With 100% of precincts counted, Measure O fails.                                        Board of Directors just wasted half a million dollars of taxpayer money on this election.                                        Criminal complaints against the district will continue to be pursued.                                        Criminal and FPPC complaints against the Astro-Turfers will continue to be pursued.                                        Your property taxes based on indebtedness will now go down, as they should.                                        

Ballot Question

This is what's going to appear on the ballot.

There is a question and the full text of the measure. The question is supposed to be a short summary. It's actually propaganda or sales puffery designed to get a Yes vote. The Board hopes you won't read the whole measure. Most voters will likely not read it and those who do will find it repetitive and confusing. The fine print is the 509-word, kitchen-sink paragraph that will really put your brain on the fritz. Remember that these are your children's educators writing this.

The question is not an original writing. It's identical to the language used on other school bonds (except for the name of the district). The Mt. SAC CCD bond of 2008, Measure RR, uses identical language. Anyone who keeps up on things knows how badly that's turned out.

The full text is the legal part of the measure.

The arguments in favor and against will follow the question on the ballot. I was able to file the arguments in opposition. I had to move very quickly and spent 10 days, full-time, researching, writing, and then finding others who agree.

Your mailbox will likely be flooded with slick, highly-produced propaganda mailers and robo-calls from the money men behind this bond. The people with their hands out will stoop to whatever level they believe necessary to win them the lottery.

Ballot Question

Walnut Valley Local School Improvement Measure. To upgrade facilities to maintain
excellent education/college readiness by providing facilities/technology for advanced
math, science, engineering, upgrading outdated classrooms, science labs, libraries,
computer systems, improving school safety/ security, and repairing, constructing/
acquiring classrooms, facilities, equipment, shall Walnut Valley Unified School District
issue $208 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent citizen oversight, no money
for administrator salaries, and all funds used for neighborhood schools in/ around
Diamond Bar and Walnut?

Bonds -- Yes Bonds -- No

Argument in Favor of Measure O

Argument in Favor of Measure _

Walnut Valley School District, with neighborhood schools in and around
Diamond Bar and Walnut, is among the highest performing districts in the state
and nation. Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting the quality of
our great local schools and the value of our homes is a wise investment.

Measure _ is necessary to ensure classrooms, science labs, math rooms,
technology and other facilities continue to support outstanding student
achievement. Measure _ will not increase current tax rates.

Measure _ ensures local students have access to the modern technology and
skills training needed to compete for college and 21st century careers:
-     Provides classrooms, facilities and technology needed for advanced
     courses in math, science, engineering and technology
-     Repairs old schools, including wiring, plumbing, roofs, floors, air
     conditioning, heating, classroom lighting and other aging or
     deteriorating systems
-     Ensures teachers are adequately trained in the use of modern
     instructional technologies
-     Keeps computer systems, technology, science labs, school facilities,
     and classrooms up-to-date over time
-     Provides classrooms and labs for career and technology education
     classes so students are prepared for college and well-paying jobs in fields
     like health sciences, engineering, technology and skilled trades
-     Improves student safety including security lighting, emergency
     communications systems, fire alarms and sprinklers
-     Retrofits older school buildings so they are earthquake safe

Local control ensures Measure _ funds stay in our schools:

  • - No funds can be taken by the state or used for administrators' salaries
    or benefits
  • - A project list detailing exactly how the money will be used is required
  • - An independent Citizens Oversight Committee and annual public audits
    will ensure money is spent properly
  • - Measure _ will not increase current tax rates
  • Vote Yes on _ to improve our Walnut Valley Unified School District schools and
    prepare our students for college and 21st century careers -- without raising taxes!

    Bob Pacheco
    Mayor, City of Walnut

    Nancy Lyons
    Councilmember, City of Diamond Bar

    Bob Sun
    Independent Citizen Oversight Committee, Chair-Vice

    Ray McMullen
    Longtime resident (5 ) years and former WVUSD Educator

    Lily Eibert
    WVUSD Parent Coordinating Council, Vice President

    Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure O

    How can you tell when a politician is lying? "... WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!" Can't help themselves. Can you believe anything they say? It's not even their argument. Copied word-for-word from Board's talking points. Do you value plagiarism?

    Imagine what schools will look like in 40 years. Will they look like they do today? Or will they be relics of the past meeting the same fate as Ozymandias?

