At this week’s board meeting, I again asked the board to review the list of projects for Measure Z. I challenged them to show the justification for dedicating so much of the bond proceeds to the sports complex when there isn’t even a hint in the measure of a high school sports complex. I told them there isn’t any way a voter could have foreseen the stadium taking up so much of the available funds. I also asked them to stop telling the public they were moving forward on the sports complex because it was the will of the voters.
Mr. Sanchez responded to my challenge by asking the cabinet to provide a list of rules the oversight committee uses to decide which projects are authorized by Measure Z. The oversight committee only determines if the projects the district decides to undertake can be justified by the language in the measure. I appreciate Mr. Sanchez’s request for the oversight committee rules but I’m really not interested in how the committee justifies a project. I want to know how the trustees can prioritize such a large costly project not mentioned in the measure over so many other projects specifically listed.
It is the board who has the power and authority to determine project priority. They are granted this power and authority from the voters. The board trustees must follow their conscience to do what they feel their constituency elected them to do to and support all of our kids. It is also the board’s responsibility to prioritize the Measure Z projects consistent with what was presented to the voters when we made a 20 year property tax commitment.
More students and schools will benefit from funding the projects the voters approved than from spending the majority of the Measure Z funds on a stadium for the high school. As I’ve said all along, the high school needs a stadium. Can’t we scale back the sports complex and complete more of the projects approved by the voters? From what the district has communicated to the community, it may be a while before they are able to sell more bonds and many of the other projects may never be completed with the funds authorized by Measure Z.