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September 25, 2014


Been here forever

So vote for measure L and we can continue to pick up the pieces for the Burlingame school district. Absurd. The have made so many grave mistakes and now want the community to cover it for them. Not me and I hope, not you.

Been here forever

And Lorne, help me. Aren't you the one who has been following the Hoover fiasco? Well I wonder how much of the funds that will come from measure L will go to paying for legal fees etc and not go to doing anything directly to benefit the children. Take a walk by Hoover. What a mess. And that is because the people who run the district did not practice due diligence in the pursuit of this task. Will there even be a bond oversight committee. The whole mess is shameful.

Peter Garrison

The poll said the most people would support the measure if money numbers were named and fixed.

I got one of these phones calls and I started laughing because the questions were contrived to have you answer the way the people paying for the poll want it answered. The phone pollster and I had to agree to stop the phone call because I was deconstructing the not-so-hidden agenda and continuing the poll would've taken us both to the point of either hilarity or anger.

Let's not permit more easy spending of OPM: other people's money.


Regarding the Burlingame/Hillsborough City Managers endorsement of Hooverville...
Is the construction still stopped?
Did it ever stop,or are there Contractors 'whittling away?"


As long as the current Burlingame School Board Members are handling Millions of our money it is pretty much guaranteed the money will be wasted in my opinion. Look at the Hoover School Money pit as an example.

I find it very deceiving when the tax and spend crowd say this is not a new tax. 14 years is the new tax period? We were told in many times that the parcel tax would just be for only 5 years and they always want it to continue after the initial term expires. If this is 15% of the budget as Davina states then why is not revealed this is not 100% for capital improvements and will be a recoccuring expense.

If any of you have children think of it this way. You pay for your child to finish college thinking you are all done with the bills, but then your kid states they still need money to live from you for the rest of their live.

Davina, Mark and Michael the school board members are addicted to spending our money. When they are gone I would consider supporting giving them more money. In the meantime donate to schoolgroups where public officials have no control.


John Horgan has this to say in the paper today

Once a parcel tax (usually touted as a temporary budget solution at first) goes into effect, it's not a certainty that it will be re-approved once it expires. And, over time, districts become reliant on that extra cash.
Take Burlingame for example. The elementary district in that town has two parcel taxes on the books; they total $256 per property. They are going to expire in the near future.
So the district's trustees have decided to ask the voters to OK a new tax that combines the existing pair into one and would last for 14 years; it's Measure L on the November ballot.
The two current taxes generate a bit over $2 million per year, or about 9 percent of the district's operating budget. That's a lot. Take away that supplemental money and the district has a glaring hole in its fiscal plan.
So, now, this heavy dependence on the generosity of the electorate has become an absolutely critical fiscal factor going forward. It's an unintended consequence of voter goodwill.


Can someone please explain how the Bond "Oversight" Committees work. I started my quest for information with the San Mateo Grand Jury directives to the school districts to ensure that there was meaningful oversight of School Bonds. Then, I struggled through the maze of the BSD website and eventually ended up at a website managed by a prime contractor who is benefitting from the Bond money. It is impossible understand the budgets. It appears that the "oversight" committee is a booster club for the School district and the "Bond Mania." What is wrong with this picture?

First Time Commenter

See this from today's SFGate http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2014/10/07/burlingame-top-in-the-nation-for-1-million-plus-home-sales/

Housing prices are only this high not only because our desirable location but because of our wonderful school system. If we stop investing in our schools than the housing prices will reflect that.

Peter Garrison

1. Jobs 2. Oasis from sprawl 3. Culture 4. Pacific Rim = These are the reasons people move here and stay.

Schools baby

Really? So quality education is not a consideration? Puleeezze.

There are bidding wars that are related to schools within the district. Schools are by far the biggest reason people move here and to argue otherwise is just stuff. If it was all about Jobs they would go to South City for Genenetech or San Carlos for Oracle but mostly to San Francisco. Oasis from sprawl? or did you mean from density? Either way, there are better places to be if you like sprawl or higher density. Culture?? Pacific Rim-Ok i'll give you that due to our proximity to the airport.

Ask any new residents in Mills Estates or Ray Park why they chose those neighborhoods and Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools are the answer nine times out of ten. Ask any Realtor.

Been here forever

But look at the fine print attached to measure L and know that it's passing is not going to change children's education in Burlingame or the quality of the schools. It is merely a way for the district to get out of the hole it has placed itself in by not examining all the factors that landed it in the mess it is in with the construction at Hoover school. Why do you think staff changed at the top after the law suit? Somebody has to pay for the mess it is in and that would be the taxpayers. Passage will not improve the quality of education in the slightest. Don't be fooled.


Following that approach, wouldn't it not passing require the funds to be taken from the current educational system and therefore be detrimental to the quality of education?

Been here forever

Good question Fred. The funds will be taken from the funds that are available from the past measures which have been passed by the voters and continue to tax property owners.


Interesting, I'm not too familiar with how the bond measures work (outside of the portion on the property tax statement).


Mr. Been Here Forever,

I do not understand your comment. Would you please explain it in some greater detail?

Just a Resident


Ask the residents of surrounding towns like Millbrae. San Bruno, or San Mateo if they would like to switch school districts and take your seat in Burlingame?
Would you give up your seat?

Mr. Garrison's comments above are correct. Those are the primary reasons why people move here. Then they come to Burlingame for the schools. They also move here for a guaranteed spot at BHS. Enrollment in the SMUHSD is climbing at a rapid pace and those outside of the BHS enrollment area are going to be locked out. Anyone may transfer to Mills or SMHS without a problem. A transfer to BHS is a Golden Ticket. Be careful...no one has been "watching the store" at BHS for the past years and things are not what they used to be.

"All that glitters is not gold."

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, but it may be blocked by a parasol.

Burlingame has a strong base of academic talent that needs to be highly motivated and stimulated, not beaten down with rote memorization, rules and control. Don't get so caught up in the details that you lose sight of the day to day operations of the school and your children.

If the public does not support the additional funding for its Capital projects then the funds will be taken from the General Fund and will be pulled away from the classroom. Many in Burlingame "forget" that music, P.E., Libraries, etc are no longer funded in other school districts.

If the district establishes and maintains a solid capital structure, then with the proper leadership, it can build an outstanding academic environment.


It is wonderful to have excellent schools and no argument there. Quick comment on the above post concerning solid capital structure and proper leadership -- two important pillars. On the capital structure, it is quite difficult to get an accounting of these bond issues. There does not seem to be any real oversight. On proper leadership, there have been some major mistakes in the last round of bond spending -- and no lessons learned. Shouldn't we get some answers and assurances that the Hooverville fiasco will not continue into a series of bond issues.

Been here forever

Exactly. No oversight. They have already had two school measures to be on the ballot and pass and now get need more funds? For what and with no oversight, where has all the money gone and what will they do with the money from this one? It is absurd.

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