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PUSD Illegal cash-out bond refunding

Original post made by PEVC on Mar 26, 2011

At the 3/22 PUSD school board meeting, a citizen raised concerns about trusting PUSD with more taxpayer funds (via Measure E parcel tax) because PUSD used an illegal method to raise additional cash when refunding Measure B bonds. Trustee Laursen, attempting to refute this citizen, prompted Assistant Superintendent Luz Cazares to say this was 'not determined to be illegal',
However, the CA Attorney General in January 2009 said
"Absent specific approval from the district's electors, a school district may not issue refunding general obligation bonds at a price or an interest rate that will generate proceeds in excess of the amount needed to retire the designated outstanding bonds."
The Attorney General's report is here Web Link
A Bloomberg article on how school districts used this illegal maneuver is here Web Link
So, who's telling the truth?
The California Attorney General or Asst. Supt. Luz Cazares?

Comments (215)

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Is this related to the tax to schools that we pay annually with our property taxes?

If so, can you let me know what it is we are paying for? Why was it refunded? We've been wondering and also wondering when we can stop paying for this! It's a huge amount of money for us and I honestly don't know what we're paying for as it was agreed way before our time here.


Posted by PEVC, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

parent -
Yes, it is part of your property taxes. Here is a place to start learning about it.
Web Link


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

Thanks. Please correct me if I'm wrong as this is not something I know much about, but it looks like:

Taxpayers were asked to approve a bond for facilities improvement in the late '90's. It all went ahead and when we had a chance to reduce the interest rate we took it. But rather than passing on the savings to the taxpayers or paying off the debt early, we took lump sums out to pay for more improvements.

So the issue is that the payments taxpayers have to make with our property taxes could have been lower by refinancing, but the district didn't choose to do this? And the district's point is that the taxpayers agreed to a certain bond amount at a certain interest rate and if the district got the interest rate down, they still are entitled to use the extra money, not lower the taxes we pay.

Is this correct?


Posted by another parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

Parent, you are correct. What the district did was essentially like a homeowner refinancing when interest rates are down and instead of taking a lower mortgage payment, you take cash out of your house and keep your payment the same (since you borrowed more).

This is totally illegal and against the California Constitution. The Attorney General had to reiterate to school district that were cashing out that this is an illegal practice; always has been. There were some bond councils that for large fees would help the district through a cash-out. District would pay the outrageous charges in order to get more money from the taxpayers. So we were screwed twice. First by taking more of our money, and second, using OUR money to pay outrageous fees.

To make it worse, the district is saying they do not do this anymore because it is not legal now. However, IT HAS NEVER BEEN LEGAL. They will not admit this and are covering up their violations of the State Constitution. The administration disgusts me with this type of behavior and they are terrible role models to our students.

Now they want more money from us? They have already demonstrated that they are liars and cheats.


Posted by concerned, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

The district does not have a good track record in hiring outside advisers. They have these bond lawyers telling them how to get around the system to get more money from taxpayers without en election to ask them. They are also in a lawsuit where they are suing their previous legal council on the Neal Elementary School and Signature Properties in what the judge called an illegal contract.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

OK, this is going to sound a bit lame, but I was actually half way watching the council meeting last week and Luz was addressing (I think) this issue at one point.

She said that whatever was done was not illegal.

So was her point that it was not illegal then, but it is now?

And you are saying it was illegal then and now?

So if it was illegal or if the rules have changed now, is there any money we can get back as a tax rebate - is there any left?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

sorry, I meant I was watching the school board meeting . . .


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

So, I'm reading the article in more depth now, it says:

"Attorney General Brown said in a January legal opinion that a possible benefit to taxpayers that could come in about two decades is "irrelevant." What counts, he said, is that taxpayers have been improperly hit with higher taxes now."

However, I would have thought that in Pleasanton we would have followed the rules and I think Luz said last week that we did.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I do not have an argument against refunding the loans as long as the money obtained from the refunding is dedicated to projects similar to what was approved for the original bonds. However since this refunding took place during the eight years that our city and school district started boosting salaries and retirement packages, I am concerned this was another bait and switch for the taxpayer.

I still have not gotten an answer on what happened to the money that was saved by the elimination of the school buses. This was to be a tremendous saving for the school district, but nobody can clarify exactly what the savings went for. I, like everyone else, assumed it would go to classroom enhancement. But since no one on the district side is speaking up, I now assume it was for salary, extended benefits, and retirement package enhancements for the administrative staff. How else could you fund six figure retirement pensions?


Posted by annonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

So teachers are not supposed to get raises? Teachers pay into their retirements. I don't get this teacher bashing. People move here because of the schools. Your property values stay high because of the schools. Realtors sell houses because of the schools! Who delivers the service to the students? The TEACHERS! Hello????


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

PUSD illegally (it was illegal at the time they did it) cashed out $7 million dollars instead of applying it to reduce the debt. State law says that refinancing public debt can only be done if the result is to take the amount to reduce the voter debt. Instead, they skimmed $7 million dollars off the top and used it by PUSD, at the same time disbanding the Citizen's Oversight Committee. They increased the public debt without voter approval, which was also illegal (it was illegal at the time they did it).

This has been covered extensively in the press since 2007, starting with the San Jose Mercury News (May 14, 2007 "DISTRICT UNDER FIRE ON BONDS"), but for some reason, the local press has not touched this. Districts pay huge amounts to refinancing companies and consultants to do this so they make a fortuned. San Jose USD spent $1.61 million to refinance their bonds. The San Jose Mercury News indicated that Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth / David Casnocha and UBS Financial Services handled this cash-out refinancing.

PUSD will likely use their tried and true lame excuse (like they did with Lozano Smith claiming it was their fault the Neal School agreement was null and void) that this firm told them it was okay, but of course, one wonders why PUSD with all of its administrators can't simply look up the Government Code and Education Code themselves to determine cash out refinancing is highly illegal. Or did they know and did it anyway? Why else did they disband the Citizens Oversight Committee? Were they afraid they would report this and launch a grand jury investigation like the citizens of San Jose did?

And why are they covering it up saying it was "legal at the time" [NOT TRUE AT ALL!]. What dishonesty, what lies.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

"So teachers are not supposed to get raises?"

Bill was a) talking about administrators and b) we're not talking about the parcel tax, we're talking about a bond for facilities improvements.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

"PUSD illegally (it was illegal at the time they did it) cashed out $7 million dollars instead of applying it to reduce the debt. State law says that refinancing public debt can only be done if the result is to take the amount to reduce the voter debt. Instead, they skimmed $7 million dollars off the top and used it by PUSD, at the same time disbanding the Citizen's Oversight Committee. They increased the public debt without voter approval, which was also illegal (it was illegal at the time they did it)."

If this is true, this sounds like a big deal. Is there money left over? How could they disband the Oversight Committee? Were the 7 million used for facilities improvements or something else. I'm truly shocked if this is true.


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Where did the money go? Good question. PUSD has consistently refused to respond to many Public Records Act requests regarding their accounting records, board agendas and minutes, invoices for legal services, and all cash flows or other accounting documents of fees received, expended, and expenditures.

They would rather spend $500,000 to $ 1 million in legal fees to fight releasing public records rather than $500 to just give the records to the public. They won't even release them if they are sued, as in the following recent court case ( look up Web Link and look up court case and read the Petition for Writ of Mandate filed for RG09454800 ). Here they were asking for fairly simple sets of accounting records, but the District fought it claiming the public doesn't have a right to the records or that they are "privileged."

They have also been accused numerous times of violating state open meeting laws (Brown Act) and were accused in this case of violating the Brown Act by holding a faux closed session in order to unload the Neal school site.

Also Casey indicated that the Oversight Committee was not required by State Law because the Measure was not passed under Proposition 39.


Posted by another parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

It does not matter if the district took the money they received from the cash-out and used it for "needed projects". They did not have the taxpayers permission to use the cash-out for anything except to pay down debt. It is permitted to pay down debt under state law but illegal to use the cash out for anything else. Luz was not truthful in saying we could cash out. She said something about it used to be illegal but now is not. The law never changed. Same law. the Attorney General does not create law, just enforces it and give legal opinions. Only the legislature can create law (or citizen initiatives of which there were none that addressed this). The Legal Opinion of the Attorney General categorically said that cashing out and not putting the cash into paying down the interest was violating the state constitution. Are these the same people who are teaching out kids about civics? They don't even know how laws are made.


Posted by Taxpayer/parent, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm

PUSD is still using and paying high fee's to the same consultants who facilitated these illegal schemes. Tuesday night Luz said she is waiting for a letter to get an opinion from their attorney.
Any letter from the attorney/consultants, Mark Farrell-Piper Jaffray, or David Casnocha, who lead the district down this illicit path has no credibility. We have the California Attorney General's opinion, it is clear, cashing out is unconstitutional/illegal.

Joan Larsen was ill informed when she said the refundings are okay because the refundings were approved by the Board of Trustees in a publicly held Board meetings.
This in no way satisfied the requirement of getting voter/taxpayer approval. Neither the board nor district staff has the authority to circumvent the voter requirement. The fact that they think that they can is why taxpayers can not trust them with more tax dollars.


Posted by taxpayer/parent, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Did I hear Luz correctly, she seemed to be justifying the illegal refunding by saying many other districts did it so it was okay. It is true many other districts also broke the law which is why the AG issued a scathing opinion to end the illegal practice.

Can we tell our kids to use this argument when they want to do something wrong, "everyone else is cheating so it is okay"?


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 12:24 am

I must admit to standing in awe of that Mr. Casnocha and Ms. Cazares, who both seem to have the unapologetic chutzpah to call the unconstitutional theft of millions of dollars from taxpayers perfectly fine.

The District has known about this at least since January 2009 and has had over two years to come clean and return their illegal proceeds to the taxpayers amounting to the $7 million + the lawyer fees ($3 million perhaps?).


Posted by more mud on the wall, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 12:44 am

Looks like the right-wing loonies are attempting to find yet another toehold, this after all other possibilities have been shot down. Big yawn.


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 1:08 am

The contractors and consultants that resulted in the bait and switch to taxpayers are also heavy contributors that finance the Yes side on parcel tax and bond measures like this one Web Link . Piper Jaffray and Stradling, Carlson, Yocca & Rauth are huge contributors that contribute to parcel tax and bond campaigns. Why? Because they know much of the taxpayer money from bond measures and parcel taxes never end up going to benefit the students of the school system, but end up going right into the consultants' pockets.


Posted by David, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 6:31 am

If this information is correct?

Did Pleasanton participate in this scam?

And they can't say where the money went?

Exactly who is looking out for our interests?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:23 am

I'm finding this hard to believe.

However, if Piper Jaffray is who we're working with . . . this is straight from the Bloomberg article and Bloomberg is a pretty reliable source:

"The deals were dominated by UBS AG and Piper Jaffray Cos., which collected fees up to four times the U.S. average for bond sales, public records show.

"This was a hell of a cute scheme," says Lee Buffington, treasurer of San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco. "These guys had a gold mine going and thought nobody was watching.""


Posted by ?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

I'd rather have "right-wing loonies" exposing the facts of a matter rather than having "left-wing idiots" saying there is no problem.

Look around, what is going right these days? And yet, liberals others are making a "mountain out of a mole hill". We will not get back on the track of recovery until we look honestly as our issues.

It seems all liberals are trying to do is protect the tax/spend system to continue to get their cheeze regards the long-term damage it creates.


Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

Can we not bicker?
This looks like a serious issue. There has been extensive news coverage in other communities why haven't our papers looked into it here?

Call me what you will but if our district has been practicing illegal or even quasi questionable activities I think it is important.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

I want to know! Why has the taxpayer been kept in the dark and why have the local media sources not reported these findings? I was talking to a group of my neighbors and they too could not understand why they hadn't heard anything about this before. What a lesson they have taught our children and grandchildren.


Posted by Stop the Gang of 5, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

More lies to confused voters by the gang of 5 bullies. Just like measure D - Let's lie about which hills we are going to protect. So let's spread some more lies. Don't you think the District Attorney would be all over this instead of a bunch of bloggers? What's next? The City is stealing tax dollars to pay employees?


Posted by David, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

PW, can you please report on this topic ASAP?


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

The poster 'Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal' gave a link
Web Link
that is very interesting.
Read the article from the Claremont Courier (larger version is here).
Web Link
Notice TBWB Strategies was the bond measure consultant.
Isn't that the same parcel tax consultant PUSD and SupportPleasantonSchools are using?
So, the banks and lawyers were funding the bond tax campaign, and the money going to parcel tax consultants? All the same players here in the Pleasanton USD?


Posted by But...it's for the children!, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

Nothing to see here folks, just move on & don' pay any attention to what those right-wing nut jobs are saying. Isn't it time to put this behind us & concentrate on what's important? Our children, our property values, our pensions, er I mean our future.

Hey did you hear about the Brittney Spears concert this weekend? Now THATS news!

If this doesn't make even the most rabid supporter of Measure E think for just one nano-second about the mindset of the PUSD & to what levels they will slink to when the almighty $$ is concerned then you are truly lost.


