Town Square

The G in Measure G is for Greed

Original post made by Ranting One on Apr 30, 2009

I have been following the blogs on this site for at least a year, but never more closely than now since the Parcel Tax issue appeared.I rarely comment and have never initiated a post, but perhaps due to the sale tax hike and the new garbage hike anger has spurred me on. Not much fact or numbers here, just a vent.
Yes on G people you are GREEDY, yes-that's the word. You want property owners who are already supporting the school district with 2 taxes to provide even more for your "special programs" and teacher raises when the economy has already slapped them into a corner. Families with school age children comprise roughly 40% of Pleasanton, yet you feel that the rest of us need to help even more than we already do. NOT GONNA HAPPEN, but you have the power to prove that you're not greedy when G fails.
Heres the plan: Since the State and Federal Governments give you a tax breakby allowing you to declare your children as dependents, something that most of us don't get which means that we pay more income taxes than you, then you can save that money and donate it to the PUSD rather than riding on the backs of property owners. This will put me in my place and show the rest of Pleasanton that you are really concerned with the kids and not looking for a free ride. Spread the wealth by spreading the burden.
As I said, not much fact but much anger. The Yes-G side has used emotional arguments as their main thrust in this election and it might work on some, but not me. So in the spirit of the campaign and keeping in mind that the Father's of this Country fought a war against taxes against the strongest nation on earth and won, my motto will be DON'T TREAD ON ME - NO ON G


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm

How do you become the least popular person in your neighborhood? Put a yes on G sign in your yard.

Posted by Stu Gazzo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm

That's a fairly mild rant, especially if you compare it to "Buford". But I do agree with the income tax connection. Parents are given a break by the government to raise childre who are, after all, the future. All taxpayers help provide basic services for their country, state, and community. I believe the taxpayers of Pleasanton have done that and more. Anything above that should be the burden of the parents and not the entire community. The tax break to help raise children is for more than food and clothes. They kept the money and if they feel that these special programs are necessary, then they should use it.

Posted by Ya I Know, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Lawn signs, go figure. Only one down the street and she has a maid and laundry service and no job. Don't think I'm supporting you kids.

Posted by never a parcel tax, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm

You got this just right. They get not only a deduction for each kid, they also get a dollar for dollar credit of $1,000 for each kid. And that is REFUNDABLE which means that if they pay zero dollars in taxes, they can get $1,000 per kid paid back to them anyway! Talk about greedy! It would not even be so bad if your spawn -- that I pay for -- had any work ethic or sense of responsibility. But no, why have that when mommy and daddy will give them whatever they want? Well, mommy and daddy, pay your tax and mine too cause I will never vote for it.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The child tax credit depends upon your AGI.

Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm

"The child tax credit depends upon your AGI."

Stacey is right. Not everyone with children gets it. Also, people who have to pay AMT don't get the tax credit, if I understand correctly.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

You know why government won't reform AMT? Apparently they've budgeted the future revenues from it. People who pay AMT are subsidizing the rest of us...

Web Link

"The major problem with the AMT has to do with its exemption levels, which have never been indexed to inflation and now stand at $58,000 for married couples and $40,250 for single taxpayers."

Posted by Informal polling data, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I have noticed Yes on G signs popping up in my neighborhood...two houses have the signs to be exact. I was out doing some gardening when my next door neighbor asked me what I thought about the Measure. We had a frank discussion and shared the same view.

For some informal polling data, I live on a large street and in the course of 4 days we asked 30 of our neighbors (including the yard sign houses, but not asking them since their Yes on G sign gave it away) what they thought so far on voting regarding Measure G.

As it turned out, only the people with a Yes on G sign in their yard were voting for Measure G in my neighborhood (28 houses). Not only were the "no" answers easily offered, they were usually seasoned with a little salty language as to why they would be voting no. I didn't feel anyone was dishonest with me, particularly with the way they were not holding back with their opinions.

