Prop. R fails — now what?

Proposition R, the school district’s $66 million bond bid, failed.

So what now, Ramona? Before the election, some planning to vote No said they could get contractors to help with some of the projects, that the community would rather contribute a specific amount to a specific cause. Well, here’s our chance.

We can argue how and why the district got in this fiscal mess, but we can’t argue that it’s in a mess. Prop. 30 sales tax passage isn’t the total answer for Ramona. In addition to other issues, there’s $32 million to $34 million still owed on the $25 million loan a previous board approved in 2004.

The state’s budget crisis helped trigger the district’s deficit spending the past few years. In three years, the district went from spending 85 percent of its budget on employee salaries and benefits to 90 percent. What suffered were areas such as supplies, technology upgrades, and maintenance.

The district’s management and support staff have taken double-digit cuts to help the district weather this economic storm. We strongly encourage the teachers to follow them in making concessions to get through this crisis.

Here’s where we, the community, can make a difference. Let’s work on a Wish List based on some of the needed school repairs and upgrades.

We asked the district for ideas, and we have an initial list. Items like fencing, roofs, asphalt, irrigation wells, phone systems, wireless infrastructure, painting, carpeting, and shade structures with solar panels are on it.

Individuals, clubs, church groups, contractors, merchants, business and social organizations, and anyone else willing to pitch in can check one item—maybe two—off the list. There may be help outside the community. Coordinating that with the district could provide some improvements. A Laguna Hills firm, for example, repaired and repaved a track at a school in Poway this year.

The district has some valid concerns—things like licenses, insurance, and permits. We can discuss them.

What do you think? Let us know: Call 760-789-1350, extension 109, comment on, or email

Related posts:

  1. What’s the holdup?
  2. School District and Teachers Association Need to Work Together
  3. Schools brace for budget cuts
  4. Prop. R is not sound fiscal management
  5. Alternatives to Prop. R

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Nov 14 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

9 Comments for “Prop. R fails — now what?”

  1. Carol Vrooman

    Am I getting this wrong? Did we try to borrow yet another millions of dollars in order to pay the millions we borrowed in '04? OMGosh!!! I'm sorry but that fiscal irresponsibility doesn't work in the private sector, what moron thinks it will work in the public? The time has come to pay the piper. Yep it's going to hurt and hurt badly but we got ourselves into this fix with the unfettered borrowing, out of control spending etc so we just have to suck it up and get ourselves out.
    I totally agree with the editorialist it is high time we take back control from out of control government. WE, the community, THE PEOPLE will take care of matters. And of course the district has 'some valid concerns-things like licenses, insurance, and permits" they are losing some power and don't like it. I'm sure along with the contractors, suppliers, laborers etc. there are attorneys, consultants etc. who can guide us through the labrynthine gubmental processes.
    Come on Ramona, lets step up. We've spoken NO MORE BONDS, now lets get our hands dirty.

  2. taxpayer

    I see a lot of Realtors advertising on this page. Imagine how helpful it would be if they would help advance this cause.

  3. OK …last night i composed a "Modest Proposal" in response to the above editorial about what's next after Proposition R's demise.. but deleted it &didnt post it, because it would have been taken literally by some folks…. It involved Superintendent Graeff and Special Ed Teacher Ms Verkouteren sitting on a dunk tank to earn money for the school repairs… and children being taught how to put up dry wall , replace sewer lines and repair roofs in elementary school, at their elementary school, etc. ( If you wish, refresh your memory from High School English Lit, and google Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.).

  4. Part 2…
    I guess today I am in a less sarcastic mood ( see entry above)… so here goes a Proposal That is Not So Modest….
    So the Bond didnt pass, and now we need volunteers , goods and services from the community of Ramona to save our schools.
    If the above contributors to this blog thread would like to organize and set up a 501c3, so that people could donate seed money to get these projects started, I pledge that I will contribute to it. … $250 a month ( $10/day for each day of the month I work) , until I retire in about 11 years. If there are 1999 other Ramonans or businesses in Ramona willing to contribute this much for this long, that would add up I believe to $66,000.000. And the citizens who do not wish to contribute to this dont contribute … and HOPEFULLY they dont complain!. As for the accountability and funds management so monies are not spent frivously or foolishly, I nominate Patrick Meskell who is the most ______ person I know in Ramona.

    • Guest

      Why wouldn't I have just voted for the bond then? Wouldn't have cost me $3K annually using your methodology.

      • I know…… It would have been cheaper for me if the bond passed too. That's why it would be voluntary… Its called altruism. … and illogical concept for this issue perhaps… but might one for consideration. It would take altruism for contractors and building supply businesses and computer experts to donate their service and materials as well… and most likely we'd be asking more of them than $10 per working day.
        This methodology would be much more expensive for those who are willing to help, and would cost nothing to those who dont want to .

  5. Parent

    Repairs can be done with the money made selling real estate owned by the district. LOWER THE PRICE AND IT WILL SELL. Who cares if market is down, the schools need cash NOW!

    • Parent, thank you for this recommendation; I think that overall that's a wonderful idea ! Others in editorials prior to the election have mentioned this as a solution also. Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area. I've heard of properties that could be sold by the District, but dont know which properties have been proposed for sale. Respectfully, and I dont mean to put you on the spot, but which properties would you suggest they sell? Are any of these properties the ones which house the Arriba Teen Center, or Ramona Community School, or Montecito High School, or do you mean the adminstration buildings? Or do mean empty lots, that would not mean closing down these sites?
      Would this be overall a wise thing for Ramona's economy when there are other such properties that are vacant lots and businesses for sale in Ramona that are not moving?
      If you are not able to answer these questions, I wonder if realtors, planning group members or school board members might be able to comment , please? I am not asking to be argumentative or oppositional. I woud just like to be better informed, as would other members of the community. Thank you.
      Jane Tanaka MD

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