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Committee meets today to scrutinize school district bond practices

Original post made on Jun 14, 2011

A new committee meets today to review Pleasanton Unified School District bond practices, years after the district's original bond oversight committee apparently disbanded.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 13, 2011, 11:45 AM

Comments (47)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 6:31 am

And then what?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

The short answer is there will be a report to the Board on June 21. The intention is to get to the bottom of what occurred from 2003-2005--the consultant has already determined that there were cash-out refinancings costing taxpayers some $10 million more than voters agreed to--and to then suggest best practices for moving forward. It's a guess, but I don't believe there is recourse to getting that money back; it's been spent on facilities (or at least was restricted to being spent on facilities).

It was a good presentation and a tough conversation with difficult questions being asked. We won't see what the answers are for another week, and some may not be easily answered. Happy to respond to any questions I can and certainly the other members of the committee can as well.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 14, 2011 at 8:49 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Glad to see the district is doing this and getting some best practices in place for any future bond elections.


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:29 am

" costing taxpayers some $10 million "

I would say benefiting our children rather than "costing taxpayers". I'm hoping there will be ways to do things like this in the future.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

Using PUSD's oft-quoted number of twenty thousand non-exempt parcels, that ten million equates to roughly five hundred dollars each. Assuming the ten million does not cover the interest required to carry the additional principal, the actual cost to the homeowner would be several times that amount. Not an insignificant sum or minor breach of ethics and public trust. And I would not be too sure that money is not recoverable if pursued.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

Pat, I'm playing down the fact that it was illegal. You cannot tax without the vote of the public. Yes, the assumption is the money was spent for facilities, but that information has not been presented and the oversight committee was disbanded and many other serious concerns were raised. There will not and should not be "ways to do things like this in the future." Not without a proper vote at least.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

"Jack Dove, was a member of the original oversight committee."

What did he oversee, making the coffee? How can anyone not know where 10 million dollars went to?

Why would anyone want someone like this on a committee that cannot remember how, what, when, and where details.

Maybe he has tenure and cannot be fired!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Pat, you are wrong. The district took our money without permission (this is known as theft). Does not matter if it benefited children. If I took $500 out of your bank account and used it towards my favorite charity, would you give me a free pass? Or would you say that I took money from you without asking (i.e., theft)?

"I'm hoping there will be ways to do things like this in the future. " We would be happy to help you. Please give us your real name and/or address so we can take your money and give it to our favorite causes.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Bill and parent, There was a real problem; there is an attempt to address it. Why don't you direct your frustration where it belongs--at the people who actually refinanced the bonds. There was a board in place being guided by the then superintendent (yes, this again). One thing that was noted, though a weak excuse for those involved, is that of the 200+ districts that did this, it is unlikely the boards understood what they were agreeing to or that it was not legal. You bring in all the advisors and a 50-100 page document of legalese to a meeting, you tell the board members this will add a classroom or other asset for children. Everybody is happy, particularly the advisors getting all those fat fees.

The oversight committee members met twice and were dismissed. Who do you think dismissed them? One can only speculate as to why they were disbanded. By definition, those committees meet essentially to confirm audits. The committee had no authority.

The problem wasn't Jack Dove, the oversight committe, or Pat (above). From 2003-2010 our district refinanced bonds without refunding taxpayers, gave unsustainable raises, used all the reserve, borrowed from another reserve, and looked to borrow money from the city to meet its obligations . . . the picture seems real clear to me.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

The data presented us last night has been put on the district web site at: Web Link

Well worth the time to look it over.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Kathleen, the current administration is part of the problem. Members of the public were bringing this up from March till May this year at board meetings and the CURRENT staff said that there was nothing illegal done (they said there was nothing wrong with what they did). This was the finance director and the superintendent.

If they were not sure, they should have said so but they were adamant that everything done was all right.

So the previous administration bears responsibility for the actions while the current administration bears responsibility for misleading the public and covering it up.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I'm of a mind that this superintendent was handed a dirty letterbox and told it was a gold mine. Given the previous administration's approach, it is unlikely little nuggets like this were not revealed prior to deserting the mine. And while I am dismayed that denial might have been used recently, none of us have knowledge of what was going on behind the scenes. There were any number of issues to address when the turnover occured, like finding supports for the mine shaft, so I can't imagine this was the biggest priority.

