Ross Valley School District unanimously approves $5.5M design for admin offices

“…The staff report on Red Hill was not clear on what funding source the district has identified to pay for the renovations, except to say “recent and unexpected one-time fiscal allocations of designated facilities funds.”

“…District voters did pass a $41 million school bond Measure A in 2010, but it was not immediately known if the district would be drawing from any remaining bond money. School facilities spending generally is restricted to bond funds.”

Marin IJ article

Outliers has a few questions:

  1. What’s wrong with the current administrative offices? (No more than twenty years old paid for by bond)
  2. Why spend $5 million for administrators and not for the benefit of the children? 
  3. What message is this sending to the community for future bonds and taxes for schools?
  4. The original article talks about borrowing and paying interest on what seems like an unnecessary remodel. Doesn’t the community pay the interest?
  5. Won’t even more funds need to be secured to make the space usable for students use if needed?
  6. Wasn’t there a plan or proposal to enlarge the gym at White Hill?
  7. Were there studies done to project the likelihood of potential renters of the current district offices? If so, where are those findings?
  8. How much money has been spent to date?
  9. Does the board believe that administrative buildings and structures for themselves will better educate the children of the RVSD?
  10. Where was the community involvement in the decision making?

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11. Exactly how much will be spent from unrestricted budget? 12. What community oversite has there been? How often did the Bond oversite and Facilities oversite committees meet? What other competing projects did they evaluate and on what basis were district offices the top priority? 13. What about White hill locker rooms? 14. What about needed repairs and deferred maintenance to Deer Park so as not to be a slum landlord for a property where actual human children go to preschool every day? 15. What was the competitive bidding process for choosing the vendors? 16. How much has been spent… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I suppose the folks at the school district could answer some, if not all, of your questions. They seem like reasonable inquiries.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Unlikely any trustworthy answers will
be forthcoming. “When someone shows you who they are, trust them” Bagley has a long history of needing to be sued over dogged lack of transparency: https://www.dailybreeze.com/2013/10/09/california-labor-board-files-complaint-against-manhattan-beach-unified-school-district/

Anonymous
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Sure wish they would use that money to pay teachers more, invest in professional development for teachers, and on programs that directly benefit students. Fat castle for their king rather than food for the peasants! They’ll never get the district out of the lowest rankings with spending decisions like this. https://www.niche.com/k12/d/ross-valley-elementary-school-district-ca/rankings/

Anonymous
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Anonymous

these funds can’t be used for non-building related purposes (unless there are general fund expenditures involved – which, who knows if Bagley and Capron can even be trusted to tell the truth on that?). But there are no shortage of projects that could have benefited from these funds that actually impact the lives of children and teachers – and been prioritized far above the needs of a new admin building. shameful and telling – not ONE board member voted against the proposal. your point, though, is related. a governance team that does not prioritize children and teachers obviously doesn’t have… Read more »

Mom
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Mom

How can the district justify that money for a community center for San Anselmo? Are we done pretending that the Board of trustees is doing anything other than serving their own interests?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Don’t reinforce this faux stunt as a “community center.” It’s a meeting room thrown in to throw people off scent. Focus instead on the absolute lack of public process – no community input, finding a loophole to avoid competitive bidding (and full disclosure of scope of project), no process to present ALL the facilities needs and a transparent means be which vetting occurred, no public oversight. Does no one find it problematic that the communities are up in arms about $8 million for the park but Bagley and Capron smoothly stick their hands in $5.5 million of public $$ to… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Even Trump could be convinced that the appearance of self interest of holding G7 at Doral were too great to overcome. Not this group – Bagley/Capron et al so convinced of their own greatness and impunity, to hell with appearance or public input.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Why did no one show up at meetings to ask questions?? The IJ reporter was there to give live tweets and the only tweet was that they’d approved it. Was no one in the audience? 5 million dollars are being spent and no one cares???

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Stand and the Bagley/Capron/Pratt rodeo have effectively squashed public discourse. Ross Valley schools have never ranked so low in public opinion or reflected such low community engagement. They’re down to one meeting/month – no one even shows up for that. No thirst for talking about real educational issues now that they can’t drum up a false enemy to hate on.