We can no longer be the Union's Piggy Bank
The Union Greed Never Ends
CUSD and their union are back at it again. As you may know, we here at Capo Kids First believe that many of CUSD's challenges come from the way the CUEA Union has pillaged our community over the years. And now, they are yet again asking us to be their money tree to solve their payroll problems.
In 2016 the District floated a Billion dollar+ bond measure (they claimed it to only $889 MILLION but the payback - which is what matters to the taxpayer - put it well over a BILLION!) and the voters in the District overwhelmingly voted it down (the measure only received 45% of the vote and needed 55% to win).
The voters at that time saw through the smokescreen of 'It's for the Kids' and recognized that the whole reason they 'needed' the bond was because the District had been ignoring all the deferred maintenance for many years to fund the CUEA's greed. - Remember the strike?
Now, the District has decided that if they split it up into smaller segments to support specific communities - essentially turning them into SFID's (School Facilities Improvement Bonds) - similar to the dreaded Mello Roos style funding - they will be able to convince voters that there is a relationship between the new taxes (or bond repayments) and the improvements to the schools. (Even though they have carved out certain communities that they don't think will go for the bonds in order win their coveted 55% - which their polling doesn't even show much promise on!)
The problem? Many of the items the District is asking you to pay have already been paid for by a prior bond - AND, they have always had the funds available IF they would just hold the line on Teacher Salaries (The average CUSD Teacher earns over $88,000 per year (plus retirement and health/welfare) for a 42 week work year)
Just say NO to the $724,000,000 anchor weight that they are only asking some of us to pay.
CUSD claims that they need this money to fix the schools in two geographic areas:
Measure H covers San Clemente and Capo Beach (but not Talega as they found their polling didn't work there!). The bonds for this area will cost over $205 MILLION to repay and the majority of the costs will be to fix the deferred maintenance - which is NOT what the bonds are supposed to be used for. The actual proposition language says that all bonds MUST be for capital investments that are intended to provide value for at least 36 years - not 'technology', or 'paint', or 'roofs', 'plumbing' repairs and other deferred maintenance.
Measure I covers the rest of Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and select parts of Aliso Viejo - and the cost for that bond is over $519 MILLION - but the school board has carved out the communities of Laguna Woods - as they don't have enough kid friendly homes to want to let them vote (typical geryymandering by your elected politicians)
Yes, combined they will cost us almost $725,000,000 to pay back with a smaller pool of homeowners paying the bill!
San Clemente Times wrote that "The bulk of those funds—close to $90 million (revenue not repayment dollars which are approx 30% more)—will be prioritized for the renovation, modernization and replacement of aging classrooms and buildings at the 54-year-old San Clemente High School. Other upgrades include replacing roofs, plumbing, electrical systems, air conditioning, walls, flooring, paint, furniture and technology infrastructure to name a few. (And remember, those who live in Talega will not pay for this!)
BUT, In the PTA's resolutions they note that the bond funds can only be used for "capital facilities that will outlast the term of the bond." and that "All projects funded must last until 120% of time it takes to repay the bonds. For example, if it takes 30 years to repay the bonds, anything built with bond dollars must last a minimum of 36 years." Thus, all these deferred maintenance items including, roofs, repainting, plumbing repairs, air conditioning, and technology upgrades do not meet the capital facilities requirements!
Also, did you know that we are a 'Declining Enrollment' district? This means that there are less and less kids in the schools - and there is a giant pool of 'reserves' that are not being discussed. Don't fall for the 'It's for the Kids'. This is all about providing for the Union for their next negotiation.
There remain so many issues with the way the measures were put together, the polling that the District has done, the marketing of the bonds (with taxpayer dollars), the gerrymandering of the voters into odd 'areas' that don't match the Board Member Areas, the growth of the internal reserves, etc... it just goes on and on.
But, wait! What about new pools or a performing arts center? Those surely are capital investments and are a good use for bonded debt, right?
Well, we are not opposed to capital investments but completely disagree with the amount of money being requested (the new PAC and pools would cost less than $50 million to build - $65M payback or less than 10% of the current bond ask! *Capistrano HS's 450 Seat PAC cost $16.4M and the new waterpolo pool at San Juan Hills HS cost approx $4M - so double the cost for everything and we still see the cost as under $50M) Ask for that and you may see us endorse the investment. But the fact that the VAST majority of the funding is to cover the mismanagement of the taxpayer money by giving it to the unions instead of investing it on the deferred maintenance and the technology improvements that should have been paid through state specific funding is not something we can accept.