News

School board to meet at 6:30 tonight at Amador

Groups on potential cut list to present their work to the trustees, community

The budget is back on the agenda for the Pleasanton Unified School District's board of trustees regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Held in the Amador Valley High School multipurpose room, board members will hear from six groups represented on the potential cut list, as well as feedback from parents and employees.

The meetings were moved to accommodate the large crowds, with nearly 200 people attending a special meeting last Tuesday evening. While typically broadcast live, the meeting will be webcast live through the district's website and recorded by TV30 to be broadcast at a later time.

To access the webcast and see the meeting agenda and other budget resources, visit the school district's website.

Comments

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Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

Do we really need presentations? Doesn't the school board already know what each of these groups does and how they contribute to the schools?

We need to board to just make the hard decisions and do the tough negotiations and actually plan for the long term, 10 years or more. Not just how to get through the next year.


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

You teachers unions have only Pyrrhic victories to gain. You've already lost the war. You'll realize that soon enough


Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

I didn't realize the teachers who are entrusted every day with the mental and physical well-being of Pleasanton's children and teenagers are "at war" with the community.

When did we become the enemy?

Ah, the joys of reading The Pleasanton Weekly, the community's forum-of-choice for mindless teacher-bashing.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:42 am

Stacey is a registered user.

He's just an instigator from Danville. If you want to mindlessly bash a community because of that, hey free speech.


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Instigator, aka: taxpayer, patriot, lover of my culture and country, a man who wants the best for his our future generations, an individual a few miles away who in his town has faced and fought the same deviant political forces at work here... Aka: instigator

And yet the unions are not outside instigators?

Right. Nice try


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I didn't say the unions are not instigators. I called you an instigator (one of the few times I'll gladly be guilty of "name-calling") because you're not interested in working _with_ people, you're only interested in stirring up emotions with your posts.


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Bull. I have said my solution a multitube of times. People like you don't want to hear it. That's ok. But then similar voices accuse me of being selfish and they lie through their teeth, and then I see that I was naive in assuming my opponents wanted to hear my perspective. They just want obedience. Then I get pretty angry

I'm done here. This media source only benefits from my attendence now. I've kneecapped them and they will fall soon. The people know what's up. Soon they will make their mob


Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I apologize for the phrase "mindless teacher-bashing".

What I should have written is "mindless ANONYMOUS teacher-bashing."

Thanks for the opportunity to make this much-needed correction, "Stacey" and "Gunslinger".


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

one word and gunslinger is over? tee hee hee, tee hee hee..."instigator" and he's out for the count!

i think that he's from the dark side of the moon...likes to makes references to violence...tee hee hee, tee hee hee and then squishes like a cucaracha when he's called an "instigator"

hahahahahahahaha...


Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Gunsipper - put down the bottle and go to bed


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Gunslinger,

I'm not your opponent and it isn't true that I don't want to hear your proposal. I'm just someone on your side of the argument who thinks your harsh style harms more than helps, especially when you write posts dropping the f-bomb. Live by the gun, die by the gun.

Daniel Bradford,

None of that excuses your own community-bashing, if indeed you are Daniel Bradford who is writing.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Daniel Bradford" has inspired me! Every time someone dismisses valid discussion as "teacher-bashing" just because of the extreme opinions of a few rotten apples shall be met with equal accusations of "community-bashing".


Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Go Stacey!


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I find it funny that the lumping in of reasonable discussion about teacher compensation with the egregious examples of teacher-bashing creates an atmosphere of political correctness or "walking on eggshells" that I think is more harmful to civil discourse than just letting the posters like Gunslinger have their say and be ignored.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Perhaps one could say that the killing of reasonable conversation about teacher compensation is a political tactic by those who have something to gain by such an action.


Like this comment
Posted by Dear Stacey:
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm

When will you offer solutions? You spend so much time on the blogs, I would think you would have real solutions not just whining.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm not the Board. I can only offer suggestions, which I have. But since I've spent more time on the blogs than you, you perhaps haven't read any of them and I'm not going to repeat repeat repeat.


Like this comment
Posted by teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Come on, Stacey. A ton of teacher bashing goes on at this website. You read it enough to know that. Daniel wasn't saying it was you doing it. He merely said it happens here and he was responding to "gunslinger's" absurd statement that that teachers had lost some kind of war with the community.

If the shoe does NOT fit, don't wear it! ;)


Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

"Stacey" (if that is your real name), I do post under my real name.

