Measure E's Illogic - Vote No! Schools & Kids, posted by TriValleyPatriots.com, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 1:30 am TriValleyPatriots.com is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Ballots arrive today for a new tax on Pleasanton property owners. (FYI, we are still paying off the bonds we approved in 1988 and 1997)
Please think about it carefully.....
Measure E is Illogical - So We Must Vote No!
Fact: Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) will hand out $15M in raises over the next 4 years. Measure E will only collect $8 Million in taxes during the same time period. So the parcel tax will not even keep up with PUSD's employee cost increases.
Question: The logic does not make sense. Why is PUSD asking for more tax money from property owners, yet they won't even freeze employee raises to save costs?
Answer: Because PUSD fears the unions more than YOU the voters!
Tell PUSD they serve the voters and to fix the problem the right way, Vote NO on E!!
Posted by Rational Voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 2:29 am
Silly little wabbits!
Pleasanton Voters, please read Measure E carefully. As the Pleasanton Weekly's editorial support statement indicates: "Measure E mandates that no funds from the parcel tax can be used to increase teacher or administrator salaries or benefits, and establishes an independent oversight committee to review the use of the funds and report its findings publicly."
Now please return to above and re-read what these silly little wabbits are saying.
Over 200 of Pleasanton's most respected individuals have publicly expressed their support for Measure E. The Trivalleypatriots (all two of them, who do not disclose their identities) oppose the measure. Somebody is not telling you the truth. Who do you think that might be? (Hint: who left those carrot tops on the floor?)
Please support Measure E. Help to maintain Pleasanton's high educational standards. Keep test scores high. Support our teachers and administrators. E is for our kids.
Posted by Fiscally Conservative Parent, a member of the Hart Middle School community, on Apr 4, 2011 at 2:43 am
Rational Voter is right. The PW's editorial statement tells it like it is. Top-level schools translates into high home values. $98 dollars per year is a wise investment. Our family will be voting YES on Measure E.
Posted by Wabbitless Warren, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 3:23 am
We're new to the area and I had to look up just who is Tri Valley Patriots. They are hooked up with the Tea Party and seem to share the same messages. Lots of emphaisis on individualism (good thing!) but not very much on community (not so much good thing). It looks like they don't want to pay any taxes at all.
Our family doesn't like taxes either. But as members of a community I think we should all pitch in. We came here for the schools and don't want to see them slip if it can be prevented. Our kids love their teachers and we're pleased at the progress they're making! We support the mseasure E parcel tax!
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 7:06 am
Yes, "Wabbitless", the problem with the Tea Party types here is that they see Measure E as just one more battle in their grand Good-versus-Evil struggle for control of the country. The question of what is best for Pleasanton takes a back seat.
I'm a recent Pleasanton homebuyer, and like most homebuyers here I was attracted by the quality of the schools. School quality is really a strong defining characteristic of any community. I don't like taxes either, but Measure E is for a modest amount ($98 annually) and for a fixed term (4 years) and is targeted at helping our schools. So I'm in favor of Measure E.
Posted by Jon St. J, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 8:07 am
I was originally on the fence, but I found most of the arguemnts for the NO position to be extremist. I do not want to give my support to an extremist political agenda, whether democrat or republican. I read the Pleasnaton Weekly's editorial and it makes a lot of sense. Education is a valuable commodity for everyone. That's why I'm voting YES on the parcel tax.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:16 am
The fact that Kay Ayala and Steve B. are against measure E should be a red flag for everyone. I am voting YES on E. I think anything Ayala is for is a bad thing (I am thinking Oak Grove, for example. Thanks to Ayala et al, we no longer have the opportunity to see a nice big piece of land for the public to enjoy, yet the area will be built as it belongs to the Lins and not to Ayala).
Support the students in Pleasanton and vote YES on E.
Posted by unanswered question, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:44 am
How many of you who support Measure E have been making extra donations to PUSD...without having to rely on a parcel tax? I find it rather amusing that you criticize and try to humiliate anyone who would argue against the measure (i.e. morally deficient, teacher-haters, kid-haters, union-bashers, etc...) but nobody seems to be putting their money where their mouths are.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:38 am
@"unanswered": "How many of you who support Measure E have been making extra donations to PUSD...without having to rely on a parcel tax? I find it rather amusing that you criticize and try to humiliate anyone who would argue against the measure (i.e. morally deficient, teacher-haters, kid-haters, union-bashers, etc...) but nobody seems to be putting their money where their mouths are."
I miss your point, "unanswered". Sure, those of us who support Measure E are willing to put our money where are mouths are. That's why we're voting for Measure E.
