Mike Conlon, San Clemente
This retired San Clemente High School teacher has been going back on forth on Measure M. I’d like to see the school upgraded, but it will come at a significant price to us homeowners. The Capistrano Unified School District office hasn’t recently instilled confidence in the San Clemente residents, with a dismissed principal, Mella-Roos assessments, etc.
I’m not one of those citizens who rejects all taxes because of government mismanagement of funds. I don’t think the public services we enjoy appear via patriotic slogans and low bidder. However, even though the Bond would raise my taxes hundreds of dollars a year over decades, I can immediately see the application of this “investment” at the school site.
I also realize that prior to Proposition 13, 47.1 percent of school funding came from local taxes, compared to 25 percent now. Patchwork school repair can inch along on current funding, but upgrading aging facilities only occurs, not just here but across the state, through bond measures.
Some suggest waiting for a smaller local bond measure. However, Measure M has a greater possibility of passing in the district as a whole. Initial and significant funds would first be directed to San Clemente and its feeder schools, because they need repairs and upgrades the most. This is why representatives of areas with newer schools are opposed to the bond measure.
Additionally, this year only, California’s Proposition 51, currently polling well, will match local funds raised up to $229 million. If we don’t pass any measure this year, this matching funding is gone.
So, I will keep track of the renovation progress through the principal. I will monitor reports from the mandated citizen oversight committee. Lastly, I will vote for the board member who promises to focus on keeping our tax dollars on track. After all, it’s my investment in the future education of our children.