However, you do bring up a good point, however inadvertently: people on this forum hide behind pseudonyms and feel free to say whatever they like.

And when I say 'teacher bashing' I mean you are one of the leaders of that particular part of the 'community', "Stacey" (or whatever your real name is).

Stacey herself/himself admits that she/is a Gunslinger sympathizer:

"I'm not your opponent and it isn't true that I don't want to hear your proposal. I'm just someone on your side of the argument who thinks your harsh style harms more than helps..." (from one of Stacey's posts on this forum).


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Stacey didn't scare me away. I have just seen that there's nothing more to be done at these blogs. Mission accomplished

Peace


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm

she kicked you butt and now you're trying to save face...go back to your cesspool...creep!

Happy Valentine's Day...NOT! tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

signed,

Poncilla Veto


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Sorry Daniel … you are going to have to do better than assailing the community for not throwing more money at you. Government services (like education) are funded by a percentage of dollars earned, and consequently paid in taxes. Those of us that do not work for the government are under attack. We are losing our jobs, our savings, our retirement packages, our healthcare, and our homes. We are doing our part by paying the taxes we owe … and we are tapped. So YES, we are looking for the public employees to make some adjustments. You can play hardball, march up and down the street, refuse to negotiate, or whatever you like, but it still isn’t going to change the outcome in a positive manner for you or the kids. The employees of PUSD will either accept a small percentage cut across the board or lose jobs. No other option exists.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

teacher wrote: "A ton of teacher bashing goes on at this website."

I'll not deny that. I have just found that lumping in such extremes with the more moderate opinions and views accomplishes nothing but increased marginalization. Gunslinger's comments are just as frustrating to me as they are to Mr. Bradford. Mr. Bradford's lumping together of anyone not holding his same view is equally frustrating. If Mr. Bradford doesn't want teacher-bashing on this site, then he could help by recognizing the difference between instigation and reasonable discussion and not contribute to the instigation.


Like this comment
Posted by PTA member
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm

to "teacher"
if you read the post immediately following yours, you will see that Danield Bradford does indeed accuse Stacey of teacher bashing.
Having read this forum regularly for the past year, I challenge Mr. Bradford to find any posting by Stacey in which she bashed teachers. She has discussed the need to re-evaluate the educational system, including the way teachers are paid, but teacher bashing? Hardly.

Here's my own bit of teacher bashing, directed specifically and only to Daniel Bradford - I question your abilities as a teacher when your postings indicate you don't bother to check facts and you judge an entire community based on the comments of a few.
Is your behavior on this forum behavior you want your students to emulate?
Is your behavior the kind any parent considers that of a good role model?
Hardly.
Consider yourself bashed and deservedly so.


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm

But what is different from what Daniel does and what you do all the time? You are constantly correcting people for their line of argument, or their "attacks". Passing off the bashing as an intelligent conversation is a further insult when you read the majority of what is written erroneously against the schools here.

Who made you the blog police, that writes tickets whenever someone supports the teachers? It really devalues the smart things you do post.


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Oh good, specific examples of my favorite teacher bashing! A teacher posts his opinion, and now he is not a good role model? You really question his abilities as a teacher because he spoke his opinion about Gunslinger? Really? Are teachers now not allowed to think, express themselves, stand up for themselves? I certainly want my children around people who do those things, whether I agree with them or not.


Way to bash! Way to represent the PTA! Good timing! Keep attacking, it furthers the point he was making in the first place!


Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Danny,

Please do not be so thin skinned. Be part of the solution and volunteer to help the budget situation by agreeing to give up your step and column raises for 5 years or until such time as the economy turns around? Additionally, please consider discussing with your peers resigning from the union and compete for merti increases on ability rather than time?


Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I would vote for Really? for blog police...when are the elections being held? Although this is not really a blog, this is a forum or message board.


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I just wanna emphasize, before I'm finally gone, that Stacey had nothing to do with my leaving. I've just done my part to rabble rouse. The people have gotten the message. The cats put of the bag. No one reads these blogs to see a few number crunchers split hairs over step and column this, instruction days that, blah blah blah. I spoke my point. My anger was not directed at Stacey but the teachers unions. Ok. I just wanted to specify that, so that poor Stacey doesn't think she ran me off

God bless


Like this comment
Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 10:06 pm

To "resident",

I answered your questions about my affiliations and occupation on the other thread. Will you please answer mine? Do you work for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association? Have you ever been to Pleasanton?


