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PTA Council circulating petition

Original post made on Feb 12, 2010

While the budget challenges facing the school district is holding steady for now, a petition to lower the super majority requirement for a parcel tax is picking up steam.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 12, 2010, 6:14 AM

Comments (66)

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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

Does this mean anyone can use School Board meetings to circulate initiative petitions for signature?


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:32 am

Jeff had a great motivated audience for signature gathering since the majority of attendees at the last school board meeting were PUSD employees, most of whom have been identified as potentially losing their jobs. Of course they would be willing to sign a petition that generates more tax revenue for themselves.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:21 am

Editor,

Your paragraph introducing the link is more than a little misleading. "Picking up steam?" 100 people who are part of the PTA or teachers is not a real good indicator. Additionally, it says in your own article that it died in San Carlos and the PTA does not have a strategy for collecting more signatures in Pleasanton. Please be more forthright in the future with regard to your publishing. I do have a question however, can anyone pass out any type of documentation or signature or anything at these meetings?


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

Ya...go ahead and waste your time on this unwinnable effort instead of looking for real solutions. The cities without parcel taxes are in the same position as those with parcel taxes. You want a parcel tax and all it goes to is teacher wages. Its the unions that are the problem and when California declares bankruptcy all those contracts will be null and void giving the people real hope to start over and regain control of the state.


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Posted by IMHO
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

Joe: You stated it just brilliantly! Now only if the people of CA wake up and see it that way.


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Posted by LP
a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

What about those of us whose children attend schools with a PFA rather than a PTA?


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Posted by PTA parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

Thank you Jeff for your commitment and dedication to all children in Pleasanton. Our community has been served well by the PTA in the past 60+ years and I know it will continue to serve all children in order for all children to receive the quality education that they require to become productive citizens in our society. Thank you.


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Posted by PTA parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:55 am

LP- Your support is always appreciated and welcome as well.


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

67 % of the voters did not want a parcel tax. 67% of those who voted did. Being that it was a special election, as they always do it, most people were not fully aware of it and thus the people who knew about it best were the teachers unions. And so they showed up to vote far more than the average person, and thus skewed the vote

They are effectively negating the will of the voters, tearing away our rights. We need a civil rights act for taxpayers


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

Simple solution -- if you don't support the initiative, don't sign the petition.


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Posted by Emily West
Features Editor
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:11 am

Emily West is a registered user.

Rat Turd -- The SCA 6 is not the same effort as this petition by Californians for Improved School Funding. Sorry if that wasn't clear.


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Posted by Good schools matter
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:16 am

Thanks to Jeff and the PTA Council for caring about our schools and knowing that schools are key to what makes Pleasanton great. Parents whose kids attend PFA schools may also sign the petition. Any registered voter may sign.

Though teachers deserve to be paid decent wages like everyone else, we should hear soon what compensation sacrifices the union and its membership will be offering to help close at least some of the $8 million budget gap. Note that with this gap for 2010 / 2011, Pleasanton will be operating with $21 million less than it had just three years ago. That's a significant 20% less support for students.

While districts with parcel taxes also face challenges because state funding has been slashed, but the fact is those districts have another revenue source that we don't have.

High earning and educated people (used to) move here for our schools. Everyone's entitled to his or her opinion about, but the fact is that well-supported schools within a community create safe and strong and vibrant communities.



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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

Sandy, It so difficult to know from postings what is just terse or what might be intended as a slight, but I have been concerned about some of these seemingly pat answers. Agreed, not everything needs to be an opus.

So my response is, when a group--any group--finds themselves in the minority, their answer is to try to shift the playing field in their favor. Had the last parcel tax been handled better, maybe we'd have a parcel tax now, and a smaller hole for next year's budget--but still a hole that I will maintain is directly the result of the bad decisions of our governance team. So, had 2/3 of the people voted for the parcel tax, a smaller percentage of us would have been forced to pay despite our convictions.

With a simple majority, you could have 50% plus one vote forcing 50% less one vote to do their bidding. It's just degrees of tyranny.

