Reluctantly, yes on Measure CL

Reluctantly, yes on Measure CL

There are 21 comments on the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin story from Oct 19, 2010, titled Reluctantly, yes on Measure CL. In it, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that:

This is not a good time for a tax increase. Too many people are hurting in this economy.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

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Claremont Teacher

Hesperia, CA

#1 Oct 19, 2010
The editorial states in succinctly, "The needs it will address are real." Measure CL will meet the needs that Claremont teachers see on a daily basis. That is why the Representative Council of the Claremont Faculty Association vote unanimously to support Measure CL. There is a giant need and Measure CL will meet it.
Claremont Resident

Los Angeles, CA

#2 Oct 19, 2010
Thank you for understanding the importance of moving forward, no matter how difficult. Its good to vote for a bright future for our students!
Claremont West

Los Angeles, CA

#3 Oct 19, 2010
No! this is crazy. we can't raise taxes now. for gods sake don't do it. you're going to destroy the very people you want to invest in your schools. don't you see it? you are the destroyers? you are the looters! it doesen't haven't have to be this way. Stop this crazy measure now before its too late.
North Claremonter

Ojai, CA

#4 Oct 19, 2010
You don't understand opponents objections because if you did you would print more than one line. Have you even seen the website ????

How about the fact CUSD is not a reliable partner that has continually squandered $$$ and mismanaged Measure Y & $30 mill the feds gave to match $49 mill???

This article of reluctancy lacks any definition or design or depth that begins to speak the truth. BTW....did anyone at the Bulletin read the fine print that rate increases START at $45 for the first year???? Oh, I guess what happens to the Claremont homeowners is IRRELEVANT because after all our children our suffering and are under great duress without their solar panels.

This is the worst time for many and the lack of accountability and transparency of CUSD is PROFOUND!!!!
North Claremonter

Ojai, CA

#5 Oct 19, 2010
Claremont Resident wrote:
Thank you for understanding the importance of moving forward, no matter how difficult. Its good to vote for a bright future for our students!
Yes, the faculty that do NOT live in Claremont and will NOT have to pay any tax increases. I CANNOT wait for the moment teachers ask for any support from the community to protect their salaries. I will be at the front of the line supporting EVERY salary cut!!! You want to come after me and my family's $$$ about if we go after all the teacher's salaries to make sure they are paying their fair share to ensure the BEST for OUR children???!

Kapolei, HI

#6 Oct 20, 2010
No MORE TAXES!!!!!!!!!!
Get a Clue

Upland, CA

#7 Oct 20, 2010
Claremont Resident wrote:
Thank you for understanding the importance of moving forward, no matter how difficult. Its good to vote for a bright future for our students!
I don't understand the fact that Claremont has misappropriated funds from their last bond. Continues to push through anything "they" see fit. Remember Johnson's Pasture? Oh yeah, that was a smart move!
I love the fact that all the money being put in to this
"campaign" is from outside contractors vying for the work that will "supposedly" be done, do you have the money to remodel your home right now? Get a clue! NO ONE HAS THE MONEY!!!!!!!!
It states my city as Upland, it is not it is Claremont and has been for 20 long years. NO ON CL

Norwalk, CA

#8 Oct 20, 2010
MYTH: Measure CL will only raise your taxes by $45 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
FACT:The $45 figure is an estimate that is based on current interest rates, which are near record lows. There is no guarantee that rates will be so low when the bonds are actually sold. In fact, they may be much higher – and so will your tax bill. THERE IS NO LIMIT ON HOW HIGH YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL CAN GO UP TO PAY FOR MEASURE CL.
MYTH: There is a specific list of projects that Measure CL funds will be spent on.
FACT: Actually, there is no list. The text of Measure CL is so broadly written that the district will have almost unlimited discretion to decide how to spend the money. As we saw with Measure Y, the district can choose to spend bond funds on everything except leaky roofs and faulty wiring. MEASURE CL IS A BLANK CHECK.
MYTH: Solar Power will save up to $100,000 per year in electricity bills.
FACT: The district intends to install a solar power system that will reduce electricity costs by up to $100,000 per year – or $2 million over 20 years. However, the solar power system will cost far more than the $2 million savings. In fact, based on similar projects, it will probably cost at least $4 million. MEASURE CL'S SOLAR POWER PROJECTS WILL END UP COSTING TAXPAYERS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
MYTH: An Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee will ensure proper use of funds.
FACT: California law mandates that a Citizen’s Oversight Committee be appointed by the school board to monitor the use of bond funds. The committee has no power to stop inappropriate expenditures or direct funds to be spent on particular projects. THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CANNOT ENSURE THAT FUNDS ARE USED PROPERLY - IT CAN ONLY GIVE ADVICE THAT THE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION IS FREE TO IGNORE.
MYTH: Our schools need this money, and there is no alternative to Measure CL.
FACT: Bond financing is just one way to raise funds for Claremont schools. It also happens to be the most expensive and inflexible way. There are better alternatives, including the sale of surplus real estate, state and federal grants, and a parcel tax. EXPENSIVE BOND FINANCING IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT.
someone with common sense

Los Angeles, CA

#9 Oct 20, 2010
Reluctantly is a piss poor reason to endorse a public bond measure which spends $200 million [with interest] over a 40 year period to fix things that Measure Y was intended to fix.