Mind you, I am not happy to find out the truth is we all were hoodwinked yet again, but I'm happy to finally have the truth, and that was done by this governance team. Reason enough to stop the beatings for awhile.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

It is unlikely little nuggets like this were revealed . . . Sorry!


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I don't see any proof that anything illegal was done. Just because you say it is illegal, doesn't make it so. I disagree with Jerry Brown and others who say that this is an inappropriate action. The way I see it, the school board acted in the best interest of our school district, our children, and the taxpayers. I can respect that there is difference of opinion on this matter, but I think we should give this practice of cash out refinancing our blessing and move on.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

And I think we should try to recover the stolen money. After all, the crooks in question are still on the PUSD pension and/or payroll.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Pat, you disagree with Brown on what basis? The school board never had the authority to take this action and the law as explained by the district's consultant was clear about not adding to the tax burden. Until we know where the money was spent, we dont know that it was good for the children. It a sure thing it was not good for taxpayers; it increased our tax burden in dollars and most likely the length of the commitment. Forgive, maybe; move on without airing this breach and insuring it does not happen again, no.

Resident, from what I see, there is a sixty day limit on recourse.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

By the way, why go through all the expense of running elections for a parcel tax or bond? If the board is acting in the best interest of the district and children, let's just let them decide to levy those fees. Same for cities and counties and the state for that matter. Would sure save Mr. Bown some grief and we could have a budget today.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

"Superintendent Ahmadi has been advised this past year on several occasions that she has inherited a "Trust Deficit" brought on by prior superintendents."

Was it really brought on by prior superintendents/board members? It seems a bit too convenient to place blame on people that aren't mentioned, haven't worked for the district in years, or are expendable. I guess past members are falling on their sword or being thrust upon it. Either way - it is a diversion. If Cash-out financing were an isolated incident, and I hadn't been paying attention, I might buy into this nonsense. But what happened in Pleasanton regarding the Cash-Out Bond financing was anything but isolated to Pleasanton.

According to another PW article, "A 2009 decision by then-Attorney General Jerry Brown compared cash-out refinancing to refinancing a mortgage, taking advantage of lower interest rates to generate additional funds for other purposes. In the decision, Brown cites California Education Code and the state's constitution in saying cash-out refinancing as was done in the district in 2009, which was done in many districts across the state around the same time, should have gone to a vote."

The fact that this Cash-Out practice was wide spread leads me to believe the CTA both supported and endorsed the practice. Even if you want to blame past Superintendents and Board members, they are only in those positions because of the teacher's union's endorsements and campaign financing. My point is that the people that are on record as supporting Cash-Out Bond financing may be gone the organization behind it is still in place.

Would suing the district solve anything? I don't see how it could. The money would probably come from classrooms. It would be interesting to see where those millions were spent. Were the dollars actually spent on facilities? This isn't a Pleasanton issue as much as it is a lesson in government finance:

For those of you that have been following Governor Browns proposed elimination of Redevelopment Agency Funds, I think you'll get my point. The problem with Redevelopment Funds has little to do with the original intent; to provide tax dollars to help spur investment into blighted Down Town areas of a city in the hopes that it will create additional jobs, improve the city core, and boost tax revenue long term. The RDA funds were expanded to include additional blighted areas in cities. So far so good. The problem probably began at about the same time that city finances became stressed, as far back as 2003. At this time, cities that could foresee a structural deficit began shifting RDA funds to things like Public Safety, City Council salary, Street Repair, and any other services that could be charged to the redevelopment zone. It didn't really matter that the cities would have spent money in these areas anyway; they were just looking for a new funding source.

My point is that just because PUSD claims they've spent the Cash -Out money on facilities doesn't mean anything. Instead of a law suit to recoup funds, that are gone, I would rather see an audit to determine just where those dollars went.


