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Campaign For $47 Million General Obligation Bond Underway

District officials and campaign supporters say the bond is critical in completing much-needed upgrades and improvements to the district’s campuses.

As the June 5 Primary draws near, volunteers at a small office in Covina are making phone calls to residents, urging them to vote for Charter Oak Unified School District’s  $47 million general obligation bond.

Alex Parslow, Chair of the Measure CO Campaign For Kids, said more than 60 percent of the people they have called so far in their campaign have favored Measure CO, more than the required 55 percent of the total votes to pass on Election Day.

Voters within the school district, which covers parts of Glendora, Covina and San Dimas, will decide on the approximately 40-year bond intended to cover upgrades and improvements to classrooms and facilities of the district’s eight school campuses.

The bond will be based on interest rates and assessd values, with the district projecting the highest tax rate based on a projection of assessed valuation at $60 per $100,000 for fiscal year 2019-2020.

The last Measure C bond, was a $30 million bond passed in 2000.

“When the new bond passes, the payment for this bond will be less than in Measure C. The actual tax rate will be decreased from what they’re currently paying,” said Superintendent Mike Hendricks. “It’s a new bond, but it’s as if we’re extending from the old bond but at a lower rate.”

A Facilities Master Plan, a blueprint of $58 milion worth of planned projects under the new bond, was completed in March. ADA compliance and other updates to safety codes remains the top priority among the projects. According to the district, the bond will also update classroom computers and labs, repair outdated classrooms, libraries and other facilities and increase energy and operational efficiency.

At Charter Oak High School, an in-demand As technology continues to progress at a rapid rate, the district plans to create “an endowment” with bond funds and use the interest to upgrade technology as it becomes outdated.

“That way we can replenish and update our technology over time,” said Hendricks.

While the bond can only be used specifically on upgrading classrooms and school facilities, district officials said the passage of the bond is critical for the future of campus and educational quality.

As the district faces a $441 per ADA cut if passage of the November tax initiatives don’t materialize, funding for most of these facilities projects would be nearly impossible, said chief business officer Kathy Perkins.

Measure CO is a Prop. 39 bond, and projects and transactions under the bond are monitored by a Citizen Oversight Committee established by the Board of Education.

For more information on Measure CO, call (626) 966-8331 or visit www.cousd.net.

