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Measure E - Expensive Out of Town Consultants Funding AND Running Campaign

Original post made by Samantha, Walnut Grove Elementary School, on Apr 22, 2011

The Support Pleasanton Schools campaign has just filed their expense reports with Alameda County and their single largest contributor is an out of town consulting firm from El Segundo called KeyAgent LLC Public Finance [which is actually Keygent LLC Web Link] , a consulting firm that PUSD paid hefty fees for bond refinancing:

Their web page says:

"We relied on Keygent to provide us independent advice when selling our bonds. With the complexity of financial markets and various competing interests, we valued their expertise and guidance in getting the best deal.

Luz Cázares
Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
Pleasanton Unified School District"

Their largest expenses are to TBWB Strategies from San Francisco (take a look at their website Web Link), who has been paid $30,000 for this campaign. TBWB advertises that it has passed multiple financing measures adding $3 billion to taxpayers' burdens Web Link :

"TBWB will identify the key message that voters need to hear to support your measure. Using our in-house, award-winning design department, TBWB will craft unique, eye-catching direct mail suited to your particular community that carries the message you need to win."

[Translation: In other words, their expensive glossy flyers and phone calls will communicate what "voters need to hear" to vote Yes which, of course, is not necessarily the truth.]

Given that the District will be giving out $15 million in raises to its management and staff for step and longevity raises during the next four years (not mentioned in their mailers!!), if Measure E passes, I wonder just how much the out of town consultants like Keygent will also pocket in fees from parcel tax proceeds?

Click here to see the insider game plans (powerpoint is below) that these out of town consultants use to pass parcel tax and bond measures -- Web Link

And remember, mail in your ballot to vote No on E, a measure that has no specifics on where the proceeds will be spent. Demand that salaries be frozen with an across-the-board management and staff salary, step increase, and longevity payment freeze and that teachers be retained!






Comments (32)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Opponents of Measure G complained that an outside consultant was not hired and no survey was done. This time a consultant was hired and a survey was done, and opponents of Measure E are complaining about that. I get the feeling the opponents of Measure E just want to win and don't really care about the children. It is things like this that make people vote for Measure E.

Yes on Measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Samantha - where can we get a copy of the latest filing that shows Keygent as the largest contributor? Thanks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

It is illegal to use district resources to fund a tax campaign.

If PUSD pays the consultant an inflated fee, so the consultant can then donate to the PUSD campaign, isn't PUSD illegally funding the campaign? This seems pretty sneaky.

I remember in the last parcel tax campaign a PUSD lawyer gave a board presentation where he made it clear that the superintendent can not campaign. The superintendent represents the district and can not be separated from it even when on their own time. This superintendent does not live in Pleasanton and would have no business campaigning other than for the district. I got a robocall from her supporting measure E.

Our children would be punished for cheating.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Mike,

To be frank, you seem pretty sneaky, not PUSD.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm

To Start Afresh-

You can go to the Alameda County website at www.acgov.org/rov/ then choose Campaign/Election Information, then choose Campaign Finance e-filing, choose Public Access Portal, and do a search for the name Support Pleasanton Schools. Choose the committee, look at the April 20th filing, and look at page 11. This link might also work -
Web Link

The Support Pleasanton Schools filing did not actually list Keygent, they listed KeyAgent LLC, which is a company that does not exist.
Keygent is the actual name of the company from El Segundo.

I find it extremely troubling that the Yes campaign issued a report of contributions from a company that seems to not exist. KeyAgent does not exist as either a corporation or LLC in California -- you can search yourself. When I did, it did not find anything:

Web Link

Results of search for " KEYAGENT " returned no entity records.

Record not found.

It seems as if the funders of the Measure E campaign are indeed those consultants that understand that they will themselves ultimately benefit from additional funding. It's not about the kids, its about the consultants.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

The teachers' union also is funding this measure.