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Posted by Law School Aspirant
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Let's just cut to the chase folks. If Arnold is correct, if laws have been broken, then crimes have taken place. Forget about suing the District -- oops, how can any of so many of the posters here forget about ANYTHING that has dollar signs next to it? So sorry. But try to forget about suing, as in: it'll cost MONEY to sue.

No, Arnold and other like-minded patriots need to file criminal charges against the alleged criminals. The alleged criminals need to be named, and law enforcement, foremost the District Attorney's office, needs to be contacted for purposes of having the criminal culprits arrested. Short of this, the discussion is really nothing more than at best badly veiled blather by self-aggrandizing, malicious gossip by small-minded gadflies, or at its worst, self-aggrandizing, malicious gossip by small-minded gadflies.

I personally am all for Arnold or somebody else spearheading a genuine effort to have the dishonest, disingenuous, lying, stealing, conniving ones arrested on the spot and then made to do serious jail time. Crimes have allegedly been committed for Pete's sake, and all the cowards can do is allege without any courageous action behind the words. C'mon Arnold. C'mon you other patriots. Man up!


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Maybe you missed this: "A 2009 decision by then-Attorney General Jerry Brown compared cash-out refinancing to refinancing a mortgage, taking advantage of lower interest rates to generate additional funds for other purposes. In the decision, Brown cites California Education Code and the state's constitution in saying cash-out refinancing as was done in the district in 2009, which was done in many districts across the state around the same time, should have gone to a vote."


Attorney General Brown didn't offer up anything other than an opinion, and Union funded Governor Brown won't either. I wasn't advocating for a law suit. I was only suggesting an audit to determine where the tax dollars were spent (much cheaper), and hopefully who was behind the Bond Program that was administered through the same company - at an excessive fee! . Is that a problem? If so, Why? Maybe the audit could put the entire issue rest.


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Posted by Law School Aspirant
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Gads, you and others have done nothing but spout gossip, hearsay and innuendo about alleged criminal activities. You and others trotted out the same allegations right before the Measure E vote, you were ignored when you pushed it at meetings, and now you are back at it.

I'm all for naming and punishing the criminals. Just who is it you're referring to? Tell us? Why should an expensive audit be performed -- which will only be used later on as ammunition against union backed teachers and school boards and pols who will have allegedly thrown good money after bad -- unless you or others come out from your glass house and name some names. Forget about the expense you seem always to fetishize. It involves no expense to name names and file criminal charges. It only involves transparency, responsibility, accountability, and, oh yes, integrity. Short of that, all I see is malicious gossip by small-minded gadflies. Show some integrity or shaddup.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

"Why should an expensive audit be performed..."

How is an audit expensive in the context of the almost one million dollars the district has spent on two failed ballot initiatives (parcel tax). I guess it's only a waste of money if you can't see a payoff.

Why does the topic of an audit frighten you? Transparency has become a buzzword - you should embrace it! The fact that you have trouble with an audit only adds fuel to the fire.


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Posted by Law School Aspirant
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm

One big "atta boy, Arnold" for showing his true stuff.

He states: "Why does the topic of an audit frighten you? Transparency has become a buzzword - you should embrace it! The fact that you have trouble with an audit only adds fuel to the fire."

Inasmuch as I prefer virtue to canned buzzwords, so I prefer integrity to Arnold's tutti-frutti notion of transparency. Pooh-poohing the expense of an audit, and this from a guy who would stop and back up traffic for hours to find that quarter he dropped in the street.

The audit only makes sense if there is sufficient cause to have it. But all the pro-audit people like Arnold can do is ooze out from their slime and cast vague assertion and innuendo about laws being broken, crimes having occurred. Evidence? Nope. Names of suspected criminals? Nope. Just malicious, small-minded gossip by a bunch of icky cowards.

Arnold continues: "How is an audit expensive in the context of the almost one million dollars the district has spent on two failed ballot initiatives (parcel tax). I guess it's only a waste of money if you can't see a payoff."

What this has to do with anything is anyone's guess. The district spent money on Measures that rec'd approx 65% of the community vote, and so he 'argues' that so it must be reasonable for the district to spend money on a witchhunt. The argument is specious; it is predicated on malicious gossip which Arnold and others have been responsible for perpetuating.