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Sorry, I must have missed your answer and question for me. I had a bit of a family emergency earlier this week.

I am a parent and resident of Pleasanton. I don’t know anything about the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, though I will look them up. My interest in PUSD is as a parent, local homeowner, taxpayer, and responsible citizen. And I strongly believe that our tax system has run amok in support of unsustainable public service compensation and retirement packages. I strongly believe that California is in serious trouble and that our jobs and wellbeing have been put at risk by careless and unsupervised spending. I believe the government must expand and contract based on available revenues. And that our tax system has made our state uncompetitive in the free enterprise system and unsupportive of business in general. I believe our quality of life is declining because of these influences. And I am willing to do my part to stop the madness. I think it is my responsibility as a citizen and member of the Pleasanton Community.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Reader,

I just spent the last 20 minutes on the Howard Jarvis site. I must admit I understand why you asked me the question. I will be doing further research on this group, but I have to admit that I agree with EVERYTHING I see on their site. Thanks for the tip. I will defiantly be in touch with them.

From the Jarvis site:

Web Link

THE PROBLEM
Homeowners have been hit with a significant increase in the number of parcel taxes by local government agencies over the past few years. Not only has the number of parcel taxes increased, but the amounts associated with those parcel taxes have also increased. The cumulative impact of all these parcel taxes has led to many homeowners facing hundreds of dollars per year in higher property taxes on top of their basic 1% property tax under Proposition 13 and any higher property taxes imposed as a result of locally approved bonds, including bonds approved as a result of the lower passing standard under Proposition 39.

All of the various "add-ons" to the property tax bill a homeowner receives each year, including from parcel taxes, have the effect of eroding the property tax relief provided by Proposition 13. The property tax relief under Proposition 13 can be effectively offset by increases in other taxes, including from parcel taxes. For example, a 2003 article in the Contra Costa Times noted the case of a homeowner whose annual school parcel tax alone (about $1,000) was nearly twice as much as the homeowner's basic 1% property tax under Proposition 13.

There are also serious equity concerns for homeowners with respect to the imposition of parcel taxes. Parcel taxes are very regressive, especially for homeowners whose assessed value is protected by Proposition 13. With a parcel tax, homeowners generally pay the same amount per parcel without regard to the value or use of the parcel. Thus, a homeowner living in a modest home can pay the same parcel tax amount as someone who lives in an expensive mansion, or the owner of a huge office building worth tens of millions of dollars.
Since only property owners generally pay a parcel tax, there is also the question of singling out property owners to pay for programs and services that benefit the community at large. Parcel taxes typically fund programs and services for the general benefit of the community at large, such as for public education or public safety. In some instances, nonresidents of a local jurisdiction will significantly benefit from the programs and services financed through a parcel tax, but would not have to bear the financial burden of paying for those services and programs.

Not only does a parcel tax disproportionately burden property owners, but such taxes are especially unfair to homeowners (single-family residential parcels). Since the amount of a parcel tax is generally the same for each parcel, and since in most local jurisdictions single-family residential parcels constitute the bulk of parcels within the jurisdiction (often more than 80% of the taxable parcels), the vast majority of the tax burden (frequently more than 80%) will disproportionately fall on single-family residential parcels.

As an example, according to 2003-04 data from the Santa Clara County Assessor, 88% of the parcels in Santa Clara County are single-family residential, while only 8% of the parcels are classified as "non-residential" (e.g., commercial). A flat parcel tax on each taxable parcel within the county would put nearly 90% of the tax burden on single-family residential parcels while less than 10% of the tax burden would fall on non-residential parcels. Note that it is not uncommon for many members of the business community to support flat parcel tax measures.

THE CHALLENGE

In order to stop the deluge of parcel taxes being imposed by local governments, taxpayers must defend themselves and take a more active role in opposing these taxes when they appear on the ballot in their local community.

Opposing and defeating a parcel tax is often not easy, even though a two-thirds vote is required to pass the tax. First of all, the tax proponents will be well organized and will usually have extensive financial and manpower resources at their disposal. Large campaign contributions frequently come from special interest groups that have a vested financial interest in passing a parcel tax, such as local public employee unions. Many in the local business community are also frequently supportive of parcel taxes, especially flat parcel taxes where each parcel pays the same amount without regard to value or land use.

