News

Pleasanton school board to weigh new facilities bond measure

Ballot measure would provide $120M for needed unfunded projects, district says

A possible new bond measure on next year’s election ballot will be explored when the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees meets on Tuesday night.

The district says it “has an opportunity to fund approximately $120 million” for possible future projects like revamping Vintage Hills Elementary, building a career and technical education campus, and general facility and equipment upgrades.

Last year, the trustees approved the district's Facilities Master Plan, which estimates a total of $846 million is needed to complete projects at all 15 campuses. Some are already covered by the $270 million Measure I1 bond from 2016, but about three dozen other remain unfunded, including $6.34 million for traffic mitigation related to redesigning the Donlon Elementary School property to split it among a kindergarten-to-third-grade campus and a new school for fourth and fifth grades.

The board will review that list and consider conducting a survey for community feedback on those projects.

The concept of a new bond measure was first floated last year, but trustees at the time questioned whether it was fair to approach voters after Measure I1 passing just a few years ago and projects like building a new elementary school not being completed.

Voters approved the $270 million bond measure, which taxes homeowners $49 per $100,000 of their assessed property value every year, in November 2016. Measure I1 revenue is restricted to spending on repairing and upgrading local classrooms and facilities and buying new equipment; none may be used for administrative salaries. There is just over $145.5 million left in funding to allocate for projects on the Measure I1 list.

The board will receive two other related reports Tuesday night, including the latest enrollment projections from Davis Demographics.

The consultant's presentation will focus on updated projections based on the district's current K-5 elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.

District staff will then lead a report on district finances. Some recent budget changes, including $4 million in budget reductions to afford a recent 2.5% compensation increase, will be examined and, pending another state budget revision this spring, officials say more may be needed.

Special education contributions in district schools have increased by $1 million and local revenues have grown by the same amount “because the district is in receipt of a partial insurance claim from the Harvest Park fire.”

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his 2019-20 state budget, which includes a one-time $3 billion payment to CalSTRS from the general fund to pay down pension debt. The payment is expected to address rising pension costs and reduce the out-year contribution rate by half a percentage point.

However, the district warns that if additional cost of living adjustment and STRS rate reduction recommendations in Newsom’s budget “do not materialize, the district will need to make approximately $670,000 in reductions before 2020/21.”

The school board's open-session regular meeting is scheduled to start Tuesday at 7 p.m. inside the district headquarters, 4665 Bernal Ave.

In other business

* The trustees will also vote on approving a contract to rebuild the fire-damaged library at Harvest Park Middle School.

A fire damaged the library last summer, as well as the campus-wide low-voltage systems. A 40-foot-by-48-foot portable has served since then as a temporary library.

District officials recommend rebuilding the existing library with insurance funds but not expanding the facility. School administration and a design team met recently for project scoping.

To stay on track, the district will need to rebuild in two phases, demolition and construction. The first phase would start this summer and continue with construction during the next school year. To minimize impact during school hours, construction on weekdays would start at 2 p.m. and end around 10 p.m.

Design work would be handled by HKIT Architects, the same firm currently designing new fencing at Harvest Park.

* Several other similar projects will also go to the board for approval Tuesday evening, including contractor bids for the architectural work for the new school and conversion project at Donlon Elementary School.

The board is expected to accept the lowest bid for approximately $2 million from Sugimura Finney Architects. For the moment though, additional traffic mitigation and a kids club expansion have not been included in those plans.

* Fiber optic and site network upgrades throughout the entire district will also be considered; last year Amador Valley High School served as the pilot phase site and received new copper cabling and new Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports, which grant access to security cameras, clocks, bells and voice over IP (VOIP) telephones.

The $4.5 million project will use Measure I1 funds for upgrades at the remaining schools to support a 40gig network backbone that’s expected to increase speed and bolster stability and security.

Work will start this spring at three schools --Foothill High, Walnut Grove Elementary and Pleasanton Middle schools -- and continue at other campuses until the end of next year. Lydiksen Elementary School is the only campus not included in the project and will receive its upgrades when the planned rebuild breaks ground at an undetermined time.

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Comments

34 people like this
Posted by Angry parent of 3 kids in PUSD
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 10, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Not a dime more to the incompetent PUSD administrators and school board.

