Newport-Mesa to vote again on donation

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District board will vote Tuesday night for the second time on whether to accept a $96,000 donation.

Costa Mesa's City Council approved sending that money to the school district earlier this year as the first installment of a grant program that would donate half a million dollars toward athletics improvements at Costa Mesa's two high schools.

But confusion surfaced last month over exactly where the money was coming from.

Newport-Mesa officials insisted the donation was directly from the city of Costa Mesa to the school district.

But city officials insisted they gave the money to youth sports nonprofit Costa Mesa United on the condition that it donate the funds to the school district for capital improvements that officials helped select.

All donations must pass a vote of the school district, and in May, board members voted to accept the $96,000 directly from Costa Mesa.

After the disparity was pointed out, Newport-Mesa's chief business official, Deputy Supt. Paul Reed, said he was unsure if the school board would have to revote on the item to officially accept the money.

"If the check comes in purely from Costa Mesa United and not from the city of Costa Mesa, I suppose I have to get a legal opinion," he said at the time.

At Tuesday's board meeting, trustees again will vote on the issue, probably accepting the same $96,000, just acknowledging it from a different source this time.

A consent calendar item lists the donor as Costa Mesa Community Athletics Foundation. Costa Mesa United is the fundraising arm of that organization.

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