MUSD ponders the fate of Mendocino Community Network

MUSD TrusteesFuture of MCN meeting to be held at The Middle School Multi-Use Room July 22nd at 7 PM at the K-8 School Multipurpose Room.

From Mitch Sprague

Saturday, July 13, 2013 6:44 AM

I had promised everyone a follow up on the Thursday meeting of the Mendocino Unified School District. Below is a brief summary of the meeting.

But before I present the summary, I want to assure all of our customers that MCN will maintain full operational integrity of all of our services during this transition period, and that I will not be leaving my position here until we have clear transition plan. MCN has reserves of over $250,000 at this time and is in no financial danger.

 Here are the notes from the meeting.

1. The meeting was attended by about 40 community members. The board accepted my resignation and explored the issue of MCN going forward following my resignation. Primarily these centered around the following concerns:

a. If the district wants to retain the business, then the budgetary costs of staffing the business most likely it would take more than oneperson to replace the current manager, adding additional strain on the MCN budget.

b. If the district decides to sell the business, then the challenges of selling the business while trying to balance the constraints of theeducation code with strong and wide spread community interest in keeping the business local.

c. Strong concerns about taking time away from the superintendent and the board to focus on MCN instead of the needs of the students, with particular concern about August which is an extremely busy month for the board and administrators as school is starting up.

2. The board directed MUSD Superintendent Jason Morse and I to explore the options in items 1 and 2 with the intent of coming back to the board with further information about maintaining the business within the school district or selling the business.

3. The board is planning on a formal board meeting on July 25th to receive the information.

4. The board then took comments from the community. After two or three comments about slowing down and opening the process to the community the board also decided to hold an MCN Community Network Input Forum which is now scheduled for Monday, July 22nd at 7 PM at the K-8 School Multipurpose Room.

Five to seven community comments followed, encouraging the board to seek community support, take their time, and expressing the concern that MCN be kept local. One community member told the board they should sell the business as they are not willing to take high risk strategies to expand the business.

Please check the MCN home page for further updates going forward at


Mendocino Unified School District Board of Trustees will have a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at the K8 School.

They will meet in closed session for labor negotiations with CEMUS. In open session, the board will be asked to accept the resignation of Mitch Sprague, business manager with Mendocino Community Network, the district-owned Internet service provider. Afterward, there will be a discussion about the future of MCN. MCN customers received an email message from Sprague Tuesday morning, which says: “I’m writing to all MCN customers to let you know that after 9 years as MCN Business Manager and 21 years working on MCN as a teacher and MCN employee, I’ve submitted my resignation to MUSD Superintendent Jason Morse this morning. At this point in time, I have reached a point where I can no longer continue to make the commitment in time and energy required to fulfill the duties required of the MCN Business Manager. My resignation comes with an effective date of October 15th or until such time as the district no longer needs my services. I have also informed Jason that I am open to discussing an extension of the time period if events warrant. “The MUSD Board has this morning announced that there will be a board meeting on Thursday, July 11th at 4:30 PM at the Mendocino K-8 Campus (44261 Little Lake Road) Multipurpose room to discuss the future of MCN. The meeting is open to the public. I will update you on Friday morning with more information following that meeting. “I remain fully committed to MCN and its customers and working with Jason Morse, our superintendent, the district, and the MCN staff during the transition period to maintain MCN’s operational integrity during my remaining time here. … “It has been my pleasure to work with you as MCN customers through the years. As always, we appreciate your business.”

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