Committee Makes Last Push for Parcel Tax

Redwood City residents will vote on June 5 to support a parcel tax to fund the elementary school district.

Though it won’t receive the same media attention as the November elections, but for school district supporters, the June 5 election is a momentous one. In an effort to pass Measure W, for the , the committee is organizing a phone bank today.

In the last nine years, the parcel tax committee has tried three times, unsuccessfully, to pass a parcel tax to generate additional funds for the Redwood City School District.

This time, the committee has organized hundreds of volunteers to spread the word about the necessity of an annual $67 tax for the next five years that would raise $1.7 million for reading, writing and math programs, school libraries and other uses. Measure W requires two-thirds voter approval to pass.

“Everywhere I drive, I see ‘Yes on Measure W’ lawn signs in all different neighborhoods,” said school board member Alisa MacAvoy of the 750 signs.

The Redwood City School District is the only district in the area that does not have an additional parcel tax. It is the only revenue limit district, meaning it relies on state funds in addition to property taxes, thats feed into the The others are all basic aid districts, which generate enough revenue from property taxes, and then some, to meet the state’s designated per pupil amount. Over these students’ K-8 careers, each student in neighboring districts will have approximately $90,000 more spent on them before they meet up in high school.

Unlike many taxes, every dollar of this local tax would stay within the school district and not to a larger pot that could funnel the tax dollars to other causes.


