News

Portola Valley school board OKs $49.5 million bond ballot measure

November measure will need approval of 55 percent of those voting to pass

Plans for Corte Madera School in Portola Valley show the district's top-priority projects if voters approve a $49.5 million bond measure in November. (Drawing by CAW Architects, Inc.)

A $49.5 million bond to pay for repairs, renovations and new buildings on the Portola Valley School District's two campuses will go before voters in November.

The district's governing board unanimously approved putting the bond measure on the ballot at a June 27 meeting. It will require 55 percent of the vote for approval. An approved bond would add a maximum of $300 per $1 million of assessed valuation to property tax bills.

The money would go toward projects in a facilities master plan that was also approved by the school board. The plan prioritizes projects into three areas: immediate, to be built if funding is available, and long-term.

The facilities master plan shows immediate projects at Corte Madera School, including a new two-story classroom building, costing between $38.4 and $42.5 million. At Ormondale School, projects costing $10.9 to $12 million are included as immediate first-phase priorities.

Adding in the projects that will done if funding is available and long-term projects, Corte Madera has a total of $56.8 million to $62.8 million in master plan projects, while Ormondale School has $21 million to $23.3 million in projects.

The phase-one total for both schools is $49.3 million to $54.5 million.

Planned phase-one projects at Corte Madera, which has grades four through eight, include:

• A new two-story classroom building at $32.3 million to $35.7 million.

• Classroom modernization and repairs, including heating and air conditioning, lighting, flooring, windows, paint, door hardware, and ceilings at $919,000 to $1 million.

• Campus repairs and renovations, including roofing, siding, paint, restrooms and storm drains at $2 million to $2.3 million.

• Fields, courtyard and PE storage at $3.1 to $3.5 million (courtyard renovations are projected at $2.5 million to $2.7 million).

Planned phase-one projects at Ormondale School, which has transitional kindergarten through grade three, are:

• New innovation center at $6.6 million to $7.2 million.

• Classroom modernization and repairs including heating and air conditioning, lighting, flooring, windows, paint, door hardware, and ceilings at $1.6 million to $1.8 million.

• Campus repairs and renovations, including roofing, siding, paint and storm drains at $1.2 million to $1.4 million.

• Repairing fields and renovating the grass courtyard at $1.5 to $1.6 million.

See the full facilities master plan online.

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Comments

46 people like this
Posted by Weary of PVSD
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Well of course they proceeded with this.

Repeatedly in many forums and online the community has signaled that the case has not been made for this. We are still paying off the bonds for the previous construction, which was promised to last well beyond the bond payments. A walk around the campuses shows nothing lacking. These are fine schools. They’re not Menlo or Sacred Heart. They are very good.

The first argument we heard was: these schools are in disrepair due to lack of maintenance and oversight (search the almanac archives for this one). And we need a high tech innovation center because we haven’t made anything of the maker space the community funded 5 years ago.

The counter-argument was: if the schools are in disrepair, it’s not evident to us. And if they indeed are, why haven’t you managed them better? Why do you want us (the taxpayers) to throw good money after bad? Fix them with your maintenance budget.

That was a good comeback, so then the story changed: we’ve been doing a fine job on maintenance. These schools are crumbling because...they just are. (Which means we were mislead when they were first built).

It just doesn’t hold water. Here’s the real story: Maintenance and repairs are needed, but at a much lower price point. The schools are fine. Travel to neighboring public schools and you’ll see that. Give it another 8-10 years of life then lets revisit after the earlier bonds have been paid.


36 people like this
Posted by PV Dad
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm

I don’t think it was appropriate to pass this in the dead of summer when everyone is vacationing and no one is paying attention.


34 people like this
Posted by What ??
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

No way. No vote here!


40 people like this
Posted by No faith
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

This may be a radical thought, but can we try teaching our kids that money does not grow on trees; that debts have to be paid (like the current existing bond measures still running); that the world is not perfect, shiny and new all the time? I have no faith that the current board or previous ones, can/could manage building maintenance or construction. PVSD needs a maintenance committee separate from the board to deal with building issues/bills/accounts/quotes. Board has enough to do with improving curriculum/education/teachers/social skills. NO to this bond measure until PVSD can PROVE it knows what it is doing with the extraordinary cashflow it does have, compared to other school districts.