C'mon Arnold. If you or anyone else knows something, spit it out. Give us a name or two of people who broke the law. I'm all for prosecuting the criminals you tell us are living in our midst. Be transparent. Be responsible. Be accountable. Either do that or spare us your pathetic antics.




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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

"A 2009 decision by then-Attorney General Jerry Brown compared cash-out refinancing to refinancing a mortgage, taking advantage of lower interest rates to generate additional funds for other purposes. In the decision, Brown cites California Education Code and the state's constitution in saying cash-out refinancing as was done in the district in 2009, which was done in many districts across the state around the same time, should have gone to a vote."

I guess the former Attorney General/current Governors comments mean nothing to you. I think the school board has also acknowledged that the cash-Out refinancing was illegal.

What more do you want?

"C'mon Arnold. If you or anyone else knows something, spit it out. Give us a name or two of people who broke the law. I'm all for prosecuting the criminals you tell us are living in our midst. Be transparent. Be responsible. Be accountable. Either do that or spare us your pathetic antics."

Pathetic Antics? - More like Denial on your part! Not only do you struggle to stay on topic, but you seem hell-bent on avoiding the issue of an audit. Why is that?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The new district leadership made the right choice to reconvene the citizen's oversight committee and get an audit done. Ignoring the issue, as some posters here suggest, would not be in the best interests of this community. Developer impact fees hardly cover the costs for new schools or other facilities. The district cannot afford to put future bond elections at risk by ignoring this issue. It would be extremely naive and short-sighted.

I would not be in favor of trying to recover the extra money because again, that would not be in the best interests of this community.


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

"By the way, why go through all the expense of running elections for a parcel tax or bond? If the board is acting in the best interest of the district and children, let's just let them decide to levy those fees. Same for cities and counties and the state for that matter. "

I agree. That is the way it works in most states, but unfortunately not in California.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Lots of states in trouble anyway though.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I don't think what Pat wrote is true. School district levy increases in many other states go to voters. And yes, those other states are having school budget issues too; all without Prop. 13.


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Plenty of states do work that way and there aren't many states in near as much trouble as California. All the language on the forum sounds to me like some hyper-inflated witch hunt. All this stuff about breaking the law and "illegal" financing just sounds absurd to me. The district made a judgement call and, by all appearances, acted in the interest of the schools. I think they should be praised for doing it.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

So, which states and how much trouble are they in? I know offhand that Ohio and New York send levies to voters.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

Pat, Maybe I should back up on this a bit and try to start over. Questions were raised two years ago about cash-our refinancing of bonds. It was a concern prior to Measure G and was connected to the issue of responsible use of public funds and coincided with Mr. Brown's opinion that this kind of refinancing did not meet the letter of the law. No one at the district was apparently able to provide an answer.

Others, I believe, continued to pursue the answer for the last two years, including prior to Measure E being put on the ballot. Again, there was plenty of evidence about the lack of fiscal responsibility and transparency; and, no, good intentions are not enough when millions of dollars were added to the taxpayers' plates without their knowledge and the agency is in line for more.

About a week ago, I received a call asking if I would like to serve on a committee to review the work being done by a consultant that would later be presented to the board.

The first meeting raised difficult questions, ones the consultanst agreed to research to the best of their abilities. Lori Raneiri heads the firm the district chose for this research Web Link I think she presented a frank approach to the issue and provided a lot of detailed information (link already above) not available before.

The events are now documented, and I am fine with what has already been presented, with the exception of still not knowing where the money was spend. The excuse "because everybody else is doing it" still doesn't make it right. And I'm not sure where it is ever correct to say, "oops, but it turned out okay, except for the debt."

I've pasted part of an interview of Jerry Brown below for those interested. The actual opinion is at Web Link

"The Attorney General was asked to and issued an opinion that school districts may issue pure refunding bonds without the required voter approval. However, school districts, may not issue cash-out refunding bonds without first obtaining the required voter-approval. The Attorney General explained that in a cash-out refunding bond, 'the district unquestionably incurs new debt to support the excess amount of proceeds it derives beyond what is needed to refinance the existing bonds.' Furthermore, the Constitution prohibits the levying of taxes except to support voter-approved debt, and as such, 'the district would lack authority to levy taxes to support this additional debt without further voter approval.'