Buying every child in grade 6 and up a new laptop was the BIGGEST waste of money every. misuse of bond funds and broke any trust I had with the school system. 1) Most kids already had a laptop or teachers had enough in the classroom to supplement. I asked my 3 kids if there was ever a day in Middle School or High School in the past 3 years where anyone in class didn't have a 1 to 1 device - either through personal devices or through the class provided one. It never happened! 2) The new laptops are bricks. Students already have to carry around a back breaking load and now these laptops make it worse. I'd advice PUSD to start a fund now when all of the lawsuits come in from kids who have back problems in a couple of years due partly to these brick of a laptop. 3) This was not a long term infrastructure investment and will need to reoccur every couple of years.

Haven't property taxed skyrocketed in recent years - where is all of the money from that?

The end result for our family is we used to give generously to PPIE. Now we don't give a dime - we directed all of that budget to cover the ridiculous and wasted bond measure I1 that increased our taxes and has not yielded any return.


16 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 10, 2019 at 10:09 pm

Where’s our new school from the measure I1 money and I’m not counting the “mini” school at Donlon, nice smokescreen, sure hope the taxpayers aren’t falling for this gag!! No more bond money till PUSD accounts for every dime they’ve wasted, no more money till we see a signed contract for a new school showing all building costs and not-to-exceed costs! PUSD quit reaching into our pockets with promises you never keep
Asked around why the district needs 4 law firms on retainer but all I got was blank stares???


9 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:26 am

Nope. Didn't get a new school as promoted.


9 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 11, 2019 at 8:49 am

James Michael is a registered user.

This should not be a surprise to anyone. But not this time, folks. You need a name change...PUTD...Pleasanton Unified Tax District. What a soap opera


11 people like this
Posted by Vinelander
a resident of Village High School
on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:25 am

Taxed enough already!!!


5 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 10:36 am

Why don't city pay for "traffic mitigation related to schools"...city is getting increased revenue from increased property prices? demand for Pleasanton homes increased due to best schools. City is getting more tax money, it should contribute to school related projects.

Board is not keeping its promises, I will be not be voting for this new bond.


8 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:45 am

Frankie is a registered user.

PUSD is driving retirees out of the community with more taxes due to their incompetence and over spending


15 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:48 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

That’s a no from me as well. The district is still paying for the $4 MM in Certificates of Participation (COPs) for straightening out Vineyard Avenue (a debt that was rolled onto the Measure I1 bond) when the plan was to build Neal Elementary. That school didn’t happen. That $6 MM for traffic mitigation at Donlon belongs on the city’s payables (and they might be able to do it for less) to repay the district principle and interest for a cost the district never should have had to pay. I can support the Donlon idea, but a $60 MM price tag for a 4/5 school is ludicrous.

So much of what the district is asking for is because of past neglect and spending of funds elsewhere (Sycamore Fund was meant to fund technology—and a future school—but was used as a piggy bank to fund projects that should have come from the Deferred Maintenance Fund which was allowed to deplete during the recession).

The district is sitting on two pieces of valuable land (Neal and the DO). The city wants a new complex. The city also wants to continue building, and the state will eventually make us do it anyway (3.5 million housing units by 2025 is Newsome’s goal). When will these two entities figure out they have to pool funds and make one facility for both? We cannot continue to build and grow to a community of 100,000 or more with the same number of schools or parks or support services.

Add to this the pressure in Sacramento by the building industry to remove all mitigation fees with the intention that taxpayers can just keep adding bonds to pay for everything, and we all are going to be priced out from tax bills.

“Later this year, lawmakers are expected to consider changes to the fees that local governments can charge housing developers to offset the impact their projects have on public services. The issue is a priority for home builders, who say exorbitant fees and other mandates that delay approval for projects make construction prohibitively expensive in California.” March 5 SF Chronicle, front page article “Blitz of housing legislation.”

I would Iike the Board and Council to stand up and lead, not just merely meet to agree with staff.


13 people like this
Posted by Cheap cheap
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

If you don't invest in public education, you end up with a poorly educated public.

