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Ygnacio Valley HS neighbors ask MDUSD board to delay vote on field project

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 at 12:02 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board on Wednesday expects to vote on an Environmental Impact Report related to proposed field improvements at Ygnacio Valley High, along with the project itself, a construction award and a contract for inspection of the work.

This vote comes on the heels of a Sept. 30 community meeting, where neighbors, parents and staff came together to discuss various options for mitigating some of the adverse impacts of the project such as noise, light and trash.

The meeting got off to a rocky start — with some neighbors complaining they had no input into the agenda for the meeting or the alternatives presented. However, after those present broke into groups and began talking, it appeared that the neighbors genuinely felt like the district was listening to their concerns. The groups came up with a variety of ideas for conditions that could be imposed on the project, which didn’t necessarily coincide with those laid out by Tim Cody in his PowerPoint presentation: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceQnM3eUZLc05IYlU/edit?usp=sharing.

Here are notes from the meeting prepared by a YVHS staff member, who commented at the end that some of the recommendations conflicted with each other: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

As a result of this meeting, Tim Cody compiled an “Exhibit D,” which outlines different options for possible use conditions: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d0638c4c-2204-42b5-80e1-2e1bb7c72833.pdf

The neighbors who live around the school have sent the following letter to the school board, expressing their dissatisfaction with Cody’s Exhibit D and asking the board to postpone its vote so both parties can spend more time talking out a compromise: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceTkYzUk5ObG9fOEU/edit?usp=sharing

They have asked that this letter be included in the official record for the Oct. 9 meeting.

Do you think the board should postpone its vote to allow more time to work out a mutually agreeable deal with the neighbors?

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  • Doctor J

    Tim Cody is back to “bait and switch” with the neighbors — no wonder they don’t trust him. He’s akin to a snake oil salesman.

  • Doctor J

    The “bait and switch tactics” of the meeting moderator apparently created more distrust amongst the neighbors. Yet the agenda recites that the “final” plans have been approved by the state architect, are included in the EIR, and the bid for the project likewise. Sounds to me like there were not any changes as a result of the community meeting in the construction plans — just conditions of use. Even if an “agreement” is reached with a small number of neighbors, any taxpayer can challenge the project as not meeting the bond limitations of “specific projects”.

  • Doctor J

    There is no link to Exhibit D — instead two links to the notes. You can erase this after correction.

  • Doctor J

    Theresa’s article this evening about a lawsuit threatened — I believe the Board is welcoming the lawsuit as the only way it can squeeze out of the predicament that Gary Eberhart and Sherry Whitmarsh placed the board in over a year ago by allowing school sites to choose their own projects. If the current board opposes the YVHS Stadium lights project or the Northgate Aquatic project, those community members will oust the Board members up for re-election next year. On the other hand, if the board supports it, but a court stops the projects, the Board is off the hook. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_24268049/lawsuit-threat-behind-neighbors-request-postpone-school-stadium

  • Doctor J

    Neighbor invites Board of Education to attend the next football game in HER backyard to understand what it is like ! Board, are you up to it ?

  • tmharrington

    Since I am out of town, I was not able to attend the meeting. However, I just started watching online and saw that the board unanimously approved the Ygnacio Valley HS field project.

  • Doctor J

    Will neighbor Jim MacMillan or others file a lawsuit to stop the YVHS and/or Northgate projects under the Meas C restriction against non-specific projects ?

  • tmharrington

    FYI, I’m attending an Education Writers Assoc. conference on Teacher Evaluations. If you’re interested, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #ewaTVAL or follow me at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.

  • g. de la verdad

    Foolishly, the neighbors basically already agreed that it was OK to use Measure C money. I believe they probably forfeited a Measure C complaint by basing their arguments on ‘their’ conditions of use rather than on method of payment.

  • Doctor J

    @G, I don’t think every taxpayer has ok’d use of Meas C money. Read the decision of the San Diego court in barring use of the lights. “The Court of Appeal found that the stadium lights were illegally approved; it is incumbent upon this court to order that they not be used until such time as they are the subject of a valid EIR and valid approvals.” “Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2013, the further use of the stadium lights at Hoover High School for any purpose is enjoined pending further order of the court.” “The court further orders SDUSD to submit to the court and to plaintiff’s counsel, within 30 days, a detailed accounting of how Proposition S bond proceeds were used to pay for planning, design, study,
    construction, implementation, or use of field lighting at Hoover’s athletic stadium and any other high school stadiums for which Proposition S did not specifically list field lighting as part of their projects in the Proposition S measure. This accounting will enable the court to consider, upon later motion by plaintiff/petitioner, further declaratory and injunctive relief consistent with the mandate of the Court of
    Appeal.”
    This type of ruling also jeopardizes the Northgate High Aquatic Center and other MDUSD projects that are NOT “SPECIFICALLY” identified in the ballot.
    Sherry Whitmarsh, are you willing to take the blame for being the “bull in the China shop” in causing all of this expense to end up being spent from the General Fund and not Measure C ?
    http://www.tfasbs.org/uploads/Tentative_Ruling_9-20-13.pdf

  • g. de la verdad

    Let’s hope there is a good active taxpayer’s association on top of this–although they should have filed a complaint when the first ‘design’ dollar was approved. And keep in mind that the SD bond attorneys ALSO told their client that it was OK to spend bond funds any way they wanted to.
    Oops!
    MDUSD approved alloting bond funds for high school ‘wish’ lists. They did not, as far as I can tell, actually approve YV’s field-light project until just last night. Hundreds of thousands also being spent on NG pool plans before the project is actually voted on?
    Question: Who spends a million bucks on designers, architects, engineers, and all the etc, before they even agree to do a particular project?
    Answer: People with their hands in other people’s pockets

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