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PUSD board backs parcel tax

Original post made on Feb 2, 2011

After months, two surveys and hours of discussion, the Pleasanton school board has voted unanimously to approve a resolution to put the parcel tax up for a May vote.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 2, 2011, 6:20 AM

Comments (138)

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Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Feb 2, 2011 at 7:13 am

Of course they did!


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 2, 2011 at 7:39 am

Five community members spoke up in favor of putting the tax on the ballot (including myself).

For more information about how to support the schools, please visit SupportPleasantonSchools dot com

Web Link


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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:12 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Everyone in their right mind agrees that the amount of money spent by the district is the problem. Raising resident's taxes again only kicks the can down the road and provides no incentive to make the responsible cuts necessary. This is the same mentality being used at the state and federal level as well. Where does the next stop on the gravy train lead to?


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

I'm glad to see this move forward. I will volunteer my time and money in support of this tax and our schools.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

"Bowser pointed out that the parcel tax could not be used to increase salaries. That does not include step-and-column raises that are included in current contacts"

This says it all. The tax will be used for step and column. G failed because it only had 62% of the vote. I voted yes on G and so did my spouse and neighbors. We all plan to vote no on this mail-in tax, which would only finance raises (yes, step and column is a raise)

As for the comment of people not speaking against the tax at the board meeting: why would anyone do so knowing the board is all for it? Comments fall on deaf ears.


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Posted by Fool Me Twice
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

I guess nobody on the school board reads the news: unemployment high, foreclosures up, personal income down, food prices up, gas prices up, where do I go to get more money? Perhaps I can get a Measure on the ballot to get me some free tax money or get a second job if I can find one or, Heaven forgive, maybe I can cut my expenses.


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Posted by Linda
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:17 am

"It really is a lot of money," said board member Jamie Hintzke. "To me, it's not just spending $250,000 for $2 million, it's spending $500,000 because we lost last time."

What a foolish waste of needed money. This decision sums up the mentality of the district to waste our money while asking for more.

No parcel tax while paying raises.


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

"Bowser pointed out that the parcel tax could not be used to increase salaries. That does not include step-and-column raises that are included in current contacts"

Since when is an increase in salary -- for any reason at all -- not a raise? Idiots. This money will go for mothing more than teacher raises and paying for this stupid vote.
Our household plans to alter business travel plans to be sure and be available to vote no by this sneaky mail ballot.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

Well the decision has been made, I wonder if they took into consideration anything said here?

I guess if they can ringfence something useful for the parcel tax to pay for then it might be OK.

I just think that the $1.5 million S&C raises still mean that $1.5 million of teachers / programs have to be cut out of the general fund to pay for them, so what is going to be cut? If they can figure out things to cut that don't affect the teachers and kids then I'm OK with it. If they are talking about laying off teachers I'm not.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

They don't want parent volunteers but they want more cash. Dream on!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

"At that time, we didn't have a survey," she said. With the new data, Laursen said public leaders have been approaching her asking, "How can I help?"

Answer: donate $250,000k so that the kids programs and teachers jobs don't have to be cut to pay for this election. Many very useful programs are funded with this amount of money.


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Posted by Davis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 10:43 am

"The board allocated $250,000 for the mail-in election ..."

This is the latest trend in "election engineering". City councils and school boards are using this tactic to minimize turnout. The concept involves determining the most advantages delivery method, then minimizing the discussion outside of the accepting audience. This way the proponents of the initiative can minimize the effect of the casual voter and rally their supporters to ram home a result. Though I believe this is in direct opposition to the ideals of democracy, it works incredibly well at the municipal level. Shady is the most polite term I can apply to this tactic.


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Posted by Lani
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

"The most recent survey showed 72% approval for a $98 parcel tax, but board members know they still have work to do if they want the measure to pass."


They certainly do. Just say (and vote) NO!


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm

"God made the idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board"-Mark Twain


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Posted by a resident
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

"She also suggested that the board include a commitment to put the spending plan on the district's website, but that idea was shot down by Charles Heath of TBWB Strategies, the company hired to help with the parcel tax campaign.

"You might want to give yourself some flexibility," he said. "Everything you write into this you are legally bound to do."

Heath suggested that opting to put the spending plan on the district's website could be done by a board vote rather than including it on the ballot."

Need what kind of flexibility ?????????


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

"They don't want parent volunteers but they want more cash"

Who says they don't want volunteers? My wife volunteers in the classroom. They are asking for volunteers.


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Posted by Steven
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

We will vote NO, NO, NO!!!

To the school board: You might want to save yourself the $250,000

ENOUGH TAXES! NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

"taxation without representation"?

You're kidding, right? The school board is elected, and the taxes require a 2/3 majority of votes. What is with the capitalization?


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

It's good it's 2/3rds because there are a lot of people who can vote for this tax who do not have to pay for it.


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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

To all of you that say the district should make cuts before they ask for a tax....they have!!!! Millions of dollars - close to 20 million in the past 3 years! They need to try to make up some of the state has taken away. They also do have parents volunteer for everything from the classroom to high school sports. If you really want to know what is going on then show up to meetings and ask questions. I can almost guarantee non of you have been at recent board meetings. Get involved or stop whining!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

People aren't asking for cuts, they're saying giving raises is probably a dumb idea when the district has no money to pay for them without laying off teachers and cutting programs.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

With regards to the above statement, I do believe people are asking for cuts. Many of the above posts want to vote down ANY tax, no matter the impact to schools, the community, and our children. They are just as selfish as the teachers they slander.

Before you accuse *any* teacher of being selfish, I suggest you look in the mirror.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I have never accused any teacher in this community of being selfish and never would.

I have repeatedly said that the teachers have always voted for the good of the kids and not for themselves. Their union needs to work harder for the good of the teachers and community.


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Posted by Fed up
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm

They need to cut elementary school PE specialists.

Once they do, I'll consider voting yes on a parcel tax. Until then, no way.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Sorry I agree with Fool me Twice, I mean we all have had hardships in this economy and are trying to hold on to our houses. I pay enough for the schools in my taxes and I don't even have kids. How much more can the taxpayers keep giving! We are being nickled and dimed to death.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

"They need to cut elementary school PE specialists."

I would rather freeze step and column than cut any program. Once step and column is frozen, and if the district is still short of money, then we can look at what to cut, or perhaps how to raise money to avoid cuts.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm

As the parcel tax election campaign proceeds, voters will want to understand all sides of the issue.
To be informed and educated about the parcel tax, visit pleasantonparceltax dot blogspot dot com.
Web Link


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Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

So how do the parents that don't live in Pleasanton but send there children to Pleasanton schools pay this parcel tax? All you have to do is work in Pleasanton and you can enroll your child, PUSD wants the ADA money for these kids.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

"I would rather freeze step and column than cut any program. "

As I've said before, defeating the parcel tax will not bring about a freeze in step and column. We will be paying for step and column either way. What will happen if we don't pass a parcel tax is that programs will continue to be cut and education will suffer.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

"All you have to do is work in Pleasanton and you can enroll your child"

What? Where did you get that information? It is wrong.


