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School PTAs rally behind Measure N

Original post made on Oct 31, 2014

While no one knows how Measure N will fare at the ballot box, lop-sided campaign spending shows school bond supporters appear far more willing to put their money behind the cause. Supporters of Measure N have overwhelmingly out-raised and out-spent opponents of the bond measure, raising over $100,000 as of Oct. 18.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 31, 2014, 10:39 AM

Comments (48)

5 people like this
Posted by Huttlinger
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Isn't Huttlinger Alliance financed by the California Teachers Association, the group most against the Bullis Charter School? Please Help. It's hard to keep the players straight.


8 people like this
Posted by Glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I am disappointed that the Los Altos Educational Foundation contributed money to the Yes campaign as they get their funds from donors who expect it to go directly into the school program, not a political campaign.


7 people like this
Posted by @ Glenn
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm

I was thinking the same thing.
I felt the same way about the PTAs.

I would not be happy if I was a donor of either. That is $50,000 (nearly 1/2 of the money raised) was given from organizations who got their money from donors who believed it was going for school programming/teachers.

Just because you are "for kids education" does not mean you are for "N"


4 people like this
Posted by NO on any new taxes
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Just vote no on N and any other taxes.


3 people like this
Posted by Yes on N
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Parents who donate to PTAs get to vote on PTA contributions to Measure N. Same with the Los Altos Educational Foundation, where parent board members who represent the schools get to vote. It's all completely legit and transparent. Huttlinger is formed by parent volunteers, with no association with the teacher union. There is nothing out of line with a Huttlinger donation as there is with the BCS parent formed LASD Parents for Great Schools donating to the campaigns, who have donated far more than Huttlinger.


3 people like this
Posted by Another "Yes" on N
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm

@NO on any new taxes -- I'm all for opposing virtually any new state and federal taxes, which are dominantly either wasted or are just redistributions from producers to takers, with little/no local benefit. However, in the case of things like Measure N, these bond funds directly serve our local schools, enhance the educational experience of our children, and increase our local property values. If there is such a thing as a "good" tax, it's things like this. YES ON N!


3 people like this
Posted by Smart Voter
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I'm voting Yes. We need to maintain and prepare for expansion. The MV part of LASD is going super-high density and will bring in hundreds if not thousands of children over the next 4-10 years. The newly rich are buying up homes in Los Altos and popping out kids Expansion cannot happen overnight and it will be impossible to negotiate for any potential new campuses without the 'line of credit' that this bond will provide.

But how much will this cost me? Well, on my million-dollar assessed home, this will cost all of FIVE DOLLARS/WEEK!!! That is the dirty little secret that the No on N trolls don't want you to know. It's chump change.

I urge you to Vote Yes and support our public educational system.


3 people like this
Posted by Stupid Voter
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Yeah, right, Mountain View is really going to get a Great New school out of this bond election, after the PTA's at the existing schools get their promised $15 Million apiece.

It's a scam. There will be growth in the district, but the school district bureaucracy wants to burn up all the money before the growth really takes of. There's no more money where this comes from. They Maxed out their allowable borrowing. God willing this vote will fail, and they'll get the time to reflect properly. Certainly one thing that is clear is that the schools are NOT presently crowded one bit. They even need the kids from San Antonio to pad populations at 3 Los Altos schools which otherwise would be tiny.


3 people like this
Posted by Yes on N vote
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 7:59 am

[Portion removed; stick to the topic and don't make personal attacks.] Keeping below $1,000 means nothing has to be reported and everyone can remain anonymous. What are these three "entities" that David Roode is a part of to oppose the bond and why won't he state the name of these "entities"? People may be more willing to listen to David's silly arguments if he and these mysterious others would be more upfront with their identities.


5 people like this
Posted by Glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

@Smart Voter
$5/Week may be chump change to you, but that figures out to $7800 over the life of the bonds. I would prefer a more detailed plan on how this money will be used before I invest $7800. Where will the new schools be built for example. It all seems a little rushed to me. With what is being proposed I have no idea where these new schools will end up, or even if there will be new schools.


