Threats of a lawsuit and petition drive for an election challenging the collection of Mello-Roos taxes in Weston Ranch won’t derail a school board directive for the Manteca Unified staff to move forward with plans to harness those funds to install artificial turf and an all-weather track surface at Weston Ranch High.
Superintendent Jason Messer said unless staff is told otherwise the project will go forward using Mello-Roos funds.
The question of the legality of using Mello-Roos funds for stadium upgrades surfaced during the first of three workshops the board is conducting to seek community input on stadium standards. Shortly after the Weston Ranch workshop, the board voted to move forward with a $3 million plus project for artificial turf and all-weather track.
When the workshop rolled around for Manteca and East Union high schools, the board was stunned to hear from Manteca High faculty, students, parents, and community members that there were more pressing needs than stadium upgrades.
The workshop focusing on Sierra and Lathrop high school stadiums takes place Tuesday, March 1, at 6 p.m. at the Lathrop High theater arts building.
Messer lauded the board for having the workshops and inviting community input. He noted the workshops so far has given the school board as well as the district clear feedback on community concerns at the high school campuses in regards to facility needs.
Whether Mello-Roos taxes can be used for stadium upgrades and whether the school district may have improperly spent $20 million on projects funded by certificates of participation being paid for with taxes collected from Weston Ranch homeowners was first brought up by former MUSD trustee Dale Fritchen.