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Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

concerned parent, I am right about this information, they want the ADA dollars and they get it even if the kid is from another town. You are right it is wrong, I paid a high house price to live in this city to send my kids to these schools. I could have moved to Livermore and paid less and still sent my kids to PUSD. You are right it is wrong!!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

""All you have to do is work in Pleasanton and you can enroll your child""

It is true. I know of a few kids who attend PUSD schools because their parents work in Pleasanton.

The PUSD teachers also get to enroll their kids in PUSD schools even if they live in Livermore.


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Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I will not vote for this tax until they fix this issue about attending schools in the city that you don't live in. I will also tell everyone I meet about this loop hole.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm

"As I've said before, defeating the parcel tax will not bring about a freeze in step and column. We will be paying for step and column either way. What will happen if we don't pass a parcel tax is that programs will continue to be cut and education will suffer. "

Education has already suffered because of step and column, and it will continue to suffer because the cost of step and column goes up each year.

Other districts like San Ramon passed parcel taxes and were OK for one year, and after that, the money from the tax was used for step and column and programs were threatened again.

It is a problem that will continue until reform takes place. Raises cannot continue to take priority over students' programs.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

To Marie,

The opportunity to attend a school outside your home district is not exclusive to Pleasanton. Where do you get off on spreading malicious *lies*?

If there is ROOM in a school district--any school district--you can enroll your child there! All you can make the request during an open enrollment period. Same goes for Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, etc.

You are trying to find fault with the school system when really you are just antitax. You are *fine* with teachers, children, and schools making sacrifices, as long as you don't have to.

And by the way, if the Pleasanton school district goes downhill, I'm sure you'll be satisfied when the number of people who want their children to attend schools here goes downhill as well.


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Posted by read the survey
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

To "just the facts", you forget to mention that since the last parcel tax election the district has given out $4,500,000 in raises. In the next 4 years they are going to be giving out another $14,500,000 in raises. Can't the board see that this parcel tax barely slows down the runaway locomotive?

On the ballot measure, I think the biggest mistake the board did is put the statements that the money will not be used for raises, while they know they will be giving out step and column raises but as trustee Bowser said; Those are negotiated raises and they don't count.

When the community who said yes on the survey if raises were not handed out find out that raises are being handed out, they will vote no.

I also could not believe the consultant at the meeting last night saying that the school board should not publish on the website what the parcel tax money will be used for. They said that it holds them accountable and they have to do what they publish. HELLO? Yes I want accountability.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I am well aware of the fact that it is not just Pleasanton that allows children from other area's attend there schools. Why should I pay for someone else's child's education. If these children did not go to our schools maybe instead of having 42 kids in Spanish they would have 35 and everyone says smaller class size matters in education.
Please do not tell me that they are making sacrafices and I am not. You have no idea what my employment situation is. Because I am not jumping up and down for the parcel tax I am antitax? No I just do not believe that these children should ride for free on this train. I fyou want your kids to attend PUSD schools then pay the same amount that I have for my house so that my children could attend these great schools.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

"I also could not believe the consultant at the meeting last night saying that the school board should not publish on the website what the parcel tax money will be used for. They said that it holds them accountable and they have to do what they publish. HELLO? Yes I want accountability. "

Could it have something to do with legal issues? In Santa Clara County, a lawsuit against a tax (mail in vote) was successful and the Open Space Authority (for which the tax was for) had to return all the money collected to every resident. The court ruled that the tax violated prop 218. It took years and a lawsuit, but the taxpayers who sued were successful in the end. Sure, this lawsuit was about the way the vote was handled, but as I read prop 218, it seem that it also accomodates other entities, such as school districts:

See section 3 "ARTICLE XIII C"

"(c) ''Special district" means an agency of the state, formed pursuant to general law or a special act, for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions with limited geographic boundaries including, but not limited to, school districts and redevelopment agencies."

Web Link

Web Link

" Can anything in the future cause us to lose our Parcel Tax revenue?

Possibly. Proposition 218, adopted in 1996, subjects nearly all taxes to repeal by initiative. Unless the Parcel Tax is pledged to repay bonds or other contractual obligations, a voter petition drive could subject an existing tax to another vote. And repeal would only take a simple majority vote. "

Web Link


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Cut all the PE teachers, period! Most of our children are enrolled in many afterschool and summer sport programs already. Why do we still need to fork out more money to support a completely USELESS PE program in school?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm

"Cut all the PE teachers, period! Most of our children are enrolled in many afterschool and summer sport programs already. "

Not all kids are enrolled in after school and summer sport programs. We can keep the PE teachers if we freeze step and column.

We can keep a lot of programs if we freeze step and column. We spend millions of dollars each year on raises, and the amount is going up. Let's cut all the unnecessary expenses and raises, and then see how much deficit we still have, and then we can figure out what to cut or how to raise the money to prevent cuts. But raises need to stop!

Wanting to finance raises with a parcel tax may be (note I am just guessing) why PUSD hired consultants for the parcel tax:

"Ballot measures typically focus on "programs," but if worded appropriately, the funds can be spent on teacher salaries, materials, equipment—any activities or items general fund moneys may be spent on. "

Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm

"" Can anything in the future cause us to lose our Parcel Tax revenue?

Possibly. Proposition 218, adopted in 1996, subjects nearly all taxes to repeal by initiative. Unless the Parcel Tax is pledged to repay bonds or other contractual obligations, a voter petition drive could subject an existing tax to another vote. And repeal would only take a simple majority vote. ""

Web Link

Web Link


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

The rush here is to get this vote going before the other "special election" at the state level raises the ire of the public. Obvious to anyone paying attention, business as usual is not sustainable when it comes to employee cost of our public services. All aspects of public service compensation are going to come under scrutiny. All of the public employee unions know this and have been falling over themselves to get contracts in place assuring that the ongoing raises and pensions are secured. There was a big push to complete the local contract with the Teacher's Union without public input late last year. So now the district stands in front of the taxpayer and says that none of the new tax income will be used for raises except those given away in the new contract that account for approximately three quarters of the proposed new income this year, and all of it in years beyond.

Don't be fooled people. This tax campaign has been carefully orchestrated and the public is being skillfully manipulated. Do what you can to educate the public and stop this regressive tax for raises.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 9:39 am

To resident,

You'll be paying for the raises whether or not the parcel tax passes. You also have a lot parents of school children encouraging the district to continue paying the step and column raises. Many of them are in favor of it.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

"You'll be paying for the raises whether or not the parcel tax passes"

You keep saying this, do you have some special knowledge of the negotiation process?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 9:55 am

CP,

Yes, I am well aware that there are approximately 6,000 apartments in Pleasanton, most of which house families living here to take advantage of our school system and tax base. They are, of course, unconcerned with the burden of a new tax on homeowners.


