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Bond…Hayward Bond (cue music)

By knoceda
Monday, September 10th, 2007 at 3:39 pm in General, Hayward, Schools.

Hayward Unified officials are scheduled to discuss the possibility of a June 2008 ballot initiative to the public at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

Ideally, the district would like a public windfall of about $750 million to renovate and rebuild all district schools spread over 20 years, as outlined in HUSD’s Facilities Master Plan.

School officials refused to put up a measure last year after two feasibility studies showed the community was unwilling to support a bond.

The district last year opened Stonebrae Elementary after receiving help from developers. In August 2008, Hayward Unified will also welcome a revamped Burbank Elementary with help from the City and HARD.

With the exception of those two schools, the district in the past 40 years hasn’t made any major revisions to its other campuses. Age is beginning to show.

So, my fellow residents of Hayward, what will it take for the district to get community approval and raise tax dollars for the betterment of school facilities?

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  • http://www.MarkWelch.com/perspective/ MarkWelch

    Are they nuts? Do these people really live in the same community I live in?

    Yes, HUSD needs a bond. But no, it’s not going to happen this year or next.

    The current administration’s management ineptitude bars any possibility of a bond approval by voters. HUSD paid for a survey last year that showed that voters wouldn’t approve a bond – back before the administration (with little or no warning) changed school boundaries, closed schools, and intentionally provoked a strike.

    We have a school board that unconditionally endorses and delegates all authority to a dishonest superintendent. We have a nearly complete lack of meaningful communication. There seems to be more contempt than compassion here.

    Once the current school board members are replaced by some people with integrity and spines, and after that new board fires Dr. Vigil and other unethical administrators and replaces them with honest, competent people, perhaps there is a possibility that voters might trust the district enough to approve a bond and begin desparately-needed repairs and upgrades. Even then, it would be a very difficult “uphill battle” and might be impossible for many years (if ever) to gain voters’ confidence enough to accept more debt.

  • monica ruiz

    I agree with MW. Trust is an issue with me. The school board is going to have to do a lot of trust building in the community and I don’t see that happening. I’ll vote no on a bond or parcel tax.

  • Hayward Teacher

    Just an amusing, yet annoying tangent….

    Did anyone read the article in the Review about HUSD enrollment? Our enrollment isn’t declining as much as the district projected. Hmmm…. I do believe that’s what we said during the whole “school closure” debate. Now we have schools that are closed and our classrooms are bursting at the seams. How can anyone have faith in an administration that makes such radical decisions with so little thought? I’ll vote ‘yes’ on it because we desparately need it, but I don’t blame the Hayward community for wanting to vote ‘no’.

  • monica ruiz

    Yes, I did read today’s article and that’s why I can’t vote yes on the bond because I do not have any faith in this administration.

  • J. W. Kyle

    September 10, 2007

    Cue Music ?

    Do I detect a cynical attempt to stir up controversy just for the sake of controversy?

    In the very first blog on this subject we see a lawyer hurling the word ‘dishonest” at the Superintendent ! Judge, jury and prosecutor, all wrapped up in one former journalist and now a lawyer ?

    If you read my comment addressed to ” Biliguual Teacher” you see once again the comment made by a rent a supe hired as temporary after the first of the last three firings of Superintendents… ( Three out of the last four…. can you imagine ?)

    It is time for Hayward folks to learn to work within the system… which is why I wrote the first of an intended series of papers being placed into the ‘official records’ at City Hall as well as at HUSD Administration.

    Again the offer, send me $1.16 in postage and you will save your self a trip to hall of records and in that process possibly, even in Hayward, find a path through the quagmire of accusations !

    My name and address are in the phone book; all I ask is that you drop the nom de plume
    when seeking honest thought.

  • http://www.MarkWelch.com/perspective/ MarkWelch

    My first reaction was similar to Mr. Kyle’s, but then I realized that Kris’ “cue music” reference was just a joke to extend his “James Bond” analogy. (Of course, any blog posting by the Daily Review reporters or editors is intended to provoke some amount of controversy and trigger responses.)

    Mr. Kyle, I certainly don’t pretend to be judge, jury OR executioner; I just say what I believe, and in this case there are many examples of untruthful statements and unethical conduct by Dr. Vigil (including examples I’ve cited in other comments to entries in the HayWord blog). The only “judges” of Dr. Vigil with any power are Mr. Peterson, Ms. Gonzales, Mr. Cook, Mr. Frumkin, and now Mr. Saenz.

