These two messages were delivered to representatives of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District on behalf of the Redwood Shores Community Association.
March 18, 2011
Mr. Andrew Stulbarg, President, &
Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Board of Trustees
2960 Hallmark Dr, Belmont, CA 94002
Dear Mr. Stulberg & Trustees:
With regard to the resignation of Michael Parker and the resulting Board of Trustees vacancy, I am writing at the direction of the RSCA Board of Directors to strongly urge that your Board fill this vacancy with a resident of Redwood Shores.
The student population from Redwood Shores is about one third of the total enrollment of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, and Shores property owners provide nearly half of the tax revenue. Based on these statistics alone, we believe that the Shores community deserves representation of at least two seats on the Board of Trustees. With basic aid districts about to lose funding from the State, it seems likely that the District will inevitably seek increased taxes in upcoming ballot measures. Having another School Board member who is a Shores resident will go a long way in garnering neighborhood support for these measures.
In addition, we intend to publish this vacancy in the April issue of The PILOT. We are also strongly suggesting that you allow sufficient time for interested candidates from this community to apply before rushing to fill this open position.
As always we look forward to working with you on this and other issues that affect our local schools, which are a highly valued part of our community.
Sincerely, Harris Rogers.
March 19, 2011
Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri, Superintendent, &
Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board of Trustees
2960 Hallmark Dr, Belmont, CA 94002
Dear Superintendent Orta-Camilleri & Board Members:
As a longtime supporter of our local schools, Redwood Shores Community Association (RSCA) was happy to learn that the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District has been awarded $8.75 million in matching funds for use at Redwood Shores Elementary School.
We understand that that are legitimate needs at Redwood Shores Elementary to which these funds can be applied. For example, we think it would be reasonable to use a portion of these funds to build additional classroom space to accommodate future growth and to install an artificial turf field to save water and lessen the students’ exposure to goose feces.
However, we cannot imagine that Redwood Shores Elementary has $8.75 million of such needs.
Accordingly, we urge the District to use a substantial portion of these matching funds to pay off a significant amount (e.g., millions) of the $25M in outstanding Measure C Bonds. By using a portion of this windfall to repay bond principal, you would show Shores residents that you are prudent managers of our property taxes. This is an especially important message right now given that the School District is likely to ask voters to pass additional parcel tax measures in the near future.
Further, if for some legal reason the matching funds can’t be used to pay off Measure C bonds, we feel strongly that any matching funds – other than those needed for essential capital projects – should be spent on facilities that will benefit the community as a whole in addition to the school. Should this situation arise, we ask that you work with RSCA to engage the community in discussing and prioritizing various projects at Redwood Shores Elementary that would provide benefits to the entire community.
In the interest of keeping our community informed, we are happy to provide space in our monthly publication, The PILOT, and on our web site (RSCA.org) for District communications related to use of the bond funds and, of course, other District news of interest.
We look forward to working with you on this and other issues that affect our local schools, which are a valued contributor to our high quality of life.
Harris Rogers, President Doug Crisman, Past President
Redwood Shores Community Association Redwood Shores Community Association