Posted by Susan M, a resident of the Las Positas neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:55 am
I find it very telling that the Yes on E posters resort to ad hominem attacks rather than on facts. Rather than being specific about how they disagree with the arguments against , they call them "extremist". They attack Kay Ayala and Steve B basically saying well if they are for it then I am against it. They put out false information about the TriValley Patriots and the Tea Party movement without investigating what they really stand for... the list goes on. I advise people to actually read the arguments against instead of relying on posters here (www.ParcelTaxInfo.com).
"Jensen family" commented that coming from a family of teachers he/she knows how important schools are to the community. Then you should also know that tax money rarely goes to the classroom and many teachers use their own money to supplement their classrooms.
I will take the advice of "unanswered question" and put my money where my mouth is. I will donate $100 to a individual classroom.. that way I know it is actually getting in the classroom. I am not so confident the revenue generated from this parcel tax will make it to classrooms where it should be going.
Posted by Jill, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm
The district did verify at school board meetings that they will still be spending $1.5 million extra per year, paying for step and column raises. If those raises did not occur, we would not need Measure E. As stated above, the automatic raises, that are still going to happen, will cost $15 million over the life of the parcel tax but the parcel tax only brings in $8 million over four years. Giving more money is not going to solve the out of balance finances in our district. Those that think this tax will fix the problem of automatic raises are drinking the kool-aid.
Step 1: Vote No on Measure E
Step 2: District fix automatic raises
Step 3: Analyze our budget again and see if we need additional taxes after automatic raises are gone, and what programs the tax money will go to.
I would be supporting a tax if I knew that raises would not continue during this tax. I am not ready to give more tax money that will go completely to raises.
Posted by unanswered question, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm
Sam, the point is quite simple. If those of you who believe giving an extra $98 per year to PUSD ($233/year via Measure G before) is vitally important for the kids, the school district, our property values, etc...have you been making voluntary contributions to the school district? If not, why are you waiting for a parcel tax to be passed. Many of the pro-parcel tax posters make it a point to ridicule anyone opposed to this tax; my guess is that very few of them make any contributions beyond their minimum required property tax payments.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Well, "unanswered", I personally haven't had the opportunity to make annual "voluntary" contributions because I just bought a house here in Pleasanton last July. But the answer is "yes" I'm perfectly willing to pitch in $98 per year regardless of whether the Measure passes and I suspect that many others feel the same. After all, I just paid over $700K for a house here in Pleasanton, a decision based largely on the quality of the schools here. Do you think that I'm going to quibble of $98 per year to support one of the finest public school systems in the bay area after I just spent over $700K on a house here?!
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm
Seems like quite a few people believe that giving the schools more tax dollars will translate into better schools and higher property values. Unfortunately, Measure E does not promise better schools: a careful reading shows that it does not address anything concrete. The oft-repeated statement is "Measure E mandates that no funds from the parcel tax can be used to increase teacher or administrator salaries or benefits..." Since administrator salaries and benefits are planned to increase, the statement is meaningless. The origin of any particular dollar is irrelevant. What the Measure should say is "No administrator or teacher salaries will be increased during the next four years, since they are already quite high and out of line with the private sector." Measure E does not say that. The Measure is purposefully misleading in hopes that Pleasanton voters will not read it carefully. If there were any assurance that increasing the PUSD budget by $8M over the next four years would improve the schools and property values, I would vote for it. As it is, I would rather spend the $98 on lawn fertilizer; that is something that will increase my property value. All those who will be voting for Measure E are welcome to send their checks in to the PUSD each year - along with the tax dollars that all of us are already pitching in.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm
@Bill:"As it is, I would rather spend the $98 on lawn fertilizer; that is something that will increase my property value."
Well, Bill, here's a take from a recent homebuyer who spent considerable time shopping around the various communities in the area and going on many house tours and open houses, I couldn't care less about how much you spent fertilizing your lawn. If your house is located in an area with poor schools, the value of your house is in dumpster according to my personal assessment. You might have as well taken that $98 worth of fertilizer and tried flushing it all down the toilet.
I can change the appearance of a lawn all by myself with $98 worth of fertilizer from Home Depot all by myself, thank you. I don't need your help for that. However, I can't wave a magic wand and change the quality of the schools in an area. So we homebuyers look for communities that are interested in maintaining excellent schools.
Posted by unanswered question, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm
Sam, thank you for you honesty; you're the first person to answer the question. Since you've arrived recently I'll give you a pass but look forward to your contributions to help what is a very good school district and community. I've been making significant contributions to PUSD programs of my choice...which helps the students directly...both monetary and in many volunteer hours.
How about the rest of you? Did you make your $233 contributions when Measure G failed? Many said they would.