33 people like this
Posted by SO out of touch
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:50 pm

We knew they were going to do this. It's absolutely insane, and when the market finally drops, we are all going to be left holding the bill. 54 million dollars? Are you out of your mind? These numbers are simply not supported by what the actual members of the Town of Portola Valley wants. It was really interesting to get a survey that tried to gauge exactly how much we were willing to pay per household, in descending order, but not giving an actual number in total (just a number of dollars per $100,000 house worth per year). When we answered "no" to the first number, it kept going lower and lower to see how much we would tolerate.

We hate this. It's disingenuous and violates the sense of honesty and forthrightness that Portola Valley was founded upon. Trying to trick people into okaying a huge number for "repairs" that are actually a complete rebuild---destroying some of the playground that has just been installed and isn't even paid for---is flat out disgusting.

If the School Board wants to spend 54 million dollars of their own money, they are welcome to do so. However, spending that kind of money for a whole rebuild when the community has clearly indicated that they are only behind repair----and we want to know why the buildings were so poorly maintained, and why the story has changed so many times, and where these numbers are coming from----is abuse of the public trust, and we are just done with this. What we simply don't understand is why the Board (and that includes the Superintendent) made it clear that they were going to push and shove this through in order to get it on the November ballot, when everyone around them was protesting this. It was obvious that they wanted to do this when everyone was on summer vacation---just like the previous board did with the allocation of money for the playgrounds. We don't get it. Honest, successful business people sit on the Board right now. Why are they being so easily led?




33 people like this
Posted by Vicious circle
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:08 pm

And so it begins again. More money, no improvement in education standards, no culpability for $$$$ that disappear into pockets of construction people that don't do their jobs right and build 'temporary' classrooms for millions. School districts obviously can't manage their budgets, so maybe bond measures for construction and maintenance should be the responsibility of the County? Why do we tolerate such deceit and sleights of hand when it comes to these local bond measures? Why are we thinking of spending such criminal amounts when school intake is decreasing? It'd be cheaper to put them all through the Priory, and the PVSD schools and land could then be sold for affordable housing.


27 people like this
Posted by Weary too
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:40 pm

PVSD website says the Portola Valley Way is: Collaboration, Integrity and Respect. Suggest they change that wording because when they say 'collaboration' they mean we're going to ignore the wishes of the residents and do what we want anyway throwing more good money after bad, when they say 'integrity' they have no historic or current proof that funds are being managed appropriately and when they say 'respect' they are showing none for anyone but themselves. If you want new fancy buildings, just say so, and do a kickstarter/crowdfund whatever. Don't expect us taxpayers to keep bailing you out.


30 people like this
Posted by Fool me once...
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 11, 2018 at 6:37 pm

Is this the same crew who couldn’t manage a simple playground? We had a sweet playground that my kids loved. But we “needed” a “better” playground (for the same reasons we need better buildings). The new one is objectively worse. It’s been delayed, over budget, less than promised, etc. If I project how this will translate to a $40,000,000 project, I shudder. Please listen. Please stop.


7 people like this
Posted by A knowledgeable parent
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm

A knowledgeable parent is a registered user.

