Measure E opponents: district has lost peoples' trust Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:19 am
Opponents of the parcel tax, Measure E, were out in force again at the Pleasanton school board meeting Tuesday night, questioning, among other things, the district's recent revision requiring seniors to register only once to be exempt from the tax.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 5:33 AM
Posted by Jack, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:19 am
If you're going to make an issue of this, in my opinion you are just wasting the time of the public. It seems to me that you are more interested in winning than in doing what is right for the children. PUSD didn't change the wording of the ballot at all. The offered to perform a service that would be helpful to seniors. There was nothing dishonest or misleading at all in what they did. I recommend that you find some real issues.
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:41 am
Jack -- if you want PUSD to run elections as they are "run" in some foreign countries or maybe hire Rod (if he ever gets out of jail) to sell votes and seats then that's your opinion. The PUSD bought those votes from people who will never have to pay the tax and not even have to apply for an exemption. PUSD will do that for them.
If that's not dishonest then I don't know what is.
This is a salary tax and it has been not only misrepresented but votes have been "bought" by virtue of the "automatic" exemption. Grow up and see the fraud when it slaps you in the face.
Posted by optimistic mom, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:41 am
A principal inviting parents to inform themselves about measure E is not advocating in favor of the measure (or against) -- just offering information.
Both the district and the independent campaign committee have worked hard to follow all applicable rules and regulations. These petty criticisms from the opponents of measure E seem designed to garner last-minute news headlines.
Voters will educate themselves and make their own best judgments on these issues.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:54 am
The opponents of Measure E are short-sighted, selfish, ill-informed people who need to get their facts straight. Most of them do not have children in school or have already had the benefits of a wonderful education in Pleasanton. Measure E is about the future of our children and this society. We need a well-educated children to ensure to allow them to compete in the world economy.
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:04 am
Trust is a major issue for both supporters of Measure E as well as the opponents. Supporters of Measure E do not trust the school board to spend the potential tax revenue wisely. That is why they have placed so many restrictions on its use. Supporters do not want money going to fund continued pay raises or for increased benefits. Both side agree on this point. If Measure E supporters trusted the board, they would have not written those restrictions. The problem with the Measure E restrictions is that Measure E money will free up money from other sources that can then be reallocated to continued raises and benefit increases.
Posted by Jack, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:07 am
To "no more teacher raises",
You have a very strange definition of "dishonest". The no on E side complained that seniors would have to apply each year for the exemption. They said it was an attack on seniors. Now the school district offers to do it for them. Does the no on E side offer a simple "Thank You" in response? NO! They cry foul! You people care nothing for the children and only want to avoid paying taxes at any cost. Lay off the Rush Limbaugh and do something useful with your time.
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:11 am
I watched the Board meeting and the school district admitted that they did go through the Alameda County Counsel or the Alameda County Registrar of Voters to have any changes made (therefore, it is not binding). Basically, what is binding is the analysis from the County Counsel and Alameda County. What is the District trying to pull? Having seniors apply only once for the exemption, then for years 2, 3, and 4, having the stuck with the tax.
They also admitted their acts were unconstitutional related to bond refunding.
Posted by Jack, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:13 am
"Having seniors apply only once for the exemption, then for years 2, 3, and 4, having the stuck with the tax."
I don't know what you were trying to express with this sentence, but it sounds like you have it backward. Seniors will not have to apply for the exemption every year. The school district will do it for them.
Posted by casual reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:26 am
I liken the No on E folks to Donald Trump and the rest of the birthers. Carnival side-show barkers. Clowns. Their apparent sole purpose in life is to deny the obvious. So doing apparently fills a void in their hollow lives. Even with now the recent availability of the 'long form' birth certificate -- that is, even now with yet another irrefutable piece of factual evidence -- the birthers will continue to deny its legitimacy.
The No on E folks are quite similar to the birthers (and I'm certain there is an overlap in this regard as well). PUSD excellence? 10 rating for the schools? Salaries in line with other districts? A demonstrated willingness to ensure senior tax exemption? All not enough??? What WOULD be enough??? Nothing. These clowns have found a reason for living: it entails boring a hole through the bottom of our community's lifeboat. They do this apparently because it feels good; it allows them to vent over having to pay taxes for things that might not immediately redound to their own advantage (e.g., educating our children); they continue venting despite facts and reasoned argument; it simply feels good, no matter the harm it does to the community; it gives them a 'purpose' in their own purposeless, directionless, incoherent lives.
No doubt, these kinds of antics by the clown club are likely to be found disgusting by most decent people in Pleasanton. Consider me yet another Pleasanton resident who finds these clowns to be a menace to our children and our community.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:32 am
With two hundred and eighty employees earning total compensation packages of over $100,000, and five hundred and fifty earning more than $85,000, I would say they are right. Did I mention that comes with a pension?
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:34 am
Jack said:"You have a very strange definition of "dishonest". The no on E side complained that seniors would have to apply each year for the exemption. They said it was an attack on seniors. Now the school district offers to do it for them. Does the no on E side offer a simple "Thank You" in response? NO! They cry foul!"
Yes, it's laughable. There's no pleasing many of these "No" voters.
We covered this senior exemption issue in a previous thread, so I'll just copy a comment made by "Mike" and my response to him:
Mike said:"This issue with the arbitrary change regarding the mechanism of exemption is the devastating injury it does to the force of the measure. If the district feels that it can change the exemption mechanism, then it follows that any part of the measure may be changed at will without regard to the wording that is being voted on."
