Comments by community_watch

Friday Night Lights Out

Scott Barnett has totally missed the whole point of improper bond money expenditures. If the district was upfront with the voters and listed Field Lighting as a specific project in the bond measures for each of the high schools in both Prop S and Prop Z and those bonds passed with Field Lighting listed as a specific project, taxpayers would have no issues with the district spending bond money on Field Lighting. Prop 39 changed our California constitution and requires strict accountability of school bonds. Prop S and Prop Z are both Prop 39 bond measures. One of the advantages of Prop 39 school bonds, and why the school districts really like using them, is because they only require a 55% majority of votes rather then the previous requirement of 2/3 majority of votes. One of the strict accountability requirements of a Prop 39 bond measure is to include specific projects that the bond money will go toward so the voters are fully informed of what the money will be spent on when they go to the voter booth to cast their vote. The project that the district decided to include Field Lighting was a project in the Prop S bond measure under a heading labeled “Projects to Improve School Accessibility, Code Compliance Upgrades”. Under that heading is where you will find two projects related to the football field and stadium renovations; 1) Renovate/replace stadium bleachers, including press box. 2) Upgrade fields, track, and courts for accessibility compliance. Again, both of these projects were presented to the taxpayers as ADA compliance and Code compliance efforts. ADA compliance and Code compliance upgrades are a welcome improvement to all of the school facilities and also one of the reasons that voters cast their vote to approve Prop S and Prop Z. Here is the catch, Field lighting can not be tethered to any projects under that heading as an expense that was “incidental to and necessary for the completion of the listed projects”. Close to a ½ Million dollar expense at Hoover alone definitely fails the “incidental” requirement and Field Lighting is not required for a football field and stadium to be ADA compliant so it also fails the “necessary” requirement: From a SDUSD Declaration, in response to Judge Taylor's request, disclosed the following costs associated with field lighting using Prop S money: Clairemont - $408,431; Madison - $611,590; Morse - $302,154; University City - $803,030; Hoover - $490,968 Total - $2,616,173 The truth of the matter is that the District purposely didn’t include Field Lighting as a specific project because they knew that the controversial project would affect their chances of getting voter approval of both Prop S and Prop Z. The district took their chances and hid it in the fine print. But this time the fine print wasn’t fine enough and it has worked against them. Learn more at:
— November 6, 2013 9:28 p.m.

Trick Play

No one from our community is against sports. We have never said it nor implied it. Just like the previous commenter states, there are many life long lessons that can be gained by participating in sports. The community’s main concern is with the installation of permanent lights. Once installed there is no stopping the school district from renting out the field to outside organizations which means they could potentially host an event at the football field every night of the week. I’m not saying that would happen, mind you, but the potential is there and the impact to the community would be devastating. We are a very close knit community and know the ins and outs of the neighborhood very well. We know the traffic patterns, parking issues, where graffiti occurs, where some students jump the fence during school hours, etc, etc. We also know the impact school events have on the community at various times of the day, evenings, or week-ends. The community really didn’t start having issues with Hoover High until after the artificial field was installed back in 2001 and the school started renting it to other organizations shortly there after. The events themselves were fine, but the administration either does not have field use policies in place or doesn’t have the resources to enforce them. For instance, visitors that came to the events had their own little drinking parties going on outside the field and on community members’ private property without their permission. The inconsideration of the folks that attended these events was appalling. Illegally parked cars in and across driveways, dumping of trash on our lawns and streets, showing very little respect to the community which is taking the blunt of the abuse. Hardly the role models for a youth sporting event don’t you think. When we heard that the school was willing to get rid of the week-end youth events just to get the lights approved we were not only surprised but amazed and appalled at the same time. Why is it that the administration is willing to get rid of a popular week-end youth event that occurs during the day just to make way for lights to be installed which opens the door to night events? They could not even handle the day events and enforce the rules that should have been in place when the other organizations leased the field. Who knows, perhaps it was just a matter of not having enough authority over the perpetrators. Maybe they would have more control over Hoover school events which I hope is the case. I, for one, am willing to give it a chance but only with the follow through of plan changes to date and an enforceable document detailing what the principal has stated in the last few community meetings – no more than 15 night events per school year, no leasing of the field for night events, and listing all of the policies that would be enforced by the school and district to ensure that night events are executed smoothly and safely for all parties affected.
— March 23, 2009 9:29 p.m.

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