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

Thank goodness the Civil Grand Jury Investigation found wrongdoing. We need to all thank State Senator Joe Simitian who got the Attorney General's office involved.

Other news outlets reported on this. I don't understand why locally, there has been one "puff pieces" after another from press releases directly issued by the Pleasanton USD Public Relations office.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

"More lies to confused voters by the gang of 5 bullies"

I don't even know who you are talking about.

And I'm very prepared to believe everything is fine here in Pleasanton.

Do you have the contact details for the oversight committee (it should exist if you're saying everything is fine) so someone can get the facts straight with these people?

Thanks.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm

"Because they know much of the taxpayer money from bond measures and parcel taxes never end up going to benefit the students of the school system, but end up going right into the consultants' pockets. "

Can you please show us the numbers that show that the money ends up "going right into the consultants' pockets. "


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

It sounds to me that what PUSD did in following the consultant's advice on this was not clearly illegal as some posters have been suggesting here. It appears to be have been in a legal grey area. I don't think this was about "dishonesty, lies, or coverup".


Posted by Taxpayer/parent, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

The AG made it clear, it is not and never was a gray area, it is illegal.
"Brown says. The constitution bans school districts from taking on additional debt in a refinancing of taxpayer-approved bonds without a public vote."

The consultants recieved up to 4X the normal fee's because so few reputable firms would do them. PUSD was and still is using the same cunsultants identified by other county grand juries as sketchy. PUSD paid the inflated fee's and added it to our tax debt.

Web Link
"This was a hell of a cute scheme," says Lee Buffington, treasurer of San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco. "These guys had a gold mine going and thought nobody was watching."

In Pleasanton there was no oversight committe to be watching.

"The deals were dominated by UBS AG and Piper Jaffray Cos., which collected fees up to four times the U.S. average for bond sales, public records show."


Posted by we were ripped off, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I remember the school board celebrating that because of lower interest rates that they were doing refunding and cashing out. I had always assumed that the cashing out money was put back into the principal to pay down the debt. Now we hear that the district took the cash out and did not use it to pay down debt, but rather used this money for other projects which INCREASED our debt. They never took this to the voters which was required. the amount of money they took plus the interest we have to pay on it now is much more than the parcel tax. If the district payed down the debt, we would have lower property taxes since the bonds would be less. In fact the amount we pay on our property tax for the bond would probably go down by more than $98, the additional amount they want from us now, essentially allowing us to pay the extra parcel tax with no additional cost.

Here is something I found from the San Jose Mercury news on this whole cash out scheme (yes it was a scheme to rob the taxpayers):

"I must admit to standing in awe of that Mr. Casnocha, who has the unapologetic chutzpah to call his undisputedly unconstitutional theft of millions from taxpayers "a policy preference." And by the way, the only reason the bonds themselves are valid is because no one sued within 60 days of their issuance. Of course, no one knew about the cash-out until well over a year later, which is exactly how Casnocha and SJUSD had engineered it. Also, the AG made it clear taxpayers could still sue for relief to reduce their debt toward legal levels.

Isn't it just lovely that, in spite of the AG's triumphant opinion, taxpayers must continue to pay the price for back room deals that inflate their tax rates, especially now that, facing declining property values and increasing unemployment, they will be pressed harder than ever just to pay for fundamental, basic services? In California, there are still precious few remedies for even outright taxpayer abuse."

I am certainly voting No on Measure E now. I was already upset to learn that the district is giving out raises while they are asking for a parcel tax but taking money from us illegally is really bad. I asked the school district to see the oversight committees agenda and minutes from the time these cash outs took place. They told me that the oversight committee was not meeting when they did this. Not having the oversight committee meet on this is strike number three against the tax. Our new superintendent has a lot of cleaning up to do based on what the last one did. I want to see real reform before I give more money in taxes to this agency.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm

"Brown says. The constitution bans school districts from taking on additional debt in a refinancing of taxpayer-approved bonds without a public vote."

But he said that after PUSD had already refinanced the loans. Seems like it is a gray area, right. At any rate, I don't see it changing my vote in favor of measure E.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

""Brown says. The constitution bans school districts from taking on additional debt in a refinancing of taxpayer-approved bonds without a public vote."

But he said that after PUSD had already refinanced the loans."

Does it really matter when Brown said it? Is that really th test?


Posted by another parent, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm

concerned parent, all the more reason why the oversight committee should have been meeting. If this was a gray area back then, it should have gone to the committee. They knew it was wrong and that is why they did not meet with the oversight committee. Since there was a single bond "specialist" who was doing these, my guess is that others did not do this type of transaction because they believed it not to be legal. It would be good to see the bids the district received in doing these refunding/cash out transactions. Not sure if the sole-sourced it knowing that there was only a single company who would do this or not.


Posted by Gray Area? You are kidding, right?, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

These financial shenanigans make me very angry. When the Office of Thrift Supervision failed to regulate the savings and loans and subprime loans and caused the national financial crisis, that seemed like distant, incompetent bureaucrats and so called bank regulators were the problem. But this is LOCAL. Even though I belong to the PTA and have been involved in Measure E, I just threw my Yes on E sign in the trash bin.

The District's website says it squeezed out $6.786 million cash on bond refunding, but the only report I see on the web is a single refunding from 2004 here (where are the others???)Web Link And are these the absolutely outrageous issuance, investment services and financing costs paid to consultants that the posters above were talking about?

$260,766
$ 2,393
$471,755

There is absolutely no cash out refunding general obligation transaction listed in the California School Accounting Manual listed on the California Department of Education. So how could this possibly be a 'gray' area?




Posted by Taxpayer Chuck - a Senior, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Opponents to schools in general, and taxes specifically, always manage to cloud up the issue: The ISSUE is really very simple: Do we wish to continue to QUALITY of education that we currently have in Pleasanton, or do we NOT!!! SUPPORT THE SCHOOLS, AND OUR SCHOOL BOARD WITH YOUR VOTE, and, if you have legitimae questions about HOW the money is being spent, GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY, AND GO TO SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS, WRITE LETTERS, SPEAK TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, ETC., BUT DON'T JUST SIT BACK AND THROW STONES AT SOMEIONE, OR SOMETHING, THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!!!!

I am a Senior Citizen, and I fully support this measure. I know that if I cannot afford it some time in the future,I can "opt out" and not pay it that year. But, that is not my intent. I INTEND to support the same system that helped educate our 4 children, and,now, one of my grandchildren I know that times are tough for many of us, and that certainly includes the young parents of our students. But, I feel it is my DUTY to help support our children! And, I will do so. PLEASE JOIN ME IN SUPPORTING MEASURE E.




Posted by i've had enough, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Okay, that does it. I've had enough. I was going to vote Yes on E. I even had a Yes sign on my front lawn. But now this. I'm taking my sign down. Why? I'm not sure, exactly. Somebody's kicking up dirt, though, and that's enough for me.

This reminds me of when I was in grade school. Joan was running for class president against Paulie Bananas. One of the kids circulated a poster with a garbage pail over Joan's head, saying 'Vote for Joan'. That's all I needed. I voted for Paulie Bananas and have never regretted it.


Posted by anon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

"Opponents to schools in general, and taxes specifically, always manage to cloud up the issue: The ISSUE is really very simple: Do we wish to continue to QUALITY of education that we currently have in Pleasanton"

I'm not sure the parcel tax has anything to do with the quality of education. I think it has more to do with the district spending money they don't have and then using children as pawns to force people that value education to pay up. I don't think the teachers are behind this push for more and more taxpayer money; it's the teachers union.


Posted by anon, too, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

And just what is the difference between the union and teachers, you may ask. Well, the teachers are members of the union, but unions are members of ... oh, forget about it. I love our teachers. I just don't love teachers who are members of ... oh, forget about it. I really hate our teachers.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Taxpayer Chuck - Your suggestion that those who are opposed to Measure E are not involved in the community and know nothing about public education is without merit.
PUSD and the unions have many more options to control expenses without hurting the children then they will let you know. See Web Link The coalition who put this together knows quite a bit about public education and school finance.
Yes it is our community duty to support the children. It is also PUSD's duty to wisely use taxpayer funds. And the community's duty to hold PUSD and the unions accountable for their use of taxpayer funds.
The best thing you can do is to vote NO on E.
Pleasanton taxpayers paid $166,500,000 in federal, state and local taxes to support PUSD in the 2009-2010 school year. (Go here Web Link and view the 2010 audit report.) The highest revenue PUSD has ever seen. Do you think they need more money?
Please give your $98 directly to your grandchild's teacher. It will do far more good and make a teacher happy.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

We could solve these kinds of problems pretty easily. Daily drug and lie detector tests for all teachers. I don't think it's the teachers who are stealing our kids' no. 2 pencils; it's the teachers union.

By the way, I read a newspaper article about a teacher who was fired in the San Diego schoold district for smoking pot. Isn't it likely that that's happening in Pleasanton too? No gray area here. We need more accountability from our teachers; especially the teachers union.


Posted by anon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

"And just what is the difference between the union and teachers"

The teachers are interested in educating children. The unions are interested in protecting their existance at all cost, and pushing the compensation envelope in all directions. Their main purpose, it appears, is to justify the money they take from teachers paychecks.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Grand paps Chuck. Do NOT give your $98 to your grand kid's teacher. The teachers are like crack addicts who always need more money. Do NOT give teachers another red penny until they have all undergone mandatory daily drug testing.


Posted by anon, too, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Hey, hold the bus! I've known a teacher or two in my time. And I'm glad you got that part about them being interested in educating our children right! But the teachers I've known have been members of a teachers' union. And anon has teachers taking money out of their own paychecks and giving it to themselves and others in their union. Call the authorities, this should not be permitted.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Getting back to the subject of this bond issue, I think it's a bit unfair to current management. Luz wasn't employed by the district at the time (iirc), Parvin hasn't been on the job through a whole school year yet, and many on the Board are new to this too.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Maybe the best thing the Board can do at this point is acknowledge this and possibly reconvene the Measure B oversight committee to address the concerns.


Posted by agree, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Stacey, you are right. The board does need to acknowledge this and reconvene the Measure B oversight committee. There is not much we can do with the money that was already spent but the district can acknowledge past mistakes and put the committee back to prevent this from happening. My biggest problem now is the district trying to cover-up something that was wrong. I don't expect they can do anything to undo what was previously done but some honesty will allow the district to get past the problem. Until the district owns up to it, the subject will keep coming up. It will be like "I did not have relations with that person". Obviously does not make the problem go away.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Even if this happened before the current administrators time, shouldn't they be up to speed with what is going on and managing things transparently and with up to date recordkeeping? If a mistake was made, surely there should be steps to say sorry, fix things going forwards and return funds/paying off the debt as appropriate.

If there really isn't an oversight committee (which I'm finding hard to believe) of course there should be one.

We're all paying a huge amount of money every year to pay for this bond and I guess we will for years to come, so we definitely need to know that it's being managed effectively, used for the right things and that the advisors aren't overcharging etc.


Posted by Another Parent, a resident of Civic Square
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I don't know that I like the idea of an oversight committee. That smacks of too much government regulation.

"I did not have relations with that person." Was that Newt Gingrich who said that?

By the way, Donald Trump showed everyone his birth certificate today.


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

It will take a top down approach to sufficiently change the culture of PUSD to one of transparency, with management that is accountable, that encourages questions and participation in the process from its Board members and the public, rather than engaging in lame excuses and cover-ups and basically trying to deceive the public time and time again.

As it is now, because the lack the checks and balances internally to do things correctly, they never take the blame themselves, but always fingerpoint to some outside entity when something goes wrong, e.g., builders, architects, inspectors, parents, lawyers, advisors, children, the "STATE", the "FEDS", etc.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

The EdCode


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

And let's not forget "Sacramento", Congress, the space-time continuum, meddling citizens, No Child Left Behind, planetary alignment, etc. :-)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Don't forget to blame the dog.


Posted by astonished, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I'm unable to fathom why there hasn't been a legitimate news story written about this, if it's true. We can read all about the fraud behind Michelle Rhee's program, but here we have this absolute outrage in Pleasanton and what do we get? A pair of backslappers congratulating themselves for, well, who knows what? I blame it on the liberal media.


Posted by hmmmmm, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I'll tell you this much. If cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, then a crime has perhaps possibly been committed, or not. We need to notify the proper authorities and agitate for them to take action, or something.


Posted by Fallen Arches Cynthia, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:40 pm

These are very serious charges sort of. Isn't someone supposed to go to prison for this? Who do we blame? Accountability demands we blame someone, doesn't it? So, who was responsible and how do we turn them into the authorities? We as a community should not be left flat-footed on this matter.


Posted by Former School Administrator, a resident of Sycamore Place
on Mar 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm

PEVC. Is it a clown club, or what?


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Somehow a newspaper owned by the same publishing company as the Pleasanton Weekly seems to be on top of things, i.e. "Cash-out refinance of school bonds is illegal, says state Attorney General Jerry Brown"

Web Link

Former School Administrator of Sycamore Place, Sycamore Place is a tiny neighborhood with only two streets. I wasn't aware that any former school administrators lived on Katie Lane or Olivia Ct. Speaking of clubs, are you part of the 100K Pension Club? Were you involved in the refunding process at PUSD?


