Meet Paul Reed. He's Newport-Mesa Unified's chief business official and deputy superintendent of finance. The state's financial troubles have trickled down, causing a $13.5-million hole in the district's budget this year. It led to tough decisions and the subsequent layoffs of more than 100 teachers in the district. Many of them have since been hired back. Reed, 63, is always at the forefront of the bad news. Still, district colleagues say they don't know what they would do without Reed, a financial guru who likes to play it tough but reportedly has a soft heart. Still, he can't seem to shake those nicknames — "Dr. No" and "The Great Barrier Reed."
Forget about numbers and math for a minute. Where were you born?
I was born in a clinic on Catalina Island, which had no true hospital at the time.
A clinic? Really?
Yes, it was a private clinic run by the town's only doctor. It was actually the former summer home of Gen. George S. Patton's parents, and it was about a block from the beach. But the Patton family no longer owned it. This doctor owned it, and that's where I was born. Today, there are other buildings on the site, like a library and a jail. I always tell my mom that I was born where the library is today, but she assures me it was the jail.