Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Tattler News Review

Three stories of importance to Sierra Madre have hit The Tattler news desk in the last few days. Let's get to them, shall we? This from the Pasadena Star News:

County development group sees $1 billion economic boast by extending Gold Line - Construction of the Gold Line Foothill extension will create nearly 7,000 new jobs and pump nearly $1 billion into the region's economy, according to a new study of the project ...

I don't know about you, but I learned very early on in life that boasting about anything is not considered to be either thoughtful or polite behavior. But even worse would be boasting about money. And it would hardly be fitting to take undue pride in a lot of money, especially if it was generated from invested tax revenues that you really didn't do all that much to earn.

But here's the thing. How is it that our modest little 210 Trolly has become the panacea for all the world's ills? Global warming, economic decline, unemployment, "getting people out of their cars," housing development, assorted green issues, the long lines at Pasadena's "Cheesecake Factory," these are all things the little train that could is supposed to either assist in improving or just flat out remedy. C'mon, it's just a small commuter train, guys. And I've got to say it, I'm beginning to feel just a little bit hyped here. I'm also starting to believe that some of these Metro types have just been attending too many meetings with the same old people, and they've allowed hothouse reality creation to run wild over more sober assessments.

Enough said about that one. Now I was going to whip this next Pasadena Star News item into a full article on my site, but every time I write something about the Pasadena Unified School District all hell breaks loose. So I figured I would hide it in this post and hope that nobody notices. Please, don't read this one.

PUSD parcel tax proposal moves forward - The Pasadena Unified School District board of education Tuesday inched closer to putting a parcel tax on the May ballot that could inject more than $7 million in annual revenue into school coffers for the next five years ... A parcel tax of $120 on more than 59,000 properties in Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Altadena will raise more than $35 million over the next five years. Board members warned the parcel tax won't be a cure-all for the financially strapped district ... The school district, which has a $20.7 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 school year, will use the money to keep its Advanced Placement programs running, its college counselors employed and to make up for some of the money the state cut from schools during last summer's fiscal crisis.

Now it has to be said, there is no greater tragedy than the terrible fate of the California Public Schools System. At one time it ranked among the world's finest, but no more. Only Mississippi, a state that has never been synonymous with educational achievement, ranks lower. And in the current economic collapse, exacerbated by truly atrocious leadership in Sacramento, public education has been virtually abandoned to fend for itself. And now the PUSD is in the unenviable position of having to go out hat in hand and beg for additional voter assistance for the third time in the last dozen or so years.

Regardless of how you feel about this school district or our continued membership in it (and we have certainly covered these topics in the recent past), it really is a tragic situation. One of the things that made America great was its astonishing ability, through public education, to raise up the least among us and mold them into productive tax paying citizens. The path to middle class success and prosperity started at the school house door, something in real danger of no longer being the case. Many of our international economic rivals are now beating us badly in this vital matter, and doing so with far fewer resources.

But all that said, I am not sure that throwing good money after bad is the solution here. At least not until we have seen some very real and significant attempts to reform what many view as being a highly dysfunctional organization. The only way that I can see this being made palatable to the voters is through complete accountability and a sincere effort to significantly repair some of the glaring inefficiencies that have dragged the PUSD down to where it is today. It's time for a little tough love. The same old guilt trips, cheesy postcards and feel good nostalgia for public education might not work this time around.

Many have expressed interest in the unexpected and sudden retirement of our current State Assemblyman, a Mr. Anthony Adams. And there was a bit of a boomlet here on The Tattler yesterday regarding a possible Kurt Zimmerman candidacy for this office. Certainly there is no place on God's green earth more in need of the honesty and integrity our retiring City Councilman offers than Baghdad on the Sacramento River. California has been laid low by one of the worst state governments anywhere, and only by sending people with real ability and proven values will any of that change.