3 people like this
Posted by EACH recommends voting Yes on N
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Detailed information about how the bond will be spent is well covered. Web Link

$5/week, and much less for more senior homeowners, is an amount our towns can easily afford. It is well worth the investment in the education of our kids.


5 people like this
Posted by PTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

It is suspicious that all of the PTA's contributed very similar amounts. It makes me wonder if perhaps the PTA's were strong-armed into contributing a minimum "suggested" amount. The decision to contribute by our school PTA seems to have been made without any attempt to survey parents or PTA members to see if they thought this was an appropriate use of PTA funds. I won't be contributing next time they come around asking for money!


4 people like this
Posted by SVTA Robo-Calls
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 7:28 am

The only organization officially sponsoring the No on N campaign is the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association Inc.
Not a big surprise, SVTA opposes every single school bond or parcel tax in Santa Clara County.
What's most unusual is that one of its directors (Greg Coladonato) is running for Mountain View Whisman School Board.
@Greg Coladonato - what's your view of SVTA's robo-calls and opposition?


3 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 8:28 am

JJ is a registered user.

@PTA Member - it sounds like you haven't been to many PTA meetings or at least did not attend the one where Measure N was discussed at your school. Members were very involved.

1. A PTA may spend a portion of its funds on election issues that have an impact on the education, health, or well-being of children and youth (Legal Guidelines for Campaign Activity 4.3.3a, 129). A PTA can't be partisan (endorse a candidate) but can endorse bond measures or parcel taxes that benefit schools. Lobbying on behalf of schools and children is one of the purposes of PTAs.

2. The $5000 donation was an amount requested by the campaign but each PTA was free to give more or less.

3. Each PTA held a meeting where the bond was discussed in depth and members were free to ask questions and debate. A vote was taken on whether to endorse the measure. Another vote was taken on whether to make a donation to the campaign. Members made the decision. I've heard that BCS Booster meetings (not an official PTA) don't really have votes but that's not the way it happens at the public schools.

I encourage you to participate in your PTA meetings, volunteer for a committee or board position and make a positive impact at your school.


3 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 2, 2014 at 9:15 am

@JJ -- thanks for setting the record straight on the process within the PTA for endorsements and campaign contributions. Like virtually everything within the LASD community, the process was above board, transparent, and based on what is in the best interest of our children. I'm pretty fed up with the baseless accusations and speculations from people like @PTA Member (who I suspect isn't actually a PTA member at all)


4 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 11:24 am

Hmm, well as someone said, SVTA is against this measure N. SVTA opposes unreasonable taxes throughout the county. OK. But SVTA does not normally engage in advertising. This Measure N is different. It is a good example of
unreasonable unneeded taxation.

And as for your oh so fair PTA's, who represented the "No" side in these presentations where the PTA's so fairly deliberated on the outcome of the bond? How much effort was made to present an even view of the criticisms?

For the many flaws in this measure, see Web Link It will open your mind.


3 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

@SVTA Member (aka David Roode) -

The factual cons of the measure were discussed at the meeting I attended. They were discussed by PTA members. Who would you suggest present your position? David - did you know that you can attend PTA meetings even if you are not a member? Is it true you have never spoken in person at any public LASD or Santa Clara County meeting? Please come to a PTA meeting at any public school so you can see for yourself how fairly these meetings are conducted. Positive community engagement is rewarding.


3 people like this
Posted by Where's David
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Yes, David Roode, please tell us why you have never been to a PTA or LASD School Board meeting to engage on the issues? What, or who, motivated you to spend all that time creating your highly inaccurate nolasdbond website? Who is responsible for all the illegal no on N signs popping up around Los Altos, only quickly to be confiscated? Who actually is organizing the No on N campaign? Everything is pointing back at you, the now public face who is against the bond measure, as this article proves.


6 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm

The facts show that this is a pork barrel type tax designed to give luxuries to school sites across LASD, while denying equivalent facilities to growth situations. This is not responsible use of taxes.