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Posted by nany
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

Hello people! More taxes! R u out of your minds! I barely can pay for my children's college! Oh! dear Lord, save us from the people who want to go after our pennies to spend and spend for their own porpuses.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

"Yes, I am well aware that there are approximately 6,000 apartments in Pleasanton, most of which house families living here to take advantage of our school system and tax base. "

Are you sure apartment buildings aren't taxed? If they are, that tax will be passed on to the residents. If that many people are renting here because they want good schools for their children I say more power to them. Those are exactly the kind of people we want living in our apartments.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm

"You keep saying this, do you have some special knowledge of the negotiation process?"

No, I don't, but I have talked to the school board. I suggested that maybe a change in the schedule of the step increases so that the amounts are smaller might go down well with voters. I don't think that is going anywhere.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

concerned parent wrote: "If they are, that tax will be passed on to the residents"

Old discussion, but that's why the parcel tax should not be structured as a flat amount. It's regressive.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm

"Old discussion, but that's why the parcel tax should not be structured as a flat amount. It's regressive."

I wish it weren't. From what I understand, flat rate parcel taxes are spelled out in proposition 13. If so, it is yet another problem with proposition 13 that needs to be fixed. Still, for me, better a flat parcel tax than no parcel tax. Some people will see it the other way.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

concerned parent wrote: "flat rate parcel taxes are spelled out in proposition 13"

Not really. Prop. 13 calls for a "uniform" tax that is not based on value. It means you can say, charge $5 per how many windows a house has (inside joke). Just as long as you aren't charging one person $6 per window and another $4 per window, it can meet the uniformity requirement.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"We've always said we want to support the schools, but we insist that the tax be fair and uniform across all taxpayers, and not subject the local business community to predatory taxation, as past tax measures have done. By structuring the tax ourselves, and taking it to the public ourselves, we think we can come up with something that a two-thirds majority of voters will approve."


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

"No, I don't, but I have talked to the school board. I suggested that maybe a change in the schedule of the step increases so that the amounts are smaller might go down well with voters. I don't think that is going anywhere"

Wow! So they're really not negotiating on this at all? I thought there were things going on behind the scenes. People know the tax failed last time and know why so I honestly thought that they were going to do something to make it different this time. Oh well . . .
Seriously folks in favor, raise some money for this yourself because I can't see anything different from last time. If it fails the 250k should be on you, not the teachers and kids.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

BTW, here's for those who don't get the inside joke: Web Link


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

"Seriously folks in favor, raise some money for this yourself because I can't see anything different from last time. If it fails the 250k should be on you, not the teachers and kids."

Are you serious, Parent? Aren't YOUR kids in school, too? And even if they aren't, we as a society and community should make educating our children a social cause.

I pay plenty in taxes for services I don't use but benefit from in an indirect way. I won't drive all the roads here and don't rely on the bus or other city services, but I am glad people have these services available to them. I am glad that people want to live here to send their children to our excellent schools. I am glad we have a low crime rate and clean streets.

And by the way, all of you who are homeowners (Stacey, you too) benefit GREATLY from the good schools we have here in Pleasanton. Your home values have been propped up comparatively during this recession due to our good schools.

Many postings here say they moved to Pleasanton because of the good schools. Keeping our home values high helps EVERYONE in this community, not just teachers

For those of you who have benefited from high home values, why don't you donate a percentage of your home value to the school district as a way to say thank you for helping to make this community a GREAT place to live (and giving you extra home equity)? Instead of calling upon teachers to make the burden of sacrifices, why don't you THANK them for helping our children and this community!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Just stating the obvious... a home's value is somewhat imaginary money. It is not liquid assets, which are needed to pay taxes. Some people, of course, have treated their homes like liquid assets... That's a discussion for another time.

There is an argument about benefiting indirectly by the presence of good schools. Please don't ignore that businesses also benefit by the good schools of a community. The numbers on post-Prop. 13 property taxes show that it is residential which takes on a larger share of the tax burden. A uniform tax based on square footage or some other non-value feature of a parcel can restore the tax burden balance.


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Posted by observing
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Anonymous, you say this will benefit the value of your home. Why then are we allowing seniors to claim an exemption on this tax? If they own a home, they are getting a benefit because of this tax (according to you) so why do they get off the hook? Maybe you should call this the "Gift to Seniors" tax instead of a "School Tax".

I think the value of the argument that this helps our home values is only good for one year. Next year the parcel tax will not even cover the costs of the built-in raises to staff, including administrators.

It seems talking about step and column is not something the board is even willing to discuss. Sounds like it is an entitlement. Why has the board not even discussed the possibility of a deferment of step and column until the time that income from the state increases?


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm

"Wow! So they're really not negotiating on this at all? I thought there were things going on behind the scenes. "

I made the suggestion. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes. It might not be practical to do that at all. I haven't heard anything. Have you talked to the board?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I just talked to a friend whose child attends Foothill High School. She says they are restoring the 7 period, and that it was her understanding that the parcel tax would finance that. I told her that to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing on the wording of the ballot (2/1 board meeting agenda) that talks about the money being used to restore the 7 period. And in fact, that after paying for step and column (at least 1.6 million) and the cost of the election (250K), we would have only about 250K left for programs, (since the tax would only generate about 2.1 million per year) - not enough money left after paying for raises and the cost of the election to finance/restore any program, certainly not the 7 period which costs about 400K per year.

Does anyone know what is going on? I know that (at least that is how I understood it) last year, suspension of the 7 period was part of the so called concessions, which also included the furlough days.

If anyone knows what is going on, please share.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

And if you think we are not "donating" portions of our income and net worth to the schools now, you live in fantasy land. Education absorbs 42% of all state revenues (property, sales, vehicle, income and other taxes – by far the lion's share). Additionally the homeowners of Pleasanton have two substantial bonds on their property taxes funding various school property improvements. Enough is enough. A new property tax will barely cover the cost of raises THIS YEAR. It won't solve anything, even in the short term. Don't kick the can down the road again.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

"Are you serious, Parent? Aren't YOUR kids in school, too? And even if they aren't, we as a society and community should make educating our children a social cause."

Yes, they absolutely are. I have no problem supporting kids education and have contributed way more than asked for any campaign for schools going and will continue to do so. I am very concerned about a number of things on the chopping block.

As I've said before though, I honestly think this effort will fail without salary reform, so I think the 250k being spent is likely to be wasted, so I'd rather not waste the funds designated for teachers and kids. I'd rather we wasted the funds of the people who think that this time it will be different when nothing is different other than pretending the funds will go in a different pot and pretending S&C isn't a raise.