Christina-CO parent May 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Thank you for answering my email to help get this out to people.
Bob K. May 26, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Add this to the LA County bond and the Covina utility tax, the Louis Pompeii youth sport fees.... Anything to get more revenue at the local level. $60 dollars per 100k means $300 dollars a year for a 500k residence x 40 years .... 12000 extra taxpayer dollars, for a 300k household value... 9000 taxpayer dollars over the life of the bond. Bonds are not free people nor are they paid by some government grant, gift or taxes you already pay in the form of property taxes. This is on top of everything else. we are going to be hit by city, county, state and federal for more taxes. The pool will need to be redone in 20 years, so do we just add another bond on top of this one for 60 years? The state needs to take care of the schools with the taxes they already receive. We have declining enrollment. Quit mortgaging the future with all these bonds. VOTE NO
Eljay May 27, 2012 at 01:53 AM
"As technology continues to progress at a rapid rate, the district plans to create “an endowment” with bond funds and use the interest to upgrade technology as it becomes outdated." So, enough money will be set aside so that the interest alone will fund the purchase of new technology as it become "outdated" (these kids just can NOT be expected to use last year's laptops!) So, asking the taxpayers to fund a savings account so that you can spend the interest. Wow... did you check with your accountant to make sure this is prudent, let alone ethical?
David Rose May 27, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Here’s a short breakdown from expenditure sheets that was submitted to the public from the Charter Oak USD in early May of this year and it appeared that the board was trying to put off the documents as much as they could as if they did not want the public to know about the outcome of Measure C that was passed by voters in the year 2000. That is because the board are pushing hard to get the $47 million bond money pass by the 55% of the voters at this coming June primary election. It is called Measure CO. First, keep in mind that we got $30 million bond money from Charter Oak taxpayers plus a matching fund from the State another $30 million and that added up to $60 million that we can spend on to upgrade our aging facilities in the Charter Oak school district. We have 7 schools that are opened to school children plus a district office and a maintenance office and yard. We do have surplus lands but only two facilities are leased to other entities. Second, I noticed from the expenditure sheets that most schools that were fixed up were completed in 2009 and several other schools were completed in 2011
David Rose May 27, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Third, pay attention to the numbers. You will notice how money was spent on projects that included construction management fees and it is those “well paid” workers who didn’t put nails in the wall. These firms put on construction helmet and walked around at construction sites with coffee in their hands. Yes, we used bond money to pay for their coffee machine, coffee grounds, and filter. I was on the board from 2005 to 2009 and I fought with the majority of the board members, the district administrators and construction firms over ridiculous costs that I felt we do not need to pay for it. I knew by looking at documents that mistakes were made, unnecessary work was common, and poor workmanship was evident in the 11 long years of modernization. I think we paid way too much money on unnecessary costs and we saw little improvement in all of our school sites.
David Rose May 27, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Let’s get to it. From my calculation, we spent about $33 million on all of our schools except Glen Oak. For some reasons, the board did not release expenditure sheet on Glen Oak Elementary School. Why? That leaves us one important question: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REMAINING $27 MILLION WE GOT FROM THE STATE MATCHING FUNDS? We spent $3.2 million on architectural firms on all five schools. That is a lot of money. Even though they constituted about $10% of the bond money, they drew plans and redid it numerous times because of mistakes. They didn't put nails in the wall. We spent $2.8 million on construction management fee. The board approved several construction management firms that made lots of money and all they did was to have meetings, walked around in construction sites with coffee in their hands, and they wrote inflated bills so that other firms get more money in their pockets. That leaves $25 million to work on projects. Really? All I see is a new Science Building at Charter Oak High school and that cost about $10 million. What did the board spend on the remaining $15 million? Last, but most important, we did receive matching funds. We happened to that money? If not all $27 million, how much did we receive and where is that money? Before you cast your vote on June 5th on the new $47 million bond money, Measure CO, you are going to have the same board members who did quite incredibly nothing to rein in unnecessary costs. How will you vote?
Lois M. Shade May 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Let's talk about Sunflower School Site. The board put in an estimated $500,000 parking lot (estimated because they never released the actual amount) and left the school itself in a hazardous condition. They denied it was Measure C money that went into building that new parking lot and if that is the case, where did this board find $500,000 to build a parking lot and would that money have been better spent somewhere else. Brand new 1/2 million dollar parking lot for 250 students and only 15 student drivers. Increased landscaping around the adjacent residential areas to provide screening rather than new fencing or block wall even with offers to share the cost of fencing or the wall. Water and maintenance costs were substantially increased. Lights in the parking lot exceed the number needed and height there by increasing the costs to put them in and energy costs. Smaller solar would have done the job and saved money. To cap it off, they approved a $2.1 million contract without putting it out to bid and providing $117,000 contingency fund. Question: What is $47 million going to cost in interest over 40 years? $10 million? $20 million or more?
