It has become somewhat of a hot issue when it comes to funding projects throughout Manteca Unified.
And today – at 3 p.m. at the district office located at 1175 W. Louise Avenue – the Manteca Unified Board of Education will hear about community facilities districts and their future within the district during a special study session prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting at 7 p.m.
Use of the funds – which consolidate special taxes paid by homeowners for the benefit of local schools – became center-stage when the district agreed to look into using the Mello-Roos funds paid by Weston Ranch residents to renovate the school’s chronically bad stadium field surface and install an artificial track similar to the one that was built at Sierra High School.
But when a group of residents led by former Weston Ranch Trustee Dale Fritchen raised issue with not only the use of the funds but how the district was using the money from certain areas to pay for projects other than what it was originally intended for, a movement of homeowners emerged that demanded that not only the district stop using the money outside of the target area but also called for those funds to be returned.
It’ll be up the board to determine how to proceed with the matter, and it’s entirely possible that they’ll impose sanctions themselves.
But if they don’t, that group of homeowners has already said that they’re collecting signatures for a Proposition 218 election that clearly outlines an overhaul to the funding mechanism that they feel will better protect the taxes being paid by residents. Under Proposition 218, they won’t be able to recoup any of the money that has spent up to this point, but could take some control over where that money goes in the future.
The board has not publicly commented on the allegations raised by Fritchen and other Weston Ranch residents since they were introduced several months ago.
After essentially approving the initial request to send out the Weston Ranch project for a formal proposal, the board heard from each of the high schools in Manteca Unified and staff gave a presentation that outlined what each of those particular areas had available to them in community facilities district funds that had been paid over time.