CUSD Trustee John Alpay Threatens District Trying to More than Double His Own Pay
Even though we live in a time where polticians’ thirst for money at the taxpayer trough seems endless, CUSD Trustee John Alpay has taken greed to a new level. As a lawyer admitted to practice in California, Mr. Alpay has sent a letter to the school district demanding that his pay be doubled immediately and that the district “void” its policy denying Trustees expense reimbursement. (Here is a copy of Mr. Alpays threatening letter to the District: http://www.redcounty.com/sites/default/files/files/Allpay%20Email(1).pdf ) Given the fact that CUSD issued a press release today indicating that they may have to fire 346 teachers, Mr. Alpay’s actions seem not only horribly greedy but ill timed.
This all began back in February of 2008 when the Trustees were looking at the many ways in which they could close the budget deficit. On the February 25, 2008 agenda was item number three “Preliminary Budget: Consideration and approval, updated information on the 2008-09 State Budget and identification of proposed reductions in programs and services in order to balance the district’s 2008-09 Tentative Budget.” ( Here is the Agenda for the February 25, 2008 CUSD agenda http://cusd.capousd.org/cusdweb/boardtext/boardtext4-21-08.pdf ) During the course of the evening, one of the easy ways to cut the budget was to reduce the current pay of the Trustees by 1/2 taking it from $750 per month down to $375 per month. In addition, the Trustees also voted to eliminate their rights to receive reimbursement for travel expenses.
Now flash forward almost three years. Mr. Alpay, the aforementioned lawyer recently elected to the CUSD Board, sends his threatening letter linked above. In that letter, Mr. Alpay claims that the District violated the Brown Act when it voted to reduce Trustees’ pay and travel expenses. He further argues that all past and current Trustees are owed back pay dating to the Febraury 25, 2008 meeting. Mr. Alpay further alleges that each Trustee may be entitled to “penalties” for the District’s failure to pay the Trustees (he does fail to mention that those penalties would only be $375 for each Trustee and only if his challenge was timely and he prevailed.) The letter demands that the Board take “corrective” action and that all Trustees be paid their retroactive pay and all travel expenses for the past three years and further asks THAT THE BOARD BE ABLE TO FURTHER INCREASE TRUSTEE PAY!
Not only is Mr. Alpay greedy and gutsy he is flat out wrong. In his letter Mr. Alpay accuses the District of violating the Brown Act: “Unfortunately this item [Trustee pay reduction and travel expense elimination] was not agendized and is not reflected anywhere as a potential item for discussion.” Evidently Mr. Alpay does not see how a reduction in Trustee pay and expenses could at all relate to “proposed reduction in programs and services” which was set for a vote that night – I am not sure how he could miss that little tidbit, but he either missed it or simply chose not to see it.
Then Mr. Alpay goofs in a way that lawyers aren’t supposed to goof – he is almost three years too late in bringing his challenge. If Mr. Alpay’s argument about the Brown Act violation is correct he had 30 DAYS to bring it to the attention of the District and request that they correct their mistake. The time to “challenge” the District’s vote expired in approximately March of 2008. Again, Mr. Alpay either missed this little tidbit or didn’t care about the corners that he cut to double his pay.
Why would Mr. Alpay take this convuluted road to double his pay and increase his benefits? Simple answer – no accountability. By sending his “demand” letter, Mr. Alpay is hoping that District staff “void” the earlier vote thus doubling trustee pay and restoring the voluntarily eliminated travel expenses. Obviously the other way Mr. Alpay could proceed is to bring this to the Board as his own motion. Given that his District just announced the possible elimination of 346 teachers, I don’t think Mr. Alpay’s motion to double his pay and to restore expense reimbursement would fare too well politically.
This greed and poor judgment greatly saddens me because Mr. Alpay claims to be a Republican. I really doubt that. Seeking to expand your own pay at taxpayer expense? Sounds like a Republican In Name Only (RINO) to me. Of course I am not the first one to notice that Mr. Alpay is not really a Republican: http://www.redcounty.com/content/oc-gop-central-committee-traitor-among-us-%E2%80%93-john-alpay