But even if Kurt wanted to run (and I have yet to see or hear any indication of that), he would find himself getting into what is quickly becoming a very crowded field. It seems that the mourning period over Adams' departure was a very short one, and the hopefuls they're a-lining up. This from the Redlands Daily Facts out of San Berdoo:

New names taking advantage of Adams' decision - Assemblyman Anthony Adams' announcement that he will not seek re-election this year has already spurned one more candidate into this year's election, and political observers said that's not the only way Adams' withdrawal could change the dynamic of this year's election ... Adams, R-Claremont, who spent the better part of 2009 fighiotng off a recall drive after a February vote to increase taxes, said Tuesday he will not run for a third term in his 59th District Assembly seat. On Wednesday, Claremont Mayor Corey Calakay said he will run for the seat - something he said he wouldn't be doing had Adams decided to stay.

Apparently this Calakay dude is the only elected official to throw his hat into the ring. The others are all political civilians. Ken Hunter, a Lake Arrowhead real estate broker, Michael "Mr." Rogers, a San Dimas high school teacher, and Christopher Lancaster, an ad salesman at the San Gabriel Tribune, are all talking about going for the Republican nod to succeed Mr. Adams. There is also a Democrat in the pack, one Darcel Woods, listed as being a college instructor. But you know what happens to Democrats when they run in this absurdly gerrymandered district, right? They fight hard, spend money, and raise their vote percentage from 34% to 37%.

Not to get too snarky here, but looking at this crop of candidates, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't the pay increase and percs that is driving their ambitions. Certainly the fine health care benefits alone would make the job attractive. But I'm not sure I see any real crusaders for the public weal in there. It is early though, and you never know what they'll reveal later on.

This has been another Tattler News Review, sponsored by The Sierra Madre Tattler, where the news never stops.


  1. Sir Eric?
    Do you think these people who "govern" California from Baghdad on the Sacramento River, are purposely trying for the complete collapse of the State of California?
    Jobs and people are leaving in droves.
    What are these people thinking?

  2. Urguell Umbrage the IIIJanuary 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    The problem with Sacramento is that the priority there isn't on the taxpayers, but instead is focused on the requirements of the lobbyists. And by concentrating on those things, which means setting them all up with our tax money, the real needs of the state go begging. The first thing we need to do is get rid of lobbyists. Just chase them the hell out of the peoples' legislative chambers. Something you do not hear from the so-called New Constitution crowd, basically because they are lobbyists themselves.

  3. We have two lobbyists sitting on our Sierra Madre City Council.

    Joe Mosca and John Buchanan

  4. The scoop I have from a local apartment management company is that lots of folks are leaving and moving out of state, so the rents are going down. Especially single-bedroom units, since most renters are "doubling up" into two-bedroom units. The singles are sitting there unrented, even at much lower rates.

    So we're building all these big condos because...

  5. they are building the big condos because the developers make money, leave the public holding the bag.
    On an even more sinister theory:
    Certain political groups would like to destroy the middle class in California.

  6. So renters get to vote by mail to tax their home owning neighbors? How is this democracy?

  7. The PUSD is putting their measure on the ballot in May because they know the voter turnout will be dismal. The teachers and employees will vote for it as will the parents of kids in the district and the rest of us will be stuck footing the bill AGAIN.
    Our Ccity COuncil better not publicly support this. I will not vote for anyone who supports this bill. If Crawford, Watts or Alcorn support this I will not vote for them. As much as Joe revolts me if he says he is against it I will vote for him.

  8. Joe vote against a PUSD parcel tax? Bwahahaha!

    Though I got to add, this wouldn't be about building or repairing school buildings, so I'm not sure the dirtian enthusiasm will be as great. Johnny B was all about the two bond issues, but that was because of the benefit to the BIA types. Will either of them care as much about keeping some guidance counselors? I doubt it.

  9. Went over to the Mountain Views
    site just now. And they're still
    celebrating New Years there. What
    a bunch of party animals!