Ann Marin May 28, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Please click on the link, to the CO district website, click on "1999 FMP" (the first item)and look at how many "Priorty 1 " projects were completed on the last bond. LINK: http://www.cousd.k12.ca.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=5684& The document reads: "Crossed off the list means it's completed" As evidenced by this document, a "Priorty 1" designation doesn't seem to mean much. A FMP is simply a huge Wish List--or, more specifically, a list of "things residents really want and are more likely to vote Yes if its on there". A concrete public promise from one or more of the board members to really re-do our pool and maintain 100% transparency would go far to help me decide YES on CO for me. I will be the happiest (and most surprised) person on earth if they actually follow through and build a new aquatics facility for the wonderful kids and outstanding coaches at Charter Oak. They truly deserve it.
Glendora Parent May 29, 2012 at 06:09 PM
From what I have seen, the CO board has provided answers to all the questions the naysayers have asked.They asked for info on Measure C now it is posted on the webpage.Maybe the only thing that can be seen is the science building but things like wiring, electrical, handicap accessibility, painting, fire alarms are not so evident to the public yet necessary & required. Someone complained about using architects.Should the board have just written out the drawings themselves?If you were on the board then you should know there is a cost to doing business. The school construction business has more codes/rules/requirements than most. Are things perfect? Of course not. Could things have been done better? Probably.The school district keeps being accused of violating this & that but with all the approvals/inspections that are required, I personally find it hard to believe that they have been able to get away with all that they have been accused of. That's one big conspiracy for little ole Charter Oak. For those who seem to oppose a bond, I would be curious how they suggest to improve facilities & keep up with technology etc. The pool athletic people have been asking for a pool & this is the chance they have to get one. It will take a lot of candy bar/magazine sales to otherwise subsidize it & that funding is still on the backs of the residents who have to buy them!
Glendora Parent May 29, 2012 at 06:10 PM
It would be nice to see those pool students/parents as vocal in support of the bond as they were in complaining about their facilities. The board says all the behind the scene requirements need to be done 1st & then pool is all they talk about...you think they don't want a great facility too? I think the FMP is a wishlist. If you don't have the wish list then how do you know where to start? And someone tell that lady that if the pool kids aren't getting a pool, she isn't getting her block wall...enough about that already. Come to think of it, the naysayers above are two people who lost in the last and several elections past. Perhaps there's a little bitterness...personal vendettas didn't win you the election. The people of CO don't seem to respond to your negativity.
Bob K. May 29, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I am just a taxpayer that has had enough of these Voted Indeptedness levies added to my property tax bill. Currently there are 3 Voted Indeptedness levies, the largest being for Unified Schools, followed by 12 Direct Assessments. My 1% tax bill of 1226.09 for a single parcel I purchased is now costing me 1746.19. Nearly 1/3 of the bill is all these added assessments for things like this bond. You say our taxes will decrease under your new bond, but it extends it another 20 stinking years. If I am paying 100 bucks a year for 30 years that comes to 3000 dollars going to the local schools in addition to all the other taxes I pay. Under the new bond, my costs go down to say 80 dollars a year, but are extended 40 years. That's an additional 3200 dollars after I have already paid the 100 bucks for the last 10 or 12 years. You need to fold this district into Covina, San Dimas and Glendora and consolidate the district personnel. Then you will have money for your pool. The taxes we pay to the state should be paying for the facilities and technology. My parcel is small, but if you have a 400K property, you would pay 240 a year for 40 years. VOTE NO. The SGV Tribune just ran an article about cities being shorted the millions in redevelopment monies from the state putting many on the brink. In the near future, the pool will be the least of your worries. http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_20715488/cities-unable-recoup-millions-loans-redevelopment-agencies?source=rss_viewed
Bob K. May 29, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Using architects is fine, but you need someone familiar with construction and working with architectural firms so that you don't take it in the shorts. The last few years architectural firms have gone begging for jobs. Under those circumstances you should have been able to get things done at a discount. You need someone who is on top of things so you don't get all the notorious added extras. Hire a general construction manager first to review the plans, oversee the work in general and you will save yourself 1 million. 3.2 million is out of line for 5 schools. There are a number of firms that do just schools and compete for this work. You got hosed.
David Rose May 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Glendora Parent, you sound bitter too.... Can you tell me why the Board gave pink slips to teachers and not get rid of consultants? Teachers and custodians are furious that the Board approved half a million dollars 5 year guarantee contract with an energy consultant firm from Texas (not one from California!) on how to turn off the light. Go ask a teacher and see it for yourself. I believe most of the teachers know about this silly contract. This is the fact. Your several comments here and in the past are all emotional, not facts and you seem critical of opponents who wish to give important information to voters to know what is going on in Charter Oak schools. For example, I already know what information was given out on Measure C but it does not add up to a total of $60 million dollars!!! Please do the math work before picking on the opponents. Then let us know if you can add up every single dollar to match $60 million that we got from taxpayers. If it falls short of $60 million, let me know and we can go together to the district office and ask them about the missing money. I'm ready.....