So out of 30 neighbor's homes (with multiple voters), I had 28 definite no votes, and counted two yes votes from the houses identified with yes signs.

It looks like 94% of my neighbors are voting No on G.

I also recently read that PUSD has a firm that conducts internal polling within the community for them. Apparently Pleasanton Unified asked them to get data on how the community felt about a parcel tax being put on the ballot back before it was. Apparently the community was overwhelmingly not in favor. Things change I realize, but I'm just not sure why PUSD is pushing for this so hard right now.

As my spouse put it, I guess anyone can ask for something, it is just up to us in this instance to give it out or not. Maybe that is why the two houses in my neighborhood with Yes on G signs are renters.

Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 1, 2009 at 12:30 am

OK, so as far as the informal polling is concerned the No on G vote is roughly ahead 3:1 (ish) so far. Well I just received a nice, glossy two page fold out pamphlet in today's mail complete with smiling children, happy teachers & an ominous message of impending doom for the PSD if Measure G is not passed. I was just slightly reminded of the National Lampoon add campaign of the late 70's (sorry to date myself butů) of "If you don't' buy this magazine, we'll shoot this dog" but wherin that was comedy/parody, the PSD is trying to be serious & doing a good job at it by the way.

So, come June 3rd when measure G passes by a good 6-10% I don't want to hear any whining from the assembled peanut gallery of posters here. We have NO public opposition other than an internet pseudo-blog, NO media campaign whatsoever, NO public signage or visual clues as to who is in opposition to this imminent boondoggle. If I have to go down to our local Kinkos & have 100 NO ON G signs printed up (which sadly would probably cost more than $233 too btw.) I'll do it.

Someone once told me that the last & only thing that civilized people have to argue over are politics, sports & religion. If that's the case then I'm a no on Measure G voting, forever rooting & praying for a 49er's resurgence, lapse catholic turned Presbyterian then. Not something that would quite fit on a bumper sticker but it sure makes for some interesting conversation & debate. To which I'd be happy to engage in with any Measure G supporter, Raiders fan orůmilitant Baptist maybe?(gotta work on that last one)

Anyway, please vote NO ON MEASURE G. Thanks!

Posted by Community of Character, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 12:45 am

The greedy ones are those who hold onto their wallets and unwilling to support our children, our schools, and our community.

Vote YES on G!

Posted by Practical Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 am

Everyone just remind those that oppose the parcel tax to be sure and VOTE! Every vote will be important.

PUSD has scheduled this special election (costing close to $300,000) in hopes of a low voter turnout to increase the chance of passage. Of course they say it is to allow more time to educate the public....yeah right.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 1, 2009 at 7:23 am

Community of Character: Shame on you for perpetuating the lie.

It's $2 million for CSR. Instead of using suggestions made by many, send out pink slips to the least senior staff--pink shirts, teachers in tears, students crying . . . paint a picture of "overcrowded" classrooms at 30:1, Johnny and Susie aren't learning anything, some child sneezes . . . So, let's repeat, CSR is the biggest emotional hammer in the district's toolbox.

I'd like to think this community is smart enough to see past the bs and hold this district accountable for past fiscal practices and the drama they are intentionally creating. There is $2 million in the budget they can cut and still keep CSR (and I'm leaving out that they can move classes to 21:1 or 22:1, etc. and save money). That's about $8 million over the life of this proposed tax . . . what do they need the other $10 million for . . .

Posted by Mom 2, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

Please list the $2 million (besides salaries/step and column) that could be cut without losing CSR.

Posted by never a parcel tax, a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 8:49 am

Let's add to the ridiculous claims of the "yes on greed" supporters.

1. If you vote NO your property value will sink to negative numbers.
2. If you vote NO your first born child will be held as collateral for the teacher pay raises.
3. If you vote NO every member of your family will be infected with the swine flu.

