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Jim Kirkwood, San Clemente
Do you ever get tired of Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) saying, “if we only had more money, we would be able to serve our students and community better?” Have you ever noticed that the only answer to education is the need for more money? The truth is no matter how much money taxpayers give CUSD, they manage to squander our taxes on everything except making our children and the facilities a priority. I have lived in San Clemente for 28 years and raised all of my children in San Clemente schools. We have had great experiences with teachers, arts programs, school staff, sports and many of the parent-led volunteer programs. However, my experiences with the district administration officials and the trustees have been disingenuous. It is disturbing that CUSD passed a 25-year bond 15 years ago and many of the very same facility commitments that were proposed back then are being promoted again in Measure M. That means they want us to continue paying for the old bond for another 10 years and approve a new $900 million, 35-year bond, which is the largest bond in Orange County history. Also, take the time to look at the numbers; the $43 the district is using assumes no increase in interest rates, which they admitted could double the cost of the bond. District officials now use words like accountability, transparency, etc. because they know the public is tired of their irresponsible management of the publics’ tax dollars.
In the beginning stages of developing this bond, the public was told that there would be specific budget categories established so that each community would have an understanding of where the money would be spent and what their priorities were. Yet, CUSD did not provide any specificity and instead wants us to write them a blank check.
I encourage my fellow citizens to vote “no” on Measure M.