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Editor's View: New school boss to get $22k raise

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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A recent public posting on Deborah Bettencourt’s pay has ruffled some feathers. Bettencourt will be the new superintendent for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, replacing Patrick Godwin. Her starting pay in the new post will be $199,553 for the 2010-11 school year. Then the pay jumps to $213,000 and finally, in the 2012-13 school year, it will be raised to $221,500. Her term is set to begin July 1. In addition to the pay, she will receive 25 vacation days with pay “each school year,” according to the employment contract. She will also be required to work 219 days in the first school year and 225 days each year after that. When the district is laying off teachers, cutting salaries and considering school closures in Folsom and Rancho Cordova, this certainly doesn’t look very good. Factor in the new mutli-million dollar headquarters (which is supposed to save the district money in the long run), and the picture looks even worse. A good faith gesture, in my opinion, would be to hold her raises until the economy levels out. But, maybe that’s just me and my country boy roots coming through. Reader mailbag We’ve had quite a few letters lately, not all of them meant for print, so it’s time to clear off my desk and get some of these questions answered. John Chapman of Folsom writes, “OK, where is it? The Telegraph mentioned the Jan. 27 car accident (but) I can’t find the Bluestone Circle and East Bidwell intersection. I am 79 years old (and) have lived here more than two years. I am an almost daily East Bidwell driver. I’ve looked and still can’t find it. Help.” John is referring to the story we’ve been following on the woman, with children in the car, who was allegedly driving erratically without headlights on and ran a red light, crashing into another vehicle. The accident sent her and one of her children to the hospital. I will try to help John. Bluestone Circle is smack dab in the middle between Oak Avenue Parkway and Blue Ravine Road off of East Bidwell. I hope this helps. Another letter comes to us from Folsom Cub Scout Troop 386. “Thank you so much for letting (us) come in and learn about your newspaper. It was very interesting and we had a lot of fun.” You are very welcome scouts. If other groups would like to organize a talk at the paper (small groups only), contact me at (916) 351-3753. I usually arrange them for Wednesday or Thursday. Finally, I have a letter here from a Sacramento resident identified only as B.H. “I was riding my mountain bike down the trail near … the old railroad tracks,” he (or she) writes. “I thought they were just abandoned. I whipped around a corner and slid to a stop in front of a big pile of tree branches blocking the path. “Then the branches seemed to speak to me and said, ‘Sorry, I’ll get these out of your way in just a sec.’” Our letter writer explained that it was one of the good folks from FEDSHRA (or, Folsom, El Dorado, Sacramento Historic Railroad Association) volunteering his time with some other men to keep the track clear of brush. “These are cool dudes,” he writes. “No parades (or) mayor’s award, these are just some (great) dudes doing the community a real favor.” Thanks for the letter and, yes, they are some nifty folks. On a side note, if anyone has a story idea or column item, feel free to contact me. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.