My money is going direct to the schools.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

"I just talked to a friend whose child attends Foothill High School. She says they are restoring the 7 period, and that it was her understanding that the parcel tax would finance that"

I doubt this very much. As someone else mentioned, there isn't enough money to do this and it only affects a % of kids who attend high school, so wouldn't be much of a vote winner. Things that are restored should help everyone since everyone will be paying. It would be great to restore it though, along with a number of things elementary lost the previous year.


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Actually, taking away the 7th period was a negotiated concession to save money with the teachers union. So it is back on the scheduling form because negotiations with teachers union has not happened yet.


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Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:08 am

The parcel tax is 27 cents a day.

Anybody who has trouble coming up with fabulous sum, post your real name and address here and I promise to tape a quarter and two pennies to a postcard and mail it to you.

Oh, heck, I'm feeling generous. Who wants a whole dollar?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Are you sure you could afford that on your salary? There's more than 20,000 parcels in the city.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Tell ya what, if I happen to find a quarter and two pennies dropped by other people in the street every day, I'll be sure to mail them to you.


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Posted by read the survey
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

To Yet Another Teacher. I will take you up on that. Please give me your name and phone number so I can contact you.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

"The parcel tax is 27 cents a day.
Anybody who has trouble coming up with fabulous sum, post your real name and address here and I promise to tape a quarter and two pennies to a postcard and mail it to you."

YAT:

It is not just 27 cents, it is 98 dollars per year. I assume that you meant you would give anyone who wants, the 27 cents per day for a whole year, in order for your generous donation to be the 98 dollars needed per year.

I have an idea: instead of spending money on postage or checks to give each person the 27 cents per day for a whole year, maybe you can write only one check for 2.1 million to PUSD, that way no one has to pay for a parcel tax, since you are so very generous and have volunteered to pay our parcel tax for us.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

The amount PUSD estimates is $2,042,280.80 using the numbers Luz gave at the last board meeting subtracting out the county's fee. And the address YAT should use is:
4665 Bernal Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566-7498


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm

What are you trying to accomplish? Are you actually a teacher?


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Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Not only is YAT a teacher but a tenured one as well. Isn't it nice to know that we can never get rid of people like that?


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Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Feb 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Ah, poor beleaguered P-town Tea Partiers, will your torment never end? The tyranny of 27 cents a day...this aggression will not stand, man.

Stacy, it's been awhile since you threatened to sue me for defamation of character. For, you know, telling the truth about your financial interest in making Pleasanton schools into chartered schools.

So when can I expect to be served my summons? Been waiting on it for some time now.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

... because everyone is supposed to believe that some anonymous poster, who claims to have revealing information about another poster but can't produce it, is telling the truth ...


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I don't know if taxes are tyranny, but we are all paying an additional 1% sales tax, additional car registration fees, higher state income taxes, and an extra $200/dependent in income taxes. Pleasanton residents have been paying more than $15,000,000 to the state since 2009, of which 40% is going to schools. Why should we keep paying more?
Vote to extend these taxes? NO
Vote to add on another $98? NO


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Posted by paying already
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Did you look at your property tax bill? There is already a line item for "School Unified" which is .0891% of the value of your house. This is money that the Pleasanton School District already receives from a previous ballot election. So most of us are already paying from $800 to $1000 per parcel to the Pleasanton school district.


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Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

who is organizing the NO vote on this tax? Please advise. I'd like to support the efforts to defeat this tax yet one more time. time I have.......laid off..............$$$$ I don't.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

"Please advise. I'd like to support the efforts to defeat this tax yet one more time. time "

I'd recommend you spend your time looking for another job rather than volunteering for an effort to defeat a parcel tax that would save you $98 per year.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

"So most of us are already paying from $800 to $1000 per parcel to the Pleasanton school district."

If you're paying that much, then your house is worth more than $900,000 to $1.2 million. You can probably afford this parcel tax. Sorry, I don't have that much sympathy. Continued support for our excellent schools is easily worth it, in my opinion.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

It's not about the amount of money, it's about what it pays for. There are lots of worthy places to donate money these days. And education for our children is certainly one.

But I want to know the money will be spent well, on essential things - like keeping teachers jobs - and still feel that raises are inappropriate if the district is saying they don't have enough money to continue valuable programs.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Obviously when our schools go downhill, Paying Already doesn't mind that his property values go down as well, as long as he doesn't have to pay as much percentage-wise to the school district.


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Posted by paying already
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

To anonymous, while I don't agree with you, I don't think you understand the school tax on the property taxes already. That is for the interest payments on loans the district took out. The interest payment is divided among all the properties. So if all property values did go down for some reason, the percentage of this tax would increase to make sure the total dollar amount stays the same. The bond holders do not care about property values going up or down, they are just guaranteed a specific dollar amount from all the property owners to pay the interest charges.

The message I was trying to get across was that this parcel tax is an additional tax; not the only one. I have also not seen any recent reports from the oversight committee on the tax already on our property tax bill. When I contacted the district I found that that oversight committee has not met in years. So much for oversight committees. Our district does not have a good track record on them.


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Posted by Davis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

History quite clearly shows that parcel taxes are never temporary and escalate dramatically once in place. There are countless examples of this around the state. Don't be fooled by the pennies a day approach. It's the proverbial foot in the door.


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Posted by long time parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

The strategy of the consultants that the district uses for these taxes is to get in with a low tax, and then keep coming back with higher amounts.

I am surprised that the school district has not expressed disappointment in that the survey they did said the most they could get from the community is $98. To me that shows that the community still does not have confidence in the district administration and board. We live in a community that is well educated and values education. If there was faith that the money is being well spent, this community would support a high parcel tax. The $98 the survey came up with shows a vote of no confidence in the district.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm

'Me' - you can contact Web Link


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

We are one of the *few* school districts in the Bay Area to NOT have a parcel tax. Dublin, San Ramon, and Livermore all have parcel taxes. And they also have bonds on their property tax bill.

So, Paying Already and Long-time Parent and others, what does that say about our community? Are you telling me that no other community with parcel taxes has any waste in their school district? You are either incredibly cheap or mean-spirited (or both).


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

To 'Anonymous' - You said "Obviously when our schools go downhill, Paying Already doesn't mind that his property values go down as well,..."
That was the threat several PUSD trustees said before the 2009 Measure G parcel tax election, and repeated again directly after the Measure failed. They said property values would drop, our schools would collapse. Well, here we are two years later, and PUSD is trumpeting in a four page color glossy mailed out to the entire city, how the API test scores have risen from 895 to 906 in the last two years.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

So you think that when a community doesn't support its schools, everything is gonna be OK?

As I said, we are one of the few holdouts for local funding of schools. Sacramento is giving more power to local governments. Where do you think our schools' source of funds is going to come from in the future? Oh right, I forgot--teacher salaries!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

"We are one of the *few* school districts in the Bay Area to NOT have a parcel tax. Dublin, San Ramon, and Livermore all have parcel taxes."