  10. I disagree with you Sir Eric, sadly to say. The California budget cuts are taking away $20-million dollars from PUSD. The parcel tax, $120. per year, will give the schools back $7-million, which still means, they are being severely threatened, just not to the same, unprecidented, degree (the schools have never faced this large of an income loss).

    To not support this tax, is to bring down our public school system which is a life-line to thousands of children in our community.

    Children and families, who have no other option.

    Secondly, you have your facts wrong here. California is 49th in Funding and not Quality of public education. This being a fact (the absense of funds), should also make clear, the need for this tax as well.

    Thirdly, PUSD has won several significant educational awards in the past few years. You don't win these awards, which are strictly judged, by having poor quality schools.

    Lastly, any tax has an over-site committee that is dedicated to seeing the money spent wisely. Measure TT is an example of this.

    I don't know what other "glaring innefficiencies" you are referring to here, since you have not elaborated.

    Anonymous, I would hardly call this tax "footing the bill". It is an aid, for sure, but it is an elaboration to say that tax payers are being asked to pay for the entire school system.

  11. Poster 9:30, The City Council's position with respect to a parcel tax will be symbolic; so, Joe's position with respect to that issue is irrelevant. The parcel tax is not going to succeed or fail because of City Council members' symbolic vote. Also, Joe has been the Council's rep to the PUSD. The chances of him casting a symbolic vote against it are less than zero.

    P.S. Joe has been known to say one thing and do another. In case you haven't heard.

  12. Joe will have been before the tax before he was against it, but then if someone says they want it to happen, he will be for it again. At least until somebody says otherwise. And then he tell everyone that his stance is the best expression of the values we hold dear in our hearts. Either way.

  13. Virginia, you lose credibility when you brag about the how well PUSD's schools are doing. With the exception of Sierra Madre Elementary and a handful of other schools, PUSD's schools, as determined by standardized test scores, are not doing well. For example, the average test scores at the high schools are just plain awful.

  14. Sir Eric,
    You can spin USPD, SCAG, Coming Elections all you want but........leave my Electric Train alone! :)

  15. Seniors, low income property owners, and everyone else is paying for Measure U, for Measure TT and now another tax! I don't think so. If people want to help the schools let them write a check and leave the rest of us along. An in 5 years they will claim they can't live without it and want more. We are being taxes to death.
    LOOK AT YOUR TAX BILL and what you are giving to pusd.

  16. 11:06 - I LOVE the 210 Trolly. The kids and I take our bikes on there and ride it to all parts of Los Angeles, then get out and go to peddle to exciting new places. Like the beach. My fear is that people are just putting too much pressure on our little train. Like using it to justify overdevelopment here in Sierra Madre. It is just not fair.

  17. Anon 11:00 AM - so much has been written, which I am sure you have not read, about the mistake in judging an entire school, by its test scores.

    There are top-notch students in every single PUSD school, this is a fact. John Muir, for instance, had the only National Merit Scholar last year in the entire Valley. I know this kid, and he is wonderful.

    In other words, a test-score evaluation alone of a school, will not give you an accurate picture, of how well your child will do there. (if thats what you are fearing) I know my kids excelled in PUSD schools, so I have proof to back up my words.

    The Kahalenburg study, published a few years ago, pointed to the invalueble asset to a public school, of having a range of students - both economic and racial - in a school.

    Many PUSD schools do not have this.

    To lash out and blame the school district over "test-scores" is wrong.

    But even for test-score enthusiasts, PUSD has seen huge improvement in this gage. Its never enough for some people, apparently.

    Even worse, is to deny them much-needed funding in incredibly dire times, because you somehow believe, their test-scores should be higher. Do you see this illogic in this?

    Take away 20-million dollars, and you can count on lower test-scores.

  18. Aon 11:08: I understand people are feeling over-burdened by taxes in these hard times.

    Times are very hard, and money is scarce.

    I am just presenting a case, that public schools are really important to a community, necessary and needed. This is children we are talking about here.

    And the fact that this issue always steers away from the fundamental issue (of taxing), into attacks on their schools (even them), is not fair.