    Regarding your “paper,” Mr. Kyle, I’d welcome an opportunity to read it — but why don’t you follow your own advice to HUSD and post it on the internet? (If you haven’t got a place to post it, I’d be glad to provide space on one of my sites.)

  • Kim Santos

    Actually, any blog postings from Daily Review employees are intended to provoke THOUGHT and DISCUSSION, not controversy. There is a difference. And I’ll confirm that the (cue music) was just a play on the James Bond theme. C’mon people, journalists can have some fun too. ;)

  • J. W. Kyle

    Tuesday, Sept 11, 2007

    Mr. Welch’

    I prefer to identify my readers by having them obtain the scribble directly from me after and i (repeat after) they reveal their names. If they choose to do that, they need not reveal the ‘non de plume’

    My purpose is to build a mailing list and when sufficient interest is developed push for
    creation of ‘advisory’ group’s each with a differeent task so that parents and other stakeholders might choose to work in liaison with a Trustee interested in that subject.

    For example, when I was askeed to join the strategic change task force in late 1991, just before the first of three firings, no one could tell me the amount of money spent in wiping out graffitti off school buildings. The problem was that HUSD used three (3) COMPUTTERS
    OF WHICH ONE WAS EQUIPPED WITH VACUUM TUBES AND THE OTHER TWO SPOKE DIFFERING LANGUAGES. All buisiness services could do was pass me off to M & O where ‘the guess was $150 K per year.

    Recently Dr. Schimmel ‘guessed’ it to be $100,000….my contention is that that money is
    worth pursuing through the site resident program, introduced about 1998 or 97 at Longwood where it worked real well until HUSD decided to charge the site resident some $800 per month rent on a low quality dwelling unit that had been dionated by City after use as Battakion Chiefs quarters while Centrakl Fire house was being rebuilt.

    HUSD wants to install cameras as security device… that would work on interior of HS
    buildings but does absolutely nothing for exterior situations at night where the ‘blitz’ at several schools simulataneously would foil the camera operation, especially when thugs dress against easy identification.

    The admitted loss of Average Daily attendence money is over $5,000.000 per annum…. a subject which is worth pursuit by a committee of advisors which I would like to see created at behest of Trustees one or two of which would need to liase with that group of 10 or 12 well chosen volunteers who would sift through the presemnt checks and balances on this subject to assure better effort in reduction of that loss.

    It is a provacative thought which can be carried through to the point that when 7 or eight special interest advisory groups are formed, you might have 70 to 80 well informed deeply interested volunteers who would then tell the public….. yes, we ought proceed with the bond issue, now that we have stopped much bleeding of money!

    See the City of Hayward website at http://WWW.Hayward-ca.gov then on the first page, right side
    hit the link for committees / commissions. note the number of groups charged with specific tasks and then note the numbers who after submitting applications for membership are appointed by council ususlly for a period not to exceed 8 years.

    That personal involvment by 90 or 100 well informed civic minded folks is what keeps this city moving…. unlike HUSD

    One thing for sure….. the actual meetings of HUSD Trustees are a fiasco when parents
    do not know how to work the system.

    As a member of the Bar you might choose, as an example, gathering sufficient numbers of like minded folks into a group which would hold periodic, regularly scheduled meetings, as in a forum, to teach folks how to get items agendized for open discussion at meetings, all in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act.

    Lastly, we expect too much from trustees, who after they take one of those seats which quite frankly demand an excessive amount of time, in relation to the stingy stipend.

    When Marlin Foxworth first came aboard, he and City Manager Armas moderated a joint meeting with Trusttees and City Council. Starting at around (9:30 AM the meeting broke for 30 minute lunch and was nearing a wind up around 3:30 pm.

    Councilmembers and trustees had created a list of 72 items dealing with ‘matters that we ought take a look at’ !

    Foxworth and Armas put forward one simple question….. which six of these 72 items that we ought look at, is most important to you now!

    The point being…. you laid out over a year’s work ! We are understaffed, we need direction…..

    Which narrows down my personal attention to the idea that HUSD ought create a few commissions or advisory groups composed of qualified minds.

    It is the only proactive solution in which I see long term results which would benefit the
    kids.

    What say you to that?

  • Bilingual Teacher

    This district should stop hiring high priced consultants, and hire themselves some high priced therapists!!!!

