May 1, 2010

If this Crazy poll is accurate, Measure A won't pass

Yes, I know, it's fair to ask how scientific this poll is. No, it's not Gallup.

But if this poll (at left) has any crystal ball abilities, the $112-per-parcel tax for the Acalanes Union High School District won't pass--by just a couple percentage points. The majority of the 113 readers voting in this Crazy poll said "yes," but this parcel tax, like any other, needs to pass by a two-thirds majority. Sixty-four percent said yes, just not enough for the district to raise an additional $3.8 million a year to offset an $8 million shortfall. Since this is a mail-in ballot, it is likely that many people have already cast their ballots. 

The possibility this measure won't pass would be good news to at least one reader, who wrote on April 26:

"The average homeowner cannot bailout all services in our community - and that includes schools. There will be reduced everything, city, county, state. We must accept these facts and adjust to a different way of life as we know it.
More money by way of parcel tax will not solve underlying problems with administration and other funding deficits. Homeowners cannot carry this burden. It isn't practical or sustainable. But is the average citizen even wise enough to understand that?"
This tax would last for five years, and would supplement the district's existing parcel tax which is $189 per year. Residents who live in the Walnut Creek School District also pay an annual $82-per-parcel tax. 

The district says it will likely have to cut 50 teaching positions if Measure A doesn't pass. It will also have to eliminate science, foreign language, social studies, arts and math classes. Arts and other electives, including newspaper classes, could also go. 

The elimination of classes is worrisome to this Las Lomas High junior, who urged voters to say yes. 
"The  funding that this parcel tax is essential to my education. I am a junior now and almost every class I have sighned up for next year is on the chopping block. If I cannot take the advanced AP classes I need to be competative in my college applications next year I run the risk of not getting into my top pick colleges. We kids don't have the ability to vote yet so we have to ask you all to advocate for us.
One of the first comments on here ask who paid for phone banking and the mailers? Well, volunteers used their own personal cell phones for phone banking and like any other campaign the Measure A campaign was privately funded, so the campaign paid for all the reminders in the mail. I suppose this message is a little late, but if you haven't yet sent in your ballot think about it and think about saying yes. Thanks!"


Dave said...

I sent mine back and said NO to more taxes.
We keep giving more money but do not see the results in the kids. There is a lot of fat that can be cut in the administration end of things, but not the teachers.

Nicole M. said...

The feeling that the homeowners are bailing out the state/city/etc. is legitimate, but it isn't like they don't get anything for their money. Acalanes HS District is one of the best in the state- and that translates directly into stronger, higher property values. Even if you don't have kids, or don't send them to the local schools, protecting the school districts is an investment in your property value.

I voted Yes for A and for the record, I have two kids and don't send them to the local schools. Altruistically, I do think that all the kids around here deserve as good an education as we can give them. Selfishly, I understand that the better the schools, the higher my property value.

Anonymous said...

No No No on a
no more taxes
signed: tired of being tAxed and taxed and taxed.

Anonymous said...

I was so fortunate to attend Acalanes from 1962-1966 when California was one of the top states in the nation in funding for education. Today, when you look at dollars spent per student compared to the other fifty states we are an embarrassingly low 47th. It is certainly an "entitled" generation that feels that they do not have a similar responsibility to the next generation. They are the "I've got mine" and "No to yours" generation.

WS said...

most of that "me generation" seems to have rubbed off on the so-called public servants of CCC - just take a gander at the Grand Jury reports so far this year:

Anonymous said...

I don't have any kids, I'm not connected to the schools, and I have lost probably at least 60K in equity since buying my condo in Walnut Creek -- but having said all that, I'm still inclined to vote FOR a tax that supports the schools.

Schools are our future. Kids are our future. If we don't invest in our kids and educate them properly, how healthy is our society, and what kind of future will it have?

Anonymous said...

It seems like the good parents of this district, particularly wealthier areas of Lamorinda, could certainly afford this tax. They could divert some of the money they put for their kids' high-priced attorneys towards this. You know, when the parents decide to go out of town and leave their kids home alone, and their kids throw a party and provide alcohol, and property gets damaged or someone gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'll bet your generation never did anything like that!

Anonymous said...

"tired of being tAxed and taxed and taxed"

On what facts do you make the statement that you are taxed and taxed and taxed?

The tax-burden in this country historically has never been lower than now, and if you compare the US with other developed countries, our tax-burden is much lower.

So why are you tired of being taxed? My guess is you are just repeating what you hear on some talk radio station and probably without your knowledge have become a tool of the ultra conservative right wing the likes of Grover Norquist.

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

Anonymous said...

definitely NOT scientific! I do not think us blog followers represent the voters of Lamorinda and WC. I think it will pass - I hope so - these kids deserve it.

Anonymous said...

AKA SM actually if your poll where correct it would pass. Your poll showed 73 yes and 32 no. As with any vote the ones who elect not to vote will not be counted. Thus the yes reached 69.5% in your poll which is more than the required 66.6%.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Dear 9:09 p.m.

My goodness! You're right. Thanks for pointing that out!

Anonymous said...

I am in the market to buy a house right now and the whole sales pitch in Lamorinda for the higher prices is the "good schools" Thats it.

Those little towns have no amenities, terrible roads, hilly overgrown neighborhoods with potentially hazardous in/out access in case of an emergency. Many of those houses have no yards, just decks, with steep drops unsuitable for families w/ young children, old crappy small houses some which havent been properly cared for in decades. While there may be a few wealthy people in the area, I wouldn't say it is the majority...thats for sure judging by how much of Lafayette and parts of Orinda and Moraga look.

Im waiting to see if these measures pass before I plop down a million bucks for a Lamorinda crap shack whose only selling point is the schools.

Id much rather buy a big rancher in Alamo, where most of the neighborhoods are clean and have good roads.

Anonymous said...

Dear 1:40am
I am currently selling my Lamorinda home, as a down-sizing, empty nester. I agree that Alamo is pretty and I agree that certain Lamorinda homes for sale are indeed "crap shacks". But I can assure you, my home is not. You are completely right about certain Lamorinda roads being currently awful. But I disagree that the "only" sales pitch for Moraga homes is the schools. One sales pitch has to be the proximity to SFo - as compared to Martinez or Brentwood. Another sales pitch is the superb peace and quiet: i.e. NO highway nor BART noise, lots of songbirds and hummingbirds and other garden wildlife, stable neighborhoods with very friendly inhabitants, swim clubs, golf courses, hiking trails, free weekly summer concerts, fabulous county-wide library system. There are also numerous restaurants, ample supply of doctors, dentists, vets, car repair shops, dry cleaners, hair salons, etc. Of course, we are not Walnut Creek (Target, Hospital, etc), but WC is quite close. Of course, Moraga is not for everyone, but for a nature-lover like me, it is super. I do find it deplorable that the Acalanes Dictrict and many parents of high school-aged children need to resort to scare tactics about property values to encourage passage of Measure A.

Anonymous said...

WS - you are a little off topic here but that's an interesting link on the Grand Jury

I read the report and the special districts seem to operating in loose cannon style.

It bothers me when any public agency refuses to respond to a Grand Jury request - in my mind there should be at least a fine levied against the district for failure to respond - in fact, they ought to make a law about that!