Posted by Sane and Rational, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Say there, Cash-Out. Is this the quote you wanted everyone to read?

"While the attorney general's [2009] 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."

You people are sick. I hope you further embarrass yourselves by insisting that the District Attorney prosecute someone. But that really isn't what you're after is it? Just another notch on the moral deficit headboard. Shameful and disgusting.


Posted by Former School Administrator, a resident of Sycamore Place
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

Boy, someone seems to have an inordinate interest in where I live. Nice.


Posted by I disagree, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:11 am

"You people are sick. I hope you further embarrass yourselves by insisting that the District Attorney prosecute someone."

What's sick about making sure that our taxes actually go where they are intended to go. These aren't $98 taxes by a long stretch! I look after money at home and I would expect people I elect to do it on a local level. If they are not, I'm not happy. I'm very careful with the money I make - that's not a crime now is it?


Posted by Sane and Rational, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:31 am

As usual, you can't seem to follow an argument. Check this out: no one is calling you a criminal. You seem to have been the one calling someone a criminal. Or are you now changing your tune since someone had to draw out the relevant quotation from a newspaper article you seem unable to have understood?

So, again, I'm not calling you a criminal. I'm saying you're sick. If you actually believe something illegal occurred, I hope you knock yourself out attempting to get someone to file criminal charges. (And lots of luck on that, pal.) You might be better occupied making a fool of yourself in that manner than further investigating Former School Administrator's address. Like I said, sick.


Posted by I disagree, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:40 am

Sane and Rationale, I have no idea what you are talking about regarding people calling other people criminals. I think you need to put down your drink and go to sleep. All I'm saying (and I'm not the person you clearly think I am in your deluded mind) is:

What's sick about making sure that our taxes actually go where they are intended to go. These aren't $98 taxes by a long stretch! I look after money at home and I would expect people I elect to do it on a local level. If they are not, I'm not happy. I'm very careful with the money I make - that's not a crime now is it?


Posted by Sane and rational, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

Here, let me make it a little clearer.

Hey you, 'Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal'; hey you, 'I disagree'; and all other members of the PEVC clown club who have amply demonstrated on this post a nose for dirt. If cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, then a crime must have occurred. When a crime has occurred, it has occurred because someone committed a crime. We prosecute criminals in the society we live in. You need to raise the appropriate charges and file with the District Attorney. That's what responsible citizens do; they hold perpetrators of a crime accountable. Instead of attempting to learn Former School Administrator's address, let's see you back up your words with action.

'I disagree', go back and re-read what Psychologist said about you a couple of days ago on another post. He/She said it far better than I could have.


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

It looks like taxpayers who supported the San Mateo Community College District bond measure also seemed to have been duped and outraged over taxpayer money directed to projects and activities that were never in the ballot measure. Here according to the SFGate and an exclusive article in the San Francisco Chronicle called "Tax Funded San Mateo Fitness Club Draws Anger," voters who voted for the San Mateo Community College District measure thought they were spending their tax money on education, and it ended up being spent on creating a snazzy, private, dues paying athletic club that was never listed on the ballot measure language.
Here is the article Web Link and even though there was a bond oversight committee Web Link , look at how the funds were spent.

This would probably explain why San Mateo County has taken the lead in putting together a grand jury investigation.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:17 am

Stacey,
Unfortunately Luz can not be given any further benefit of doubt after her comments Tuesday night. She carefully chose her words to mislead. She was deliberately misleading saying that refunding was legal, which is true. What is, and always has been illegal, is refunding and cashing out which PUSD did to the amount of over $7 million dollars! The speaker who she was responding to was clear about the topic, she had been specific referring three times to the practice of cashing out.
Luz also implied that it was okay because other districts have done it. It is true that many other districts have been condemned by their county grand juries. When our children justify cheating because other kids do it, they can use the "Luz Defense".

Joan's response was unfortunate and shows she can not be trusted to think critically. It is scary to know that she believes the board can override the law and circumvent required voter approval with Board approval.

No one wants to damage PUSD beyond transparency but they did break the law and they must regain our trust. Responsible citizens do not ignor this kind of poor stewardship.

No one is suggesting it but there is remaining remedy:
Apart from invalidation of the bond issue, other remedies are available pursuant to a taxpayer's suit under Code of Civil Procedure section 526a76 or actions by the Attorney General.77


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

Diana - you seem to know a quite a bit about this.

What does cashing out mean in reference to this bond mean?

Does it mean the 7 million was used for other facilities improvements? Or was it put in the general fund to pay for completely unrelated things that we didn't vote for? Or is it in the bank where we can get it back to lower our debt and property tax payments?


Posted by Really definitely illegal, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:56 am

Engaging in an illegal activity to the tune of 7 million dollars is a criminal offense. We need to instigate Grand Jury hearings just like they have in San Mateo. I for one am extremely grateful to PEVC for bringing this to our attention. I look forward to seeing the entire Board prosecuted for cashing out and intentionally misleading us. Luz and Joan are not to be trusted. Trust PEVC. They are the most righteous, clear thinkers in our community.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

It is likely that other than, 4X the normal consultant fee's, the money was used for non-voter approved capital projects. We would like a full accounting. It appears that the funds have been spent but we do want to know where.

We would also like to know how much less our property taxes would be if the money that was refunded had been used to pay down the bond debt as the law requires instead of cashed out. It would be much easier to justify a new parcel tax if they had respected the taxpayer. Our tax bill would be lower and we would be in a position to be supportive.

Even the harshest critics should be able to see the danger of ignoring such disregard to their responsibility to voters and taxpayers.

PUSD has been asked to agendize this on the next Board agenda. I hope they see this as a priority topic.


Posted by Really definitely illegal, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

I'm one of those harsh critics. This isn't about trust; it's about criminality. "It is likely that other than, [sic] 4X the normal consultant fee's, [sic] the money was used for non-voter approved capital projects."

PEVC must file criminal charges against PUSD and all accountable parties with the District Attorney's office. It is a scandal that liberal newspapers across the country haven't written a single word about the crimes being committed in Pleasanton. And I suppose this hasn't been prosecuted the way it should be because of that lamebrain moonbeam in the governor's office. Well, it needs to be done! Where's our Grand Jury?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 9:41 am

Thanks for the update Diana.


Posted by This is now just BS, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

Come on guys this is just a smear campaign by PEVC and it is all BS. Do you even know who is PEVC? They don't identify themselves. Hiding their real identities?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

"Come on guys this is just a smear campaign by PEVC and it is all BS"

Then what is the truth? Bloomberg is a good source and it sounds like we did renegotiate our bond, so what happened differently in Pleasanton? Do we still have an oversight committee? Did the voters vote on whether to spend the cash gained by refinancing? Or did we not get cash at all?

If this isn't true, then state some facts as it will help diffuse this whole thing.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

But I thought it was PEVC that had the facts. You mean it doesn't? And here I thought we'd be prosecuting the education criminals. I am greatly disappointed. (Isn't there something else we can get them on?)


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

PEVC has presented facts. If there are facts to refute PEVC, do let us know. This isn't a game, so if you know anything useful, say so.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

I have been reading these posts and a lot remains unclear to me. Would someone please spell out what all the facts are? Names. Dates. Persons responsible. Laws that have been broken. I'm sure the many readers of this post would appreciate a clear presentation from those who are in the know.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:45 am

Who is PEVC?

Hopefully the media will cover the story so individual parents are not held up to attack from their neighbors.

I am a parent with 24 years of kids in the district and knowledge from being very committed to PUSD and my community.


Posted by corny, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

I personally don't trust the liberal media, which has done nothing but cover this whole matter up. I'm with Curious. I just wish PEVC would give us a clear presentation of the facts.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:35 am

Diana,

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought you knew something about this matter. Your past email is a little bit vague. Are you saying that you are PEVC? Or are you too asking who PEVC is?

And are people being attacked by their neighbors over this? That sounds very vicious to me.

Since you seem to be in the know about the illegality of cash-outs, I was hoping you could provide me with the details you know. Names, dates, illegal activities - all these would be very much appreciated.

Or perhaps someone else could tell me? Maybe a PEVC member? I feel very much in the dark about this very serious allegation.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Yes, the Attorney General's opinion is that cash-out refinancing bonds is not legal.

However, does an opinion issued by the AG have the force of law?

It does not. Only the legislature can make laws and only the courts can definitively interpret those laws.

I will quote from the site USLegal.com (Web Link):

"Opinions of the Attorney General have advisory effect only. They do not have the force and effect of the law; and is limited to the facts presented by the official or officials requesting the opinion. Further, the opinions may be changed or recalled due to subsequent court decisions and/or legislative enactments. As the chief legal officer of the State, the Attorney General is responsible for rendering opinions to governmental entities and officers only, and not to private individuals."

So while then-Attorney General Brown has ADVISED that cash-out bond financing is not permitted under California state law/California state constitution, this does NOT mean that cash-out bond financing is DEFINITELY illegal. That's for a court to decide.

Accusing Luz Cazares of being criminally negligent, or worse, a willing felon, is just reckless and irresponsible. Yet another attempt to smear the reputation of a public servant.

I really wish our schools would do a better job teaching Civics 101. Folks don't seem to understand the difference between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Well, in that case perhaps school districts should start up the practice again!


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

No, the school districts should not start up the practice again without legal advice. The Attorney General's office is not infallible, but the advisory opinion AG Brown's office issued in 2009 is one factor to take in consideration.

One reason lawyers get paid so much is because the laws are often open to interpretation.

My objection is not people raising a concern over the possible illegality of the cash-out refinancing; my concern is over people recklessly smearing Luz Cazares as a liar and a criminal when the matter is not definitely decided. PUSD has its own attorneys and their interpretation of the law is obviously different from that of the Attorney General's office.

This is a matter for either the legislature or the courts to decide.

Those who have labeled Luz Cazares a criminal and a liar definitely owe her an apology. I don't think Ms. Cazares should hold her breath for one, though. These people have absolutely no sense of shame.

On to the next witch hunt, eh, Stacey? By the way, how's your lawsuit against me for alleged defamation of your blogger pseudonym coming along? Has the Supreme Court set a date for the hearing yet? :)


Posted by PEVC Supporter, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

So, maybe what PUSD did in fact wasn't illegal at all. And perhaps no one lied, either. But does anyone doubt the effectiveness of our smear campaign? Politics can sometimes be dirty business. If Luz Cazares has been unjustifiably smeared, and if Pleasanton's school kids' futures have been put at risk on account of our NO campaign, well, ya know, sometimes the ends justify the means.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Have you considered organizing a mob with pitchforks and torches to storm the next school board meeting? Oh wait, that would require actual effort as opposed to pitching a fit on the Pleasanton Weekly. Never mind.

And yes, an armed mob storming a school board meeting is definitely illegal, but don't let a little thing like that get in your way. Defamation of character, innuendoes, lies, threats, physical violence, it's all along a continuum, eh?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Nah, you really do have an objection to people raising this concern because you keep saying someone called Luz a criminal. Where is it written above saying that Luz is responsible for a potential crime? Posters above are expressing their dismay or wonderment at Luz's choice of words during the meeting, wondering if she misspoke or purposely mislead. I lean towards the idea that she misspoke, but I didn't see the meeting. At most you can say someone is calling Luz a liar, but the word criminal is so much more effective to push people's emotional buttons, isn't it?


Posted by Yet another resident, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I've read with great interest these comments. It's painful to read the vitriol. Yet I feel more than a little betrayed by PUSD, if indeed they did do a cash-out refinance. When I send my child to the store with $5 to purchase something for me, and he finds it is on sale for $3, of course I expect him to return the $2 to me. I may let him keep it, but would feel that he was dishonest if he didn't let me know. I know this is simplified, but I see a parallel here. Regardless of the legality or illegality, lawsuits, politics, etc., shouldn't there be some outrage over the immorality of this, even if someone thinks it might not have been illegal? There definitely seems to be dishonesty (not openly revealing they got a better deal by refinancing, so kept the change) in the sense that the PUSD probably knew the taxpayers were not aware of this. Also, I think I understood the Bloomberg link, or maybe the AG link, to indicate that the cash-out refinances don't give the lowest interest rates. So they didn't try to get the best deal, in order to get that "change". I invite anyone to explain to me the error in my assessment - I'd love to be wrong in this case.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Perhaps you didn't read all of the comments, Stacey?

Your sidekick, Diana, wrote:

"Unfortunately Luz can not be given any further benefit of doubt after her comments Tuesday night. She carefully chose her words to mislead. She was deliberately misleading saying that refunding was legal, which is true. What is, and always has been illegal, is refunding and cashing out which PUSD did to the amount of over $7 million dollars! The speaker who she was responding to was clear about the topic, she had been specific referring three times to the practice of cashing out.

Luz also implied that it was okay because other districts have done it. It is true that many other districts have been condemned by their county grand juries. When our children justify cheating because other kids do it, they can use the "Luz Defense"."

And the poster Really definitely illegal wrote:

"PEVC must file criminal charges against PUSD and all accountable parties with the District Attorney's office. It is a scandal that liberal newspapers across the country haven't written a single word about the crimes being committed in Pleasanton."