Local governments also frequently hire expensive consultants (at taxpayer expense) to tell them the best way to pass a parcel tax. These consultants often advise local officials not to publicize the parcel tax election to the entire community, but to target only their supporters. This means running a stealth election, communicating only with known tax supporters.

It is a frequent tactic used by local governments to schedule low turnout special elections for parcel tax measures, even though such elections are very expensive, in an effort to sneak through a parcel tax. For example, a majority of the local school parcel tax elections over the past few years have been low turnout special elections.

Since it is illegal for local officials to use public resources (including public funds) to urge a vote for or against a political issue, consultants frequently counsel parcel tax supporters on the best way to wage "information" campaigns. This often means putting up signs or sending out material stating all the "good things" a parcel tax will do, but stopping just short of telling people how to vote.

Parcel tax supporters also like to frequently engage in scare tactics to enhance their chances of passing a tax measure. Tax supporters attempt to "scare" voters into supporting a tax increase. Such scare tactics are frequently observed with parcel tax measures associated with public education, health, and public safety. Taxpayers should neither tolerate nor be intimidated by such scare tactics.

When addressing the public, parcel tax backers are frequently encouraged to put the annual cost in simple, friendly sounding terms that usually begin with "it's only." "It's only a few cents a day," or "it's only a few dollars per month." Officials try to make it sound like the coming property tax increase is trivial and that anyone who is opposed must be a cheapskate.

Newspapers can be another problem for taxpayers. While editors at a few papers may be sympathetic to the taxpayers' cause, the vast majority of newspapers are almost universally hostile and will support most parcel tax increases proposed by local governments.

It is very important for taxpayers to prevent local parcel taxes from being initially imposed. Although most parcel taxes are imposed for a fixed period of time, statistics reveal that the vast majority of parcel taxes initially approved by voters are subsequently placed on the ballot by the local government in order to extend the tax. In many of these cases, the tax amount is increased in addition to being extended.

Thus, most parcel taxes that are initially approved effectively become permanent, and taxpayers should be very wary of claims made by tax proponents that a tax is a "temporary solution" to a funding "problem." Taxpayers must expect any "temporary" parcel tax that is approved will be submitted for extension at some point in the future.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm

And yes, that was supposed to read definitely, not defiantly, though I suppose you will read it as you see fit.


Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I'm happy to take advantage of Prop 13, there are serious problems with it. But I agree that parcel taxes aren't the best solution (and are not the solution to any current problem), but I won't dismiss them completely just yet.

I'm also not a big fan of how this state is currently operating. Our sales tax is the highest in the the country, our state income tax is nearly the highest in the country, yet we can't find a way to balance the budget.

Sadly we've actually begun serious discussions of moving out of the state - the signs are there that things are only going to get worse with services such as education, transportation, parks, etc, while our taxes will continue to climb.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Really wrote: "But what is different from what Daniel does and what you do all the time? You are constantly correcting people for their line of argument, or their "attacks"."

I don't justify my positions through the dismissal of an entire community because of a select few posters (i.e., I'm going to act one way because I believe all of you act this other way). I treat each poster and their arguments individually and try to deal, in most cases, on the arguments alone, not a characteristic of the poster. In Mr. Bradford's case, I'll try to hold teachers to higher posting standards. A post like his only validates the more extreme opinions like Gunslingers', adds fuel to a fire, that all teachers are x, y, and z.

I'm not trying to say that I, as a participant in this forum, am not immune from lowering my posting standards and slipping and am therefore somehow better, I'm just saying that it does more harm than help to have a teacher contribute to the "us vs. them" mentality. I recognize that such posts can potentially turn some reader who is sitting on the fence into a teacher-basher. How? Those of us who have gone through the system have been trained to respect teachers and tend to hold some sort of ideal of teachers as upstanding members of society. When we become adults and discover that teachers are only human after all, when the respect towards them that was ingrained in us since childhood shatters, the mask is off and we start to think, "Hey wait a minute, what am I doing giving this respect where it wasn't earned?" Posts like Mr. Bradfords' shatters that ingrained respect and makes readers re-evaluate their ideas about teachers. Sure he has a right to post and give his opinion here. But he should recognize that his position as a teacher carries a lot more weight with readers than some poster like Gunslinger.


Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Forget prop 13 it will never happen. No one in their right mind would vote themselves a potential $30,000 a year tax increase especially by a 2/3's vote and it would be tied up for years in court.

That aside, can you imagine what reversing it would do to property values in this state? They would plummet. Spend your time on something within the realm of possibilities not fantasy.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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