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Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
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."