That's not calling Luz a liar and a criminal? What a bunch of weasels you and your pals are. "Oh, we never said THAT!"

Like I said, no sense of shame, no conscience. Every time I think you and your Tea Partier buddies have hit the bottom, you prove me wrong by going a little lower.

What a sorry lot you are.

As Joseph Welch asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

The answer is self-evident.

On to your next smear campaign, Stacey!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

You read things differently from everyone else I guess. I acknowledged that at most you could say others are calling her a liar. I still don't see where anyone is calling Luz a criminal, unless you're suggesting that Luz _is_ PUSD?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Let's remember, Luz was not even an employee of PUSD at the time of this bond issue, as I wrote above.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Anyone want to relight that torch for increased censorship on this website, like Stacey called for a couple weeks back? I think Stacey was spot on. There appears to be a challenge to whatever us liberty-loving anti-Measure E patriots say, and that isn't right. It is incivil and unpolite. Join us in common cause in censoring the unpatriots.

Stracey, are you asking monetary support for your legal defamation campaign?


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I really do not know who PEVC refers to.

I am very knowledgeable about this issue, many parents questioned the legality of it over the years, at the same time asking that the oversight committee be reinstated. They simply said, "no one cared". It is and always was illegal, the district knew it but felt they were successfully getting around the law. They did get away with it prior to the AG opinion. The AG opinion did not make new law but definitively clarified the law that already existed.
There is not one person responsible it is a culture of being untouchable. This went on through several Superintendents and many well intended but naive Board members. They are all guilty of poor stewardship.
It was being done in many districts and there is no productive way to go back and correct it. What is important is to disclose all of the facts, taxpayers deserve to know as PUSD is making the same promises again.

Requests of information have been made to PUSD but it would be best if the district made a full report at the next board meeting.

I want the very best for our community but PUSD does not deserve the taxpayers trust.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Diana,

How do you know it was "is and always was illegal, the district knew it ". Why would the law need "clarification" from the AG if it were clear? How do you know that the district thought it was illegal, but did it anyway? Is that speculation on your part, or is that documented somewhere?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

"It is and always was illegal,"

Thanks for this, Dianna. What was illegal? And isn't commission of an illegal act a crime? I believe you that you know so much about this. Please provide us with specific names and dates so that we might be better able to arrive at an informed judgment.

"There is not one person responsible it is a culture of being untouchable."

Thanks, again, Dianna. But cultures don't commit crimes, Dianna, people do. We around here who are especially sensitive to personal responsibility and accountability must remind you of that. And so, again, who are the people you claim have committed the crime?

"They simply said, 'no one cared'."

You're a real fountainhead of information, Dianna, and we can't thank you enough. But who is "They"?

"I want the very best for our community but PUSD does not deserve the taxpayers trust."

Of course you care, Dianna. Who could possibly doubt you? But are you saying the current PUSD are the "They" who committed the criminal act? Again, then, who is "They", and shouldn't they be charged with a crime?


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Stacey you always have well thought and well researched posts.

I value the opportunity to share important issues in the community that these forums allow. I will not respond to any post that I believe is flaming.


Posted by concerned parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Diana,

I hope you didn't think my post was flaming. I hope you take time to answer my questions.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Hey now, let's keep those allegations vague and unsubstantiated by law or fact--a specific allegation of a particular wrongdoing, with identified responsible parties, would require real action. That's not what's wanted here; what's wanted here is a campaign of innuendo just specific enough to be troubling but not specific enough to enable anyone to take action.

Yeah, that's the stuff.

I have here in my pocket a list of 151 known acts of malfeasance by PUSD...

Sound familiar?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm

YAT, psychologist, or whatever other name strikes your fancy, what's wrong with transparency? If the refinancing did indeed provide cash-out dollars then the district should say what those dollars were used for. I'm not sure why that's such an issue? The taxpayers aren't asking the district for money - the district is asking the taxpayers for money.


Posted by Ode to Salem, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Okay, kids, it's time to fold up this tent and close down the show for the day. PEVC, after launching this post with a headlined declaration that illegal (i.e., criminal) acts had been committed by one or more persons in PUSD, has decided its mission has been accomplished. It tied someone to the stake, poured gasoline over the pyre, lit a match, and stood proudly watching the flames rise. A few rational folks stepped forward and asked some valid, common sense questions, and PEVC moved away from the fire claiming, of all things, dissatisfaction with 'flamers' (who had actually stepped in because they were alarmed by what they saw). Still, those behind the witchhunt caused just enough smoke to get people wondering whether witches do in fact reside in PUSD.

So today's show, the Clown Club With Teeth, Part I, has come to a close for today. I'm certain PEVC and its thoughtful poster[s?] will be back again tomorrow, launching yet another crusade under the banner of her/their patron saint, Michelle Rhee, with some new round of questionable concerns and preposterous allegations. What would the good citizens of Pleasanton do without them/her?


Posted by Begin Anew, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Don't let them get you down, Stacey/Diana. We know thiers witches to be burnt, and we'll always be thier to help you. Signed, your good pals, Chris and Steve


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Actually, Pleasanton USD itself admitted to cashing out to the tune of $6.886 million on their own website, but those numbers seem to be pre-2006 numbers so the exact amount could be more. Web Link

Also Cash Out Refunding and the Grand Jury Report has been discussed numerous times at county education offices so to suggest the Pleasanton USD has a bunch of neophytes that are employees living in caves that knew nothing about the questionable nature of this activity, well that is certainly one way to look at it. Here is it on the agenda in San Mateo in 2008 Web Link

And the attorney general has spoken that districts that did this broke existing laws and the California Constitution. So if anyone wants to argue with the attorney general and champion the cause that somehow they are more experienced that the Attorney General than interpreting existing laws or that Pleasanton USD is exempt from following the law, they can certainly contact the Attorney General's office.


Posted by Big Yawn, a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Um, cash-out? You've arrived too late to the Ball. Try reading the posts that have preceded your typically scrambled remarks.


Posted by Longtime resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm

This is a last ditch effort of the PEVC to mislead the residents of Pleasanton to distrust the schools - a desperate, malicious effort to discredit the district without even knowing the full story.

I am not at all surprised, after reading the rebuttals from Steve B and Kay, and Chris- let's take a look at THEIR track record, and the amount of money that Kay cost this city with her personal agenda. And Chris, to be honest, I couldn't be more disappointed in you, I'm ashamed to hear your active campaign to cut from our children's education. And you expect my support for your agendas?

This is the a turning point in my neighborhood- between the news about Michelle Rhee lying, and now this post- ALL are changing their votes to YES. It's this same old group of people who we do not trust- not our schools which are among the highest ranked in the State year after year!


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

"This is a last ditch effort of the PEVC to mislead the residents of Pleasanton to distrust the schools - a desperate, malicious effort to discredit the district without even knowing the full story."

Then maybe the district should tell everyone the full story. I have know idea what the "full story" is but I do think there are enough quetions and concerns that the district should address the issue. In this day and age I'm not sure how a taxpayer funded organization can ignore something as basic as transparency and, at the same time, ask those same taxpayers to trust them by sacraficing their own hard earned dollars.

What I'm hearing is that people, at least some people, are willing to help fund education as long as the money is guaranteed to go to programs and classrooms. They don't think that's where the money is going. Now there is an additional issue of trust related to the refinancing of bonds. Can the school district address these issues? I would think that, given the fact they are asking for a parcel tax, they would be doing all they could to address peoples concerns. Why aren't they doing that?


Posted by Longtime resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Arnold, I know you can figure this out, people dont trust that the money is going to the classrooms because these figure heads of our community dont want them to believe it. This "criminal action" faux news is another example. Same old story- just interchange "save the hills" with the topic of schools.....my neighbors and I are done with it. Stop with the false inferences about this issue when you dont know the full story.


Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

Wow...you go out of town for a long weekend without your computer & end up missing this new twist on the never-ending-fund the hopeless saga.

So I've spent the better part of the night reading up on all that's been posted by the usual suspect/trolls, the links provided by their lock-step minions & can only concur that there is such an entitlement mentality in this town & the brainwashing has been so extensive that NO degree of scandal, corruption, graft or outright malfeasance by the PUSD will make an iota of difference to certain individuals in this town.

I'm sorry, but if by this Monday you still have a "Yes on E" sign in your front yard & you haven't been following these developments, then I have ZERO respect for you. Politics are politics & we could always live with a McCain/Palin, Yes on 8, or Free Tibet bumper sticker but this goes beyond all that nonsense.

$98/family was never going to amount to any appreciable difference even if it did pass. It was simply a number that was deemed "acceptable" by a focus group that the district figured would tide them over until an appropriate parcel tax could be implemented. Nice try folks but you've shown to be the scoundrels & cheats that you truly are. Now let's get a proper fund raising movement together by the citizens, for the citizens & children that will actually make a difference.

I CHALLENGE YOU PLEASANTON, SHOW THE SYSTEM THAT WE STILL OWN OUR DESTINY!


Posted by a recently arrived resident, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm

What occurred today on this post is sickening. I have argued in the past that the right-wing agenda --- and especially the one being spearheaded by tea party zealots on these posts --- is one that reduces people to mere numbers. This is a holdover from the earliest days of capitalism, when owners treated their workers like animals, managing them with stop watches and 14-hour work days. Workers were regarded not as human beings, but as tools to be used for profit. Today, the tea party people do something quite similar; they reduce teachers (and other public workers) to salaries and pensions, and seek to judge their performance and that of their students strictly in terms of students' test scores.

We as a political culture have much to learn. But most of us have gotten beyond a reductionist world view that fails to recognize people as human beings first and foremost. Because of the political struggles of black people, women, and unionized laborers, we are a better nation. We provide social welfare to the weakest among us, most importantly of whom being impoverished children. We are, although the weak-minded in our midst seem unable to grasp this concept, a social welfare democracy that still offers amazing opportunities to individuals but that attempts at the same time to ensure that the weakest among us do not get left too far behind. We strive to be a moral nation.

Like I say, we have a long way to go. But the retrograde tea party people want to turn back the clock. It is an intellectual failing on their part, as they seem unable to acknowledge the progress we have made and continue to make. But it is especially a moral failing that doesn't allow them to see beyond individuals reduced to beans in some novice actuarian's counting room. They pontificate about the grandness of the individual, but only seem able to apply the concept to themselves. And hence we see how unproblematic it was for PEVC and their supporters to cast serious, unfounded asperions toward valued members of our community, as if they were not human beings.

I do hope we recognize how morally repugnant has been this witchhunting effort, and that we strive to avoid repeating such as we move forward.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

The Michelle Rhee scandal was a real turning point for me too. I'm definitely voting yes on E. I wanted to believe the no on E folks that kept saying we need to do things like Rhee says, and now it turns out to be a fraud!

Web Link

Everyone in my family, my neighbors, and everyone I know will be voting yes on E.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I heard that WWE Smackdown Rhee v. Ravitch will be on pay-per-view soon.


Posted by Ted S., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Forgive me, Stacey, but I don't find you funny, at all. After the antics you pulled over the past couple of days, you should be reflecting upon your own value system, such that it is.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

I agree with you, Ted. Here we have Stacey suggesting that Rhee and Ravitch are simply equal combatants in the wrestling ring. She apparently is incapable of recognizing that Ravitch has not been accused, as has Rhee, of systematically rewarding cheaters, and doing so in the face of unmistakable evidence. Ravitch is a political pundit; Rhee is now being raked over the coals for participating in shamefully unethical behavior. I've got news for Stacey: they are not the same. Stacey seems pathetically incapable of grasping that political action is not, and need not be, one and the same with unethical or immoral behavior. I think we've learned a great deal about Stacey's moral fiber today, such as it is. Her and the rest of the clown club. They're really quite a crew! I wish they'd stay away from our children.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:22 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm not so naive to not recognize the tactic of keeping someone off-message by constant personal attacks that force the other person to spend time defending. Staying off-message actually is a choice I had made earlier on as Measure E started heating up and before the personal attacks starting coming. I wrote about that in another thread. As the personal attacks continue, I suppose I'll need to review my earlier decision and get more involved in the campaign.


Posted by Ted S., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:24 am

I've been talking about this with my wife all evening long. We were both leaning toward the negative regarding Measure E. But sometimes it is necessary to stand up for those being maligned and mistreated. We're both likely now going to show our support for our teachers by voting AFFIRMATIVE. We also thought it would be a good idea that if any of our neighbors run into a board member at the mall or in a restaurant, they stop and give them a pat on the back for the difficult job they have dealing with the likes of Stacey. Boy, you couldn't pay me enough!


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:29 am

Poor ol' Stacey is locked into a mindset where she thinks she's undergoing personal attack. She doesn't recognize that it isn't her that people are unhappy with, but her moral choices and how they inform her political crusade. Confronted with strong moral disapprobation from the community, she reduces matters to her own degree of involvement in a political campaign. I'm sure she's a nice person. But it is pretty evident she needs to re-think what it means to be a moral actor in this world.


