The SAUSD owns more open space and athletic fields that the City of Santa Ana. But while other school districts in Orange County are going out of their way to share their green space with residents that is not happening here in Santa Ana.
I met recently with the head of a non-profit Adult soccer league. He explained that his players are Santa Ana residents – many in fact are SAUSD grads. As there are so few soccer fields available in Santa Ana this league has been renting fields from the SAUSD. They do this in other cities with other school districts as well – but their experience in Santa Ana has been horrible.
The SAUSD insists that this league pay SAUSD school security officers an overtime rate of $45 an hour to be at their games. And they charge literally thousands of dollars, paid six months in advance, for this league to use their fields.
As the SAUSD has converted many of their fields to artificial grass it seems that their main concern with regard to security is ensuring that folks don’t eat or drink any food items while at the soccer games.
I am also told that the SAUSD often cancels games citing the unavailability of fields – but the league managers have gone to the fields and discovered that they have in fact not been in use. They have also complained about trash left on the field.
One of my readers at the New Santa Ana blog also had this to say about the SAUSD’s treatment of athletic leagues:
I currently play in this adult inter week league and in another league that used the Carr Sports complex until recently when SAUSD took them away too.
No other school district in Orange County has such draconian rules or overcharges the local athletic leagues the way the SAUSD does.
For a while now the SAUSD has also been mistreating the Northeast Santa Ana Little League – and now they may price them out of existence by charging a ridiculous rental fee to use the land they have existed on since the 1950’s.
The SAUSD’s top culprit is a guy named Orin Williams. He is their Facilities and Government Relations Asst. Superintendent. Back in 2016 he was making over $225K a year in pay and benefits. Lord knows how much he is making now. And no he doesn’t live here in Santa Ana. One might ask why he would even care about our residents? His actions clearly show that he does not.
Don’t expect SAUSD School Board incumbents John Palacio and Valerie Amezcua to change anything. They are running for reelection on a platform of keeping things as they are.
The SAUSD does not own their land and facilities. We do. They belong to the public. Williams and company would do well to remember that.
If you want change at the SAUSD you know what to do – vote for Art Pedroza and Angie Cano for the SAUSD School Board this year! Let’s take back our school district!