You're hilarious, Mike. You're up in arms because they decided to modify the implementation of the senior exemption to make it easier on seniors so they don't have to reapply each year? That's it? That's the best you can come up with?
A quick follow-up: The reason your protest is so ridiculous is because you can't show that anyone was harmed by this change of procedure. The fact that they change the exemption procedure for seniors has no possible effect on my "yes" or "no" vote or that of any other non-senior. The only people whose vote could be possibly affected by this are seniors. OK, so let's look at that: If I'm a senior and vote "yes", is there any way that I could reasonably claim to have been deceived and say that I would have changed my vote to "no" had I known that they would change the exemption requirement from annually to just a one-time check? Nope. Sorry, you haven't got a leg to stand on.
(P.S.: I skipped past the scenario of a senior who votes "no" and then finds out about the change because I didn't want to drag this post on. But if you think through it you'll find that that scenario doesn't help your case either.)
Posted by to casual reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:36 am
I am sitting here looking at my voting form. I have decided to vote yes and I am about to mail in the form and I am reading what you wrote.
I have debated for months what the right thing to do is here. There are big pros and cons on both sides the way I see it.
How can you possibly frame an argument by calling the no on E people, clowns, a menace, disgusting and having purposeless, directionless and incoherent lives? Who are you? Do you really live here? Can't you see there are two sides to this? I don't see how I can possibly be on the same side as you, the way you put people down.
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:41 am
"A principal inviting parents to inform themselves about measure E is not advocating in favor of the measure (or against) -- just offering information."
The newsletter from Mohr School sent yesterday contains the image of a "Yes on E" yard sign. Clicking on it takes you to a website the provides arguements in support of Measure E. On the other hand, there is no information or link provided to the opposition website. The opposition website would be found at Web Link
One would have to conclude that the principal was only interested in informing parents about one side of the issue.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:45 am
resident said: "With two hundred and eighty employees earning total compensation packages of over $100,000, and five hundred and fifty earning more than $85,000, I would say they are right. Did I mention that comes with a pension?"
Resident, perhaps you don't have a B.A. or an advanced degree, so this may come as a surprise to you: A lot of people with college degrees in the bay area make more than $85,000. Oh, and many other people do get pensions, too. AND, many people get medical insurance which is largely paid by their employer, too. (But not Pleasanton teachers, so that really doesn't help your point, does it? Sorry).
You want teachers who are willing to work for $35K without a retirement program or medical benefits. Good luck in finding them.
Posted by Enough, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:53 am
Freeze step and column increases for four years and I'll happily vote for measure E. $10,000 salary average over EVERY district in Nor Cal (published by Diablo Magazine) including top districts like Acalanes and San Ramon. The entire nation is taking pay CUTS and our teachers cannot take a pay freeze? And by the way, furlow days does not equal a pay cut. Pay cut means working the same hours for less pay. The Union is to blame on this one.
Posted by casual reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:10 am
"How can you possibly frame an argument by calling the no on E people, clowns, a menace, disgusting and having purposeless, directionless and incoherent lives? Who are you? Do you really live here? Can't you see there are two sides to this? I don't see how I can possibly be on the same side as you, the way you put people down."
You're offended when someone calls the no on E people clowns? But you don't mention being offended by the clowns' attempts to intentionally misinform? Frankly, I find your reasoning pretty soft-headed, and I doubt the sincerity of your claim. If you truly want to give your moral sensibilities a work-out, check out the thread on Prop 8 or even the thread on Big Oil. My strong hunch is that if you go to those threads you'll not find anything offensive to YOUR sensibilities at all.
But tell you what. You come back and tell me you agree with me that you personally find several of the posts on the Prop 8 thread to be offensive to the sensibilities of any rational, moral person, and I'll consider more seriously your charge that my likening the no on E folks to a clown club is offensive.
Posted by Lani, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 11:30 am
<<< Freeze step and column increases for four years and I'll happily vote for measure E. $10,000 salary average over EVERY district in Nor Cal (published by Diablo Magazine) including top districts like Acalanes and San Ramon. The entire nation is taking pay CUTS and our teachers cannot take a pay freeze? And by the way, furlow days does not equal a pay cut. Pay cut means working the same hours for less pay. The Union is to blame on this one. >>>
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm
"Enough" said:"Freeze step and column increases for four years and I'll happily vote for measure E."
A four-year salary freeze? Are you willing to freeze your own salary for 4 years (i.e. until the year 2015)? How about you, Lani? No? Oh, I see. You don't want your salaries frozen for four years, but you think that teachers should have their salaries frozen for 4 years.
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm
for Sam -- my salary was cut in half 8 years ago and has not moved upward since then. Am I happy about that? Hell no. Will I vote for automatic raises for people protected by tenure? Yeah, gonna go do that right now.
If this money went to the schools or the kids or the programs that would be different. It will not even pay for the $15 million in raises.
Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Taking my kids off public school and putting them in private school, where the teachers are employees are are rated and retained on merit not on seniority. I'm sure I'll have more say in that setting than in PUSD.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm
"no more teacher raises" said:"for Sam -- my salary was cut in half 8 years ago and has not moved upward since then. Am I happy about that? Hell no."
Well, "no more", I'm glad that you told us a little about your background because it makes it easier to see what's driving your thinking. It's apparent to me that you're bitter about losing half your salary and are resentful of anyone - teachers or not - who has not suffered the same as you.
