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December 13, 2012



The traffic going into and out of this area is going to be crazy.
Choke points at Easton. From ECR to the school.The people coming down fom Skyline. That street is only wide enough for 1.5 cars passing each other.
What happens with two SUV's, parents texting, kids being kids in the vehicle.
Extreamly narrow road.
I feel sorry for the homeowners that will have to accept this, as well as incorparate it ino thier lives every single day.


And night- with PTA meetings, sports, band, conferences, festivals, open houses, etc...

pat giorni

....Oh stop. Hoover School is a neighborhood school easily enough accessed by kids walking or riding their bikes, rather than being chauffered, and provides the perfect opportunity to foster the behavior change needed to get our future population out of single occupancy vehicles. Half the childhood obesity problems could be reduced with the daily exercise; a greater sense of independence at an earlier age realized; and more social interaction as they actually TALK to each other to and from the playground..........


You are 100% correct Mr.Giorni.
But there is no way in the world that will ever happen.
If the school mandated your common since, parents would sue the school district. Parents would make up reasons-to fat, asthma, bad feet, excessive sweating, etc. for their children needing to be driven to school in the family SUV.


....that's Mrs. Giorni to you HR


Thank you Joe,
I am very sorry for my assumption.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Now this issue has turned into a lawsuit. So, does this mean the District may be paying interest on their legal fees (assuming they allocate funds from either of the two bond measures to pay for them)??



BESD is slated to enter into a "lease leaseback" of Hoover at its next board meeting; this construction financing method is not without controversy, per this article:



Due to the Hoover lawsuit and construction halt, looks like BESD is now seeking to exit the lease-leaseback financing arrangement referenced above (hopefully this doesn't result in further complications).

Here's another subsequent press article on some of the issues surrounding lease-leasebacks for school financing; interesting to note the former attorney who represented BESD/Hoover lawsuit is quoted in the article:


Here's an excerpt from the most recent BESD trustees meeting agenda:

Staff is seeking approval form the Board of Termination for Convenience of the lease-leaseback construction agreement with Alten Construction for the Hoover Elementary School project. The Termination for Convenience would make allowance for Alten to finish the remediation work on the Project as allowed by the Court, but importantly it would eliminate the District’s continued exposure to possible claims from Alten and Alten’s subcontractors for damages for delay or standby arising out of the uncertainty of the duration of the suspension of the Project.

Staff is seeking approval of the terms of the Settlement Agreement and, asking the Board for authorization for the Superintendent or their designee to continue negotiations with Alten. The final terms of the Settlement Agreement would be brought to the Board at its next Board meeting for ratification if complete.


As a quick follow up, I should have referred to lease-leaseback in the BESD's case as a "delivery method", not a "financing method" (since BESD already has the cash from bond financing). Here's the presentation that was given to the BESD -- You'll see lease leaseback is an used as exception for an otherwise public bidding process for contractors:



This will absolutely complicate things. The lease-leaseback "delivery" method really offers no economic tangible benefits other than locking in one builder to do the work and take the project "off balance sheet" for a period of time. With no competitive bidding, cost overruns and over-charging are highly likely (and are happening due to delays). From a legal standpoint, such a methodology seems extremely loophole driven and contradicts other competitive bidding laws required by other local, state, and federal public agencies. This is even required by the US Dept of Defense.

This whole project, the delivery method and trying to get around CEQA seems to be all about finding various loopholes instead of being driven by economic and common sense. This will probably result in further complications and possibly more litigation, as I believe that this "lease-leaseback" includes a ground lease and a facilities lease, and per CEQA compliance its even more unclear as to what constitutes the ground part, the building part, and what is needed for site stability. The CEQA aspect of this puzzle is something that I would guess is unprecedented in a test of the lease-leaseback validity, which is already controversial to begin with.

Bruce Dickinson

Wow, seems like rather than just have diarrhea and let it pass, BSD also decided to take Ex-Lax after each bowel movement. The ensuring haz-mat mess is going to take a clean-up crew of epic proportions.


Burlingame Elementary School District is among those mentioned towards the end of the article below, which appears in today's SM Daily Journal. Per the string above, BESD used the lease leaseback delivery method as part of the Hoover construction. Not sure what the exposure/financial ramifications may or may not be in light of the CA Supreme Court ruling:


Bruce Dickinson

Well folks, all I gotta say is: Burlingame's got talent! Looks like one of the posters above, the "local-vore" if you will pretty much nailed it over a year ago. He or she is the kind of person that needs to go to City Hall and show 'em a thing or two about brainpower.

Didn't the neighbors settle with the school district on Hoover? Looks like they could have waited it out a little more to see the outcome of the case, but I imagine it was getting expensive and they weren't reading the Voice for what essentially mounted to free legal advice. Thats what I love about this site, putting aside the spammers, is that there are some people in the community that are in the talent business, really. Props to Lorne who seems to have access to documentation and articles that are eye-opening to say the least.