It's inevitable that the money will be spent if it is truly needed. It is a complete false justification to say that there will be 1000 new students in the district, and then to spend $12 Million at each of the existing schools on things like landscaping, repaving playgrounds, new offices, bigger auditoriums and pseudo-babel "media centers" which are old-fashioned as a concept in general.

The whole evolution of information sciences is that the internet is everywhere and "media center" type areas are just outmoded. Stanford University is demolishing its former undergraduate library, because they just don't need such a library any more. Meeting areas are just that, and media has nothing to do with it. Computer labs have been obsoleted by everyone having a tablet or a laptop.

The BIG LIE is that there is any sort of URGENT need for this spending. VOTE NO. Let this whole plan set for a couple of years, as what comes out after that time will be BETTER. Because the district is proposing to exhaust its bond capacity for the next 10 years, there won't be a second change.

Vote No on N. Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by SVTA
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Libertarians believe in people supporting themselves. These PTA's have $400,000 budgets each year at the various elementary schools. They don't even operate the after school programs. The schools collect money from parents for another $500K per year for the after school programs. No wonder a $5,000 donation is easy for these PTA's. They are rolling on dough. So, exactly WHY should the taxpayers hand them another $12 Million in bells and whistles for their kids schools? And this is while other areas of the district OUTSIDE OF JUST LOS ALTOS don't even have a school, or are in portable building ghetos on the schools where the PARENTS think LOS ALTOS owns the district. Bad bad bad.

Shame shame shame.


4 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

And look at all the MAIL this district has sent out to illegally campaign for this bond measure. SIX mailers this year, all campaigning for a bond. They think they can get away with this? And then more recently SIX more mailers from the K.L.A.S.S. It's beginning to look like C.H.A.O.S. The taxpayers are bright enough to see that this is NOT a district which truly needs money. Someone is standing to profit from this whole vote.


5 people like this
Posted by PTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

@JJ

So glad to hear that the factual cons of the measure were discussed at the meeting you attended. Could you kindly post a link to the meeting minutes so that the rest of us can review the highlights of the discussion?

Thank you


4 people like this
Posted by LASD Citizen
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Oh, what about the other $60 Million being spent on the bond besides the $45 Million from the 9 lock-step PTA's? Who's ponying up there? Well, Blach Construction for one, $10,000. Other CONTRACTORS of LASD as well.

Blach Construction will be on the block for NO BID construction work for this $150 Million. They have Randy Kenyon in their pocket. This district does funny things with their construction spending.

Vote N on this measure until the district cleans up its act and commmits to free and open bidding for every project it funds!!!

The PTA's are not the whole story. This is a bad scam.


3 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

I agree with the other BCS proponents that hate this bond measure. Did you know that in the first year, how many Starbucks coffees will this assessment rob me of per week? It's 6 bucks for the cup I drink (YMMV), so on a $2,000,000 (assessed) house that would be $600/year. That's 100 coffees over the year, so with 52 weeks in a year, this assessment will cost me 1.92 Starbucks coffee/week. Let's call it 2.

I'm sorry, but 2 coffees/week is A BIG PRICE TO PAY FOR OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION.

If you love Starbucks, you will vote No.

It's That Simple.


5 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

This moron with all the Starbucks coffee talk is probably Tom Fenstermacher. He's always claiming he's a BCS parent and saying ridiculous silly things that no one would ever say seriously. That's his M.O. He's as bad as Joe Seither with the sharks in the water talks. The real shark in the water is all this money being piddled away on needless improvements we cannot afford. The various LASD schools that exist are all roughly equivalent currently. But they are different. So they all kvetch that they need this or that extra to come up to average. Each school is asking for $20 Million. They'll consider it a compromise if they only get $150 Million.

$150 Million is a lot of Starbucks. But what has that got to do with it?

Keep your eye on the money. Vote no on N. You can always vote Yes the next time this issue comes back to the ballot, as in 2016.


3 people like this
Posted by SVTA Robo-calls
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

@SVTA Member - Wow, that site is a shoe-in for the "tin foil hat" webby award. Such a pity nobody wants to claim ownership of it. Not even your own SVTA?

