It took several meetings, but a citizens committee formed to look into cash out refinancing will issue its final report to the school board next month.
Some members of the committee are still unhappy that a few of their questions remain unanswered – in particular what money from cash out refinancing done by the school district was spent where. Cash out bond deals, similar to home refinancing where a homeowner takes extra money for a project, were popular for school district across the state in the mid-2000s until declared illegal by then Attorney General and now Governor Jerry Brown.
The committee did learn that some of the money from Measure B was spent on projects that were to have been completed with Measure A money.
Some of the committee members wanted to focus on moving forward by not having those same sort of problems in the future. To that end, a series of "best practice" recommendations will be forward to the school board for its mid-September meeting. Those recommendations include forming an oversight committee to watchdog future borrowing and for staff to monitor the repayment and make regular reports to the board.
However, at least one member, Julie Testa, remains unhappy with the idea of leaving bond repayments in the hands of staff, something she said led to the district using cash outs like a revolving loan for school construction projects not approved by the voters.
Testa also said she would prefer for a group of citizens to monitor the repayments being made to both the Measure A and B bonds.