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Unemployedin SF June 02, 2012 at 02:27 PM
This is more money down a rat hole. Show me one school district that can balance a budget and educate children. The taxpayers of California would be much better off with a Voucher System where the parents choose where to spend their money on education, but the NEA/CTA would do all they can to defeat it.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I'll give you four. Palo Alto Unified School District, Menlo Park School district, Las Lomitas School district, Woodside Elementary School district. There are more surrounding the Redwood City District. All of them have parcel taxes.
Follow the Money June 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Unfortunately the wording in this measure is entirely too vague. Most see a measure that will support education, but do not see how it is really a blank check for the fund raisers
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
FTM, your argument is vague and unsupported. What part is "entirely to vague." it's very clear to me.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Here's the measure: "To improve local elementary and middle school education for all students with funds that cannot be taken by the State; enhance reading, writing, math, and science skills; attract and retain qualified teachers; and support school libaries; shall the Redwood City Elementary School District levy an educational parcel tax of $67 annually for five years only, exempting seniors, with independent citizen oversight, annual reports to the community, no money for administrators' salaries, and all money benefitting local schools?"
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
What is vague?
Jessica Staddon June 02, 2012 at 06:12 PM
It's a fair point that many districts could probably be more efficient with their funds, but as a parent who has seen the impact of the budget cuts I am 100% certain that the parcel tax money will help a lot. Please do consider it -- we're talking about less than $6/month.
Cliff Keith June 02, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Vote NO on Proposition W !!! Prop W includes how funds collected are to be manage, yet it is never clear how much of that collected tax is to be used to administer the tax. The over seeing panel in Prop W is appointed by the School Board who are the ones to the over seeing panel is to over see...sic Is this like allowing the fox to watch the chicken coop? If the funds from Prop W are to be used exclusive for education and teachers where is the money from the general fund that is currently being used going to be used for or transferred to? My concern is it will be used for other stuff so where is the gain from the Prop W tax? It all smoke and mirrors from my prospective. Education has NEVER been about the money. If it were, voters would not have to vote on these various education proposition like we have for the past 50 years. It seems it will never end. Quit looking for hand outs and starting doing what will excite our children to be invested in learning. I urge all intelligent voters to vote NO on Prop. W. It's bad for homeowners.
Cliff Keith June 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 02, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Sorry, Cliff. Your logic doesn't hold up. You actually expect the measure's language to spell out every jot and tittle of how the district works? Can you imagine how incredible huge such a piece of legislation would be? If you are that concerned about the oversight panel, get down to the school board and volunteer to serve on it. Then you can get the answers you say you want.
Sharon Levin June 03, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I remember trick or treating YEARS ago and having Cliff Keith try to talk trick or treaters who came to his house into doing home schooling. I remember being shocked and saying to him, "But you're a real estate agent. You know that schools effect home values. Shouldn't you be helping the schools, not talking people out of attending them?" It was the weirdest experience. I do not know what Mr. Keith's issues are with our public schools, but having taken two kids through the K-8 and now the high school district (and one off to Berkeley next year) I can say that the schools are doing their damndest with very little money. I am NOT a fan of Ms. Christensen (as she knows) and I do not like her emphasis on testing. However, when you're in the trenches with the teachers, you can see how the cuts have a definite impact on all the students. We need to fund our schools and $67/year is not much to ask.
Judi Mahoney June 04, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Cliff Keith is correct in not supporting this TAX INCREASE. Knowing the district as well as I do, he could try with all his resources to get on the "oversight committee" but it would never happen. The good old boys club is alive and well. The district only wants people they can control or manipulate. This tax will NEVER sunset. Money is not the issue. How many students to I see with professional manicures running to their free lunches? Let's not even discuss IPhones and season passes to Great America. Hit up the parents for more money....not me.
Francisco Lopez June 04, 2012 at 07:06 AM
I agree with Ms. Judi Mahoney, the Proposition W and/or Measure W to give the hard-working taxpayers in Redwood City an additional parcel tax of $67 per year is just unacceptable as well as impossible. We already live in an expensive are in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the State of Education. We do not need another tax and/or parcel to help the Redwood City Elementary Schools and/or bail them out of their financial incompetence and/or financial rut as I see this is now the third or fourth time they wanted a proposition and/or measure pass to get financial assistance. The Redwood City Elementary Schools and the Redwood City School District seem to have a serious problem with not having any bright and/or intelligent people that know how to balance a strict budget and keep educational finance costs down, the bottom line is they got themselves into this financial mess, let them get out of the financial mess themselves. Cliff Keith has the right idea with recommending all of us to Vote No on W because honestly we do not really know where hard-working money will be going and it is like throwing good money after bad. Ms. Mahoney also brought up a very good point the committees and/or sub-committees that appear to help the Redwood City Elementary Schools are mostly made up of people that the school district can control and manipulate to do what they want not what needs to be done "Good Old Boys Club" indeed. We need fresh new faces on those committees to really help.
Cliff Keith June 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Vote NO on Proposition W First of all I would like to thank; Unemployedin SF, Lou Covey, The Local Motive, Follow the Money, Jessica Staddon, Sharon Levin, Judi Mahoney, and Francisco Lopez for their contribution to this discussion on Proposition W. Thank you. After reading all of our opinions on this post I have come to the conclusion there is so many opinions to digest here it would be difficult to make a sound decision on how to vote based solely on those opinions. Why not break Proposition W down to its issue? Let’s put to the side all the spin from opponents on both sides of Yes or No on Proposition W. Spin tends to confuse, alienate, and overwhelm the average voter. I know it does me. Spin is not good for making a sound decision in the voting booth. Here is the issue of Proposition W, without any spin: Do you want your taxes raised or not? That’s it. Are you willing to pay higher taxes or not? Simple, Yes or No: Do You Want To Pay Higher Taxes? I urge Redwood City homeowners to Vote No on Proposition W tomorrow at the polls.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM
And my answer is... yes. Because the people in the municipality of Redwood City pay less taxes than anyone else in the Bay Area. We've held the line but we are getting our pockets picked by the state. I don't like having to pay more, but I'm willing to so we can get more control of the money we take in and spend. Thanks, Cliff for your reasoned opposition.
Buck Shaw June 04, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Sorry Lou; I've been down to the School Board and asked for the list of oversee'ers. Honestly it took me 10 weeks to get it. I was give the endless runaround. Even asked to submit my question in writing. Really is this what the school system is about? The monies are burried in the general fund. You cannot find out what happens to the funds after it is transfered to the new years budget. Oh there is a report to placate the public from the committee but I defy you to really know where the money really goes. I went through this smoke and jive before with the building bonds. If the school board didn't lie yes lie and misdirect things all in the name of money I might be with them. When last asked about the construction bond extention the statement from the Boad was "it won't cost you any more money". instead of saying you wil save some monies on interst rate. But you will pay for another 7 years. I call this missleading. Lou how are you connected to the school district? Lets see if he will be honest?
Sarah H. June 04, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I know this may seem like apples and oranges, but it's sad that we are willing to roll over, sit back, and just let the city impose umpteen increases on our water/sewer/garbage rates, but we're going to kick and scream like mad at the notion of coughing up $67 a year on a measure to improve schools.
Buck Shaw June 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Thanks Cliff Keith, well said.
Jack Hickey June 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This parcel tax is just a foot in the door. Let's slam it shut and make the District live within it's means. Vote no on Measure W
John Foley June 04, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I had to laugh and cry at the same time at the fallacious statement that the district wants to "attract and retain" quality teachers. This is a LIE under the current director. I know of numerous experienced and excellent teachers who were hunted like DOGS and dispatched. Some chose retirement when it became obvious the career destroyers had turned their (his) aim on them. What a crock---wake up, Jan!!!! Merely rotating incompetent principals (the good old boys) to a different school is insane. Some local credential applicants know to steer clear of RCSD because of how they treat staff. Vote NO on W (waste) untill Bradford is cleaned out.
Judi Mahoney June 04, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Thank you, Mr. Lopez-----sounds like you know the insides of the district---that they are attempting to hide from the good voters of our city.
Juana Martinez June 04, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I am voting against Measure W because I see every day what goes on in my school. I also know my landlord will be raising all of our rents if it passes. He is a fair and good man but should not be forced to pay for the incompetance of RCSD. If voters saw just a little bit of some of the student behavior at my school they would be shocked. The best teachers are seen as enemies. One was told she must not teach the children to think for themselves during a current event discussions! Her sin? Presenting the kids with both sides of issues. Please vote NO with me.
sergio fernandez June 04, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I have a small house off middlefeild. The $67 might seem little to people but for me it is not money I can spend. So I will vote no tomorrow and hope others will too.
J Marshall June 04, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I have my kids in a neighboring school district - I can't really comment on whether this is needed in Redwood City. I am surprised to find that my district is spending $10,000/year per student more than yours ($90,000/9 years). I have tried to pin down exactly how much is spent/student and have never been able to come up with an answer. I am pretty sure that $90,000 figure is an error. I am a little surprised no one noticed it or has questioned it.
Ana Corrales June 05, 2012 at 07:02 AM
My employer showed me where the gov is going to try to raise taxes. So I will vote no on meas. w today becuase it is one think I can control localy. I know many parents do not care about how thier kids act in school. It is free babysitting with free food thrown in if they fill out forms the right way even if mostly lies. I will keep my $67 dollers for my family.
Jack Hickey June 05, 2012 at 07:11 AM
Ana, thank you for your comment. You obviously do care about your family.


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