As financial woes continue to rock the Eastern Sierra Unified School District, Catherine Hiatt, the Mono County Superintendent of Schools, contacted the media to say that she finds the attitude of Eastern Sierra School Superintendent Don Clark toward the public appalling.
Twice a year, the Mono County Office of Education reviews the Eastern Sierra Unified school district budget. It was during a recent meeting regarding a bi-annual review of the Eastern Sierra Unified School District that Hiatt reports hearing Clark make a disparaging remark about the recent series of public meetings designed to come up with budget cutting ideas. Hiatt says she told Clark that he needs to wait and see what the citizens have to say about the budget before presenting the county with their list of cuts.
Hiatt reports that Clark then responded by saying none of their ideas will gain traction. The public does have ideas, Hiatt says, adding that this statement, is appalling to me.
We called Eastern Sierra Superintendent Clark to ask for his response. Clark emphatically denied making the statement about the public. I did not say that,” he said, it is categorically not true. After being accused of ignoring the public, Clark says that he welcomes all suggestions and ideas and we want the public involved. With additional meetings scheduled before cuts are finalized, Clark reports that some of the ideas already brought up at the public meetings are being seriously considered.
In the meantime the $1.9 million budget shortfall received help recently with an additional $300,000 from the state, but serious issues remain and cuts are reported to be inevitable.