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Voters approve San Ramon school district's Measure C, 4 other parcel taxes

Original post made on May 5, 2009

San Ramon Unified High School District voters today approved Measure C with about 72 percent support.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 9:59 PM

Comments (42)

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Posted by Community of Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Congrats to our neighbors for continuing their support for their schools, their children, and their community.

Our Measure G will also pass with overwhelming support, thanks to the majority of intelligent voters in Ptown.

Let's show our neighbors that we're also committed to providing our children with high-quality education.

Vote YES on G!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah, see? Parcel taxes don't expire after all!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Community of Character
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm

They don't expire because the current state of the economy requires those taxes and the voters acknowledge that fact. You're obviously too naive to realize that. It's good to know that you and your penny pinching friends are a minute minority in this town. The rest of us really care about the welfare of our children and our community.

You can keep on whining but we'll pass Measure G with an overwhelming number of votes. Just remember to pay your taxes on time!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I love you CoC!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Yes, measure G will pass.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Yes, measure G will pass ... like a kidney stone.

Let's hope our "better" schools produce smarter voters than our neighboring cities.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ChangedmyMind
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 12:11 am

CofC-When Measure G fails I hope your checkbook is as big as your mouth and you donate to the school of your choice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DoneandDone
a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2009 at 12:19 am

Comm of Char,
You may really care about the welfare of your children and your community, but its too bad that your school district doesn't. From what I've read the Pleasanton tax is earmarked for teacher raises and it appears to me that you are the naive one.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Respect please
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 12:29 am

CofC---I won't even type out your full moniker because it is so inappropriate for you. I consider your comments to Stacey et al to be rude and disrespectful; not behavior I would want as an example to my children. Your words and attitude are not what I consider to be Community of Character material. I think you had better find a new name.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 12:52 am

I wouldn't read much into the San Ramon vote; after all, Craig Bowen, Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District retired in December with a yearly pension of $284,000.00 plus full bebefits. His salary while he was on the job was about $221,000.00. Obviously a lot of people don't care about money or they vote like lemmings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 6:10 am

What gets parcel taxes to pass the second (or third, etc.) time around is a track record of fiscal prudence, using the first tax as promised, the right proposed amount, and the right number of years. San Ramon has a reserve and clearly voters felt confident in the conservative approach, the amount, and the time limit. Good for them! We don't have any of that in Measure G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PUSD Teacher Against G
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2009 at 7:11 am

In response to Kathleen Ruegsegger's statement that Measure G does not have a time limit- it does, it's four years. Factual information is critical. I'm against Measure G and I'm a teacher in the PUSD.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

Sorry I wasn't clearer--I was speaking about fiscal responsibility. I could have said that better.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 7:42 am

It was easier to pass these measures because of the way they did it. It was a mail-in ballot, not everyone knew about it, and mostly the people who voted were in support. I know because a friend lives in one of those districts. They did everything they could to keep it quiet. Yes, it was in the newspapers, but not everyone was tuned in, and if you did not turn in your mail in ballot by may 5, that was it, your vote did not count.

This is different from a measure you vote for or against in a polling place. Even those who were not paying attention can find out the same day and go vote. That was not the case in these districts that did the vote by mail only - there is a reason this strategy was used by so many districts. I wonder why Pleasanton did not do the same, it would have had a greater chance to pass the parcel tax that way. But with all this publicity about the tax, and voting in a polling place, it will be more difficult, especially since they are waiting until June 2.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by We need to know
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 6, 2009 at 7:42 am

Can someone verify what Joe said, above?: ... Craig Bowen, Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District retired in December with a yearly pension of $284,000.00 plus full bebefits. His salary while he was on the job was about $221,000.00. Obviously a lot of people don't care about money or they vote like lemmings. (end)

As posted on another thread: Pleasanton City Attorney Michael Roush announced ... that he will retire at the end of September after 32 years in the municipal attorney profession, including the last 21 years here.

What's Mr' Roush's current salary and what will his retirement package look like? Pleasanton Weekly, please report on this.