Re: Greg Coladonato, maybe he's no longer associated with the SVTA? After all, didn't he run as a democrat in June against Rich Gordon?


6 people like this
Posted by PTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Interestingly enough, Joan J. Strong was one of the first to put forth the whole "Starbucks" take (weak as it is). It was always something they passive aggressively threw out when it became clear they were losing the argument. Not a surprise that he/she might come back under a new alias.


3 people like this
Posted by JJ
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Per the California State PTA (capta.org) and Robert's Rules of Order, the minutes of meetings do not summarize discussions - only actions taken (such as motions made and votes) "Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not a record of what was said." [RONR (11th ed.), p. 468, ll. 16-18; see also p. 146 of RONRIB.]

I do not have access to the minutes in an online format (and I believe this is prohibited by capta as well) but it would just show that Measure N was discussed, a presentation was made by the person in charge of the campaign, and then the various motions and votes. Again, if you participated in your PTA you would know this.


3 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

It's even worse. Someone whose home is assessed at 8 million dollars would have to pay EIGHT coffees a week! I'm sorry, but not every mansion owner is wealthy and can afford this serious lack of caffeinated beverages.

Until the school district puts forward a binding plan accounting for EVERY PENNY of the bond money, I'm voting No.


6 people like this
Posted by Ron McDonald
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Again with the Starbucks. You have to seriously question the motives of Joan Strong. Did not seem female to me. Was friends with no one. Spread lies and faulty reasoning. The bond will fail due to those lies and the failure of the Board to correct them. They had a duty to be accurate. Lets see what changes after 5 years of peace.

This bond will be close. We'll be on them about the spending if it should barely pass.


3 people like this
Posted by lies are bad
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Look at the comments here. Down with waste. Let them fund this with their own Starbucks. A bunch of smug sel entitled posts for the pro side. This reeks. Vote N on N. Let the letter be your guide. God willing this crap won't pass.


3 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I agree with David Roode's anonymous postings above. We need to fight against anything that would allow the school district to meet our requirements for a unified campus without closing one of the public schools. Without a major disruption, then how can we get our revenge? They closed our precious school and we will not rest until one of theirs gets closed and their students pushed out.

So, vote No on N!


3 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Watch out. The Yes on N campaign just received some money from that committee of BCS supporters. Yet another reason to vote No. This is all a ploy to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters. You have to put in money to the Yes campaign if you want your school to get any money from the bond. Highly quesitonable.


4 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

@JJ

Oh really, the PTA presented the concerns of the No side at their meeting? What were some of those concerns as discussed at the PTA meeting? Were they concerned that the money would go to the schools that need it most, anticipating additional students, rather than equally to every school? That would be the major flaw in the district's approach. Every student is equal in need, but not so every school.


3 people like this
Posted by SVTA Robo-Calls
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm

@SVTA Member - Since your organization is the sole face to this opposition campaign, why didn't you present its views at the various meetings?


3 people like this
Posted by PTA
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm

David Roode, instead of distorting events far from the truth why don't you go to an actual PTA meeting? Looks like Santa Rita, Springer, and Blach have PTA meetings this week. I'm sure you would be more than welcome to attend and people willing to point you toward the facts. We all know you need a good dose of a reality check, so why not show up?


3 people like this
Posted by SVTA Member
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I wouldn't advise any advocate for sound government financial decisions to approach any LASD PTA's this week. Better to let things cool off after the election. They'll either be put out or they'll be celebrating the millions of dollars they think they have won. Carpet for the classrooms. A bigger multi purpose room, or perhaps the addition of a complete new theater. If they get all the things they want it will be a complete miscarriage of financial prudence. To top it all off, they'll be in a hurry and they'll want to spend immediately--without following a competitive bid process.

The problem is with the school district business superintendent--not the PTA's. They could have been happier all along if there were better business decisions made by the guy responsible for them. It's probably better to start getting after him than trying to explain that to the ill-informed PTA's.


3 people like this
Posted by SVTA Robo-Calls
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm

@SVTA Member - The community held many public meetings for months, yet your organization didn't show up for any?
Greg Colodonato is an eloquent speaker, wasn't he available as a backup?