Posted by comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm
"but nobody seems to be putting their money where their mouths are."
I have already given more than the tax would be this year and I don't have any children in the school district. I believe in supporting my community. I have no problem at all with continuing automatic for some teachers, and I have personally contacted PUSD saying that I support step and column. Once I did some research and saw the amounts and conditions of the step and column raises, and what is being given at comparable top quality districts, I think they seem very reasonable.
Posted by TriValleyPatriots?, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm
I'm very impressed with the work you do for the community. Do you sell costumes? My boy has just put new streamers in his handelbars and baseball cards in his spokes. We were wondering if you had any three-cornered hats you'd be willing to sell? Keep up the good work, and stay classy.
Posted by Be Positive, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Yes- excellent questions above. What exactly do the TriValley Patriots do for our community? What have they given back to the people of Pleasanton?
On top of performing to some of the highest levels in the state in the classroom- here is a short list of what the schools have done for this community:
-organized donations for hundreds of poor and hungry during the holidays through the Salvation Army adopt a family
- Collect basic need items for local shelters
- collected pennies for a cancer victim in one of our elementary schools
- food drives for local food banks
Please add to the list that I know much has been left out. Schools give back in more ways than just educate the children of this community.
I for one want the attitude and values of the TriValley Patriots far away from my children and what we value in our community. The schools have proven MUCH more trust worthy than this self-serving organization.
Posted by Be Positive, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm
I guess you didnt comprehend what I said Stacey, I wonder why you feel the need to correct what everyone says on these posts? Are you a part of this organization? You see, it was a question for them. If you are, then please answer. This organization is actively working to spread misinformation and distrust throughout our community about a school system that is highly successful. I simply asked what do they DO for our community. Is that allowed by you?
Posted by Hortense, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
Maybe I don't need to give back to the community! Maybe the community should be giving back to me! Why must I pay taxes toward public transportation when I don't ride the bus? Why must I pay taxes towards a public library when I don't use it? Why must I pay taxes towards a prison system that I've never used? Why must I pay taxes towards an educational system that provides kids a better education than I ever had?
But that's all right. Keep talking about the community and the kids. I'll get the last laugh after the votes are tallied. HA!!!
Posted by Kelley, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:50 am
Thank you for the links and post. I vote NO on Measure E which stands for EMPTY
EMPTY GAS TANK
EMPTY BANK ACCOUNT
The bloated Union Administrators don't care about the classrooms or the kids. They care about continuing on with their fat cat bloated salaries. Measure E tagline should be "SAVE THE SALARIES, SAVE THE SALARIES!" All 15 million in salary RAISES Pleasanton PUSD plans to DOLL out! Web Link
Posted by comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:11 am
"The bloated Union Administrators don't care about the classrooms or the kids"
Yet PUSD managed to build one of the best school districts in California. As far as teachers salaries go, I for one would be happy to give them raises. They are doing a fantastic job. I don't even have children, but I will support Measure and donate to the schools.
Posted by Yummmmmmmmmm, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm
It's true! They probably drink champagne all night and dine on truffles and filet mignon at the TAXPAYERS' expense! They should make as much (or much less!) as teachers from communities far poorer than ours. After all, Pleasanton is the richest city of it's size in the country, so shouldn't our award-winning schools be severely underfunded?
Posted by Yummmmmmmm, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Just watched the video, and I find that although I don't agree 100% with David Miller, there are a few things he says that I totally agree with. Specifically, when he repeatedly claims that he doesn't understand.
All of his questions have been thoroughly and publicly discussed and explained; he just is unable to understand or unwilling to try. It's certainly one thing to be uninformed, but it takes a special kind of courage to broadcast that ignorance at a public meeting.
I feel bad that he has embarrassed himself like this.
Posted by Be Positive, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm
Yet no one, including David Miller can answer exactly what the Tri-Valley patriots DO for this community except spread distrust, misinformation, skewed perspectives, and lies.
I love the flat out quotes from their websites with no understanding of the truth. Sorry teachers that this community has no respect or regard for the huge salary cuts you took last year, saving jobs and programs for our students! You and your union did this even after the community voted down Measure G.
Again, I tend to trust the ACTIONS of PUSD rather than the rhetoric of this organization trying to further their political agenda at the expense of our communities' children. Stay far away from our schools and kids that for sure!!!!
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 9:22 am
be positive--I'm not a memeber of the Tri-valley patriots, but may join just to help convey what I believe to be their mission and to stop your continued diversion from the issue here.
They stand for fiscal responsibility and the notion that those who earn a living know better how to budget and spend their money than our bloated and corrupt government and it's agencies.
