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MUSD Measure M Oversight panel lacks two members

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POSTED October 25, 2012 1:09 a.m.

The Measure M Citizen’s Oversight Committee of the Manteca Unified School District is arguably the easiest community-interest group on which to serve.

For starters, the seven members meet only twice a year under the organizational provisions.

The group is still like the new kid on the block having been formed less than a decade; hence, it has yet to attract the wide-ranging attention that draws dozens of interested individuals to, say, the Board of Education’s agenda discussions.

But the fact of the matter is, the committee is struggling to reel in two more community- and education-minded school district residents to warm up the remaining two seats on the seven-member panel. At the Wednesday evening meeting held in the board room of the school district office on West Louise Avenue, the five committee members were all present – chairman Ray Tolle, Denise Mathews, Sharon Hathaway, Robin Meglan, and Mary Mueller. The latest to be appointed to the committee were Mathews, Meglan, and Mueller whose applications were approved in August of this year by the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees which gives the green light to every appointment.

MUSD Senior Director of Business Services Jacqui Breitenbucher told the committee members on Wednesday that “as long as we’re actively seeking (panel members), we can go ahead and continue meeting.”

And they are “still actively seeking,” she said. The vacancy has been continuously posted on the school district’s web site and at all school sites.

To be considered on the panel requires that applicants be involved in and are active in PTA or similar parent-teacher groups in any of the schools in the district. These include Parent-Teacher Club and similar school associations.

The Measure M Citizens’ Oversight Committee was established as part of the legal mandate to the passage of Measure M, a general obligation fund approved by the voters in the district during the March 2004 general election. An oversight committee was required “to inform the public at least annually in a written report, concerning the expenditure of the Measure M Bond proceeds.

The group was also formed “to ensure that the expenditures of bond measures are in strict conformity with the law; that taxpayers directly participate in the oversight bond expenditures, and that members of the committee alert the public to any waste or improper expenditure of school construction bond money.”

Each committee member approved by the Board of Trustees is appointed to a two-year term.

In addition to membership to school parent-teacher groups, applicants have to be registered voters and reside within the geographical boundaries of Manteca Unified which include Lathrop, French Camp, Weston Ranch which is actually a part of incorporated City of Stockton, as well as some unincorporated outlying areas of San Joaquin County.

However low profile is the committee and its mission and obligation, at least for now, Board of Trustee Don Scholl emphasized the big responsibility on each of the panel members when he told them, “thank you for all your efforts (in making) sure we spend funds appropriately.”

Others at the meeting besides the panel members, Breitenbucher and Scholl were MUSD Senior Director of Operations David Burke, and school district administrative staff Debbi Hauger.

For more information on how to become a member of the Measure M Oversight Committee, log on to www.mantecausd.net or call Hauger at (209) 858-0728.

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