LASD Parcel Tax Ballot Revisions May Hobble Electoral Success

LASD Board of Trustees 2016
LASD Board of Trustees 2016
Written by lalahpolitico

District staff — Randy Kenyon — revised the Parcel Tax ballot making it MORE — not less —  belligerent vis a vis the Bullis Charter School. It is unfortunate the ballot language projects so much mistrust and hostility.   It  could alarm many, many voters, driving them to a NO vote.

Let’s recall the the Fall 2015 survey about the the parcel tax. It found that voters were not willing to spend $223, but were ok with continuing to pay $193…as we have for the past 8 years.  The local representatives of the CTA were disappointed with the November survey findings, because they were hoping the $223 would enable larger teacher salary increases.

Trustees Fingers in the LASD Parcel Tax…

Now fast forward to August 8, 2016.  At the LASD board meeting tomorrow, the Trustees will likely vote for ballot language which imposes $223 per parcel, with the INTENT to share with Bullis Charter School.  But the language…

  1. …makes the Trustees the arbiter of whether BCS is spending parcel tax funds correctly. For LASD the citizens’ CACF ostensibly is the arbiter of whether LASD spends  correctly. Why the disparity of review mechanisms?
  2. …makes the Trustees the arbiter of the number of BCS students which are in-district and  count in the sharing formula.  [Yet LASD lists around 120 out-of district students, and there probably are actually more…grandparents. Do these out-of-district LASD students get a share of the parcel tax?]
  3. …allows the trustees to withhold any or all of BCS’s share...perhaps to be used for CTA teacher raises…like they wanted!
  4. …puts the Trustees in charge of picking over BCS spending reports, and once “approved” by the Trustees,  FORWARDS the BCS reports to the CACF for inclusion in the Parcel Tax Annual Report.   CACF has only a rubber stamp / clerk role.  [Lalahpolitico; many people have told me that is CACF’s role anyway…to be a rubber stamp for whatever reports Superintendent for Business, Randy Kenyon, sends their way.  Nice, huh?]

Talk about your micromanaging! OMG!

Resurrection of a Cycle of Annual Strife

The Trustees will likely approve this revised  version of the parcel tax ballot at the Monday, August 8 board meeting at 7pm.  Apparently the sabre-rattling they demonstrated at the July 25 meeting, wasn’t truculent enough.  The trustees who suggested some language moderation at the July 25 meeting were apparently ignored.

Now the Trustee majority have pulled the sabre out of the sheath and are waving it around the room.

Lalahpolitico thinks fanning the flames of mistrust and hostility, as is being done in this ballot, is a good way to risk losing this parcel tax election. Too bad. Kenyon and Trustees could have taken the high-road, as the Livermore District did when it shared it’s parcel tax.  But no, we are still on the low-road.

Remember the annual Prop 39 cycle?…  BCS reporting its projected “needs” and the District’s Randy Kenyon denying their accuracy? Pretty unpleasant, eh?

Inserting the Trustees as arbiters of BCS’s share of this parcel tax sure looks like a repeat of the cycle of annual strife.  I guess  there are people who are making a living off of these hostilities and who enjoy them in some perverse way. Maybe the Trustees like being in the local newspaper?! Just wondering.

News on Site Selection – still no progress

For the umpteenth time — in  6 pm closed session — the 4-acre 5150 El   Camino site and the 4-acre St. Williams site next to  Covington will be discussed by Trustees this Monday. Is anyone expecting “reportable decisions” at the 7 pm regular meeting.   Lalah is not.  Probably there will be no progress on planning how to spend the Measure N  $150 million… till after the Trustees election this November.


Excerpts from Revised Ballot

LASD parcel tax ballot exceprt

The Trustees will be holding a sword over BCS’s head. They will be the arbiters of BCS spending, and whether the reports cross the t’s and dot the i’s. It should be citizens, not trustees, overseeing BCS spending

LASD parcel tax ballot part 2

The Trustees can ask for more and more detail. Then they pass the final report to the citizens in the CACF which are reduced to clerks and rubber stamps. CACF members are handpicked by Randy Kenyon. He claims it is hard to get volunteers. BCS candidates for CACF so far have been excluded. Perhaps a separate Parcel Tax Oversight Committee  could be formed?It would look only at the Parcel tax, not at LASD finances in general.

About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past couple of years.

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