Posted by casual reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm
Very happy to hear that some posters here have openly denounced the gutteral messages that routinely are produced by SteveP, as well as others. This is something of a first, by the way; or at least I think so. Though I'm not a frequent reader or contributor to these posts, I've seen many examples of right-wing hate messages which, until now, have not been denounced by any of those (no on e people) who have chosen to share political beds with the hateful messenger(s).
So, I stand corrected, as one or two of the no on e supporters are not full-fledged members of the clown club. That said, surely one must realize that if one opts to share political beds with SteveP and the other fomenters of hate on these posts that one is going to be categorized as belonging to that political group and sharing of whatever hateful ideology that group espouses.
I am not a Democrat; nor have I ever been a member of the Democratic Party. However, because I share many views that are consistent with the Democratic Party's stated positions, I am accustomed to being called any assortment of unflattering names. That's politics. I trust some/many of you recognize the difference between calling someone a clown because of their political views and calling someone a 'fruit' because of their sexual orientation. One is politically motivated, the other is motivated by hateful bias.
As a human being, I sympathize with Pleasanton Resident's pain. But I think the kinds of views he espouses are a menace to our community and our children. Indeed, given his views and the way he typically expresses them, I'm surprised he has any job at all. (Yes, I plead guilty to making the assumpton that Pleasanton Resident is in fact a personality whose views are expressed on these pages on a very consistent basis.)
Posted by Hmmmmmmmm, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm
Looks like casual reader is the one with no tolerance or should I say only tolerance for people who feel exactly the same what she does as a teacher. Good luck to you because you are going to need it in life.
Posted by casual reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm
Everyone is free to misinterpret my words as the grammatically challenged Hmmmmmmm seems to have done (or is it that he/she simply is incapable of interpreting anything written in sentence form?). Beyond that, I am not a 'she' and I am not a teacher. (I might also note that Hmmmmmm has not listed himself/herself as someone who finds SteveP's sick statements offensive. Go figure!)
Posted by common sense, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm
The reason for having elections is not to have insane rhetoric from either side, it's about having people decide issues at the ballot box. When the votes are counted, let's hope people accept the outcome.
Posted by Facts please, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm
FACT: Teachers have taken a cut in pay due to furlough days. AND they will take another cut next year because of the state budget.
FACT: Teachers don't get benefits in Pleasanton, they pay for their own medical and dental.
FACT: Teachers contribute 8% toward their retirement, the district 8.5%, similar to the matching funds in the private sector.
FACT: teachers DO NOT get SS in addition. If they do qualify, it reduces the benefit preventing double dipping.
FACT: Column raises are paid for by the teacher and are for increased competency.
FACT: The teacher DELIVERS the program to the student.
The logic that one will prevent this generation of children from getting the best that our community can offer because one does not like an aspect of a contract (like tenure) does not hold water. The vast majority of teachers are doing an excellent job. No one wants to teach next to incompetence.
Why isn't anyone questioning the motivation of this group of people who have come out of the woodwork spouting half truths????? What is their motivation?
Vote yes on Measure E. Great schools are good for our kids AND Good for your home values!
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm
"FACT: Teachers don't get benefits in Pleasanton, they pay for their own medical and dental."
FACT: This teacher know what's right and is spouting the lies anyway. 39% of teachers pay for medical, not all. The only reason that any pay is that the teachers voted to take the PAY instead of benefits for those who already have coverage.
This tax will pay for teacher raises only, and not even cover that after the first year. Suck it up and freeze the raises. No one is even asking you to take a pay cut (which would be right in this economy) only to freeze the raises. You work 175 days per year, have every weekend, holiday and summer off. Get real, that is a part time job.
Posted by John Henry, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm
Bottom line is that PUSD has given my kids an excellent education. I'm proud of my kids, and I'm grateful to their outstanding teachers. I get the sense so many posters here disrespect our teachers and the important jobs they do. It seems some want to punish our teachers and that they don't care how this will affect our children. It leaves me shaking my head in sadness. I wish I had more than one vote to cast as Yes on Measure E.
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm
FACT: 247 PUSD employees cost the District over $100,000 per year, according to the Contra Costa Times. The current automatic salary increases in step and column and longevity payments mean that in the next four years, the District will hand out $15,000,000.00 in automatic raises.
FACT: Teachers have added unpaid holidays where there is no instruction and called it furlough days. This is not a pay cut. A pay cut is working the same amount of instructional days for less pay.
FACT: After a probationary period, it is almost impossible to get rid of a bad teacher. The same for bad administrators.
FACT: Teachers and practically every employee in the private sector they pay for their medical benefits. Who has ever heard of free medical benefits? Some retired teachers and administrators in CALSTRS and CALPERS get free medical benefits.
FACT: Teachers and administrators get paid approximately 85% of their top ending salary for the rest of their lives after retirement, with many getting retirement pensions is excess of $100,000. This has resulted in a $60 billion unfunded liability.
FACT: Employees contribute around 8% toward their retirement and the district most pony up 8.5%-10% depending upon whether they are Certificated or Classified employees, however, this does not even cover the cost of pensions. The LAO indicates that to support such high pensions, teachers would need to contribute instead around 30% of their pay to support the lavish pension benefits. CALSTRS and CALPERS is becoming insolvent.
FACT: Step increases are paid by the District (taxpayers). Longevity payments are paid by the District (taxpayers). Column raises are paid by the District (taxpayers) (the staff member moves over to a column on the payscale to the right which has a higher pay rate, which the District pays for). Some positions also get Masters stipends, Doctorate stipends, department administration stipends, club mentor stipends, and athletic stipends most paid for by the District.
FACT: Many people in the private sector have had pay freezes for YEARS. Also many have taken pay cuts. But the PUSD still churns out automatic raises.
