We support public schools and we expect the District to deliver excellent value on proposed school construction. Measure R does not include adequate safeguards for prudent stewardship of public funds.

For $575 million, the District must commit both to follow a prioritized “critical need” school rebuild list and then state what exactly will be done at each school. Instead, the District presents a laundry list of possibilities without specific commitments.

The District’s previous extreme wastefulness is well-documented:

The County Grand Jury found that the District’s per square foot construction costs are THREE times the state average.
The District spent more than $200 million building one high school – for that money, it could have built two.
The District spent $23 million on a football stadium, prioritizing it over badly needed classroom reconstruction all around the District.

While the District spent wastefully, taxpayers are currently paying off six previous school bond measures. As of June 30, 2018, we owe $2.3 billion in principal and interest, with maturity dates extending to 2054.

The District’s extravagant spending means that the average homeowner now pays at least $1,000 in property tax assessments for previous bonds annually. This bond will add another $250 annually to your property taxes. Renters, those added costs are passed on to you.

The East Bay Times has called the cost of these construction bonds “exceptionally high.”

The District currently has a $48 million budget deficit, showing that it cannot keep its own financial house in order. Finally, District management just proposed rollbacks to some important transparency measures.

Does this sound like a District ready to manage a very complex construction program?

It’s time we sent a clear message. Vote NO until the District demonstrates a commitment to delivering a specific and cost-effective building program to voters.

Ben Steinberg, Richmond Resident
Dan Romero, Councilman, City of Hercules
Contra Costa Taxpayers Association
Susan L. Pricco, President
Davis Todhunter, El Cerrito Resident
Mike Vasilas, Richmond Businessman