I can, however, agree with your last four words: don't sign the petition. The unintended consequences will hit more than our pocketbooks.


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Sandy, do you actually read things, or merely skim them. I do believe my point is clear. Obviously people like me, the majority, won't sign it. But that's irrlevant, cause you have about a million people in this state who either work for or are tied in with a vested interested to our corrupt education system. The majority is bot being heard because of such scams, special elections being one

Read Sandy. Pay attention before you speak

schools do not make good communities. Good communities make good schools. You could have a state of the art school in Richmond and no one will move there and property taxes will thus be low.


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Sorry for the typos.

YOUR LIES AND CHICANERY WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED

That's addressed to the unions, developers and local and state officials. You are all horrible, horrible parasites. We shall purge you


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I strongly support UNIONS!

Get ready for the $250 per family parcel tax...it's on the way!

Thank you UNIONS for a job well done this past year. Here's hoping for a productive 2010!

VIVA UNIONS! VIVA!


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Posted by A Mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Really, people think this is a good idea? Are we really this short-sighted? The super majority provision is in place for a darn good reason. Only an idiot would get rid of it.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Web Link PTA petition! the cash is about to roll in!!!


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Kathleen wrote: "With a simple majority, you could have 50% plus one vote forcing 50% less one vote to do their bidding. It's just degrees of tyranny."

My question is: If a 36% minority can successfully block a parcel tax favored by nearly 2/3rds of the voters, is that also tyranny?


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

You're a**-backwards Slartibastfast


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Gunslinger: at the moment, I'm a**-DOWNWARD, thank you very much. And if you feel my question is unreasonable, perhaps you can explain why you feel democracy is a**-backward.


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Posted by Of course!
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Gunslinger wrote
"You're a**-backwards Slartibastfast"
Of course s/he is. Because s/he does not agree with you! Crazy how that works eh?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Start(whatever), Yeah, I guess so. Except that no one had to "pay" for that decision.


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Posted by Of course!
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

True Kathleen, I guess it just depends on how you define "pay".


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Slartwhatsits paragraph about 2/3 supporting it is false. The vast majority of people are against a parcel tax. The minority of unions and other fascists wants it. The unions are the tyrants screwing the taxpayer majority


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

The reason to have the overwhelming majority needed for a vote for parcel tax is because that's just the majority of those who voted, not all voters. That need for 2/3 was put in as a buffer so that unions couldn't so easily get a vote in their favor by surreptitious means, such as little known special elections, push polls, and a media happy to be their Goebbels

But the facts are that the overwhelming majority of potential voters are against such a tax


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Gunwhatsit: it must be nice to be able to invent your own facts. Do you have anything to back up your made-up statistic that "the vast majority" are against it? Because 64% of voters supporting it is an actual fact, not one of your pretend-facts.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Go Slartibartfast!

Anyone who likes Douglas Adams is OK in my book.

Kathleen,

"Except that no one had to "pay" for that decision."

No one had to pay except our children!!! First we burden them with unsustainable debt, and then we flake out on giving them a quality education. Sad.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Where were all of the parcel tax people last summer after Measure G failed when the school district had their had their "money drive"? Pretty poor showing...I guess you were using that money for vacations in Hawaii, Disneyworld, Europe, Fantasia...You get the message, I think, maybe not. Stop trying to EXTORT MONEY FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS. PAY FOR YOUR OWN KIDS...THE GOVERNMENT IS GIVING YOU A TAX DEDUCTION...USE IT WISELY, NOT FOR VACATIONS. ENOUGH...YOU'RE NOT GETTING A PARCEL TAX NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY (read cheat if you want). You saw what happened in MASS., the bluest of the blues, If that isn't a message, then you need to get off the pipe.


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Joe,

Lemme see--fundraising didn't raise as much as a parcel tax would have, so that must mean people went to Hawaii, which means they're extortionists, and therefore we will elect a Republican at the next state election.

