I had a great day at today’s Board Retreat. Many thanks to the many people who came and spoke. It was particularly valuable hearing from the members of the public, and I’m gratified that the Board appears open to doing this again. To staff who gave up their Saturday, I’m very grateful, especially since they’re getting ready for our regular Board meeting Tuesday. Having to staff two meetings in one week, with one on a weekend, is a grueling schedule. Today came off flawlessly.
Also, more than ever I’m excited to be working with my fellow Board members.
Some important things I took away today:
- There’s a great mix of experience and expertise on the Board.
- We are all committed to transparency and accountability. I heard that loud and clear today.
- We began to discuss the District and its property. Nothing was decided, but one trend was strong. There was a common feeling that if there is any action on District-owned property (sale, lease, partnership, etc.), it should be in the context of an overall master plan.
- We are still likely to lose a little more enrollment, but eventually will likely stabilize for now. That means losing more general funds over time. We are going to need everyone’s creativity to find alternative sources of additional funding or support. We’re also going to need the participation and support of the City of Ojai. To that end, I was particularly pleased to see and hear from Councilmember Bill Weirick today, who is the Council’s new liaison to the OUSD. I was happy to hear him discuss the possibilities of the District and City working together.
We didn’t solve the world’s problems today. We just talked about many of the challenges that lay ahead of us, but I think we off to a good start. Again, thanks to Kathy Smith, Danni Pusatere, Superintendent Bangser, and everyone who made today possible, especially those who took the time to attend and speak.