Dear Editor, I'd like to let your readers in on an interesting debate concerning Measure B and whether general funds can be
used for building repairs as opposed to asking for another $67 million
First I am told by PUSD board member Dave DePaoli that PUSD can
absolutely use general funds for repairs the district claims they need. Mr.
DePaoli says that putting 5% of the general budget towards building projects
is completely attainable and can be done without asking tax payers for any
Second, I recently read an editorial by Henry Franco, the
current Porterville Educators Association Union President who says that the
general fund budget already is earmarked for ongoing expenses and cannot be
used for building projects. So the question is can the general fund be used
for building projects as Mr. DePaoli states or is the general fund basically
untouchable as Mr. Franco states?
Upon doing some additional research I
found an article penned by Superintendent John Snavely that ran in the
Recorder on August 30-31st. Mr. Snavely proudly states that over the last 5
years the district has replaced 20 portable classrooms with new permanent
classrooms and in 2015, the district will replace nine more portable
classrooms at Belleview Elementary.
These 29 classrooms are being funded by
the district out of its general fund at a cost of $8.5 million.
Additionally, the district has funded $10 million in various other
construction projects such as remodeling campuses, cafeteria expansions and
building a swimming pool at Strathmore High School.
So the district has
funded $18.5 million in building upgrades recently without the need for
another school bond as Mr. DePaoli clearly correctly stated. I would
encourage everyone to take a look at their current property tax statements
and see that taxpayers already are paying for up to 6 prior school bonds
with Measure B making number 7.
While we all understand that using some of
PUSD's $125 million dollar budget for building improvements will take
longer, it is certainly better than putting a new $67 million bill on a
credit card with farmers, business & homeowners stuck making the payments.
Thanks ... Jerry Pundt email@example.com from Porterville, CA.