Thanks for being the poster boy for the need to better fund education.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Slartibartfast,

I'm having trouble with that line of reasoning myself. This really isn't a Democrat/Republican thing, in my opinion. I think a lot of people are pretty angry and feeling swindled these days. They see their tax dollars bailing out fat cats on Wall Street but the when an average guy loses his job, there is no bailout. I can't blame people for feeling angry and angry people don't always use linear reasoning.


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I agree that it's not a Democrat/Republican thing. Read Joe's entry--he seems to be suggesting that voters in Massachusets, "bluest of the blue," voted in a Repub recently due to...I'm not actually sure what he's saying there. But what I'm saying is the point wasn't raised by me.


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Posted by Be Responsible 4 your own
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Lets see a parcel tax, Should we have a parcel tax for feeding our children also, if I have several children should there be a parcel tax for others to pay to feed them , or is it my responsibility? Do this apply to educating children also?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

"Do this apply to educating children also?"

No, it doesn't. Free public education has been guaranteed in the California constitution (and the constitutions of many other states) for well over a century. It isn't a privilege, it is a right.


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Posted by IMHO
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Dear Reader. For the record, it NOT FREE!


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Slartibartfast...new poster, never saw before...what I was trying to say slartibart was that you need to put your money where your "heart"is and if a blue state can vote against taxes, then the fools in California need to get the message BECAUSE WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAX OURSELVES ANYMORE, especially in Pleasanton which, whether you like it or not, is a MIDDLE TO SENIOR CLASS COMMUNITY. And that is a fact...38% of the population is over 45 yrs old and 55.9% is over 35 yrs old (hardly groups with school age kids). So as I said. use the Federal Tax decuction wisely and support your school system if that is waht is important to you.


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 13, 2010 at 7:25 am

If you look at residents of voting age, the 2000 census shows the numbers in different age groups:
25-44 = 21,239
45-64 = 16,123
65-84 = 4,823
85 + = 555

So if you look at the size of the different 20-year age groups, 25-44 is the largest, not 45-64 or 65-84. In fact, the 25-44 year old age group is greater than the other three age groups combined.

Web Link


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 13, 2010 at 7:33 am

I usually know that I will fail when I'm being flippant. It is just my opinion that a 2/3 vote for increasing taxes is one of a few legislative actions done correctly.

As for the children paying, that's not exactly correct. Teachers and other employees paid most directly with their jobs. I've posted enough about why I was against Measure G. But I am not against a parcel tax when those funds will be in the hands of responsible leadership and when an informed process is used to determine exactly what the money will be used for. One person of the six in our governance team will change by the end of the school year; two more of the six could change in November.

A 2/3 vote to win is entirely possible and has been accomplished in many communities. The law isn't broken. Changing the law, however, to circumvent other shortcomings is not looking at where the real problems lie and what needs to be fixed to get a better outcome.


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

Kathleen: that's a fair and well-reasoned reply. I don't see those very often here, so thank you!


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2010 at 8:00 am

A reader demands we recognize public education as a right, not a privilege. Well, maybe that's the whole problem. Maybe that's why the kids lack discipline, especially in the ghetto, where this welfare thinking of the state owes me makes them not appreciate the gift of education, and it makes them constantly want to nitpick about what's not perfect in the system, instead of saying "I don't expect other people to spend a fortune catering to me."


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Posted by Ginslinger
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

isn't it a bit early to be drinking? and which "ghetto" are you referring to, specifically?