Posted by gordice, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm
"The reason for having elections is not to have insane rhetoric from either side, it's about having people decide issues at the ballot box. When the votes are counted, let's hope people accept the outcome."
Can't imagine what 'common sense' means by the above. Is it that he doesn't want people talking about issues? Or that he thinks only his own rhetoric qualifies as sane? Or that ... oh, never mind. It's silly me trying to locate a rational kernal in the corn cob's husk.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm
FACT: Teachers have taken a cut in pay due to furlough days. AND they will take another cut next year because of the state budget.
A furlough day isn't really a pay cut. As far as next year goes, sounds like they are looking for a raise.
FACT: Teachers don't get benefits in Pleasanton, they pay for their own medical and dental.
Even if that were true, the increased compensation increases the pension payout beyond the cost of the benefits. The PUSD could save money by decreasing wages and providing the medical benefit. I doubt the teachers would go for that because most receive health care through a spouse, or have purchased a less expensive plan. I think less than 30% of teachers pay for health insurance. BTW, the pension is a huge benefit and trading medical costs for salary increases the cost of the benefit as well as the benefit itself.
FACT: Teachers contribute 8% toward their retirement, the district 8.5%, similar to the matching funds in the private sector.
The teachers have only contributed 6% toward their pension for the past decade. The other 2% has been diverted to a retiree health plan.
FACT: teachers DO NOT get SS in addition. If they do qualify, it reduces the benefit preventing double dipping.
I'm not sure the pension is reduced dollar for dollar if a teacher receives both SS & a pension but I agree with this statement.
FACT: Column raises are paid for by the teacher and are for increased competency.
Huh? Are you saying teachers pay their own raises? I don't think so.
FACT: The teacher DELIVERS the program to the student.
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm
"90% of teachers pay their own medical and dental."
Absolutely not true. Check the PUSD site as well as many posts on the weekly forum. 39% -- period -- pay for their own benefits. Those who have benefits negotiated for the raise, which counts toward their pensions, at the cost to those who do not have coverage through a spouse.
39%, not 90%. Tell the truth at least when trying to make your point.
Posted by John Henry, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm
Playing 'gotcha' when the quality of our children's education is on the line is exactly what I was referring to. Truth be told, I don't think I'd like any of these number crunchers who have an axe to grind anywhere near my children's classrooms. It is easy to take potshots at any organization from the outside. It is much harder to estimate the value of organizational members' contributions. Since moving to Pleasanton some six years ago, my wife and I have been highly satisfied with the quality of education provided by PUSD. For the life of me I do not understand what all this negativity is meant to accomplish. Is the goal to thoroughly demoralize our teachers and make them go teach elsewhere? I bet some of the critics of Measure E would like that to happen. Is the goal to ensure that our schools' 10 rating drops to something comparable to the schools in STockton or Hayward? What better way to do it than to ride the negativity bus the way these opponents of E are doing?
"Land o'goshen, 27 of these teachers make a salary higher than I do!" Okay, so? Live with it! They're probably worth a whole lot more than what you do!!! Sounds like maybe some of you should be taking your complaints to your own employer. Or maybe you should mobilize a union to collectively bargain on your behalf. But to wage this witchhunt strikes me as irrational and destructive for our children and our community. Happy to state that my wife and I both voted Yes on the E Measure.
Posted by Mark, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm
I see no comments from a SteveP on this site. What are the objectors talking about. I vote Yes on E because are kids deserve the best education possible, especially in today's world. We do not need to become a second class society. We need to do all we can for the future of our children. We have a great community and I know we will step up and do what is right.
Posted by Really?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm
No More Teacher raises- all teachers must pay for their dental and vision benefits regardless of whether their spouse already has it. They have no choice. I repeat- ALL teachers pay for this medical benefit. Accusing people of lying, then doing it yourself is really an interesting tactic.
For those who call an upaid furlough day not a pay cut, never have I heard such a ludicrous comment. The teacher union voted overwhelmingly to cut $2000-$4000 from their salary- far exceeding a parcel tax for 4 yrs, far exceeding a freeze on any of their salary steps, and far exceeding any contribution made by this community- and this is the response they get? How many times do you expect the teachers to pay for your child's education? How many years are you going to keep blaming them for their public service?
I applaud PUSD for rising above this sickening vitriol and doing this for our children, even after the ugly campaign against the schools in the last measure. They have proven trustworthy above and beyond the likes of Mr. Miller and his politically driven nonsense aimed at furthering his political agenda rather than the needs of the children of this community. These arguments against this measure don't even come close to being persuasive, PUSD's actions speak way louder than any of your whining complaints.
Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Really? needs to read the words before jumping in. "Dental and vision" is not the same as "medical". 39% of teachers pay for their own MEDICAL benefits. The district has published that many times. It's common even when employers pay for medical benefits that the employees have to pay for dental and vision. These are not the same thing and not what the comments addressed.
An unpaid day off is not a pay cut. A pay cut means working without pay, it does not mean an extra day off without pay. You may not like that but you were not working on that day without being paid. As many have said before, having every weekend, holiday and summer off makes this substantially less than a full time job. If you spend every waking minute prepping for your job (as some would have us believe) you need to learn to manage your time.
Posted by Jonna Silver, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm
We all voted no at my home. We choose to keep our money to ourselves since we already pay taxes and two school bonds already. We will keep our own money rather than giving teacher more money and taking from seniors. That said, after this bill is over if someone comes around for money for the KIDS and school then I will donate as long as it does not support the teachers nor their union.