"Board is not keeping its promises" probably translates to "I didn't get what I wanted for MY child, forget anyone else's needs"

"Taxes are too high" this I agree with, but let's face it, All the fundraising we do doesn't even come close to what other neighboring district raise. Pleasanton may be an affluent community, but cheap (as a whole) when it comes to making "voluntary" donations. We have already seen that year after year, and it is getting worse. When are we ever going to learn, Pleasanton? Taxes are unfortunately the only way to ensure our schools are funded adequately. Can't rely on everyone to pitch in "voluntarily" anymore. Education is too important to be funded based on "donations". We need stable funding.


6 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Enough taxes already! Property values have sky-rocketed the past 10 years. With higher value means higher property tax amount. Where did all the property tax money collected from increased property value go? All school districts should be audited thoroughly before asking for more money.

To make matter worse, property tax write-off is capped at $10,000 a year, which affected most of us negatively.


7 people like this
Posted by SMH
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm

“Cheap Cheap” I think you may be misinformed and very inaccurate. Cheap you say? What about the most recent bond measure that is referred to several times in the other posts? Hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t seem cheap to me! None of my kids ever attended nor will attend PUSD schools, yet for the last 18 years I have had to pay through my regular property taxes and the bond measures to boot. Whomever thinks this new measure is a good idea must either be a school board member, consultant, a renter or a little crazy. Enough is enough!



8 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Cheap, stable funding begins and ends at the state level. To circumvent lack of state funding, more affluent communities pass bonds and parcel taxes. We pay the state; we pay locally; we donate. Real change has to come from Sacramento.

Getting worse? I thought PPIE had its biggest year last year?


5 people like this
Posted by Seamus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm

This is in insane..Is the Board that out of touch? There is no way this gets on the ballot anytime soon. Pleasanton taxpayers need to see way more progress on the items promised in previous Bond measure


5 people like this
Posted by steve milina
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 11, 2019 at 3:47 pm

I have also had enough of school bonds how about putting a fee on non US citizens that have tremendously impacted PUSD in the last few years I know that every child in this country is eligible for an education but when is enough enough. I also realize that when a foreign national drives up the prices of housing in the area more taxes are generated but I have been paying taxes for the last 50 years pass on the escalating costs to the newcomers.


11 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 11, 2019 at 4:09 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

The school board are NOT INSANE.

Those who voted for the last bond are the ones who are insane.


13 people like this
Posted by Seamus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 4:42 pm

DKHSK

I stand corrected..You are 100% correct! They should all be recalled..now

And to Frankie...I am a retiree as well..Lived in Pleasanton for over 35 years. I think we both realize the City of Pleasanton AND the PUSD would love for us to sell & move out of town so they could reassess our property and increase the $$ coming in.


5 people like this
Posted by skynet
a resident of Mission Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:26 pm

skynet is a registered user.

Feels like we are being gamed. If they needed another $120 mil, why did they not include it on the last bond?


3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I believe there was not enough bonding capacity at $49 per $100,000 of assessed value for the district to ask for more. It could be testing indicated they wouldn’t have the votes for more as well.


19 people like this
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Sycamore Place
on Mar 11, 2019 at 7:52 pm

I’m tired of hearing tax payers who are paying property taxes based on the purchase price of their home from 1978 complain about taxes. Guess what? Times up. Prop 13 has to go and so do you. If you don’t want to pay for children to get a decent public education because your kids are grown then take your profit and move. Going fast are the days when you sit on a profit of $1,000,000 and pay $2,000 a year for your property taxes while new homebuyers are burdened by tax bills of $15,000 a year. You know what is driving the increased and inflated value of homes your children struggle to buy to stay close to you? You. If you don’t move there’s a shortage of homes and we pay an incredible amount of money and the taxes that you should be paying by eliminating prop 13. You’ve depeleted the state of resources, left your kids to purchase your piece of junk over priced houses and then have the guts to complain about paying for a bond?. Kids can’t affoed to live here but the immigrants can and then you have the audacity to complain about them? You’re the problem. The baby boomers sound more like babies bitching. Grow up and take responsibility for screwing your children’s generation. How much was your house when you bought it? 15-20% of your income? Do you have any idea that most of use are paying nearly 50% of our income to purchase a home because you won’t keave. Thanks for screwing us. Take your profit and move to Idaho. Do you have any idea how much a family has to earn to purchase a $1,000,000 house? Over $20,000 a month and pay your supplemented property taxes AND you have the audacity to bitch? Don’t forget we have to save $200,000 to have a down payment (probably more than your purchase price) while your neighbors screw us by charging $4,000 a month for rent. Shut up!


