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BHUSD to Lease Home to Superintendent for Below-Market Rate

The school board is expected to vote Wednesday at a special meeting to approve a $3,500/month rental agreement.

BHUSD to Lease Home to Superintendent for Below-Market Rate

The Board of Education plans to lease the to Superintendent Gary Woods for $3,500 a month, considerably less than the Beverly Hills Unified School District could obtain for rent on the open market.

“We figured we will pay $468,992 in interest over the 15-year life of the loan, which works out to about $31,266 a year,” board President Brian Goldberg told Patch. “The current rent—which could increase in the future—more than pays for that, and we benefit because the home is an asset for the district.” 

Goldberg acknowledged that BHUSD could get $1,000 to $2,000 more a month in rent if the home was publicly listed. Some board members have said they hope such a lease can help attract and maintain top superintendents, a district post that has changed numerous times over the past decade.

The board will vote on the proposed lease at a special meeting June 25 at 4 p.m. in the . The one-year lease, which is posted on the district’s website, would start Aug. 15, 2012.

The board voted unanimously at its June 26 meeting to purchase the two-level, 2,665-square-foot house at 220 N. Doheny Drive for $1.54 million. The home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and sits on a 5,750-square-foot lot. The BHUSD expects to acquire the home around July 31, according to the lease. As a public entity, the district is excused from having to pay property taxes. 

The home will be 100 percent financed through a zero-down, 15-year municipal loan at a fixed annual interest rate of 3.7 percent. The financing will cost the district $140,000 a year, according to a statement on the BHUSD website from Chief Administrative Officer Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard. 

Murakawa-Leopard and Goldberg are both named on the lease as representatives of the landlord.

“Tenant Dr. Gary W. Woods is currently employed as the superintendent...the premises are being made available for lease to tenant in connection with such employment,” the agreement states. “Expiration or termination of such employment will be the basis for termination of this lease.”

The decision to buy the home has been criticized by former board member Myra Lurie and former BHUSD Finance Committee member . Finance Committee Chairman Herb Young told Patch  that the board should have been more transparent with its intentions concerning the purchase.

Although the Finance Committee was created to assist the district with financial matters, “the committee is advisory” and cannot direct the board, Goldberg said.

To view photos of 220 N. Doheny Drive, click .

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