Proposition E - Websites Provide Information - Vote is June 3rd


The election for Prop E isn't until June 3rd, but signs on lawns are already appearing throughout Coronado.  The community is buzzing with questions and trying to figure out how they should vote.  

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association summarizes the prop with these words:

The Coronado Unified School District is proposing a Proposition 39 Bond Measure that would authorize the issuance of $29 million in general obligation bonds.  Read more (PDF).

Both the supporters and opposition have recently launched websites to gather information, support and help education voters between now and the upcoming vote.

Yes on E:  http://protectourcoronadoschools.com/

No on E:   http://kisstheschoolbondgoodbye.com/

Views: 1631

Tags: city of coronado, community, prope, schools

Comment by Barbara Tato on April 11, 2014 at 6:03pm

I have not yet made up my mind whether or not to support Proposition E so I was pleased to see the new website (http://protectourcoronadoschools.com/) so that I could be further informed.  The FAQ section was particularly interesting.  I thought the section on how the bonds would be used was informative.  It stated that the funds would be used for capital improvements including upgrading technology; repairing or replacing worn-out roofs, plumbing, and electrical systems; upgrading and installing security systems, such as security lighting, and fencing; and improving heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems, doors and windows to increase energy efficiency to save money.  This makes sense to me – the funds from the bonds would be used toward these items so that more school budget funds could be used for teacher salaries, etc. 

 But then I read the question about what will happen if the bond does not pass.  Its answer states that Coronado will be required to “trim back essential educational programs that have made them into the great schools they are recognized to be. This means laying off teachers and other school employees, which will significantly increase class sizes…”

 What confuses me about the answer is that if the bond issue doesn’t pass, why isn’t the impact on the capital expenditures cited in the first paragraph above?  Is it because the impact of not doing capital improvements on virtually new school facilities is less compelling than the threat of laying off teachers?  Further, the implication of these answers is that the decisionmakers believe funding capital expenditures on new facilities are a higher priority than keeping teachers.

 I want to be supportive but I find the argument less than compelling.  Help me understand.

Comment by MIKE GAPP on April 12, 2014 at 2:28pm

I just looked at the endorsements page on http://protectourcoronadoschools.com/endorsements/

Did anyone notice that most of the endorsements on this page seem to be from people in the District, including teachers and faculty? - They are padding their own nests.

- Or should I say dens?

....More culture of the Fox watching the hen house apparently....

The more I look at Prop E, the more creepy it feels. And I tried to like it.

Some folks need to learn to recuse themselves on this matter. Mayor Tanaka IMHO among many others.

They will undoubtedly doctor all the things I have noted, on the website in question - notarized screenshots sure can be a pain to folks like that though....

Prop E is apparently a dirty program.

Wash it away.

They'll be back soon with another one.

Mike Gapp

 

Comment by Buzz Fink on April 12, 2014 at 7:46pm

I support Prop E and here is why:

1.  Currently the CUSD uses General Fund dollars to pay for Facility Maintenance, repairs, upgrades, for technology replacements, upgrades.  When Prop E passes, Prop E will fund these items, THUS FREEING UP THESE DOLLARS IN THE GENERAL FUND.

2.  This is a short term bond measure and will be paid off in 10 years or less.

3.  Caps have been put in place limiting how much bond debt will be out a any one time.

4.  Individual Bond durations cannot exceed 5 years.

5.  There is a rigorous citizen oversight committee.  

6.  The state has engineered a new funding system that has resulted in Coronado Schools being ranked 11th out of 12 districts in the County in funds received from the State per student.  This new funding system is expected to return Coronado to basic funding within 10 years but we need to make it till then.

DON'T BELIEVE THE MISINFORMATION THAT SOME ARE PUTTING OUT THERE.  Go to the website and see for yourself and get the information you need.  http://protectourcoronadoschools.com

One need only ask why some are fabricating stories about the bond.  If they choose not to vote for it, thats there choice.  But if they feel they need to make up mistruths in order to get their way, thats not alright.  It shows me they have a weak position.

I have HAD 2 kids in Coronado Schools and I went K-12 here.  My kids are no longer attending Coronado Schools but are attending another school and I won't ever have anymore kids in Coronado Schools..  However, I STILL SUPPORT PROP E.  It's the right thing to do.  In my almost 50 years of living in Coronado, I've seen the community take care of its own.  The State has let us down.  We now have a way to rectify the situation. 