Posted by Really?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm
NMTR- I know the FACTS I wrote did not meet your political agenda so you have to reduce yourself to insults.
When my pay check decreases- it is a pay cut. Truth is, we saved the district $4.5 million- I guess you wouldn't call that real either. You're so concerned about semantics, you completely miss the point!
Your perception of the teaching profession couldn't be more wrong. I won't bother to attempt to explain the truth, it would only be matched with your further insults and childish attempts at proving me wrong. Not sure why you think the words you post are factual, except that you mean to deceive the people of this community. Those who are really involved in education in this community see right through your deception.
Posted by John Henry, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm
In my humble opinion, the people opposed to the measure have an axe to grind. It is similar to Donald Trump going after that black man in the White House. Next he intends to 'inspect' the black man's birth certificate to see if it passes Trump's inspection. And next Trump intends to go after the black man's transcripts from college, and I suppose after that whether the black man actually was president of the Harvard Law Review.
The people opposed to the measure seem to have difficulty with teachers. They hold them in contempt and derisively state that they don't work hard, or that they don't work a full-time job, or that they don't know how to manage their time. As if the people opposed to the measure have even the remotest idea what being a teacher involves! The way some of them write, it seems their own educators probably failed them, and they now want to punish teachers for any number of trumped up (pun intended) charges. Their grinding axe comes in the form of charges of 'unsustainability', excessive salaries, teachers are unionized, teacher furloughs don't count as salary cuts, and the list goes on. Just like it doesn't matter what Obama says or produces by way of evidence, Trump and Palin and the rest of the birthers will never be satisfied. They only want to bring the black man down. So with these no on the measure people. I swear it seems like they want PUSD to fail so that others will feel the pain they have had to feel because of their own unhappy educational experiences in the past.
As an American tonight I am saddened and embarrassed by the ill treatment being inflicted upon our great president. As a Pleasanton resident I am saddened and embarrassed by the ill treatment being inflicted upon our fine teachers. I trust that rational Pleasanton residents will recognize the attack for what it is. Vicious and mean spirited.
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm
Let's stay on topic, shall we?
Actually, many of the No on Measure E supporters are in fact teachers and former teachers. Some are part time teachers (180 working days) and some are full time teachers (e.g., at the the university level where year-round teaching obligations exist).
Throwing money to hope it solves problems is not the way to go. After all, the highest per pupil expenditures are in the DC school system in Washington DC. The highest per pupil expenditures in Alameda County are in Berkeley.
In the current system, people with the same number of years of experience are paid exactly the same, irregardless of whether:
1) they are excellent and energetic teachers where the students excel and are excited to come to class or
2) whether they are burnt out, poor teachers that go through the motions day in and day out, with an excessive absentee rate, where the children do not learn the material.
Giving out $15,000,000 in raises in four years and having retired administrators have pensions of $178,000 for the rest of their lives is not going to solve any educational issues.
Posted by nightowl, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm
"Actually, many of the No on Measure E supporters are in fact teachers and former teachers. Some are part time teachers (180 working days) and some are full time teachers (e.g., at the the university level where year-round teaching obligations exist)."
Actually, no, I didn't realize that, nor do I believe it or anything else Observer claims to know. What I do know is that Observer is so far away from any legitimate classroom it isn't even funny. One example:
"people with the same number of years of experience are paid exactly the same, irregardless of whether"
First off, the statement is patently false, and Observer has had this pointed out to him many times on these posts. Number of years of experience is in fact but one criterion conjoined with others -- e.g., additional teaching credentials, advanced degrees.
Second, anyone with even a minimally adequate education would know that "irregardless" is not a word. That Observer would purport to say anything intelligent about education is worthy only of derisive laughter. What a joke.
Posted by Matter of principle, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm
I always feel people who don't taxes, regardless of reason, should not vote on any financial matter. So to be consistent, being a senior not to be taxed, I feel I should keep my mouth shut...I know that will PO both sides. But on any issue, if you don't have skin in the game, you shouldn't interfere with the outcome...just keep thy mouth shut.
Posted by David Miller, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 2:20 am
Thanks for your comment at the top of this post. The concern I expressed at Tuesday's board meeting is that PUSD is attempting to alter (via edict) ballot language that has been explicitly defined in Section 5 of the Measure E Resolution. The resolution clearly states that the owner must re-apply annually for exemption.
To me, this move by PUSD is not an issue of whether seniors should or shouldn't pay the tax. It is an issue of ballot integrity and what are the limitations of our government (specifically PUSD).
I am extremely sensitive and protective of our election process. The integrity of the ballot must be protected at all costs. If we Americans ever lose confidence in the election process we will lose our Republic. You may be rolling your eyes and thinking melodrama, but this is a core principle I subscribe.
PUSD's modification of the process defined in Measure E has two effects:
1) PUSD's action confuses the voters as to what they are voting. For example, suppose some seniors had voted NO on E because of the "hassle" of the yearly re-apply requirement. Now this requirement is (apparently) suddenly changed by PUSD edict. Do those voters now get to change their votes to Yes? How do they do that? Likewise, maybe some people voted Yes expecting additional revenue from seniors who forgot to re-apply. Do they get to take their ballots back and re-vote based on this change from PUSD. In my opinion, voters from both sides should be alarmed that PUSD made this change, especially during the middle of voting. This calls into question the integrity of the ballot as well as the integrity of PUSD.
