Future in the Making
Alpine High School

2016-10-08

Times of San Diego

Opinion: Measure BB Aims to Fool Alpiners a 3rd Time on High School

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2016-10-18

Facebook
Opinion: The Old Watchdogs Are Letting the Foxes Guard the Public’s Henhouse

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2016-10-22
CalTAN.org
The school bond scam is where those who stand to profit most contribute to ballot campaigns to convince voters to increase property taxes to fund the lucrative contracts they hope to receive from school boards in return for helping pass their school bond ballot measures...
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Arguments CalTAN filed against San Diego County school bonds....

All voters in Alpine and Blossom Valley are urged to vote NO on Measure BB - probably one of the worst propositions on the November ballot.  Measure BB has been appropriately nick named “BAD BOND”.  Here’s why it deserves this title and your NO vote.


Measure BB will increase property taxes to support a bond measure for the Grossmont Union High School District.  BB states the bond will pay for needed repairs, renovation, and upgrades to its existing high schools and a new high school to serve Alpine and Blossom Valley.  It’s as if Grossmont was asking voters for the first time to approve such worthy objectives.  If you think that you’ve heard all of this before, you are correct.  Measure BB is the third time Grossmont has asked voters to approve taxpayer funds for these tasks, including an Alpine/Blossom Valley high school.  Don’t be fooled.  Grossmont has no intention to build our long overdue high school and the amount of this bond cannot even fund a fraction of the projects listed.  It is a complete fraud on voters and taxpayers.
When the $128 Million set forth in BB is added to the two prior bonds (Props H and U) the total amount of the 3 bonds (plus state matching funds for which you are also taxed) will exceed an astounding $1 Billion!  Taken together these 3 bond measures add about $300-$400/year in taxes for the average Alpine and Blossom Valley homeowner.  Keep in mind you probably have already paid thousands of dollars to Grossmont since the passage of H in 2004 and U in 2008.  When interest is added, Alpiners alone will have to pay back $125 million to bond holders and you will continue to pay this steep bill for decades to come.


Grossmont has “authority” to issue another $100+ million in Prop U bonds so why are they asking for this new bond?  Grossmont has burned through bond funds so quickly it reached the maximum amount it can tax property owners under that bond.  In other words, it has maxed out its credit card against you, the taxpayer, and can’t borrow any more money in the bond market for several years.  Grossmont now has the audacity to come back to ask taxpayers for a “bridge loan”, Measure BB, so they can get their hands on your hard earned money to cover their lavish spending plans until the Prop U spigot re-opens.


What has Alpine and Blossom Valley gotten from these huge bond measures?  Not a thing – not even a stick in the ground.  There is no Alpine high school under construction and despite specific references in both H and U (and now in BB) to construct the high school there are no plans, now or in the future, to do so.  In fact, all work on the school has ceased and the design plans for the school were withdrawn in 2012.  The school is at the bottom of Grossmont’s project list and all bond funds will be long gone before a spade of dirt is lifted to build the school.


However, Grossmont did spend $25 Million of your tax dollars to acquire the Lazy A site (90 acre parcel adjacent to the Albertson’s center), develop detailed architectural plans, and acquire state and federal environmental permits to build the school on the site.  Unless construction commences soon (which it won’t) these critical permits will expire, rendering the Lazy A completely worthless as a school site and flushing your $25 Million down the drain.


So what has Grossmont done with the huge sum of money collected under H and U?  In addition to the Alpine/Blossom Valley school, they told voters bond funds would be used to “repair, renovate, rehabilitate, and upgrade facilities”, just like they are now stating in BB.  Instead much of that money went to build new Olympic size swimming pools and aquatic centers, performing arts theaters, day care facilities, administrative offices, and other pork barrel projects while badly needed renovations in many schools went undone.  They also spent bond funds on management fees, administrative overhead, and legal fees.  In other words, instead of building what they told voters, the bond funds have been spent on whatever favorite projects were lobbied for by those political constituents most favored by the Grossmont governing board.


