I agreed to be part of the “yes” on Measure O committee for many reasons. After 16 years of sitting on the local school board, I understand how we are restricted by our funding. I have grandchildren attending district schools and I intend to stay in this community and believe the quality of our schools directly impacts the value of my home. If you have ever been through an area with rundown schools, fences down or torn, old wooden portables, lack of general maintenance, you understand how that affects the value of properties within the school district.

Measure O funds are taxes that are paid locally and used locally. Our Basin board of Realtors is endorsing Measure O because they know how the value of well-maintained schools affects local real estate values. One of the first questions asked of realtors when a new family moves into town is, “Tell us about the schools.”

Unfortunately, schools do not receive funding for facilities and the state does not give funds to districts that have not passed a local bond measure.

Lottery money cannot be used for facilities. This needs to be changed at the state level, but should we let our schools stay in need of updating and our technology get outdated while we wait for the system to get fixed?

Measure O will not only provide funds to modernize our schools, but will also provide the needed safety and security measures that are so important.

If we pass Measure O, we are eligible for $36 million in matching funds from the state.

Measure O money cannot be used for salaries or programs, but it can be used for technology and science labs and allow us to give our students the best there is in education today — new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs.

The money and the projects are closely monitored by an oversight committee composed of local citizens.

Does it really matter if our students keep their knowledge in our community, or take it into other parts of the world? Don’t we want to give them the best possible start we can?

I would like to cite just one example of safety that is included in the list of Measure O projects: total lockdown of classrooms at the press of one button, $3 million. I want that for my grandchildren and I know there isn’t an extra $3 million in the budget.

Replace aging portables, adding new classrooms, intrusion cameras, new computer labs, better parent pickup areas, replacing aging roofs and old air conditioning and shade structures, every school will be brought up to modern standards with added safety and security. 

You can see the improvements planned for every school by going to www.tinyurl.com/MUSDplan, or for all the details of Measure O and all that was accomplished with the last bond measure funds, go to www.morongousd.com.

The best education we can provide our students in the safest, most up-to-date facilities is what we will be getting if we pass this very important bond measure.

Every student — every school. Please join me in voting “yes” on Measure O.

(30) comments

Blayd

Problem is two fold for some of us. 1:) Those of us at or near retirement age are leary of yet another bond being added to the already bloated tax bill. Fire protection zone 5 was just added. Wasteful spending runs rampant, and our existing infrastructure isn't being proactively being maintained. I will gladly TRADE: CSA 70 TV-5 ($25.30 per parcel) for the proposed school bond. Let private sector pay for the repeater tower, or just pull its plug. No loss there. 2:) Some of us desire to live here until death, so property value is of no import. That may change if the wasteful spending continues unabated. What a shame that the basics suffer due to fiscal mismanagement.

Blayd

PS: Fancy buildings, state of the art equipememt, and gizmos costing big bucks don't make learned adults. Motivated parents, teachers and students DO make learned adults.

TwoToeJoe

I wonder if I should disagree with Proposition "O" and be accused of being "hateful" and "disgusting" towards schoolchildren? I will add that maybe we should hold off passing additional property tax levies until we get those wonderful politicians elected who are promising "free" cradle thru college education. Once we get "free" education on the right track we can work on other taxpayer funded burdens such as public safety. It certainly worked when we got Obamacare and we got to keep our doctor and lowered the cost. As a matter of fact I have heard some politicians claim that since Medicare is working out well financially and with so much patient satisfaction we should expand the program and include everyone! Sounds good anyway doesn't it?

CheRojo

"I wonder if I should disagree with Proposition "O" and be accused of being "hateful" and "disgusting" towards schoolchildren?"

Only if you post hateful and disgusting things like Tim Donnelly does.

Blayd

One MORE reason to fight "private school vouchers", as championed by the yaughting crowd (Betsy DeVos and dinghy company). These vouchers just dilute taxpayer funds away from our public education system. Sad to say, I will be voting NO on this bond proposal, as my financial resourses are not unlimited. What a shame that it comes to that decision because our elected officials think that luxary items are more important than core basics, such as fire, police and schools. Obselete repeater towers, fancy animal shelters, swimming pools, and high speed rail to create chocolate milkshakes from brown cows in Cowchilla (not to mention our outrageous gasoline tax, lumber fees, paint fees, bag fees, tax on the fees). All these wasted funds could bring back our existing facilities and infrastructure to first rate condition with some modernization tossed in.

