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Laura Ferguson, San Clemente

In response to the article, “CUSD Leans Toward Districtwide Bond Rather than Separate Regional Bonds,”

I, too, attended the June 22 meeting where the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees held yet another lengthy bond discussion. The reason for the third meeting, including a special workshop, is because CUSD has yet to justify why it needs a billion dollars.

As a property owner in San Clemente’s Mello-Roos district who experienced CUSD’s over-taxation and misuse of Talega’s special taxes, and who fought alongside my fellow taxpayers to remedy major abuses, allow me to share my top 10 reasons why taxpayers should vote no on CUSD’s billion dollar bailout this November.

  1. Mismanagement of public funds.
  2. History of over-taxation/mishandling of Mello-Roos.
  3. Failure to be transparent.
  4. Lack of trust.
  5. No accountability.
  6. Inadequate public outreach.
  7. Rushing its bond proposal.
  8. Increased salaries/pension costs for four consecutive years at the expense of facilities repairs, smaller class sizes and programs for the children.
  9. Little is known on what facilities improvements will actually cost because no bids were sought for “sample” projects.
  10. CUSD receives funding for its $430 million budget every year. Why hasn’t any of this money been set aside to fix facilities?
  11. Lying to taxpayers to minimize the size of the bond by not admitting the interest charges. When CUSD says the bond is $889 million—the real cost of the bond, including the interest you have to pay is double the face value—$1.778 billion.

That’s more than 10, which shows how the reasons for not trusting CUSD with more of our tax dollars are vast. Please be aware that the district’s bond campaign is about to get underway. At the last board meeting, one of the trustees talked about how the district would need to drop some serious money on mailers. The money, the manpower, the messaging—it will take the form of door knocks, phone calls and mail pieces. Don’t be fooled. Vote no this November on the billion dollar bailout of failed leadership at CUSD.

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