Facilities Use Agreement Divides City Council

School Board to weigh in; Agreement expires on June 30

Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published January 26, 2012 (ONLINE ONLY) 

City officials on Tuesday voted 3-2 to approve a joint facilities use agreement with the Temple City Unified School District.

Led by Temple City Councilmember Fernando Vizcarra, the city proposed paying the school district $20,000 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The councilmember’s proposal also leaves open the possibility of a higher contribution once the city completes its own fee assessment study.

The school district previously asked the city to pay $30,000, with a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for each successive year.

“I have heartburn with this particular item,” Mr. Vizcarra said at the June 7, 2011 city council meeting. The veteran councilmember raised similar concerns over the facilities use agreement in May.

“I was advocating we stay at $20,000, and somehow that became $25,000,” he said. “I’m not sure what the justification is for the additional $5000.”

In response to Mr. Vizcarra’s question, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Burroughs responded that the city-school district ad hoc (now standing) committee had proposed $25,000 as a compromise.

“The district felt it was inappropriate to not have any increase. The city had other feelings. The end result was that we would both take back to our bodies [the compromise],” Ms. Burroughs said.

Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist, who along with Mr. Vizcarra serves as the city’s representatives on the standing committee, also voiced disapproval with the city’s contribution.

“Technically, we’re paying $25,000 to the school district to use their facilities to supervise the children that attend schools in Temple City, correct?” she asked.

“Aren’t these the kids that go to the school during the day and they get out of school and stay at the facility?” Councilman Carl Blum asked.

A motion by Mr. Vizcarra was joined by Councilmembers Blum and Sternquist. Mayor Tom Chavez and Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu voted against the motion.

“I would like to use this opportunity to express that [the city] understands [the school district’s] issues and we’d like to work this out,” Mr. Yu said. Mr. Yu voted against the motion, while agreeing with his colleagues.

Earlier in the meeting, the city council approved a joint facilities use agreement with the El Monte school district at no charge, while also approving a $57,000 contribution for a new gym floor and bleachers at Oak Avenue Intermediate School.

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