2) I believe, this change by PUSD is demonstrating overreaching and abusive authority. The measure E language is no longer PUSD's. They no longer "own it" and it is not their place to re-interpret it according to their own mid-election objectives. As mentioned in a post above, PUSD is moving the goal post in the middle of the game. While some might argue the movement is "good intentioned", it is a movement none-the-less. This begs the question as to what other "false authority" does PUSD assume they have above the will of the voters? An extrapolation of their action in this case could lead to concern that PUSD will take it upon themselves to re-define Measure E into other areas. Will they now decide to deem the $98 tax to be something different...how about making it $1000 or lowering it to $50? Will they decide that that the tax should be 5 years instead of 4? Will they redefine the Measure E Section 2 statement ("NO PARCEL TAX REVENUE WILL BE USED TO INCREASE SALARIES OR BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES") such that step and column raises is not considered "salaries" so the parcel tax can be used for that purpose? You may think all these scenarios as absurd, I thought so too...until PUSD changed the exemption rule last week.
So, to me, this is yet another example of how PUSD has expressed contempt toward those they ultimately serve: the voters who elect them (parents and non-parents) and the tax payers who fund them (parents and non-parents).
I believe that in order to have excellence in the classrooms we first need excellence (and integrity) from the leadership. I have not observed this in the behavior of PUSD's leadership. Until this occurs, I cannot in good conscience advocate rewarding bad behavior with more of our hard earned tax dollars, especially during these difficult economic times. I also will not allow myself to be emotionally blackmailed by the “for the sake of the children” argument. Absolutely, the best education of my children is the ultimate goal here. But there are serious fiscal structural issues with our education system that needs to be fixed in order to achieve this goal in a sustainable manner.
Regardless of the outcome of Measure E next Tuesday, I am looking forward to working together with my “Yes on E” friends on a long term solution to our common education goals. I don’t know who you are “Jack”, but you know who I am. I’d love to talk with you more and share ideas.
(PS – sorry for the long post. I hope it helps explain my position, even if you do not agree with it)
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 6:52 am
The new approach on senior exemptions is clearly a change from what is contained in the text of Measure E and the ballot; however, this breach of process is just par for the course. The very heart of Measure E, usage of the funds, is intentionally vague and misleading. To say that the funds will not be used for raises while raises are already built in to the budget plan is a blatant attempt to mislead those who don't read the fine print. Proceeds from the parcel tax will be sucked into the California education black hole along with the multiple millions that are already being sucked in.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:09 am
You're making a mountain out of a mole hill, David. So they change the implementation of the senior exemption from an annual check to a one-time check. You haven't been able to show how this harms anyone. As for affecting the voting process, the only people who might conceivably would want to change their vote are seniors. As you say, seniors who voted "no" simply because of the hassle of re-applying for an exemption every year and who would now want to vote "yes". But that works in your favor and the favor of other "no" voters!!! What are you complaining about? Oh, perhaps you think that that's unfair to me and other "yes" voters? Well, thank you for your consideration, David, but I guarantee you that none of us who are voting "yes" are complaining. OK, now how about seniors who voted "yes" and then found out about the change in the implementation of the senior exemption? Why would they possibly want to change their vote? They wouldn't! Yes, I noticed that you attempted to come up with same lame explanation for why a "yes" voter would possibly want to change his or her vote. Spent some time scratching your head over that scenario didn't you? But instead of displaying intellectual honesty and admitting to yourself that there is no conceivable reason why a "yes" voter would want to change their vote to "no", you instead lied to yourself and tried to concoct some nonsensical explanation. The bottom line is that NO ONE IS HARMED by this change in how the senior exemption is implemented.
Now in part (2) of your post you get really silly and try to grow this trivially minor change into a case of "overreaching and abusive authority" and suggest that they could change the parcel tax by "making it $1000 or lowering it to $50". OK, David, now you're starting to go off the deep end. I was happy to see a little glimmer of sanity when you wrote "You may think all these scenarios as absurd, I thought so too." Yes, David, go back to your original thinking. The scenarios you raised in (2) are absurd. In your desire to attack Measure E, you let yourself get carried away. You became intellectually dishonest with yourself and then you started wildly extrapolating absurd scenarios.
Posted by No on PISD , a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:29 am
Dear Pleasanton Resident,
You mention that you are yanking your kids out of the PUSD (which I call the Pleasanton Indoctrination School District...PISD). I am with you all the way. I am also DONE with the PISD and will either homeschool or private school my kids.
DONE...FINISHED...NO MORE...and THE INCREASES ARE NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE KIDS.
Posted by No Monkeys, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 8:23 am
I hear you. When I found out what my kids were learning in biology, I nearly went berserk! There was no mention of biblical, young earth creationism. Just a bunch of discredited Marxist Darwinism! It is home school for now on.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:04 am Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
It's pretty obvious that the PUSD is trying to buy the senior vote with this latest end-around to the parcel tax.
Seniors can be exempted from the parcel tax permanently via a one-time registration.
Now, substitute "african-americans" or "left-handers" or "redheads" or "engineers" or district administrators for "seniors", and what would you say is the intent of the revision?
I'm not even saying that it's a bad thing to exempt seniors, but to think that it's anything but a transparent attempt to convince seniors to vote in favor of the parcel tax is pretty naive. The district is basically saying "Vote in favor of a tax that WON'T AFFECT YOU, we'll just charge everyone else".
Posted by Start Afresh, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:07 am
A key element of the initial story is the question of trust. For many years now, this question of trust has been at the root of many issues within the district. Promises made and broken by Superintendents and Boards of Trustees, negotiation tactics by the teachers union, Measure B bond oversight committees (or the lack of them), illegal parcel tax campaigning (including the latest at Harvest Park MS), Trustee conflicts of interest (e.g. Bowser) and now the "waiver of the requirements" (as explained by the PUSD cabinet member at the 4/26 school board meeting), have all contributed to a level of PUSD mistrust among residents and voters.
Measure E as presented to the voters (and approved by the PUSD Board of Trustees) states:
"Pursuant to California Government Code Section 50079 (b), any owners of a Parcel used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes and who are either (a) 65 years of age or older or (b) persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, may obtain an exemption from the core academic instruction parcel tax by annually submitting an application therefore, by June 15 of each year, to the District."
PUSD hired consultants to advise on the writing of this measure and public relations strategies to win over the voters. Even when members of the voting public asked for more specific language for clarification, one of the consultants specifically said to leave the language broad and unspecific so PUSD has maximum flexibility as to implementation. It's clear much effort (staff time and taxpayer money) was spent to craft the resolution and Measure E language.
So here we have "LEGALLY-BINDING text" (as stated by Measure E supporters in the Alameda County Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet.) from which voters have been making their decisions and casting ballots.
Now PUSD is changing the exemption policy without approval from the Alameda County Counsel who wrote (in the same Voter Information Pamphlet) "These individuals must apply annually to the District for the exemption by June 15 of each year."
(By the way, PUSD's form says the exemption application must be received by June 30, 2011. Clearly, PUSD staff can't even follow their own Board's resolutions.)
Many hold the voting process in America as an institution that should not be violated in any way, whether it is the qualification of an individual to vote, or the language and constitutionality of measures and initiatives. This announcement of a change in the exemption process is a violation of what the PUSD board approved, of what has been published to the voters for their decision, and of what votes have already been cast.
You, the reader, need to ask whether that's OK with you. For some, this is a molehill, and for some its a mountain. Mr. Miller is spot on accurate. His interpretation is valid and for many, admired. Holding the PUSD board and cabinet accountable to standards and to the public is not exactly a comfortable position to take in this community.
You get to decide whether you trust how PUSD and its Board, unions and employee groups are behaving.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:25 am
"Parent of Two" said: "Seniors can be exempted from the parcel tax permanently via a one-time registration. Now, substitute "african-americans" or "left-handers" or "redheads" or "engineers" or district administrators for "seniors", and what would you say is the intent of the revision? ..Weasels. Clever, but still weasels."
You're getting silly with your wild extrapolations. As you may have noticed, seniors are widely eligible for discounts throughout society. If you take a bus, you can get a senior discount. BART gives a 62% discount for seniors. Movie theaters give senior discounts. Museums. Zoos...Etcetera, etcetera. So what's wrong with giving seniors a parcel tax exemption? This isn't matter of just courtesy but also a recognition that many seniors live on a fixed income.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:34 am Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Wow, miss the point much?
Senior "discounts" at the zoo aren't the issue. The issue is tossing around TAX EXEMPTION RULES right before a vote on that very tax. The fact that you miss the point kinda shows that the district weasels are indeed, smarter than the average Sam.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:41 am
Start Afresh said:"You, the reader, need to ask whether that's OK with you. For some, this is a molehill, and for some its a mountain."
I will credit David Miller with one thing in his post: Unlike you and many others who are voting "no", he recognized the fact that the crux of the matter is whether the change in implementation causes any people who already voted to want to take back their vote and change it. That's the issue he focusses on in point (1) of his long post above. Unfortunately, his analytical powers then abandon him because he fails to recognize the fact that the change in implementation causes harm to no one.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:48 am
Parent of Two:"Wow, miss the point much? Senior "discounts" at the zoo aren't the issue. The issue is tossing around TAX EXEMPTION RULES right before a vote on that very tax. The fact that you miss the point kinda shows that the district weasels are indeed, smarter than the average Sam."
Sorry, "Parent of Two", the "Tax Exemption Rules" aren't changed: Seniors are exempted and non-seniors are not. Is that simple enough for you? The only thing that is changed is how the exemption is implemented: A one-time check instead of re-checking annually. I assure you, that if someone is over 65 this year then they will remain over 65 during the next four years, too, so there's no need to worry that going to a one-time check is going to be unfair to anyone. Feel better?
Go ahead and punch away so more at me. I always enjoy it when a totally clueless person tells me that I'm the one who is missing the point.
Posted by prison guard, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:32 am
You mention that you are yanking your kids out of the PUSD (which I call the Pleasanton Indoctrination School District...PISD). I am with you all the way. I am also DONE with the PISD and will either homeschool or private school my kids."
"I hear you. When I found out what my kids were learning in biology, I nearly went berserk! There was no mention of biblical, young earth creationism. Just a bunch of discredited Marxist Darwinism! It is home school for now on."
Well, when a few years from now pols start asking for more taxes to pay for the increased prison population, we'll know where the new inmates were probably schooled as youngsters.
Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:35 am Parent of Two is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Sam, you do of course understand that suppressing a "no" vote has the exact same effect as encouraging a "yes" vote, don't you?
So, if you're a senior citizen who was thinking about voting "no" on the parcel tax, are you more or less inclined to actively vote, now that you know that you won't be hit up for the money? The district is encouraging the seniors (demographically more likely to vote against ANY tax increase) to stay home.
Seriously, if the union would agree to FREEZE salaries for the duration of the parcel tax, it would win 90-10. Since the district is unwilling to push the union for this fairly basic concession, they're forced to play little games like this to pass an unnecessary tax.
