District and City Agree to Extend Facilities Use Contract

In a fairly contentious meeting with two of Temple City’s elected bodies, the local School Board and City Council, an agreement was reached to extend the former Facilities Use contract until June 30, 2009.

The latest dispute came about when the School Board refused to extend the current no-charge agreement between the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) and City of Temple City. The original deadline expired on June 30, but was eventually extended to September 30.

“The terms of the no-charge, it is very unequal and unbalanced at this point” said TCUSD Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith at the Thursday, September 18, 2008 joint meeting.

Smith noted that the number of days the District used City facilities amounted to 9, or 44 hours; on the other hand, the number of days the City used District facilities equaled 223 days, or 4,434.5 hours. A city official later disputed the claim.

District officials want the City Council to offer a $5000 annual contribution for variable costs associated with use of District facilities.

“Our facility need right now is great” admitted the Superintendent.

Tension arose when the individual members of the City Council spoke. The City Council urged for an extension of the contract in order to not place the City afterschool program, Stars, in jeopardy. Any other item, including fees and potential partnerships ought to be postponed, they urged.

After voicing concerns about maintenance and other variable costs, School Board members compromised with the City Council by extending the contract with the mindset that further discussion takes place about fees before the next contract expires.

Because School Board Members Rachel LaSota and Janet Rhee were absent, all three School Board Members present had to agree. A motion to extend the contract was made by School Board Clerk Matt Smith and seconded by Vice-President Robert Ridley.

Board President Joe Walker added to the motion, “with stipulation that there [would] be discussion through the year on the costs to be discussed with the contract comes up for renewal.” It passed 3-0.

On a motion by Mayor Pro Tempore Dave Capra and a second by Councilwoman Judy Wong, the City Council also unanimously voted to extend the Facilities Use contract.

Both elected bodies also agreed to schedule quarterly meeting between the two entities to talk about future projects and promote cooperation.

 

This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on January 30, 2009.

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