Posted by Don, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:31 am

All venom, personal vendettas, and childish postings aside, I want some answers from PUSD. Was there a cash out refinance taken that extended our obligation? If so the meeting is adjourned on any new taxes for PUSD.


Posted by Don, a resident of California Reflections
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:31 am

All venom, personal vendettas, and childish postings aside, I want some answers from PUSD. Was there a cash out refinance taken that extended our obligation? If so the meeting is adjourned on any new taxes for PUSD.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

What does that have to do with this topic: PUSD Illegal cash-out bond refunding

Instead of attacking everyone don't you think it would be productive to address people's questions and concerns? I'm not sure if this is an issue or not but the more you deflect and attack the more I become concerned there is more to this story. I hope the school board can put an end to this topic by providing transparency. How hard is that?


Posted by Waiting to here from Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:55 am

Arnold apparently has been unable to grasp the threads of thought here throughout the day and evening.

So, Arnold says, "What does that have to do with this topic: PUSD Illegal cash-out bond refunding." He appears to be accepting as true the headline of this post, viz., that PUSD is engaging in illegal activity. Now, last time I looked, to commit an illegal act is to engage in a crime. So I ask Arnold:

What exactly is the crime that was committed? When was it committed? Who, specifically, committed the criminal act? Do they currently live in or around Pleasanton? Do you think they should be prosecuted? Are you prepared to post charges against the criminal wrongdoer(s) with the District Attorney?

The charges Arnold is making amounts to a serious allegation, with legal ramifications. Surely, knowing the gravity of the charges he's making, he wouldn't do so unless he had valid facts at hand. So, since the rest of us are in the dark, perhaps he'd be kind enough to address the questions that I've raised. Only a low-life creep would make such charges without having the facts at hand. Oh, yes, and no vaguely related cut and past jobs allowed: he needs to inform us in his own words.


Posted by Waiting to hear from Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:57 am

spelling correction from above post


Posted by Cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:09 am

Perhaps some of the posters need to enroll in a reading program.

1. The District assumed more debt in return for a cash out while bond refunding.

Now read this slowly....

"Without voter approval, the attorney general feels the process is unconstitutional and illegal."

Web Link

2. Now read the ballot measure text regarding the proposed taxes you were supposed to pay for Measure B. Are you paying a higher tax than what the text says was the maximum estimated tax rate? How many years have you been paying a higher tax than what was the maximum estimated tax rate?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:16 am

Moral centeredness is at the core of what it means to be human. To be an individual is to be a moral being. To be genuinely free is to be able to engage in one's own moral decision-making. When Stacey claims that discussion of her moral shortcomings, especially in light of highly questionable endorsements of criminal charges against members of PUSD on this post, are attempts to go off-message, she fairly obviously is telling us that morality is not central to her message. This is an unfortunate admission on her part. I think it speaks to the moral vacuum within which she and her tea party enthusiasts operate. I wish they'd stay as far away from our kids as possible.


Posted by Waiting to hear from Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:21 am

C'mon Arnold. You're alleging criminal wrongdoing, and you haven't even begun to adress the most basic questions I posed. As such, you have yet to escape the low-life creep label others have crowned you with. Still waiting. In your own words, please.


Posted by Yelena, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:26 am

Arnold maybe better to ask for help. He very troubled man.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

YAT, Psychologist, Hmmm, or whatever other names you're using this evening, I'm not asking a trick question. I'm only asking for an honest answer to a few simple questions that I'm unsure of. What was the money used for and why is transparency becoming an issue?

If the refinancing did indeed provide cash-out dollars then the district should say what those dollars were used for, and if that cost taxpayers additional dollars. Is that a difficult question? The taxpayers aren't asking the district for money - the district is asking the taxpayers for money. Why not just provide the details and be done with it? Why all the secrecy?


Posted by Cash-Out Refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:29 am

[hmmmmm must be pretty upset as indicated by all that name calling, accusation, moral fiber rants and diatribes.]

Well, back to the on topic issue at hand, cash out refinancing.

If you happened to read some of the newspapers like the Contra Costa Times, this was addressed in a letter to the editor regarding another District last week.

Excerpts are --

"Corrupt allocation of previous bond money. In early 2006 SJUSD secretly levied $22 million from taxpayers by artificially increasing their tax rates in a scheme known as "cash-out refinancing." Even after then-attorney general Jerry Brown held the district's shenanigans to be unconstitutional, the district refused to reimburse taxpayers, who were never informed of the cash-out in the first place.

Undisciplined spending. Bonds are supposed to be just for capital projects. But SJUSD routinely uses bond money for projects not directly called out in the bond--even, as Trustee Pam Foley admits in the article, to repay debt--creating a type of slush fund that allows the district to spend without effective oversight.

How much is enough? Taxpayers are already repaying $616 million in bonds issued beginning 1997, which, with interest, puts us on the hook for more than $1 billion. The result is that SJUSD residents are hit with one of the highest tax rates in the state. Right now, a homeowner in the SJUSD district with a $700,000 assessed home valuation already pays about $800 a year in additional property taxes to support these bond repayments."


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:34 am

So, after alleging criminal wrongdoing by individuals in the community, now you're backing off, yes? Little bit of soft-shoed back pedalling? Just like Stacey/Diana did. Why? If you know so much, and we're all so stupid, why not inform us? The charges others have levelled against you seem pretty accurate. I'll not bother reciting them.


Posted by To 'cash-out', a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:38 am

So, unable to put criminal charges against members of your community into your own words, hmm? In fact, all you can muster is a goofy unrelated excerpt from another district? That's the best you can offer? Thought so.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:45 am

We seem to have covered this territory earlier in the day, and it is tedious having to spell matters out once again for the cognitively and psychologically challenged. Established fact: the PEVC clown club and its supporters are morally bankrupt. I do not expect this to deter them from mounting new and old witch hunts in the near future. But this little episode has been noted. Postings indicate that many minds have been changed today after witnessing the appalling spectacle of groundless charges of criminality being voiced by an immoral and cowardly few who want to extend their conniving fingers into our children's lives. Please stay away from our children.


Posted by Cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 2:08 am

Well of course, the Pleasanton Unified School District admits in its own board staff reports that $ 7 million was cashed out via refunding and used to augment the original Measure B projects.

Web Link

2nd paragraph , 2nd sentence from the bottom, on the right side of the comma.

Happy reading and ranting, hmmmmmm.


Posted by Cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 2:16 am

In response to, Posted by To 'cash-out', a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 29 minutes ago

"In fact, all you can muster is a goofy unrelated excerpt from another district? That's the best you can offer? Thought so."

Another district? No. Actually, I can offer a staff report from the Pleasanton Unified School District that is in black and white that spells out that they cashed out $ 7 million in the cash-out refunding scheme.

Web Link

[Maybe you should start reading the District's staff reports. Hope you aren't a PTA member or Board member or District staff.]


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

Time for another recap:

#1 The cash-out bond refinancing took place before 2009.

#2 In 2009, then-Attorney General Brown's office issued an opinion that the cash-out bond refinancing by school districts is not permitted under state law nor the California Constitution. The opinion is just that: advice. It has no legal effect, so any claim that cash-out bond refinancing is "definitely illegal" is just an opinion at this point, and not a matter of law. Under the state Constitution, only the legislature may make laws and only the courts may decide them.

#3 Since the cash-out refinancing took place before 2009, PUSD couldn't have possibly taken notice of the Attorney General's opinion, even if that opinion had the force of law (which it doesn't).

#4 When asked to name the particular parties responsible, Diana et al claimed it was "they/them", meaning everybody who holds an administrative position in the district. Diana also implicated past superintendents and board members in these alleged felonies, but always without naming names except for Luz Cazares, whom she branded a liar and implied was at least an accessory after the fact to the crime.

#5 Confronted with all of this evidence and with the illogic of their own arguments, the PEVC/Tea Party crowd has continued to throw more mud, hoping that enough of it will stick to create a general mistrust of PUSD and thereby influence the upcoming Measure E election. The message? "You can't trust PUSD with anything, they're all a bunch of crooks!"

It's dirty, Nixon-era (or is that McCarthy-era?) tactics of innuendo and character assassination.

It'll work, of course. It's worked in the past and it's working now.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:39 am

And one more thing: just as Sarah Palin made the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman in Arizona (and the murder of several people, including a young girl) all about *her*, Stacey has made this all about *her*.

Here's a clue, Stacey: Astronomers have found the center of the Universe, and it's not you. What people are objecting to is the reckless disregard of you and your Tea Party buddies for facts, and the disgusting attempt to smear the entire PUSD administration as willing participants in a criminal scheme to defraud voters.

Well, I'll say it to you plain: You're a fool if you believe that PUSD administrators (especially Luz Cazares) have been involved in the commission of a crime, and a liar if you don't.

You really don't care if you damage the reputation of the district, do you, nor that of Luz Cazares personally? Of course, you let your sidekick Diana do most of the heavy lifting in your latest witch hunt while you watched from the wings and cheered her on, giving you just the right level of Nixonian "plausible deniability" when the whole sordid scheme got demolished by those of us who don't believe your lies.

And once again I close with Joseph Welch's words to Senator McCarthy: "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

Here are some articles about this for those who want more info.

From the way these articles explain it, these bond cash out refunding deals were not great deals and taxpayers should have had a chance to vote on them. But many, many districts did this and what is done is done. And it was done before the time of the team we have in place now.

The thing that disturbs me is that there are claims that the oversight committee was disbanded, though of course we should wait and see what the district has to say about this when they meet to talk about it.

I would think that the money was probably used for the right things here in Pleasanton. But we should have proper transparancy and oversight of how the money was used and how it will be used in the future.

Web Link

Web Link


Posted by Cash-out refunding is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:59 am

Yet Another Teacher from Hart, I'm curious. Why are you posting on message boards when it is the middle of the school day and you are supposed to be attending to your job and teaching or engaged in activities that relate to your job?

As a Democrat, I thought that the tax dollars I pay that eventually end up as for teachers' salaries are supposed to be used for teaching, not blogging. Does your District Site Administrator/Principal realize you are blogging and not at the moment working at your job?


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

By the way, the second link I posted is about the issue we are talking about here. The first one is more about a different and more recent school bond issue, but refers to what we are talking about here at the end.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

Hm, so now you're off the original topic and on to a new witch-hunt?

Well, I look forward to that. "Yet Another Teacher is Definitely a Criminal!"

You can copy and paste the vague allegations you and your looney Tea Party buddies made against PUSD administration and Luz Cazares and just insert "YAT" in their place--will save you tons of fresh typing.

I will close with a question: If there are such serious crimes being committed by PUSD--a multi-million dollar fraud according to you--why are you blogging here and not meeting with the district attorney to file charges against Luz Cazares and Superintendent Ahmadi, as well as the five members of the Board? It's your duty as a citizen to report a crime if you have definite and substantial knowledge of it, you know.


Posted by Browser, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

YAT sums matters up nicely for me. I think I speak for most Pleasanton residents when I say we do not appreciate our fellow residents and representatives being subjected to cruel character assassination. I have followed arguments on this website and others, and at times I have disagreed with Stacey (I'll not mention the others who in my opinion are unworthy of comment). But I always respected her. Until now. I have lost all respect for her as she has lowered herself into the muck alongside those who have so sickeningly spread their lies and filth within the community.

YAT says of PEVC's underhanded methods, "It'll work, of course. It's worked in the past and it's working now." Here I disagree with YAT. I think most people in Pleasanton are morally upright and want to do the right thing for the community. They will reject such methods, as well as the insensitive few who deploy them.

I think "cash-out refunding" confirms much of what I'm saying. Yesterday trying to locate the address of a former school official, and now snooping into YAT's private life. Yesterday the PEVC people were maligning Luz Cazares, today YAT seems to be the recipient of their disgusting readiness to hurt others. This saddens me.


Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

YAT - Already being looked into, thanks.


Posted by Cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

The recent communication from the Attorney General's office (Mr. Harris is the former District Attorney from San Francisco) Web Link from March 2011 indicates that when bonds are refunded, the costs of issuance of bonds, e.g., I assume bond counsel, broker, underwriting fees, can not be paid for using the premium.

"It is our office's view that this proposed use of premium for costs of issuance as described in the complaint is not authorized by the law," the letter said.


Posted by Cash-out refinancing is definitely illegal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

That a teacher would be blogging during school hours when they are supposed to be teaching indicates a lack of management oversight of its employees.

The District administration is well paid. For example, according to Luz Cazares' employment contract posted on the District's website Web Link , she makes $173,229 per year, has a $600 car allowance perk amounting to an additional $7200 per year, and upon retirement with at least 7 years of the District, is entitled to full medical, dental and vision premiums, along with the District's paid golden handshake.

So back to the original question --
"Trustee Laursen, attempting to refute this citizen, prompted Assistant Superintendent Luz Cazares to say this was 'not determined to be illegal'"

Who is right? Who looks at current State law and interprets its meaning?

The past Attorney General, Edmund Brown, and current Attorney General, Kamala Harris (former District Attorney) of the State of California.

Or Luz Cazares?


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:48 am

Start Afresh, please tell us what you mean by "YAT - Already being looked into, thanks."

