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School Parcel Tax Oversight: What's in a Name?

Piedmont Civic Association raises questions about a provision in the proposed school parcel tax ballot measure that will come before voters next spring.

When Piedmont residents vote on an eight-year extension of the school parcel tax next spring, they will also be deciding how a citizens' group oversees the spending of that tax.

The proposed ballot measure includes a provision that changes the structure of the watchdog group. It would replace the existing Citizens Advisory Committee with a subcommttee of another citizens' group, the Budget Advisory Committee.

When Piedmont Unified School District staff suggested the change, Superintendent Constance Hubbard said at a school board meeting that a major advantage of the change would be a savings in staff time.

With the present structure, she said, it's necessary to brief two separate citizens' groups in detail about the district budget. The proposed change would eliminate that doubling up of effort, she said.

A Nov. 20 article on the Piedmont Civic Association (PCA) website raised questions about the change. In a follow-up piece published Nov. 23, Board of Education President Rick Raushenbush answers questions posed by PCA about the new structure.

You may read the original PCA article here and the Q&A with Raushenbush here.

The school board is scheduled to give final approval to the parcel tax ballot measure at a special Nov. 28 meeting. For more information on other provisions of the measure, see "School Board Changes Direction, Will Ask for 8-Year Parcel Tax" on Piedmont Patch.

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