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2010 at 8:59 am

Richmond, Oakland, and the like


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Posted by Slartibartfast
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:37 am

Richmond and Oakland? These are the ghetto kids who "nitpick" their education? I don't understand what you're trying to say, or what this has to do with Pleasanton schools.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Sandy Piderit...my numbers are from 2007 and even using your numbers it still shows an aging population. 25 to 44 (and 44 is stretching it for child raising) is 49% and 45 to 85+ is over 50%...now that has got to show you an aging population. When I moved here in 1975 we were all young with kids, hell we didn't even know anybody with gray hair and now that's what a lot of us have if we still have hair.
It may be just a number game, but we are getting older in Pleasnaton and as such our priorities have changed. Taxes to support the schools YES, but extras for class size reduction, sports, music, etc. etc. etc. NO...that's for you to take care of if it is important to you. I've done my share and I won't be pushed or manipulated by the unions anymore.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm

"and 44 is stretching it for child raising"

Are you sure about that? Have a look around at some of the parents. Having a kid in 44 is a stretch?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm

"but we are getting older in Pleasnaton ... I've done my share"

There will likely be an exemption for seniors in any parcel tax proposed.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm

reader...ya, 44 is stretching it for raising kids and the exemption was so convulted with measure G that most seniors didn't even know about it...they had to go through the school district to get the exemption, well that's not right. The POINT IS that we the senior taxpayers will pay our fair share to support the schools...ANYTHING EXTRA IS UP TO YOU.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Core education should be paid for with our tax dollars and also the school bond we already have. Extras like sports, band, class sizes etc. should be paid for by the actual users of these services or through teacher salary reductions. We already pay enough. If you want to go after some funding go after the 3 point California retirement program and the current retirees in Pleasanton under 60 milking us for all we are worth. File bakrupcy and everything is back on the table and must be negotiated.


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Posted by P-town parent
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Joe,
I'm 37 and I've just had my first child. There are many first-time parents my age. What on earth are you talking about?!? Just because you've grown older doesn't mean that the whole town has.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm

P-town parent...I didn't tell you to wait to have a child...37 is pretty old. You'll be in your 50's (if your kid is smart) when he/she gets out of college. What I'm talking about is that it is NOT MY PROBLEM TO EDUCATE YOUR CHILD BEYOND THE TAX LEVEL...ALL OF THE EXTRAS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILTY...YOU WAITED, YOU GET A TAX WRITE-OFF, THEN USE YOUR MONEY WISELY. I PAY FOR "CORE EDUCATION" (as RatTurd says) the rest is up to you. The fact that you waited says that your career, or your mate's career, was more important in your youth than procreation...That's "WHAT ON EARTH I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!! And cry and scream all you want, but this is an aging city and that is a fact. You want youth, then it's not California...try Texas or Arizona, my kids have no problems there.............


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

The essentials of education must be the core programs and there should be plenty of money for those items with all the taxes we already pay and with the bond. As I mentioned earlier anything else should be an elective paid for by the participants. To expect that people who have already sent their kids through school and paid for the extras should pay for you child is expecting a bit to much I think. Having your first child at 37? Wow! your husband will be coaching little league when he is 50! Well I guess if you waited until you were 37 then you have had plenty of time to work and set aside money for that childs education.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Rat Turd talks about the "core programs" and that puts me in mind of an article I read recently...Core education should include "Personal Finance Courses". More states are now requiring this in high school and its time that Calif. did too (don't say we can't afford it because its more important than PhysEd., just eliminate that wasted hour and you'll even save money on the shower water). If teens want financial independence, then its time to teach them the right way to handle money...they may even give their parents a lesson. This is a subject that is "age appropriate". Higher math may get students into college so mommy and daddy can "foot the bill", but personal finance awareness will carry them through life.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

"Personal Finance Courses" may even help save our economy from another debacle.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm

"Well I guess if you waited until you were 37"

As I was saying above, to have a kid still in school at 44 means you might have had that kid at say, 31. That is really old? My great grandmother had her sixth kid at 40.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tina
a resident of Mission Park
on Feb 15, 2010 at 8:19 am

I am ready to sign and ready to help! Anything to help change the ridiculous rules that keep Californians from making progress in this state.


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Posted by You are Kidding!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

"Anything to help change the ridiculous rules that keep Californians from making progress in this state."

If you want to do something to help, signing is not the answer. Lobby for change to the pension system, to the unions, the 3 point system under Davis. That is what making the state be in a severe financial deficit. It is not about taxing more, it is about spending less and changing pension rules and unions.