"The Attorney General concluded as follows in response to questions regarding school districts' authority to issue pure refunding bonds and cash-out refunding bonds:

1. Without Voter-Approval, No Cash-Out Refunding Bonds. Absent the required voter approval from a school district's voters, a school district may not issue refunding bonds at a price or at an interest rate that will generate proceeds in excess of the amount needed to retire the designated outstanding bonds (i.e., cash-out refunding bonds).

2. Use of Funds from Refunding Bonds Limited to Refinance. Without the required voter approval, a school district may not use proceeds from a refunding bond to provide supplemental funding for ongoing construction projects, to fund new projects, or for any other purpose except to pay off the designated outstanding bonds. According to the Attorney General, "California law permits only one application of proceeds - including any premium - from a district's general obligation refunding bonds issued without voter approval, and that is to retire the district's targeted existing outstanding bonded indebtedness."


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 9:48 am

Apologies for typos: consultants, spent


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

This is not a "witch hunt". The Attorney General for the State of California said this was an illegal practice. Some people, like Pat, feel that the taking of our money is ok as long as the person taking the money without asking is doing it in the "best interest". Just pick up any paper and it is easy to see why politicians are not trusted to do things on our best interests.



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Posted by another parent
a resident of Civic Square
on Jun 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

Why isn't the Attorney General's office being brought in? You're all willing to take his word for it that "it" is illegal, but you're not willing to bring him into it to investigate criminal wrongdoings?

Sure sounds like a witchhunt to me. I don't trust politicians, but at least they have a track record. Not so sure about the lathered up witchhunting crowd on these posts.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

At the time Brown issued the opinion, he said it was up to individual communities to decide. But there's a 60 day limit for recourse from what I can find. And why would we throw good money after a lawsuit anyway?

All that was asked was for the truth to be known. I don't understand the opposition to having the facts, particularly since many insisted it wasn't true at all and then asked for it to be proven.

I said this above, when there is a history of mismanagement of public funds, the facts should be determined and a way to move forward is needed to ensure it doesn't happen again. With that in place, maybe it is enough for new sources of funding to be considered.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

I am believing this concern has been raised enough times and the answers not found that the board and staff determined it was time to put this to rest. The answer so far is, yes, the district did cash-our refinancings. Whether one feels adding debt without a vote or not isn't as important to me, at least, as making sure it doesn't continue.

In looking at the charts from the consultant, it was pointed out to me that rather than leveraging up taxes on local properties for facilities, the difference would have been more than what was requested in Measure E. Yes, the funds are allocated differently and we don't know yet whether where the facilities money was spent was more important than where Measure E funds could have been spent, but it was possible to have leveraged the tax base tolerance differently.


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Posted by another parent
a resident of Civic Square
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:08 am

I'd be very interested, Kathleen, to see where the 60-day limit is stipulated. You mean to say that if I steal millions from my school district that I can't be prosecuted after a 60-day limit? Then what _are_ you saying? With all due respect, this rather sounds like pompous blather to me.

I don't think I or anyone else has been calling for a lawsuit. I and others are asking why you, Arnold, and the rest of the crowd aren't bringing the AG into this criminal matter. When a crime has been committed, one first should contact law enforcement, don't you think? Any lawsuit would have to come later, wouldn't it?

Could it be perhaps that the Attorney General would laugh you and the other ridiculous witchhunters out of his office if you pressed a criminal complaint?

You say you don't want to spend money on a lawsuit, but you're willing to spend the money on an audit. I see. I'll not comment on the problem with consistency here.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:27 am

In random order: annual audits are required; I'll look for the 60 day limit issue, but so can you; I was never interested in a suit and you can search all the blogs where my only interest has been in finding out if taxpayer dollars were mismanaged--they were; no one stole "it from the 'your' school district," it was taken from the taxpayers without a vote. Again, please explain the outrage in getting at the truth.