6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

@Parentof2:
The housing market is what it is.
Baby boomer did not create it.
The generations following baby boomer created it.
The new tax law limits property tax deduction to 10K.
If you are paying 15K, it is because your were foolish to purchase.


14 people like this
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 11, 2019 at 10:18 pm

@Michael Austin - I suspect you don’t know what you are taking about. The generation after the Babies Bitching was Gen X (births starting in 1j965). The tax payers revolt that locks in property taxes happened when Gen X was 13. The property tax was capped last year. You’re assuming anyone who purchased a house up to that point could have predicted the cap was in the pipeline. That is foolish.

The consequences of Proposition 13 have hit every generation following the baby boomers particularly hard. California is left with a housing shortage and not enough turnover in the real estate market. New homeowners face a much bigger property tax burden than their older, often wealthier neighbors. And the overall tax burden has been shifted to more heavily burden nonproperty owners — increasingly Gen-Xers and millennials who can’t afford to buy a house.


12 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Whoa, parentof2. Prop 13 passed in 1978, long before I got here. It was a bad solution to a real problem. There has been talk of making corporations pay more of the burden so it is at least equal percentages to homeowners. Don’t hold your breath though. Put your anger and energy there.

Those of us here before you already paid two bonds for schools. We got unification for our schools. We lobbied in Sacramento. We volunteered and ran carnivals and had bake sales and Halloween haunted houses. We created PPIE. We just helped to pass the $270MM bond for schools.

We didn’t buy homes thinking we had to leave just so someone else could have our houses before we were ready to move. It’s called aging in place.

We are still happy to do our part, but not every idea the city or district or state, for that matter, comes up with is a good one and worthy of supporting.


13 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2019 at 12:57 am

@ Parentof2
I’m a Bitchin Boomer and lived here since 1990 and never got a tax break from 1978 Prop 13 neither. In 1990 we had to pay PMI. You may want to Google that. And interest rates were closer to 8%. As posted above, we also went through 2 school bond adoptions and we haven’t have kids in this district ever! Now we are retired and the prop taxes, cost of living and house maintenance is tough. Feel any better?
PS. We went to schools with 30 kids per class in portables and went on to higher degrees without helicopter parents paying for everything. Maybe we don’t need all the gold plating today’s parents think are needed.


7 people like this
Posted by steve milina
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2019 at 5:23 am

hey crybaby parent of 2 bought current house in 1991 paid 310 thousand combined income of 131 thousand that is 42% of income not 10-15% so with you being that far off I cannot take the rest of your statement very seriously


4 people like this
Posted by MM
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2019 at 7:00 am

That would be a big NO on a new bond for schools. Utilize the building developer fees to pay for new schools and related infrastructure costs.

The costs of current school bonds on the property owners increases annually at a much higher percentage rate than the county property tax portion. Enough is enough.

Referring to Angry parent of 3 kids in PUSD's comment about lap tops. It seems pretty obvious that the lap tops were not an effective use of any kind of funds but lets say they had been, what happened to funding these types of expenses from Ca lottery funds rather than school bonds?

Obviously the PSB has not directed the current bond funds to be spent and appropriated as intended to cover costs for development and improvements. Either that or expensive consultants & attorneys they hired to determine costs/needs and appropriations weren't worth their outrageous fees .




10 people like this
Posted by MM
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 12, 2019 at 7:41 am

Comment on Parentof2 comments
It's people like you with your transient profit taking attitude that make our neighborhoods less socially active and less attractive. I am not surprised that charity fund raising has gone down from previous years. Based on your solution long term residents should leave their extended families and neighbors to forge a new life in another state. NOT the solution for me.

If its too expensive here for you. Pack YOUR bags, "take your profit and move to Idaho."


4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

ummm no. not happening. sorry you guys need to take some classes on budget management.


7 people like this
Posted by Sad
a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:50 am

@Parentof2 - You must have moved the area recently with young kids. Had you been living here before 1990 with grown kids, I bet you would flip your thinking to the opposite side. Your argument sounds very foolish - you are a new-comer to the area and have the guts to tell long-time residents to pack up and leave? So absurd!

I'm sick of the schools using our children as pawns to get what they want. If you really do care about better educating our children, how about getting some pay cuts to have more funding in the class room?


