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Council lukewarm to giving up Shoreline funds

Original post made on Mar 18, 2010

When it comes to giving more Shoreline Community tax district funds over to local schools, some City Council members are staunchly opposed, while others are at least open to discussing the idea.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 18, 2010, 3:54 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Big Al, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

You just gotta love Abe-Koga who is for giving more money to the school district based on the fact that her two daughters would benefit and with a new playground at their Stevenson school site. I must be naive in thinking that perhaps a politician should first and foremost be thinking about the best interests of her constituents and the city.

Posted by parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm

You just gotta love that there is a comparison being made here between LANDFILLS, that are required to be fixed by law, and CHILDREN, who, by the way, are required by law (NCLB, anyone?) to meet grade level standards.

Same old same old. "Children are out future....the leaders of for the world's all about the kids...."

Put your money where your mouth is.

Thank you to Craig Goldman for going after property tax money that has been diverted away from the schools for so many years. Are there statistics on how many of the employees in the Shoreline area actually live in MV?

Where's that old bumper sticker that says "Why is there always money for war but not for education?"

It is also worth noting that Abe-Koga is the ONLY council member with school-age children. Ronit Bryant has kids in college. Maybe if we had more council members with direct experience having their children educated in public schools, there would be more interest in at least opening the discussion.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Quality schools have an infinitely greater impact on property values-- that is just common sense. Its really hard to take our council seriously when they make such foolish statements

This community is entitled to a full accounting of the Shoreline funds! Golf carts and landscaped medians over our schools? Seriously?

Bravo, Craig Goldman, for bringing this issue to the forefront!

Posted by Vfree, a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm

The school districts have been irresponsible spenders of tax dollars for long enough. Keep the money in the City Fund until the recession is over, and the schools start showing some positive results.

Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Vfree wrote:
Keep the money in the City Fund until the recession is over, and the schools start showing some positive results.

What exactly does "show positive results" mean? Eight out of nine schools in the district improved their test scores in 2009 compared to the previous year.

Source: Web Link

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I'm not quite sure where the idea of spending $30M in public funds to provide a hotel a 0% mortgage is a good use of community resources. The real estate arm of Google would not touch this as a necessary investment in their part of town. That the majority of MV council members think this is appropriate is a measure (IMO) of how out of touch they may be with community sentiments. This is the type of spending that follows when 40 years has passed - and a redevelopment district does not face some sort of 'sunset' requirement. Guess what - like seniors will fight for their prop 13 property tax benefits - parents will fight for their children's educational property tax benefits.

A referendum would be nice - rather than 3 council members approving this hotel bond backed by public tax revenues [they are planning to spend and lend it, NOT save it]

$2.6 M is > needed $2.2 M (and Shoreline still has $20M in reserves for emergencies). Macias is right - funds are needed forever - but she is wrong - 90% of the revenues can eventually be restored to other community needs (see the Editor's Opinion on print sheet 17).

Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

Is there any way to recall council members who don't support our schools?

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:05 am

Good point James. We live in a city where we have council members who don't support the funding and quality of our schools. They need to, and stop acting like what they do for the city is somehow unrelated to the schools. It's just incredible and typical of politicians. Of course we can recall them, or just vote out the ones coming up for re-election next Fall.

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:11 pm

As the article notes, it is the responsibility of elected school officials and their board to make sure they provide quality educational services. Council members are not elected to fund and run the schools. That said, as the article also notes, the city provides close to 3M (2.3 +.5 fr shoreline) in funds every year. A better question to ask council members is why do they spend general funds on services that are not part of the general provision of public services.

Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 21, 2010 at 5:50 am

What we need is a measure on the ballot that ties the property/parcel tax revenue to class size reduction limits and minimum standards for teacher pay. The formula should include state funding or lack there of in calculating what the tax rate should be.

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Political Insider,
Unfortunately "the perpetual nature" of the Shoreline District property tax diversions has distorted the power of the City Council and spending of property tax revenues. Without a legislative Sunset on most of the revenues (90%)- there will forever be a wide disconnect between $ for schools and $ for (what I call 'slush') in the city council controlled revenues. The city DOES provide somewhat near $2.8M that benefits MV schools - but take
$5,800,000 subtract
$2,800,000 and you get $3,000,000 in MV school 'diverted revenues' this year
DO YOU WANT SHORELINE TO SPEND $30,000,000 on a no interest hotel bond?
That is exactly the type of places the revenue is getting diverted!

There is no need for a recall, Siegal is up for reelection in November. If his platform is 'not one more $ for schools', then the voters who strongly disagree with this platform need to find another candidate and replace Siegal! Believe me, the message will be very clear to the other Shoreline Board members (city council) who may be up for election (or new office) in 2012.

"City hall" democracy is not that hard to figure out. [eric - I hope I'm not trying to be too logical again (:-) ]

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:02 am

Council candidates this fall will say in forums whatever the public wants to hear. No one will hold them accountable. At this point there are no serious challengers. There are only two council members that actually understand taxation and finance and they are not up for re-election.

Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:29 am

Is there anything like a parents lobby group or PAC? I expect MVEF or PTAs aren't aloud to lobby?

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

Get real James. MV voting interest is notoriously low. There is little interest in the schools by the real money and power in MV. And most School Board candidates are either appointed or unopposed write-ins. Why not consider making a run for it yourself?

Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 22, 2010 at 9:49 am

From the council bios, most of them have connections to mountain view education either directly or from community service. Who organised the parcel tax effort?

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