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Council Members Vote to Support Measure S

Council members said the parcel tax is a city issue, not just a school issue.

After an evening volunteering at the phone banks, where he asked residents to vote for Measure S, Superintendent Joel Shapiro stood before City Council and explained why members should support the parcel tax. 

"We need to consider the long term fiscal stability of our district, and maintain programs we’ve worked so hard to keep,'' Shapiro said Wednesday.

Council members voted 5-0 to approve a resolution supporting the parcel tax measure.

Ballots should be landing in residents' mailboxes any time now. Voters will be asked to renew Measure S, which expires in June. If renewed, the five-year parcel tax will increase from $288 to $386 per unit (whether single home or apartment complex). The ballots are to be mailed to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office by March 12.

Voters must approve the measure by a 66.7 percent majority. Back in 2009, more than two-thirds of voters approved it. 

The money generated means about $2 million for South Pasadena Unified School District. Back in December when the board approved the renewal, Assistant Superintendent presented a budget report that showed a bleak financial situation if the parcel tax fails: 39 positions would be eliminated, class sizes would increase and more programs would be cut. 

Shapiro on Wednesday called the parcel tax passage "critical'' to maintain a quality community, which is bolstered by a quality school system. He pointed out, however, that people on disability and people over the age of 65, or anyone who turns 65 during the life of the tax, are exempt from paying.

Council member Philip Putnam pointed out it some people might find it odd that the City Council is weighing in on a school board measure. He explained that the city's high property values are inexorably linked to a quality school district. 

"A quality... public school system has a huge impact on the quality of life of a city. This is a city issue, not just a school issue,'' Putnam said.

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Alan Reynolds February 09, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Tracey, First off, I am generally for money for our schools (I went to them after all), but I was provided the information I believe you are looking for. It is too long to place in comments here, but I have posted it, as well as links to the Yes on S campaign, in the name of providing all the information, so that people can make informed decisions, here: http://www.facebook.com/reynoldsforcouncil
Harry Gerst February 10, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Did you know that the afterschool director was making a little more than $51,000 just a few years ago and is now making over $97,000. The average Superintendent's salary in California is $149,395. Our Superintendent is currently making $207,000 (not including benefits and retirement). Do you see a problem? Some folks at the central office were given very high raises this year, while teachers in So. Pas. got nothing! Our district is going to receive new funding from Proposition 98, the just recently voters'-approved Prop.30 and other additional new funds. This district started the school year with a 22% reserves, well above the state's mandated 3% for economic uncertainty. Do I need to go on? The district wants your money. But, it really doesn't need it! I urge everybody to vote no on Measure S - The Parcel Tax.
Kathy Bence February 10, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Doesn't anyone see the pattern with our tax increases? In 2011 we were told that the utility tax had to pass, or horrible things would happen to the city. Yet prior to the election, in 2009 and 2010, while the rest of city residents were suffering from the recession and state-wide unemployment that topped 12%, city workers were given raises totaling 9%. Now we’re hearing that if we don’t pass another tax, Measure S, horrible things will happen to our schools. Yet somehow our top-heavy school district also managed to increase administrative salaries during this recession. Add to all this the recent passage of Prop. 30 that was supposed to save our schools, and the pattern of unwarranted tax increases seems undeniable. When will voters wise up and see it?
Justanotheropinion February 11, 2013 at 05:14 PM
@Alan Reynolds - thanks for your response. Although it provides info and a few salaries, it wasn't what I was looking for. If I remember correctly, the poster I'm referring to provided links to a schoold district study or report. He made reference to the fact that while stating the dire financial straights the schoold district was in, their own report showed quite a surplus of funds (but one had to know what they were looking for in order to find that info). I believe salaries was also addressed. I will continue to try and search for this past thread on here but the search function leaves a lot to be desired. Even though your request may be pretty precise or simple, you get a million responses that have nothing to do with your request. Again, thanks for the response.
Donna Evans February 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM
@Tracey I can try to help you search for the thread. Do you recall if the main story was about Measure S? If you put "measure s'' in quotes in the search box and then click "date'' it will bring up in [supposed] chronological order stories that contain measure s. But yes, I definitely hear you about the search function. It's going to point out every "measure'' and we've written quite a few legislative update-type stories. I'm intrigued by @Harry's salary numbers, BTW. I just started reporting on South Pas this past September.

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