I should also note that TBWB was paid not $30,000 but according to page 18 of their filing, was paid $41,137.56

The details on this page have 4 entries for payments to TBWB that don't seem to add up to $41,137.56 but on the front page, it says payments do in fact equal$41,138.00. They paid them $5087 from the previous filing so they've pocketed $46,000.00 big ones from this.

The details for the four entries need fixing on p. 18. (Got Math Intervention, anyone?)

Also of course the union is a big contributor as well --- the California Teachers Association from Burlingame CA has contributed a large amount (no wonder, given that E will support the $15 million in raises).

Also the Windsor Home Owners Association from San Ramon CA is a big contributor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Thank-you, Samantha!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by comment
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Kudos to PUSD for using these consultants and taking the time to survey the residents of Pleasanton before putting Measure E on the ballot. Shows that the district puts the needs of the children and the community first.

Yes on Measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I can't believe TBWB Strategies has been raking in the dough to come up with six page powerpoint presentations like this PUSD one --- Web Link and this 12 pager ---
Web Link

Those consultants have it made!!! Not a bad way to make a living charging $2,000-$4,000 per page that us taxpayers end up paying for.

And to think, the District could be spending this money on teaching children instead.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Winston S.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

We have huge fees gushing out of the general fund for consultants and the Measure E voting papers. Did anyone bother to stop and think that they could have gone to save a teaching position plus the whole band program plus the whole Barton reading program? These reading and music programs are wonderful high value for our kids and they have been chopped! And we just flushed their funding down the drain and funnelled it to Lexus-driving consultants! Incredibly wasteful and incredibly frustrating to watch. If this is how the administrators treat money they have on hand, they obviously should not be given any more through Measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NOonE
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

In the 97 campaign the consultants guided the district to justify the tax with the slogan "it's just one BigMac a day" now it is "just give up your latte".
It is not about our kids, it is all about getting over on the taxpayers for consultant fees and district salaries.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by comment
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

Use common sense. If we don't pass Measure E, programs will be cut. It is as simple as that. Voting no on Measure E won't help our kids. How will voting no on Measure E possibly help the children? The community demanded the PUSD use consultants. A very prominent and outspoken opponent of Measure G, repeatedly and vocally demanded that PUSD hire a consultant and conduct a survey before putting another parcel tax measure on the ballot. They have now done exactly that, and people are complaining about it. Makes me think some of these opponents just don't want to pay the tax and don't really care about the children.

If you haven't ;yet voted, I recommend that you vote Yes on Measure E. It is for the children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent to Parent
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Force a change don't feed the problem!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

"The community demanded the PUSD use consultants"

The consultants said this would likely pass if there were not salary increases . . .


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent to Parent
a resident of California Reflections
on Apr 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm

It is NOT for the children it is for SALARY!

Asst. Superintendent - Bus.Ser District Office $221,931

Coordinator Of Purchasing Purchasing $151,801

Program Director - Tv/Tip District Office $141,641 What does she do

Teacher - Continuation H.S. Village High School $133,628

Coordinator District Office $131,521

Teacher - Homemaking Amador High School $121,303

Language Arts/History Block Harvest Park School $117,941

Program Director - Kid'S Club Kids Club $117,273

Teacher - English Foothill High School $116,703

Lead Maintenance Worker Maint/Oper/Grounds $115,989

Teacher - Art Thomas Hart Middle School $115,649


 +   Like this comment
Posted by HELLO !!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

"parent to Parent"

And how many of those qualify for step and column raises? NONE!!! THEY WILL NOT GET RAISES BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED!

YES ON MEASURE E

YES ON MEASURE E


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

According to Ed-Data, last year, PUSD spent $3,523,463 on consultants. Who in the community demanded that? If you demanded that, please post by your real name.

If the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services is being paid $221,931, why is the District even needing to even hire a boat load of finance consultants like Keygent LLC? If the District is paying high salaries, shouldn't the people qualified know finance already? If so, why do they need to hire so many consultants? Did the District hire people that don't understand finance so they are needing to be supplemented by an army of consultants to the tune of $3.5 million a year?

