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Manteca Unified getting rid of $8K quilting machine
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The Manteca Unified Board of Education Tuesday night officially gave district staff the green light “to dispose of obsolete equipment.”

The equipment being referred to is a long-arm quilting machine that was purchased approximately five years ago to be used by Manteca Adult School students in a quilting class offered at the Lindbergh Educational Center. With the quilting class now eliminated, along with several other Adult School classes, in the wake of the school district budget crisis and dried up state funds, there is no longer a need to keep the quilting machine at Lindbergh School. Its disposal is also being dictated by the need for a place to store it. Adult School Principal Diane Medeiros said the machine is currently stored at one of the high schools in the district.

With the unanimous official nod given by the board of trustees to get rid of the quilting machine, which was reportedly purchased at $8,000 new, the next step will be to determine the exact manner of disposal. When the issue came up at the last board meeting, the suggestion was to offer it for sale via silent auction. It was also mentioned that someone has already expressed a desire to purchase it at around $3,000. And if it was going to be put up for bidding, that the minimum bid start with that amount. Trustee Manuel Medeiros, however, said that they should start the bidding at a higher price. He suggested that the opening bid be at $8,000.

Newly installed Trustee Don Scholl encouraged the board to list the equipment on eBay, the online auction powerhouse adding this method of getting rid of this “surplus property” would be not just effective but “profitable.”

At the start of discussion, Medeiros questioned the language of the agenda item “authorization to dispose of obsolete equipment” – and its placement under the consent calendar which is where items that do not need further discussion are listed.

“I do believe it should come back” to the board for further discussion, he said. “Seeing it as a consent item, to me it was a done deal.”

Superintendent Jason Messer was shaking his head even while Medeiros was talking. He then explained to Medeiros that the agenda item was part of the process to dispose of the equipment per the board’s direction at the last meeting.

Medeiros was the only one who voted against authorizing district staff to get rid of the quilting equipment.

At the prior board meeting last month, he also suggested that the district should look into simply storing the quilting machine for future use when the class is offered again. Since some of the classrooms at the Adult School are not being used anyhow because they got rid of some of the classes, storage should not be a problem, he pointed out.