Save Pleasanton Schools - campaigning with fiction?
Original post made
by tax revolt 2, Country Fair,
on May 11, 2009
Save Pleasanton Schools posted a video of a KPIX news clip at the top of their home page. And on Sunday e-mailed a link to that clip to all of their supporters.
This news clip made several claims about the Pleasanton real estate market. The reporter, Robert Lyles, spoke with a real estate agent, Farida Chapman of Keller Williams, and with a home buyer. The claims made about the real estate market being a 'hotbed of activity' with bids 20% over the asking price, have no basis in fact. The reporter then made the claim that this 'hotbed of activity' is due to high quality schools, and that schools in the South Bay are declining in quality prompting buyers to come to Pleasanton.
Are there any real estate firms or agents (including supporters of Measure G) who will vouch for the claims made in this news video?
If not, then why is Save Pleasanton Schools campaigning with fiction? What other dubious claims are being made by the Parcel Tax supporters to get Measure G passed?
After first playing the emotional card, then attacking No on G supporters, and now with PUSD receiving $6.7M in state/federal funds with more on the way, is resorting to fiction all that is left in the campaign strategy with three weeks to go?
Please, Save Pleasanton Schools, tell us again why we need to have this tax today? There is now a whole year for PUSD to negotiate new contracts, constrain expenses, develop new alternatives, have a *real* Budget (emphasis on the word 'budget') Advisory Committee, pull back from the emotional hype and develop a long-term sustainable plan.
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on May 12, 2009 at 9:15 am
There is a good editorial in the Sacramento Bee today on the public employees who are making more than $100,000 per year in pensions. You can find it at: Web Link . They reference a website www.californiapensionreform.com where you can do a search by agency to see those making more than $100,000 in pensions. For Pleasanton, there are currently 22 retired Pleasanton personal making over $100,000 per year in pensions.
Search by First, Last or Full Name Search by Employer
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP 10 LIST
Name Monthly Annual Employer Name
TIMOTHY NEAL $14,035.34 $168,424.08 PLEASANTON
STEWART GARY $13,168.05 $158,016.60 PLEASANTON
SUSAN ROSSI $12,499.04 $149,988.48 PLEASANTON
GARY TOLLEFSON $11,854.06 $142,248.72 PLEASANTON
JOHN GOODWIN $11,482.71 $137,792.52 PLEASANTON
BRIAN SWIFT $10,523.83 $126,285.96 PLEASANTON
DAVID RADFORD $10,451.79 $125,421.48 PLEASANTON
THOMAS BRAMELL $10,361.76 $124,341.12 PLEASANTON
ERIC CARLSON $10,271.48 $123,257.76 PLEASANTON
WILLIAM EASTMAN $9,770.95 $117,251.40 PLEASANTON
JOSEPH BUCKOVIC $9,407.05 $112,884.60 PLEASANTON
MICHAEL STJOHN $9,275.80 $111,309.60 PLEASANTON
CHRISTOPHE DICKINSON $9,092.33 $109,107.96 PLEASANTON
SEAN CHAPMAN $8,856.90 $106,282.80 PLEASANTON
CARL COUSINEAU $8,821.74 $105,860.88 PLEASANTON
MAUREEN LAURENCE $8,780.15 $105,361.80 PLEASANTON
PAUL HELMS $8,691.66 $104,299.92 PLEASANTON
GREGORY WIXOM $8,593.63 $103,123.56 PLEASANTON
STEVEN ROSS $8,583.76 $103,005.12 PLEASANTON
PAUL MOLKENBUHR $8,555.76 $102,669.12 PLEASANTON
DONALD SAULSBURY $8,408.28 $100,899.36 PLEASANTON
WILLIAM HALVORSEN $8,382.22 $100,586.64 PLEASANTON
My guess is Roush will be near the top of this list once he retires, especially since the Council is voting to give him a raise JUST BEFORE RETIREMENT and MAKING IT RETROACTIVE so he can get an even higher pension. I think this would be a great article for the weekly. Hope they pick this up and be trule informative to our residents on our pensions. On top of this we also have a mostly unfunded liability on retiree medical to the tune of over $100 million! That is just Pleasanton. The Pleasanton School District has a completely unfunded liability of over $11 million in retiree medical. Now with the losses in the pension fund, the taxpayers are on the hook since these retirees have guaranteed income (defined benefit). The retiree medical will also eat us alive since insurance rates keep going up. While the city has a little control at the high end for payout in the end of the next contract, the school district has no cap, and we as taxpayers are on the hook for the medical insurance, no matter what the cost is.
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2009 at 11:41 am
Back in 2003, a year of "unprecedented level of budget deficit for the state," which Dr. Casey said could go on for 2 or 3 more years, PUSD realized the value of maintaining reserves to weather future financial storms.
But as former Business Services Director Sandra Lemmons noted - the reserves are like a savings account - once you spend it it's gone.
See the following Pleasanton Weekly article.