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Posted by To Rat Turd and Others
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

You say that you will not support "extras" for our schools. I am a parent of two, and a baby boomer, and physical education, music, and sports WERE NOT EXTRAS; THEY WERE FREE AND INCLUDED IN OUR SCHOOLS!!!! No one was paying to play on the football team, and the school even provided band equipment for those who wanted to join the band. That is not the case with the children currently enrolled in school.

So, in other words, you were fine with other people supporting your children, but now that the schools here need help, you are using some LAME excuse to justify your selfishness.

If anyone is bankrupting California, it's SENIORS and their PENSIONS, not the school children of California.

Wake up, older folks: YOU ARE THE ONES BANKRUPTING CALIFORNIA.

So, wake up people of California--VOTE FOR PENSION REFORM.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Wait just a minute there. I played football and other sports in high school and even later. We had to pay for extra's even back then. Buses were not paid for by the district so our parents had to foot the bill and look for cheaper means of transportation. It was cheaper to take the bus over and then ride back with our parents so that the driver did not have to sit there for 4 hours waiting for the game to end while collecting overtime. The coaches wife washed and ironed our uniforms until the other mom's saw what a burden it was on her and pitched in. No it was not free back in the day and I am not that old.

What has bankrupted this state and dried up the money pit has been this state's reckless hatred of big business and anyone they saw as a polluter. Taxes and business law has been written in this state to drive most if not all manufacturing jobs out of this state. Other than NUMMI I cannot think of another major manufacturer in this state which provides good paying jobs to the working man and woman. All the others have been forced out by the liberal tree hugging democrats. So now here we are. Our revenue stream has dried up and the same people who voted for this idiots and for these referendums are the same ones who are screaming "where is the money for the schools!". We have gotten exactly what we have asked for and even added to it by rewarding government retirees with lavish retirements at a young age that cannot be afforded. I have said more than once here that if we really want reform then we should file for bankrupcy as a state or even a city because everything goes back on the table and we get to renegotiate. By the way, you cannot vote for pension reform if there is a union contract already in place.......it does not work that way.


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Posted by To Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

You may have had to pay "extra" for your football uniform and transportation, but I bet you didn't have to pay just to play football. I played in the middle school band and was provided a used instrument for free with no cost to join the band, and I played on the school softball team at no cost to join except for uniforms.

Today's kids are not only paying hundreds of dollars just to PLAY football and baseball and such, but they also have to foot the bill for the "extras".

So who are the selfish ones here? The people who got their "extras" paid for by the community when they were going to school and now refuse to support the current schools? Or the children going to school who are already having to pay for the "extras" IN ADDITION TO core curriculum such as PE and music.

Give me a break. You and I had it made when we were going to school. Now schools are looking to cut phys ed and music teachers and make regular teachers teach PE and music. This is WRONG. PE and Music and Sports should be part of the core curriculum, just as it was when we went to school. And they should be taught by specialists, just as it was when we went to school. And I am not that old either!

Pensions will bankrupt this state. Rising pension and retiree health care costs mean less money for other government programs such as education, public safety, environmental protection and health care.

It is ironic to hear older people, who by the way enjoy the LOWEST property taxes and have the HIGHEST pensions, talk about the government bleeding them dry when it is THEY WHO ARE BLEEDING THE GOVERNMENT DRY.

If you had any conscience whatsoever, you would make educating the children of this country a priority, for they are the future and will be supporting you in your years of retirement.

GET IT??????


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm

To Rat Turd,

Now now there big chief you have a little temper don't you? Without doing any name calling I believe also and I believe I said it that the pensions and salaries afforded government workers are bankrupting this state because we just do not and will not have the money to pay for them..simple fact. We did not have specialists to teach PE. They were mostly coaches and biology teacher who ran us through the paces for 50 minutes or so.

I pay a lot in property taxes and I venture to say I pay much more than 35 year olds in this town and have no pension when I retire.