    A bond is a credit card with a huge limit. Do you put living expenses on your credit card and not pay it off every month? Of course not! You know that making the minimum payment means that you'll be paying dearly for that tank of gas you bought today and you'll still be paying it off years from now.

    Technology is mentioned 8 times. Moore's law predicts that technological capability doubles every two years while price falls dramatically. The Apple II was introduced in 1977 (38 years ago) priced at $2,638. Do you still want to be paying for today's technology 40 years from now?

    By the time you and your grandkids pay off this bond, physical facilities will likely be museum pieces. Education will come from the best teachers in the world wherever a child has a device to connect to the Internet. It's already happening.

    What's stopping it from happening here? Old thinking from an entrenched bureaucracy.

    If Board could be trusted, it wouldn't need an oversight committee. $400 million in NEW TAXES. Smart people vote NO.

    http://bit.ly/wvusdballot

    John Iu-Chim Shum
    M.D.

    Long Su
    Technical Architect

    Nam Huynh
    Director of Systems, Retired

    Michael West
    Walnut Homeowner

    Argument Against Measure O

    A. YEARS OF NEGLECT. CHECK!
    B. NO ACCOUNTABILITY. CHECK!
    C. SWITCHEROO. CHECK!
    D. HUGE NEW TAXES. CHECK!

    Got your attention?

    A. Are you sending your children to deathtraps? Schools without "smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinklers?" Seriously! Read the measure.

    In measure Board admits it's neglected regular maintenance for so long that it now claims crisis. You must save the children. It'll cost you nearly twice as much to pay it off.

    The squeaky wheel theory predicts that those who speak loudest get what they want. Facilities can't speak. They get neglected. It's called kicking the can down the road. Today's squeaky wheels get what they want. The cycle repeats. You're stuck with the bill.

    Example of Board's priorities: Collegewood School turned 50 last year. For its birthday, Board pulled out the landscaping, replacing it with prettier landscaping. What allegedly critical maintenance priorities could that money have paid for?

    B. Oversight committee? It's a joke. No power. (Legislature made sure of that.) Appointed by Board. Pure propaganda.

    C. Measure makes all maintenance off-budget. More of your regular taxes will go for salary and pensions.

    Does Board lack money? Most recent financial report shows $76 million in investments. It transferred over $20 million from Special "Capital" Fund to pension, furlough, and professional development.

    Board will likely spend every penny it takes from your regular taxes on things that don't directly benefit the children, like increased compensation, benefits, and pensions.

    D. How much? Nobody knows. It's just an estimate.

    Assessed value / 100,000 x $48.50 estimate x 40 years = tax. Do the math.

    We're not against education. We're against misuse and waste of our taxes. Does past neglect require money? Probably. This much? No.

    Smart voters vote NO.

    http://aroundwalnut.blogspot.com/

    Warren Ellis

    Jean Jernigan
    Home owner

    C. M. Parks
    Retired

    Floyd Kimura
    Retired

    William Pao
    Business Owner / Parent

    Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure O

    Measure O is about improving local schools to maintain award-winning education and continue preparing students for success in college and future careers. Even throughout a decade of state-imposed budget cuts, our local school district has done a terrific job of maintaining and improving local school facilities. Visit http://tinyurl.com/pwr7g7vNothing to see here! to read annual reports from the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee.

    Measure O provides the classrooms, facilities and technology needed for advanced courses in science, technology, engineering and math. Citizens' oversight ensures Measure O supports students, not administrators.

    Measure O includes a clear system of accountability. Independent citizens' oversight, annual audits, a project list detailing exactly how the money will be used and community reports are required. By law, no money can be spent on administrators' salaries, pensions or benefits.

    Measure O does not increase current tax rates.

    Measure O is carefully structured so that your local school tax bill will be no higher next year or in future years than it is right now. Thanks to prudent fiscal management, Walnut Valley Unified School District will completely pay off prior voter-approved school bonds in 2019, meaning that our community can make a meaningful, valuable investment to maintain our excellent local schools without increasing tax rates.