  19. Virginia,
    I would support the schools if they had shown any signs of using the money for the children's educations....but it just seems the PSUD is and has been in a culture of corruption for years, and while I share your concern for the kids, we can't keep throwing good money after bad stewardship by the PSUD board,teacher's unions, etc.
    Maybe an entire new system needs to be put in place. How about school vouchers and special magnet schools? That seems to be working in other areas.
    The taxpayers in today's climate are angry and they have just had enough of bureaucratic government systems that produce substandard services.
    The tax is going to fail. You can bet on it.
    Perhaps like bad corporations and bad banks, we would be better off to let them fail.

  20. Old Kentucky: I appreciate you thoughts, I really do.

    What they show me, however, is how deeply PUSD is misunderstood by the community. The PUSD of today, is not a culture of corruption. It is not a bad bureaucracy. We have the best superintendent we have even had, Edwin Diaz, who has re-structed the entire district to run much more efficiently, he has made it his mission to do so. The Mayor has overseen this, as have a compendium of top-notch community members.

    The evidence of his accomplishments are there for all to see, in the performance of the schools, in the performance of the district itself.

    It faces overwhelming odds, daily, to do so.

    I think some people just mistrust all bureaucracies, but there is no way to run a public school system without one, and heres the rub.

    There has to be more understanding that, some bureaucracies DO run smoothy, and efficiently, and our school district is an example of this.

    But I would ask you, how could PUSD better prove this to the community? because clearly, they have not.

    I would also add here an additional thought, because I have to run, the economic crises is going to force more families back into PUSD. I know so many people out of work. We need to remember them and their kids too.

  21. I think a lot of the mistrust stems from the Measure Y funds theft. That PUSD's leadership could not the supply proof of payment to bad contractors necessary for the DA to take the case on has really hurt their reputation.

  22. I would support the tax, too, if I felt like there was a successful product we were trying to preserve. But throwing more money at a broken product does not solve the problem. It just delays the inevitable.

    Here's at least three areas where I think we could save alot of money:

    a) Bust the teacher's union. Convert pensions/ retirement plans to match private sector's definied contribution 401k or 403b plans. Roughly 20% of the state's educational budget is spent on retirement funding. The pension fund is currently $21 BILLION dollars underfunded by the most recent internal audit.. which will likely have to be made up by robbing the General Fund, other educational dollars and tax increases.

    b) trim the administration. Don't have any hard numbers on this.

    c) cut out free meal program. A rough back of the envelope calculation: 2/3 of 20,000 kids times $2/meal times 200 days is over $5 million dollars.


  23. Sir time you try & hide
    a PUSD news item you need to do a
    better job.

  24. Rhythms of the Village Charter High SchoolJanuary 14, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    I find it interesting that someone who would not have to pay the tax (renter) and has in the past been paid by the PUSD, does not disclose her conflict of interest.

  25. since I have lived here in the last ten years I have seen major improvement in the school district, and where I would have only put my child in Don Benito when I first came to the district, now Hamilton and Willard are up to my standards.

    Putting in dual language immersion programs, and an IB program is bringing in students and parents who would never have gone to these schools prior, and as a result of the change in vibe at the schools, I am seeing more and more families willing to give PUSD a try.

    That being said, a lot of the schools look like they have not seen general maintenance. When principals talk about physical improvements to the school it appears (to me) that a lot of money has been wasted in talk, specialists, committee.

    That being said, Pasadena High School looks like a very handsome campus, and I would surmise that the biggest hurdle for it to overcome is the fact that 10% of its students come from foster care. I think kids in that situation are going to need a lot of individualized attention, and this parcel tax is going to have no impact one way or another on changing their circumstances.

    Kids like that need people in their lives. Preferably people who live nearby, and are ready to make a long term commitment to them.

  26. One of the unspoken benefits to getting out of Psadena Unified and into a school system like the one in Arcadia would be the effect it would have on property values here. Being connected to a top notch school system makes a big difference. Just something to think about.

