I wanted to make sure to thank A.J. Vollmer for his very thoughtful letter to the editor last week. As a third generation Coastsider with my own children entering Cabrillo Unified schools this year, I share Vollmer’s need to see transparent and thorough financial documentation from our local government agencies, especially schools. I am a firm believer that healthy, well-funded public schools are central to our democracy.
At the end of the day, Measure I asks a simple question of all Coastside community members: Will you continue to pay $150 a year to support and retain our local school teachers?
As a member of the Measure I parcel tax committee, I am committed to making sure that each of these questions and concerns are answered fully and honestly. Having grandparents living here on the coast, I am wary of any tax that affects them and anyone else living on a fixed income.
What this parcel tax will accomplish is very straightforward. Measure I will raise money exclusively to pay educators. It can’t be used to pay administrators. It can’t be used for facilities. It can’t be moved out of the district. And it is subject to community oversight to ensure that this mandate is met without exception. Measure I is for “Investment” in local teachers.
Measure I will also include exemptions for seniors and for people receiving certain disability benefits. These exemptions are intended to protect those on a fixed income and to honor the fact that most seniors have spent decades as ardent supporters of the American public school system.
The district has already published a great deal of financial information on their website — including specific budget and income breakdowns and simplified fact sheets. The district will also be holding an event to help explain public education funding at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Half Moon Bay Library. This information should help frame the current financial situation, and should allow most voters to see why the parcel tax is being put on the ballot this November. Waiting will have immediate negative consequences for students, teachers and the community.
The Yes on I committee is made up entirely of local parents, business owners, seniors and teachers who are firmly committed to thorough, open and fair dialogue regarding this parcel tax prior to the November election. We want our neighbors to understand every aspect of this parcel tax, including where the money will go, because we firmly believe that Measure I is in the best interest of the community.
I want the entire community to know that they can reach out to me anytime and ask anything. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to provide my phone number or meet in person with anyone who has questions, concerns or would like to get involved in supporting Measure I this fall.
— Justin Stockman, Half Moon Bay