TwoToeJoe

I guess questioning defense dollars spent on gender reassignment is "hateful" and "disgusting"! When you frame the narrative just right anything will work in the liberal mind. Any idea or policy the liberals disagree with are always described in a way to make fools believe those ideas or policies promote hate, racism, misogamy, or whatever logical fallacy. Hence, apprehending illegal aliens is "snatching innocent people off the streets" and considered "unamerican" or lacking "values". Any mention of slowing the ever increasing cost of entitlements is " taking food out of the mouths of children" and "throwing granny off the cliff". The list is endless. When it comes to raising taxes on hard working taxpayers who are already burdened with enough federal, state, and local taxes with the premise of "progress" give me a break. Increased taxes always lead to increased spending while everything gets worse. There is plenty of money in the San Bernardino County budget for all of our infrastructure. It is time to stop passing the buck and cut back the charitable contributions. Cut up the credit card. Stop begging. I say "No" on any proposition that seeks to borrow money we do not have.

Blayd

I question why the military spent monies on gender reassignment on a convicted crimminal. However, that is a different topic than that of the Measure O, which became unaffordable since the Fire Protection Zone 5 was pretty much rammed through a la sleazy method. Hopefully FP5 will be recinded via the courts (courts cost money also), and then school bond issues can be revisited. Sorry to say that its rather hard for some of us to be sypathetic to the school system when one drives by a CLOSED fire station knowing that for the $157.00 fee plus the additional cost of approximately $250.00 in fire insurance that many folks will loose their house should a fire start. Morongo Unified will just have to make do for a while. Speaking of borrowing money we do not have: Dumb donald's tax cut (geared for the yaught crowd) will cost plenty of interest as he borrows on the future, increases the deficit rather than pay debt down.

TwoToeJoe

You could be right. We elected a "genius" president a while back and kept him in office for eight years that promised us hope and change such as “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child.That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” Isn't it nice that he turned things around and delivered on all that "hope and change". To bad we could not get the "smartest most qualified woman in the world" elected to continue his legacy not to mention the most "transparent" and "corrupt" free administration ever in our country's history. We could keep the debate and trade barbs on political philosophy going forever but it is good to know that we can both agree raising taxes and unabated spending does not accomplish much other than reducing our bottom line which unfortunately is our "earned income".

Mark Simmons

When I moved to Yucca Valley more than 32 years ago from the LA area, I found this area to be a quaint place to hang my hat for a couple of years as I made my way back to the east coast. As luck would have it, I met my wife here and decided to make YV our home because it was still realitivily cost effective to buy a home and raise a family.

Not true any longer! I am so tired of public entities using my house add property as their own bank account. With the added cost of the sewer, the fire tax and now another board issue for MUSD, I am afraid that if this passes I will be out on my ear. Yes I can no longer afford to pay any further taxes. I find it quite strange that my family and other families in the basin has to live well within their means. However, when it comes public entities, They feel entitled to grab upon our wallets and just take, tag. I’ve fed up with it! Too bad so sad that the school district hasn’t found a way to save money for a rainy day. My son is grown and out of the house. It is no longer my job to help fund the school district. If the School district does not have enough funds to find their projects then I guess they will have to do without! My wife and I have worked very hard over the past 30 years to provide a home and a living for ourselves. In my book, that’s what the American dream is all about. It is not to fund MUSD or their pet projects. Find another way to get this job done. Have a bake sale, wine or beer tasting events or whatever to help find these projects. But, please, I implore the voters in this Basin to vote a resounding NO on Prop. O. I along with many others in the same boat cannot afford these extra taxes. If this goes through, I’m afraid Yucca Valley will no longer be our home because we will be priced out of it.

Blayd

Hopefully the added 12 cent gasoline tax will be revoked. That costs me dearly each and every work day. I looking at the stark reality that retirement in this unincorporated area may be unwise, due to lack of fire coverage, beyond belief response time for sheriff in an emergency (forget non-emergency calls), and taxes being raised with unbridled enthusiasm and often without voter input. Regretfully, schools will just have to make do, as fiscal responsibily to basics has been usurped by luxury items that most can ill afford. Fiscal prudence: the HARSH REALITY evidently not taught in school.

