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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Quick fix: A plumbing problem is forcing the Plumas Unified School District to move its headquarters to the former probation building.
  • Lesser charges: A former Chester Public Utility District general manager pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month in connection with unauthorized use of a district credit card at a Reno strip club.

Austerity committee holds public input forums to gather ideas

Staff Writer

  The Plumas Unified School District superintendent’s austerity committee held public forums Dec. 3 – 6 to gather input from community members on how to cut costs from the school district’s budget.

  The committee is tasked with recommending $3 million in cuts in order to rectify a $2.8 million structural deficit.

  A long list of potential cost saving measures suggested by PUSD staff and community members has already been compiled by the committee.

  The list runs the gamut from eliminating money transfers to deferred maintenance ($300,000); to eliminating money for athletics transportation and coaching stipends (about $40,000); to selling unused PUSD buildings, even for a dollar; to eliminating printing of employee and parent handbooks ($2,500 and $6,000, respectively).

  The committee is gathering as many ideas as people can dream up, then they will review all possibilities and report their suggestions to Superintendent Micheline Miglis.

  There are 12 members on the austerity committee, including PUSD administrators and teachers, parents and community members.

  Time is running out to complete the drastic budget slashing recommendations: by Jan. 15, 2013, the committee’s report is due on Miglis’ desk.

  Last week marked the last public forums where audience members could give their suggestions to the committee.

  Now the committee will review the recommendations and present its cost-cutting measures to Miglis.

  Miglis has supported the austerity committee since her job began Oct. 22, and she was present at the four public forums held in Portola, Quincy, Greenville and Chester last week.

  “The community is well informed, very engaged and proud of their schools,” Miglis said, regarding the theme of each meeting.

  “People truly want the district to succeed and function well. A lot of very creative ideas have been suggested.

  “The money is the money — we can’t change that. It’s getting leaner and leaner, more and more difficult.

  “Everyone is taking the charge very seriously. It is very stressful. But with the collective wisdom of everyone, we will prevail,” Miglis declared.

  Learn more about the austerity committee by going to its Facebook page, PUSD Austerity, or by emailing pusdausterity@gmail.com.


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