Which becomes problematic when you consider that Sierra Madre, along with the other more suburban sub-regional districts, will not receive their representation until a full 2 years later than the more urban sub-districts. Not until 2015 will we be allowed to elect our own representative, whereas the majority of these sub-regional districts will be permitted to elect theirs in 2013. Which means that, using the argument of the proponents of Measure A, we will be forced to endure an inferior and weaker form of representation a full two years later than the others.
The argument is made by those who support Measure A that the results of the 2011 Board of Education elections must be respected, with those current members being allowed to serve out their entire terms. But none of the class of 2011 live in Sierra Madre. I have doubts that a couple of them could even find us without the aid of Map Quest. So why are we being called upon to make such a profound sacrifice so that they can continue to rule in an at-large capacity? Which is, by the PUSD Districting Task Force's calculation, not as good as the sub-regional district variety?
I have spoken to a number of knowledgeable people about this over the past few weeks, and the consensus seems to be that it is more about the $350,000,000 in Measure TT money than anything else. The period between 2013 and 2015 is when much of these vast sums in school bond money will be split up amongst the now sub-regional districts, and those with this new and proclaimed superior form of representation on the Board of Education will have the added and more potent influence needed to swing bond money to their special projects. Leaving those without sub-regional representation during this time vulnerable and unprotected.
But why is this? Why couldn't all of the sub-regional district voting take place in 2015, thus leveling the playing field? Why rush through 4 sub-districts in 2013, while leaving the other three hanging out there unrepresented until two years later? Again, follow the money.
It now appears likely that a deal was struck. Those who have controlled the hundreds of millions of dollars in Measure TT bond money over these past few years do not wish to see so lucrative a deal slip from their hands, and have made arrangements assuring this will not happen. By allowing certain sub-districts to have an advantage over the others, an understanding was reached. That being those facilitating this rather massive flow of cash would remain in their current lucrative positions, continuing to do so by having won the support of certain influential constituencies within the four privileged sub-regional districts. Along with the sympathetic at-large representatives elected in 2011, of course.
There actually is some potential for more local control over Measure TT bond money under a sub-regional districting plan. And that by having individual areas bargain with other equally motivated sub-regional district areas, those who have traditionally controlled this bond money centrally could have found themselves being eased out of the equation. Which, considering how poorly they have handled that responsibility recently, ought to happen.
By staggering these elections, and therefore privileging certain sub-regional districts over others, a divide and conquer strategy was successfully implemented. And during the crucial 2013 to 2015 period, when this vast fortune in Measure TT money will be spent, and at great profit to some, the old boy network would still be in charge when it counts.
That is, of course, if Measure A passes a week from today.
After that the money will be gone, and with it their concern. The Pasadena Unified School District, and the children whose interests it is supposed to represent, will no longer be of interest for them.
Measure A is PUSD corruption, plain and simple. And its worst effects are being aimed directly at us. Please vote no. Don't throw Sierra Madre under the school bus.