You and the "E" supporters continue to imply that throwing more of other people's money at the issue will solve the problem. Those that believe in personal responsibility have a hard time throwing continually more funds at those addicted to spending without accountability.
Hope that helps. The TVP's are not local welfare agents.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 9:44 am
@steve: "They stand for fiscal responsibility and the notion that those who earn a living know better how to budget and spend their money than our bloated and corrupt government and it's agencies."
Well, Steve, our "bloated and corrupt government agency" here has helped make Pleasanton schools the envy of much or the bay area. Our schools consistently rank '9' or '10' on GreatSchools 1 to 10 ranking scheme. But, yeah, maybe you and the TriValley patriots know how to manage our schools better.
But I've got a better idea: Why don't you and the TriValley Patriots move out of Pleasanton and take your ideas over to say, Hayward and its public school system, and show us how it's done rather than trying to convince us that you're qualified to tinker with our top-ranked public school system?
Posted by comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 9:47 am
PUSD is one of the best school districts in the state. My neighbors moved to Pleasanton for the schools. The schools are excellent. The only "problem" that we are solving with Measure E is the decreased money coming from the state due to the great recession. That recession was caused on Wall Street, not PUSD. PUSD is an excellent school district.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 9:56 am
Well, newcomer Sam: I've been paying taxes in Pleasanton for more than 20 years now and have no intention of leaving problems for the likes of new residents like yourself. I'm not sure where you migrated from, but I've seen the steady decline of 'our' Pleasanton despite the infusion of increased tax revenues. Your model may have worked in the community you fled, but not here. As for moving, I'm hoping you haven't unpacked your boxes yet.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 10:54 am
Well, Steve, I didn't "flee" any community. We've been renting right here in Pleasanton until we decided it was time to buy a house. I paid a premium for a house here in Pleasanton, a decision based largely on the quality of the schools here. New residents such as myself who are willing to pay a premium price for Pleasanton and Pleasanton schools are what keeps your property values so high. You're welcome.
As for your talk of "leaving problems for the likes of new residents..", what problems? You want to see problems? Then take my original suggestion of moving to Hayward. Or maybe some parts of Oakland, Castro Valley, or San Leandro. Show us what you and your 'patriot' comrades can do with a truly broken community or school system, and then we'll all believe in you and your ideas.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:06 am
@comment:"Steve, I've been here longer than that and our schools are getting better, not declining. API scores continue to go up. We have excellent schools here."
Aahh, but "comment", that's what we call an "inconvenient truth" to people like Steve and the "patriots". Nowhere in their long, scripted rants about "teachers unions", "fiscal responsibility", "living within your means", etc., etc., will you find any mention or acknowledgement of the fact that Pleasanton school systems are excellent, or that our community and school system are the envy of the bay area, or that Pleasanton was ranked on the Top-100 list of CNN/Money's "Best Places to LIve". Nope, you won't find any mention of any of those facts from Steve or any "patriot" because it doesn't fit in with their rigid "patriot" belief system which would never admit that any public school system could be excellent, including Pleasanton's.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:17 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
What do those things have to do with public agency fiscal responsibility? Those things generally happen no matter if the public agency is managing other people's money well or not.
Here's a short list of items:
- Removed policy that called for a large reserve fund. A large reserve is what got PUSD through the dotcom bust.
- Hired extra counselors without identifying ongoing funds, putting their jobs at risk.
- Hired tech specialists with one-time money, putting jobs at risk.
- Borrowing against the Sycamore Fund for ongoing costs as if it were a reserve fund, essentially cutting their own technology budget. The market rebounded this past year and PUSD lost out on all that potential interest.
- Getting into lawsuits over an indefensible contract.
- Deferring maintenance on the district's assets, making later repairs more expensive.
- Cutting classroom budgets and never restoring them when the economy was doing well, making the ability to absorb budget shortfalls more difficult.
"In the end, the board agreed to authorize the district to hire new counselors up to the $602,126 maximum cost, but left it open where the funding would come from. Casey said the hiring of counselors will be contingent on the additional state funding and if the district receives any additional funds from increased enrollment."
Now do you understand why counselors are one of the parcel tax items?
"Kernan proposed that the board ask the district to hire new counselors, regardless if the state provides additional funding or not, by taking the money needed out of the district's reserve funds. "I've heard throughout the community people saying, 'The Excellence Committee is great, but you're just going to add a parcel tax and make us pay.' But that is not the case," Kernan said."
Posted by comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:58 am
The need for the parcel tax comes from the from the enormous decline in state revenue arising from the great recession, not from hiring a few counselors. You need to put things in perspective. No one could have planned for anything of this magnitude, because no one was predicting it, including those people you mention. Incidentally, those people are no longer on the school board.