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January 23, 2008 > Letter to the editor 1

Letter to the editor 1

School bond vote questioned

What Hayward needs now is a slate of four new faces, qualified as candidates for the position of Trustees at the November 2008 HUSD School board election. The fifth seat is occupied by an incumbent whose present term expires in 2010. The ability to think things through to a conclusion seems lost at Hayward Unified School District.

That is a harsh attitude wrought by indifference to the fact that, on January 9th, during a poorly attended regularly scheduled meeting, the present board, with no absences or abstentions, unanimously voted to place a very large, multi-million dollar bond issue on the June 2008 election ballot. For that first bond issue to eventuate to success of the building program, it must be followed by three favorable bond issue votes starting in 2012 at four year intervals until a total of over $88 million of bonded indebtedness is incurred.

Ignoring the risks associated with the Hayward Fault line, we see no mention of the Treeview School predicament where children are attending classes in a building located directly upon the fault line.

At the Stonebrae development, which is marketed toward wealthy purchasers, we can, by comparative analysis with distant but similar tracts, expect a much lower birth rate and generation of students than at other developments within HUSD.

Many Fairview students, found themselves in the Stonebrae attendance area. That may or may not have affected support for the bond issue. Skillfully, HUSD now intends near future closure of Markham site with transfer of attendees to the Fairview site. That will affect the first vote, given Fairview's horrible parking arrangement.

Now, the HUSD plan is to invest a large segment of the first bond issue in two schools of the unincorporated Fairview hill area. Fairview and East are at the top of the list. If the typical residence in that area has assessed value of $300K then the first year assessment is $180. The $180 per year rises to $720 per year after the fourth successful vote. The assessment falls off only after twenty-five years from date of each imposition.

Transfer to Castro Valley middle school is possible as is enrollment in Redwood Christian School and RC k-8 school when children finish 6th grade at aforementioned HUSD schools. It is a much easier journey through Five Canyons Rd than is the path to Bret Hart. Ask yourself this question, "In all honesty, if I received all that my neighborhood had a right to expect in the first vote, would I support self assessment of another $540 above the first sum?"

I offer HUSD this solution. Let HUSD revisit the bond issue vote and change the sequence of projected school improvements to something much closer to the first phase considerations I provided on an earlier occasion.


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