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$1 billion boondoogle

From: domainremoved <Maxine>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2014 15:57:47 -0700

I respectfully request that you take no actions to endorse San Mateo County
Community College District’s new $388M Measure H bond on the November
ballot. Remember, this is in addition to close to *$1 billion* county
taxpayers have already given them. Is more needed when:

   - SMCCCD enrollment is declining and there is no projected growth in
   the San Mateo County college-age population for the foreseeable future.
     At the same time the demand for distance (on-line) learning is
   increasing, not requiring expensive new construction.
   - Less than 10% of the students (3,820) attending the SMCCCD colleges
   are transferring to the California university system or getting associate
   degrees or technical training certificates. These are very expensive
   facilities that taxpayers are supporting for few students to learn new job
   skills or transfer to 4-year colleges.
   - 70% of students new to the Colleges are not prepared for college-level
   work and are placed into remedial or developmental coursework.
    Extravagant new buildings are not needed for this important function.
   Construction does not equal education!
   - Over half a million dollars is budgeted to develop global strategies
   for marketing and recruitment of international students and offering
   teach/study abroad opportunities for faculty and students. Is this
   actually necessary for a 2-year community college? *

Don’t you want to know what happened to the close to *$1 billion *previously
spent? Instead of upgrading the libraries, classrooms and labs promised
in the glossy election ads, most of the money was spent on roads, parking
lots, lavish new buildings and athletic facilities more suited to a country
club than to a 2-year community college. Go visit yourselves, especially

Measure H is more of the same. The Measure H ballot has the same vague
language that allowed for the misrepresentation of previous projects.**
 Yet, the District has a PowerPoint presentation that specifically
identifies what new construction they propose, so why isn’t this
information on the ballot? Out of the requested $388 million, more than
half will be spent on new buildings only peripherally related to core
academic priorities, including a $100M replacement theater building at
Skyline College. *That’s right - $100,000,000 for one community college
building!* In every case the cost to upgrade and modernize is much less
than the cost of new buildings.

It is clear that the District has lost sight of its core mission and is
taking advantage of San Mateo County taxpayers who want to support our
local students in learning new job skills or transferring to 4-year
universities, not wasting money on unnecessary extravagances. Just think
about how many other important city and county needs, like affordable
housing, health facilities, schools and parks could be addressed with $388M
instead of this unnecessary boondoggle. Talk to your park and recreation
staff and local school districts to see how much use they get from these
taxpayer supported facilities.

It is way past time for local elected officials to question the profligate
actions of SMCCCD because it negatively affects trust in all levels of
government. Stand up for your constituents by eliminating extravagance and
waste in government. Do not endorse this unnecessary bond measure. Please
share this information with your constituents since there will be no glossy
election mailers coming from me.

P.S. I am a life-long supporter of public education, am proud to pay taxes
and believe in government accountability. I would be happy to answer any
questions and provide additional information.

   * All background information comes from District website, District Fact
Book 2013 & other documents.

 ** See attachment

Received on Thu Oct 02 2014 - 15:53:23 PDT

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