However you vote, please do so with the REAL facts, not the mistruths.  I think you will end up with the same conclusion I did and will vote YES on E.

.

Comment by John O'leary on April 13, 2014 at 11:43am

I, too, have more questions than answers.  I wonder why the school board, in the face of their financial crisis, board voted to give the Superintendent a “SUPPLEMENTAL” retirement (BONUS) in increasing amounts each year for a five year period that he could direct how it would be invested.  For the upcoming school year (2014), he has been approved to receive as his SUPPLEMENTAL retirement (BONUS) the amount of $35,000!  Based upon his reported $175,000 salary, this amounts to a 20% bonus!  Can the CUSD be in such dire financial straits as to give the Superintendent a 20% bonus this coming year?  (The CUSD web site verifies these numbers.)  Why should we pay more on our property tax bill so those at the top can receive big bonuses?

 

I understand that the school district owns the real estate presently occupied by the Coronado Retirement Village and Coronado Villas, both near the hospital.  What is the value of this land?  Why can’t this obviously excess property be sold to help CUSD through this alleged crisis?  How much rent does CUSD receive in rent from this land and what is the fair market value of this property as a rental?  Seems like a nice nest egg to be sitting on and not discussing with the Coronado homeowners who are being asked to fund the bond.

 

While the CUSD is issuing layoff notices to teachers, just how much have the top administrators been receiving in raises the past few years?  Why are there so many administrators, yet the CUSD pays lots of money to “consultants” to advise them how to do their job.  Just what has the growth been in administration in terms of people and salaries/benefits?  How many teachers can be retained if an administrator or two is laid off?

 

I have heard about an audit of the district and finally found the results.  It looks like there are a lot of areas of financial improprieties.

 

So, lots of questions – few answers.  Perhaps if the real answers were known, this bond issue would be DOA.  I say the CUSD needs to clean their own house first before impacting MY house.

Comment by Buzz Fink on April 14, 2014 at 8:49am

I am curious what you were told by the Superintendent and/or School Board when you met with them and asked those same questions.  Well, I guess I assume you met with them to ask them.  Perhaps not since you did not post their answers.

Is it possible these are simply a way to try to throw into question the Bond issue?  A red herring?  

I suggest you call and meet with the Sup't and the Board if you really want to find your answers.  Then share them! If you choose not to do this, I can only assume it is a tactic to try to sink the Bond.

As for the Superintendents pay, I was at the Board meeting when it was approved.  I don't recall seeing you there but I may be mistaken.  It was a well thought out plan.  We have had both good and bad superintendents in the past.  The goal was to keep the current Superintendent for 5 more years since he is one of the good ones.  A bonus plan was developed that met that requirement.  Instead of having a set bonus per year, it started with a very small amount and increased each year so he had to stay the 5th year to get the biggest part.  BTW, the cost to do a new Superintendent search would have been equal to or more than the bonus schedule.  Another good example of the Board exercising their  fiduciary duties in an excellent manner.

As for the property the district owns and the possibility of selling it, it is under long term lease and the District receives income from it.  You would know this if you asked the questions to the right people rather than just posting them.

I was always taught to "try to solve issues at the lowest level".  I believe asking your questions to the District first would be the best way to get answers.  But then again, you may believe posting them and not wanting to hear the answers might serve your cause better.  

Comment by Tom Pray on April 14, 2014 at 9:06am

Interesting comments but for you who believe there will be an unlimited fund available for more improvements to the CUSD buildings remember that prop 39 requires all improvements be listed in the ballot measure which I do not see anything about solar panels.  Furthermore, the district superintendent has repeatedly stated that all the money would stay right here really means businesses  across the bridge need not apply for contracts.  If you think that this bond would free up the general fund it might, but use of the general fund in such an extravagant spending spree would certainly point to a bait and switch operation and illustrate to us that we had been taken to the cleaners.  Another website available for information is www.KissTheSchoolBondGoodbye.com

Comment by John O'leary on April 14, 2014 at 10:40am

The Supt and board are able to respond to those questions here.  I understand others have asked the questions and received vague answers.  Lets deal with the numbers.  20% bonus!  BTW, other supts have consistently been given renewed contracts each year to keep them with the maximum 5 years remaining - both good and, as you say, bad, supts.