Reluctantly is a piss poor reason to support a project that proposes to spend $750 PER DOOR to add dead bolt locks to a classroom door - and not the automatic closing ones either.

Reluctantly is a piss poor reason to approve of a bond project that authorizes the purchase of over a ten year period [ending in 2021] and then claims to take advantage of current 'historically lo' interest rates;

Reluctantly is a piss poor reason to endorse a project that proposes to implement a technology and pay for computers over a 40 year period - imagine if in 1970 the Claremont CUSD proposed to purchase then state of art computers and make that last payment in 2010?

Reluctantly is a piss poor reason to spend $$12-15 million for electioneering services [1.1% to bonding company] plus underwriting fees, plus legal fees plus accounting fees, architectural fees [7=10% of the project alone] a construction manager and all the other ancillary fees earned by outside entities who donated money to the Yes on CL campaign to ensure their gravy train continues.

Reluctantly, I must vote No.,
Claremont Resident

Claremont, CA

#10 Oct 20, 2010
Thank you Daily Bulletin for truly looking at the facts. This is a hard time to ask voters for more money. However, we do need to invest in the infrastructore of our Claremont Schools. I found the website SupportClaremontSchools to be very helpful and informative.
someone with common sense

Los Angeles, CA

#11 Oct 20, 2010
@Claremont Resident - could not agree more - time to invest in infra structure -

what projects?

the scope of them is?

what do they cost?

Which schools and why?

how do we collect fund from the parents of the 20% of students enrolled who do not live in the district?

Once we have an answer to at the first 3 questions - I'll support your project -
concerned parent

Phelan, CA

#12 Oct 20, 2010
I really do not like out of state corporate interests attempting to influence our local election. 98% of the donations for the Yes on CL campaign come from corporations that will reap a windfall it it passes. The investment bank Piper Jaffray will receive a MILLION DOLLAR fee for underwriting the bond. No wonder they gave a 25K donation.

And I really do not like the supporters of CL trying to hide where their money comes from. You talk all about transparency and accountability with the administration of the bond- but look at your own damn campaign! You should have printed clearly on your slick, glossy mailers exactly who paid for them. What hypocrites!

Early on the claim was made by the school board that not a dime of the bond would go toward teacher salaries or benefits. In fact the original bond proposal still on the board's website states in BOLD print that not a dime would go toward teachers salaries. Look at how quick that promise has been done away with.

We in the private sector have gotten hammered the last three years. How many of the CUSD administrators have taken a pay cut? And why do we have to have an army of former teachers and principals as administrators. Lets start cutting the fat beginning with the district office before running to me and my children for more money. And do not even get me started on the FAT pensions these administrators are going to get that you and I will pay for due to CalPers upcoming insolvency. Remember these clowns predicted in 1999 that we would have a DOW of 25,000 this year.

And why should my family be paying for all 17% out of district kids who will not pay a DIME for this bond?
jay pocock


#13 Oct 20, 2010
cop out. cusd used 92,000,000 in 2000/1/2 30,000,000 fed matching and 13,000,000 adtional loan in 2002. they built nothing that absorbed cost due to concrete or steel. I"M IN THAT BUSINESS. complete fraud. please look a little harder next time. 92,000,000 wasted in 3 years. now they need another 95,000,000. 10,000,000 to pay of 13,000,000 loan ( 930,000 annual payment ) out of contol? just wait.
Kim G


#14 Oct 20, 2010
I cannot believe the Daily Bulltin would endorce this measure! I have lived in Claremont for a total of about 36 years. My husband and I both went to all of the Claremont schools. I care about the kids, I really do! But its the CUSD that my husband and I find to be CRAZY. We have payed enough! Its CRAZY to ask for a single penny more from the residents, especially at this time!!!
We do not like also paying for the near 20% of the kids who attend the Claremont schools, who's parents do NOT pay taxes because they do NOT live here in Claremont!
I am not willing to pay any more taxes than my family already does. So much mismanagement of the funds already by the CUSD! What makes anyone think that they, CUSD, can get it right this time?
My parents are on a fixed income and also live in Claremont. Does CUSD care about my parents who have lived in and payed every taxes Claremont has added to them since about 1973 or any other person on a fixed income that lives in Claremont? Do they care? Do they care that people are struggling in Claremont already? Do they care that I grew up below the poverty level when I was a child? Do they care about the struggling families who live below the poverty level who also live in Claremont? My brother and his wife who live in Claremont who have little income struggle too. Looks like a huge NO for CUSD!
So, will I have to turn down the Claremont school kids who probably will still be coming door to door selling candy, cookies and what ever else for school funds for Claremont because of the mismanagements of funds from the past that affect us now even, if CL sadly passes? My husband and I probably will not donate to any school fund in Claremont, if CL passes. How sad is that? We will be saving that money to pay for the CUSD slush fund taxes!
CUSD, you are biting the hands that feed you!
Claremont Taxpayer

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#15 Oct 20, 2010
There may be real needs that could be addressed by the massive $95,000,000 Measure CL, but they are only a tiny fraction of the money at best, and could have--and should have--been taken care of with prudent management of the money from the last CUSD bond, Measure Y, only a decade ago.