Grossmont claims there will be “strict fiscal accountability” for how they handle BB bond funds with oversight from the “independent” Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC).  This is another phony promise.  The current CBOC (for H and U) made a mockery of the word “independent” and essentially operated as a political arm of the Grossmont governing board.  The questionable handling of bond funds and poor CBOC oversight has been the subject of sharp criticism by the press, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and other respected individuals and entities.  Such conduct along with misleading statements to bond investors led to a Forbes magazine article that said the following about Grossmont:
    “{Grossmont} was alleged to have diverted monies from a voter-approved measure and into non-authorized projects – a classic bait and switch scheme.   When we investors read that what the uses of money are for and the issuer does not adhere to that specified project, why aren’t the people involved in jail? … Once {Grossmont} had the money in their hot little hands they thought they could do whatever they wanted with it rather than what they promised the taxpayers…”


Grossmont’s failure to build the Alpine high school also caught the attention of the San Diego County Grand Jury.  In 2012 the Grand Jury issued a scathing report entitled “Fool Us Once, Fool Us Twice” in which Grossmont was taken to task for not building the school as required in Props H and U.  It made specific findings and recommendations to build the school which Grossmont completely ignored.  The Grand Jury, therefore, would not be the least surprised that Grossmont now wants to fool us a third time with Measure BB.


In the prior two bond measures, the good people of Alpine and Blossom Valley were suckered into thinking these bonds would be used to build our badly needed high school.  We believed the numerous personal promises by Grossmont Board members to Alpine and Blossom Valley residents that they would build our school.  We believed their lies and voted twice in support of these bonds.  Our local Indian Tribes, Viejas and Sycuan, were also fooled into contributing tens of thousands of dollars to help promote both bonds to the voters.


We will be fooled no more.  We now know Grossmont will never build us our school unless the courts or the state orders them to do so.  Do not give them more of your hard earned tax dollars to waste on everything except our local high school.  Therefore, we need every voter in Alpine and Blossom Valley to vote against Measure BB.  This is truly a BAD BOND coming from a school district that has mismanaged, misspent, and misappropriated hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.  Send the Grossmont Board and their political cronies a clear and resounding message.  VOTE NO ON BB – the BAD BOND.


Sal Casamassima,
Chair – Alpine High School Citizens Committee


PDF Copy - Click Here

Grossmont has received large contributions of cash to support Measure BB from guess who...

VOTE NO ON MEASURE BB – “BAD BOND”

ARTICLES

Of the 8 arguments CalTAN filed with the Registrar of Voters, the attached 7 were selected for publication. CalTAN did not submit on the Cardiff or Mira Costa school bond measures as those were already well covered. 
 
Here is a summary of the November San Diego School Bond measures that will cost taxpayers $3 billion to pay back.
 

Measure      District                                           $ to District           Cost to Taxpayers
X                 Grossmont-Cuyamaca CCD              $348,000,000              $651,232,875
Z                 Southwestern CCD                          $400,000,000              $777,677,155
AA               Fallbrook Union High                        $45,000,000                $85,500,000
BB               Grossmont Union High                     $128,000,000              $256,162,445
DD               Bonsall Unified                                 $58,000,000              $105,752,000
EE               Cajon Valley Union                            $20,000,000                $21,221,386
GG              Cardiff Elementary                            $22,000,000                $45,952,885
HH              National Elementary                          $30,000,000                $38,685,000
JJ               Solana Beach Elementary                 $105,000,000               $196,490,231
MM              MiraCosta CCD                            $455,000,000.00               $777,089,013


Totals:                                                         $1,611,000,000           $2,955,762,990
 
 
 
 
EXHlBIT B
TAX RATE STATEMENT


An election will be held in the Grossmont Dnion High School District (the "District") on November 8,2016, to authorize the sale of up to $128,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to issue the Bonds in mUltiple series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 through 9404 of the California Elections Code.


1. The best estimate ofthe tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is SO.O1085 per S100 ($10.85 per S100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2017-18.


2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is SO.01085 per S100 (SI0.85 per 5100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.


3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.01085 per $100 (SlO.85 per 5100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.


4. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the bonds are issued and sold is S256,162,445.


The estimated rates presented above apply only to the taxes levied to pay bonds authorized by this measure. Additional taxes will be levied to pay bonds issued pursuant to prior and future authorizations. Voters should note that estimated tax rates are based on the ASS'ESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, nol on the property's market value, which could be more or less than the assessed value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Certain taxpayers may also be eligible to postpone payment of taxes. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.


Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The aChlal tax rates and the years in which they will apply, and the aChlal total debt service, may vary £i'om those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% affim1ative vote. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.


Dated: August 4,2016.  Superintendent of Grossmont Union High School District





Grossmont Union High School District

2016 Bond Measure - Election Day: November 8, 2016




Argument in Favor of Measure BB

Everyday 21,860 East County students attend school on Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) campuses, including: EI Cajon Valley, EI Capitan, Granite Hills, Grossmont, Helix, IDEA Center, Mount Miguel, Monte Vista, Santana, Steele Canyon, Valhalla, and West Hills high schools. Whether preparing for college or pursuing career pathways in high-demand skilled trades, East County high school students DEPEND on these facilities to get college- and career-ready.


