The members of the voiced unanimous support at their Feb. 9 meeting for the 's recommendation that the board levy parcel taxes under Measure E and raise Measure B taxes the full 5 percent allowed. The board is scheduled to hold its first hearing on the levies March 23 and to vote April 27.
You can weigh in now by casting your vote in the Piedmont Patch poll at http://poll.fm/2p9ts.
Backing the Measure E levy, which would generate $997,000 in 2011-2012, was a no-brainer for the board. The emergency measure was established in 2009 to offset the shortfall in state funding through 2012. Even if Gov. Jerry Brown's budget and the tax extensions he wants pass, funding levels for education would remain where they've been since cuts were imposed ahead of the 2009-2010 school year.
But the board was split over how much of the additional $407,250 generated by bumping up the Measure B levy by 5 percent should be spent in 2011-2012 or kept in reserves.
Board member June Monach and Chairman Roy Tolles came out in favor of taking the Citizens' Advisory Committee's advice and setting aside $244,350, or three-fifths of the increase. But, with their eyes on the projected $4 million deficit facing the district by the end of 2012-2013, the other school board members leaned toward more aggressive saving. Board member Martha Jones strongly advocated that the district hold on to the full 5 percent.
The CAC's recommendation came with a dissenting view from committee member George Childs, who hoped the Measure B levy would be upped no more than 2 percent to minimize the burden on residents with fixed incomes. Piedmonters living on Social Security, Childs noted, have seen no cost of living increase in the last two years.
So, what do you think the school board should do? The Piedmont Patch poll will be open until the board votes on parcel taxes.