These people make false claims of doom and gloom yet the PUSD will not cut salaries. Those of us who have supported the schools for many years, with or without having any kids, are done with paying for your raises. The economy sucks for everyone right now but the teachers and administrators want to keep their raises and their expense accounts. How about an old fashioned bankruptcy? Do you think the employees of the city of Vallejo kept their step and column raises? Do you think the workers at GM will keep their pay and benefits in a backruptcy? When the PUSD agrees to CUT pay and to CUT benefits by a significant amount they can come back to me and ask for a parcel tax.

Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 10:03 am

Check out this link - pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist Steven Breen was uninvited to speak at a Southern California elementary school after he dared to publish a political cartoon critical of teachers' unions

Web Link

Posted by Are we?, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

Perhaps the "We the People" winners from Amador should head south the explain the meaning of freedom of speech to the school board in that district (the teacher's union too perhaps?). Steve Breen is one of THE most respected catoonists in the country. Boy did they blow a wonderful opportunity.
Perhaps Mr. Clegg could invite him here. Didn't he get a pink slip? What a statement that would make. (Are WE that open minded?)

Posted by Fed Up!, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 1, 2009 at 10:47 am


Shame on you! Shame on all of you who have the audacity, the nerve & the elitist attitude that we who are against Measure G do not care about our children education & future. I know who you are & I have spent the last eleven years going to your children's birthday parties, sleepovers, soccer games & open houses. I've seen all of your nice shiny new cars parked in your driveways with a "Yes on G" sign prominently displayed. I've been in your lovely, twice & three times refinanced homes & have wished I could have a new kitchen, bathroom, game room or landscaping too. For that I am guilty of envy. What I am not envious of however is your children's education, or lack thereof.

My girls have commented that their friends sometimes make fun of them because they don't have the newest, trendiest clothes, drive the nicest car (or have a car) or have a house that's as "fun" to go to as some other girls. I just keep reminding them that in another year when they are starting their first year of either Stanford, Brown, Dartmouth or evenůCal Berkeley (Janie dear you know your killing me;) that all of our at-home tutoring, summers spent with reading assignments & college prep classes will have paid off. I'm sorry we weren't able to send you to Mexico, Vail, New York City & Florida with your friends but I promise you that you will be going to much more exciting places in the years to come.

In short, our children have managed to succeed within the PSD simply because we as the parents have taken a small amount of time to invest in our children's education & therefore their future. It has been a sacrifice in many different areas for us but in the end, what is more important. A new car, room addition, wardrobe or trip to Disneyland or your children's future?

Please think twice before you say yes to Measure G.

Posted by Community of Character, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 11:16 am

Measure G is about helping the children in the entire community. Our children need our support to attain a better education. We don't live in this community because it's free-for-all. Open your heart and your wallet to help our children, our schools, and our community.

Vote YES on G!

Posted by Not Right Now, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

Fed Up:

Very nicely put! We live off of hand-me-downs, drive reliable old cars, buy used whenever we get a chance, splurge on Golden Apple Bridge books for summertime and smile each time we're able to sink money into the future education of our young family. We spend every chance we get to academically enrich our children. Visits to Disneyland hasn't been in our past and won't be in our future, but good old fashoned camping is how we spend our summer vacation.

Our children are our lives.....and our "NO" vote on measure G won't change that.

Posted by Mr. Hand, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 12:32 pm

..."But it's for the children." If I hear that old tired line one more time I'm going to puke! The poor helpless, over-indulged, often spoiled & pampered children of Pleasanton do not need their already over burdened parents saddled with additional debt so that their teachers union can force yet another fee down the throats of the taxpayer.

A big cheers to the likes of Kathleen R., Steve Breen, Nosey Neighbors & Never a Parcel Tax. who have the spine to stand up to the PTA forces in this town!

If we all took a more active role in our kids education there would no be a need for this discussion.

Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 pm

@Fed Up

Those stereotypes don't apply. I drive a 19 year old Honda with 300,000+ miles. My wife drives a six year old Pontiac.

Neither of our children has ever been to Disneyland. We have one 30 year fixed mortgage that we financed with 30% down. With live in a tiny 3 bedroom house with shoebox sized bedrooms. It really needs a paint job and we'll be paying for that soon.

