How bad is Measure C? Theresa Herrington’s post in the Contra Costa Times today documents the plummeting support for Measure C including at least four members of the measure’s original campaign committee. Also called into question is the EMC push poll the Yes committee used that never revealed costs would soar to $1.87 BILLION over 42 years! What were they thinking?
“They really didn’t do any homework, and it’s really sad,” said Carla Ludwig, a Walnut Creek resident who quit the campaign committee in March after learning that the superintendent planned to ask voters to extend payments over 42 years.
“Three other members of the committee also have dropped out of the group and come out against the measure, as has A.J. Fardella, a parent who served on the bond oversight committee for the district’s 2002 $250 million bond measure, also called Measure C.”
According to Kris Hunt, executive Director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association,”This measure is awful. It will cost Taxpayers over 5 times the cost of the bond because it is being paid back over 42 years. It should be defeated.”
As Dan Borenstein explained in his analysis of Measure C, “There’s another problem: Bonds for construction don’t address the district’s most critical problem. What the school system needs first is money for its day-to-day operations that have been shortchanged by the state budget crisis. For that, the district needs a parcel tax, an annual assessment to raise money for the general fund. The problem is that requires approval of two-thirds of the voters, a threshold the district failed to meet when it put a parcel tax on the ballot in May 2009 and only received 59 percent approval.”
And now, not revealed in the ballot information, we learn that at least $60 Million will indeed be funneled to the General Fund in a sleight of hand accounting maneuver that shows us the MDUSD is more about accounting tricks and smoke and mirrors rather than transparency and accountability.
Finally, see the letter to editor that appeared recently in the COncord Transcript by Richard Colman, a frequent contributor here.
Misusing money is becoming the hallmark of the Mt. Diablo school district.
On Tuesday, May 11, the district’s board of trustees agreed to cut, for a three-year period, nearly $4.9 million from special education funds (Times, May 13). The board also voted to lay off 200 teachers.
Yet, at the same meeting, district trustee Gary Eberhart criticized the use of non-union contractors for school-construction projects. On June 8, the district’s voters will decide the fate of Measure C. The measure, if passed, will provide taxpayers’ dollars for a district construction plan.
Mr. Eberhart and any like-minded board colleagues ought to select contractors using one criterion: Who can do the best work for the lowest price?
Often, the use of union-only contractors raises construction prices 25 to 50 percent. While using union workers may be good for unions, employing union-only workers may not be good for taxpayers.
Perhaps Mr. Eberhart and the rest of his board would not have to cut special education funds and lay off teachers if the board decided to avoid the expensive practice of using only union workers on school construction projects.
Voters should ignore Mr. Eberhart’s views on labor matters and should vote against Measure C.