Capitol Times Event Interferes With TUSD Board Meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, Superintendent H.T. Sanchez reported that he was heading off to the White House to share his plans to transform school discipline practices. Sanchez was invited by the Obama administration to “a national convening and conversation on improving school discipline policies and practices.”

With his boyish Texas charm, the giddy Sanchez stammered almost incoherently, “I will have two proposals that I will be bringing forward to the Board, but to be part of this national conversation at the White House – the invitation did say it will be hosted at the White House – and I believe the date is July 22.”

Sanchez said he was be bringing to the Board a proposal “where we’re taking a look at eliminating our expulsion process as much as we can.”

Sanchez also advised the Board that “guys like Larry King have people” and his people reached out to Sanchez to join King on his new online show, “Larry King Now.”

After his presentation, Sanchez was rewarded handsomely for his invite to the White House among other coups. The Board awarded him a lucrative new contract which will earn him well over $300,000 a year, over the next three years.

Board president Adelita Grijalva, daughter of progressive Congressman Raul Grijalva instructed Sanchez to pass through the “love tunnel” to commemorate his new wealth.

Sanchez felt the love again on Wednesday, when he was informed that he is in the running for the “Best Testifier” award, from the Capitol Times. The award ceremony is scheduled for the evening of June 23 in Phoenix. As a result, Sanchez is hoping to move the Governing Board meeting scheduled for the same date to Monday, June 22, to accommodate his presence at the award event.

The annual event is a popular fundraiser for the Capitol Times. It provides politicos an opportunity to sit and mock and be mocked, as they vie for dubious distinctions. When asked if candidates for “Best Testifier” are judged on their truthfulness or delivery, Capitol Times editor Jim Small said, “Whether our subscribers pick a winner in this particular category based on his or her content during testimony or delivery is something I can’t really speak to.”

In the past, “best of” categories included: Best Dressed, Best Shoes, Best Hair, Best Lobbyist Under 40, Best Political Operative, Best Power Broker, Best PR Person, Best Power Couple, Best Twitterer, Best Place to Impress a Client, Best After Hours Hangout, Best Capitol Lawn Event, and Best Awards Event.

Sanchez, a political neophyte, has viewed the “Best Testifier” nomination as an honor. Yet, it is Sanchez’s testimony in front of the House Education Committee this past Legislative Session that has spurred calls for an investigation into the District’s finances.

Board member Michael Hicks said he would not support moving the date of the Board meeting, and according to Jim Small there is really no need to do so. “Attendance,” according to Small, “at the event won’t change the votes that our subscribers cast, and thus is not a factor for determining a winner in any category.”

A review of his new earning potential (Table 1) led one Capitol insider to say that the Capitol Times should add the “Best Negotiator With Public Funds” award.

Table 1: Sanchez’s negotiated salary/bonus/expense contract

4.AAnnual Base Salary210,000210,000210,000270,000280,000
4.BSalary Adjustments 6-9-201530,00050,000
Adjusted Base210,000240,000260,000270,000280,000
4.CPerformanced based Comp6%12,60014,40015,60016,20016,800
8Consultation Activities
9Professional Activities$3,000
11Business Expensesnormal
12Allowances non reimburse25,00025,00025,00025,00025,000
14ALeave /Holidays4532,30836,92340,00041,53843,077
Daily rate408089231,0001,0381,077
14CTotal pre incentive247,600279,400300,600311,200321,800
13CThird Year Incentive50%105,000
13C3rd Year Adjusted50%25,000
Total Compensation247,600279,400430,600311,200321,800
Effect of 6-9 meetingIncreased30,00075,000

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