As for the property - how about some numbers?  "long term lease" how long, how much?  It can still be sold with a lease active.  How much income do they get?

Again, the board and supt are welcome to put their responses here.

Comment by Rick Shaughnessy on April 14, 2014 at 11:49am

I proudly support Prop E.

I am neither an employee nor an official of the school district and as of June I won't have any children enrolled in Coronado schools. I am grateful beyond words to this community for having provided such a superior educational experience for my children. I hope all Coronado children will be as fortunate in the future.

Prop E is essential to preparing the children of our community for success in the dynamic global economy of their adulthoods.

Our public schools rank among the best found anywhere. Our teachers achieve more for less pay than teachers in most of the districts in our county. Now the state is severely cutting the funding that our district receives. This places our children at great risk. It's not a complicated story and it certainly isn't the conspiracy that some contributors to this board allege. It's reality.

Many of the arguments against Prop E, presented here and on the opposition website, are specious and deceptive, mixtures of half truths, unsupported fabrications and gross inaccuracies.

I am hopeful that Coronado voters will continue to be good and wise and farsighted. Let's keep investing in the most valuable thing we have: our children.        

Comment by MIKE GAPP on April 14, 2014 at 10:28pm

Mr Fink said;

As for the Superintendents pay, I was at the Board meeting when it was approved.  I don't recall seeing you there but I may be mistaken.  It was a well thought out plan.  We have had both good and bad superintendents in the past.  The goal was to keep the current Superintendent for 5 more years since he is one of the good ones.  A bonus plan was developed that met that requirement.  Instead of having a set bonus per year, it started with a very small amount and increased each year so he had to stay the 5th year to get the biggest part.  BTW, the cost to do a new Superintendent search would have been equal to or more than the bonus schedule.  Another good example of the Board exercising their  fiduciary duties in an excellent manner.

You seem to know a lot about it, that's great. Thank you for your insight, Mr. Fink. Where were you seated at the Board meeting?

As for the property the district owns and the possibility of selling it, it is under long term lease and the District receives income from it.  You would know this if you asked the questions to the right people rather than just posting them.

Don't get irritated, some of us just want to know. I can't imagine that in the interest of transparency, that the details of this proposition shouldn't be completely open to us all, not just secreted away in the minds of someone who actually can attend whatever meeting he wants to, regardless of a work schedule, family needs, etc.

I mean, come on - you don't think $35K is a lot of money? It's not even an elected position. Maybe they don't think it is a lot of money over there on Country Club, but over here on Third Street, it's BUCKS, LOL. I'm a little appalled that you would encourage folks to waste that much on a talent search in the Internet Age as well, I have to add.

I was always taught to "try to solve issues at the lowest level".  I believe asking your questions to the District first would be the best way to get answers.  But then again, you may believe posting them and not wanting to hear the answers might serve your cause better.  

Look, we are trying to find a reason to vote yes, stop berating us and give us some specifics, if you have them. Otherwise you do your cause no good. Use public forums to talk obliquely to folks like myself who don't know - are we all going to have a private meeting with the superintendent to discuss his pay raise, stipulating of course that we even get a call back?

Come on, Buddy. Throw us a fish. LOL.

Mr. Fink also said this:

1.  Currently the CUSD uses General Fund dollars to pay for Facility Maintenance, repairs, upgrades, for technology replacements, upgrades.  When Prop E passes, Prop E will fund these items, THUS FREEING UP THESE DOLLARS IN THE GENERAL FUND.

Can you prove that?

2.  This is a short term bond measure and will be paid off in 10 years or less.

Can you prove that? I thought they had up to 40 years or something to pay it off, and what stops them from paying old debt off with new debt, as I have understood they are likely going to do with Prop E, should it pass?

3.  Caps have been put in place limiting how much bond debt will be out a any one time.

Where can we find that in writing? What is the cap?

4.  Individual Bond durations cannot exceed 5 years.

What does that even mean? LOL. What keeps them from shotgunning us with a bunch of "individual bond durations" simultaneously?