Wow. Conspiracy theories abound. Let's throw a few facts at this and see if they stick. Among the many misleading statements showing up in this comments thread:
1) Why did the board pass this during the "dead of summer" when "nobody is paying attention?" The board has been at this for two years, begging for input at every step of the way. The administration has posted to the PV forum repeatedly, reached out to parents via district and school email lists, sent emails to community members on its various lists, answered questions for articles here in The Almanac, and more. There have been ample opportunities to make your feelings known at countless School Board meetings about this. The board listened to comments every step of the way, considered the input with open minds, deliberated carefully, and then voted after a completely open process. There was absolutely nothing sneaky about this process.
2) "Everyone around them was protesting this..." "the community has indicated they are only behind repair..." Again, not accurate. There have been many people who backed the initiative, many who have offered to help get the bond passed, and many who expressed enthusiasm for correcting the problems that are increasingly becoming apparent in the older of the district's buildings (remember that some of the classroom buildings date back to the 1950s, 60s and 70s). In fact, the repeated surveys the district did showed broad support for this. Believe me the board members wouldn't have voted the way they did if they thought this was a sure loser. They're actually highly intelligent, hard-working people who do the best they can on behalf of the community and the kids.
3) These fixes can be made with maintenance dollars... Again, not factual. Many of the repairs needed at this point are well beyond any "maintenance budget."
4) "If the schools are in disrepair, it's not evident to us." The district has spend hundreds of thousands of dollars this year repairing problems caused by faulty construction from the 1970s and aging infrastructure that in some cases dates back to the 1950s. Students have been forced out of their classrooms by these repairs, gym classes were interrupted for much of the year, and bathrooms have been closed for months at a time. If the state of disrepair is not evident to some, they aren't paying attention.
5) "Is this the crew that couldn't manage a simple playground..." Actually, no it isn't the same crew and that statement is quite unkind. Large portions of the playground project were done by the PV Schools Foundation, not the district. The playground project was made up of five separate installations done by the PVSF including upgraded swings and a musical garden for the kindergarten yard at ORM (both heavily used and greatly appreciated by the kids), a mobius climber in the Ormondale main yard that the children love, a rocks-and-net climbing structure at CMS that also gets loads of use, plus teepee ropes and a net climbing structure. All five of those done by the PVSF have been completed after a huge effort by a dedicated group of caring PVSF parents who put their hearts and souls into the effort. And all five installations done by the PVSF were happily and fully in use by the end of the year.
6) Re the complaint that the survey questions asked about how much homeowners were willing to pay per household, in descending order..." What's wrong with asking that? That's a classic survey setup. The district had to get some sense of the highest and lowest amounts the community would tolerate per household - doing anything less than asking that would have been irresponsible. Asking about the per-household cost made perfect sense for the purposes of the survey.
7) "It'd be cheaper to put them through Priory..." Oh please... Enough hyperbole.
I could comment more on the details of these various posts but these few points should provide at least a little balance to the comments thread.


39 people like this
Posted by I have seen this play before
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm

OK let's post another "fact". The plan has one local architect all over the proposal. I for one will vote no because it feels clear that budgets are being influenced by the architect/contractor who expects to get the work. Further, I will reduce my school Founation contribution in protest. You spent my money on this while cutting a music teacher? No!
Yes the schools need maintaining, but if PVSD were serious they would have gotten multiple inputs from 5 to 10 architect/builders. Instead we have the same tired names we were hearing under the Hanretty administration, and we and Woodside all know how that worked out.
Get me the kind of numbers that would be paid by school distinct in Modesto or Fresno and then ask again. Get me new and inovative design options that work to save money. Otherwise hell no.


72 people like this
Posted by Too much money
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Jack up the buildings, fix the foundations, put the origional sliding windows back in the old classrooms at CMS (MID CENTURY MODERN is back), fix the plumbing.
Sounds like $5 million which is a bake sale, not a bond measure.


111 people like this
Posted by Donor
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

I was a donor for the playgrounds and the word I got was that all the screwups were because of the superintendent/board, not the foundation. Please don’t blame the volunteers and donors who were misled.

Also, the fact that we spent hundreds of thousands last year on maintenance is appropriate, not a rationale for doing tear downs and lavish upgrades. That’s like your kid asking you to buy them a new BMW after they dent up their Camry in a fender bender. You can do that with your own money, but this pattern is not a community value.

Please keep spending hundreds of thousands on maintenance. That’s a good thing.


6 people like this
Posted by A knowledgeable parent
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Jul 12, 2018 at 9:33 am

A knowledgeable parent is a registered user.

Re "You spent my money on this while cutting a music teacher? No!"
Let's look more closely at this one.
Interesting that you raise the issue of the music teacher because that would seem to obviate your own argument that the district isn’t being mindful in its spending of taxpayer dollars. Previously, the district had three music teachers on staff: one at Ormondale (Mr. White) and two at CMS. The decision of one of the two CMS teachers to leave her part-time position with the PVSD district for a full-time position someplace else created an opportunity for the PVSD to consolidate the CMS music program under one teacher. The district will still offer a rich music program that includes band, singing, composition, etc - just at a price point more in line with the current number of students. The new approach will have 3rd graders learning rhythm on drums in the fall semester, then sheet music reading on the recorder during the spring semester so that when they start playing musical instruments in 4th grade, they already have that knowledge, which makes learning an instrument easier. Many music instructors and parents take this approach anyway – there’s a solid theory behind it. And in any case, most school districts don’t start offering band until 4th grade anyway. So delaying the start of band in the PVSD from 3rd grade to 4th not only brings down the high cost of staff overhead to a level more in line with its size, it also brings the district in line with widespread practices for teaching music. I would think that, given your concern about what you perceive to be irresponsible spending, you would appreciate that adjustment. The PVSD makes a significant and creative effort to offer a wide variety of specialty instruction, which is challenging for a district of its size. That has lead to higher staff overhead than the district can sustain. The departure of the one music teacher, while very sad b/c she was an excellent and beloved member of the staff, presented an opportunity to streamline at least one staffing position. And in a district as small as ours, every little bit helps.


