomez agreed, and added that if they went ahead they would be committed to filling the job before they have a permanent superintendent hired and before an organization chart is given final approval.

Urias argued in favor of the idea. She said by creating a job description and salary they would be saving time on what they would eventually have to do anyway when a superintendent is picked. “We’re going to have to deal with it sometime in the future,” she said, and added they weren’t committing any funds, they were just getting prepared.

The board also discussed the competition to come up with a district logo. They were told there are nine finalists. The board will pare that number down to the final three and a graphic artist will be asked to take those, along with board comments on what they would like to see. 

The board members were to make their top three choices by yesterday. They’ll have the three winners at the June 6 board meeting, where their prizes will be awarded. First place will receive $150; second $100 and third place will get $50. They hope to have the final design to the board by the June 20 meeting. 

The board also heard a report from Dr. Pam Martens, superintendent of the Santa Paula Union High School District. She told them the district is in the process of purchasing 29 acres for use by the Agriculture Academy and the Future Farmers of America (FFA). 

Martens said the district and Limoneira worked out a collaborative partnership where the district agreed to release 6.7 acres of the proposed 15-acre high school parcel in East Area 1. The funds from that will be used to buy the Stewart property on Grant Line.

The district had the use of city property for a number of years, rent free, for the FFA program. The district was notified at the beginning of this year that the current farm property was to be sold to Crown Disposal. 

Dr. Martens noted Crown has worked with them and has allowed use of the property through this year’s county fair. She added, “All of these partnerships are testimony to the collaborative and pro-education spirit in Santa Paula.”