The Garden Grove Unified School District has utilized the Merit System since 1966 to ensure that employees are selected, promoted and retained without favoritism or prejudice. The Personnel Commission is the mainstay of the Merit System. Commissioners are private citizens who must be known adherents to the merit principle. Commissioners are appointed for staggered three-year terms, and may be reappointed upon their showing a continued interest and support of Merit System principles and practices. Providing for a neutral structure, the law requires the Commission be composed of a member appointed by the district Board of Education, a member appointed by the representative of the largest classified employees unit (CSEA #121), with those two appointees jointly agreeing on the selection of the third Commissioner.
Personnel Commission meetings are held at the District Education Center on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m.
The Merit System is a system of rules and procedures, similar to civil service, which governs classified school personnel. Its fundamental purpose is to ensure that employees are selected, promoted and retained without favoritism or prejudice on the basis of merit and fitness. Emphasis is placed on the need to make the system equitable and fair to all segments of the community serviced by the Commission including the general public, the students, the classified employees, and the school district administration. The California Education Code requires Personnel Commissions to do the following:
Our three Commissioners oversee the activities of the commission staff and give their time and talents to serve the District, classified employees, and the entire Garden Grove community. These Commissioners are among the finest in the state. They work together cooperatively and with sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the classified employees and the school district.
Bernice Flatebo has been a Personnel Commissioner since 2015. She has lived in Garden Grove since 1993 and her three sons attend GGUSD for their elementary, intermediate and high school educations. Berni is the President of Pension Profit Sharing Services, Inc. and is the Secretary of the Sister City Association of Garden Grove and a Commissioner on Garden Grove’s Traffic Commission. Berni is the appointee of the Board of Education.
Jim Franks became a member of the Personnel Commission in 2011. He has lived in Garden Grove since 1960, and attended Crosby Elementary, Walton Intermediate and Garden Grove High School. After graduation he attended Santa Ana College. He began employment with GGUSD as a custodian and also held positions as groundskeeper/gardener and furniture repairer. He retired after 42 years of service and volunteered as President, CSEA, Chapter 121 for two years after serving over 25 years on the CSEA board as negotiations chair, chief job steward, conference delegate and president. Married to wife, Tina, 42 years; one son, Jim; daughter-in-law, Yvette; and two granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Jaelyn. Community involvement activities have included South West Garden Grove Little League, Civilian Advisor, Garden Grove Police Explorer Post and member of Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952. Jim is the appointee of CSEA.
Marilyn Tortolano has been a Personnel Commissioner since 2012. Her family came to Garden Grove in 1957 and she attended GGUSD for her elementary, intermediate, and high school education. She recently retired from the position of Assistant Vice President of Claims at CNA Insurance Company. She and her husband Jim were the owners of the Garden Grove Journal and now Orangecountytribune.com. She is the joint appointee of the other two Personnel Commissioners.
This report describes the functions and activities of the Personnel Commission and the Classified Personnel Office of the Garden Grove Unified School District. The work of the Personnel Commission is greatly dependent upon many individuals who volunteer their time to assist in our testing and interview process. Their commitment to the Personnel Commission allows the Commission to identify the most qualified group of classified employees.