Folks, these are the long term cost traps we've built. We only have ourselves to blame.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 6, 2009 at 8:18 am

San Ramon had a very effective argument saying:

"we need this parcel tax because even with it Pleasanton gets A LOT more money than we do!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 8:18 am

We need to know- The San Ramon retirement article appeared in the Contra Costa Times on May 2, 2009 by columnist Daniel Borenstein.
I think it points to just how much citizens are not paying attention until it is too late. This is just one incident at one level of Government. It will get worse for cities, counties and the state. This "retiree" was only 51 so he'll be collecting for a while.
For more stories like this, you might want to check out www.HJTA.com and get on their mailing list.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lynn
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on May 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

Joe give us the web link.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 9:09 am

Lynn, if you mean the story:
www.contracostatimes.com/danielborenstein/ci_12265599


 +   Like this comment
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 9:10 am

What you need to also keep in mind is that if that fire chief claims that he was "disabled" on the job (too old to perform is one that has worked) his retirement benefits will be TAX FREE. So the taxpayers get to pay twice. There are very few retired fire dept employees who do not make a disability claim. They start that ball rolling on their first day of work. Every muscle ache, every scratchy throat must have been caused by their jobs. They document it for years and retire tax free. Talk about a scam.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on May 6, 2009 at 9:28 am

Congratulations to those communities...


Yes on G


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 6, 2009 at 9:29 am

To We all need to know:

Yes Joe is correct and this system is in place for all police, fire, state, and department of corrections employees although for obvious reasons when the state is going bankrupt it is not advertised. When Gray Davis ran for re-election in order to get the endorsement of these organizations and their unions he promised what is called a 3 point retirement system. They gave him their endorsement and after winning he delivered on his promise. Here is the best example of how the program works. About 3 years ago the joint chief of the Pleasanton/Livermore Fire department retired at the age of 50. He started with the department of forestry at age 18 and while an employee received his degree and worked his way up to chief. As chief his salary was $150,000 dollars per year. Since at age 50 he had 32 years of service and using the 3 point system (3 points is actually 3% of your salary for every year of service) he was entitled to 96% of his salary of his salary for the rest of his life or $144,000 dollars per year! He even stated when asked why he was retiring so young was "I cannot work for $6,000 per year! The kicker is that after retiring he was retained as a consultant to find his replacement for a fee of $150,000 per year! So his compensation after retiring increased to $294,000 plus benefits for the rest of his life. $144,000 per year plus COLA and benefits after he found his replacement if he ever did. California is the only state which has a 3 point system as all the other states have a 2 point system because a 3 point system is not viable. The only way to void these contracts is by California going bankrupt which would reopen these contracts for negotiation. This is the reason why you see so many young retirees as after retiring they can still work for other entities.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 9:48 am

Yipee! Now, can WE get with the program? and support our schools?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 9:58 am

Mary, the school district is part of the same taxpayer abuse. They all use scare tactics ro get voters to vote for their agendas and then don't deliver because salaries and pensions are on the top of their list, not service to the community. These abuses are going to continue until an informed electorate takes a stand and says NO MORE. Measure G is just one sliver of a huge pie; if you vote against it then you are helping to stem the tide of this abuse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No Fear
a resident of Civic Square
on May 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

Joe and Pete,

You are both right on target. Looks like a new topic is needed - Retirement Benefit Excesses of California Public Employees. Our elected representatives live in fear of employee unions, who care nothing of the future of the state, just what's in the best interest of their union members.

A new law needs to be on the books - one that completely reforms the retirement equation for all new hires. A start would be the 2 point structure, not 3. Or perhaps we need to go to 1.5 points. Another would be that retirement moneys would be made available at age 65. Who will start this topic?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Action speaks louder
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Kathleen- How ironic to hear you say "San Ramon has a reserve and clearly voters felt confident in the conservative approach, the amount, and the time limit. Good for them!"

That is not what they were saying in the blogs. It goes to show that voters are able to see through the reporting of misinformation about school funding, and that the negative posters were a small minority.

Your postings are a slanderous effort to take what is fact and twist it in an effort to shake the confidence of Pleasanton voters.

PUSD has above the required budget reserves, PUSD has always delivered a balanced budget, PUSD avoided past parcel taxes due to conservative financial budgeting.(SRUSD was not able to do that)

Your repeated attempt at stating that PUSD did not have a 7% reserve misses the fact that they did have over the required reserve. This does not exemplify mismanagement.

Presenting a balanced budget is crucial to a district- PUSD has always done so. Last year, due to conservative fiscal planning and the use of the reserves put in place for such a purpose, PUSD was able to make 2 million in cuts to the budget without having to ask tax payers for help. (Unlike surrounding cities who passed parcel taxes last year.) Saying that this is not an important part of fiscal management is another attempt at confusing voters and avoiding the issues at hand.

