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Measure G passes by a large margin

By Katy Murphy
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 at 11:26 pm in finances.

Wednesday morning update: The vote is in. Measure G passes with 78.6 percent approval.

Update at 11:38 p.m.: More precincts! Nearly half are in, and 82 percent of voters have approved Measure G. It needs 66.7 percent to pass.
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It’s been slow going tonight on the Alameda County Registrar’s Web site. I don’t know how many times I’ve clicked “refresh” and come up with the same numbers.

At least there are numbers now. If the rest of the precincts follow a similar pattern as the first 14 percent that reported, Oakland will have a permanent parcel tax for its public, non-charter schools.

In those 37 precincts, 74 percent of voters approved Measure G.

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  • Sue

    Yes!

  • Phil Tribuzio

    Measure “G” passed. The Governor and the legislature thanks you for relieving them of the responsibility of doing an honest budget.
    Phil Tribuzio. Alameda.

  • jim2812

    Now that Measure G provides a reliable source of funding, the struggle begins to see that the Oakland taxpayers money is spent as Measure G says.

    Last Board meeting an additional $40 thousand of Measure E money was approved by the State Administrator as part of the general consent calendar. Expenditure of millions for a diversity of items can pass with one motion called the consent agenda. A Board Member can request a Consent Agenda item or items be pulled for discussion and a separate vote.

    Unfortunately, at the last meeting no Board Member pulled the agenda item expending Measure E money. It appears that Measure E money was not vetted before the citizen’s oversight committee for Measure E, the committee called the District Advisory Committee. I checked with a member about authorizing using Measure E money to pay a consultant for anti-racism training and the DAC member says it never came before them.

    Now that Measure E has become Measure G will the District institute a Measure G citizens oversight committee? And, if it does will it pay attention to it and the promises made to the public on how the money will be spent?

  • John

    The majority of Oakland voters are renters who don’t pay parcel taxes and passed Oakland’s Measure EE Rent Control Ordinance, requiring (enabling) them to pay lower than market rate rent that is not subject to adjust for, among other things, helping pay for their renter majority passed schools parcel tax. Is it any wonder Measure G would be passed like gas by those not subject to its odor?

    On the subject of odious odors of times past, I recall an Alameda County Grand Jury report sanctioning the OUSD for the deplorable physical condition of one of its east Oakland schools. The report got dusted off in 1997 when the school’s new principal invited in KTVY Channel 2 to observe and record “deferred maintenance” issues that would have gotten kennel owners cited for animal cruelty.

    Serious questions were raised about why monies available for school facility repairs were not being properly used for that purpose. The Channel 2 follow-up investigative report featured spiffy new offices for school board members. The principal who invited in the the media was demoted. Don Perata, an Assemblyman at the time, questioned the district’s use of monies designated for facility maintenance and expressed concern about its future eligibility status for state facility funds.

    Yes indeed, OUSD has a long time tested history of fiscal mismanagement and doing whatever it dam well pleases with monies received from state and local sources.

    Of course Measure G monies will have a citizen’s oversight committee to insure it is put to proper use. I’ve seen this ploy used in previous city initiatives (Fire Assessment District, etc.) to silence critics and give them gullible tax payers a sense of false security. At least this parcel tax will be permanent, enabling Oakland property owners to anticipate on an annual basis when they’re going to get screwed. Not knowing can be very unsettling for some.

    For those citizens and educators who find all this painfully boring I’ve got a great play dough recipe I want to share with you. I’ll try to include it with my next posting. It’s a wonderful non-toxic recipe that is great for kids and extremely therapeutic for Oakland property owner/tax payers, as long as you’re thinking about Oakland’s School Board and the Oakland Education Association while squeezing hard letting it to squish through your fingers.

  • jim2812

    For those unwilling to engage and actually look at what is happening with the money being provided to the Oakland schools perhaps your play dough receipe is wanted. But, since some of the School Board members are facing re-election now is the time to push elected officials to see that i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed when it comes to spending Oakland taxpayers’ money.

    Most of the money is well spent and preserves services such as libraries and teachers that would have left for other districts if Measure E had not covered for increasing medical costs.

    Nevertheless, it is just not right that decisions about the spending of Measure E (soon to be Measure G) money is made outside the view of the citizens’ oversight committee required by the Measure. And, there is no excuse, in my mind, for the Board members to be silent on this issue.