  • MARIBEL

    “What will it take for the district to get community approval and raise tax dollars for the betterment of our school facilities?”

    A reputable organization and parent involvement in the writing of the
    bond, could be a start.

    A parent oversight committee to hold district accountable on their spendingt habits.

    A community impact report regarding the school closures,
    and boundaries.

    Transparency on spending of categorical state funds and grants, like the Hewlett 2,757,000.00 they recieved for the ELL program.

    My vote is NO! I will not let this administration mismanage any more money
    than it already does. It is a known fact that they get money for
    Program and A, and use it for Program Z.

    Not going to happen this year, we need a major overhaul in the district
    office as well as the board.

    They claim they welcome parent participation, but it depends on the parent, if you are a well informed parent who knows legal rights, you are not welcomed, I have the e-mails to prove it if anyone is interested.

  • Stephen Cassidy

    Let’s focus for a moment on the what should unite everyone: the best interests of students. Is it in the best interests of the students for the community to enact a bond measure to pay for the modernization of Hayward’s schools, many of which were built prior to the 1960′s and are great need of renovation?

    The answer is an obvious “yes”? Hayward has not passed a bond measure for its school in at least 45 years. The monies from a bond must be used for facilities projects, as set forth in a resolution listing the projects adopted by the school board. Bond funds can not go for teacher or school administrator salaries.

    It is important to appreciate that the state largely controls the budget for school districts. Sacramento provides funds for operating expenses, not for capital improvements and major construction projects. If a school district needs millions to replace aging and deteriorating roofs, upgrade heating and plumbing systems, renovate restrooms and repair classrooms, the state does not provide any money for such needs unless there is a match of local funds. With a local bond, Hayward could tap into additional millions from Sacramento for the modernization of its schools.

    The state funds come from school construction bonds enacted by voters statewide elections in the form of propositions. They are paid off from the state’s general fund. As a result, Hayward taxpayers are currently paying for a portion of the modernization of and construction of new schools in San Leandro, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, San Francisco, Los Angeles and in every other school district in California that has enacted a school construction bond in the last several years. Wouldn’t it make more sense for Hayward to enact a local bond and reap the benefit of obtaining millions in matching funds from Sacramento at no charge to Hayward taxpayers?

    In San Leandro, where I serve as a school board member (and note I am speaking for myself, not the school district or board), we have enacted two bond measures in the last decade. Our 1997 bond was for $54 million. With that money, we were able to obtain $34 million in monies from Sacramento. Last year we enacted a $109 million bond and expect to receive at least $20 million in state funds. While San Leandro is spending over $200 million to improve the conditions of its schools, how much is Hayward spending?

    In the end, a community is only as strong as its public schools. All urban school districts in the Bay Area are facing a host of issues. But not all have school districts have facilities that are in grave need of renovation.

    It’s time for Hayward to unite behind its public schools and join forces to enact a bond for the children of the community – today and tomorrow.

  • Hayward Teacher

    Hayward is often compared to districts such as Pleasanton, Fremont, New Haven and Castro Valley. People ask, “Why do they have so much?” The answer is, they usually, if not always, pass their bond measures. Hayward doesn’t. Mr. Cassidy said that Hayward hasn’t passed a bond measure in 45 years. I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t know it has been almost a half century. Again, I understand the community’s mistrust of the district, but Mr. Cassidy is right. It’s time to start taking advantage of what is available to us. Improving our schools now is an investment in our children as well as our community.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Wednesday September 12m 2007

    Thamk you Mr. Cassididy ! Thank you Maribel !

    A copy of my scribble is being sent to Maribel.

    Mr. Cassidy, being a citizen of San Leandro has no need of help from me. His mind is clear and I wish we had one or two like himself here in Hayward.

    At meeting of HUSD I will place a copy of ‘ the scribble’ into public record just as I did at City Council last evening.

    The instant that the Chair-lady of HUSD’s Personnel Commission files her nomination papers, she gets a donation and support from me. As a lawyer we need her mind on the Board of Trustees. Now, if we find a CPA to communicate the idea that the money needs watching to the extent that vandalism expense and loss of ADA money is vastly reduced in terms of
    cash loss, we might then turn to the voter and say …. let’s do it !

  • Kary Loredo Welch

    Mr. Cassidy’s point is well taken, we are on a slippery slope with the education of our children… thus the reason we pulled our daughter out of the HUSD schools and put her in a neighboring district.

