Editorial Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Jul 12, 2008 at 6:18 am
If you haven't read through the 36-page response by the Pleasant school district to Judge George C. Hernandez's tentative ruling in favor of Signature Properties over building Neal Elementary School, you should. It's available online and makes for a good water cooler or after-work debate over where the school district should go next and how much more money should it spend to get there. Hernandez wasn't subtle in ruling that the school district never had an agreement for Signature to build the school, which back in 2002 had an estimated price tag of $8.5 million. When John Casey was hired that year to succeed Superintendent Mary Frances Callan, he found that the cost of building Neal had risen to $13.5 million, $5 million more than budgeted and the district could afford. He was also told that the ironclad construction agreement with Signature called the for developer to pay for anything over $8.5 million. As time wore on, the relationship between the school district and Pleasanton's premier homebuilder soured, with Signature finally taking legal action to clarify just what its obligations were. Last month, Hernandez ruled on the last of two Alameda County Superior Court complaints, agreeing with Judge Ronald Sabraw's earlier ruling that even the preliminary agreement to have Signature build Neal violated the state's competitive bidding law and therefore was null and void. Even so, Hernandez then looked at the numerous other claims and counter-claims filed over the course of the four-year litigation and ruled against the school district on every single count.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 11, 2008, 12:00 AM
Posted by Get Real Jeb, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Jul 12, 2008 at 6:18 am
Wow, Jeb, I didn't know your love for Signature ran so deep. Do you feel the same about all tax dodgers? Signature never paid their fair share of school building taxes at a cost of $2.50 per square foot. The contract that is currently being litigated was negotiated because they reneged on the prior contract. Why don't you look into allegations posted here that they never paid their water bill to the city and received preferential treatment from the City Manager who was married to their chief counsel? Oh, that's right. Said City Manager is or was your boss. Pleasanton was just fine before Signature came here. They are probably the business that has done the least in terms of community service that ever operated in Pleasanton. And I don't think you need to bow down to them since they earned huge profits developing here. Signature properties and your boss' husband are a bunch of crooks.
Posted by Jack, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 10:15 am
What are they fighting about? Ruby Hill is sold out, so Signature's motivation to build the school is gone. PUSD never wanted the school and now the court has said they're not legally entitled (or obligated) to the school, so they are covered. PUSD now gets to hold the land and sell it during the next "up" housing market. Signature's off the hook to build it. PUSD is off the hook to operate it. That's probably what both sides wanted in the first place. What is there to appeal? What is there left to talk about?