The District is not "shovel-ready" and these depressed construction costs are a chimera.

Although construction costs may be relatively low right now, CUSD is not ready to proceed right now. The District has said repeatedly that it cannot produce a plan for Measure CL because it has not paid designers and architects for a plan yet.(Perhaps WLC Architects could have contributed some architectural scoping work to the District instead of trying to buy the election and a lucrative contract with its $25,000 contribution to the Measure CL campaign) In any case, the District does not plan even to sell the last of the bonds until 2025 (see the Tax Rate Statement in the ballot materials). Does anyone really believe construction cost will remain depressed for the next 15 or 20 years?

According to the District, Measure CL would devote $10 million to pay off existing debts and leases, saving $800,000 to $1 million a year in operating costs that then could be used for academic purposes.

This is one of the most troublesome parts of the Measure CL scheme. In the late 1990s, the CUSD acquired air conditioners and perhaps other short-life equipment such as copiers and phones on a lease with GE Capital. In about the same time, the District purchased the building on San Jose that houses the district offices using money received from the sale of land south of June-Vail park.

In 2001, the District entered into a complex financial scheme to lease Claremont High School to a group of investors for an immediate cash payment of $11,300,000. In return, the District now leases the high school back from these investors for a payment of $930,000 per year. The thirty-year total of these payments is more than $21,000,000. The District has already paid more than $8 million, including a payment due just last week of $738,000.

The District used the $11,300,000 to refinance the air conditioners and to remodel the District Office building.

It is this burdensome unnecessary financial scheme that the District seeks to rid itself of by pre-paying the future lease payments--at an additional cost. Thus, the District proposes not only to stretch out the payments for this equipment from 2031 to 2040, 2050, perhaps 2060 and beyond, but to shift the debt from the district general fund to the taxpayers.

Why enter into this complex transaction? Because to borrow the money outright would have required a 2/3 vote of district taxpayers. This leaseback mechanism is a subterfuge, pure and simple, to avoid the voter-approval requirements of the law. It is a hidden bond which is a bond in everything but name. The lease payments received by the investors are even tax exempt, just like school district bonds.

If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

The District claims property owners would pay about $45 per $100,000 of assessed valuation - roughly $225 a year for a home assessed at $500,000.

This is a lowball estimate and is not to be believed. There is no way to borrow $95,000,000 and keep the assessment rate at $45. It cannot be done.

A conservative estimate shows that the assessment rate will have to be much larger than $45 per $100,000 assessed valuation; for many years it will likely exceed $100 per $100,000. The total cost of the bond will be in the neighborhood of a $250,000,000--a quarter BILLION dollars.

This measure is an exercise in unsustainable borrowing that got the country into the fix it is in. It is appalling that so many of our good neighbors and the Bulletin are seduced by the siren call of "money for nothing".

Please vote NO on Measure CL on November 2.
Jeff Hammill

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#16 Oct 20, 2010
There is no such thing as "shovel ready" projects as the President of the United States recently admitted. Therefore the notion that CL should be supported because construction costs are at an all time low is a false premise. Assuming the economy recovers in the next two to three years, construction costs will rise again...sound familiar?
The District avoided all discussion of cutbacks, gave no consideration to selling excess property,and entertained no thoughts of reducing the number of interdistrict transfers. Instead they fell back on the old tried and true method of going after the taxpayers for more. Let's tell them No, not this time.

Kapolei, HI

#17 Oct 21, 2010
Taxes keep going up because people pay them. How long before the taxpayers revolt?
Taxpayer in Claremont

Claremont, CA

#18 Oct 24, 2010
I am willing to pay the extra taxes to keep my property vaule up. If the schools go downhill so will my properties. It is that simple. If we fight the schools or even look like we are, our property values will go down.

Kapolei, HI

#19 Oct 25, 2010
Dear Taxpayer, Please tell me that you don't believe that tired old line\excuse.
Michael Keenan

Claremont, CA

#20 Oct 25, 2010
I can already read and write and add and subtract so why not let me/us see a list of WHERE our money is planning on being spent? This looks like a no-bid cost add on giveaway. It smells like a professional GRIFT based on a high speed Bandwagon effect.All the notables jumped on without any critical debate. I can read, write, add and have a great crap detector I got from a public education and I would never sign a blank piece of paper with my signature on it. That is just plain STUPID!

Opinion editors an explanation is in order on Mr.

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