The Orange County Register’s Editorial Board warned voters about Prop. 39 in 2000. Voters narrowly passed it, 53 percent to 47 percent; it dropped the approval threshold for local school bonds from two-thirds to 55 percent.
Now school bond measures are proliferating – even as the Democrats try to raise our taxes statewide with Governor Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30.
The O.C. Register’s editorial board is opposing all of the school bond measures on Orange County ballots this Nov. 6. Here is what they had to say about Measure Q – a bond measure for Santa Ana College:
Rancho Santiago Community College District. Schools include Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College. Although students may come from elsewhere, the district covers homes in Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Anaheim Hills, Garden Grove, Tustin and Irvine.
This is $198 million in bonds “for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities … or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities.”
The tax would be about $66 for a home with Santa Ana’s median price of $298,000; or $112 for a home with Anaheim Hills’ median price of $513,000. Vote No.
Remember that the Rancho Santiago Community College District already took millions of our property tax dollars with a previous bond measure, that they then wasted on a Deputy Sheriff Training facility we didn’t need in Orange County.
And the Rancho Trustees wasted even more money by passing a union-only Project Labor Agreement that banned non-union contractors from bidding on bond-funded projects. This of course drove up costs and slowed down construction, as I predicted when I personally opposed the PLA. Rancho Trustee John Hanna later admitted to me that I was right, but by then the damage was already done.
I am sorry that the Rancho Trustees wasted our money – but they won’t be getting another dime from me if I can help it.
One more thing, just so you know, bond measures have massive interest that is equal to their face value. So a $600 million dollar bond costs taxpayers $1,200 million. Food for thought…and a good reason why I have never voted yes for any bond measure.
Santa Ana College, like all colleges, overpays administrators and wastes money at every turn. This is the school, remember, where the President ordered a shower to be built without getting permission from the Trustees. And this is the school where the fire sprinklers were turned off for a time, during a construction project, and no one was told nor was a fire watch put in place. Lord knows what else goes on there.
You might also ask the Rancho District’s Trustees why they spent so much of the previous bond measure’s proceeds on their Santiago Community College campus, which is nestled among the most expensive homes in Orange. They screwed Santa Ana College in the process…