Mark Simmons

I would like to apologize for some of my miss spellings. I use a dictation device and sometimes it doesn’t always pick up what I said properly. Hence, I should’ve proofread before submitting. M-

Blayd

I make my typographical errors the olde fashioned way: fat fingers, old worn out brain, and old worn out devices (which wont be replaced until they die). I always proofread right after "submit". C'est le guerre!

BBB

The folks at MUSD have been told YV will have a huge growth spurt upon completion of the sewer project. Guess they're just planning for the future as they see it. Really wonder what the security issues are all about. Doubt this will pass, lots of wants, short on explanations for need.

Blayd

Seems like MUSD has some high expectations for the future. Possible increase in student population would mean expansion of existing facilities or other method of scheduling classes (split shifts, ect.). Fancy equipment will not cure lack of pro-active maintenance on the buildings using budgets already provided for maintaining buildings and grounds. No reason that select equipment items on the wish list couldnt be purchased and shared between classrooms, rather than huge quantity purchases that often would collect dust. Too bad a spedific list of items wasn't published. Being kept in the dark about purchases just leads to fiscal abuse. The road to Hades is paved with good intentions. I choose not to be lead down that particular path without better justification.

CookieG

Donna Munoz did summarize the list of projects that are anticipated for the use of Proposition "O" funds. She even listed a link with her letter for the comprehensive plan envisioned by the school district. As far as wondering about specific security issues faced by children attending our public schools look around and see the results we are faced with the passage of Proposition "47" that saves tax revenues while increasing parent/children security concerns. I certainly would not let children walk to school unattended these days. Donna Munoz is correct in pointing out the lack of revenue our school district is receiving in order to keep up with the cost of maintenance and modernization. I would also agree that taxpayer revenue is finite and too much of it is siphoned off for other purposes instead of focusing on the specific needs of everyone's benefit. I would think that all those great ideas of saving money such as that criminal justice proposition and green energy savings would have started to pay off by now. I guess we are bamboozled at each and every election cycle. I read the complete school district long term plan and could not disagree with any proposal presented but like many others have reached a conclusion that sometimes enough is enough.

CookieG

Sorry, I meant Measure "O" not Proposition "O"

BBB

Please cite stats that support your claim that prop. 47 has made schools less safe. Using 3 million dollars to install and maintain a district wide lockdown technology is nuts. Maybe the NRA can start a fund to secure our nation's schools. Kind of nutty too.

CookieG

I am sure your neighborhood has socially responsible and well behaved meth addicts but some areas do not. If you had read the reference you could had noticed the statement regarding " Many parents no longer feel that it is safe for their students to walk to school and instead drive their students to school even though they live a short distance from the school". Wonder why? Try reading the local papers and radio newscast about the rampages committed by these new age crack heads running rampant with impunity since the passage of Proposition "47".

CookieG

By the way you should provide the stats that proves Proposition "O" has made our neighborhoods safer!

BBB

A study by Public Policy Institute of California saw no increase in violent crime after the passage of Prop. 47. There has been an increase in property crime, with an uptick in larceny thefts though. It is dangerous for kids to walk to school in our community, but it's due to a lack of sidewalks and a desert full of careless drivers. CG, I read various news sources daily, so I'm well aware of the law and order hysteria used to gin up an electorate. I never said the prop made us safer by the way.

CookieG

Sorry Proposition "47" not "O"!

TwoToeJoe

I think he is more concerned about card carrying NRA members rather than people with "get out of jail for free" cards. That "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act" sure did it's job thanks to Kamala Harris. Made us all feel much safer!

Nescient One

Measure O targets property owners, renters and the working poor to pay for community projects that benefit us all. A tax-free municipal bond would give the money from people who can invest. It is unfair and unequal to expect renters to suck up the cost, as that is what happens when you raise property taxes - the rent goes up and poor people pay with their last dollar.

CookieG

The Public Policy Institute of California did in fact state that there was an uptick in violent crime since the passage of the "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act" but states no evidence (how convenient) that it is linked to Proposition "47". Possibly if you had read that reference you may had been better informed rather than making even more false assertions.

