City Agrees to Pay the School District $20,000

Payment guarantees the joint approval of the facilities use contract.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published October 21, 2009 (ONLINE ONLY)

The city of Temple City has agreed to send a twenty thousand dollar payment to the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) as a condition for joint approval of the facilities use contract.

“The agreement includes wording that provides for the city to pay $20,000 to the District in fiscal year 2009-2010 for City use of District facilities,” wrote interim city manager Cathy Burroughs in the June 25, 2009 city manager’s report.

“As you are aware, the ad hoc committee has been meeting to negotiate an equitable fee,” she continued.

City councilmembers had reluctantly okayed giving the District a one-time lump sum amount at its meeting on June 16.

“Over the years, it seems that our uses outnumbered their uses,” admitted councilman Tom Chavez. “I believe after discussing it with them that it would be fair to pay something.”

Although councilman Fernando Vizcarra also approved the City paying the District, he stated, “We can’t forget about the fact that we do a lot for the schools already.”

Vizcarra cited the City’s contribution of crossing guards and sheriff deputies. “From a monetary standpoint, it’s not like we haven’t done anything.”

“One emotional problem I had with the discussions…was that they were treating the kids that we provide a service to as if they were aliens from another planet,” complained Vizcarra, “when in fact they were the exact same kids that they take care of in school every day.”

“I understand that the city uses the school district facilities significantly more than the school district uses the city facilities; however, this has been a very longstanding relationship,” said the interim city manager when asked what she thought about the City contributing to the TCUSD, “…there have been, as some councilmembers have pointed out, many other expenses the city does cover.”

“But I’m also realist to know that I think the time has come and gone when we’re going to be using the facilities free of charge.”

“I would like to see a lesser amount,” Burroughs added. “We probably should have accepted the $5000 if it was offered last year.”

In 2008, a dispute emerged between the City and the District over the facilities use agreement.

District officials demanded the City pay for the variable costs associated with an imbalanced use of District facilities, and refused to sign the facilities use contract without any changes.

The unusual request for payment prompted tension among the council and school board members, especially since both the City and District have always allowed one another to use each other other’s facilities free of charge.

As a good-will gesture for contract negotiations, the School Board extended the contract to June 30, 2009 and an ad hoc committee was later re-formed in April 2009.

According to city officials, the School District originally came up with a sum of $80,000, but decreased the amount to $30,000. Councilman Chavez then negotiated the total down to $20,000, a figure the City Council had budgeted in June.

The City Council is expected to sign a new facilities use agreement on July 7. The School Board agreed to the new terms at its meeting on June 24.

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