Friday, December 7, 2012

Allegations of "false pretenses" raised by CalBOC member

The following is a letter from the California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CalBOC).



To: Members of the WCCUSD CBOC
CC: Superintendent Bruce Harter and members of WCCUSD's Board of Education
From: Alicia Minyen, Board Member of CaiBOC 

Date: December 5, 2012

I'd like to express serious concerns regarding WCCUSD's impending bond indebtedness waiver of the
Education Code 15106, which requires that school districts not issue debt over 2.5% of a district's
assessed valuation. Please consider the information below and conduct your own independent due
diligence prior to supporting or objecting to WCCUSD's bond indebtedness waiver as the State Board of
Education always considers the position of the CBOC with regard to debt limit increases as part of the
waiver application.

1. WCCUSD may have obtained authorization from the voters of Measure E under false pretenses.
WCCUSD has exceeded statutory debt limits and failed to provide material disclosures
surrounding this fact in the ballot, including that the ballot fails to disclose a) its current
"bonding capacity limits", as a percentage, and does not disclose that the district has currently
exceeded the statutory debt limit of 2.5% to 5%; b) Measure E bonds cannot be sold without
the State Board of Education raising the current debt limit above 5%; and c) the ballot fails to
disclose what the new debt limit will be, as a percentage, when the Measure E's bonds are sold.

2. In accordance with Measure E's bond ballot language, bonds should not be sold above the
statutory debt limit of 2.5%. (Please Note that the current approved 5% debt limit only applies
to the sale of bonds under the 2010 authorization and was approved by the SBE with
conditions.)

"To make schools safe, complete essential health/safety repairs, qualify for State matching
grants, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District upgrade schools for earthquake safety
and handicap accessibility, remove asbestos, upgrade science labs, restrooms, vocational
classrooms, technology and energy systems to reduce costs, instal/lighting and security systems,
and acquire, repair, construct, equipment, sites and facilities, by issuing $360,000,000 in bonds
within legal rates and bonding capacity limits with independent audits, citizen oversight, and no
money for administrators' salaries?"

Any reasonable person would understand Measure E's ballot language above to mean the $360
million in bonds would be sold within legal rates and bonding capacity limits (which are no more
than $60 per $100 of assessed valuation and 2.5% of assessed valuation, respectively).

3. WCCUSD may issue unnecessarily expensive Capital Appreciation Bonds in order to meet its
lowered promised tax rate of $48 per $lOOk of assessed valuation. (See case law, Golden Gate
Bridge vs. Filmer which requires Boards to obtain best financing terms).

4. WCCUSD's extraordinary number of bonds and excessive debt limits that have been imposed
will cause undue financial strain on the community. The excessive level of debt may ultimately
result in declining enrollment as families are discouraged to live within WCCUSD. WCCUSD
should consider that the long-term implications counter any immediate benefit from Measure E.

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