74 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:45 am

"54 million dollars? Are you out of your mind?"

Keep in mind, the 54 million is JUST "phase 1."

"Phase 1" is code for: "We will ask for tens of millions more in future bonds, above and beyond this initial 54 million."

The eventual ask will be well over 100 million.

If you doubt this is true, just ask Las Lomitas taxpayers. This is straight out of the Las Lomitas 'bond subterfuge' playbook.


65 people like this
Posted by PVParent
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 12, 2018 at 1:02 pm

I rather hope someone with influence is reading the comments here.

PVSD's track record with managing expensive infrastructure and associated projects is rather less than stellar. At ~50 million, this exceeds any recent effort by a huge margin, being more in line with establishment of a major manufacturing facility.

For such projects, everything should be out to bid with multiple firms who have a proven track record of design and project management. Does PVSD even have the capability to manage the bidding process? I doubt it.

Raise money, by all means, but put it where it counts for the children, in a long term plan to fund teachers for core AND extra-curricular activities. Help the school to operate, rather than line the pockets of other businesses.

Another firm NO vote for this plan as it stands.


30 people like this
Posted by I have seen this Play before
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 12, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Dear not so knowledgeable parent. The music teacher did not leave oh her own volition and did not get a better job, her contract was canceled to save less then $30k, and she was devistated.

You are correct that she was much loved by the kids, as are all the teachers. The bloated District office - not so much. Look closely at what we pay per student for administion vs other districts and it becomes easy to see why they think money grows on trees.
Enrolment is dropping because families can't afford to move here and yet we need to raise taxes to totally rebuilt schools? And locals are pulling out of the district to go private or homeschool due to curriculum deficiencies.

I'm all for fixing what is broken, so get a few good contactor companies in and get bids for builders to update drainage, and plumbing. Remodle the bathrooms, add drinking foutains. Put back the old sliders in classrooms that had them if our Supperintendent wants to open up the space.
Our money will be better spent on staff, and curriculum than on a boondoggle for architects. Big fat vote no!


4 people like this
Posted by Joshua Harmssen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 12, 2018 at 4:21 pm

We've had several major system failures at our schools over the past several months, including water intrusion into classrooms (last year at Ormondale, this year at Corte Madera), a burst water main beneath the Corte Madera Gym (necessitating removal and replacement of the floor), and several HVAC units that leaked water into the library and classrooms at Corte Madera. We have also had to replace a non-functioning HVAC unit in a classroom at Ormondale. Previously, with the help of the community, we were able to replace and add classrooms in 1998 and 2000, but it is now time to tend to the remaining structures, some of which were built in 1958, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1976, 1981 and 1988. Let's rebuild our failing schools.


17 people like this
Posted by PVParent
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 12, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Repair and rebuild as necessary by all means, but let's see the proposal and contract bidding process out in the open please. This has gone wrong before.

Whence the near 50 million budget, and it's justifications? How on earth can we make an informed decision.

To most, this is of the blue, mushrooming from a need for repairs, to a complete rebuild of two schools.

Mushrooms grow in the dark, and so does community foment and mistrust.

PVSD public relations and communications leave an awful lot to be desired.