Yes, and San Ramon avoided cutting programs for one year, and after that, the tax money went to raises, the parcel tax did not help, it just delayed the inevitable (cut programs) and yet it gave the school district money for raises.

Livermore, with its parcel tax and all, is still a bad school district, so what's your point with that? A parcel tax does not help a school district be better, and Livermore is the perfect example of that.


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Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

"how the API test scores have risen from 895 to 906 in the last two years."- In keeping with the business model many wish schools would follow, this looks like a successful district. One who's "earnings" are up. Yet you would never know if you only read the comments here.

What a testament to the job PUSD is doing, and how they are a district to be supported. I'm not sure of the logic that because they did well with less that there is no affect. Just listen to the complaints here and you will clearly hear the reality of cutting $20 million. Letting the scores drop, services lessen, or quality of instruction diminish is not acceptable, that is certainly clear in each of your complaints. And yet you find this district not worthy of trust or support? What exactly is it that you want from our schools? The teachers to fund them?


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 7:39 am

"Start Afresh",

"Me" has his priorities all mixed up. Instead of spending his time finding a job, that even at minimum wage will pay him tens of thousands of dollars a year, he is spending his time trying to save tens of dollars a year defeating a parcel tax.

"Start Afresh",

Will you be spending your time getting a parcel tax supported for Pleasanton so that we can further improve the education we provide for your children? Can you please tell us if your experience with the schools here is like mine? What has been the experience of your children in the schools here? Have you seen the effect of diminished services since the budget cuts of 2 years ago?


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Posted by long time parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

Anonymous, did you know that Pleasanton receives significantly more money from the state than San Ramon?

If you go to www.ed-data.k12.ca.us, you can compare the districts in California. Comparing Pleasanton and San Ramon you will see that Pleasanton receives a revenue limit of $6,209 per student while San Ramon Receives $5,667 per student. So Pleasanton receives $542 more per student. With the ADA enrollment they say for Pleasanton of 14,388 students, that means that Pleasanton receives $7,798,296 in state funding than San Ramon for the same number of students. The parcel tax in San Ramon comes out to $6,616,688. So even with San Ramon's parcel tax, Pleasanton receives $1,181,608 more than San Ramon.

Interesting that for the state the average Revenue Limit per student is $5,963 and Pleasanton is way over that at $6,209.


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Posted by administrators pensions
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

I know the city forums have been talking about pensions but I have not seen this for the school district.

If you go to californiapensionreform.com, you can see administrators in our district that have recently retired with pensions higher than $100,000. There are six listed there now:

DONALDSON, MERLIN $171,398.40
JAMES, BILL $105,796.44
KETTWIG, JOSEPH $105,477.72
KREITZ, ROBERT $148,704.72
KROETCH, ROBERT $135,456.36
LEONARD, PATRICIA $102,681.72

I am sure Casey will be added but the database has not been updated since his retirement.

Can you believe our retired Asst Superintendent in charge of HR now receives an annual pension of $171,398 per year! He certainly understood how to milk the retirement system and take advantage of the taxpayers who fund and guarantee it. That pension is even higher than the City Police and Fire Chiefs and City Attorney who have outrageous pensions. I would like to know how Merlin (Clem) Donaldson was able to spike his pension.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm

STRS pensions are based on a formula that includes a calculation of the three highest years of pay and years served Web Link PERS has similar formulas.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

To Long time parent,

You don't understand school funding. The formula to determine how much a school receives from the state has more to do with demographics and whether the district is a basic aid or revenue limit district.

For example, Oakland schools get almost $10K per student! Obviously not because they are a wealthier district, but because they have more disadvantaged and special needs kids than a school district like ours.

Just because a school district gets more money per student does not mean it is wealthier.


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Posted by long time parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Sorry Anonymous but you are wrong.

Yes there is a difference between basic aid and revenue limit districts but there are few basic aid districts.

As for demographics, that had to do with calculations from 1972. There was then a court case that required districts to be within a specific band (called Serrano Band). Currently most districts are within the band although district that were higher than the band did not have to have their revenue limits reduced (only districts below the band were required to get into the band). Pleasanton happened to be way above the band in 1972 because of demographics back then. Just look at San Ramon and Pleasanton. Our demographics are pretty close now but our payments from the state are significantly different.


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Posted by to kathy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Kathy, what I read from STRS, it defines the final compensation as:

"Final Compensation
The highest average annual compensation earnable by a member during a specified period of CalSTRS-covered paid employment.

The period of one year if the member has at least 25 years of credited service or if it is included in a written collective bargaining agreement.

The period is 3 consecutive years for members with fewer than 25 years of service credit."


So I would have to guess that Clem worked for 25 years and thus has compensation calculated on the final year, with other spiking (sick time?).

I am having a hard time seeing how Clem could receive a pension of
$171K with a STRS plan that pays 2% for each year worked. According to the salary schedule for management, the highest step for Assistant Superintendent is $179,989. So to get a pension of $171K, Clem would had to have worked for 47.5 years, or he had some type of salary spiking. Can you enlighten me on how he could have a pension that is that high?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

"For example, Oakland schools get almost $10K per student!"

This proves that more money does not mean better schools. 10k is a lot of money, a lot more than PUSD would have even with the parcel tax, and yet look at Oakland. Would you like to send your kids there? I would not.

Parcel taxes do not guarantee a good district or a quality education. The only thing more money guarantees, the way the system works right now, is raises!

A lot of people here, from concerned parent, to anonymous, to yat, are certainly making the case for a NO on the parcel tax. Way to go!


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Long time parent,

Dublin gets more money than Pleasanton which gets more money than San Ramon which gets more money than Livermore. So what? Again, you can't say Dublin is a wealthier school district just because it gets more money. The formula to calculate the rate is complex. Perhaps I don't understand it totally, but neither do you.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

"certainly making the case for a NO on the parcel tax."

What did I say that would make the case for a vote against a parcel tax. I only expressed my opinion that I would be in favor of keeping step and column salary increases. I also think I made the case that we have an excellent school district and that is the reason why many people move to Pleasanton. I've spoken to many other parents, and they feel the same way. I think we've already seen the effects of some of the cuts, and I think a parcel tax can help stop the resulting erosion of the quality of education in the district. Have your experiences with the school district been bad? Do you think your children are getting a good education here?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

longtime parent,

Forget "revenue limit per ADA". That number doesn't include categorical funding and other revenue. Look at "expenditures per ADA".

Ed-data is showing that PUSD's expenditures per ADA for 2008-2009 were $8,584. And it isn't true that Dublin gets more than Pleasanton. Their revenue limit is more, but their total revenue is not. PUSD's total revenue from 2008-2009 was $10,481 per ADA, the highest.

