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The Madera Tribune

Public money and busy times

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webmaster | 09/04/12

Caution: What follows are some numbers sure to surprise some, perhaps all, Maderans. They are almost pornographic, so make sure the children don’t see them unless supervised.

They are provided by San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, who wrote about them in the Chron’s Labor Day issue, so people can ponder who the real winners are in the state’s teacher retirement system.

A check of the system, they write, “shows that 77 retired superintendents — some from very small districts — are spending their golden years earning pensions of more than $200,000 a year.” The really big winners:

  • James Enochs, longtime superintendent of the Modesto School System, who retired after 49 years, with an annual pension of $301,000, and had a school named after him to boot.
  • Frederick Wentworth, San Joaquin County Office of Education, $296,000 a year.
  • Edward Hernandez Jr., Rancho Santiago Community College District, $291,000.
  • Marilyn Miller, of Hillsborough, $268,000.
  • Johanna VanderMolen, Campbell Union School District, $267,000.
  • Christine Lim, San Leandro, $244,000.
  • Brenda Miller, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, $228,000.
  • “Then there’s the average teacher’s pension in California,” Matier and Ross write: $39,600 a year.

+ + +

Construction fencing has gone up around the site of what will be the new Madera County Superior Courthouse, on 6th Street, across from the back entrance of the Madera County Courthouse Museum.

This $110 million edifice was shown off just two years ago by the architects, who came to town and made a presentation at the Madera County Library.

The new courthouse will be entirely unlike the one that now is a museum and principal city landmark. It will be modern and glass-clad, with sleek lines and lots of open space. Next to it will be a parking garage to take pressure off the parking on neighboring streets.

This will be the first of three major projects set to transform Madera County. The next two will be the North Fork Resort and Casino, near Avenue 17 and State Route 99, approved last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, and the California high-speed rail project, scheduled to start in Madera County, about where Avenue 17 and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad meet. These two projects are subject to further approvals and possible court challenges.

A busy time is upon us.


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