My point is that we have done everything we can to kill the golden goose by chasing business out of this state. We cannot have it both ways and now with most of the major industry gone we are going to need to make sacrifices in what we offer. I believe that "core" should refer to the basics of education. Reading, writing, math etc. Things like sports, music, drama etc. are now going to need to be considered a luxury until such time as either we can reduce costs more by as you say controlling pensions and benefits (must file bankrupcy to do this) or until such time as we reform taxes, environmental regulation, and workers compensation in this state to get industry back. Remember it took us 20 years to force them out and will take longer to get them back..........back to you.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Much earlier in this thread Gunslinger made the point that special interests on the receiving end of tax increases jockey the issue put before the voter to be voted upon in potentially low turn-out elections. The recent parcel tax voted down in Pleasanton is a premier example of this tactic, yet it failed. Usually the tactic succeeds.

We, as taxpayers, need to fix this. Simply the law should state that tax increases put before the voters require a 2/3rds majority of votes in any election where at least 1/2 of the registered voters vote. Anything short of this dual requirement fails to pass.

Now, that rule would be much closer to true democracy. Even this rule would allow 1/3rd of the registered voters to pass a tax increase forced upon the other 2/3rds. But it would be an improvement.

I might go along with what is being proposed if the dual rule was in place. Reducing the tax increase to a 55% majority might be OK so long as at least 50% of the registered voters vote. Anything short should fail. This would allow 27.5% of the registered voters to force a tax increase upon the other 72.5%. Hmmmmm... I would have to think hard about that. But that's what is happening now in low turn-out elections!


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Posted by NO!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 6:42 am

The only people that are pushing for this are those who will benefit (ie, unions, teachers, school districts)

At the feb 9 board meeting, a speaker talked about the petition, and how previous efforts were "dead" so now this is being tried again under a different name. They claim it is a good thing, etc, but it is nonsense.

If this makes it to the ballot (I am sure they can find 1 million people in California who will benefit from this), I will personally campaign against it


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

Re: "If this makes it to the ballot (I am sure they can find 1 million people in California who will benefit from this), I will personally campaign against it."

And I will too!


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

To RT,

"Other than NUMMI I cannot think of another major manufacturer in this state which provides good paying jobs to the working man and woman."

Intel Corporation.


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Posted by P. Parsealot
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Most of my adult life I have been content to let my vote express my political intentions. No longer! I feel compelled, and now uphold a sense of civic duty not only to continue to vote my conscience, but I must also state my convictions regarding the issue of the proposed increased taxation, in this case, the 2nd round of proposed "parcel" taxes, which is essentially a form of "double" property taxation levied against the citizens of Pleasanton. We already pay taxes to the state to support education, and it goes against everything I stand for as an American to be taxed unnecessarily in addition to taxes I already pay.

I have followed the news regarding this issue and have come to some conclusions:

1. The school board seems to increase the amount of the budget deficit regularly. I first noticed a reported 3+ million dollar deficit that quickly increased to over 6 million dollars, and just this past week I've read of a deficit that is in the 9 million dollar range! I think the tail is wagging the dog here. Let's get our figures straight, or get the local newspapers to report factual deficit estimates.

2. This issue of pay for teachers/administrators. Let me first say as a private instructor myself, I believe the teachers of our children should receive a higher wage than most public servants. Their job is a noble profession, that is often quite thankless and sadly more often criticized too harshly by parents than praised. I am not anti-teacher, but I am currently against pay increases during these tough economic times. In fact, since Pleasanton teachers and administrators are paid well above the average for the state how about taking a pay decrease? My wife, who is a college professor has had to take a pay decrease (or face layoffs), and I have lost 40% of my monthly private teaching revenues. If we are all to live in a "village" then we all must sacrifice when the village is in need. Public servants cannot gain at the expense of the public proprietors.

