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Pasadena Council Concerned of Imminent County Control of PUSD

Pasadena Unified School Board Member Patrick Cahalan, addressing council Monday, is convinced LACOE will not take over local control. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Despite recent passage of tax measure increase

By Terry Miller

During a three-hour council meeting Monday, members had more questions than answers regarding how the tax revenue funds will be used in future to help infuse life back into Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) without allowing the very real possibility of a County takeover.

City Manager Steve Mermell said the District is “unlikely” to produce a satisfactory budget plan for the County by the required date, Dec. 13, “thus triggering intervention by LACOE (Los Angeles County Office of Education).”

Councilman Tyron Hampton, District 1, said potential county takeover of PUSD was “ridiculous” and hopes the city can find a way to help the district off life support, perhaps with these new tax measures overwhelmingly approved by Pasadena voters on Nov. 6.

However, as Mayor Tornek pointed out, that money would not be available until July 2019.

Hampton, a strong proponent of local control, attended Cleveland Elementary during his early education. That school recently came under the chopping block.

The general consensus Monday was more confusion than consensus. How and where to spend the Measure funds will be determined at a later date.

In the meantime, PUSD is desperately trying to come up with more cost cutting before the deadline looms next month.

What seemed a little ironic on Monday when the School District is facing such catastrophic cuts is that the council approved a whopping pay increase for the city manager. Total compensation for Steve Mermell will exceed $400,000.

November 20, 2018

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family emigrated to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures or chasing a breaking news story, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars...more like an addiction, his wife of 20 years says.


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