By Todd Wels
Triplicate staff writer
Should local schools contribute an additional $11,000 to help create a master plan for the areas recreational facilities?
Thats the question faced by the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees at tonights meeting.
This will be the second meeting where the issue has arisen. The board voted to table the issue at its Aug. 24 meeting, after a disagreement between board member William Parker and several other board members and staff over whether the district should pay the extra money or be involved in the planning process at all.
Earlier this year, the district joined the county of Del Norte and the City of Crescent City in paying $5,000 to fund a facilitator and committee to help create a master plan for the areas recreational facilities over Parkers objections.
He contended that such a group consisting of two members of each of the three agencies governing boards would violate the spirit, if not the letter of the Ralph M. Brown Act, which governs public meetings in California. He said it would do so by creating a direction for all three boards. In essence, decisions of the boards would be made outside of formal board meetings.
At the Aug. 26 meeting, Parker pointed to a year-long, eight-step plan that was created by the Partnership Committee at its Aug. 11 meeting as evidence.
Superintendent Walt Hanline disagreed, pointing out that any implementation of the plan will require a vote by the full membership of all three governing boards.
Parker also argued against the additional funding, stating: I think we have to be prudent in what we do. This is not budgeted.
Hanline said the savings incurred by the district due to the lack of a school board election this year would cover the additional $11,000.
Parker also questioned why the expenditure for the facilitator was necessary, maintaining that existing staff could create such a plan.
When the issue came before the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors at Tuesdays budget hearings, Supervisor Martha McClure voiced similar concerns, stating that, though she would vote for the funding, she was concerned about what kind of tangible results would come of the partnership.
Fellow Supervisor David Finigan said that was not the case.
This is not just another study, he said. This is an action plan.
The Board of Supervisors was expected to pass the funding for the partnership at its final budget hearings Wednesday afternoon.
If the school board passes the funding, it will be the second agency to do so.
The City Council has not yet heard the funding request, according to Mayor Michael Scavuzzo.
The school board will take the item up at tonights meeting which begins at 7 p.m. in the Education Center Board Room at 301 W. Washington Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.