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Neal School litigation Sinks High School Gym Expansions

Original post made by Ceaser, Vintage Hills, on Oct 1, 2008

School Superintendent John Casey has informed residents that the long over due gym expansion at Foothill and Amador High Schools are on hold due to lack of funds.

A closer examination reveals that the litigation with Signiture properties, which will cost Pleasanton Unified School District between 3 and 6 million dollars, has crowded out the gym expansion plan. The funds used for litigation have come directly out of the capital improvement portion of the budget.

Meanwhile, the board is still considering a second appeal of the most recent ruling in favor of Signiture Properties and is likley on the hook for several million dollars in legal fees owed to the builder.

One possible way to recoup some of the losses would be to sell the Neal School property, but this would require the board to admit failure and move on.

Comments (15)

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Posted by not a parent, but supporting your kids
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Too bad that the board has the priorities so messed up. However, those of us with no kids have been paying for those with kids forever. Maybe it's time to have the users pay for the cost. If the parents want expanded facilities perhaps they need to figure out how to pay for it without raising fees and taxes for those of us who do not use the system.

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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 1, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Once again: PUSD never wanted the Neal School. But they certainly wanted all the fees generated by Ruby Hill and the rest of the Vineyard corridor. Now they're posturing to keep the money, point the finger at Signature for not expanding the gyms, sell the site, and move along! It would be comical if not for the fact that the courts continue to find in favor of Signature over PUSD...

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Quit trashing families. The world is a better place when kids exercise!
This is not about you not a parent. Move someplace where there are no kids and you will soon understand how boring your world becomes.

Begone devil!

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Posted by Cholo's friend
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I can't help myself........I like Cholo.

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Posted by not a parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm

As usual Cholo misses the entire point. No one is trashing families or kids. Some of us are tired of always paying for someone elses kids via income taxes, property taxes and child tax credits (that do nothing but encourage MORE kids per family). So we should pay even more to bribe the kids not to get into trouble? They can get exercise by walking for a change instead of soccer-mommies driving SUVs to and from school increasing traffic. Time for the system users to pay and give the rest of us a break.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Didn't you know? Governments always have a keen interest in people making babies. Babies grow up into taxpayers!

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Posted by not a parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Stacey, yes, of course. And when people do not spend the time to teach their children common sense those kids grow up to buy houses they cannot afford, charge huge amounts on credit cards they should not have and cause the rest of us to bail them out. Taxpayers? I think not. People who procreate without responsibility only make tax burdens not tax payers.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 3, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I think that there's a cabinet post waiting for you in Alaska!

Yup, this is about kids and their families. It about having tons of fun making tons of noise, building muscles, teamwork, learning how to cheat and getting away with it, boosting your popularity at the club and not relating to people that don't like kids. hahahahahahahahahahahah...

eat your heart out....grumpy....birdy birdy birds! hahahahahahaha...

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Back to the topic of the thread....

The shocker is the claim that there are 3 to 6 million in legal fees! Are these numbers corroborated elsewhere (other than this PW article)?

If the numbers are good (accurate), why are the aggregate fees so high? Can someone work up an explanation along the lines of an estimate of billable hours expended and an average attorney bill rate? That way, we can test for reasonableness.

Maybe the school district has been taken for a ride by attorneys who have excessive billing rates. Or, the hours charged are excessive given the number of briefs filed and oral arguments delivered.

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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm

The school board and superintendent have repeatedly mismanaged this situation and now the kids don't have the planned gym. That's it. That's all there is to it.

Of course, they could keep mismanaging the situation and then the kids will lose something else.

...People who don't have kids do have to pay for our kids' educations but we'll pay for their old age care when no one's around to help them. It's just an exchange of tax dollars..

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Posted by Punch Line
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 7, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Can it really be possible that someone out there dosen't really understand that the only ones who get rich in any lawsuit are......

THE LAWYERS!!!!!!!!!

Let's just hope this cherade ends and we don't pour more good money after bad.

No Neal School, now no gym... How pathetic does this have to get?

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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 8, 2008 at 1:10 am

November presents the opportunity to make changes to the schoolboard.

It's a "crap shoot" since we don't really know very much about the candidates. Do all the research you can, vote, then hope for the best...

Since so many seats are open(3)do you suppose some are abandoning ship while they have the chance...:):)

Sure wish Julie Testa were among the candidates. On second thought, maybe she does more good looking in from the outside. She sure seemed to get under Mr. Ott and Mr. Casey's skin. At a board meeting Mr. Ott went so far as to read some of the comments she posted on this board and, in my opinion, insinuate she may have been attempting to get a boardmember removed in order to fill the seat...Funny man!!!

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Posted by Testa
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:45 am

If Julie could find a way to vent her energy toward something positive rather than complaining about everything that everyone does wrong, I would agree that she might be awesome. Unfortunately most of her activities are based in telling administrators what they've done wrong in hindsight.

I know she has gone off and found funding sources in the past for items that some may not have known existed. If only this was done proactively instead of reactively and to make a point it would have been viewed a positive instead or look what I can do that you can't and attepting to make administrators look foolish. It seems obvious to me why she wouldn't run, because then she would put herself under the same microscope that she puts others under.

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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2008 at 11:13 am

The last thing PUSD needs is another bobble head doll telling them what a great job they are doing and ignoring the elephant in the room.

I think I heard the most recent funds Testa identified amounted to nearly 7 MILLION dollars. With the tax dollars she saved me, I’ll buy the soap for the administrators to wash the egg off of their faces.

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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2008 at 8:44 pm

If the Administrators are overlooking large amounts of funding, then they should feel foolish. It's called accountability.

They need to be held accountable just like everyone else who holds a job. There's no tenure in the private sector.

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

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