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School board holds special meeting

School district discusses possibility of purchasing the Garden Club

RANCHO SANTA FE — Board president, Richard Burdge called the special Sept. 29 meeting to order, conveying to the small group in attendance that it would be a relatively short, open session.

The meeting, in the District Conference Room, was in reference to discussing the possible purchase of the Garden Club property.  As well, another action item discussed was whether or not the board agreed to designate Superintendent Lindy Delaney as property negotiator on behalf of the District.

The board unanimously agreed to both items and then went into closed session.

However, before closed session, Burdge asked if there was any public comment. Anne Golden, who has a child attending the Rancho Santa Fe School, echoed her thoughts.

“I looked at the agenda for this meeting yesterday online, and I saw that it was to discuss the purchase of the Garden Club.  And it just occurred to me that I had something I wanted to ask and address the board with this morning,” Golden said. “I just wanted to say that from my perspective and some of the people that I talk to that are other parents and community members that the purchase of that Garden Club right now probably isn’t something that we think we should do.”

In the past, it was mentioned the Garden Club would be an ideal spot for additional parking.

Golden agreed that parking is an issue.

“But I find if we have money laying around, maybe we should use that money toward the endowment,” she said, noting that perhaps that might allow people not needing to donate toward it annually.

On the other hand, Golden continued, they discovered last week at one of the open forum meetings regarding the math curriculum, that they need more teachers in the classrooms.

“Our students are struggling with math,” she said.  Rather than using the money to buy the Garden Club property, Golden thought it would be better suited to hire more teachers immediately.

Burdge thanked Golden for her public comment.

Currently, Burdge said, the meeting was to bring up the idea of looking at adjacent properties.

Board member, Tyler Seltzer, thanked Golden for her points.

“But I hope that no matter what we have in the endowment, no matter what we have here in the school monetarily, we never reach a point where current parents say everybody in the past has given so much money — I don’t have to give anymore,” Seltzer said.  “So whether there’s $5 million or $50 million, I would hope the current parent population continues to want to give.”

Board member, Marti Ritto, shared her thoughts, as well.

She called this special meeting as their due diligence.

“Really, we would be remiss in our duties as a Board of Trustees if we didn’t look at properties right now that are adjacent to the school,” she said.

As Burdge mentioned from the start, the open session portion of the special meeting was short in length, lasting under 20 minutes.