Ken May 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Thank you all for getting some information out to the public (me) that is needed.
Glendora Parent May 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Bob K., I understand what you are saying. I agree to a point in where does it end...city of Glendora wants to charge for parking at Pompeii, raise cost to youth sports, etc. When it comes down to it, it's not about the pool. It's about the kids who use the pool, who compete, learn & grow in the pool, who earn scholarships in the pool. Folding this district into others just makes a bigger mess for the others. It's not the solution.
Glendora Parent May 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM
David Rose, I just ask you to get your facts straight. My understanding is this "silly" contract with the consultant from Texas (also used in Glendora USD & many other districts in California) has already saved COUSD over $300,000 in energy costs.The teachers & staff are the ones participating in that process. I don't know who you talk to but what is there to complain about? It saddens me that teachers have to get pink slips but it seems the board put that off for as long as possible while other districts have been doing it all along.My perhaps limited understanding that I actually got from listening to answers to your own questions is that money that pays teachers & money that pays for, i.e. maintenance, come from different sources & the State does not allow districts to use the money as they need or want. If you're not allowed to use the $ to save teachers might as well improve something than let the $ go back to the State to squander in a continually rising deficit!
Glendora Parent May 30, 2012 at 06:08 PM
...As for the math, I added up Badillo expenditures compared to the summary report which equaled the $4.5 mil so I don't know what math you are doing. I have seen you many times in different venues. Your perspective seems to be that everyone is hiding things from you & you don't accept answers that are given to you, repetitively, because it doesn't support any of your conspiracy theories. I have seen the good in what you do in that things you have asked for the public to see appear on the website for example, questions get answered. But you go about it all so negatively, it's hard to take sometimes. I don't know who you dislike but your whole campaign seems to be "bitter." If you don't like it here then why don't you enroll your kids elsewhere. Maybe you will be happier since you have few good things to say about our district.
David Rose May 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Here is another proof why we should look at Measure C. Take a good look at You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS7gVMHYPzM. These were the people who supported Measure C and worked hard to make sure the money is spend properly. Well, hear what they had to say to the board. I was on that board and was astonished as to why information was not given to CBOC members. Listen...
David Rose May 31, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Take a look at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS7gVMHYPzM This is proof why we need to look at Measure C and find all of the $60 M that the district and the board spent on ( maybe not all- but where are all of the money?). No one knows where all of the money went.
David Rose May 31, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Here we go again! You are using emotional plea when you are talking about me .Do not talk about me. This isn't about me when we are talking about Measure CO. I asked you to look at the facts. So far you have not done so and you did little math work on Measure C. I asked you to add all of the total dollars from the expenditure sheets of all of our schools (except Glen Oak) and it should come out over $33 million. We had $60 million. Where are all of the other money??? As far as energy consultant contract, certainly all of the teachers and staff are on it because they were told what to do and that comes from the contract (I read the contract myself. Did you?). You still need to talk to a teacher and ask for his/her opinion about the guarantee contract. Or ask a custodian. You claimed the district saved $300,000 on energy saving plan. Please provide me data to support it. Also, if we did save that much money, how come we are still laying off teachers??? I resent your comment that I should send my kids elsewhere. I don't appreciate your comments about what I should do with my kids. Leave that alone. Let's talk civilly about the upcoming election, and leave our kids aside. Do you agree with me? Right now I want to talk to you about Measure C and where all of the money went. I am a taxpayer and I do have the right to know where my tax dollars is going, not to dislike the CO and send my kids elsewhere because I don't like the way the Board handled Measure C. Read on...
Bob K. May 31, 2012 at 09:49 PM
If they choose to make their home here, the kids that use the pool today will still be paying for it when they are in their 50's. I will be dead by the time this bond is paid off. Most of our cities are struggling and will require additional tax money or they will BK in the next couple years. I just don't think we should be going here with the economy teetering on recession again. Look at the job numbers, look at the tax revenue, look at the big picture here. The state will be needing additional taxpayer dollars, the federal government will be asking for additional dollars and on and on and on. . . We have enough pools in the area that could be utilized until this state stabilizes. If Jerry Brown does not get his additional taxes in the fall, it may very well be the final nail in the coffin for some of these school districts. I guess ours will have shiny new buildings and a pool - just nothing else. Don't think we are immune from this. If you check out the school districts on the brink of being taken over by the state, you will find San Juan Capistrano on the list. Much wealthier communities are teetering on the edge of the cliff. We need to stop bringing in kids from other areas in Glendora to offset the declining enrollment.
Eljay May 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Wow.... the bond oversight committee is DENIED the accounting records of the bond expenditures?????
Kelly Q. June 01, 2012 at 05:45 PM
"Energy Education Program Update" / http://cousd.csbaagendaonline.net / March 29, 2012

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