Unfortunately, 2009-2010 numbers are not available yet.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

(Probably one reason for such the higher revenue number has to do with PUSD being the coordinating district for special ed in the Tri-Valley. They got quite a bit of money from the stimulus.)


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

"I only expressed my opinion that I would be in favor of keeping step and column salary increases"

You keep making the case for NO on a parcel tax. You may be okay with having your money be used for raises, I am not, and even per the consultants' survey, the people who said they would vote yes, said yes as long as the money was not used for raises. Well, step and column is a raise.

"I've spoken to many other parents, and they feel the same way."

Yes, but remember there are a lot of non-US citizens in Pleasanton, they do not vote. As for moving to Pleasanton for the schools: that was a consideration for us, but it was not all. We looked at the area, the houses, the demographics. The schools being good have some to do with the district, but a lot more with the demographics. San Ramon at the time was just as good a school district as Pleasanton, and yet we ruled it out because when you look at the demographics, and at the whole package: downtown, parks, nice looking neighborhoods throughout, well, San Ramon with its good schools does not compete with Pleasanton

" I think we've already seen the effects of some of the cuts,"

Yes, my high schooler no longer has the 7 period. My elementary kid has bigger class sizes. Yet the teachers got to keep their raise. These cuts were not necessary. Keeping the 7 period would have been about half a million, keeping CSR intact would have been about 1.6 million. the step and column was 1.6 million. The cuts were all about keeping the raises, which is something you are an advocate for, and which I do not agree with: cut programs to give raises - not my way of thinking.

" and I think a parcel tax can help stop the resulting erosion of the quality of education in the district."

No, it won't. 2.1 million pays for raises, and that is it. The second year, it won't even pay for raises, so cuts are inevitable given that people like you are so in favor of raises, even if they happen at the expense of programs.

" Have your experiences with the school district been bad?
Do you think your children are getting a good education here?"

Not necessarily bad, but I can tell you that in order for my kids to score high on standard tests and be good students, I have to tutor them. My children did well in the not-so-good school district we were in before (we moved because we wanted a bigger house in a nicer looking area, not so much for the school district), and they do well now. They will continue to do well despite the selfish behavior of those who prefer to give raises while cutting programs.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

"Yes, but remember there are a lot of non-US citizens in Pleasanton, they do not vote."

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If there really were "a lot of non-US citizens in Pleasanton", are you saying they're the only ones for keeping step and column? Why would that be? They would pay taxes too.

"Not necessarily bad, but I can tell you that in order for my kids to score high on standard tests and be good students, I have to tutor them."

And we haven't needed to tutor then. We needed to do this in a bad district.

"You may be okay with having your money be used for raises, I am not"

Yes, I am OK with my money being used for raises. Are you for a permanent freeze on all salaries?

We could keep going around and around on this at this point.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

"I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If there really were "a lot of non-US citizens in Pleasanton", are you saying they're the only ones for keeping step and column? Why would that be? They would pay taxes too."

The parents I have talked to who are OK with what the district is doing as far as nonsense happen to be non-US citizens, they do not vote which means their opinion does not count when it comes to the parcel tax - they cannot cast a vote even if they pay taxes if the tax does pass. A lot of the US citizens in this town, those who vote, are not OK with raises because they understand the financial mess we are in. It would be more prudent to listen to what the people who will vote have to say. Remember, G failed (I voted yes on that but I was glad, in hindsight, that it failed, and I am voting no this time around)

"And we haven't needed to tutor then. We needed to do this in a bad district."

I have needed to tutor them in PUSD. They have scored above level in all academic areas every year, yet year after year, I have to work with them because their teachers do not really teach all the concepts well, and many in fact, do not teach at all (unless of course, you call teaching for a teacher to sit in class while the students read the book and learn on their own, without any quality lecture about the subject being studied).


"Yes, I am OK with my money being used for raises."

That is why you are the biggest advertising for the NO on parcel taxes!

" Are you for a permanent freeze on all salaries?"

Freeze on salaries until the budget crisis is over, yes. It is unreasonable to ask for raises then there is no money. It would be like someone taking their family for a nice expensive european vacation if they are struggling to pay their mortgae. Common sense says: pay the mortage, do away with the european vacation. Common sense also says: keep the programs, do away with raises. Ah, where did common sense go?

"We could keep going around and around on this at this point. "

Yes, no point in arguing with you, you are the biggest advocate for raises no matter what, even if it means cutting programs. You were probably okay with last year's raises, even though it meant cutting valuable programs. Common sense is definitely gone and people who have lost this common sense are hard to reason with.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:02 am

5 votes for the parcel tax from my household last time and 5 votes against this time. Times are hard and I cannot see taxing myself more during these times. Time for the board to do their jobs like the rest of us are doing. I hope you are listening because you are just going to see $250,000 more dollars wasted.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

"Times are hard and I cannot see taxing myself more during these times. "

Times were harder when Measure G was on the ballot.

" I hope you are listening because you are just going to see $250,000 more dollars wasted."

And if they're listening to people like me who actually go to board meetings and information meetings, they'll go ahead with it. You see, a lot of us parents want this.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hey Bob - the secret is that PUSD will spend more than $350,000 (election, glossy mailer, consultants) and the independent election group is looking to raise more than $100,000 from the community for phone banks, ads, mailers, consultants and more.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I am just saying that times have changed and when G was up for a vote we were all working. 3 of the members of my family have lost their jobs at the end of April. Many of my neighbors have changed their votes from yes to no. I cannot not speak for others but that is my situation and the situation of many of my neighbors. By the way, do not be fooled into thinking that seniors are exempt or that they can fill out a form and be exempt because it is not the case. Seniors must fill out a form REQUESTING EXEMPTION. In order to be granted exemption it is not enough to be a senior but you must show severe hardship by being required to pay. I bet the PUSD, teachers, or the our school board will not disclose that in their fancy brochures. Unemployed or those on public assitance are not exempt either. Look it up or ask at the next school board meeting and you will be amazed at the dancing you will see going on.


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Posted by Free Ride
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Well as it turns out people who live in apartments who have children going to Pleasanton schools are not subject to the parcel tax because they do not own a parcel but seniors who are on fixed income are subject to the parcel tax even if they do not use the schools. Amazing that this type of injutie can happen in America but maybe California is not America.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

"Well as it turns out people who live in apartments who have children going to Pleasanton schools are not subject to the parcel tax because they do not own a parcel "

But if the rental parcel is taxed, that tax is passed on to renters as higher rent.

"seniors who are on fixed income are subject to the parcel tax even"

No they aren't, they're planning an exemption for seniors.

"this type of injutie can happen in America"

?


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

"I am just saying that times have changed and when G was up for a vote"

Yes, and the economy has gotten better. In fact, my company has picked up hiring and has had to raise offers because of too many rejections. Information technology and engineering have both seen increases in hiring.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

$98 divided by 300 units? $0.32 in rent increase? Flat rate per parcel is regressive.