10 people like this
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:51 am

@ Ruegsegger - I am pushing for Prop 13 to be eliminated for businesses. Thank you for your work - it sounds like you have really been part of the past solutions.

@ everyone else who purchased a home in 1990 - you're not who i'm venting to.

@whoever said that we need to go. my parents live here and we are working our butts off every day to stay close to them and take care of them. if they move to Idaho, we will go with them but if they don't move we are faced to struggle.

Baby Babies need to look in the mirror and reflect on the role they have played in the children's and grandchildren's lives and stop deflecting onto others.

The second bond allows the buildings to be built at a much greater speed so the bonds can run concurrently. I'm sorry your kids benefited from the use of the old buildings and now they need to be repaired or replaced and you don't want to pay for them again but that's how the game is played. Contruction costs are astronomical. Again you could look at your role in driving up that cost or you can sit back and complain about more taxes.

why are the schools out of money? in part because the tax payers didn't approve parcel taxes or bonds for many years. surrounding communities that offer services do not have the problems we have and approve bonds and parcel taxes that pay for special education. now we are in a situation where schools in pleasaanton are illegally denying services being sued and settling and the cost of legal services probably far outweighs the costs of the services. just pay for the damn taxes, give the kids services. none of us want to pay taxes but its life. if you want to complain join an oversight committee.


10 people like this
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:54 am

You all get tax breaks based on the tax payers revolt Prop 13. Every single one of us benefits. To say you dont means you don't understand how your property taxes are calculated. If you don't like the cap talk to the republican lawmakers who screwed you more. don't get me started on PMI - it hasn't gone away.


5 people like this
Posted by Richard Michael
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:17 am

Isn't it obvious? The district needs a slush fund to pay "bond-related" salaries and maintenance costs so it can pay its huge pension liabilities and hand out raises.

Watch out! The first step is to hire a consultant to do a rigged survey using public moneys. The campaign will use the survey results to win the election. This is a felony under Education Code 7054 and according to former AG Kamala Harris' opinion #13-304. The district will also not report the contribution to the FPPC.

bigbadbonds . com


7 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:27 am

Will they use proceeds to buy disposable chromebooks?

They cheated me once. Others have said they pulled a major bond swindle 10 or 15 years ago as well.

It it's a vote, I will vote no. I have no trust in them fiscally.


1 person likes this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:44 am

James Michael is a registered user.

This always happens on these posts and comments. One person strays off topic and goes on an attack and in turn gets attacked and then begins to vent a defense. Whew....


8 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:35 am

People were complaining about property taxes, which have not skyrocketed.

Less than 3% of the housing turns over in any given year, and not all of that is from a longtime owner. Taxes went up from the bond but otherwise go up at 2% from Prop 13, which has been less than inflation.


3 people like this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:32 am

Frankie is a registered user.

@sjd
Simply put, many people just don’t want to pay for another prop tax bond on top of the existing plus housing expenses and costs of daily daily living. Despite the factoids you cite, the Bay Area is just gotten to be tough to afford for many retirees to be able to stay. I read PUSD is consistently a top rated district in the State. Maybe we need to look more carefully at the difference between want and need and be more fiscally responsible without asking for more bonds.


2 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:55 am

@Frankie,

Yes I understand the goal. But those retirees, if they are homeowners, have a lot of equity to do whatever they wish with at this point - they aren't trapped per say even if they don't like the choices. Property taxes go down relative to inflation while teacher and admin pay skyrockets due to housing costs to stay competitive. In this climate, there are not a lot of options outside of continuous bonds.

You're always doing less with more, because costs keep increasing outside of what any local jurisdiction can control.


2 people like this
Posted by SMH
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:58 am

I would support a vote on the bond, only if the vote was restricted to property owners and if the assessment was per unit vs. per parcel. And all of the renters who whine that it is not fair, no problem, rent would be raised equal to the bond assessment and the assessment would be retroactive to the original inception date for all new homeowners no matter when they bought their property after the bond was voted in (which it would not be).

Lastly, can anyone name anything substantial the PUSD has done with the funds from the last bond? Anyone? Didn't think so.


2 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 12, 2019 at 12:11 pm

UHHHH renters will have their rent raised because that's how markets work, there's no "if renters want to vote they will get their rent raised."