3 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I applaud David Roodes vigilance against the public school system. Just because our beloved charter school lost in court and is in danger of losing its certification, it doesn't mean we have to lay down and let LASD continue to run a successful school district unimpeded.

I am encouraging all of my fellow Bullis parents to vote against this bond measure.


3 people like this
Posted by PTA
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 7:33 pm

That's a lazy answer Roode ("SVTA Member"), same as what you have given before for not attending LASD board meetings or CACF meetings where you could have had one on one interactions.

The No on N effort is a perfect image for you because you both are a lot alike. The No on N arguments don't make any sense on the website you put up. Everything is based on wrong assumptions. No one wants to be associated with No on N. There is no public face to the effort. Perfect match.


4 people like this
Posted by Joan J Strong
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm

You guys are all my heroes. Pose as a fake BCS parent. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? You're too cool.

Someday the LASD is going to get its act together and behave responsibly and then all this fun will come to an end. How long will it be? You decide.


6 people like this
Posted by Hot Lunch Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

I'm sure if the measure fails, the PTA's will just raise hot lunch prices again to recoup the lost $5K. It is really quite shameful the way they have jacked up the prices and use the hot lunch program to stuff their overflowing cofers! Just because we live in LASD doesn't mean we are all wealthy!


5 people like this
Posted by BCS Parent
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

David Roode is spot on! Let's review the reasons to vote against Measure N:

1. David Roode has documented proof above that the impoverished students of LASD will pay more for their hot lunches.

2. Many homeowners in LASD would be paying the equivalent of cup of coffee per week. That cup of caffeine might keep a driver awake at the wheel. If this bond is enacted, then car accidents would go up and people may die.

3. LASD made a decision over a decade ago to close down a school in the wealthiest neighborhood of LASD. We cannot agree to anything the board wants until we get our revenge.

David and I are of one mind on these issues. Please protect the poor, save lives and help us seek revenge by voting No on N.


5 people like this
Posted by Seriously?!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

@BCS Parent (again who is not a BCS Parent). OMG Seriously?! You have nothing better to do? This form of "satire" that you have chosen is really off the mark. This is like kids making crank calls asking if your refrigerator is running. I'm very skeptical that anyone, anywhere really would think the way you do, including the satire that you are attempting. Not that I expect any true back-and-forth commentary from forums like this but your messages just shut down everyone else. How do you not see that? Isn't that the definition of bullying? But you seriously don't see that? I'm floored.


5 people like this
Posted by @Seriously!?
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

How dare you accuse us of satire! David, myself and my fellow charter school associates are absolutely SINCERELY dedicated to the relentless attacks on the public school district. We have proven this with year after year of expensive lawsuits against the public.

Instead of name calling, why don't you dispute the facts? Do you believe that this bond will cost most taxpayers more than a couple cups of coffees/week or not. If not, please present your evidence.

Your immaturity is what led us to our losing the court battles against LASD and is endangering the certification of our charter. Keep it factual my friend.


6 people like this
Posted by Real Issues
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm

This is the problem with Measure N. The whole proposition is a satire. They claim they'll use the funds for new schools to keep the existing schools small, but they plan to burn it all off on unbelievably wasteful projects at the existing schools. The whole thing is a lie.

It's the LASD students who will suffer, not the BCS students.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


4 people like this
Posted by Thank goodness...
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Thank goodness for people like "Real Issues" above. Without them, who would point out how stupid most of us are to fall for the patently obvious plans by our elected leaders to frivolously waste $150M in bond funds and ride off into the sunset. Thank goodness for this beacon of truth and integrity. I feel so much better knowing that "Real Issues" is doing my thinking for me, and has the deep insight into individual souls to ferret out corruption and evil wherever it lurks in our school officials. I may be brain damaged, but hey, I've got "Real Issues" looking out for me, so it will all be A-OK...


3 people like this
Posted by Sad
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

It's very sad that these charter school zealots continue to harangue the top performing LASD. Fortunately, their attacks are both transparent and superficial, so this bond will pass. Good job!


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