Repairs and upgrades are needed to give East County students the same opportunities as others to compete for college and 21 century careers. Measure BB will help.


Measure BB will:

  • Repair leaky roofs, deteriorated plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical systems
  • Renovate career-training facilities for science, technology, engineering, math and skilled trades
  • 'Upgrade classrooms and technology to meet rising college/university admission requirements
  • Rehabilitate or replace aging student support facilities (e.g. labs, libraries, restrooms, etc.)
  • Improve campus safety, security and access for disabled students


A typical homeowner would pay about $32/year - less than $3/month. Whether or not you have school-age children, this is a wise investment. Good schools protect property values.


Passing Measure BB also qualifies GUHSD for up to $50 million in State matching funds, leveraging local taxpayer dollars even further.


FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY is REQUiRED:
AU funds STAY LOCAL for East County high schools
* NO funds are allowed for administrators' salaries or pensions
* Independent Citizens' Oversight and mandatory audits ensure proper spending


In today's economy, good-paying jobs require specialized training and education. Passing Measure BB means that college bound students will be able to properly prepare for higher education, and students seeking jobs immediately after graduation, will get the job training they need.


Please - for our kids and our community - join the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, teachers, parents, GUHSD alumni, and civic leaders across East County VOTING YES to keep our high schools moving forward.


VOTE YES on BB. YESforEastCountyHighSchools.com




Rebuttal to Direct Argument in Favor of Grossmont Union High School District'sMeasure BB


Measure BB's tax increase is unfair to seniors and fixed income property owners.


Why another bond so soon? How can GUHSD still claim leaky roofs, rusty pipes or unsafe conditions after spending over half billion? Why was bond money wasted on pools, AstroTurf, bleachers or theaters instead of classrooms and student safety? Where's Alpine's high school? TOO MANY NO BID CONTRACTS TO FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS?


GUHSD has $494.5 million outstanding bonds with existing authority for $128 million more. Measure BB would give GUHSD an additional $128 million at a cost of $256 million to taxpayers.


On top of city imposed taxes, you already pay taxes for your elementary schools' bonds and these districtwide taxes:

  • Metropolitan Water District
  • Grossmont Hospital District, 2006 bond
  • Grossmont Cuyamaca College District, 2002 bond
  • Grossmont Cuyamaca College District, 2012 bond
  • Grossmont High School District, 2004 bond
  • Grossmont High School District, 2008 bond


STOP TAXING US TO DEATH!
San Diego County Taxpayers Association endorsed Measure BB? i? Don't be fooled. Many of their directors / officers profit directly / indirectly from school bonds. Should be called San Diego County "TAXTAKERS" Association.


Is SDCTA looking out for taxpayers or themselves? They endorsed Poway's $105m bond that's now costing taxpayers nearly $1 billion. Why? They profit! Google: Gonsalves Taxpayers cozy.


GUHSD Trustee Priscilla Schreiber voted against putting Measure BB on ballot. Google her article "Grossmont Bond Overseers Are Being Snookered." To silence her valid criticisms GUHSD implemented REDISTRICTING.            


Promised Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee =toothless tiger. Measure BB lacks specific prioritized project list with estimated costs so Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee can measure accountability.


Vote NO until these problems are fixed.

www.CaIT AN.org


M. Kevin O'Neill, President California Taxpayers Action Network

Matthew Miller, EI Cajon Taxpayer/Resident
Douglas G. Benson, Alpine Taxpayer/Resident
Rhonda Turvey, Blossom Valley Taxpayer/Resident
Nick Marinovich, La Mesa Resident/Taxpayer, Former GUHSD Citizens' Bond Oversight Cmte. Member
 




Direct Argument Against Measure BB Grossmont Union High School


Don't be a victim of The School Bond Scam! (www.schoolbondscam.orq)


News articles and campaign finance disclosures show Wall Streeters, contractors and consultants pay money to pass school bonds for their immediate profit leaving each taxpayer with decades of additional debt. Google: "Local School Bonds: Big Donors Win Big Contracts" OR Orange County Register's "Bankers Push School Bonds for C.A.S.H."


The School Bond Scammers gladly pay to pass bonds anticipating school boards will reward them with inflated no bid contracts in return. Google: Sweetwater school pay to play OR Fresno Leaseback FBI Arax.