Are you stating that you are "looking into" YAT? If so, I speak for the community and can not say firmly enough, S.T.O.P. I.T. I.M.M.E.D.I.A.T.E.L.Y.

You seem to be experiencing some personal difficulties. At any rate, the lack of clarity in your writing, juxtaposed with odd pastes, often makes it very difficult for us to understand just what exactly your words mean.


Posted by To Start Afresh, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

"I have no desire to know who YAT is."

You don't huh? Why then the obsessive accusations? Is it at all within your ability to stop acting like a creep?


Posted by Proud of Pleasanton, a resident of Rosewood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I am a proud parent of three beautiful children, two of whom have successfully passed through Pleasanton's school system. One is in his second year at UC San Diego, the other is in her first year at UC Berkeley.

I am also a proud resident of this community, and yes my husband and I are voting yes on measure E. I am disgusted by the insane attacks on our school system by adults who should know better. The attacks are libelous and hurtful. I urge those responsible to please stop.


Posted by taxpayer/parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

There has been too much factual documentation posted on this topic to ignore. Reasonable people are right to be concerned. The irrational and toxic posts are trying to silence the truth.

PUSD needs to answer:

a. The amount originally borrowed
b. The amount used to refund the original bond issue
c. The premium amount that the district kept
d. The new amount that taxpayers are obligated to pay
e. Effect on property owner assessments necessary to pay the bond


AG opinion:
Web Link
PUSD's 7 million refunding:
Web Link
California'sCash-OutDeals
Web Link


Posted by Duped, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Mar 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Libel applies to allegations that are not true. I've read the URLs.

When does the Pleasanton school district plan to refund the taxpayers the seven-million dollars that they took for themselves that should have been used to reduce the voter debt?

As an honest tax paying citizen for 40 years, I've been duped by the school system and am very disappointed in them.


Posted by Resident Sandra, a resident of Avila
on Mar 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Wowsa, the characters on this site! Straight out of a comic book! My husband and I will be voting in support of the parcel tax. It makes good sense. We like our schools, and our kids are doing great with their teachers. It's time for the community to step forward and show its support.


Posted by concerned , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

is YAT for real?? She is not really a teacher is she?? Please tell me no, she is not.

I am voting for for E but trust me, her posts give me serious concerns that she is negating my vote every time she posts.

Not trying to be offensive here, but for goodness sakes..............do you read what you write YAT???


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm


... and the unhealthy obsession continues. Perhaps it is a plea for help.


Posted by Property Perspective, a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm

The reason Measure E should not be approved is because senior administrators have a ridiculous track record on mismanaging large sums of taxpayer money. No one is blaming teachers or the regular office staff or their unions -- they had nothing to do with the shady financing! But administrators and board members are directly responsible for how bonds and property taxes are managed. The opponents of Measure E are focusing their attention, quite properly in my judgement, on lax or improper conduct of executive management. They are saying that until the quality of accountability and transparency is fixed, these adminsitors should not get another dime of taxpayer money. Hard to disagree with! When we have decent administrators who can follow the law and be accountable to the taxpayers, then let the money flow. What's unreasonable about that?


Posted by Longtime resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I am shocked at all the private sector folks who post repeatedly here all day long. Seems to me there is no supervision or serious attention to the jobs they are paid to do if they have all this time to Google and stir up controversy. No wonder the private sector has been successful in ruining our economy.

And now they turn to sensor teachers. I may not agree with YAT, but what he posts is no different than all those against measure E and where is Stacey? She would be the first to stick up for their rights to not be attacked. Funny I don't see the same treatment for those who don't agree with her. This is why I can't ever take her seriously- the hypocrisy is shameful written on these pages is shameful.

The timing and level that the No on E folks are taking is extremely coincidental with the mail in election. Seems they will do anything to hurt our schools. To me they are doing the same thing Michelle Rhee has done, right under our noses. PUSD has proven to be much more trustworthy than these anti-tax at any cost folks are!


Posted by been there, seen that, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I don't know. It seems the opponents of the parcel tax just seem to be moving the goal posts at every opportunity. First they rail against teachers' unions. Next they claim many teachers in PUSD are incompetent and either should be fired or not get raises. Then they blather on and on about teacher seniority. And all the while, they hold up Michelle Rhee's plan as some kind of alternative ideal.

Then, suddenly, over the past few days, it has been revealed that Michelle Rhee's plan has been corrupted, through and through. All the claims of success Rhee claimed for herself and those who profited handsomely turned out in fact to be fraudulent. The teachers and administrators she was rewarding to the tune of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for raising kids' test scores were actually cheating their students to the top. Sixth grade kids who one year showed 3rd grade proficiency suddenly the next year were showing advancement to 8th grade proficiency. Why? Rhee's teachers were erasing wrong answers and filling in correct answers. Parents who expressed that their kids in fact were not at all proficient as the doctored tests suddenly began indicating, were roundly ignored. All the warning signs were there, and it's very difficult to imagine that Rhee and others profiting from her scheme did not know exactly what was taking place.

Now, suddenly, opponents of Measure E don't want to talk anymore about unions, teachers, teacher seniority and advanced degrees, or their Step and Column raises. No, now they want to shift the thrust of their attack to administrators and Board members. This smacks of desperation. It also comes across as mean spirited and immoral. Obviously just another desperate tactic that involves tossing mud up at the wall. Do these people know no shame? I don't want them near our kids.


Posted by Former FHS Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

As a former FHS graduate who will be voting no on Measure E and who currently works in the private sector and has seen parts of my company located to other states because of high California taxes, longtime resident, censor teachers?

Actually, it is the Pleasanton teachers themselves who have in the past tried to censor the students by actually filing lawsuits against students.

You might recall that Mr. Moyer filed a series of lawsuits against high school students when they indicated he was the worst teacher at FHS. Web Link

This thread has highlighted the extraordinary lack of financial management oversight in place at the District.

And teachers do have First Amendment rights, but by the District management allowing teachers to use the District's equipment to post during working hours shows that there is a lack of plain old fashioned management oversight as well.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Hey "Former FHS Student",

You're talking about back before there was a Pleasanton Unified School District. Pleasanton schools weren't that great back then. That is ancient history. That has nothing to do with PUSD. That was the "Amador Valley Union High School District in Alameda County". I work in the private sector too. Companies leaving California has nothing to do with parcel taxes. Plenty of companies are in favor of them. All taxes are not created equal.

Yes in E!


Posted by Virginia (not the state!), a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm

'Comment' has convinced me that 'Former FHS Student' doesn't know much about the PUSD.

But I'm wondering how much the angry and uninformed man knows about teachers using PUSD equipment to post messages. To me, he sounds like he might be in some kind of trouble.


Posted by Winston, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I have to work terrible hours to get money, so it's really really rude for someone sitting in the district office with a super safe job to then waste what I worked for. Supporting educating our kids does not equal handing out more money to bureaucrats! Look how much we are sending Sacramento and Washington. It's all being maddeningly wasted, and enough is enough for anything that's government including schools. We need to get the district bosses to live within a budget. And then the wealthy in our city can make gifts to sponsor the things that make our schools great like our music and marching band. But no more taxes on beaten down working people! All I want to see with Measure E is respect for us working class PTown folks.


Posted by Buzz, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 12:27 am

Hey Winston, I'm working class too. But I think you're making the same faulty assumption that the poor old angry and obsessive guy is making. He seems to be trying to 'stick it' to Yet Another Teacher, and he thinks he's on to something because he's convinced he or she is a teacher in the school district. Truth of the matter is, I think, that the poor old guy is stuck in his own twisted little world. I doubt you want to go there into that lonely place with him.

If I tell you that, like YAT, I'm a teacher too, that could mean a number of possible things. For example, I could be a teacher at a private university who resides in Pleasanton. Or I could be a piano teacher who offers lessons in my home. Or I could be a part-time teacher at a vocational-technical institute. Or I could be a retired teacher who, because I taught all of my life, still refer to myself as a teacher. Or, more loosely, I might fashion myself to be a teacher because I have taught my son's boy scout troop quite a bit about camping in the wilderness.

The angry old guy who posts here a lot and claims YAT is misusing district funds, it seems to me, is verging upon full-fledged dementia. He gets stuck on things and makes claims that are too far-fetched to be even remotely believable, and to make matters worse, he seems always to be overwhelmed with anger about something or other. It is a sad spectacle to watch.

I think you're a lot smarter than the sick guy who has raised this as an issue.

Hope you come around to Measure E. In part it's about better educating our children so that they'll not make as many of the same mistakes we adults have made. I remain yours, in solidarity.


Posted by Former FHS Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 2:12 am

Pleasanton Unified School District formed in 1988, combining the existing Pleasanton Elementary and Amador Joint Union High districts, was not exactly ancient history.

It took a lot of years for this community to get passed the regular teacher strikes, walk-outs, teacher sit-ins, residential picketing, the awful harrassment teachers who wanted to work in their classrooms rather than strike had to put up from their fellow teachers, harrassment of substitute teachers, etc. It didn't do the teaching profession any favors.

Teachers posting on message boards during school hours when they are supposed to be teaching is not doing your profession any favors either.


Posted by Member, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:51 am

I think it is time that teachers and school administrators start cinching in their belts like the rest of us are having to do. These are difficult times and we all have to learn to live within our menas. We keep throwing money at the schools and keep getting less bang for our buck IMHO.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

"We keep throwing money at the schools and keep getting less bang for our buck IMHO."

Is seems that our test scores keep going up, and that an already excellent school district is getting even better. Money well spent in my opinion. I don't know what you are talking about when you say "less bang for our buck".


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The test scores are high because parents spend a lot of time tutoring their kids at night. There are 15 tutoring centers in Pleasanton. They wouldn't all be in business with packed schedules of kids needing extra help if the district was effectively teaching the kids.

Also Pleasanton Middle School would not be on probation if PUSD was all that great.

In the old days, teachers would stay after school if kids needed extra help. Those days are gone. Parents and tutoring centers are why the scores are high.


Posted by Yelena, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Says MEmber "I think it is time that teachers and school administrators start cinching in their belts like the rest of us are having to do"

Teachers give all really alot I think. They give good schools and we can keep them good. Education maybe is most important thing. Economy say is rebounding. Here is too much criticsm I think. I am proud American and support the teachers.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

"Also Pleasanton Middle School would not be on probation if PUSD was all that great."

Pleasanton Middle School is an excellent school and is one of the best in California. The problem is with NCLB, not Pleasanton Middle School.

"In the old days ..."

In the old days, Pleasanton schools weren't that good. A lot of people worked very hard to make a great school district here.

" They wouldn't all be in business with packed schedules of kids needing extra help if the district was effectively teaching the kids. "

Oh sure, now I see you have proof that Pleasanton schools are terrible because there are 15 tutoring centers in Pleasanton. Of course, that proves nothing. I'd love to see your detailed analysis of how many students use these tutoring centers, and how their test scores compare to those who don't.

Pleasanton schools are excellent. Yes on E.


Posted by Kumon Parent, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Mar 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

We do Kumon for both our kids. It offers a great supplement and gives the kids daily practice over and above what they do in school. We have loved our kids' teachers at school. Yes on E from this household.


Posted by Single-Parent Mom, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm

FFH sounds like a big sourpuss. He claims that 'The test scores are high because parents spend a lot of time tutoring their kids at night'. Guess he doesn't understand that that's what's supposed to happen. Good schools (with good students) are not possible without good parents. Being a good parent means helping out your kid with his homework. I feel pretty confident that after my hard work as a parent after school that my kid will be with a caring teacher at school the next day.

Maybe FFh's parents weren't very good parents and so he didn't learn this. Maybe as a parent himself he expects the schools to do all of the educating. He's sadly mistaken. It's a two-way street. It's funny how some posters here who seem so without a clue are the most critical of our schools.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Former Foothill student is a 'she,' not a 'he' and is not impressed that many times homework consists of subject areas not covered in class so that many parents in Pleasanton like me end up teaching the subject matter not covered in class (mainly science and math) at night.

Perhaps because the schools force the parents to end up teaching the kids, the school district should actually pay parents for their time they spend in evenings teaching subjects not covered in class. Can I get the $150,000+ pensions too?


Posted by Single-Parent Mom, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

FFH, sorry about the gender thing. (But you do kind of come across like an angry old man.)

FFH sounds like a big sourpuss. SHE claims that 'The test scores are high because parents spend a lot of time tutoring their kids at night'. Guess SHE doesn't understand that that's what's supposed to happen. Good schools (with good students) are not possible without good parents. Being a good parent means helping out your kid with his homework. I feel pretty confident that after my hard work as a parent after school that my kid will be with a caring teacher at school the next day.

Maybe FFh's parents weren't very good parents and so SHE didn't learn this. Maybe as a parent HERself SHE expects the schools to do all of the educating. SHE's sadly mistaken. It's a two-way street. It's funny how some posters here who seem so without a clue are the most critical of our schools.

Perhaps SHE doesn't realize that sometimes HER kid's/kids' homework is meant to be tackled first at home before being covered in class. Also, my kid's teacher told me I could purchase the class texts on the internet if I wanted to follow closely classroom regimens. My kid has gotten straight A's in part because of hard parental and caring teacher devotion. It sounds like maybe HER kids are having problems. Maybe it's the parent's attitude about education?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I had an interesting conversation today with someone that has made a career out of selling bonds. In his opinion these cash out deals aren't illegal but they are "shady". He was amazed that a public entity could get away with refinancing a debt at what he called three times the going rate for bond sales/fees. In his opinion the potential for illegality lies with the manner in which the cash-out funds were used. In closing, he called it a shady practice that they will probably get away with, and said the taxpayers are probably getting screwed.


Posted by Hey I've got friends too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Yeah, Arnold, well your friend's mother wears Army boots. I've got a friend who is a lawyer who investigates cases of slander and libel. She says the posters trying to make a big deal out of nothing are a bunch of ignorant, cowardly nincumpoops who would sell out their own grandmothers for a few pennies if they thought they could get away with it.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I just read the extensive article in the Independent on the Pleasanton Unified's illegal cash out refunding scheme. Can you believe the District's lawyer, David Casnocha (got his degree from Cornell University in NY State), even after the California Attorney General's office had ruled it was against the law, is still saying cash-outs are perfectly legal? Hilarious!

Perhaps there is a tutoring center in town where the school administrators can learn to look up the Education Code and the California Constitution.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I've got friends too,

What reason would the district have to pay three times the going rate for Bond refinancing? I would like to know? If someone was charging me three times the going rate to refinance my mortgage I would tell them to take a hike. So what gives? Off the top of my head I can only think of a few reasons, although I'm sure there are probably more. Here are my thoughts:

A) bad management that accepted what a for profit organization presented them without researching the topic, or asking for other bids.

B) a cash strapped organization that is trying to hide the true nature of their budget issues, as well their unfunded pension liability.

C) the three times the going rate paid is the premium
required to pay for the legal opinion that the deal was legit.

I hope there is a "D".


Posted by Property Perspective, a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm

To Former Foothill Student -- in case you mentioned the tutoring of administrators in jest, there are judges who have prescribed exactly that requirement as an order. One of the district's own law firms had that dropped on them when they had an associate told to take ethics classes and report back to the court! So, actually quite a relevant suggestion. Especially when administrators parrot from documents they apparently do not fully understand. After this sorry Measure E mess is over, let's ask our elected officials to mandate that all key administrators get retrained on financial accountability and promise us folks in Pleasanton that there will be no sneaky money games in the future. And when it says in a ballot measure that voter approval is needed, that means no trickery. And then us folks will be able to trust again (but probably need to verify).


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 8:24 pm

The moral cowards just won't let up. They've been asked - repeatedly, here and on other posts - to provide names, dates, nature of the crime, who specifically is the criminal, and what kinds of criminal prosecution they are recommending. Not a single one has done so. All they can do is sling mud all day and all night long. They talk about trust? This morally bankrupted crew has been shown repeatedly they lack any sense of ethics or decency. I would not trust them anywhere near a school, and I wish they'd stay far, far away from our children. The unfortunate fact is that after E is passed, this crew will simply start gnawing on some other ankle. They're bad news.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm

"The moral cowards just won't let up. They've been asked - repeatedly, here and on other posts - to provide names, dates, nature of the crime, who specifically is the criminal, and what kinds of criminal prosecution they are recommending. Not a single one has done so."

Other than yourself, who said a crime was committed? I'm asking a question that seems more than reasonable. The fact that you continue to deflect is all the more the reason for concern. I'll ask the same questions again:

"What reason would the district have to pay three times the going rate for Bond refinancing? I would like to know? If someone was charging me three times the going rate to refinance my mortgage I would tell them to take a hike. So what gives? Off the top of my head I can only think of a few reasons, although I'm sure there are probably more. Here are my thoughts:

A) Bad management that accepted what a for profit organization presented them without researching the topic, or asking for other bids.

B) A cash strapped organization that is trying to hide the true nature of their budget issues, as well their unfunded pension liability.

C) The three times the going rate paid is the premium required to pay for the legal opinion that the deal was legit."

D) ? (you can fill in the blank)

Why would anyone pay three times the going rate if the deal is legit? Is it because it's only taxpayer money? There may be a valid reason for this (?) but I don't see what's wrong with asking the district to state where the cash-out money went, or why they paid such an outrageous rate to refinance the debt. I think that's simple enough. The district should respond and put an end to this entire thread.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Yes, Federal judge Judge Oliver Wanger is one of the judges that is tired of lawyers who violate the law. In his sanction order, he cited lying and obstruction and a culture of misrepresentation and deception in ordering Pleasanton USD's entire law firm of 80 lawyers to take ethics classes as well as fining the law firm.

When I look up MSC09-01101 (that has been going on for two years) to look at the status of Pleasanton USD's latest lawsuit at Web Link I can't seem to find out what is going on.

Why does Pleasanton USD pick lawyers that are cited for ethics violations? Don't they have some sort of screening process?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Arnold FFS, your response is cowardly. When an accusation is advanced that something has or is being done illegally -- see the heading of this thread, genius -- it means there was or is criminality involved. But you're too much of a coward to attribute the accusation to anyone person or persons. This is a moral issue and, as per usual, you fail, pal. Stay away from my kids.


Posted by Former Foothill Students, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm

How many Superior Court Judges and Attorney Generals have to say that the Pleasanton school district has done something illegal before it sets in that they've done just that. You'd think that since Judge Ronald Sabraw said the Pleasanton USD drafted an illegal Neal school agreement and failed to comply with Education Code 17406 ..... (quote from the Pleasanton Weekly)

"For its part, in accepting the offer, school district lawyers drafted an Amended Fee Agreement allowing Signature to build the school, an agreement that Sabraw ruled was illegal because public works projects like Neal must be advertised for public bidding. At the same time, Signature's developer fee was reduced by $2 a square foot, or to $4.54 a square foot, on new construction, compared to the $6.54 other developers, who were not part of the Neal School loan agreement, were paying." Web Link

....you would have thought the District would now know how to look up the Education Code or gets a second opinion before it goes off and again, falls on its face.

I guess not. The court cases continue.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm

"Arnold FFS, your response is cowardly. When an accusation is advanced that something has or is being done illegally -- see the heading of this thread, genius -- it means there was or is criminality involved. But you're too much of a coward to attribute the accusation to anyone person or persons. This is a moral issue and, as per usual, you fail, pal. Stay away from my kids."

I'm not your pal. Instead of making unfounded accusations maybe you can answer the question.

"What reason would the district have to pay three times the going rate for Bond refinancing? I would like to know? If someone was charging me three times the going rate to refinance my mortgage I would tell them to take a hike. So what gives? Off the top of my head I can only think of a few reasons, although I'm sure there are probably more. Here are my thoughts:

A) Bad management that accepted what a for profit organization presented them without researching the topic, or asking for other bids.

B) A cash strapped organization that is trying to hide the true nature of their budget issues, as well their unfunded pension liability.

C) The three times the going rate paid is the premium required to pay for the legal opinion that the deal was legit.

D) ? (you can fill in the blank)

Why would anyone pay three times the going rate if the deal is legit? Is it because it's only taxpayer money? There may be a valid reason for this (?) but I don't see what's wrong with asking the district to state where the cash-out money went, or why they paid such an outrageous rate to refinance the debt. I think that's simple enough. The district should respond and put an end to this entire thread.

I apologize in advance for my persistance but it isn't that difficult of a question (multiple choice with a fill-in the blank option). To be honest, I really don't care what you think. I think the district should be addressing this topic.


Posted by comment, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Yes, they are saying something was done illegally, and yet nothing was. They are trying to make the absurd claim that PUSD is a low quality school district when it is clearly not. Then Foothill Mom talks about how bad the teachers are and in the same breath asks if she can have a "$150,000" pension when teachers don't get pensions anywhere near that high. All this because they don't want to pay $98 a year for a parcel tax.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I think it's pretty clear by now that the opponents of Measure E will lie about anything if they think it will serve their agenda. I have maintained for some time now that there is a moral deficit that afflicts mssrs. ffs/arnold and the one or two others that comprise their little clown club.

They raise serious charges of criminality, allege that some respectable people in the community are witches, then when challenged, they immediately slither away without apology. Under new monickers, they continue to make unfounded allegations, and when asked for specifics they merely raise questions, exposing a level of ignorance compounded by appalling moral deficiency. I know Arnold FFS is not the brightest bulb on the tree, but one expects at least a modicum of decency. Not to be I guess. As I've said before: evil's assault upon morality usually rides in on the shoulders of those who don't use their heads very well. This just means there's more mud that needs to be cleaned off the wall.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

5,259 retired teachers and administrators are getting $100,000 or more in CALSTRS pensions per year from they retire until they pass away (30 years or more), $630,000,000 in annual payouts with $40 billion in unfunded obligations.

See the video CalSTRS $100K Pension Club is growing while fund is running out of money
Web Link

(p.s. Take it up with Judge Sabraw if you want to question him on why he called Pleasanton's Neal school agreement illegal)


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Whoops, I was wrong. It isn't $40 billion in unfunded liabilities from the $100,000 per year and more pensions, today it went up to $56 billion in unfunded liabilities. Taxpayers are on the hook for those unfunded liabilities. View today's article from the San Francisco Chronicle raised the numbers. Web Link

So correct my posting to:

5,259 retired teachers and administrators are getting $100,000 or more in CALSTRS pensions per year from when they retire until they pass away (30 years or more), $630,000,000 in annual payouts with $56 billion in unfunded obligations.

See the video CalSTRS $100K Pension Club is growing while fund is running out of money

Web Link

(p.s. Take it up with Judge Sabraw if you want to question him on why he called Pleasanton's Neal school agreement illegal)


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I wonder if old homer knows how many retired California teachers and administrators there are, total, and what they average. Once again, he appears unable to articulate a clear thought. Just web links and insults. It's sad. I wonder if he has been following the kinds of outrageous profits being made by GE without paying a dime in taxes this past year. I wonder why not the outrage about executives raking in hundreds of millions, if not billions, and saddling the middle class with having to shoulder the entire tax burden by themselves. Bad past experience with teachers or maybe school in general perhaps?


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

5,259 retired teachers and administrators are getting $100,000 or more in CALSTRS pensions per year from when they retire until they pass away (30 years or more), $630,000,000 in annual payouts with $56 billion in unfunded obligations.

See the video CalSTRS $100K Pension Club is growing while fund is running out of money

Web Link

15,493 members retired last year with a growth in number of about 21 % each year with currently, 441544 active members, 16976 inactive members, 213952 retired members, 21263 survivor recipients and 8581 disability recipients.

To hmmmm/former school administrator/ode to salem/sane and rational -- Start a thread on GE if you want to talk about GE.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:35 pm

5,259 retired teachers and administrators are getting $100,000 or more in CALSTRS pensions per year from when they retire until they pass away (30 years or more), $630,000,000 in annual payouts with $56 billion in unfunded obligations.

See the video CalSTRS $100K Pension Club is growing while fund is running out of money.

Web Link

15,493 members retired last year with a growth in number of about 21 % each year with currently, 441544 active members, 166976 inactive members, 213952 retired members, 21263 survivor recipients and 8581 disability recipients.

To hmmmm/former school administrator/ode to salem/sane and rational -- Start a thread on GE if you want to talk about GE.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Ignore the toxic posts.
Do not respond to the Flaming.
Resonable people can see this is a legitimate issue, other communities have taken it seriously.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm

There was a typo...inactive members is not 16976 but 166976


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Well, it's all there from the homer ffs. The ubiquitous web site, the insults, and a conspicuous lack of any clearly articulated thought. Nothing cognitively speaking at home; no moral foundation whatsoever. Just a bunch of web linked stats hurled in an angry manner.

Don't know that the source can be trusted -- you know, that whole bit about statistics and liars and all. Further, a cursory glance at the numbers packed into a not very clear sentence -- he tried, I know -- offers no average pension, nor do the numbers distinguish teachers from administrators. But, let's see, assuming homer ffs's numbers are accurate (I don't), then the five thousand or so who are making over 100k in pensions -- probably highly paid, highly competent, and possessing of advanced educational degrees administrators -- constitute less than 2.5% of the entire pool of retired teachers and administrators. But apparently old homer resents it when people with higher educational levels than he has earn a fair salary/pension for a job well done. (He should have done better in school.)

So, then the question of the evening really boils down to this: Why on earth am I talking to this babbling old fool? He's incapable of articulating in his own words a clear thought, and makes me do all the work. Somebody kick me, maybe I'm the fool!


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:18 am

CALSTRS is going broke and taxpayers will go broke paying its $56 billion shortfall. Pension reform is needed because the 100K pension club is growing exponentially. The California Teachers Association teachers union's only response is to blame "Wall Street." See the news video released today. Web Link

The governor has released a 12 point pension reform plan that the California Teachers Association will certainly fight because they don't want to reduce the pension unfunded liability. The California Teachers Association website has an entire section of "talking points" to fight pension reform, but those areas of their website are locked and viewable to only their members. I find it interesting that they do not allow members of the public to see it.

I also find it interesting that Pleasanton Unified School District has refused to so far to release their emplyee salary data to the Contra Costa Times database of salaries that lists almost every public agency on it.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:52 am

Most people reading these posts will never receive a *dime* of pension money even though they have worked hard for 30-40 years and never made more than teachers or government employees. But their tax money will still have to go to pay the pensions of neighbors who can go on cruises and nice vacations and have their health care paid for ...while the regular folks have a hard time paying $285. a month for prescription medicines and more than $550 a month for supplemental medicare insurance..

Who are we kidding here? These pensions are a burden. I will repeat that...these pensions are a burden..and a blight on California.




Posted by Marilyn H., a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:47 am

I wish people would stop degrading our teachers. I have two friends who began their careers as teachers and neither of them lasted beyond a couple of years. One left for a much higher salary in the private sector, and the other became a mother and homemaker. They tell me stories about what they call teaching in the trenches, and some will make your hair stand up straight. Some folks are expressing resentment for the hard work and sacrifice that teachers give to the community. Just because someone can't afford a vacation isn't reason to deny everyone else one. That's just being jealous and small minded. I'll be happily supporting the parcel tax measure, and believe me when I tell you my two ex-teacher friends will be supporting it too.


Posted by Former Foothill Student, a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 1, 2011 at 2:07 am

The $56 million shortfall in CALSTRS is unsustainable. If someone pays in a little more than 8% of their salary for 30 years in CALSTRS, that low amount can't possibly support at retirement being paid 80% of their ending salary for the next 30 years in pensions. They are being paid much more for 30 retired years than they ever paid into the system while they were actually on the job, not working a full year, but only 180 or so days a year.

Some estimates say that it would take teachers paying in 25% to 35% for CALSTRS to ever break even.


Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

Really wish we could stay on topic. There are other threads about pension reform.

There are only two links you need to understand this topic.

The Attorney General is the top Attorney in Ca., both previous and current AG's say Cashing Out without voter approval is unconstitutional. He did not need to make a new law, he said abuse of the existing law would not be tolerated.
Web Link

Here is the link that shows PUSD acknowledging that they cashed out 7 million dollars without voter approval. This was being done while refusing to reinstate the Bond Oversight committee.
Web Link


Posted by hmmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm



Diana, you continue to raise some very serious charges of criminality against one or more members of the community. When we've asked you for more specifics, you have declined to answer and instead slithered back under your rock.

Here I'll again ask you questions that were raised in response to your witch-hunting efforts:

First, are you saying, Diana, that the current PUSD are the "They" who committed the criminal act? Again, then, who is "They", and shouldn't they be charged with a crime?

You stated, Diana: "It is and always was illegal,"

Dianna. What was illegal? And isn't commission of an illegal act a crime? Please provide us with specific names and dates so that we might be better able to arrive at an informed judgment.

Then, Diana, you stated, "There is not one person responsible it is a culture of being untouchable."

But cultures don't commit crimes, Dianna, people do. We around here who are especially sensitive to personal responsibility and accountability shouldn't have to remind you of that. And so, again, who are the people you claim have committed the crime?

Then you further stated, "They simply said, 'no one cared'."

You're a real fountainhead of information, Dianna, and we can't thank you enough. But who is "They"?

Diana, I'll not waste more time condemning this kind of lynch-mob mentality. Please do stay away from our children.



Posted by Diana, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

hmmmmm you are flaming........ and I don't mean in a good way.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Ah, yes Diana. You are very brave in your convictions. I'd think, given your courageous stand on these posts, that you'd override your ridiculous belief that I'm flaming and inform many of the readers here what exactly you are stating. My questions shouldn't be all that difficult for you to answer. Well, we know why you refuse. Sunlight too bright for your eyes?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

"you continue to raise some very serious charges of criminality against one or more members of the community. When we've asked you for more specifics, you have declined to answer and instead slithered back under your rock."


I'm not slithering under any rock. I'm asking you why the PUSD hasn't addressed this issue. As I mentioned yesterday, my friend that has made a career of selling bonds has called this deal "shady". He questions why a public agency would agree to pay three times the going rate for refinancing, and says that the legality issue probably has to do with where the cash-out dollars went. He also said the taxpayers are getting screwed. Considering the district is looking for more money from the taxpayers the least they could do is address this issue, and hopefully put it to rest. There is a trust issue here.

Apparently you have an issue with citizens raising concerns about how public money is spent. I guess in your view no public agency has ever misappropriated funds and, therefore, this is a witch hunt. Wake up! Your beat-down of the people that raise a legitimate question is only adding more fuel/speculation to an already suspect deal.

Why would the PUSD pay three times the going rate to refinance bond debt? If you could refinance your home mortgage at 5% what would compel you to refinance at three times that rate, or 15%? Where did the cash-out money go? Are these questions really so difficult? If so, why?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The sun is shining where I'm standing, pal, and it sure looks like you're slithering out from under your rock. Show some self-respect and accountability for your charges and name some names of those you purport to have committed a crime. Take some responsibility and own up to your words. Otherwise, go spit your venom someplace else.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

"The sun is shining where I'm standing, pal, and it sure looks like you're slithering out from under your rock."

Again, I'm not your pal.

Apparently you have an issue with citizens raising concerns about how public money is spent. I guess in your view no public agency has ever misappropriated funds and, therefore, this is a witch hunt. Wake up! Your beat-down of the people that raise a legitimate question is only adding more fuel/speculation to an already suspect deal.

Why would the PUSD pay three times the going rate to refinance bond debt? If you could refinance your home mortgage at 5% what would compel you to refinance at three times that rate, or 15%? Where did the cash-out money go? Are these questions really so difficult? If so, why?

Instead of trying to intimidate people with your stupid comments maybe you can ask the district to respond to a few simple questions?

Is that too much to ask? Is something being hidden from the public? Were funds misappropriated? These should be easy questions for the district to answer. I hope they put this topic to rest sooner rather than later. The fact that they haven't responded is only leading to more questions like, for instance, why haven't they responded?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Follow this thread. First it was the anonymous PEVC, then Bill, then Diana, then Stacey, then cash-out. All of them went slithering back under their rocks. Hey, pal, you're the only one left exposed in the sunlight. I can't answer for PUSD. But you can take responsibility for your insipid charges. Own up and tell us who specifically broke the law, when, and where. Only a coward would raise such charges and then refuse to back them up; only a moral sloth would raise such charges without having the facts at hand.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm

"I can't answer for PUSD"

Then what is your motive for trying to beat-down everyone that asks a simple question? Maybe you should quit speaking for the district, since you can't answer for them anyway, and let them answer a few simple questions. You can even encourage them to do so. It would probably be helpful in ending all the unnecessary speculation you've helped to create.

Considering your level of protestation, I can't help but wonder if there isn't much more to this story than meets the eye.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hmmmm,

If all these people (PEVC, then Bill, then Diana, then Stacey, then cash-out) are comfortable with the refinance arrangement then I'll drop the issue. I'll wait to here it from them. Until that time, I would still like the district to explain why they refinanced at three times the going rate, and where the cash-out money was spent.

Just out of curiousity, what percentage of compensation have the teachers conntributed, over the past decade, to their CalSTRS retirement program (pension).


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Hey pal, the answers to your questions were given at the last meeting. Were you there? It probably wouldn't matter, because you aren't about learning from others, only about crawling out from your rock to cast aspersions at others. Your compatriots were shamed into raising the unfounded allegations they did and slithered back under their rocks. You, however, are shameless. Your self-loathing overwhelms whatever shred of decency you might have had at one time in your life. Every community has evil lurking in its midst. You're a walking testament of such. Name names, you coward. A decent, rational person doesn't say 'they've committed an illegal act, for which I have no evidence, but don't hammer me for calling them criminals'. A decent person doesn't raise such charges and then state 'a crime has been committed, I'm not going to say who, or when, but there are criminals in our midst'. There were people like you on Joseph McCarthy's HUAC Committee. They were a sick joke. So are you.


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

You're slithering up the wrong vine here, pal.

"I'll wait to here it from them"

"Just out of curiousity"

"have the teachers conntributed"

You can't even spell your own name, either because you're so filled with vile or because you never passed spelling in the third grade. Yet you're trying to tell us what to think about matters of education? Take your vile accusations and insinuations elsewhere, you creep.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm

"Name names, you coward. A decent, rational person doesn't say 'they've committed an illegal act, for which I have no evidence, but don't hammer me for calling them criminals'. A decent person doesn't raise such charges and then state 'a crime has been committed, I'm not going to say who, or when, but there are criminals in our midst'"

You're quite the loose cannon aren't you. I don't think I've asked for anything more than sunshine on this topic. Speaking of McCarthy, maybe you are incorporating his shameful tactics in your own argument - because you really don't have a valid argument. Bone headed comments that don't address legitimate questions doesn't constitute a valid argument.

I would be happy to show you the respect that you think you deserve if you were capable of JUST answering a few simple questions:


Why would the PUSD pay three times the going rate to refinance bond debt? If you could refinance your home mortgage at 5% what would compel you to refinance at three times that rate, or 15%? Where did the cash-out money go? Are these questions really so difficult? If so, why?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I'll tell you what, creep. Raise your questions with the board. They'll address them in the 15 seconds of time they deserve, and then you can retire to your pit and continue to cast unfounded asperions on the internet until the E Measure prevails.

You state: "Bone headed comments that don't address legitimate questions doesn't constitute a valid argument." Grammatical errors like that, combined with an inability to spell, are either indicators of unclear thinking or psychological trouble. I have my own opinion as to which it is (hint: combination), but I'll leave it to a linguist or psychologist to diagnose your difficulties.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

PW, when are you going to start cleaning up your blog?


Posted by Jasmine, a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Wouldn't be sour grapes in response to the PW editorial, would it? If I were you, Stacey, after what I had written on these threads, I'd want the site closed down too.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm

"Posted by hmmmm, I'll tell you what, creep. Raise your questions with the board. They'll address them in the 15 seconds of time they deserve, and then you can retire to your pit and continue to cast unfounded asperions on the internet until the E Measure prevails.

You state: "Bone headed comments that don't address legitimate questions doesn't constitute a valid argument." Grammatical errors like that, combined with an inability to spell, are either indicators of unclear thinking or psychological trouble. I have my own opinion as to which it is (hint: combination), but I'll leave it to a linguist or psychologist to diagnose your difficulties."



Maybe you can ask your alter-ego, Psychologist, what he/she thinks?

I guess your legal intimidation tactics haven't worked, your
verbal threats have fallen flat, your McCarthy campaign is exposing you for who you are, and now your efforts to discredit any legitimate questions have been reduced to spell check. Keep up the good work!

Seems to me it would have been much easier for you to just answer a few simple questions:

Is something being hidden from the public? Were funds misappropriated? These should be easy questions for the district to answer. I hope they put this topic to rest sooner rather than later. The fact that they haven't responded is only leading to more questions like, for instance, why haven't they responded?


Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Poor Arnold, always ends up playing the victim's card. Blame it on hmmmm, blame it on teachers, blame it on unions. I guess the whole world must be against you, pal.

I have never threatened you, verbally or otherwise. Which makes you a liar, too. I invite any readers to re-read these posts, if you've got the stomach for it. Readers will come to the inevitable conclusion that Arnold is what he is: a liar, through and through.

Lying, by the way, is a reliable indicator of moral deficiency -- a deficiency that is indicated by the headline that began this witch hunt and which other(s) like yourself immediately latched on to as fitting into your morally and cognitively challenged universe. We teach our children not to lie when they are learning how to use the language -- you know, how to speak and write grammatically in order to express a coherent thought. Somewhere along the line, probably pretty early on in your life, someone clearly missed the boat. But you've heard this many times before, haven't you?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

"Poor Arnold, always ends up playing the victim's card. Blame it on hmmmm, blame it on teachers, blame it on unions. I guess the whole world must be against you, pal.

I have never threatened you, verbally or otherwise. Which makes you a liar, too. I invite any readers to re-read these posts, if you've got the stomach for it. Readers will come to the inevitable conclusion that Arnold is what he is: a liar, through and through."



Even though simple questions continue to go unanswered, I'm OK with allowing your opinion(s)to apeak for themselves. Do you understand what I'm saying?

Have a nice evening.





Posted by hmmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

No, pal, most of the time I don't understand what you're saying, and I suspect most readers don't either.

I'll tell you this much though: I know a lie when I see one. And I know the difference between a fact and an opinion. And I can confidently state, as fact, that you are a liar. My reasoning is as follows....

Fact: you state that I have threatened you. Here's your quote: "I guess your legal intimidation tactics haven't worked, your verbal threats have fallen flat...."

Fact: your statement is a lie.

Fact: Inasmuch as you're responsible for making the statement, you are a liar.

If you want to continue the discussion so that these facts are made even more evident, please be my guest. You can slither any which way you desire in the face of this matter. Fact remains, you are a liar. I haven't threatened you or anyone else, nor have I used "legal intimidation tactics" as you so opaquely put it. That is the kernal of truth that separates you from me. You are a liar, and I am not. Not my opinion. It is a fact.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Are you OK? While you make many good points, I think what I was looking for was a simple amswer to some simple questions.


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