6 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Guaranteed that whatever/wherever a government choses to spend its tax and bond revenue, you can buy the equivalent in the private sector for much less.

There is no accountability.

I've been reading all the comments on the current bond priorities and the needs for a new bond. People are aghast that the money isn't being spent the way it should spent, or how they want it to be spent.

To that I say: It will be spent any damned way the government wants it spent!

The ONLY way that anyone listens in Government is if YOU RECALL THEM HERE AND NOW AND FIRE THEIR BUTTS!

It works in private sector through firings of management and it will work in Government.










6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 12, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Po2, “in part because the tax payers didn't approve parcel taxes or bonds for many years.” There are reasons for that. For bonds, it was the illegal refinancing (and no oversight of how those funds got spent). For parcel taxes, despite a few voices, including mine, asking that a parcel tax be specific (one counselor, the Barton Reading program, 2 additional custodians, school nurses . . . ), the district wanted fluidity that would have essentially meant they could spend the funding anywhere. The requests fell on deaf ears the first time and they lost. Rather than learn the lesson (and preferring to listen to consultants), they tried again at a lower amount . . . and lost again.

As long as there is what I can only call arrogance, there will not be a parcel tax. I have said this many times now, the board needs to lead, and that requires listening to the people they wish to extract funding from—parcel tax or bond.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 12, 2019 at 6:09 pm

The Generations:

The silent generation - born 1945 or before, the greatest generation.
Baby boomers generation - 1946 - 1964.
Generation X 1965 - 1976.
Millenniale or Generation Y 1977 - 1995.
Generation Z or Centenniales 1996 - TBD.


6 people like this
Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:17 pm

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

No way. Zero correlation between tax increases and a corresponding increase in services. The current bond already taxes property owners at .064% ($640/million) on top of the 1.1014% for the county, BART, etc.

Schools don't get enough from the State because the State squanders money on unsustainable public employee salaries/benefits, a bloated bureaucracy including our own EPA(4,500 permanent staff)our own surgeon general and an $85? billion dollar train to nowhere. Countless agencies/commissions that are not elected and unaccountable.

Voters keep electing "progressives" who in fact vote regressively and are beholden to special interests. Every tax increase simply enables more waste while allowing our state legislature and governor to ignore the core issues of why a State that generates so much personal wealth and tax revenue has no money. CALPERS is underfunded by $1 Trillion.

Solve CA's budget deficit and stop wasting CA's resources on what should be Federal issues and we will have more than enough for K -12 and higher education. It is a disgrace what "progressives" have done to public education in CA.

David Crane(Democrat)on why education is underfunded:

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:16 pm

@KathleenR - thank you for shedding light. It sounds like you have really been involved and know more history than any of us do. Thank you for your involvement in the community and for sharing indirmation. It’s my understanding that there was fraud but systems have been put in place to prevent that from happening now. That fraud should not hold us hostage for eternity though.

@SMH - What is the reason to restrict voting to per unit vs per parcel? You don’t want renters who pay astronomical amounts in rent to vote on behalf of the owners who benefit from the deduction (renters don’t get the tax benefit). I’m not confident but the property owner pays taxes on the whole property. Is the bond amount different on complexes? I don’t know. I thought it was based per unit.

@all of those who have lived here for a long time - you may not realize this but we are paying the pensions that you benefited from. Our taxes NOW pay for the pensions that you voted and benefited from (ie your kids teachers pensions are being funded by taxes now). You never paid for their pensions. We are. One might argue that as a 40 year old, I am paying for my elementary school teachers retirements. Thanks mom and dad. Hope you enjoy all that equity from deferring the cost of education to me.


4 people like this
Posted by 20 Years in the Future
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 9:13 am

Parent of 2 -

Let's see how you feel in 20 yrs when you are 60 and have benefited from the Prop 13 restrictions.

Chances are, if you have had your house for more than a couple of years, your property tax assessment has be restricted by Prop 13 and you to are not paying your fair share - you assessment is lower than the actual.

And I'm sure your income over that time will be significantly higher than any of ours.

I can also add that when I went to Amador High School - there was no AP Calculus I was able to take for free, at the expense of the tax payer. I had to pay my fees at Las Positas and take the classes at night. So your kids are getting signicantly more that what I got.

