By Joanne Schivley, past Vallejo City Councilmember
The following text for Measure A is from the 1997 ballot per the Secretary of State’s website:
TABLE 1.2 TEXT FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT BALLOT MEASURES BY COUNTY, 1997
SOLANO 3/4/97 Vallejo City Unified Measure A Pass (2/3 required)
To provide funds to upgrade classrooms for modern technology; provide health and safety improvements in classrooms throughout the district; repair and replace inadequate classroom roofs, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems; and renovate, acquire, and construct schools and school sites, shall the Vallejo City Unified School district issue and sell bonds in an amount not to exceed $133 million at an interest rate within the legal limit
Note there is no playground equipment listed as a use of the funds. Go to the VCUSD Website, Home Page, enter Measure A Construction Contract Project Report in the Search Box, and scroll down to 8.3.1 Measure A Report. This report shows Playground Equipment as Completed Projects at all 17 elementary schools, indicating Measure A Bond Money was used for this equipment – not grant money, not other state funds.
Those of us who worked on Measure A were promised the funds would only be used as stated on the ballot. That promise was made by people who now support this year’s Measure E, and have endorsed the incumbent school board candidates. Both Hazel Wilson and Tony Ubalde were on the Measure A Oversight Committee from its creation until they were elected to the School Board. Using Measure A funds as stated on the ballot, and as promised to the public, was the responsibility of these individuals while they were on the Committee and/or the School Board. Now, they are supporting Measure E and asking to be re-elected to have a say on how $239,000,000 will be spent. Want to place any new money under the control of individuals who have not kept promises made to the public? I don’t.
If money were all that is needed to fix Vallejo’s schools, it would be great, but throwing $239,000,000 in the form of Measure E at the physical problems in our schools is not going to solve the deeper problems. Take a look at your property tax bill. 46% of the first line “1 Pct Tax Limitation” goes to schools. Everything labeled Vallejo USD and SCC goes to schools – a total of 52% of your property taxes, not including Mello-Roos assessments. To fix Vallejo’s schools, change and new leadership are essential.
Vote NO on Measure E. Vote for Cayangyang, Pucan and Worel for School Board.
Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.