    Protecting the quality of our schools, the quality of life in our communities and the value of our homes is a wise investment. We believe that maintaining high-quality education in our local schools is a top priority. Please join us and vote Yes on O.

    http://www.OutstandingWVUSDSchools.org

    JOE H. HAHN
    48-Year Walnut Resident, Former Mayor/Council Member

    ERIC CHING
    City of Walnut Council Member

    CHRISTINA KONDO
    Collegewood Elementary School Parent Council Member and Former President

    RACHEL CHANG
    Diamond Bar, HS Parent Volunteer

    INGRID JOHNSON
    President, Council of African-American Parents (CAAP)

    FULL TEXT BALLOT PROPOSITION
    OF THE WALNUT VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
    BOND MEASURE ELECTION NOVEMBER 3, 2015

    The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the Walnut Valley
    Unified School District.

    "Walnut Valley Local School Improvement Measure. To upgrade facilities to maintain
    excellent education/college readiness by providing facilities/technology for advanced
    math, science, engineering, upgrading outdated classrooms, science labs, libraries,
    computer systems, improving school safety/ security, and repairing, constructing/
    acquiring classrooms, facilities, equipment, shall Walnut Valley Unified School District
    issue $208 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent citizen oversight, no money
    for administrator salaries, and all funds used for neighborhood schools in/ around
    Diamond Bar and Walnut?"

    PROJECT LIST

    The Board of Trustees of the Walnut Valley Unified School District is committed
    to maintaining the quality of education in our local public schools.
    To do so, the
    Board is determined to provide classrooms and labs for career and technology
    education classes so students are prepared for college and good paying jobs in fields
    like health sciences, engineering, technology, and the skilled trades. To that end, the
    Board evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues,
    class size, computer and information technology and prepared a [Facility Master Plan]
    which is incorporated herein in its entirety, in developing the scope of projects to be
    funded. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received extensive public
    input in developing this Project List through school site meetings, community
    presentations, opinion leader input, and interactive materials. Teachers, staff, students,
    community members and the Board have prioritized the key health and safety needs so
    that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board concluded that if these
    needs are not addressed now, the problems will only become more pressing and
    expensive to address. Therefore, in approving this Project List, the Board of
    Trustees determines that the District must, in a fiscally responsible manner:


    (i) provide classrooms and labs needed for career and technology
    education classes so students are prepared for college and good
    paying jobs in fields like health sciences, engineering, technology
    and the skilled trades; and

    (ii) improve student safety and school security systems, including
    security lighting, security cameras, emergency communication
    systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers; and

    (iii) make funding available to protect the quality of instruction and
    advanced courses in math, science, engineering, technology and the
    arts; and

    (iv) retrofit older buildings so they are earthquake safe; and

    (v) adhere to specific FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY safeguards such as:

    (a) All money raised must stay in the District and the State must
    be prohibited from taking any funds raised,

    (b) All expenditures must be subject to annual independent
    financial audits, and

    (c) An independent citizens' oversight committee must be
    appointed to ensure that all funds are spent only as
    authorized.

    The Project List includes the following types of upgrades and improvements at the
    District schools:

    Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects

    Goal and Purpose: Since providing classrooms and labs for career and
    technology education classes so students are prepared for college and good
    paying jobs in fields like health sciences, engineering, technology and the skilled
    trades is critical, local schools will benefit from projects including:

    o Repair or replace old, worn-out roofs, floors, plumbing, and electrical systems.

    o Upgrade aging heating, air conditioning and lighting systems.

    o Upgrade classrooms, science labs and libraries to keep pace with 21st Century
    instructional technology.

    o Repair and modernize old schools, outdated classrooms and school buildings.

    o Add electrical service capacity to relieve overloaded electrical systems so that it
    can handle modern instructional technology.

    o Provide improved, up-to-date technology infrastructure.

    o Add classrooms, labs, health science/ kinesiology buildings and school facilities.

    Safety and Security Projects

    Goal and Purpose: Since good, safe and up-to-date schools are a wise
    investment to (i) help protect and improve local property values, (ii) protect the
    quality of life in our community, (iii) maintain the quality of education, and (iv)
    provide advanced courses in core subjects like math, science, engineering and
    technology, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of safety and
    security projects, such as:

    Student Safety

    o Upgrade fire alarm systems to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment,
    add sprinklers and fire safety doors to make students safe in the event of an
    emergency.

    o Upgrade and install new security systems, such as security lighting, fencing,
    smoke detectors, and fire alarms.

    o Replace aging, outdated portables with permanent classrooms that meet 21st
    century health, safety and academic standards.

    o Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

    o Remove hazardous materials like asbestos and lead paint from older school
    sites.