Who demanded from the community that over 249 staff members at PUSD get paid over $100,000 per year? Please speak up.

Also according to the Contra Costa Times database, the BASE pay for teachers exceeds the supposed top end of the salary schedule. So that means that when they reach the top level, they still are apparently getting raises. This means this whole "they have reached the top" so aren't getting incremental raises story is completely bogus. The data from the Contra Costa Times database speaks for itself.

Say NO to E and EXCESSIVE salaries and vote No on the Measure E excessive salary and pensions tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

So can we agree to "Cut consultants not teacher's jobs"? This 3.5 million is exactly what we need to make no cuts at all this year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I mean no cuts at all in the classroom this year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Samantha, I bet many of those consultants are retired administrators making even more money from the district while receiving their $100K+ pension.

I wonder how those teachers made over the top pay grade, even while they were taking unpaid furlough days? Something fishy going on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

No on Measure E

No on Measure E

(just in case it is not clear)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by HELLO !!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2011 at 12:21 am

I'll bet Jill has never even visited the Pleasanton. She is probably working for Sarah Palin's Tea Party organization, paying her to spam local internet forums. Something very fishy is going on with Jill.

YES ON E!

YES ON E!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm

For those concerned about outside interests playing in local Pleasanton issues, this Measure E (Support Pleasanton Schools) campaign is no exception and deserves scrutiny.

Keygent LLC ($5000) from El Segundo, CA provides advice on bond financing. PUSD Asst Supt Luz Cazares is listed on their front page providing a professional referral (Web Link). Quid Pro Quo?

Kingsley Bogard Thompson ($2000) from Folsom, CA provides Education Law services. Quid Pro Quo?

California Teachers Association ($1500) from Burlingame, CA is the statewide teachers union which the Pleasanton Teachers Association (union) is affiliated with. Duh!

Windsor Homeowners Association ($1000) from San Ramon, CA appears to be the homeowners association for a Pleasanton neighborhood. Tyce Wilhite is listed as the President and is also listed as an endorser of Trustee Jeff Bowsers campaign.

Bond finance advisors, education lawyers, State teacher union and political homeowner associations are all contributing to supporting their vested interests in taxing Pleasanton land owners.

Nice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

"Windsor Homeowners Association ($1000) from San Ramon, CA appears to be the homeowners association for a Pleasanton neighborhood. Tyce Wilhite is listed as the President and is also listed as an endorser of Trustee Jeff Bowsers campaign."

OK, and there is a problem with this somehow? Maybe you're also worried that the president's birth certificate is a forgery?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mark
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Greg, you hit the nail on the head. Small minds like Nomad's are always attracted to conspiracy theories. Our best hope is to keep these types away from our children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

Transparency. Why not make available the long birth certificate form? Americans have been sold a bill of goods, eschew obfuscation!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Common Decency
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:49 am

I think what 'Common Sense' is attempting to say is:

"Obama is a black man and I'm woefully uncomfortable with a black man being my nation's respected leader. I'm too small-minded to formulate a rational argument against this black man who menaces me, so I'll resort to birtherist claims instead. I'm sick and in need of professional help, but deflect all this by concentrating on that black man in office."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:01 am

Corporate interests that stand to be the future recipients of PUSD having extra funds on hand are the ones actually contributing to the Measure E campaign.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:35 am

"stand to be the future recipients of PUSD having extra funds "

OK, how does that homeowners association "stand to be the future recipient"? Sorry if I don't quite get it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Samantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Keygent and Kingsley currently are contractors with the District.

And of course, for the union interests, we have the California Teachers' Association and Windsor HOA, which Bowser used to be president of (his wife is an employee and on the union negotiating team for the District).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Samantha,

OK, so where is the problem? I still don't see a problem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Greg - There are people who don't think entities like those listed should be funding local campaigns for increased taxes. I make no claim for legality or even ethics in this matter. Providing the information for others to help their decision on 'E' is my only goal.


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