On top of that, PUSD staff and administration has made cuts and concessions totaling over 2 million dollars- something SRUSD did not do.


Measure G is one part of many solutions to the budget cuts. Pleasanton voters can share in this solution by voting YES on June 2.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No Yokes
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on May 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Measure G is not part of any solution to budget cuts becuase it does not address the real problems. Pleasanton voters can share in a REAL solution by voting NO on June 2nd. We cannot attach another tax yoke to the many for the benefit of the few.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm

The PUSD required reserve is 3%. PUSD has 1.5%. PUSD submitted their budget as a qualified budget.
Go to the PUSD website, get their email addresses and email the School Board members to verify this. The one who realize they work for the community will take the time to respond.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Indano
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Please leave Kathleen alone. She's angry because of personal matters with PUSD.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Hey Indano if you are so brave why don't you use your name? Or are you a little tender about having been threatened with a lawsuit the other day?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PW
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

TAX Mad? Get mad and do things regarding state level stupidity; not local school districts! School districts are nothing but puppets to a governmental bueraucracy and have been trying to stay afloat these past few years as their money gets less and less with each year while the mandates get more and more. Too many mandates and no money to support it. For all of you who enjoy the programs and support systems that this district has offered, you'd better say good bye to them for with or without Measure G, these are going down. BTW, Measure G is NOT going to teacher salaries like so many of you want to believe but to continuing CSR. Get it? CSR!! If keeping a teacher to maintain the CSR means giving MEAS G money to teachers, then indirectly, you're so correct. Come on, you're all smarter than that. Right? Remember this, Meas G is for a local community that has a local need. It does not and will not go to or benefit anyone or thing outside of Pleasanton. Show your community support. Would you help a neighbor get through rough times even though you think they handled their personal needs incorrectly?
'YES' on Measure G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Indano
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Wouldn't that be a pandora's box? Huh, brave Bob or Bill or Marty or Sally or Sue or Steve or Ann or .....?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stop the Libelous Comments
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Indano,
Stop posting from your PUSD email account.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Indano, I think we now know the IQ of Indano as she or he does not even know the meaning of pandora's box? hmmmmmmmmmm maybe we should vote yes on G afterall.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 7 hours ago

The PUSD required reserve is 3%. PUSD has 1.5%. PUSD submitted their budget as a qualified budget.

Go to the PUSD website, get their email addresses and email the School Board members to verify this. The one who realize they work for the community will take the time to respond.

Yes Pleasanton Resident...the budget cuts have already taken affect THIS year, just like PUSD has been educating the public about. They are forced to run the schools with millions of dollars less right now as we speak. This is just the beginning of the affects of the cuts. When you all were posting that it is just a scare tactic set up by the district, real cuts and sacrifices have already been instituted. Amazing that you dont hear those mentioned here, only complaints and propaganda.

Another example of taking the reality of the worse cuts to education in California's history being twisted around to look like PUSD's fault. Sounds like scare tactics to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Indano, I have been thinking that for quite a while! Why else would she be constantly posting erroneous facts about the administration? Then turning around and saying San Ramon did it right?! And to hear those on this posting bully you just tops it. Lots of double standards.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Thank you to posts by "actions speak louder". I'm not sure what the axe is that Kathy has to grind against Casey and the board, but it's clearly an attempt to obfuscate the budget realities. While I concede that there were some inefficiencies (i.e. cell phones), gross mismanagement is not what got us into this mess.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 9:27 pm

In da no: I think you are the one who is Annoid (anagram). I already responded to you on the other thread, but if you want to keep beating the drum on new threads, I'll be there to meet you.

Not angry at all, particularly on a personal level. Disappointed in how the district has been run, that's for sure. Previous response to your comments:

Very sorry I couldn't get back to In da no's posting until now. I was not fired, far from it. If you have a specific question about me or my time at PUSD, please ask. I'll do what I can to respond.

As to the "misinformation," there isn't any. The district chose not to conduct a survey on the advice of its consultant; public knowledge. The last survey about a parcel tax, by the way, showed there was insufficient support for it.

What I am suggesting, however, is something that can be done on Survey Monkey so any and all interested parties can respond, from students to parents to staff to families without children to seniors--and from the privacy of their homes or at the local library where one isn't shouted down for having an opposing opinion (as occurred at the "meetings" you mention).

