Mark Twain once said, A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get even its boots on.
1) The school board is not unilaterally taxing people. For years, parent groups clamored for a bond measure precisely for voters to decide their own lot. Fact is, we can't tax anybody. Secondly, this board is fiscally conservative, with highest possible bond ratings, above mandated fund reserves and years of positive budget certifications.
We conducted a scientific poll showing 61 percent favorable to a bond limited to critical health and safety concerns and an annual $28 per hundred-thousand-dollar assessment.
2) This is not a parcel tax and it does not affect non Mello-Roos taxpayers. It is for citizen vote in the non-CDF District, essentially north/downtown Antioch and the older schools.
3) We are not cruel. I was a staunch, outspoken opponent of Mello-Roos extension when I sat on the CDF Board. I felt, as now, that it was not my prerogative to arbitrarily tax people. I tossed and turned over this bond. Mine is a typical middle-class family with a teacher, a secretary and now a son entering a five-year college program. Agreed, this is a tough, sad cycle we are working through. I can't tell my son, though, that college is off the table because of lean times, just as I can't put my head in the sand wishing away our 20-year-old roof and water heater.
4) We are not out of touch. People in Mello-Roos pay thousands in assessments. We were cognizant that nobody wants that. This bond translates to a typical $56 or less per year; a substantial number will pay $25 or less. We deliberately made sure there were no frills. These are roofs, plumbing, earthquake retrofit, disability compliance, parking entrance safety and health issues. We are definitely not asking for Taj Mahals.
5) The 3-percent mandated maintenance fund is a finger in the dike for 25 sites. In life, be it a levee, a bridge, a roof, a paint job, it's always pay me now or pay me later. After 50 to 60 years, things outdo patch work, quickie fixes, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
6) No rubber-stampers! We actually seek bulldogs on the seven-member oversight committee of senior citizens, parent groups and business people. No salary expenditures and every item must be on the bond-approved list.
7) There is no phantom plan, discussion or contemplation of future bonds.
Pass or fail, we move on.
For too long , as a (newspaper) editorial stated in endorsing the bond measure, there has been a great Antioch divide between school haves and have-nots. We have all benefited standing on the shoulders of the sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents. Thankfully, they built our schools. On June 3, let's pass the torch and continue that generous investment in our future leaders by voting yes on Measure C.
AUSD Board of Trustees