  27. O.k. taxpayers--make a choice, pay for schools or pay for prison space. Even if you don't care much for the education about ALL Children, educate them for their best chance in the future. We need to spend more money, not less. When did a ream of paper or a pack of pencils go down in price? More educated children, graduating high school, junior college, state universities=closed prisons? What a distinct possibiity. Smaller school districts equal local control, too. When mandatory bussing was instituted in the state to try to bring about a better education for ALL--there was massive white flight from Pasadena to parts east (wished they would have spent the money or state of the art science, technology and comperter labs rather than buses and petrol). Sprawling for education, driving 3-4-5 hours a day to jobs in LA from San Bernadino County, to put your kid in a "better" school, on to the now-ghost towns of the inland empire.

  28. @ mon oeil

    Why pick on home owners? why not a .25% sales tax bump in City of Pasadena?

  29. @mon oeil: the majority of the white flight was not to the IE, but rather out of public and into private. Nearly 1/3 of school kids in Pasadena attend private.

    and, "false choices" had it right. Either paying more in taxes OR prisons, no AP, etc, etc are not our only choices. We have more choices than that.

    PUSD should figure out ways to do more with less, instead of less with more. There's no incentive to tighten belts if there's food aplenty.

  30. One poster commented yesterday that Calacay, the Repub. candidiate for Adams seat, is a "professional" politician and before becoming Mayor of Clarement worked for different State Senators and Assemblymen.

    I googled him and can find nothing about him except his employment history. Where does he stand on any of the statewide issues?

  31. I googled him too and all I could find were lists of the different positions he held.

  32. We complain about the Star News coverage of Sierra Madre politics, but it's better than the coverage of politics in Claremont.

  33. I'm waiting for Calacay's campaign manager to post something here about how his/her boss is the Cat's pajamas.

  34. Didn't Bart Doyle run for statewide office a few years ago.

  35. He was going to run for Assembly as a Republican, but withdrew for some reason. That was the first year Adams got elected.

  36. Here's a blurb from an endorsement of Calacay that ran in a Claremont paper. It tells you nothing about the man's positions:

    "He is always prepared at council meetings and has a clear position on the issues. At the same time, he is open to hearing the thoughts of the public. On a couple different occasions, he has changed his vote due to compelling input from the public. This is something you rarely see from council members, who usually have their minds set on the issues before the meeting, regardless of what is brought up during public comment."

  37. Do they have public comment at the Assembly in Sacramento? I suspect there is, but you would need to bring a lot of cash to be heard.

  38. Poster 2:31, the endorsement you posted is what I expect the Star news will write about Joe Mosca.

    But being prepared and listening doesn't mean a thing if you make decisions that are detrimental to your City, like Joe. And, changing your mind is not necessarily a good thing as Joe has also demonstrated.

  39. Attention Tattler readers/posters.....please remember we are having an election here in Sierra Madre about to take off full blast.

    Good honest candidates have to be "forced" to run for Council. Our current Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray will tell you this is how we got her, it's true.

    This 2010 election's good sports are:

    Current Mayor Pro-Tem, Don Watts

    Our favorite journalist, John Crawford/aka Sir Eric Maundry

    Well known to most, well liked by all, volunteer Pat Alcorn

    Please donate a little something to their campaigns, they will work for you and never for special interests in Sacramento or El Monte.

    You can donate to John Crawford for Sierra Madre City Council:

    John Crawford for Sierra Madre City Council
    PO Box 1411
    Sierra Madre CA 91024

    Mayor Pro-Tem Watts and Pat Alcorn will be having fund raisers and notices soon on how you can help out. As will John Crawford. Please check this website for updates.

    These folks running are not being financed by big development special interests or major political parties, so please help them out.
    Just like MaryAnn MacGillivray, they are being financed by donations from Sierra Madre residents who want to preserve and protect Sierra Madre from Sacramento and special interests.
    Thanks in advance for all who will help us out!

