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Glen Price's Replies to Kevin Rivard's Parcel Tax Measure Questions/Comments

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  • mswizbiz@aol.com
    Here are Glen s very thoughtful comments embedded in Kevin s. Forgive me if this comes out difficult to read. Marsha Kevin--- You make some excellent points.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2003
      Here are Glen's very thoughtful comments embedded in Kevin's. Forgive me if
      this comes out difficult to read.


      You make some excellent points. Sorry for the delay in response --- I'll
      embed some of my off-the-cuff thoughts below.

      > Glen,
      > The ninth grade at this point is really the last chance the students have to
      > get up to speed with reading and math before really entering the last phase
      > of their schooling before leaving for either college or the work world.
      > Right now the K-3 influence of smaller class size won't be seen for another
      > three to five years in the high schools and the students who missed out on
      > that small class size influence need help for their high school years hence
      > the ninth grade small class size structure as is currently being utilized at
      > our high schools now should be maintained. After this five year tax
      > hopefully the ninth grade structure won't be needed as all students from
      > then on will hopefully be beneficiaries of the K-3 small classes.

      Actually, this year's 9th graders were the first class to receive the
      benefits of K-3 CSR (I know as my daughter Sarah is a 10th grader -- her
      class was the not to be in reduced class sizes in elementary). That aside, I
      am totally in favor of and have fought for the continuation of 9th grade
      CSR. I am just not sure if we need to specify it in the parcel tax.
      > The core subjects should be and must be supported by State funding. As I
      > have said previously I do not want to take up the role of what is the
      > responsibility of State funding or the State will simply drop that funding
      > and use it somewhere else. We must demand on the local front what is due
      > the students from the State coffers or as with the Lottery funds the State
      > will simply shift the funds, that the Local districts will now take on as
      > the Local responsibility, into other areas.

      Agreed. And, in our case, we must also continue to work to reduce and
      eliminate our debt payments which directly tap our general fund. However,
      the reality is that funding from the State is unlikely to increase and, in
      fact, we will be darn lucky if the current governor can hold to his promise
      of not reducing the K-12 budget next year. Meanwhile costs on all fronts are
      increasing and unless we can raise local revenues we will be faced with
      further cuts that will come closer and closer to our core educational
      > MRAD was created to pay for maintenance and until there is a full accounting
      > of how those funds are being used I do not want to start another fund that
      > can be used for salaries. The fraud and deceit of MRAD has gone on for 10
      > years now and I am not going to vote another diversion of funds into
      > maintenance salaries which I believe this tax would do if the janitorial
      > line is left in the tax language.

      You and I could definitely have extended debates on this one and you know
      how I have tried to move funds into greater alignment with the core intent
      of the MRAD. However, I am so thankful that we DO have the MRAD! Think where
      we would have been in our last budget process without it!
      > The exemption to seniors seems a little disingenuous to me. If a poor family
      > or individual cannot afford the tax what difference does it make if they are
      > over 65 or not. A family of six with a single wage earner is in no better
      > position than a senior over 65 with like income. The only reason you went
      > with the exemption was to get votes and you really don't care whether a
      > person or family can afford this tax or not. You have made the rules and
      > wording of the tax to best achieve your goal of passage and for no other
      > reason.

      > If you really care about a person of families ability to pay this tax then
      > exempt all families and parcels that rent to low income people, then I will
      > believe you are doing it for the right reasons. Otherwise include everyone
      > in the tax and let the chips fall where they will.

      I agree with the first part of your comment and wonder where you are coming
      from with the last part. I have asked this question in a number of different
      ways with our counsel and the one thing they agree on is that the law does
      not provide for a blanket low-income exemption. There appears to be an
      ability to provide for a senior exemption but I am of the opinion that many
      seniors are quite able to pay full freight on this, Hence, I prefer a
      low-income senior exemption if it is legal. Kevin, we may not always agree
      but I have never impugned your motives and I wonder why you do mine. I am
      working on this parcel tax because I want to raise the resources our
      children's schools need but I don't want to do so at the undue expense of
      needy individuals in our community. That's why I favor a low-income senior
      > Kevin
      >> From: Glen Price <glen@...>
      >> To: Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@...>, <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      >> CC: George Harris <gah_iii@...>
      >> Subject: Re: Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 10:24:13 -0800
      >> Kevin:
      >> Thanks for your email. I hope it elicits a lot of discussion and input.
      >> Given the compressed timeline that we have been working under, I am
      >> actually
      >> quite happy with the level of discussion that we have been able to have
      >> thus
      >> far on the proposed parcel tax. I believe the language as proposed at this
      >> point emerged out of a lot of meaningful discussion and debate and I look
      >> forward to our further discussions through tomorrow, during the campaign,
      >> and, hopefully, as we implement the tax.
      >> In some ways, I like your amended version --- it is cleaner and more
      >> focused. I am unclear why you would single out 9th grade specifically that
      >> would then seem to exclude use of funds for other secondary class size
      >> reduction. What are your thoughts here?
      >> Also, why are you proposing to exclude use of parcel tax funds in support
      >> of
      >> core subjects and items like improved restroom maintenance?
      >> Do you favor limiting the senior exemption to low-income seniors?
      >> Hope you and your family had a great thanksgiving! Joline made her way back
      >> from college and it was great to be with her after not seeing her for two
      >> months!
      >> Take care,
      >> Glen
      >>> The first Parcel Tax language is that of the district. One that in my
      >>> opinion is to vague and has to many add ons that will dilute the
      >>> effectiveness of the small amount of money that will be collected. The
      >>> second is how I would like to see it amended so that the items listed
      >> will
      >>> have the money now and in the future five years to pay for those items.
      >> I
      >>> would like to see some other suggestions before Monday so this can have
      >> a
      >>> fair and balanced approach before the special meeting or at least a true
      >>> public debate of sorts on this forum. Please pass this on to others for
      >>> discussion.
      >>> To maintain reduced class sizes; purchase textbooks and teaching
      >>> materials; attract and retain qualified teachers, aides and
      >>> counselors; enhance core subjects including reading, writing, math and
      >>> science, and improve custodial services, shall West Contra Costa
      >>> Unified School District be authorized to levy, for 5 years only
      >>> beginning July 1, 2004, an annual tax of 6.8ΒΆ per square foot of real
      >>> property improvements or $6.80 per vacant parcel, with an exemption
      >>> for eligible owners aged 65 or older?
      >>> Amended version:
      >>> To maintain reduced class sizes, including ninth grade; to retain each
      >> of
      >>> the following, qualified teachers,
      >>> aides and counselors, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District be
      >>> authorized
      >>> to levy, for 5 years only beginning July 1, 2004, an annual tax of
      >>> 6.8ΒΆ per square foot of real property improvements or $6.80 per vacant
      >>> parcel,
      >>> with an exemption for eligible owners aged 65 or older?
      >>> Other ideas?
      >>> Kevin

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