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It's OK to Vote No on Measure G - MUSD Has Not Earned Our Trust Print E-mail
News - Opinion
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Saturday, 01 November 2014 23:42

EDITORIAL - Yes the Madera Unified School District needs a third high school. There is no doubt that both MUSD high schools are facing overcrowding and deal with the problems that brings. The only thing in doubt is whether or not the voters can trust the MUSD board of "trustees" and district administration to actually do what they say they will and not come up with other uses for the bond money, then come back to the voters in two years and ask for another bond.

We've been here before. The district came to the voters and asked for money under a proposed general obligation bond for the Madera South High School but instead of completing the high school with the first bond, they build several elementary schools and half of a high school. Then came back and asked the voters to pass a second bond to complete the high school. And to build a pool.

Can we trust our current Madera Unified Superintendent that this bond's monies will complete a third high school? This is the same man that brought a convicted felon from California's most dangerous prison to work with our students, then tells us it is none of our business when we ask about this man's qualifications. This is a superintendent that doesn't think he needs to return phone calls from concerned parents and his secretary tells parents he is just to busy to get back to us.

Can we trust our current board of "trustees" when there has been a Madera County District Attorney investigation for Brown Act violations and one or more of the trustees might not even live in the areas they say they represent? This is also a board that can't seem to get along and at times even emulates a episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

Can we trust the district officials when most of these people haven't even been in their current positions for more that two years? The district office has had the largest turn-over in staff compared to any other district in the county. And many of them didn't meet the qualifications for their positions so the district had to re-write those qualifications to meet the unqualified candidates they wanted to hire.

Madera Unified is anything but transparent with what happens behind the locked doors of the district office. Public records requests go ignored by Superintendent Ed Gonzales and the board of trustees seem to blindly support whatever this man wants. Despite the fact that the board of trustees are the representatives of the public, many of them refuse to answer any of the publics questions only referring us to the superintendent. Does the board work for the superintendent or the superintendent for the board?

Madera Unified can not be trusted with a GENERAL OBLIGATION bond because there is nothing in it to protect the wishes of the voters. We want a completed high school. What is to say that Superintendent Gonzales and the board won't build a new district office? What is to keep them from starting a high school, then maybe decide to fix all the ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) violations the district has ignored for years, build a new district office and with what little might be left over, maybe buy some computers. These other projects are all worthwhile and would be easy to justify. Besides, it would also be easy to complete the unfinished high school by just asking us to vote for another bond in 2016, right?

And what about the millions of dollars in the districts reserves? How many millions of dollars of past bond and tax monies are sitting in a bank account gaining interest instead of being used on our kids education? Did the board forget that is our money?

Enough is enough! Madera Unified needs to write a bond measure that actually states the money will be used to complete a new high school. Putting it on campaign materials is not enough. The voters need the legal guarantees of it being written into the bond and not just the word of a district that has broken it's word before.

We recommend a vote of NO on Measure G.

 

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