I've seen it done; it's easy and the results are quickly gathered as well. Questions should run along the lines of:

-Do you agree

---APs at the elementary level are important? ($XXXXXX)

---APs are important at only the largest schools? ($XXXXXX)

---There should be counselors at 400:1? ($XXXXXX)

---There should be counselors at the middle schools? ($XXXXXX)

---There should be counselors at the elementary level? ($XXXXXX)

---CSR at 25:1 should be considered in grades 4 and 5? ($XXXXXXX)

---Reading specialists

---Librarians

---Art programs

---Science and Math magnet school

---Merit pay

---and so on

-Rank the above in order of priority ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

-Are you willing to pay a parcel tax of $50 annually? $100 $300

-Are you willing to pay for two years? Three? Four? Unlimited?

You get the drift. And this can then be shared with the entire community and anyone can plan the next steps from this point, particularly someone who is In The Know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Resident: Kathy? Do you know me so familiarly to call me Kathy? And if you do, please be kind enough to tell me your name.

No axe to grind with Casey. I walked away with a clear conscience. I've stated my issues clearly . . . no obfuscation. All I get in return is inuendo and mindless taunts--no facts, no questions about my facts, not facts to refute my facts.

Be Positive: San Ramon ran their budget well. They asked for a parcel tax before the state budget woes. They have a large reserve. The parcel tax was a re-up for what they're already doing.

Please read above--state some facts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Actions: I didn't look at blogs about San Ramon; I looked for the pertinent data. Show me data where I'm wrong; I'll correct what I've stated. I'll even vote for the tax if you can do the same homework and change my mind.

PUSD gave three years of raises that could not be sustained without continued COLAs from the state and/or growing enrollment.

They had a plan for a 7% reserve and abandoned it, because they gave raises they needed to cover first. That implemented reserve could be incredibly useful now.

This administration was handed a solvent district. Stating $x in matches $x in expenses does not indicate a budget is sustainable. Assumptions about COLAs and enrollments are made to speculate about future sustainability.

The district intended to have a parcel tax (and I don't have the date) a couple years ago, and decided against it when the survey indicated there was insufficient support for it to pass.

These are all facts.

You speak about voters as confused . . . I give them far more credit. I provide what I know, what facts I can access, and I am certain voters can determine what position they will take in the booth. Time will tell.

Solutions other than cutting CSR and raising a parcel tax have been offered and ignored. Pleasanton voters can hold the district to the kind of expectations they have for our community's children by voting No on Measure G.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm

@ Really?

Regarding my post:
The PUSD required reserve is 3%. PUSD has 1.5%. PUSD submitted their budget as a qualified budget.

Go to the PUSD website, get their email addresses and email the School Board members to verify this. The one who realize they work for the community will take the time to respond.

Why do you have a problem with this post? I gave the facts in response to someone earlier mentioning reserves and how the district has always had a balanced budget. PUSD speny down its reserves and went below the required 3% and consequently submitted a qualified budget. Rather than asking anyone to take my word, I suggested that anyone who questioned this information contact a school board member to verify it. (my experience has been that some are good about getting back to community members who ask questions; others never respond)

How and why the reserves were spent down has been addressed in other discussions.
I gave facts and you immediately came back defensively and nastily.
Now I understand what the No on G people have meant when they have said the parcel tax supporters who post on this blog respond to any facts with emotion.
Seems to me the yes on G people spend most of their time posting nasty and untrue comments personal comments about the No on G people or react rudely to anyone they think doesn't share their point of view.
Wasn't sure how to vote before, but you and some of your disgusting blog buddies have convinced me - I'll vote No.








 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm

"Now I understand what the No on G people have meant when they have said the parcel tax supporters who post on this blog respond to any facts with emotion. Seems to me the yes on G people spend most of their time posting nasty and untrue comments personal comments about the No on G people or react rudely to anyone they think doesn't share their point of view."

LOL, yes, it's been much more civil to call teachers "greedy", say the union eats its young, the administrators are like the town drunk, and the voters are lemmings... and that's just a snapshot from one day! I also love the frequent accusations that teachers will take out their retribution on elementary school children whose parents vote no on G.

Let's be clear: people both sides have sunk to the emotional, to the irrational, and to character attacks. Disregard the idiots and make your decision on the facts as best you can put them together from verifiable sources.


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