The property taxes I have paid over the last 35 years have more than paid back what I took out of the system.

Now it is your turn. Your time will come when you are on a fixed income and will want to be able to stay in your house and not have to sell due to high property taxes.





3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"The consequences of Proposition 13 have hit every generation following the baby boomers particularly hard.
California is left with a housing shortage and not enough turnover in the real estate market. New homeowners face a much bigger property tax burden than their older, often wealthier neighbors. And the overall tax burden has been shifted to more heavily burden nonproperty owners — increasingly Gen-Xers and millennials who can’t afford to buy a house."

You ignorantly blame the TAXPAYER for government mismanagement of OUR MONEY and your ability to be able to afford a home?

You are not a serious person.

Do you really think that the money WE send to government is efficiently managed? Do you think that if I pay 3X more in taxes that that money will be spent EXACTLY as government as mandated?

Ever make the correlation between gas tax and the condition of our roads? Do you know how many billions in those taxes we send to Sacramento and STILL can't get decent roads?

Do yourself a favor and read Tim's blog on what is happening in the Oakland School District. Attendance is down almost 50% and yet they cannot consolidate schools and sell off the old buildings because...? No answers...no solutions.

That is the government that YOU voted for and continue to do so.

These are the kinds of people you want us to entrust with even more of our $, and time and again it is mis-spent and yet here you and others are complaining that WE just aren't paying enough?

No. Just flat out NO.

Dan


2 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 13, 2019 at 9:42 am

James Michael is a registered user.

Prop. 13 is not and has never been the problem. Politicians and their tax and their unsustainable tax structure are to blame. In fact politicians, mainly Jerry Brown in his first go round as Gov. Moonbeam, are the reason that Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann initially wrote the proposition.


2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 13, 2019 at 10:31 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"In fact politicians, mainly Jerry Brown in his first go round as Gov. Moonbeam, are the reason that Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann initially wrote the proposition."

Yep...this x1000.

I remember my parents buying their first house in the Berryessa area of San Jose way back in about 1970-71.
Just as all the orchards were being cut down to make way for new housing, and silicon valley was just starting to get some steam, property values were going up and the government was increasing property taxes astronomically, yet wages weren't going up at the same rate.

I remember my parents getting increasingly nervous that they couldn't pay their prop taxes every year, and they both were employed.

THAT is how we got Prop 13.

Now all these successive generations bemoan prop 13.

Blame the government that you democrats KEEP ELECTING.

Dan




1 person likes this
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Frankie is a registered user.

To sjd
We don’t consider selling, moving and using our equity as an option. We live in a small, older home so when we do finally sell, it will be to use what proceeds we have to pay for health care. Some of us are also paying for elder parents care.

Perhaps any future bond should exempt seniors since we already pay for bonds and special assessments. It would be tantamount to a user fee for homeowners who have children currently served in the district.


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Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm

I’m not surprised thay you don’t take any responsibility for your actions, intentional or not. You’re the generation of take, take, take.


1 person likes this
Posted by Seamus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 3:02 pm

Parent of 2

How old are you? Mom and Dad ever have that conversation with you about growing up?


Like this comment
Posted by Parentof2
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

I'm 40. Growing up was inevitable. Their lessons centered around ownership and responsibility.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 13, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Po2, I already proved we are not take, take, take. I would focus on solutions to what you think needs fixing and then go after it. Blaming others is really not productive.


1 person likes this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 13, 2019 at 4:17 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Parentof2–. What a sad story you paint, guessing you were never taught the value of a dollar and to live within your means. Being born and raised here I could have moved maybe overextended myself and bought a nicer place in Danville or Alamo but I stood tall and stayed in pleasanton, bought And sold a couple of times and even managed to hang onto a couple rentals, took a little time and sweat equity but I earned it. Nothing was given to me, the in-laws and grandparents never moved in, things were just fine till all the deep pocket, easy money younger generation started moving here jacking up the selling prices with multiple offers and all cash deals, you must know by now why they are building 3story stack and pack housing we certainly didn’t need them before when everything was a lot more affordable. Not moving and not selling anything, what a great ride!!! More power to prop. 13 !!


4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Wow. What a lot of bellyaching going on here. Reminds me of a Monte Python skit.


"Easy money younger generation"

Hadn't heard that one before. Thanks for the laugh.