31 people like this
Posted by Confused
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:14 pm

I’ve added CAPS to see if I can find a way forward:

“We've had several major system failures at our schools over the past several months THAT WE’VE FIXED AND NOW THINGS ARE BETTER

...Including water intrusion into classrooms (last year at Ormondale, this year at Corte Madera) THAT WE FIXED AND NOW THINGS ARE BETTER

...a burst water main beneath the Corte Madera Gym (necessitating removal and replacement of the floor) THAT IS FIXED AND NOW THINGS ARE BETTER

...and several HVAC units that leaked water into the library and classrooms at Corte Madera THAT WE FIXED AND NOW THINGS ARE BETTER

...We have also had to replace a non-functioning HVAC unit in a classroom at Ormondale THAT WE REPLACED AND NOW THINGS ARE BETTER

I still don’t get the argument...is the expectation that anything requiring maintenance be torn down?

The battle cry “let’s rebuild our failing schools” is misplaced. Let’s maintain our schools so they don’t fail.


27 people like this
Posted by Also confused
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:29 pm

What is the actual cost over time? The bonds will raise fifty million but the cost to taxpayers will be much more right? At seven percent and thirty years it will be 140 million for phase one alone, not fifty.

That’s my quick calculation. I could be wrong but the bigger point is that I had to calculate it on my own. Its not the number they want us to focus on. This whole thing is too slippery. I understand some other parents might want a nicer school but this is disconnected from reality. The schools aren’t failing, the leadership is.


10 people like this
Posted by SO out of touch
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Curious. Is “knowledgeable parent” currently sitting on the board? If so, please identify yourself, as you are defending a measure that you, in the role of a public servant, just voted to approve. As well, there appears to be only one board member who lives in the area described by your post, and if you are not that person, it would be best to clarify that.

If not a sitting board member, please identify the source of your information.

Thank you.


19 people like this
Posted by Just Vote
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Jul 13, 2018 at 7:22 pm

I have voiced some of the same opinions as others questioning the sanity of this bond measure during this process. If the board insists on moving forward with this plan, send them a very clear message. A decisive loss will make them think more rationally. There are two no votes in my home. Talk to your neighbors and share your insights. Embarrass them at the ballot box!


4 people like this
Posted by One last thought
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jul 14, 2018 at 11:25 am

RE: "I would think that, given your concern about what you perceive to be irresponsible spending, you would appreciate that adjustment. The PVSD makes a significant and creative effort to offer a wide variety of specialty instruction, which is challenging for a district of its size. That has lead to higher staff overhead than the district can sustain."

Higher than the district can sustain. So why does cutting the one part-time (?) staff member offset the spending of 50 million dollars? If it is so challenging for "a district of its size" to offer quality and creative instruction, why aren't we aiming our dollars toward improving the diversity of education and livability of our current staff?

RE: "And in a district as small as ours, every little bit helps." So cutting one teacher...what has that gotten us, exactly? Not even a quarter of the price of the playground at CMS. Misery for the children, and misery for the teacher. This makes no sense to me, so please explain this further.

To clarify something (and offset the random comments about conspiracy theories), I don't think anyone here is questioning the good intentions or ethics of the current board members. Nor is anyone questioning how fabulous it would be to have an architecturally stunning new campus. What we are questioning is exactly what one of the board members stated clearly in one or other of their public meetings, and this is as close to a direct quote as I can recall: "Of course we'd love to have all that. It's beautiful. But we CAN'T AFFORD IT." The board member then asked the architect to go back to the drawing board, which was met with immediate dismay from the architect, and a quick "I don't mean all the way back to the drawing board, but we need new options." Still uncomfortable silence.

So. What has changed? How is it that the citizens of PV can suddenly afford a phase one of over 50 million dollars? I agree that the process has been mostly transparent, in terms of there being notifications of meetings. What I disagree with is that I don't think (perhaps due to attendance at these meetings, perhaps due to other reasons) the majority of Portola Valley still doesn't feel confident about these numbers, because we simply have not seen a cost breakdown. The PVSD may have seen the cost breakdown---have they?---but nobody else has. If there is one, let's have it published in the Almanac. Let's also see bids from multiple contractors, and not just the same one(s) that has done the nearby schools, who are also in the midst of new bond measures. And certainly we want other bids beyond the local firm who did the previous work during the Hanretty era. No shade thrown at them, but they are extremely expensive, so let's see some numbers from firms in the East Bay. Multiple firms. We all know they are going to mark everything up just due to our location, but let's have a little competition, shall we?

