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Trustees at San Diego Unified approved a proposal to sell seven excess properties was approved during a board meeting on Friday.

The proposal has had its opponents, including Trustee Scott Barnett, who said selling the properties for the estimated $26 million doesn't solve long-term budget shortfalls, which for next year is estimated at $121 million.

The properties include include: Barnard Elementary School, appraised last year at over $9 million; Bay Terrace 11 valued at $3 million; three residential lots in Linda Vista, totaling $900,000; Camp Elliot in Tierrasanta, for as much as $4 million, and the Mission Beach Center, the most valuable of the bunch being just one block from the bay and two blocks to the beach priced at $11 million.

At the meeting, district staff urged the board to move forward with the plan.

"We cannot hesitate to make this decision," said Superintendent Bill Kowba.

Some board members did raise some concerns about the sale of the seven properties.

Trustee Kevin Beiser worried that selling the properties without conditions would give developers a green light to propose any type of development, regardless of the impacts on the community.

And, of course, there was Trustee Barnett who has opposed the plan for some time.

"It's like selling your grandma's jewelry to pay the rent," Barnett said during the meeting. "Probably this will go down as one the most boneheaded things this school board has ever done."

However, in the end, balancing the budget, or at least, chipping away at it, was the primary objective.

"This is something that, as a board, we should do because if agencies like Moody's aren't confident with our budget then it will be harder and more expensive to borrow money. Some of those things that we don't like doing, we have to do," said board member Shelia Jackson.

The board voted 4 to 1 in favor of the proposal to list the properties, with Barnett voting no.

Trustee Beiser did request district staff to explore leasing other district properties as a way to earn revenue. In a message the following day, Beiser stated that he is "not comfortable voting to sell all of the properties. I think that were not exploring those other lease options aggressively enough."

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Comments

Dave Rice June 22, 2012 @ 11:03 p.m.

"It's like selling your grandma's jewelry to pay the rent," Barnett said during the meeting. "Probably this will go down as one the most boneheaded things this school board has ever done."

This.

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Visduh June 23, 2012 @ 9:22 a.m.

OK, so they sit on these pieces of real estate for years or decades after they ceased to use them, and now in a big hurry sell them off to raise some cash. A school district should have had an orderly process of property disposition that garnered a good price for the real estate as it went along. But no, inaction is followed by precipitate action to get the money, and now! A year from now the buyers will still be rejoicing at their good fortune in picking up the land at bargain-basement prices, and the school district will have spent the funds in a matter of days (or hours) and it will be but a distant memory. The district is worrying about its borrowing costs. How about doing no borrowing at all until the finances are in much better shape? No, they want to put another bond on the ballot. Why? To fix up and add to the school physical plant. But all the while the threat of further staff reduction is there, and could leave them with fancy plant that has no staff to use it. Ahh, the face of "gubmint" in action.

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Hardcover June 25, 2012 @ 8:14 a.m.

I don't think they know what they want or have the ability to predict the future. The elementary school near me went from "we want to buy five adjoining houses and tear them down to expand the school" to "we need to tear down this school" to "we are haveing a charter school here" in the space of about 2 years. I'm going to laugh if they sell the sites to developers, who put many units of family housing there, and then wonder what school they will send them too.

And I do worry they will sell the big 1910 building in University Heights before the lIbrary can be built there.

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