    Instructional Technology and Wiring Projects
    Safety and Security Projects

    Goal and Purpose: To ensure that all teachers are adequately trained in the use
    of modern instructional technologies by upgrading classroom technology to
    allow our students to be prepared for college or to compete in today's job market
    for good paying jobs with skills and a strong background in science, math,
    engineering and technology:

    o Upgrade instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning.

    o Provide and maintain up-to-date technology, data and communication
    equipment.

    o Upgrade and expand wireless systems, telecommunications, Internet and
    network connections, upgrade electrical wiring.

    o Upgrade and replace computers, hardware and infrastructure systems,
    classroom and library technology and teaching equipment to enhance instruction.

    ***

    The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to
    include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar
    planning costs, program/ construction management, staff training expenses and a customary
    contingency, and escalation for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition
    to the listed projects stated above, the Project List also includes payment of the
    costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility assessment reviews, environmental
    studies, construction documentation, inspection and permit fees, and temporary housing
    of dislocated District activities caused by bond projects. The upgrading of technology
    infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, servers, switches, routers, modules, smart
    boards, sound projection systems, wireless networks, portable interface devices,
    printers, upgrade voice-over-IP, phone systems, call manager and network
    security/firewall, and other miscellaneous equipment. The District may establish a
    classroom technology fund to keep our technology up-to-date and ensure local schools
    keep pace with advancing technology. The repair of school facilities includes the
    upgrading/replacing school site parking, campus accessibility, utilities, and grounds,
    playground equipment, hard court surfaces, shade structures for student assembly and
    protecting students from inclement weather during lunch, libraries, District support
    facilities, multi-purpose rooms, cafeterias; enhance signage; install fire sensors;
    construct/ upgrade athletic facilities, gyms, and play fields including turf; upgrade
    electrical wiring; construct labs, music and staff support rooms and restrooms; renovate
    and paint interior and exterior building surfaces to extend their useful life; improve
    security, install safety and communication systems and equipment; renovate
    classrooms, including music/art classrooms and facilities; upgrade window and floor
    coverings (including tiles and carpeting); acquire kitchen equipment, upgrade irrigation
    systems; make improvements and acquire furnishings and/or other electronic
    equipment and systems; install solar and water recycling and energy
    efficiency/management systems. The Project List also includes the refinancing of any
    outstanding lease obligations, or the bridge loans taken to initiate voter approved
    projects. The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the District's receipt of
    State matching funds and the final costs of each project. The budget for each project is
    an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. Some projects
    throughout the district, such as gyms, fields and performing arts facilities, may be
    undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit
    agencies. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized,
    construction bids are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of
    each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be
    completed. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for
    repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be
    more cost-effective in creating enhanced and operationally efficient campuses.
    Necessary site acquisition, preparation/restoration and landscaping, may occur in
    connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of
    relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing
    irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, redirecting fire access, and acquiring any
    necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.

    Bond proceeds shall be expended only for the purposes identified herein.
    Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of
    District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to the bond projects
    .
    The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited
    and comply with reporting requirements of Government Code 53410.

    FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY: IN ACCORDANCE WITH EDUCATION CODE
    SECTION 15272, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL APPOINT A CITIZEN'S
    OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE AND CONDUCT ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDITS TO
    ASSURE THAT FUNDS ARE SPENT ONLY ON DISTRICT PROJECTS AND FOR NO
    OTHER PURPOSE
    . THE EXPENDITURE OF BOND MONEY ON THESE PROJECTS
    IS SUBJECT TO STRINGENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS. BY
    LAW, PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL AUDITS WILL BE PERFORMED
    ANNUALLY, AND ALL BOND EXPENDITURES WILL BE MONITORED BY AN
    INDEPENDENT CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TO ENSURE THAT FUNDS
    ARE SPENT AS PROMISED AND SPECIFIED. THE CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT
    COMMITTEE MUST INCLUDE, AMONG OTHERS, REPRESENTATION OF A BONA
    FIDE TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION AND A SENIOR
    CITIZENS ORGANIZATION. NO DISTRICT EMPLOYEES OR VENDORS ARE
    ALLOWED TO SERVE ON THE CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

    No Administrator Salaries: Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by
    this proposition shall be used only for acquisition, construction, reconstruction,
    rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping
    of school facilities, and not any other purpose, including teacher and school
    administrator salaries and other operating expenses.

     


    Copyright © 2015, Richard Michael. All Rights Reserved.