    I don’t think you get passage in the high 70s without the support of a great deal of Oakland property owners. Because Oakland voters, both renters and property owners, are generous to Oakland public education system, that is a great reason to strictly enforce election day promises of a citizens’ oversight committee and to chide elected board members that are not seeing such promises are kept.

  • John

    Jim: How are renters being generous (except with their vote) to Oakland’s education system? Although you are right that “it is just not right that decisions about the spending of Measure E (soon to be Measure G) money is made outside the view of the citizens’ oversight committee.” It’s not right, it’s just Oakland.

    Why is local public education/political history of such little interest to the locals? It would seem many live in the local bubble of the moment. Bubbles bubbles. Tiny little bubbles. Oh yeah! I also have a great bubble recipe!

  • jim2812

    John:

    Oakland voters were generous in voting to continue Measure E parcel tax in place by replacing Measure E with Measure G, a parcel tax that is ongoing.

    Although Piedmont has smaller percentage of renters that are voters they, the Piedmont electorate, are also (in my way of thinking) generous in supporting their public schools.

    Under the present system of counting the votes of property owners and renter’s votes equally (although not historically always been the way of the American Republic) it has been the generosity of the electorate that allows for raising of taxes.

    The will of the electorate is felt when the votes on an issue have been counted. I, nevertheless, agree with your observation that there is little interest of Oakland citizens in the education/political history of Oakland. And, I will add that the public’s attention wanes once the election count is over.

    That is why I am using this space to push hard on the fact that the citizens of Oakland must pay attention to how the money they send to the Oakland Public Schools in the form of parcel and bond money is spent after Election Day. The public leading up to election day had been promised that its tax money would be vetted by the required independent citizens’ oversight committees to see that it was spent as promised.

    This is not about history but the future actions of the District. The District must know that it will no longer get away with ignoring citizens’ oversight committees.

    Last Board Meeting Board Member Noel Gallo spoke out bringing attention to the citizens’ oversight committees. Just a few voices speaking out will, I feel, keep the District following correct procedure when it comes to expenditure of Measure E and State Authorized Bond money expenditures.

    How can a citizen know if the District is checking with citizens’ oversight committees before expending Oakland taxpayers’ money? Each School Board meeting agenda provides a list of what money is being expended and from what funding source. If a citizens’ oversight committee is not mentioned as having vetted the expenditure, then the District is not following procedure.

    Two Board meeting ago I checked the meeting agenda and found Measure E money being spent for a consultant to teach anti-discrimination attitudes to principals and teachers but no mention of having vetted the expenditure before the Measure E citizens’ oversight committee. For the District the amount was a small $40,000, but not one dollar should have been spent of Measure E money without vetting the expenditure before the committee.

    Last year when I complained to the Alameda Grand Jury about the District bypassing the required citizens’ oversight committee, I was told that the Jury did not have jurisdiction with the District under state control.

    My hope is that someone besides me will demand the District respect the public’s oversight committee’s right to review all expenditure of parcel tax and bond money

  • John

    Jim: I agree that Oakland voter PROPERTY OWNERS were generous in voting to continue Measure E parcel tax in place by replacing Measure E with Measure G.
    I don’t agree that Piedmont equals Oakland as another case in point.

    I certainly agree there is little interest by Oakland citizens in the education/political history of Oakland and that the public’s attention wanes once the election count is over. If it didn’t, Measure G would NOT have enjoyed the number of property tax payer votes it did.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the citizens of Oakland must pay attention to how the money they send to the Oakland Public Schools in the form of parcel and bond money is spent after Election Day! Unfortunately, in Oakland at least, there is no such thing as an “independent citizens’ oversight committee” or one that has any clout to insure initiative money is spent as promised.

    Although I agree with your sentiment that, “The District must know that it will no longer get away with ignoring citizens’ oversight committees,” or at least the oversight recommendation insights it doesn’t like.

    Noel Gallo bringing attention to the citizens’ oversight committees is good. It’s always good politics to acknowledge (blow hot air at) the existence of a ‘citizen oversight committee’ while doing business as usual. And yes indeed, it’s always “Just a few voices speaking out” in Oakland, which of course is a big part of the problem.

    Your points, examples, and other related observations are well made and much appreciated by too few to make a difference. This is how it is in Oakland, and how it will continue to be.

    Nevertheless, as an avid reader and teller of fairy tales, I share in your fantasy that the District might once upon a distant time respect the public’s oversight committee’s right to review all expenditure of parcel tax and bond money, and it is my personal hope that the Big Bad Wolf will provide food and shelter to those two little pigs he made homeless with all HIS hot air.