For years, San Diego Unified has known plumbing was aging at 78-year-old Emerson-Bandini Elementary School in Mountain View. In fact, three times in the past 13 years, Emerson’s plumbing needs were held up to voters as one of the reasons they should approve tax hikes to fund school repairs.
Voters approved all three measures, pumping billions of dollars into the district. But the plumbing repairs have yet to happen.
In the meantime, school officials found alarming levels of toxic chemicals in the water at Emerson. One was vinyl chloride, a carcinogen. The other was lead, which can damage children’s brains.
Both chemicals likely leached into the water because of aging plumbing or fixtures.
During campaign season, school districts and interest groups pull out dire sob stories to persuade voters to approve tax hikes for school construction. Usually, these campaigns make it seem as if children will sit in cramped, decaying schoolhouses unless voters pony up.
In 2004, a third-party group told voters that state Proposition 55 money could “repair plumbing, drainage, sewers” at Emerson.
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Taxpayers really got taken with those bond measures. All the millions of dollars to build libraries we are still paying for and the school board will vote Tuesday to close them all. Well, some of the elementary libraries will still be open 1 day a week. I think our grandchildren will still be paying for those shuttered libraries. Then they spent millions for new laptops and wireless access, but they are cutting all the people who manage circulation, maintenance and repair of those computers. With more than a billion dollar budget, it seems like we should be more particular about who we put in charge of that budget.
Time after time the district proves they are unworthy stewards of public monies. This situation borders on criminal neglect.
"In 2008, San Diego Unified told voters local Proposition S money would “repair/replace deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems” at the school."
"In 2012, San Diego Unified told voters Proposition Z money would go there to “upgrade old plumbing and sewer systems.”
In Flint Michigan Criminal charges have been filed. In San Diego do they just get to say "oops" ?
Get permission from Organized Labor.
I have been a registered voter in San Diego since 1978 and consistently voted to support bond issues and tax increases for infrastructure support. It's an investment in our future, right? But after the SANDAG/Prop. A fiasco and the ongoing issues with SDUSD's bonds (three separate bond issues in eight years?), no more!
For crying out loud--just fix the damn plumbing.
Oh, and I would imagine that nice, new artificial turf field will have to be replaced in 6-8 more years. How I made it through Foster Elementary, Lewis Jr High, and Patrick Henry High--all with DG playfields--amazes me.
Richard Barrera lost interest in running a school system after getting his union only Project Labor Agreement implemented. Richard has no interest in getting the most qualified contractor at the best price to perform tax payer funded work on San Diego public schools. Local qualified non-union contractors are barred from being considered to do the work unless they hire their workers from the local union hiring hall.
As long as workers pay dues and pay in to union benefit plans Mr. Barrera claims victory and a job well done. In the general scope of things lead in the children's drinking water is nowhere near as important as checking construction workers for union cards, well done Rich!!!!