3. The school board hired consultants to run a propaganda campaign to "convince" us that we should accept a "parcel" tax. And now I also see Jeff Browser of the local PTA has proposed lowering the majority percentage. In earlier reports it seems the propagandist suggested that this parcel tax be held in perpetuity in contrast to the original measure of 4 years to provide a more stable and consistent revenue source. To those opposed to this tax as I am be very aware of this wording! To the school board; we don't need convincing we simply reject your proposal. Please don't try to run a propaganda campaign to convince all of us who just can't seem to understand such a complex and complicated issue like a school board budget, and are too busy to really care - WE DO UNDERSTAND, AND WE DO CARE, AND WE WILL NOT BE COMPLACENT ANY LONGER! Also, the cost incurred to taxpayers for your propaganda campaign, as indicated would cost in the $100,000 range is money that could be well spent of those you are suppose to educate.

4. The growing school budget deficit. This is really quite simple. Balance the budget! Work within the funding that you are given by the state. I have to run my business on a monthly income budget, and if I run a deficit I wind up paying excess fees at the bank. If the funds the school district receives are not enough, then stronger lobbying efforts in Sacramento and our elected representatives should be the FIRST line of defense in securing the necessary funding to maintain a high quality of education in Pleasanton. Also, to state Senator Ellen Corbett, I'll keep your mind in name at the next election – you will not be getting my vote! A business (or agency) that cannot balance its budget usually winds up in bankruptcy. I don't think the P.U.S.D. is "too big to fail." And if we have to "reboot" in order to set things right for our school district then that may not necessarily be an earth-shattering event.

5. Special or additional education programs. Special programs above and beyond the essential "fundamentals" of a state-managed education program should continue to be offered, but the parents of the children participating should be required to pay a tuition fee that helps support these programs. If parents are resistant to this, then there is always the option of private education that will more appropriately address your educational demands for your children.

6. I agree with fund-raising and other community efforts to raise funds for the P.U.S.D. I believe there are many compassionate people in Pleasanton who would be more than willing to provide altruistic support for our schools. However, that generosity may be lessened if additional taxes are levied by the school district. I've learned one thing about great leadership: In tough times the really great leaders can inspire people to greater things than they believed they could do. I do not believe the superintendent nor the board of trustees are doing everything within their abilities to achieve this end. Think outside of the box! Rather than focusing all efforts and energies, not to mention vital funds that could be better utilized elsewhere, on an already failed tax scheme that is going to be rejected again by the majority of citizens in Pleasanton, use your consultant/propagandist team to appeal to the generous nature of our residents. Speaking only for myself, I would be more willing to contribute possibly even more than the parcel tax amount to help the school meet its budget demands if it were requested voluntarily. I'm not hearing any campaigns locally to voluntarily support our schools. But if P.U.S.D. attempts to place the yoke of additional taxation around my neck, I will guarantee that I will not contribute one single cent more than what I am mandated. This proposed taxation will place a very unnecessary adversarial relationship between the school district, the administrators, and its teachers with the citizens of Pleasanton

I want to go on record that I will actively campaign against Mr. Brower's proposal, and any further ballot initiatives for a "parcel" tax in Pleasanton, be it for four years or in perpetuity. I am NOT anti-P.U.S.D.! My wife and I chose to live in Pleasanton precisely because of the excellent quality of education, and our girls have grown, graduated from college, and entered their respective careers.

Lastly, to the board, administrators, and teachers: You are servants of the people, we are NOT your servants, please keep this in mind. I categorically reject any claim to levy additional taxes on my property more than what I already pay. If P.U.S.D. needs more money to make the budget "crunch" then get additional funding from the state or make the hard and necessary cuts. If a scalpel doesn't work, then take a hatchet to the budget! Don't overlook the abundant charity of the citizens of Pleasanton, we are a generous people! But levy a tax on us and you'll have your pay.

I am just one person with one voice and one vote.

P. Parsealot


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm

According to the website (Web Link) this initiative was unable to qualify. Given the next milestone was signature gathering, why wasn't the CA PTA organization able to get enough support? Does this mean CA voters want taxpayer protections maintained?


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