BBB

Here's what the PPIC states concerning Prop. 47 and violent crime: We find no evidence that violent crime increased as a result of Prop. 47. While California saw an uptick in violent crime from 2014-2016, this trend appears to have preceded reform and is due in large part to unrelated changes in crime reporting after 2014. That's the reference, word for word.

The report goes on to state that California crime rates remain comparable to low rates of the 1960's. There has been an increase in property crimes, but your claim that violent crime has increased under Prop. 47 is utterly bogus based on PPIC review. I do find it unsettling that a guy with a couple of eight balls of meth can walk, claiming it's for personal use though. I'm not a crusader for for Prop, 47, just someone who is weary of law and order politics.

CookieG

Just a little difference between ""A study by Public Policy Institute of California saw no increase in violent crime after the passage of Prop. 47." and the PPIC study stating "California saw an uptick in violent crime from 2014-2016". I did read the reference word for word. I stated "The Public Policy Institute of California did in fact state that there was an uptick in violent crime since the passage of the "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act" but states no evidence (how convenient) that it is linked to Proposition "47". I also find it unsettling that Proposition "47" could even be named the "Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act" when it does the exact opposite of its namesake and makes me leery of law and order politics.

horsehouse

We vote for school bonds because we feel an obligation to contribute to future leaders' proper training. The problem I have is that the wealthiest among us might not feel an equal obligation. The wealthiest might consider that a growing disenchanted, uneducated, untrained and unemployed populous could finally realize that the liberal idea of carrying for the many is really a Christian teaching as well as a political agenda. I will vote "no" not because I despise children, but because I despise the greedy who do not contribute according to their means!

TwoToeJoe

I would argue that we vote because we have a choice of either approving or not approving tax increases instead of the usual "obligated" tax increases we are experiencing as of late. The "Christian Teaching" of "charity", "caring" and or "carrying" as you insinuate was and has never been forced upon us until the liberals adopted it as a "political agenda". "Coveting " the "wealth" of our neighbors has never been a "Christian teaching" until it was turned into a "political agenda" by some political pundits and politicians. The "wealth" of our tax revenues is being increasingly redistributed to support the growing population of the "uneducated", "untrained", and "unemployed" while basic funding towards public infrastructure such as our local education, public safety, and roadways are being strangled by this massive redistribution scheme. I do not "despise" the growing numbers" of the "disenchanted", "uneducated", 'untrained", and "unemployed" populous. I do "despise" the "greedy" liberal politicians and supporters who continually redistributes our tax revenues towards programs that benefit those who do not "contribute" to the tax base and have the audacity to beg for more funding to support basic services.

horsehouse

People who only think money flow is a benefit for those who, for whatever reason, do not have access to the abundance of wealth are blind to the money flow that is pulled from the masses and consentrated among very few. There is no discussion that will change that and Christian teachings are very clear no matter how political one twists them for their own arguments. THE END.

TwoToeJoe

That is the greatest thing about America. Everyone here has access to the abundance of wealth. Even the disenchanted, uneducated, untrained and unemployed populous of other countries are massing together and attempting to storm our borders for a better life. They are not blinded by the false premise that money is flowing from the masses and simply consecrated among the few. All they want is the opportunity to step up and take advantage of the money flow that is derived from a capitalistic society instead of the crumbs handed down in the socialist utopia that our disenchanted, uneducated, untrained, and unemployed citizens depend on. Sadly I do not think the wealthy are going to relocate here in the Morongo Basin and bless our community with the revenues of high end property taxes and businesses that fund our local infrastructure. It is the opposite. Thus we have additional assessments and local measures that attempts to fund what traditionally was adequately funded but has slowly over the years been redistributed towards other special needs of the community. The rob Peter to pay Paul mentality runs rampant not only in our local community but is enjoyed by the County, State and Federal Bureaucracies which are all borrowing and spending money it does not have and sending the bills to those greedy fortunate ones who pay local, state and federal taxes. No amount of discussion, clear Christian teachings, ballot proposition or measure, and even the proverbially political twisting for the sake of their own arguments will ever change that mentality. Thankfully at least we get to vote on whether to approve or disapprove Measure "O" rather than have the local bureaucracy decide for us as lately experienced.

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