My Turn: The truth on Measure U
October 22, 2008
My name is Denny Dickinson. I like to think that I am an informed voter. I have studied the local candidates and bond issues very carefully. I take my vote very seriously because my relative John Dickinson was there for the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the Constitution. I find it necessary to speak out about the school bond. Measure U is a very controversial bond issue that deserves debate and rebuttal. This is my turn rebuttal.The plan is to demolish the TTUSDs district office, bus barns, shop wing, and remove six portable classrooms to make room for the needs of Truckee Elementary in the form of traffic circulation, and expanded play areas. The plan calls for the building of a new two-story high school wing and vocational classrooms. The cost to enhance Truckee Elementary parking and playing areas is $3.7 million. The cost to build the new Truckee High School is $51.1 million.The school district does not need that much space for the high school. So, the real plan is to use the top second floor of the new high school as the new district wide administration office. The voter has to listen very carefully to UforSchool speakers to learn about this district plan. This brings up a legal issue about the earmarking of funds. Why are the Truckee taxpayers being asked to pay for the TTUSD new district wide administration office? The voter will not find in any UforSchools published articles or advertisements that the plan is to use the excessive high school classrooms as the district wide administration office. The UforSchool committee does not want you, the voter, to know the truth. You may call this deceit. I call it a big LIE.The voter will be voting for two issues when you go to the polls to approve Measure U. This school board is asking you to approve the $93 million bond and then give them permission to use the second floor of the proposed new high school wing as a district wide office.The voter must read the small print text at the very end of Exhibit B Full Text Ballot Proposition Facilities Improvement District No. 1 of the TTUSD Bond Measure Election November 4, 2008. One very short sentence in the bond text gives the district the legal right to use the earmarked Truckee taxpayers dollar to build and use the new facility as a district wide office.Read what the bond measure states: Certain classroom areas at Truckee High School may be used on an interim basis for District administration purposes and Board meetings until needed for student instruction This quote is taken directly from a section titled Priority School Projects almost at the very end of the bond proposal. What does this statement mean? It means that the district may legally use this excess classroom space as office space because they told the voter that was their intention before the vote.The question here is should the Truckee taxpayer bear the burden of cost to build the TTUSD a new district wide administration office. I say No. I will vote No on Measure U for that reason alone.I ask you to become an informed voter before making your decision on Measure U. Take a very close look at how your $93 million bond money will be spent not counting interest before you make that decision. Take a look at what things will cost:55% $51.1 mil to build a new high school wing.17% $15.8 mil to replace athletic fields, new grandstands, and bathrooms.11% $10.1 mil to remodel Sierra Mountain for elementary use.7% $6.5 mil for green energy upgrades.6% $5.6 mil for structural upgrades4% $3.7 mil for parking and play area for Truckee Elementary.I ask that you vote your conscience. Just remember this. When you vote yes on Measure U, you as a Truckee voter, will be giving the school district the right to use you dollar to build their new administration office. Your vote does count, so be sure to vote on Nov. 4.I urge you to vote No on Measure U. I personally will be sending my Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Directors a message on Election Day. I will vote No on Measure U and I will not vote for any of the incumbents. I hope these people get my very clear message the second time around.
Denny Dickinson is a Truckee resident