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Posted by Free Ride
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Concerned parent look up the facts and the language says that seniors may apply for an exemption only. Seniors with income other than social security are subject to the parcel tax. Have money in the bank and draw interest income? Subject to the tax. Very unfair to seniors for paying for something they no longer use nor have in many cases the income to support. Not far for individuals and families living in apartments using the schools not to pay a fee equal to any tax levied on those who own property in the city. It does not matter because I do not believe it will pass in this environment of high unemployment and already high taxes with no meaningful concessions by our teachers and their lovely union.


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Posted by d
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I don't think that's fair. How can you hold Luz responsible for decisions her boss and AUSD board was making?


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Posted by Free Ride
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm

and if the senionrs are fortunate to get an exemption one year they must reapply everyyear prior to June 15th. otherwise the parcel tax is considered effective.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

" Have money in the bank and draw interest income? Subject to the tax."

Show me the language that says that. That isn't true.

"Not far for individuals and families living in apartments using the schools not to pay a fee equal to any tax levied on those who own property in the city"

The tax is passed on to renters through higher rent.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

"$98 divided by 300 units? $0.32 in rent increase? Flat rate per parcel is regressive."

Unfortunately, proposition 13 does not allow a parcel tax to be attached to the value of a house. It is yet another problem with the law.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

Bob, I'm sorry to hear about the job losses in your family. I know how frustrating a job hunt is in this economy and the tough impact on families. Hopefully things will get better for you all soon. We'll probably know more about which way the economy is really heading after June when the government stimulus ends.

Concerned parent, it is still a tough economy for many people and playing it down just because there are job prospects in your sector just isn't kind. There is still huge unemployment in CA and big structural problems for this state to overcome to ever get ahead again. I suspect you are well insulated in your job and aren't seeing the world the same way that others are right now.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

I have said time and again that we who have children in school should be paying for the gap between what we have and what we need. I have 3 children in the schools and if we need more money I should be required to pay a use fee. It is completely wrong to expect seniors, unemployed, and those without children to pay for something they do not need to support raises for our teachers and that is all this is about.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

"Yes, and the economy has gotten better. In fact, my company has picked up hiring and has had to raise offers because of too many rejections. Information technology and engineering have both seen increases in hiring."

Just because your company is hiring, it does not mean the economy is better. We have 12.5 percent unemployment, and those employed, even in the IT/engineering sector do not feel 100% secure in their jobs. You may live in lala land, choose to ignore reality, and feel it's okay to burden taxpayers to give raises, to cancel programs to keep step and column, but that is not the way many people feel about things.

Your artificial bubble world is all your own, for the rest: unemployment is at 12.5 percent, foreclosures are up, short sales galore, and California is broke, get it?




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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

"It is completely wrong to expect seniors, unemployed, and those without children to pay for something they do not need to support raises for our teachers and that is all this is about."

It is also unfair to expect us parents to support raises when valuable programs are being cancelled. Last year, valuable programs were cut, but teachers got raises, and I am expected to vote for a tax to give raises while programs continue to suffer? No way. NO on the parcel tax.

It would be like saying that we should all stop paying the taxes that subsidize say the senior center, since we do not use it. Then let's cancel the senior center programs, but give raises to those running it. Even the seniors who use the center would refuse to pay taxes!

It does NOT make sense to give raises and at the same time cancel programs.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

Resident,

I would agree with you on the Senior Center and so would my folks who have gone there.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

"Your artificial bubble world is all your own "

Um? The economy is clearly improving and is better than it was when measure G was on the ballot. Not just my company, but Cisco, Intel, Google, Apple, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and many others have increased hiring and payed out more in salaries this year. My group is trying to increase headcount and we have had many refusals. This is way different than it was last year. Some in my family are in health care and there are seeing the same thing.

Sure, some people who worked fields like mortgage origination had to change careers because there was an unsustainable bubble (just like in tech 10 years ago) had to switch careers or are unemployed. I'm not denying that. I'm just saying things are turning up.

I'm not being unkind, I'm just stating a fact. Plenty of Pleasanton voters are seeing this. There aren't a lot of low skilled workers owning homes in Pleasanton.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

Things are turning up in the stock market because of gov't stimulus. It has caused a surge in commodity prices and will lead to inflation.

Can you show me where you have the data that unemployment is going down dramatically in CA? That's not what I am seeing in real life and from what I hear the government is still very concerned about unemployment numbers.

If what you are saying is true though, maybe we can divert unemployment benefits to the schools. And I guess no need to vote for a tax extension since income from worker taxes are going up dramatically according to you.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

Companies like Google did well throughout the recession, and they are still doing well, nothing new. My spouse's company kept hiring all these years, even in the fall 2008 and spring 2009, but that does not mean that every company was doing well, even in the tech sector.

Unemployment is at an all time high, 12.5 percent. Some companies did well despite the recession - Google and Apple are two examples, but that does not mean the rest of the tech sector or other areas did well or are doing well.

You live in lala land, concerned parent. Your reasoning is worse than my elementary school kid's! Even my youngest child understands that people cannot spend money they don't have, that raises cannot continue when the money is not there! Gee, where has all your common sense gone? Just because you have a job, it does not mean the recession is over or the economy improving - get real, and quickly, please!!!!

Oh yeah, my children watched with me the State of the Union address, and they were quick to criticize president Obama when he said the recession was over!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

Here is some information, concerned parent:

Web Link

Why do you think that Obama and Congress voted to extend unemployment benefits? Because everyone has a job now? No, let me explain this so that even you, with a hiring company and thinking we should all give money for teacher raises, can understand: unemployment benefits were extended for 13 months so that those UNEMPLOYED can continue to receive some sort of financial help.

Why don't you go to HR in your company and tell them to go to the unemployment office and grab a few folks?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

More information:

"In its first quarterly report of 2010, the UCLA Anderson Forecast renders a "bipolar" diagnosis for the national economy, referencing the dual conditions of slow-but-sure growth in the national gross domestic product, coupled with an unemployment rate predicted to remain in double digits until 2012.

Read more: UCLA Anderson: Unemployment rates will stay high through 2011 | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal"

Web Link

and another article which talks about how things are doing better, but...

"But remember, all of this is largely the result of monetary and fiscal policy. The Obama Administration and Federal Reserve have made policy choices that are spurring growth in the here and now.

How much will it cost us in the future? If we're lucky, it will be reasonably cheap and well worth the price.

If we're unlucky, the U.S. could end up in a worse situation than the one that caused our leaders to take this gamble in the first place. That means either rampant inflation or a crisis in the public debt markets."