Posted by Lou, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:37 am
Well I for one would like to have my ballots back. I voted yes when I thought that everyone was in, including seniors unless they filed for the exemption annually, now that they can opt out I want to change my vote to no. Either everyone is in or they thing should not go ahead. Seniors have the most money and property and in my view should pay the highest percentage.
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:39 am
This is blatant bribery. I am a Senior and I have already voted NO. $98 is a drop in the bucket. I am against the principle of giving step and column raises when the private sector is still suffering. With the dollar being downgraded along with Treasury debt everyone has to share in the pain along with public sector employees.
The big hit will come when Brown's referendums fail because he doesn't have the cajones to take on the unions. Even Taxachusetts and New York have tackled them. California is the only one in La La land. After the referendums fail we will be looking at massive cuts to K-12 along with other programs. By sticking their heads in the sand public sector unions and the democrats are hastening the demise of the system. David and others have shown moral courage in standing up to this. The unions may win the battle on E but they are going to lose the war.
Posted by teapartyproud, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:48 am
I and 7 others in my household plan to send in our no votes on the 29th, just as a matter of principal. The April 28th deadline is arbitary, qruely so, and offensive to principals of the us CONSTITUTION. No more teacher reaises! Down with the unions! Don't let our teachers tread on us! Home school your chidren!
Posted by Longtime resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:51 am
"clearly this is an attempt by the authors and supporters of this initiative to get more money from seniors by hoping they do not apply for the exemption in the beginning for forget as years go by. Seniors please be aware of this."
This and MANY more of the same conspiracy theory posts were written here, "Parcel tax potentially targets senior citizens!!!" in response to having to file exemptions annually: Web Link
Seems to me, the district listened to the community, did what they asked, and are now vilified again. I personally value a system that listens to the people it serves, that makes changes in a quick manner for what I request. THis certainly doesn't happen in the private sector!
Talk about moving targets- Someone gave the example of Lucy and Charlie Brown playing ball- opponents here not only move the ball, I don't believe they even had the intention to bring one to begin with.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm
"Parent of Two" said:"So, if you're a senior citizen who was thinking about voting "no" on the parcel tax, are you more or less inclined to actively vote, now that you know that you won't be hit up for the money?"
Whoa! I have to say, "Parent of Two", for someone who accuses others of "missing the point", I have to say that you do a mighty good job of doing that yourself. Let's back up here. Of course the proponents of the Measure changed the implementation rule in order to make the Measure more attractive to seniors. BUT, that's not the point! As a "no" voter, you may not like the fact that the Measure is now more attractive to other voters, but that fact alone doesn't make the change "unfair". The question of "unfairness to voters" only enters if there are conceivably voters who have already voted and may now wish to change their vote (but are unable to) due to learning about the change in the implementation of the senior exemption. If there are such voters, then the change could legitimately be called "unfair". Now if, for example, proponents of the Measure changed the parcel tax from $98 to $1000 in the middle of the voting, then you would have a valid reason to complain about "unfairness". And I would protest with you! In that case the change would be harmful and unfair to people who have already voted. But what about this change in how the senior exemption is implemented? Is it unfair in any way to those who have already voted? You can see in the posts above how we have already thoroughly covered this item, but the answer is "no". No foul, no penalty.
Posted by teaparty2, a resident of the Avignon neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Yes, I was going to vote today too but teapartyproud made so much cents. My husband and I will not be sending our ballots in until well after the dedline has passed. That way the district will here us loud and clear. Down with arbritary dedlines! Help us take our country back form the mooslems! What were Barak Hussane Oboma's grades while at Harvaard Yard?
Posted by teapartyproud, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm
Rita! It is not to late! Maybe if you catch your overpaid postal carier you can retreve your vote! Or if you go to the palashial tax payer finianced post office billding and ask for you're ballet back, they have so much time on there hands they can probrably find yours in the heep of other NO votes. WE live in a free COUNTRY. Rita!!! Please exercise you're freedom and protest WITH us. Its on the sake of principal.
Posted by stopthemadness, a resident of the Grey Eagle Estates neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm
Reading the posts by "TeaPartyProud" & "teaparty2" just helps reaffirm why I voted YES on Measure E.
The folks voting NO on Measure E are taking this far too seriously. I can appreciate a spirited dialogue to debate issues, but it's almost comical to see how much time & effort has gone into the "No on E" posts when we're only talking a whopping $98/year. I mean really? Measure E isn't going to solve all of PUSD's problems, but if it can preserve even a small portion of the programs & services that are in jeopardy of being eliminated, just vote YES.
Oh, and even if the teachers were to receive a raise as a result, I would still wholeheartedly vote YES. Have you been in a classroom lately? I help in my children's classrooms on a weekly basis and I see their dedication and effort first-hand.
Posted by Teacher, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm
Wow, how sad:( This is the first time I have dared go to this site, but have heard that there are many posts that are depressing and disheartening. Our principal has told us that no matter how bad things get, just think of the students in our class. They come to us full of excitement and eagerness to learn. The kids are our driving force during these tough times! Unfortunately, it seems like many think the $ will go to our salaries. Basically we need this $ to continue our dynamic teaching programs. The children will suffer without the basic learning tools. Sad to think that the job I love and spend countless hours after school and at home preparing for is being putdown:(
Posted by Definitely not native Californian, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm
Hey TEacher, I'm from Texas and I get shagrinned when I read this post to. I know waht they mean about CAlifornia attracting nuts and friuts. And why bother with all the words? We just deal with things like real men.