HUNTINGTON BEACH : Residents Panel to Study School Repair

Trying to meet residents' demands for a greater voice in maintaining school facilities, trustees from the Ocean View School District last week set up a panel of residents to discuss ways to pay for school repairs and maintenance.

The District Recreational Facilities Maintenance and Improvement Committee will include 21 voting members from the community, along with a revolving group of non-voting district advisers.

The group will study data on the district's baseball diamonds, soccer fields and other recreational facilities used by a host of community youth organizations. District officials say many of the facilities are in disrepair, making the district vulnerable to potential lawsuits.

The group is scheduled to make its first recommendations to the board by May 1, three months later than the board's original deadline.

This summer, Ocean View joined with three other school districts in imposing a property fee to pay for repairs and maintenance. Trustees repealed that levy, however, amid protests from angry residents.

Protesters called on trustees to consider suggestions from the community before proposing ways to fund the projects. The board agreed to establish the advisory panel.

The voting members of the group will include two principals, an at-large community member, along with representatives from 10 youth organizations, the Huntington Beach Department of Parks and Recreation, the district Parents and Teachers Assn., the local board of realtors, the Chamber of Commerce, both district employee unions, the Ocean View Education Foundation and a senior citizen group.

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