Save your disappointment
Original post made by Save the disappointment, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Aug 29, 2009
First, the parcel tax. It didn't pass because there wasn't the support for it that the school district and the Save Pleasanton Schools group thought there was. Save your disappointment for the school district and board who chose the most expensive option of putting this measure to the voters and lost voter confidence. Save your disappointment for the architects of the measure who couldn't and wouldn't include a condition - no salary increases for administrator during the life of the parcel tax - which would have turned many of the No votes to Yes votes. Save your disappointment for the school district and school board who employed questionable campaign tactics which required further spending for legal counsel and reminded voters of other times these groups had made bad decisions.
What could have been a successful and very well supported parcel tax measure was not because the School District and the School Board screwed up.
Second, the summer fundraising program. Many very dedicated and caring individuals gave their time and energy to raising funds for the schools. But they had an impossible goal because the fundraising campaign, which should have been initiated last fall - and this was suggested to the Board many times before Measure G went on the ballot - was held during a time when many people were away. Also, once the hype of Measure G was over, many of those who got carried away with the "do it for the kids" slogan started taking a harder look at the way the school district and school board were managing the funds they already had and they didn't like what they were seeing. The June Board meeting turned many of those who had previously supported the district and its administration away from that support. The decision to continue the employment of several highly paid staff who had already had been given lay off notices months before was a bad one. These were not people who were going to have to try to get other jobs to support their families, but individuals already slated to retire with a pension. Keeping them on was not for the benefit of the children, but to maximize their retirement income. Very few people in the private sector have had this kind of consideration, but many in the private sector have suffered job losses or salary reductions.
Save your disappointment for all those individuals who supported Measure G and publicized their support by having their names published by Save Pleasanton Schools in the PW. Go to the PW archives, pull out the edition with SPS' full page ad, and start calling the people who supported G and ask them if they backed up their support of the schools with a check when G failed. You will discover what many of the No on G people said - many, if not the majority of the names on those lists were individuals who either could not vote in the election (not Pleasanton residents, not yet 18) or were renters or senior citizens who supported a tax they would not be paying. How many of them are willing to support the schools now by actually handing over $233? As this summer's fundraiser has shown, not many. Many enjoyed being part of what they perceived was the winning side as long as it cost them nothing. Others have since suffered financial setbacks or lost confidence in the current PUSD administration.
Finally the comments about those who carry Coach purses and wear designer clothing. First, I'm not in this category, but instead belong to the Walmart/Target shopper category. But I believe that how people choose to spend the money they have earned is their business. Mostly though, I know many of those Coach carrying, designer wearing people the poster references and I know them because they volunteer at the schools and contribute very generously to many school programs. The poster's generalizations about Pleasanton residents is petty, mean-spirited and motivated by jealousy.
Thank you to all who support the schools by volunteering and donating at whatever level is possible for you.
Thank you to all those who continue to email the School Board and remind them that like the rest of this community, the School District must tighten its belt and eliminate excess spending.