5.  There is a rigorous citizen oversight committee.  

Really. How obscure. What are there names, positions, and how can we contact them directly? what makes you qualify them as "rigorous."

6.  The state has engineered a new funding system that has resulted in Coronado Schools being ranked 11th out of 12 districts in the County in funds received from the State per student.  This new funding system is expected to return Coronado to basic funding within 10 years but we need to make it till then.

Apparently the state felt that that was prudent. What exactly is this ranking system? Can we get something besides vague generalities out of anyone that is supporting Prop E? It's not a rhetorical question, I really want to support it if it is worthy, but I am not seeing it, no one who is for it seems to be saying anything except for "Hope" and "Change."

Help us, Mr. Fink. (TIA!)

From what I have read, at the time of this writing, mere days before absentee ballots land with a thud in local mailboxes;

1) Prop E Bond Program Description criteria have NOT been met.

Would you like to talk about that here? I'd appreciate it, I don't know if anyone else would. - no, that's inaccurate - I know that my fellow project managers reading this would - hahaha! - or we'd at least like to be taught how to get money in this fashion in private business when you are actually held accountable...LOL...! I shoulda gone into public schools administration apparently...hahaha! These people count money with snow shovels apparently... and best this yet, the guilted parents shovel it for them...nice work....

2) Prop E Bond Program Budget & Funding criteria has NOT been met.

If they are planning to delineate those important points, they seem to be taking our patience for granted, so close to this vote, don't you think? I walked three miles each day this week and talked to folks around town about Prop E, as a fact finding neutral party - no one knew the answers. That's what we used to call in aviation "Scary." LOL.

3) Prop E Bond Program Execution Plan criteria has NOT been met.

This is where it starts to get really religiously weird to me, and maybe to others who aren't "getting it" yet.

Where's the proposed projects outline for this bond? Point me to it, I'd really appreciate that.

And what about the bond issuance schedule? Where is that? Help us, Mr. Fink.

There's a lot more to ask, but I'll just wait for concise facts on these important questions first, before I tax anyone more.

No pun intended, of course.

TIA for concise answers with actual real links to webpages that actually have traceable facts on them.

I am sure this is just a misunderstanding.

Your neighbor,

Mike Gapp

Comment by MIKE GAPP on April 14, 2014 at 10:51pm

Rick Shaunessy said;

Many of the arguments against Prop E, presented here and on the opposition website, are specious and deceptive, mixtures of half truths, unsupported fabrications and gross inaccuracies.

Which ones specifically? You are helping me out, I don't want to vote to the detriment of the community.

Can you point those statements out to us please, and point us to somewhere they are negated with legally binding statements to the contrary? - Tha shouldn't be taken as a criticism of what you said, I am simply saying it meant nothing - we've seen a lot of sentiment on both sides - the pro-Prop E side has the burden of proof since they want the money from other peoples' wallets here - they are accountable. I responded to Mister Fink above, ratcheting up the pressure if one will, to get to the facts, which I have been unable to find on the pro-Prop E webpage that everyone is pointing to. Neither have there been any answers on the school site

Right now voting for Prop E seems like throwing money in the bay though. We were gently asking, unheeded evidently as secret meeting flyers were dropped across town for pro-Prop E meetings, ...and now we are screaming for qualified facts ...and all we seem to be getting is "OBEY!" from the superintendent's camp.

My wife and I, and most of our children attended Coronado. I also attended ghetto schools and taught ESL in a ghetto school. The ghetto schools were better than Coronado in all my experiences. They were lean and mean. They were hungry.

I think Coronado could use a bit of that. There's an article on here about killing off all the opossums in Coronado for goodness sakes, like we are entitled to do such things  - I think the silent majority in this village needs a wake up call that is not in the form of watching their school administrators summer in Fiji on their dime.

Taking from others who don't agree is called stealing.

It's not bonds. It's not taxes.

Like I said, I attended the schools here. my mother was asked to teach here. Most of my kids attended this public school system. I take it you did not.

My parents thought Coronado was good too ...just saying....

Man. it's tiring to be able to afford braces these days while you defend yourselves against unelected bureaucracies with communist agendas... I thought Dad went to Viet Nam to stop that...LOL...yet, here they are... I must catch up on my Mau, lest I stand out...hehehe...!

Good Luck on Prop mE!

Mike Gapp

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