Mammoth Unified School District (MUSD) Superintendent Frank Romero didn’t show up for work last Friday morning. Because he didn’t show, the MUSD Board apparently couldn’t give him proper legal notice of a special board meeting for the purpose of discussing Mr. Romero’s job performance. And then the district went on vacation, so it appeared Mr. Romero bought himself at least two more weeks of employment.
Lunch happened across Board of Education President Gloria Vasquez and former Mono County School Superintendent Rich McAteer having coffee together last Friday at the Java Joint. Hmm. What could they have been talking about?
Turns out Romero didn’t have two weeks. On Dec. 22, Vasquez sent out a notice to the media stating that “After the holiday break, Dr. [Frank] Romero will not be returning to [the MUSD].” Vasquez’s memo went on to say that McAteer has agreed to step in and serve as Interim Superintendent. Pat Rogan will, according to Vasquez, act as Interim Principal at Mammoth Elementary School.
The Board will meet on Jan. 5, 2010, to make the appointments final and “take further action on Dr. Romero’s contract.” Sounds ominous.
For the uninitiated, Romero’s been in the stew lately for, among other things, copying other people’s work and passing it off as his own. Which we may have forgiven if his field was abstract expressionism, alas … He’s also reportedly thrown a few tantrums, and no, they were not taped so Coors Light can’t turn them into beer commercials.
… Though he has not officially announced, longtime Mammoth resident, locksmith and Tourism and Recreation Commission Chairman Bill Sauser told The Sheet that he will indeed challenge Larry Johnston for the retiring Tom Farnetti’s District I Mono County Supervisor’s seat.
… Went to the arraignment hearing on Monday morning for bear killer Roy Flores of San Bernardino, who shot and killed a bear up at Lake Mary with his .45 in September.
Attorney Randy Gephardt, on behalf of his client, offered not guilty pleas to two misdemeanor charges. The first, under California Fish and Game code section 4750, states, “It is unlawful to take any bear with firearm, trap, or bow and arrow without first procuring a license tag authorizing the taking of such bear … “
The second charge is for illegal discharge of a firearm within Town limits, a violation of municipal code.
The pre-trial hearing is set for Feb. 1, 2010.
Otherwise, we at The Sheet wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy holiday. Don’t know too many folks who’d like to repeat 2009, as too many good folks passed on, leaving hearts heavy, and too many visitors passed on dessert, leaving our wallets light. Here’s to a better 2010. Look for our Year in Review issue next week.
Final note: If you’re looking for legal classifieds in this publication, well, the attorneys are still haggling over the language in the proposed order, so The Sheet remains in purgatory. We’ll keep you posted.
And from Geisel’s desk …
Not a whole lot to report, but figured we’d close out 2009 with some last bits of County business that almost didn’t make it in print. Almost!
First off, earlier this month, Mono County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson and Public Health Director Lynda Salcido updated Mono Supervisors on the status of 2009-2010 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grants. The Board approved a proposed contract with California’s Department of Public Health pertaining to the services as outlined in accordance with the Public Health Emergency Preparedness, State GF Pandemic Influenza and HHS Hospital Preparedness Cooperative Agreement Application, Work Plans and Budgets.
The agreements being funded for the current budget cycle include: 2009-2010 CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), State General Fund Pandemic Influenza, HHS Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), CDC Public Health Emergency Response (PHER) Phases I and II, and CDC PHER Phase III, which specifically funds Public Health’s H1N1 vaccination response activities.
State allocations for Mono County for FY 2009/10 total $663,308, which is already accounted for in the approved County budget. Roughly $350,000 of that amount is for H1N1 support funding, which is part of the fed’s ARRA stimulus bundle that Johnson said was doled out to the County directly from Washington, D.C.
“Would we have obtained that kind of H1N1 funding in a non-ARRA environment? Who knows?” Johnson asked rhetorically.
Ann Gimpel from Mono County Mental Health got 5-0 approval from the Board to enter into a contract with the California Emergency Management Agency in order to fund a Substance Abuse Offender Treatment Program. The state program, funded with part of $400 million from President Barack Obama’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Act money will, according to Gimpel, “actually bring some money to cash-strapped Mono County.” Gimpel said the program is designed to support juveniles who have been adjudicated for non-violent, substance-related crimes.
The 18-month contract is worth $124,427. The funds represent reimbursement for 22.5% of a Deputy Probation Officer, 50% of an Alcohol/Drug Counselor, 18 residential treatment episodes, 1,000 drug test kits and other costs. Although there is no required County match, Mono’s Alcohol/Drug Program will allocate $6,191 from an Substance Abuse and Treatment block grant towards the cost of the Counselor over the life of the project. Of these funds, 25% will go to Mono County Probation, with the remainder going to the Alcohol and Drug Program.
And the Board also mulled over having its third meeting of each month based in Mammoth Lakes, teleconferencing in reverse to Bridgeport. According to County Administrative Officer Dave Wilbrecht, most of the Board’s adjourned meetings on those dates tend to be in south county locations. The Board made no decision on the idea.