Mar 27 2012

Public Input on School Parcel Tax Increase Solicited

The Board of Education will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, March 28, on a proposed increase in the school district parcel tax (Measure B passed June 2009). 

The increase, of up to 5%, would  begin in June of this year.  No final action will be taken at the hearing; however the District must conduct a public hearing  regarding any proposed levy.  The hearing will take place in City Council Chambers at approximately 7:30 p.m.

A second public hearing will be conducted at the Tuesday, April 17th School Board meeting, at which time the Board will vote on the proposed increase   

Also, on March 28 the Board is expected to authorize a $36,311 increase in the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the Beach Elementary School Seismic Safety Bond Program Renovation Project to Cahill Construction, Inc.  The Board is being requested to authorize the increase due to unforeseen conditions and value-added scope (list of conditions provided in background) from $7,258,865 to $7,295,176. This will not be the final GMP increase.

The School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 17,  will be the only Board meeting in April, due to Spring break. The next Board meeting will be  May 9, 2012.

2 Responses to “Public Input on School Parcel Tax Increase Solicited”

  1. More cost overruns on city and school improvement projects? This raises concern that the School Board does not have adequate capability to manage the Beach renovation project. The poor management of the City’s undergrounding project compelled me to lose confidence in the City’s ability to manage projects (no substantial changes were made in the City’s managers), and I voted against additional taxation. Cost overruns on the Beach project impel me to vote NO on the next school tax proposition.

  2. When providing information to Piedmont residents, the school board addresses the demand side of the equation, using Alameda and Contra Costa comparable salaries to determine what is adequate compensation. I have concern for the supply side of the equation, that being our tax dollars. I would like to see a comparison of other quality ranked School districts in the state that are in small, affluent bedroom-communities with a small commercial tax base. That criteria has been entirely missing from the discussion. We often hear our School parcel tax is in the highest in the state; a superficial examination suggests this is the case and, in fact, our parcel tax is far higher than others.

    In general there has been no substantive accountability for the undergrounding. The City initiated investigation had two major flaws: Those who voted for the money investigated themselves: and the City Manager, ultimately responsibility for the loss of funds, was the Audit investigation body’s staff. This is not how investigations are normally done to reveal substantive results.

    The undergrounding litigation may reveal factual information.

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