  40. Maybe the prerequisite for running for the Assembly should be that you're unemployed. That way a person who really needs a job would get it.

  41. Many politicians, before they are elected, are underemployed or living off of their spouse's income or assets.

  42. Here's Calacay's official bio. What it does not tell you is what he actually does for a living. I suspect that the Mayor in Claremont, like the Mayor in Sierra Madre receives only a minor stipend and not a salary to serve.

    Mayor Corey Calaycay is serving his second term on the Claremont City Council (Mar. 2009 - Mar. 2013).

    Corey was born in Chicago. Not long thereafter, his family moved to Claremont where he has resided for the past thirty-five years. He is a parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. He attended the United Church of Christ Pre-School, Foothill Country Day School, and Webb School of California. He went on to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, receiving a degree in Business Administration in 1992.

    In 1990, he ran his first race for Claremont City Council at age nineteen. While he did not win, he garnered a strong 2,382 votes. He ran unsuccessfully again in 1992 and 1994 before finally receiving the nod of the voters in the election of March 2005. At his installation on March 16, 2005, Mayor Calaycay remarked that his 15-year journey to City Council brought new personal meaning for him to the old adage, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again."

    Corey had been an active leader in the community in the years prior to his election. He served on the Los Angeles County Local Suppression of Drug Abuse in Schools Advisory Committee and is Past-Chair of the City of Claremont Library Task Force, Past-President of the Friends of the Claremont Public Library, Past-Treasurer and Past-President of the Claremont Educational Foundation, and a founding member and Past-President of Active Claremont. He currently serves as co-chair of the Galileo Society of Harvey Mudd College and is a member of the Selective Service System, Local Board 194.

    Corey has over ten years of experience working for the California State Legislature and has had the opportunity to serve constituents in more than thirty communities in the region around Claremont including parts of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties. He has worked for former Assemblyman Bob Margett (59th District), former Assemblyman Bob Pacheco (60th District), former Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (71st District), and former State Senator Bob Margett (29th District).

    Mayor Calaycay serves as the council representative to the California Contract Cities Association and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (District 21). He is also the City's representative to the Foothill Transit, Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Chamber Economic Development Committee. He is the council alternate representative to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, the Community Coordinating Council, the Los Angeles Division of the League of California Cities, and the Pomona Valley Transportation Authority.

  43. Calaycay's paid his dues. Of course, you could hardly call him an outsider, or a fighter for the people. Very much a establishment figure, and probably totally committed to the status quo. Which in California today is toxic.

  44. 1:09. That is a great idea. People who shop Pasadena can pay. San Marino, Arcadia, Glendale and the valley. It will not keep people from shopping in Pasadena. Just don't raise the SM or Altadena sales tax. If you don't want to pay shop elsewhere. Renters can then pay. Give property owners a break. We are carrying the tax burden as it is.

  45. 3:33 Calacay sounds like the polar opposite of Council Member Zimmerman.

  46. Caring and Dynamic TeacherJanuary 14, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    True Freedom: Please come to my classroom with me for a week and visit. Every friday I worry about my students not being fed. Vacations are a bigger worry.As bad as the food is, it is still food!'
    As for "Busting the Teacher's Union" when that is done you have no longer protected the students. When you visit the classromm you will understand. The teacher is in charge of the class size, and is the professional. The teacher is the largest part of the team behind your child's success. Many people may not understand. That teacher is not only well educated but possess' a personality which is a varity of creative, structured,fun, serious, organized, dedicated, compassionate, well read, energetic people. And, too often the Principal may have a personality problem, lack of understanding, prejudiece or a million other problems with a teacher, who can be terribly harrassed. I have been teaching for over 30 years and been very lucky because I have worked, on the whole for fabulous, loving, creative and well educated principals who have inspired not only myself but other men and women. The worst principals I ever worked for were narrow minded small people who for no reason made the smallest issues huge problems for many teachers. And, one was in PUSD. I have continually over the years heard nightmare stories of others from colleagues. They have a terrible reputation, because of the top/down.

