Original post made
on Nov 27, 2012
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Considering that over $100 million dollars is still owed to pay back Measure A and Measure B bonds ($109,543,612.00 to be exact according to the 2011 Audit Report) for facility construction that just recently ended, it is absolutely ludicrous that the school district would even consider floating yet another bond measure before the voters. With over $100 million still owed on paying back outstanding these General Obligation construction bonds, going back to the voters to ask for yet more money when $100 million is still owed in an exercise in futility.
This master plan is ridiculous! It seems they are recommending going to the local taxpayers for another bond. The laundry list of things in the plan show that the district has no sense of reality. With the economy we are in and the overspending, they are looking for another bond, while we are still paying the last one, and we are still paying the interest on facility loans (COPs) that the public did not get to vote on, and they cashed out on the current bonds (an illegal transaction that extracted more money from the taxpayers). They want $99 million for new classrooms, $21 million just for modifying the drop off points, $17,000,000 to enhance the district office and facilities, $7.5 million in stadium improvements, $10 million in front door/canopy improvements. In all $500 million in facility changes! Why do they need $99 million for new classrooms? With classroom size reduction gone now, we should have a big surplus of classrooms unless they are all being used for administrative break rooms now. If the budget get better we will have CSR again but I don't expect we are expecting that many new students in the district where we have to spend $99 million just for new classrooms.
This study was a waste of money. We need some new board members in two years.
No way that will ever get through. Maybe we could spend 2 million and use private sector contractors and get essentials done.
21 million for modifying drop off points, give me break - I will personally do this for a modest 500k!
Anyhow I thought the whole point of this exercise was to check for the need for a new school because of housing changes. What happened on that side?
This article worryingly excludes any mention of a new elementary school.
Both bonds and a parcel tax are both likely to pass easily in Pleasanton if the threshold for passing is lowered from 66.67% to 55% of votes. I think this is likely given the new Democratic super majority in California legislature.
This sounds like a 'make work' project that has no intrinsic value to students--$17 million to upgrade the admin main office, modifying drop offs, modifying doorways? Give me a break.
Each elementary school now has 4-6 empty classrooms which principals use to create fancy conference/meeting rooms, teachers lounges or hold the annual or twice a year book fair.
I have even more horrifying news. The school district has not even begun to pay back Measure B debt yet which was passed in the mid-90s! The principal balance has not even been touched. They are still paying back Measure A debt and Measure B debt won't even start to be paid down at all until almost 2015.
Why? I was told this morning that the principal balance ALONE due on the existing bond debt is $87,984,429.00. Because the last bond Measure B debt issued was $69.9 million, until that $88 million principal balance due goes below $69.9 million owed, they are still paying back Measure A bonds.
the district is setting a very bad example for the students. The district should lead by example on economics and finances. They are currently telling the students that you should ask for the world without any respect for the financial situation.
The district is in so much debt now because they took out COPs and refinanced them with some ridiculous terms to satisfy s short term financial issue. Even the district administration cannot tell you where they have spend all the facility money. There was a citizen meeting on that months ago and they could not answer the questions. Now they want more money. And if we are still paying on the two bonds, it does not make sense to get another bond. The usefulness of the facility upgrades should not be less than the term of the bonds. You can never get out of that financial mess if that is what you are doing.