    The question is… if a bond is passed in June 08 and the 4 of the 5 seats are replaced in Nov 08 would that make a difference? The district spent thousands of dollars last year having a company come in and see if the area was ready for a bond, I was at the meeting the night of the results, it’s was a definate “NO”… but again adminstration is choosing thier way even AFTER the paid professional company said it wouldn’t work…more wasted money, ignored advice.

    I sat in a meeting with Dr. Vigil a couple months ago and he brought this very subject up and I said, “Ha, you’re kidding me… we must work to re-build the relationship with the community first.” I still feel the same way, nothing has changed and even Mr. Saenz mentioned a bond – not once, but twice – during the last board meeting. Was this a tactical move to get the new guy to ‘bring the community around’, maybe or maybe not, I just know that I was out there in the community the past few months and I feel strongly that these home owners will NOT pass a bond with the current Board Members and Adminstration running the show.

    What the community needs to be doing is just what Mr. Kyle said, “gathering sufficient numbers of like minded folks into a group which would hold periodic, regularly scheduled meetings, as in a forum, to teach folks how to get items agendized for open discussion at meetings, all in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act.”

    We must come together in an organized manner, work together for the benifit of our children and get people that we trust on the school board. We need to start now organizing, meeting and making the changes from our side, creating a short-term and long-term strategy that helps our children get a better education and either works with Adminstrators we trust with the care of our children or replace them.

    Maribel said, “They claim they welcome parent participation, but it depends on the parent…” I agree with her. I was at HUSD during the strike when parents were ‘locked out’ of the district office. I’ve participated in meetings that were for ‘all parents’ when only a few parents were actually invited. It needs to stop, but the quesiton is who is going to stop it and how?

    Kary

  • J. W. Kyle

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Today’s article about Bond issues simply confuses me. Perhaps a problem with the interviewer or the interviewee needs a bit of clarification;

    Here are some questions I would ask when the Agenda ITEM OCCURS DEALING WITH bOND ISSUE. iN CASE i GET CUT OFF FOR WANDERING OVER THE THREE MINUTE LIMIT, SOME ONE ONE ELSE MIGHT PICK UP THE THRESD AND ASK, FOLLOED BY ANOTHER AND ANOTHER…..

    WHAT ELECTION EVENT DO YOU CHOOSE….?

    CALIFORNIA’S PRIMARY OCCURS PRETTY EARLY AND THAT LEAVES LITLE TIME FOR ORGANIZING A CAMPAIGN ! tHUS FAILURE IS ALMOST A CERTAINTY !

    WELL, WE HAVE A CITY ELECTION NEAR MID-YEAR BUT ANY BOND ISSUE VOTED UPON IN THAT ELECTION WOULD REQUIRE 66.6% APPROVAL. WOULD IT NOT ?

    SO THAT LEAVES THE NATIONAL ELECTION OF YEAR 2008 WHEN, AS I RECALL, 55% APPROVAL WOULD BE REQUIRED. 55% SCARES ME FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT FOUR OF FIVE SEATS ARE UP FOR ELECTION IN THE VOTE FOR HUSD TtRUSTEE.

    GIVEN THE FACT THAT HERE IN HAYWARD, WE SPEND AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME POINTING FINGERS AT ONE AND ANOTHER, THE NEGATIVITY DISPLAYED IN THESE BLOGS WOULD REQUIRE AN INCREDIBLE EFFORT AS WELL AS EXPENSE OF THE BOND ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

    TO OVERCOME THAT FACTOR, WOULD IT NOT BE WISE TO Reduce the amount of the Bond issue tio the point that just two schools are re-built, as a test of construction administration if nothing else? I recall thgat we did not do too well here in the not too long ago period of the :Le Roy Green” eesxpenditures. Electrical workers walked off the job at Longwood School when the bid by the winning contractor, who was based in Stockton, was surprised by the fact that Wage scales in AlAMEDA cOUNTY WERE CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN IN SAN jOAQUIN. aS A RESULT THE LONGWOOD SCHOOL WINDOW REPLACEMENT, LONG PROMISED, WAS ABANDONED AND THEIR MISERABLE CONDITION, MAINTENANCE ETC WHEN COMBINED WITH APPARENT PILING OF WAREHOUSE MATERIAL UPON THE INSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM IS A SCANDALOUS DISPLAY OF INDIFFERENCE TO NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERNS.