School board ready to vote in favor of new $260 million bond Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Aug 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm
While the official vote won't come until Aug. 7, members of the San Ramon Valley school board seem poised to bring a $260 million bond issue to voters this November. Although every member is in favor of the bond measure, they were less supportive of the idea that payback could be stretched to as long as 40 years.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 7:17 PM
Posted by LMP, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 7:33 am
Didn't the district just "find" money a few months ago to pay staff for furlough days or some other backpay? How about the SRVSD live within its means like the families it serves? Lots of folks here have lost jobs or have jobs that pay less. They're smart folks, figure it out. Please.
Posted by TOT, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 8:20 am
Isn't our biggest problem in schools in California the teaching?! How many new classrooms does a community need when we're drowning in the bigger problem - uneducated teachers! Whether we're a high performing district in California or not, California and the SRVUSD needs to fight the unions first - then think about adding new taxes to our community! How do more classrooms really help raise the expectations and requirements scholastically of our students if we still have trouble with uneducated teachers and low expectations for our students? BTW: Isn't there a huge conflict of interest with one of our Board members regarding her involvement in working for a small consulting business which promotes and educates school districts in how to get bonds passed in school districts?! There will never, ever be a tax or bond she would ever disagree with as long as she's a Board member!
Posted by Mom, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 9:35 am
$260 MILLION "needed" in additional infrastructure and facilities? San Ramon HS has been under construction for more than 6 years, and now its practically new! Dougherty Valley HS actually IS new. Many other schools have seen structural rebuilds or improvements, and our schools are in good shape.
The REAL solution to the problem, which is the low funding our district receives from the state of CA, is to reform the funding formula, not keep piling on the backs of taxpayers who have seen declining values and declining employment.
I have 2 kids in this district and I am AGAINST this. The board is acting like spoiled brats.
Posted by keith, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 10:02 am
A big no to the bond. Why are we being asked to pay for another school in the Dougherty Valley? The developers have a responsibility if they are adding population and making money. Who fell back on the under estimation of enrollment? We have so many schools in Dougherty already, why weren't they sized properly when they were built to hold the estimated enrollment? The master plan for the area showed the buildout. I am not paying for this.
Posted by Duffy, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 10:26 am
The terms of the Dougherty Valley Settlement agreement make it abundantly clear that the cost of new schools in Dougherty Valley would be borne by the developer. Didn't the Contra Costa Grand Jury review this a couple of years back?
Posted by Jane, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 10:39 am
The constant ASK for more money is really getting old. I'm a huge supporter of education, but this is getting insane. Big NO to this one. Time for all homeowners to take out their latest tax assessment and READ IT to see what you are already paying. I always love the example of cost/$100,000. In this valley? I think I understand why they don't use realistic median home values - it would scare everyone off! How about getting pencil to paper & figure out how to get down to the needs of the district instead of the 'wants?'
Posted by Mom, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 10:58 am
Jane, the School Board thinks that asking for $260 million it "needs" is a more manageable (read: passable) number than the $400 million they "want". The rationale is that we "need" to stay competitive, we "need" to have safe schools, etc. Since I oppose the bond, I would say, the schools are safe. When a crack was found in the SRVHS gym a few years ago, they closed it down, and now there is a new gym. None of the money will go directly to educating kids, but rather things like a shade structure at the (new)pool at SRVHS, improved circulation (traffic), new bleachers, a new school in DV.
They have not said how much the election will cost or what the liklihood is of success.
Anyone can come to the School Board meeting next week and speak their mind.
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 11:41 am
One possible reason for the low public turnout at the 7/31 meeting is that the flyer announcing the meeting showed up in my mail on the day of the meeting. I read it when I got home from work on 7/31 - by the time I saw the meeting notice, the meeting was at least half over already.
Related to another comment above, it is indeed illegal to use bond money for salaries and benefits. That said, one reason for all of the enthusiasm for solar projects within SRVUSD is that you can use bond money to pay for the solar panels and installation, and then the savings in electrical bills CAN be used for salaries and benefits. It would be more appropriate to apply the electricity savings towards repayment of the bonds, but I doubt if that is the case.
The detailed project list doesn't mention anything about solar projects, although the general description in the Express article mentions "energy efficiency" projects.
Plus there are several high dollar-value projects that are just called "Standard Modernization for entire campus", as well as several "Upgrade electrical system" projects, which might encompass additional solar panel work.
It's hard to really assess the worthiness of the projects, even from the semi-detailed list. But my initial impression is that there are plenty of "wish-list" projects on the list, on top of some that are more important or even essential. But there is no doubt in my mind that the board is trying to get as much money as they can, or that "the voters will stand for". So in the end they will try to gauge public opinion, so as to determine what the largest amount they can ask for, that would pass....
Posted by Dwight Winn, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm
1. Most if not all the schools are at capacity. If additional facilities are not constructed, it will mean diversion programs for those schools.
2. The bond measure is for new facilities, updates, requirements to meet safety requirements, modernization that will create greater efficiency and less maintenance, replacement of antiquated buildings, technology infrastructure upgrades and enhancements, etc
3.As a person living on "fixed income" I understand the concerns but I also understand the needs.
4. The $ 400,000,000 figure is a result of volunteers that met with the local school authorities and determined the needs. These individuals have a stake in our community.
5. I think the librarian from Golden View gave an excellent example, by stating the school looks good but she has to share the library with classes which causes distractions for both groups of students.
6. Stone Valley needs a replacement of their facilities plus Doughery Valley is not "built out" which means that additional capacity is needed.
7.Consider the maintenance. If you have a 10 year old campus with aging utilities consider the costs to replace or upgrade those items now compared to 10 years from now.
8. I think the "shade structure" is a part of the energy program. Feedback indicates a "savings" or at least a control.
9. My understanding is that the developer has met his requirements.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm
Why don't we all wake up and vote out all the legislatures who put us in this school funding mess. Vote no to all the incumbents and lets start anew with people who don't have their heads in the clouds or their behinds beholding to special ineterests. This state spends way to much without balancing a budget and cutting school funding while mainiatin outlandish pensions and benefits.
Posted by TOT, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm
How many parents will know about the upcoming meeting on August 7th at the school district while they're on vacation?! Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend - Timing is everything with politics isn't it?
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2012 at 6:48 am
Just received a flyer about this yesterday the 2nd of August inviting us to attend a school board meeting to discuss this issue on the 31st of July. Sure is a way to guarantee lack of community input isn't it?
Posted by Mom, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2012 at 8:40 am
The next meeting, AUGUST 7, is when the Board will vote on whether or not to put this bond on the Nov. ballot. Now is the time to speak out or ask questions! Come to that meeting, 7 pm, at the school district offices on Old Orchard!!!!
Posted by concerned, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2012 at 10:02 am
Why don't they look at eliminating some positions that are a waste. Look at Kirby Hoy, Rob Stockburger and the other Director of secondary education employees. How many do we need to drive around the district all day having coffee?