    Please do not blame the teachers!!

    Education is very serious, and complex.

    Education is a people profession which is difficult for the public to be so quick to blame teachers, and not make the Principals and the Parent also accountable. Everyone has to be responsible!!

    The public Must support the teachers who work seriously with many, many children who are not prepared nor supported at home, or by the very administration or elected officials who pretend to be in charge. School has changed in the last 20 years and YOU THE VOTER REALLY NEED TO BE IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOM FOR A WEEK OR MORE!!!! I suggest you begin by watching the realistic film PRECIOUS, and then I would love to have you come sit in my class. You, like many others, would say "I do not know how you do this every day."

    It is time the public stops blaming teachers and makes everyone on the school campus accountable for the education of our children. Politician, Voter, Parent, Administration, Teachers and Students.

  47. The teachers in the classrooms doing effective work deserve medals. And a decent salary. Kudos. I think the issue everyone has with the Teacher's Union is the overhead cost of not only the organization, but the "tenured" folk effectively on the public dole because they can't be fired for incompetence as in private industry. LA Times has been running occasional articles on this.

    Huge drain on state funds. More $$ in retirement than just about anybody in the middle class, along with police and fire retirement systems.

  48. Here's an idea, lets see how good these so called budding CC members are by getting elected without getting one red cent of any of our money, don't grease the wheels, let them figure it out.

  49. Sorry Gamey, but you obviously have no idea how the game is played here.
    That dough is already in the bank.

  50. @Caring and Dynamic Teacher: I'm not blaming y'all directly... but rather the pension system. The "defined benefit" of pensions puts too much risk on the state, because the funds are held in various investments including equities which can vary wildly "under the hood" even though the payout is fixed. In boom times, there's no problem. In down times, like now, something has to give.

    Personally, I would rather receive a higher salary and get a 401K match than have a pension... because pensions are only valuable to those who have been there for a long time. Plus, it puts me in control of my own destiny.

    Private school teachers do just fine without pensions, and so can y'all. They are just too expensive and place too much risk on the state's balance sheet.

    Do it for the kids.

  51. Bart Doyle pulled out of the Assembly race a few tears ago because he couldn't raise any money, and more importantly because, he couldn't get the support of the Republican Party.

  52. You mean to say that hte GOP could support someone like Anthony Adams, but they couldn't get behind Bart? Talk about getting dissed.

  53. Just to clarify on the PUSD Parcel Tax election -

    It is authorized under Proposition 218 which was passed a few years back to set requirements for parcel taxes imposed by local and special districts.

    The prop 218 election process is as follows -

    The ballots are mailed out to the registered property owners (not renters, or the general voting population).

    They must be returned by the specified date (I think its may 5th in this election). That is returned, not postmarked.

    Since this is a special purpose tax, it has to pass by 2/3 majority of the ballots returned.

    Now things to keep in mind -

    ALL Parcels have a vote. So a downtown Pasadena office complex has the same vote as a Sierra Madre single family house.

    This also means that the school district, the city, the county, and any other government entity that owns a parcel within the PUSD borders has a vote. So if the city owns 5 parcels (parks, city hall, police station, etc.), they get 5 votes.

    Another thing to consider is what are the current school related parcel taxes in PUSD's area compared to those other districts around this area, and would a $120 per parcel for 5 years property tax be in line or out of line with how neighboring schools are funded.

    I'm still trying to research a great deal about this particular election, and as I do I will bring it here.

    Regardless of where you stand, you need to be engaged and well informed. Look into the details, don't just assume someone ranting is right.

  54. Ad hominem @ 9:03. Who exactly do you claim is 'ranting?'

  55. several posts here reference renters, teachers employees etc. as potential members of the voting pool. Unless those individuals own parcels of property within the district, they do not have a vote.

    those individuals were 'ranting' as opposed to making a claim based on fact.


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