Unified board decides to hire law firm and consultant
By Brian D. Wilson
Santa Paula News
Published: January 23, 2013
The Board of Trustees of the Santa Paula Unified School District (SPUSD) has decided to offer separate contracts to a law firm and a consulting firm to assist them in forming the new unified school district.
After hearing from potential law firms and a consulting firm, the Board chose the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo to handle the SPUSD’s legal issues. They chose the consulting company Sage Institute to help in organizing the district.
Two law firms made presentations to the board, but Sage was the only consulting firm to make a presentation. Both law firms had offered to do both legal work and consulting, but trustees decided to separate the two jobs.
The contracts will come back for approval at a special meeting on January 31 at the Santa Paula Community Center.
The superintendent search and a contract for the chief business officials will also be back for a vote at that meeting. The Board took action to hire both Cathy Bojorquez, Santa Paula Elementary School District, and Donna Rose, Santa Paula Union High School District, as chief business officials for the Santa Paula Unified School District at the January 3 meeting.
Dr. Joel Kirschenstein, President of the Sage Institute, which has an office in Westlake Village, told the board they needed to get a superintendent on board as soon as possible. You’re already a little bit behind,” he added.
Board President Christina Urias recommended separating the legal position and the consulting. Diana Ponce-Gomez made the motion to hire the Atkinson firm, which was approved unanimously.
Another motion by Michelle Kolbeck to also hire a separate firm to represent the district in matters concerning the Board died for lack of a second. The Board also approved the hiring of Kirschenstein’s firm.
The unified district will take over the combined Santa Paula Elementary and Santa Paula Union High School District on July 1.