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Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 13, 2019 at 5:41 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"You’re the generation of take, take, take."

Not according to my checkbook, genius.

Dan


3 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 6:35 pm

BobB is a registered user.

It would be more accurate to say -- every generation is about take, take, take. No one likes to admit it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm

The silent generation and the baby boomer generation was give, give, give.


8 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 7:26 pm

BobB is a registered user.

That's funny "Michael Austin". Good that you included yourself in the "give, give, give" category.

Your generation is better than mine, mine is better than yours. Ha ha.

They sure don't make people like they used to.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 13, 2019 at 9:08 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Sounds like we need more "prop 13s" to keep gov spending at bay. Its the only way we get to directly vote on tax increases.

Still an easy vote for me. NO!


8 people like this
Posted by FH alum
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 14, 2019 at 1:13 am

In Dublin, we have supported increased taxes for our schools and I have no regrets so far. I bought my condo here when I thought the housing market was at its bottom, but it had a little ways to go. It bounced back nicely and I believe that part of that is our investment in education. During that time, my parents lived in Pleasanton (they have since retired and their house has been reassessed, which will make some of you happy). My personal belief is that one of the main reasons why our property values are high is because of the education that is available here, so I am happy to spend a few hundred dollars per year when my property value has increased by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fair trade in my book.

There are some things at Pleasanton schools that need to be done. If you don't have children at the schools or have any reason to be on campus, I can understand why you don't recognize these things. But there are some areas of campuses and some entire campuses that are embarrassingly run down. It will take taxpayer dollars to fix those things. Schools are being held together by tape and strings and at some point, those materials won't hold. Maybe I am just a worrier because I have been concerned for years that it would be hard to maintain a competitive advantage in Pleasanton with the facilities how they are, but they have maintained for now. But I still feel like if facilities are left in disrepair, quality of education will erode.

On the other hand, PUSD is a hard entity to support. They make such blatantly bad decisions with their money and are not a trustworthy organization. If I was a Pleasanton resident, I would feel misled and offended by the use of the money from the last bond. There are things that need to be done and things that are nice to be able to do. Pleasanton seems to spend their money on things that are nice to do over the things that they need to do. Every facility update that is needed now was also needed when the bond passed a few years ago and instead the district spent money on a bunch of obsolete laptops. They spend money to search for superintendents who last a couple years, on administrators who get placed on leave (fired with continued pay), and substitute administrators (so they are double paying for expensive positions). I don't think my parents really miss Pleasanton, but as someone who grew up there and am still close by, it sucks to see.

Those schools do need money that they will not get from the state. Your home values are tied to the performance of the schools. But for every $5 that goes in, you get $1 of value, and it's because the people at the top of the district are dishonest and incompetent. I think if I was voting, I would begrudgingly vote yes, but as a previous poster stated, I would want some specific stipulations tied to improvements on buildings. At the same time, I can't blame anyone who would vote differently. Good luck Pleasanton. Go Foothill.


1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:14 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

FH Alum, well said, and thank you for bringing the conversation back on topic.

We're in a bind here. The people who run the district have clearly created a mess. The school facilities are a mess as well. The facilities mess can't be cleaned without money. Yet giving the district more good money to fritter feels scary.

I'm not really sure what a solution is. No one runs on an agenda to clean the district office. We have no reformers. The voters have no choices besides whether to let the facilities crumble completely by not voting for bonds, or for voting for bonds that will mostly be wasted but just may do some good.

I don't feel very confident for the future of Pleasanton schools. Dublin is a mess, but once they build their second high school I suspect they will rise to the level of San Ramon. They're also increasing the quality of their housing stock. At some point, Pleasanton will not be as good a destination, and then it may be too late to keep our schools competitive.


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Posted by Bill Brasky
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 14, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Bill Brasky is a registered user.

The only way this will get support from taxpayers is better over site of the funds. PUSD has to be give up some of its power and get creative. Hmmmmmm, I'm thinking a private sector watch dog committee:

2 representatives for each school, cannot have a family member working in the district or on school board, has to have residency in Pleasanton for 3+ years. Appointed or elected? I'm thinking caucus style like they do in Iowa Primary at each school, power to the people!


1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

There is an oversight committee for the bonds. Just not the makeup you suggested.


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