Last Thursday in Malibu the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education voted unanimously to extend the Facilities Master Plan planning process to the fall.The process to develop the 20-year long-range plan began in late January and was supposed to conclude this summer. However, out-going Superintendent John Deasy had recommended to the Board at the March 9 meeting that the process be suspended because his departure in May to become Superintendent of the Prince George County, Maryland School District will require the Board to focus on recruiting a new Superintendent.In addition, Deasy felt that “continuation of the process once a new Superintendent is in place will provide an invaluable opportunity for him/her to learn about the community, understand the issues regarding facilities and have the opportunity to provide input for a plan he/she will be responsible for executing.”The Board’s vote reflected their agreement with the recommendation made by the District’s Chief Financial Officer Winston Braham that the District “take advantage of the momentum we’ve built up with the workshops we’ve had so far, and continue the process but bring it to a logical lull over the summer.” He also advised the Board, “If you elongate it, it’s $87,000 (more)” but those extra costs could be cut by eliminating other costs in the process. The vote also agreed with the consensus of the District’s Ad-Hoc Facilities Committee (ADFC) to extend the process over the summer to allow the incoming Superintendent to participate. Board member Maria Leon-Vazquez expressed her agreement with Braham’s recommendation by stating, “One of the key points we have to look at is that we started out with a very ambitious plan thinking we were going to have a facilities bond measure on the November ballot.” District consultant Allison Kendal spoke. “There’s always a value in looking at a comprehensively at what you have and what your mission is and how best to organize your resources.”The co-chair of the ADFC, Gleam Davis told the Board, “The value of the master plan decreases to some extent over time. The estimates become less accurate.”Board President Julia Brownley suggesting starting a dialogue to “see when it would be best to place a bond measure or parcel tax on the ballot.”
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