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Due to high cost, Lodi Unified School District board may stop having attorney present at every bargaining session

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Posted: Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 5:50 am, Fri May 13, 2011.

A News-Sentinel review of hundreds of pages of Lodi Unified School District legal invoices over the past six months showed hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on litigation, consulting, mediation and other labor group services.

  • In January alone, the district paid Folsom-based Kingsley, Bogard, Thompson $21,719 for contract-related negotiations with the classified union.
  • Two months later, $300,000 went to help prepare teacher layoff notices, with one-third of that going to the Kingsley attorneys. Another $100,000 was set aside by the school board as a retainer for the firm's services in February.
  • And since June 30, the main firm handling litigation against contractors who built McNair High School — Thurbon and McHaney, LP, of Gold River — has charged the district a staggering $760,000 for litigation and expert construction consultant services, according to the invoices.

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7 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:25 pm on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Bob stated...The effectiveness of a formal education is not effectively realized until a career is well underway. The success of that career is, in my opinion, the only legitimate measure of the level and completeness of education one has received.

    Bob... very thought provoking statement... made me think of other possibilities... If in fact the key measurement of a good education is a link to the success of an eventual career , it would then would dictate or control the content of what is taught year after year. Since the state dictates what is taught, and more recently, how it is taught, it makes you question if the state is thinking in the same way you expressed how to measure it... may I ask... do you have more thoughts about what you said and can you expand more on your concept of measuring a quality education... I have never thought about what you said in that way... thank you!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:37 pm on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    statement...As expected, Mr. Baumbach. You do realize that your comments are always blatently sexist, right?
    Ms Bobin .. I assume you meant “blatantly”

    Response... That could be true... I have always felt that woman, are superior to men in many of the important things... In my opinion, woman are much more are civil, communicative, compassionate, loving, caring and creative ( you are an exception to the rule) Intelligence wise, I think of men and woman as equal. If I have been sexist, I give my apology to the men who I have been bias against. For example, when George Bush was president, I thought Condoleezza Rice was the brains and power behind the scenes in various circumstances and GW was fortunate to have her talent.
    Statement... That must be the reason why you criticize anything and everything that has to do with your wife's former career.

    Response... I think you needed more time to compose yourself … speaking of false memory syndrome... .... except for the decisions to follow their union , like in turning down the districts offer, all of my focus has been on the teacher's union... not teachers. I also think some teachers have been mislead and manipulated to think they are not appreciated or valued by the district when in fact they are. Some perceive they are underpaid, and I think they should be thankful with what they have considering our economy. When I stated that the district should have stated the money was for the teachers and other employees... it was ... and because it was, why not state it like it is. The union works for the teachers... not the students. When teachers get money, it comes through the union. However, that does not mean that teachers should not benefit... they should be paid for the good job most of them do.

     
  • Bob Silvano posted at 4:28 pm on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Bob Silvano Posts: 145

    Ms. Bobin.
    Your response to Mr. Baumbach begs for comment. How can you possibly consider your comments constructive, when they obviously reek of the very sexism you accuse Mr. Baumbach of?
    The effectiveness of a formal education is not effectively realized until a career is well underway. The success of that career is, in my opinion, the only legitimate measure of the level and completeness of education one has received. Even then, the shortcomings that may present themselves are often not readily attributable to any specific teacher, therefore making it virtually impossible to hold any one specific teacher accountable for errors. I once made the mistake of informing a teacher at Tokay High that I had diagnosed the problem that had been plaguing her heating and air conditioning system for years, and would have it resolved in a couple of hours. In a voice designed to ensure that the entire class heard her response, she informed me that no one had been able to do so in the past, and she expected nothing better from me. Though my initial conversation with the teacher was in a very subdued and informative tone, due to her response, and using the same level of voice as she had, I informed her that the only difference between her work and mine, was that the results of my efforts were known immediately, and hers would never be known for years.
    The level of knowledge and training you have is worthless unless it can be effectively utilized for its intended purpose. Though they are called teachers, many are incapable of doing just that. I would not condemn the opinion of Mr. Baumbach simply on your personal experience with his marital status, as it appears you are doing. By the way, it takes more than teachers to achieve an education. There are hundreds of equally hard working staff behind the scenes who, by nature of their work, make teaching possible. You would do well to remember that the next time one of your students decides to “blow groceries” on your newly polished classroom floor, or, perhaps you would prefer to clean it up yourself?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:14 pm on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    As expected, Mr. Baumbach. You do realize that your comments are always blatently sexist, right?

    That must be the reason why you criticize anything and everything that has to do with your wife's former career. Seems like some inadequacies are showing.

    Actually, I was responding directly to your comments. You should know by now that Certificated salaries and benefits are considered money spent on students. How else are they to be educated? Put 25 kids in a classroom with all the resources in the world and no teacher. Will they learn? Maybe a small percentage. Ask your wife this question. She undoubtedly has more knowledge and training in education than you do and is no doubt better qualified to answer.

    Happy Mother's Day to your wife. She must be a very wonderful woman.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:29 pm on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Happy mothers day ms Bobin! after reading your post, you need all the compassion that you can get... hopfully you can read my post again tomorrow and then compose yourself ( a major task)so you can articulate something that relates to my post... your post has nothing to do with mine but it appeared you were attemping to make commentary based on my post... better luck next time. ... hint... my post reflects my perception that the school board should be independent from the teacher's union.... and as far as my wife... happy mothers day to you too.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:30 am on Sun, May 8, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4485

    After being married to a teacher for so many years, Mr. Baumbach, I would think that you would know that the exorbitant salaries and benefits they receive are considered "for the kids" in educationalese. Perhaps you can convince your wife to return the $75K in annual salary plus all benefits and retirement contributions she had been receiving before her retirement (and donate back all current retirement income from that unfair retirement system that is not available to the general population)...after all, you have complained about it numerous times in this forum.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:54 am on Sat, May 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403


    We absolutely do have to seek legal advice because we're trying to do things the right way. We've got to protect the assets of this district against claims," he said. "Any money we spend on those takes away from the kids."

    May I ask... was this a misquote? Since around 92% of all educational funds are allocated to salaries and benefits of district teachers & employees, shouldn't the last sentence have been... Any money we spend on those takes away from the teachers and administrative staff? Since Mr Neely is supposed to be representing everyone in the district ( including students, parents and tax payers), you would think he would paint an accurate picture of reality. Using terminology of : for the kids” sounds more noble and just... sounds like Mr Neely still sees things from the union perspective that he was so close to prior to becoming president of the board. The union has over the years consistently stated... its all for the kids, when in reality... its all for the members of the union that they in good faith represent. I expect an independent objective person to say it like it is. Mr Neely must feel very comfortable and secure with the union if he is contemplating “not” having legal representation at each meeting... To me, it is not clear whose best interest is served by the district not having legal representation at these meetings.

     
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