Publication Date: Friday, January 24, 2003
District wrestles with 'drastic' funding shortfall
State deficit hits Pleasanton schools
by Jeb Bing
Already nearly seven months into the school year, the Pleasanton school board Tuesday took the first steps toward covering an estimated $2.2 million shortfall in its current budget year and considered ways to handle a $3 million shortfall looming next year.
The shortfalls, which Superintendent John Casey called "drastic," result from state funding cutbacks for education as Gov. Davis and the Legislature deal with a $34.6 billion state budget deficit.
And there could be more financial problems ahead.
"This is an unprecedented level of budget deficit for the state," Casey said. "This thing could be going on for two or three more years after the current fiscal year."
In a special 2-1/2 hour workshop to discuss potential budget adjustments, the board heard proposals by Assistant Superintendent Sandra Lemmons and others that would cover the shortfalls, but possibly at a cost to programs, services and school district staff. Although no votes or actions were taken, there appeared to be consensus among board members to accept Lemmon's plan to tap into a reserve fund for $1 million to meet shortfalls in both the current budget year and again in 2003-04.
There was also agreement to consider using $600,000 set aside to pay for the planned Neal Elementary School startup, at least for the current year. School Board President Kris Weaver said she would object to using this budget set-aside next year, which could be needed if Neal is built and opened before 2005. The $10 million school, which is planned for property the school district owns in the Vineyard Corridor, would serve elementary age children from nearby Ruby Hill and other eastside neighborhoods.
Although the "L" word - for layoffs - wasn't used as part of Lemmon's initial adjustments, cutbacks in the school district's management, clerical and teaching staff have been the talk on school campuses for weeks. As part of the collective bargaining process, teachers must receive notification by March 15 if their jobs could be on the line for the next school year.
"To make these adjustments without paying attention to the March 15 deadline would be unrealistic," Casey said.
Pleasanton may be in better shape to meet one or two years of state cutbacks than other districts because the school district here has maintained a reserve fund of about 6 percent of its near-$100-million budget. The state mandates a 3 percent reserve for school districts.
"But these reserves are like your own savings account," she explained. "You can keep drawing it down, but if you can't replenish it, eventually it's gone."
Unlike other districts, including some that don't have even the 3 percent in their reserves, Pleasanton is fortunate to have kept its reserve level high at about 5.7 percent, Lemmons said.
Besides using Neal startup funds and tapping into the reserve, Lemmons said the district could realize $279,000 from a mandated school improvement fund that the state may allow districts to use, and another $150,000 in reductions in staff development hours.
Casey said that more than 100 e-mails, phone calls and letters from school district staff, teachers and the community have been submitted as suggestions for coping with budget shortfalls this year and next. They included proposals to stop approving new courses to save on textbooks and materials, reducing the number of counselors in the elementary and middle schools, a custodian hiring freeze and to review the need for reading specialists at elementary schools.
Lemmons said that the state's allocation of $300,000 for class size reductions also has been cut, but board members indicated they would vote to continue the program. Lemmons said that the state could help districts continue these programs by allowing more flexibility so that schools could exceed the 20.4 absolute limit set by the state on a temporary basis. The state now strips schools of state funding for any school that exceeds that limit, even for a day.
Arick Little, a mathematics teacher at Amador Valley High School, urged the board to keep Class Size Reduction (CSR) programs in the ninth grades.
"As a teacher of 13 years, the CSR program helps students overcome obstacles they are facing in math," he said. "Don't pull this program out from under the kids. They need it."
Other teachers, including Amador Valley's Vivian Straight and Kelly Ching, joined Little in urging that the board continue funding CSR programs.
"The high number of kids who are passing the high school exit exams in Pleasanton can be attributed to the emphasis we are giving these kids in smaller writing classes," said Ching, a teacher of freshman English. "We are seeing the difference that these 20-1 class sizes have on just the first essay that they write."
Alisal Elementary School reading specialist Candace Cease and PE specialist Laurence Cohn of Fairlands Elementary told the board that specialists are needed at the elementary levels.
"We read every day about our young people who are overweight and in dire risk to their health," Cohn said. "We're seeing juvenile diabetes at younger ages and other problems due to obesity. Pleasanton is five times above the current state level set for PE standards. We want to continue that."
Board members also asked staff help in looking at possible revenue generators that could help reduce program costs and add money for more. Suggestions included charging fees for staff development courses, which are now paid by the district, charging for summer school and raising fees for school lunches.
Board President Weaver said the district should also consider a parcel tax for Pleasanton.
"Many people I have talked to who have moved to Pleasanton from other districts have suggested that we should consider a parcel tax," she said. "We should consider it in time for a vote on the issue in November if it would make a difference."
Casey said he will have firm recommendations on covering the 2002-03 budget shortfall ready for the board's consideration and approval at its meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. At its Feb. 11 meeting, he will make similar recommendations for handling the anticipated budget shortfall for the 2003-04 school year.