Letters to the editor: Aug. 16, 2012
The following letters appeared in both the News Chieftain and News Journal this week:
School board members should resign
I spent the winter of 2007/8 as a volunteer for Proposition C. I did this because I wanted equity throughout the school district. It seemed Proposition C would guarantee that. I looked into the proposition to make sure that it really was a good idea, and it seemed like it was, but as we have all learned this week we were fooled.
I, along with every other home-owning Poway Unified resident, have been betrayed by those we voted into office. Now that I read the details related to Proposition C that the school board withheld, I am devastated.
As it is, my house is barely above water. What will this decision will do to my and every homeowner’s property values?
And I wonder, why? Why did those we trusted and voted into office hide the truth? There was no way for the common person to know of those final details.
To put it bluntly, our school district and our city has been screwed over. It is my opinion that all of the 2007-2008 board members who remain at PUSD should resign or be removed from their seats.
As for Jeff Mangum who was president at the time and who is now running for the Poway City Council, do we want him to have the chance to put the city in jeopardy like he did the school district? Look at what he has done to our financial future and our children’s financial future through just the school district alone.
Laura Van Tyne, Poway
Terms of loan not so bad
To establish my position on the borrowing up front. I do not support what the Poway Unified School District did and I did not vote to allow the board to borrow money to complete the upgrades without raising taxes. But why I voted that way is another topic. I am also not a financial expert, so my explanation may be incomplete or not completely accurate, but it makes sense to me.
What the board did seems too costly, but to say they borrowed $105 million at a cost of nearly $1 billion is a misleading statement. We are talking about 40 years into the future, so this statement is inflammatory.
If you invested $105 million today and, assuming an annual return of 5 percent over 40 years (a conservative estimate), your investment would have grown to nearly $704 million. When you consider the PUSD is paying back approximately $981 million, it still an excessive amount. However, it is not totally unrealistic. In fact that $105 million over 40 years, at 5.9 percent, would equate to $981 million.
The above may be an oversimplification of the facts, but for a lay person like me, I am not as upset about it as others
Steven Beaver, Poway
Voters were duped
I’ve raised two kids through the PUSD system and have been proud to be part of the district. That is, until yesterday when I hear/read about last year’s capital appreciation bond issuance and became sick to my stomach. The faith I had in PUSD management has just gone to near zero. Heads should roll over this. While PUSD found a way to not “technically” lie, a lie it still is. Had the full facts been know, the bond measure would have never passed a public vote. PUSD voters were manipulated and duped.
Andy Graham, Poway
Additional letters regarding the PUSD bond issue were received but did not run this week due to space constraints. These included:
I was very disappointed after reading Will Carless’ article on the PUSD’s $105 million capital appreciation bond. This seems ridiculously irresponsible and is definitely not what I have come to expect from Poway leaders in my 24 years of living here. For district officials to say or imply that resident taxpayers should have understood the specifics of the bond when, according to the article, there was no mention of capital appreciation bonds in the 2200 word statement, is disingenuous. Mr. Gutschow’s and Mr. Collin’s statements were lame. Had I known the total cost of the bond I would not have voted for it, and I doubt many others would, either. This financial disaster will definitely impact how I vote in the next school board election.
Paul Hervey Poway
Borrowing $105 million will cost us $1 billion! To think that the PUSD executive and elected board would have so little confidence in the their electorate is both dismissive and demeaning! Who do these folk think we are?
Most of us intentionally bought homes within the district because of the fine schools. People without children benefit from the substantial resale value of their homes because of PUSD. As citizens we recognize that good schools come at a cost in both taxes and parental engagement. Our history demonstrates that we are willing to contribute both ways. We passed a wonderful bond and we have I parents who are involved.
Other districts have been more straightforward with their electorate and still have passed needed bonds. To weigh down the future of this community with such debt and to expect that any reasonable future bond could be passed for the necessary renovation of these buildings in 20 years or so is a fantasy.
We have been burdened with an albatross by these PUSD folk and their greedy consultants who convinced them that this was the slam dunk way to get a bond passed. It is absolutely unethical!
Jeff Magnum as a PUSD board member has completely betrayed the parents and children of Poway. That he be elected to make decisions that affect this city is as absolutely unthinkable as it is to re-elect those PUSD trustees up for re-election.
Michele T. Nelson, Poway (Three-term former Palomar College Board member)
I grew up in Southern California. I have friends and family who live there today. I know the many money messes spread all around the state. The news of the Poway school district putting a near $1 billion of debt on the taxpayers for the school district, by borrowing $105 million and pledging someone else to pay for it 40 years hence still astounded, no shocked me.
The board has lots of excuses.
The reality is that in the next four decades the now new school facilities will need (a) upgrades, (b) additions, (c) replaced and (d) and/or all the above. It’s not like the need to borrow ends now.
By the time the taxpayers must start paying on the then $1 billion debt, 40 years hence, they will experience new demands to fund new bonds. In the next decades local taxes will become committed to pay for new bonds, before payments on the current bond even start; even though the revenue then is already committed.
What the Poway school board is truly saying is: “Long after we are dead, 40 years hence, someone else is going to get the bill for our children’s education, and they are going to have to cut back on education for their children to pay for it.”
Maybe the Poway children now in school will get educated to that fact and be sure they move away from Poway when they start working.
The entire board should be locked up. They’re criminals.
Tom Painter, Passaic, New Jersey
I am told I am good in math. I am. I have an MBA with a concentration in finance. I teach in higher education on this topic, amongst other topics (critical thinking). I am recognized by colleagues and students of my expertise.
What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks were the PUSD board members thinking on the bond measure? Current and past board members: Mangum, Vanderveen, Patapow, Gutschow, Ranfle; step away from your positions and your election and re-election aspirations. Proud Powegians, like me, my family and neighbors reject you. Shame on you! I look forward to the PUSD board meeting on Aug. 20. See you then.
David Radcliff, Poway
- PUSD not alone in high-interest financing
- PUSD releases statement on school bonds
- Viewpoint: Early concerns about school bond ignored by PUSD leaders
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