Bruce Dickinson must also chuckle at my own past comments...the more things change, the more they stay the same, ya know what I mean?


Here is the essence of the ruling from the article Lorne posted:

Attorney Kevin Carlin, who represented the plaintiff in the Fresno case, said in an email Wednesday the state Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for taxpayers concerned about public money being spent in a transparent fashion.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Davis v. Fresno Unified School District accomplishes two very important things that promote good governance and protect school districts and taxpayers,” he said. “First, it prohibits school district consultants from being awarded construction contracts for projects they have consulted on. And second, it requires competitive bidding for any lease-leaseback arrangement that is not a genuine lease or does not include bona fide contractor financing.”

Carlin said lease-leasebacks agreements granted the opportunity for bias between school officials and contractors, because the process is closed, and not subject to being broadly bid.

“Any time you introduce subjectivity into the decision-making process, you introduce the opportunity for fraud, favoritism, corruption and a lack of fair and open competition,” he said.
That last sentence is true of a number of governmental processes that are accepted practice. I'll bet some legislation kicks in to overrule the ruling (as Assemblyman Mullin was mulling over). In the meantime, what happens in the Hoover instance?


Have no idea how this plays out with BESD/Hoover. I did notice that, according to the July 23 board of trustees meeting minutes, BESD ammended and expanded the $ amount of their lease-leaseback agreement with the Hoover contractor.

Here's a good article from the SF Chronicle about school lease leasebacks in general, and this legal case, in particular, before the CA Supreme Court chimed in earlier this week:



"Board of Termination for Convenience."

Is there really such a thing?

How does one get elected to a position?
I wonder if this is the template that Greece is using.
I want to use it too.
Where was this "Board" when we were losing our collective "Bums" during the last Recession?

Karma's a B*tch.

As someone who has worked with several public and private school districts as both a consultant and also a real estate broker, Lease-Lease-Backs are very widespread in their use.

And, I recently sat next to a guy worth $2B for dinner after doing some yacht racing with him, who's a world-famous tech entrepreneur. We talked about...sailing, flying, guns, politics, and our hometown in Wilmette...

He made a good point, [political parties are like economics teams]. Or, as local Dem leaders have told me, politics is a team sport, so pick a team.

And, when you consider how many "Good Company Men" of Jerry Brown & CO run for school board and other political positions, who often have little education or intellect or experience in education or in achieving excellence...and perhaps who mostly just run a local construction company...then you understand why State of California Schools are generally so low-performing vs. the rest of the United States and world.

And, it also makes it tough to create a culture of excellence at a school, where imported gang culture is more the reality then for everyone who attends it.

At least there are some supreme court judges that still consider what's in the best interest for society in the long-run and to protect individual rights.

Congratulations to the Supreme court for calling-out the lazy, hazy fraud of Lease Lease-Backs in our schools and from our tax-paid bond measures.

The public schools just need more board members and leaders who think independently, and who can help to instill the sense of urgency and excellence that is typically the goal in most well run companies and well run non profits and other organizations. It's like get all of the "C" and "B" grade students together and, how would they run an org...just like Jerry Brown & CO run our state.

And yes, the City Council should have just let the private property owner of the former Hoover school site, Shinnyo-En Buddhist Temple, to sell the property to WebEx Co-Founder, Susan Xu and her Valley International Academy for $10M, instead of the [sell it to the gov't public schools, or we'll drag you down with eminent domain lawsuits] 50% off sale to the Burlingame School District. Way to cheat a local faith-based group out of millions in private property. And, certainly an international boarding school would have generated MUCH less traffic, pollution and unfair [taking of private property value] from the Hoover neighbors. The original school was built there when the neighborhood had much lower density, and it's no longer a good school site, folks. That should have been obviously to any competent, city planner, school board official, architect, traffic planner, etc.

Way to screw over private property owner, Shinnyo-En.

Hey gov't dictocrats, Karma's a Bitch.


FYI, Dan Walters' (Sac Bee) take on this issue - "A big mess 6 decades in making"



Special Joint Meeting of the City of Burlingame and Burlingame School District

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

6:00 p.m.
Lane Room
Burlingame Library
480 Primrose Rd., Burlingame

The Board of Trustees and the City of Burlingame will hold a joint meeting to provide an update on Hoover School Traffic Safety and Pedestrian Access. The public is invited to provide comment.

The agenda and supporting documents for all meetings are posted on the district web page. Look for this agenda to be posted around December 30th.


FYI as an addendum to this string, for what its worth, I recently found out a state bill was signed into law which makes lease-leasebacks for schools more stringent and transparent:


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