Posted by Kathy Bell, a resident of another community, on Apr 30, 2008 at 5:07 pm
Posted at the request of the author
Please provide specific objections and issues with Measure D. We are aware that Mr. Michael Arata and others plan to offer a detailed review of Measure D including their audits of sources and uses of funds.
This is a FORUM for discovery, commentary, consideration and consensus. Your neighbors welcome your concerns, studies and points of view.
Posted by Karen Sexton, a resident of another community, on Apr 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm
Posted at the request of the author
Dear Ann and neighbors,
In our region, we would likely never find a liberal or anyone, at present, that believes in tax and spend. We are a community of moderates, well-educated, with an exceptional sense of humanity. We all understand the importance of education and we all value the cost of such education for ourselves and our children.
Schools and their districts do not run as businesses and educators are not fiscal professionals. It is reasonable that we, as owners of SRVUSD, provide fiscal review and planning. Let's focus on fully understanding the use of Measure D funds and how they specifically serve the education of our children.
Challenge SRVUSD to illustrate the fiscal results of Measure D and if satisfied vote YES in June.
Posted by Susan West, a resident of another community, on May 1, 2008 at 7:35 am
Posted by request of the author
This is recent commentary by Michael Arata for your reference:
Voters must remember
A 1995 Times cartoon maligned Ernie Scherer as a Grim Reaper causing "Scherer Terror" after he successfully opposed an irresponsible $82 million school bond. Eight months later, Ernie and I contested a do-over election's illegal ballots. Both of us who are not attorneys, personally arguing our case against the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's $238,000 legal team, prevailed in a recount, Superior Court and state appellate court.
The Times requested an extensive interview but then spiked the David vs. Goliath story. The paper still projects its own biases upon Ernie, even after his and his wife's murders ("Some say slain man had ax to grind," April 11). In fact, Ernie did expose SRVUSD's cynical fabrications in rigging the 2004 parcel tax. California Teachers Association honchos commended local union activists for orchestrating the 1990 school-board election that recalled Ernie and insinuated a union-backed board that included Joan Buchanan. Union radicals, greedily demanding 10 percent raises, had gone on strike when the board, fearing insolvency, implemented 3.5 percent increases instead. Hypocritically, Buchanan claimed she inherited "a fiscal disaster" — i.e., what would have developed had she and her union pals gotten all they wanted. Later handed CTA's "Gold Award," she endorsed numerous union-pushed raises, R-rated classroom films and other union priorities. Since passing the 2004 parcel tax, Buchanan's board has implemented three more raises on top of existing annual step increases. Now, left-wing Democrat Buchanan — still criticizing Ernie, still union-endorsed — seeks the 15th Assembly District seat. Hopefully, voters will remember her self-acknowledged moral liberalism and reject her false claims of fiscal conservatism.
Iron Horse neighbors still are looking for definition of opposition to Measure D and still have not discovered any such definition being offered.
Posted by Kathy Bell, a resident of another community, on May 2, 2008 at 7:13 am
Posted at the request of the author
Neighbors have audited all the claims by proponents and opponents of Measure D and we direct you to the sample ballot package you will be receiving. In the Voter Information Pamphlet, proponents list the educational services to be retained by local parcel tax increases that would be lost due to State budget cuts. Opponents review past history of using parcel taxes reportedly for teacher pay raises rather than programs promised by campaign proponents.
At present, our auditing group can find no definition of the budgetary pro's and con's for Measure D and no pro forma statement for uses of funds. It would be our recommendation that district residents demand such a pro forma uses of funds statement to warrant our YES vote.
Posted by Tim Joyce, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on May 2, 2008 at 11:26 pm
You know, at some point, it is appropriate to "call" the SRVUSD on their continual habit of crying poor and coming to the public for more money. The argument is always based on some convuluted reasoning that money somehow equates to educational success. If that were the truth, with the money that the SRVUSD gets from the state and the previous bond measures, our school district should be at the absolute top of the rankings, but they are not. I know; one of my children attended Monte Vista, and I was not very impressed with the overall experience.
There are so many things wrong with the way the SRVUSD is run that it is tough to begin the discussion. Management of the district should be applauded, I suppose, for convincing the public (to a barely passing percentage) that they are deserving of more money. On the other hand, the fact that with the money they have been handed, they have done rather poorly, and should be fired. If all of us ran our households the way the district runs its' finances, we would all be homeless. But wait, there's a big difference; we can't shame people into giving us money that we aren't entitled to, like the SRVUSD continually tried to do.
To the parents who support the measure, if you feel so strongly about more money improving the schools, do what I and many others do....pay over $20,000/year for two kids to go to private school. But, don't try and legislate that I have to continue to pay for YOUR kids because YOU aren't willing to do the same. And, it has nothing to do with means if you are in the SRVUSD....that argument is baseless.
The arguments for this measure arrived today in the mail, and I found them to be insulting in their arrogance.
I urge everyone to vote against this measure and force fiscal accountability, as well as measuring the performance of the district management against objective targets.
Posted by CDSI community courtesy, a resident of another community, on May 3, 2008 at 8:57 am
In research conducted for SRVUSD budget and expenditures, there was no evidence that pay raises were directly funded by parcel tax measures. Such parcel tax measures were used, for the most part, for specified purposes listed at the time of election.
Your question about decertifying the teachers' union and hiring teachers on merit based individual contracts requires labor attorney response. In general, union decertification is difficult, will result in a lengthy strike and likely will not reduce salaries. The issue behind this question was better control of the nature of classroom content and more days of actual instruction. Our researchers found no specific reason why current union teachers could not be contracted to provide a change in classroom content and more days of instruction.
In research of parent funding of class size reduction and other programs, those programs continue by direct donation and fund raisers.
In comparison of funding with other districts, SRVUSD does get less money per student. The concept of the low-wealth district rules for funding are not understandable or are they applied uniformly to districts of similar wealth as SRVUSD. Our researchers could not find any specific actions taken by SRVUSD to change their funding designation.
Research did conclude that if State Funding of SRVUSD was increased to previous levels or greater during the coming years, Measure D would continue to provide the same level of funding from parcel taxes.
Posted by Iron Horse neighbors, a resident of another community, on May 3, 2008 at 9:03 am
Reposted at the request of Iron Horse neighbors
SRVUSD Measure D exemption for Seniors
posted by CDSI Community Courtesy, a resident of another community, on Apr 25, 2008 at 7:26 am
Seniors (over 65) may apply for an exemption from parcel taxes for SRVUSD tax measures. Even if you support Measure D on the June Ballot, you are not obligated to pay the parcel tax or any current SRVUSD special parcel tax.
Contact: Terry Koehne firstname.lastname@example.org 925-552-2942
SRVUSD will provide you a form to complete and return to SRVUSD for filing with the county.
A CDSI community courtesy,
Member, CDSI Research Fellowship
**Note: Please refer to your Voter Information Pamphlet for verification of Senior exemption**