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Showing posts from June, 2009

After apathy comes... the cuts!

The Redwood City School Board held a meeting yesterday to vote on the coming budget cuts. The meeting was heavily attended and a large percentage of total time was taken by people addressing the Board. The Superintendent clarified the status of a few budget items, the Board approved the cuts and the meeting was adjourned.

The cuts as well as lots of other information is detailed in a document handed out at the meeting: RCSD MEMORANDUM #6.1, June 16, 2009. Since I cannot find this document in the district's website, here's a terse summary of the cuts, without editorial comments.

Out of a total budget around 65 million, the cuts required for this year alone were close to 10 million. This year, and this year only, the Federal Stimulus provided funds that reduced the required cuts by around 4 million. Because of this, it seems that we're only cutting slightly over 5 million but in reality, there are 5 million more in cuts that will happen 1 year from now. I'll list the cuts …

Thoughts on the failure of a community

One week ago, on June 2nd, Redwood City's Measure E, a parcel tax of $91 per year for 5 years failed to reach the super majority required to pass. Voter turnout was extremely low: only 23.5% of Redwood City voters actually voted. Of those, 37% voted NO to funds desperately needed by our school district to just maintain existing programs in the face of impending cuts from the state. The 62% which would have been a landslide victory in a normal election was a bitter defeat under the gargantuan 2/3 requirements imposed by Prop 13. These are the facts.

I let a few days go by before trying to put down my thoughts on this matter. This time around, our family participated actively in the campaign, with several phone banking sessions, canvassing the neighborhood distributing door hangers and even calling voters on the day of the election. I know for a fact that the campaign was run very well and that it executed efficiently on the chosen strategy. But painfully, it was not enough, and this…