http://pleasantonweekly.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=1&t=7599


Town Square

Citizens committee to recommend oversight for future bond issues

Original post made on Aug 26, 2011

It took more meetings than originally planned, but a citizens committee formed to look into cash-out refinancing will issue its final report to the school board next month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 26, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments

Posted by Beth Limesand, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Actually, to refute a small part of this article that stated that Mohr Elementary construction was funded from Measure B cash out refundings, that's not proven. Since the proceeds from the refundings were co-mingled with other building fund monies (as is customary in government financing), the Mohr construction could possibly and likely have been funded by other means.

The conclusion that the consulting firm came to was that there was no feasible way to know. This did not sit well with many members of the Citizen's Committee. But, ultimately, we need to look to the future and what will be policy going forward.

We need more oversight and transparency going forward with money collected from property owners through local elections. Recommendations will be made at the next school board meeting -- best practices to put in place to prevent policies that could lead to questions of impropriety in the future.

Beth Limesand
Chair,
Measure A/B Cash-Out Refundings Citizens Committee


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Thank you, Beth.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

Beth, I don't believe the consultant said where funds were spent wasn't knowable. It was beyond the scope of work they were assigned, and it didn't necessarily serve any purpose for the committee to dig that deep. We do know a total spent per school, and there is no undoing what might not have originally agreed to by voters. I would not want the community believing there is "no feasible way to know." I do agree, however, that moving forward with best practices, including training in ethics. is the best thing for changing a previous culture of being less than forthcoming with the public.


Posted by Estaban, a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I cannot wait for the committee's report to be made public. I only hope that P-town's overpaid police force makes a good faith effort to prevent the criminals from leaving the country. Once I see the culprits being led away in handcuffs, me and my family will begin to breathe easier.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Estaban(Phillip/Jake/etc.), Those responsible for this unconstitutional method of taxation will never face a day in court. The committee represented a broad spectrum of opinion about district operations; we all learned. The best practices are change for transparency going forward; good enough.


Posted by Estaban, a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I have to say I'm very disappointed that the crooks, criminals, law breakers and unconstitutionalists are not looking at serious jail time. I mean what does one have to do in order to get arrested in this town?

But at least we know that the practice which was stopped after MoonBeam said it wasn't legal way back when will continue to be stopped now so many years after the fact. We can all breathe a lot easier. It was worth every penny to find this out. Now my family and I can sleep peacefully again.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

E, If you want donations or parcel taxes or just plain faith restored, then the exercise is worth doing. Why would you not want the truth? The governance team in place at the time of the issue being raised could have been forthcoming and saved you and yours many good nights of sleep. They chose not to do so.


Posted by Marie, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

To those who have all jumped on the band wagon to accuse former district employees/board members of not being forthcoming, were you ever present during any of the board meetings where Ms. Lepley gave explanations? it appears that you can all say no information was given and yet i doubt that you were present during those years. It is easy to talk negatively about people on these blogs. More power to you. I, on the other hand, would be questioning the new administration on why they are so uneducated on past practices.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

The practice of not providing information was a legacy of the previous administration. Those who attended the board meetings and expressed concerns over the refinancings and where the money was being spent were ignored. So it is kudos that go to this board and administrators who also are seeking the answers and are sharing them with the public.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm

And here's why oversight is important: Web Link


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

More from another reporter: Web Link


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Oversight is essential and could be accomplished with relative ease if detailed information about proposed and completed projects were made public. The taxpayer should not have to play investigative journalist to find out where the money is going.