Good parenting is no substitute for bad schools, unless you have the inclination and the means to home-school your children. It is great that you tutor your kids and get involved with their learning. We do that too. But there is only so much that you can do to compensate for a bad school. If the school doesn't even provide college preparatory classes, it is very hard for parent to make up for that. If your high school doesn't offer calculus, trig, or geometry, and the algebra classes aren't competently taught, the only way a parent can substitute for that is to learn and teach these subjects himself. That is home schooling. The same applies to other subjects.

I don't get the logic of your post anyway. Your daughters got accepted into that list of schools, and you don't think it has anything to do with their attending Foothill H.S.? Do you think they would be in the same position had they gone to a poor performing high school? I have a close friend who was the valedictorian at a Bay Area high school and he nearly flunked out of Cal because he was so poorly prepared. It was not a good high school.

I don't think you know how good you have it here.

I never said people who don't support measure G don't care about children.

Posted by Just wondering, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Community of Character,
If $15 million of the $18 million raised in this parcel tax is needed for teacher raises, where will the "help (for) our children, our schools, and our community" come from?

Don't ask us for this money until the details of who's going to cover the step and column raises is worked out with the unions and administration. Now that the cat is out of the bag (about the $ & C raises) how are we supposed to believe that the parcel tax money will cover what they say it will? If there's an extra $15 million sitting around-then why are they asking for a parcel tax? If "kids come first" shouldn't that money cover CSR and the other goodies on the list-first?

Posted by Get out of the wagon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Just wondering,

Community of Character can't answer that for you. Community of Character can only say, "Unions: good, Pleasantonians against Measure G for moral, ethical, and sound reasons: Bad."

Don't engage C of C... they only know scripted soundbites and can't respond to any logical questioning with any honesty or integrity.

That's who WE are on this side: No on G!

By the way, keep up the good work C of C, you are really helping the opposition! AND WE LOVE IT!!

OXOXOX (hugs and kisses!)

Posted by Enrique, a resident of Downtown
on May 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Just Wondering

Clarifying: Step and Column increases are approximately $1.5M per year, not $4.0M as many people are being led to believe. The $1.5M amount comes directly from the District. It can be verified on the Cabinet's proposed list.

Please refrain from spreading misinformation.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


See my post in the other thread. Your understanding of step and column increases is only revealing an ignorance of budgets and math on your part to readers.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Get out of the wagon,

I meant to thank you for the information you provided the other night on teacher compensation on the other thread. That thread got lost amongst the shuffle...

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Community of Character: There were indeed people speaking for a different approach to the tax who were booed and hissed after waiting patiently for their turn to speak.

Not all options were considered—the BAC was not allowed to weigh in with their thoughts, and they had suggestions to offer, as did one board member who was also ignored. Many have emailed the superintendent and board members with concerns about this tax and other choices to be made.

Those opposed have plenty of experience, have done the homework, posted it on these blogs, and are doing much more to provide the transparency that is missing. Please, go back, read the information on the links provided, ask the district for the volumes of paperwork it takes to get to the information—after all, there's time given the extra $150,000 being spent by the district to have this election in June instead of May.

Mom2: The blogs have listed plenty of ideas. How about just the $2.1 million coming from the federal government? There is additional funding (now applied for, but amount yet unknown) coming to alleviate layoffs. How about all the flexibility in how funds are spent coming from the state (isn't this what boards and administrations have always demanded—flexibility to spend the funds to suit the needs of their own student population?). There's a lot spent on attorneys and other consultants that could be cut. As noted above Ms. Arkin had ideas and the BAC, already in place to provide this assist, has ideas as well. The point is it's easier to scare everyone than to sit down and determine where mistakes were made (let alone admit to them), what is valued, and what is truly necessary to keep it. It's why the survey was skipped this time through—it's a mighty big and scary straw man the district employed instead. Wonder what he cost?