Letter to the Editor
Triple tax threat
The proposed $22 million Cardiff Elementary School District’s tear down and replacement plan is not only costly and educationally disruptive, it appears to be totally unnecessary. The district reasons for its plan and expenditure do not justify the proposed expenses, especially since there is an alternative common sense, no additional tax, plan available.
Common Sense Plan
The Cardiff buildings scheduled for demolition appear structurally sound and fully functional except for neglected maintenance items. The cited roof, window and termite problems can easily be resolved with district money already allocated or on hand.
The portables can be removed and not replaced because the district is currently 30 percent overbuilt and has a surplus in student capacity.
With some adjustments in the distribution of classes, the current multi-purpose room could be modified to accommodate all Cardiff Elementary students using money in the district’s annual maintenance budget.
All food preparation is done at the central Ada Harris School kitchen. The existing Cardiff warming kitchen could be modified, modernized and ADA problems solved without major expense by using serving windows.
The district could work with the city on the joint use of parking and traffic safety problems and save virtually all costs.
The County Department of Education is presently working with five other districts to obtain solar installations at no taxpayer cost. The district should pursue such a pay as you go lease.
The school administration wants another new school and the district wants to avoid spending on maintenance so it can have more money for employee salaries and benefits. Other than addressing these hidden wishes, the Common Sense Plan works for both students and taxpayers.
The Cardiff District is one of the six richest in the county, yet it has trouble living within its income. The district doesn’t have a money problem, it has a management problem.
Rather than addressing this problem head-on, the district is trying to get the taxpayers to pass its bond and pay three times for the same facilities.
1. Property taxes (some of the highest assessments in the county)
2. 2000 Bond (taxpayers on the hook until 2025)
3. 2016 Bond ($47 million taxpayers cost over 30 years for the $22 million bond)
If the electorate passes the 2016 Cardiff Elementary School Facilities Improvement Bond and the district is not forced to fully fund building maintenance, it will be only a matter of time before the taxpayers will be subjected to another onerous new tax proposal to correct the same problems.
Vote “No” on Cardiff School Bond.
Dr. Bob Bonde was a members of the 1999 Cardiff Elementary District School Citizen Committee that planned the new Ada Harris School and modernized Cardiff Elementary School and supported the 2000 School Bond.