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Posted by Kim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

Another parent, are you really an adult or actually an adult, but not just aware of what the departments in California are? You refer to contacting law enforcement. Another parent, are you not aware that the Attorney General Web Link is LAW ENFORCEMENT. The Attorney General is the head of the Department of Justice for the State of California. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the state. Web Link indicates "As chief law enforcement officer for the state, Harris plans to focus on reducing recidivism and on reforming the state's revolving door prison system." Another parent, why don't you contact the Attorney General yourself with your questions and concerns.

PUSD spent over $100 million on construction projects when only $69 million was authorized by voters with Measure B.

They disbanded the oversight committee.

And increased the amount of taxes over the $69 million by illegally refinancing the outstanding bonds taking cash out to cover the rampant spending. They never disclosed on the agendas of the public meetings any intention of taking cash out and increasing the taxpayer debt.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

Here is where I read there was a sixty day limit: Web Link

The excerpt: "While the attorney general's opinion may end the practice in the future, it appears that cash-out refunding bonds issued in the past are safe. There is a 60-day time limit for legal challenges, starting from the date the bonds are authorized, according to Mr. Brown's opinion."

I already posted the link to the AG's opinion.

I have to say sometimes it feels like I'm dealing with alligators who roll and twist what is said in an attempt to kill an issue and stuff it under a log.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

The Attorney General Opinion states where the 60 day issue comes into play. I believe in general you have 60 days from an action to file a suit against a governmental agency.

I think Kathleen has summed up what I am looking for also. We are not going to get that money back. Even if we could do a lawsuit, the only ones who benefit are the lawyers. The district is still involved in the suit against their previous legal council for malpractice on handling the developer agreements for our facilities (part of the same pot of money as the bonds).

At this point it is best we know what happened. Assuming that the actions were wrong, the district needs to state it will not be done again, possibly come up with some plans or policies to protect us in the future, and to apologize to the taxpayers for the actions. Trust needs to be built. You need to acknowledge mistakes to build trust.


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Posted by Alex
a resident of Charter Oaks
on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Yeah, what gets me is that all the antiteacher gang that didn't want to fork over pennies a day for educational improvements, and who protested the district's spending of money for a consulting firm to help estimate support for a parcel tax, are now all lathered up and eager to pay good money for an audit ... in order to maybe find that in the past, too long ago to even correct, punish, or do anything about, some money was used in an _arguably_ incorrect way.

Let's see.... Money for the schools and kids? Heck no! Money to perpetuate the claim that the district has no trust --- despite 65% support from the community for a parcel tax --- well yeah baby, let's go for it! Anything to help discredit the schools, the teachers, and the unions. Let the kids' educational needs be damned.

Parents and kids take heed. Pleasanton has a big problem. This is what happens when ideologically motivated intellectual half-packages hijack matters of public education. Pleasanton schools are going to continue to spiral downward as long as the 35% of half-package naysayers continue to hog the agenda.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2011 at 12:06 am

Exactly Alex, just look who is on the committee-Beth Limesand (chair); Kay Ayala; Jan Batcheller; Jack Dove; Anne Fox; Kathleen Ruegsegger; and Julie Testa. Do a few of these names sound familiar or should I say coincidental?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

So you are saying that no accountability is best? The PUSD books are closed to the public. That needs to change before we fork over any additional funding. Period.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Reasonable, responsible taxpaying citizens applaud oversight of public funds. The poster who is agitating the discussion must have an interest in hiding the wrong doing.

The AG says after the 60 days there is still an opportunity for a civil remedy. If this is not made right with full disclosure, expression of regret, and steps to ensure it can not happen again, as a last resort that remedy should be considered.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It isn't known who Alex is talking about. For example, Kathleen publicly supported hiring a consultant for the parcel tax survey and wrote about it frequently on this site.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

Also, I believe Beth, Jan, and Jack all were supporters of Measure E (and probably G). My understanding is annual audits are required and the board and/or staff recommended this committee. We were invited and agreed to participate--one meeting down, one to go. Public welcome (board room, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, June 20).


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