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Movement in the Measure H suits

Michele Ellson of The Island blog has a post up today about the Measure H suits. (Lauren Do makes note of them too, in her post today about Alamedans for Fair Taxation.) The upshot? The district lawyers filed a motion to invalidate the suit filed on behalf of Borikas and filed a request for an extension of time in the Beery suit. The hearing on Borikas is set for February 9.

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AUSD retains counsel to fight Measure H lawsuits

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the Alameda Unified School District released a statement Wednesday regarding its legal team and the fight against the Measure H lawsuits. Here it is in its entirety:

Two Alameda taxpayers have brought separate lawsuits to invalidate Measure H, a new parcel tax to support Alameda schools that over two-thirds of Alameda voters approved in last June’s election. The tax, which will raise over $16 million in the next four years, will help close the budget gap caused by a reduction in State funding.

The lawsuits, Borikas, et al. v. AUSD, et al and Beery, et al. v. AUSD et al., are commonly called “reverse” validation proceedings. Each alleges that Measure H violates certain provisions of the California Government Code.

The Alameda Unified School District has retained the law firms of Chapman, Popik & White LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP. The District will vigorously defend Measure H.

In other school news the group, Alamedans For Fair Taxation, a group for which no one, to my knowledge, has stepped up and claimed public responsiblity, has a double-length, unsigned editorial in this week’s Alameda Sun. While we’re all used to pseudonymous postings on the Internet (I don’t much like ‘em, but they’re here), it continues to mystify me that no one from this group that is, as I understand it, responsible for funding at least one of the legal challenges to the popular parcel tax, doesn’t step up and say, “Hello. This is who we are and why we’re doing what we’re doing.” It’s all well and good to disagree—many reasonable people disagree much of the time—but the refusal to take a public stand (while having a willingness to fund a lawsuit) continues to confound me.

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Measure H suit. Who is behind it?

It’s looking ever-more-likely that a suit will be filed against Measure H, the school parcel tax that passed in June in a community effort to preserve for Alameda children the level of service they’re currently getting from our district schools.

The word is that this group—please return my phone calls, Alamedans for Fair Taxation!—has raised $100,000 for legal fees, hiring David Brillant, of Randick O’Dea & Tooliatos to represent them. What boggles, is that aside from the owners of Pillow Park Plaza and Pauline’s Antiques, no one has stepped up to acknowledge their financial and philosophical commitment to this lawsuit. Where are the letters to the editor? The public statements of opposition to Measure H? I’m all for stepping up and fighting for what you believe, for making a case, taking a stand. But I say publicize your names, explain your thinking, be quoted in the paper, put your name on the project, put signs in your windows, “No to Measure H!” All of you.

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A legal challenge to Measure H?

Hello. So the buzz out there, both in reality and in blogland, is that this group, Alamedans for Fair Taxation, has raised some money to challenge Measure H, the school parcel tax that passed with over two thirds of the vote (parcel taxes in California don’t just require a simple majority, they require two of every three peoples’ support). I left messages before I went on vacation over Alamedan’s for Fair Taxation’s main office number, and I left another today. I’m looking forward to finding out who is in this group, how much they’ve raised, and by what legal standard they hope to challenge Measure H. Stay tuned.