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Contends school board ‘lying’ about bond

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POSTED August 5, 2014 1:31 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

I feel compelled to write this after my experience at the recent school board meeting Tuesday, July 29, 2014. I do not normally attend, but I had received in the mail a flyer asking citizens to support a new school bond for repairs and upgrades to structures and equipment within the district. There are pictures of deteriorated structures that are in need of care. My compliments to the flyer designer. It is well done. 

As I read the flyer over, I was remembering the last school repair bond known as Measure M. I remembered well how I felt when money I thought was to be used for repairs and upgrades was used to purchase vacant land for future schools and to build new schools. These were definitely not repairs or upgrades to existing facilities. I remembered feeling as though we the public who pay the bills had just been shafted in a very deceitful way. It was then that I decided to attend the next board meeting to question this new bond.

The public meeting is suppose to start at 7. It was called to order at approximately 7:20. This was a disturbing start. I am a product of the Manteca Unified School District and the fine teachers it employs taught us that being on time for class was not only important but, required. We were also taught that it shows respect for all in attendance. I understand that there is a closed session prior to the public session. I understand that things can take longer than expected. I understand when apologies are made for such things. When that does not happen, I take it as a sign of how little respect there is for those who are on time.

When the bond issue came up I received permission to speak. I questioned how the money from this new bond is to be used. I brought up the problems with perceived abuses in the use of Measure M monies and how I was concerned that it was going to happen again. I was assured that that was not going to be the case this time. I was told there will be strict oversight. I am told that while I was speaking, members of the board were staring at the ceiling and basically acting in a manner that belied their complete and utter disinterest in what was being said.

I was approached after the meeting and asked if I had seen the bond proposal. Replying that the only thing I had seen was the flyer in my mailbox, I was offered a copy to be sent to me. Well, today I received it and what do you know. It calls out for not only there repairs and upgrades in the flyer, but the construction and acquisition of new facilities. This is completely opposite to what I was assured would not happen. 

I was taught right from wrong from a very early age. Lying is one of the cardinal sins. Has this changed? Do our schools now teach that it is okay to speak out both sides of your head? We place people on boards and in positions of authority in part because they are supposedly trustworthy and will do an honest job. 

I am not against fixing the schools, quite the opposite. Let us take care of what we have built so that the facilities may serve us for many more years. I would support on honest bond to these ends. I will not support and will speak against a bond such as presented that is not honest in it intent. I urge my fellow district members to do the same. We the people are the boss. We pay the bills. The board works for us.

We must do our job and hold them accountable in doing what is set before them.


Anthony Risso


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