The bottom line is, nobody wants the kids of PV to be going to school among water damage and black mold. That's obvious. I wouldn't want that for my kids, and I don't want it for yours. In the same token, however, is it really necessary to create "maker spaces" inside a building with 20 foot glass walls when kids mostly want to be outside, creating things on their own? Playing games that involve running? Or quietly doing their own thing? Provide the materials----there's already a ton of space. Rain doesn't kill children. They don't melt. Most of you board members grew up outside of California. You know about weather, you went to schools made of cinderblock, and look! You not only survived to tell the tale, you thrived and became extremely successful!

This reminds me somewhat of the never ending construction in New Jersey. Install new pipes, pave it all over, oops! We installed the wrong pipes. Rip it back up, install new pipes, pave it over....While I'm sure the board is trying to best job they can, and this job is a thankless one for sure, I'd like to see that there has been thorough investigation of exact costs. If there has, let's see it. Please. Show it to the rest of us so that we can either support you, or give you feedback on what is concerning us with the actual facts. Can we please not just take the word of the architect or contractor in whose best interest it is to make as much money off of us as possible? I cannot believe you would do that with your own home, or your own business. Let's just use the same sense we use in our business lives. It's not personal. It's just business.


11 people like this
Posted by concerned neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 17, 2018 at 12:21 am

Take it from a resident of Las Lomitas school district, get your NO votes out. The money behind these measures is big and they are spending it to get out the YES vote. We watched the special interests pump tens of thousands of dollars into the YES vote campaign in Las Lomitas district and it won with very little voter turnout. Even the president of the Las Lomitas school board pumped $5000 into the lobby funds to get it to pass, among the construction companies, contractors and others who stood to gain- but there were no reports of organized money lobbying for a "Vote NO" campaign. And we passed a bond measure about 5 years ago so now we're on the hook for another one on top of our insanely high property taxes.

Get more accountability- Get your NO VOTES out if you want to stop this.


27 people like this
Posted by Community member is shock
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

Wow, that's a ton of money! PVSD really knows how to spend money, but not very well. The plans are excessive, the oversight is poor and frankly, throwing more money at things does not help. We've seen it time and time again. I guess this the the perfect place for a school district who just keeps asking and the community just keeps giving.

Community - open your eyes, this is not the most amazing school ever! There are real problems here and more money will not solve them!

As mentioned in prior comment, this is not a private school, but sure seems like one.


9 people like this
Posted by Active volunteer
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

I am writing to express my very deep concerns about Measure Z: it makes absolutely no sense to spend millions to build new facilities when PV school enrollment is dropping. Two demographic studies show that the number of students in PV schools is falling and will continue to fall by roughly 10% into the foreseeable future (Web Link). Certainly needed repairs must be made. But looking at the plan proposed, however, repairs/fixes come to roughly $7 million, less than 15% of Measure Z. The other 85% is on NEW construction -- why is this needed when fewer and fewer students will be attending?

This feels like a massive over-reach financially and, frankly, a cavalier attitude that we PV residents will just "pony up" because we are wealthy and support our local schools. How about some responsible financial stewardship and careful management of existing resources???


4 people like this
Posted by Also concerned
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Sep 17, 2018 at 11:18 pm

We too are incensed that this bond measure was put on the ballot without, seemingly, listening to the people of PV who said this was too expensive, unnecessary and just plain immoral/unethical. How much is already spent per child in the PVSD? How is the 'limited' $15 million annual spend actually spent, if they can't maintain buildings that we're still paying for from the previous bond measure? How much has this masterplan already cost taxpayers for all the architects, publicity, market researchers, surveys, instead of spending money RESPONSIBLY maintaining the buildings they already have? Has anyone considered how much extra tax people will already have to pay next year when the property tax deductions are limited to $10,000 - or is that why this is being pushed through, so thoughtlessly for anyone with limited finances, now? The current administration couldn't stick to the budget for a couple of playgrounds. How do you think they're going to manage a potential $50 million new construction? Please stop making everyone pay for the dreams of an entitled few. Vote 'No' on Measure Z, because we're at the end of the alphabet and the end of our pocketbooks.


Like this comment
Posted by Support the kids
a resident of another community
9 hours ago

Prop 13 put districts in this position. Support the kids!


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
3 hours ago

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Prop 13 put districts in this position."

In general, sort of, in this particular case, not a chance. This is misfeasance.


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