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Original post made
on Nov 23, 2011
I would pay more taxes for schools.
I would also support the idea of collecting proper property taxes for schools from developments where the each unit is not assessed. I'm talking about the model where the owner leases the land to the developer, who builds 100 units for families, and no additional money will come to the schools, although there will be 100 new families in the school district. What's up with that? Why do we allow it? It doesn't do the schools any good, spreading resources thinner and thinner. And as the schools weaken property investments weaken.
This article creates the impression that the current Measure C parcel tax imposes larger assessments than is actually the case. Under Measure C, all lots of 8,000 square feet or less (which covers the vast majority of single family residences in MV) pay $127/year. It scales up for larger lots; only lots of 44,000 square feet or more pay the maximum amount of $1,016/year. Seniors and disabled taxpayers are eligible for an exemption.
Our schools do need our financial support--increasingly so as state monies are cut. Kudos to MVWSD for carefully assessing what is a realistic amount that property owners in our community can comfortably absorb to provide direct funding to maintain our schools.
Considering the awful mess that the school board made of the Monta Loma remodel some years ago I wouldn't trust them to spend the money wisely. The architects and contractors seem to have the controlling hand and the school board got manipulated into doing just as they were told. The last parcel tax is the last one that I voted yes on. From now on whenever they ask for more money they can count on my NO vote.
Chas, the Monta Loma remodel was done quite a while ago - definitely more than 10 years, I would say, and that was a completely different district (Whisman, before the merger), with a different board, and different administration, all of whom are long gone. So it doesn't seem too logical to dismiss the idea of a bond for facilities upgrades out of hand because of the way you feel one was handled over a decade ago by people who have long since retired. Judge this one on its merits.
Chas and Observer (late comment),
The issue of "The architects and contractors seem to have a controlling hand" may still be entirely relevant. (not contractors yet). The SFIP was decided in detail by a non-public committee consisting of 3/4 architects and administrators. The two Board Trustees on it have never, in over 4 years, ever -over - 4 - years , voted against a district administration recommendation. The SFIP as adopted calls for A LOT of "demolition" at Monta Loma (and throughout the MVWSD).
At least one of the architects working for the Monta Loma architect team, appears to be the principal architect planner for the SFIP (also Stevenson re-opening).
Google "Trace Elementary" and "grand jury" to see some of the same work of this architecture firm.
When I did the math, they are asking me to chip in upwards of $150 a year. The slick glossy flyer that came out in the mail pushes the fact that the bond will be used to build new science labs and modernize science equipment--this from an elementary school district whose tenured science teachers are pretty unimpressive. New facilities and equipment won't make much of a difference as long as tenure is in place preventing qualified science teachers with advanced degrees from earning top pay over lesser qualified dinosaurs protected by the unions.
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