Voice of San Diego's August 6, 2012 investigative report revealed Poway School District's "Capital Appreciation Bonds" put their taxpayers on the hook to pay back about 81 billion for their $105 million bond. Google: "Thanks a Billion"


California Taxpayers Action Network is not against all school bonds and has supported those (Le. Walnut Valley Unified School District) that contain proper internal controls to prevent waste and encourage good value for taxpayers.


This bond does not include such taxpayer protections. Contracts can be handed to favored contractors and consultants without regard to price!


Worse, this bond lacks a prioritized Project List with estimated project costs for each and a commitment to build the proposed projects in the promised prioritized order. This bond allows pet projects to be built instead of necessary ones.


Why does District need another bond so soon after their last one? Did they handout over priced contracts and put in astroturf fields with the last bond instead of making needed classroom repairs?


Vote NO until they propose a better bond next election.


California Taxpayers Action Network is a San Diego based all-volunteer, statewide network of taxpayer advocates who promote sound fiscal policies, practices and business methods by government entities for the public's benefit and protection.





REBUTTAL to the Argument AGAINST Measure BB


Measure BB's opponents are either terribly misinformed or purposely distorting facts with misinformation. Moreover, they apparently haven't visited our high schools recently or they would know that Measure BB is absolutely needed and is a sound investment.


Consider THESE FACTS:

GUHSD school facility needs are REAL. They aren't going away.


The longer we wait to complete needed repairs and upgrades, the more expensive it will be.


BB's Project List is based on an extensive study of GUHSD facility needs.


We cannot count on the State to fix our schools. With locally controlled BB funding, the District will encourage hiring local students from all state appl"Oved apprentice programs to complete BB projects.


The  San Diego County Taxpayer Association conducted a full and thorough review of the measure, and has ENDORSED BB.


Taxpayer protections ARE MANDATORY.  Independent Citizens Oversight and financial audits will ensure proper spending.


ALL BB funds stay LOCAL for East County high schools. Passage of BS qualifies Grossmont Union High School District for up to $50M in State matching funds, leveraging taxpayer dollars further.


These facts have convinced homeowners, realtors, business leaders, seniors, taxpayers and voters from all parties-in addition to parents and educators - to VOTE YES on BB.


If you value protecting the quality of East County high schools - whether to prepare students for college and careers, keep kids away from trouble, or simply to protect your property values - Measure BS deserves your support too.


Stand with us. You'll be in good company.


For East County high schools, VOTE YES on Measure BB.


YESforEastCountyHighSchools.com



ARGUMENTS - PDF Copy - Click Here

GUHSD Contributions - PDF Copy - Click Here​

VOTE NO ON GUHSD PROPOSITION BB

To add insult to injury, Grossmont has received large contributions of cash to support Measure BB from guess who – the contractors and law firms that have been awarded numerous contracts and payments from Grossmont under the current bond programs (H and U). If BB passes the total amount of the 3 bond programs will total nearly $1 Billion. Is it any wonder these companies support and contribute to another Grossmont bond? Here is what, Kevin Carlin, who authored the argument against Measure BB (that you will see in your ballot guide) has to say about these contributions:
 
“ As shown in the attached annotated summary of contributions to pass the Grossmont High School Bond tax on East County property owners this November those who stand to profit most from taxpayers are the biggest contributors.  They have contributed over $250,000 to pass GUHSD’s bond.      
 
Four of the biggest contributors to passing the GUHSD bond are on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association [Gafcon, Erickson Hall, Balfour Beatty & the Associated General Contractors].  Is it any surprise SDCTA endorsed the GUSHD bond and many others on this November’s ballot?  They should be called the ‘San Diego County Tax TAKERS Association’ since they profit off of real taxpayers rather than protect them.  
 
This year’s three East County School Bonds are more of the same pay to play arrangement that was well document in the Voice of San Diego’s February 19, 2013 investigative article that exposed the school bond scam in the last round of East County school bonds. 
 
Contributions get rewarded with contracts.  Why else would the top three contracting officials from GUHSD be listed as “Special Guests” on the attached construction industry GUHSD bond fundraiser flyer? “
 
Kevin has it absolutely right and I hope you are as outraged as I am by what is taking place at Grossmont and how your tax dollars are being misused. Therefore, please Vote NO on Measure BB.  Also, not everyone might see and read the Alpine Sun article so I urge you to pass this email on to as many folks as possible who share our views and support a high school for Alpine and Blossom Valley.
 
Thank you and best regards,
Sal Casamassima,
Chair Alpine High School Citizens Committee


PDF Copy - Click Here