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Career training + job creation = Yes on Measure G

Original post made by Virginia Chang Kiraly, Commissioner, CA Commission for Economic Development, Menlo Park: other, on May 28, 2010

Our community colleges train students for many important careers across the employment spectrum from police officers and fire fighters to nurses and medical technicians. Over the past several years, Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College have had to reduce their budgets by approximately $20 million due to State budget cuts. Unfortunately, these reductions are happening during a time when enrollments are surging. Students cannot get the classes they need, so they will take longer to graduate and become productive members of our communities.

Measure G is a $34 parcel tax—less than $3 per month-- for the community colleges and is on the June ballot. Measure G would partially restore some of the lost revenue to our community colleges and would be in effect for four years to help the colleges bridge the gap in lost state revenue. No money will be used for administrator salaries, and seniors can claim a tax exemption. The San Mateo County Community College District has pledged to use all of the new funding to restore classes in important areas, such as career technical education; basic core academics in reading, writing, and math; and preparation for students to transfer to a four-year college.

The community colleges play a very important role in helping to create jobs and grow our economy. Please join me in voting Yes on Measure G to help preserve classes for students.

Virginia Chang Kiraly
California Commission for Economic Development

Comments (3)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

As mush as I hate parcel taxes this is the only one for which I will vote. We need to provide good practical training for our young people who who are not headed to universities. A good example is the Fire Science program which is essential for anybody wishing to pursue a career in firefighters and where we need to dramatically expand the enrollment of females and minorities in order to increase the diversity in our fire agencies.

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Posted by Caroline
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Absolutely, Peter! Community Colleges do a great job providing practical training in many areas. Community Colleges also offer the opportunity to take general requirements that would transfer to 4 year colleges. Community Colleges give many more young adults many more options. Well worth the parcel tax to provide better futures for our young adults, and, therefore, better futures for all.

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Training of police officers, fire fighters, nurses, medical technicians, etc. should be subsidized by the unions into whose ranks they will enter. Reimbursement could then be readily collected as a surcharge on their union dues.
To find the real beneficiaries of the Parcel Tax see the pre-election campaign disclosure statement filed by James Keller, Executive Vice Chancellor of San Mateo County Community College District($188,000/yr.)for "Citizen's for Support of Community Colleges in San Mateo County" . The contributor list reads like a Who's Who of businesses seeking or having contracts with the District. More than $184,000 has been raised from these beneficiaries of District largesse! Keller and Ron Galatolo($240,000/yr.), Chancellor of the District, are Treasurer and Principal Officer respectively of "Citizen's for Support of Community Colleges in San Mateo County".
Those of you who have received the glitzy mailings urging you to vote YES on Measure G should take a look at that statement. You will find that, as expected, the San Mateo County Community College Foundation headed by Stephanie Scott(on the District payroll at $148,000/yr.), plunked down $64,260 in this effort to ram the parcel tax down the taxpayer's throat! I thought foundations raised money from willing givers, for legitimate purposes, not political advocacy!
SMCCCD can’t find money to give “students the classes they need.” Yet they found money to build (in their words) first class faculty housing ... with stunning views ... and rents at half the market average. One cluster of housing was built on Canada College property, formerly the home of a Checkerspot Butterfly colony. The new faculty housing is also tax exempt, meaning they won’t pay their new tax on us! As an aside, many students on the _wait list_ don't like the early morning classes given them, and "want" later classes.
The District should sell the faculty housing as well as property in Half Moon Bay and get out of the realestate business. If they want to subsidize staff housing it should show in their budget as part of the compensation package.
The SMCCCD Parcel Tax is the first ever for Community College Districts in California. Don't let them become the poster child for the others. Vote NO on Measure "G"

Jack Hickey,

Taxpayer's Advocate,
Elected Member Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors,
Candidate for San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

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