Web Link



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Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

Concerned Parent,

I am trying to figure out if you are a troll or just seeing something no one else is seeing, maybe a troll because California unemployment is showing no signs of going down and even though real unemployment is over 20% in California we are asking the Federal Government to cover our unemployment costs because we have no money and are in need of a case infusion. Please let me know where the jobs are because I have neighbors out of work and nephews who graduated last year from college with Master Degrees in Business and kind not find jobs. These the type of people we are trying to tax with our 98 buck parcel tax. Those without jobs and those to old to work. Nice society eh?


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

"The unemployment rate in the Silicon Valley was 10.7 percent in December 2010, down slightly from a revised 10.9 percent the preceding month and below the year-ago estimate of 11.5 percent "

Web Link

And that is total unemployment for all skill levels and fields. On top of that, Pleasanton homeowners tend to be higher skilled workers where unemployment is closer to 6%.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm

""The unemployment rate in the Silicon Valley was 10.7 percent in December 2010,"

Yes, Silicon Valley was not as affected, but come on, 10.7 percent unemployment! You call that a good thing? (and not everyone who lives in Pleasanton works in Silicon Valley). 10.7 percent unemployment is huge, and not that much different from 12.5 percent, it is still in the double digits, and we do not know what will happen after stimulus funds run out!

btw, concerned parent, here is the list of items identified last year for potential cuts:

Web Link

Notice how step and column was among them, for a huge savings of 1.6 million, but thanks to people who think like you (you know, give raises no matter what), step and column was NOT cut, but progams were! Wow!


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Posted by huh?
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I had 3 with jobs in my house a year ago and now only 1, so for us that is 66.7% unemployment so depends on your perspective. How in the world could anyone in their right mind expect someone not even working to pay more in taxes to give raises to those who have a job????????????????


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Resident,

Please, where did I ever say 10.7% was good? Those are your words. I said it was better than last year and certainly turning positive. Check the numbers for the city of Pleasanton. They are way below that, as I said. We don't have a lot of low skilled workers owning property in Pleasanton. Did you follow the link and type in Pleasanton?

"but thanks to people who think like you (you know, give raises no matter what)"

Again, not what I ever said. What I said was I would be in favor of keeping step and column and a larger parcel tax than $99. I think it would be the best outcome for the community. I have said and even proposed to the board reducing the amounts of step and column to around 1% vs 2% which would also save a lot of money. None of the top districts in the Bay Area (like Palo Alto) have frozen scheduled increases.


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Posted by inconvenient truth
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Concerned Parent,

Please explain to us why Mission San Jose in Fremont, a public school, not more than 15 miles away from Pleasanton, scores significantly higher than either of our schools, sends more kids to college than both of our schools combined, with teachers who make on average $10,000 dollars per year less than our teachers. The answer is because the parents and kids are committed to education. For some odd reason we seem to want to think that paying our teachers more is going to make our kids perform better.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm

"Please, where did I ever say 10.7% was good? Those are your words. I said it was better than last year and certainly turning positive. Check the numbers for the city of Pleasanton. They are way below that, as I said. We don't have a lot of low skilled workers owning property in Pleasanton. Did you follow the link and type in Pleasanton?"

You keep saying things are all good, blah blah, and they are not necessarily that way. Unemployment is high, even in Pleasanton and Silicon Valley, foreclosures and short sales are way up in Pleasanton (we just invested in a property, and we had our share of properties to choose from - go especially to the "wealthy" areas like Ruby Hill, many homeowners are in trouble, and many times it is because of loss of jobs/income).

As for low skilled workers not owning property in Pleasanton: of course people without good incomes are better off renting, whether in Pleasanton or not, and besides we have our share of homeowners who bought a long time ago when houses were cheap. That does not mean anything. The economy is bad, and these are uncertain financial times for all. I do not believe people should be spending money they do not have, something I wish PUSD understood and applied. There is no money, so they cut programs and yet they want to continue the raises!

"Again, not what I ever said. What I said was I would be in favor of keeping step and column and a larger parcel tax than $99."

When you are in favor of keeping step and column, by default you are agreeing to cut programs, given that we are financially not able to afford both. Again, look at what was done last year: PUSD had the option to freeze step and column and save 1.6 million, but what did they do instead? They kept step and column and cut programs!

Which part of there is less money do you not get? With less money, we can NOT afford raises, unless those raises are given with money taken from programs (as it was done last year, and the year before).

A 99 dollar per year parcel tax would only give money for raises and the cost of the election. As you know, step and column costs increase each year, so the year after, the money from the tax may not even cover step and column! So what is your plan? Giving raises is a BAD idea.

"None of the top districts in the Bay Area (like Palo Alto) have frozen scheduled increases."

Again, reform is needed and just because other districts are choosing to foolishly give raises and either cut programs or ask for more money from the community, that does not mean it is the right approach.

San Ramon is a good example of that: they passed a parcel tax and kept programs for a year, then they took the money from the tax to pay for raises and had to cut programs. Cupertino had a similar situation, but over there last year the community raised about 3 million to avoid cuts and keep raises - this year we will see what happens: will the community raise so much money again? (because this time it is more than 3 million since the cost of raises goes up each year)

Palo Alto, btw, is a basic aid district and Pleasanton is ADA. Their revenue per student is higher than Pleasanton, even without the parcel tax (which btw, had to be increased to more than 500 dollars in order to keep the raises). At some point, if the financial situation does not improve soon and Palo Alto keeps their raises, their programs will be cut or they will again ask more money from the community. It is their choice to be fool enough to throw money at the problem. I choose not to do that, and based on how G failed, it seems people in Pleasanton are choosing not to do that either.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

"When you are in favor of keeping step and column, by default you are agreeing to cut programs, given that we are financially not able to afford both."

You need to read what I wrote. I was in favor of a higher parcel tax. High enough to do both.

"go especially to the "wealthy" areas like Ruby Hill, many homeowners are in trouble"

That had a lot to do with people taking out loans they could never pay back with or without losing their jobs. A parcel tax isn't going to make a difference one way or the other with them.

Even if you don't want to keep step and column, not passing a parcel tax will do nothing to change that. It will only result in more cuts to programs.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

"You keep saying things are all good, blah blah, and they are not necessarily that way. Unemployment is high, even in Pleasanton and Silicon Valley"

No, I didn't. Why do you keep putting words in my mouth? Someone said times had changed since measure G was on the ballot and I answered that yes they had changed. Things have gotten better based both on what I have observed and statistics (see above).


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

"Please explain to us why Mission San Jose in Fremont, a public school, not more than 15 miles away from Pleasanton, scores significantly higher than either of our schools..."

Sure, that is easy. Teacher's salaries are just one of many factors that go in to making a successful school. It is important, but there are many others. Also, please note that Pleasanton teachers pay for their own health benefits whereas Fremont teachers don't.

Just out of curiosity, are you the one who was saying that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are the sole cause of great recession and that the great depression was caused by Smoot Hawley tariffs?


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