School board president calls for town meeting

By Maureen Robertson

Close a school, sell school district property, put another bond on the ballot, restructure the district’s $34 million loan, cut administrators. These are among ideas that likely will be discussed at an as-yet unscheduled town meeting to tackle Ramona Unified School District’s fiscal woes.

Trustee Dawn Perfect, left, makes a point during Ramona school board's daylong retreat in Riviera Oaks. Also pictured are, from left, trustees Kim Lasley and John Rajcic, board president Bob Stoody, trustee Rodger Dohm, and Superintendent Robert Graeff. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Bob Stoody, a school board member for the past 10 years and this year’s school board president, called for the community brainstorming session with an eye on what he calls “a multi-pronged approach, a workshop for long-term financial planning, looking at all different avenues.”

He discussed his idea during a one-day retreat the school board held in January. Team building, leadership, and the state’s open meeting law were among retreat topics. Stoody’s suggestion came at the end of a detailed review of the Nov. 6 bond election and possible reasons the district’s bid for the $66 million general obligation bond, Proposition R, failed. With an 81 percent voter turnout, Prop. R received 50.6 percent voter support, 4.4 percent shy of the required 55 percent.

Based on a post-election analysis by Isom Advisors, the district’s bond consultant, only three of the district’s 21 precincts supported the bond by 55 percent or more. Two of them were in town, what Superintendent Bob Graeff said are the Ramona Elementary and Hanson Elementary regions, and one was in San Diego Country Estates, “probably the Barnett community.”

Failure of the bond leaves possible options, the Isom report states: Go again to voters in 2014, restructure the $34 million the district owes, and cut programs to accommodate future loan payments.

“I’d like to brainstorm, to have a workshop with the understanding that ideas that come out of this workshop would then be going to specific committees or groups to continue on,” said Stoody, adding, “It’s for the community.”

Related posts:

  1. Budget talks turn to school bond for Ramona
  2. Trustees poised to place $60M bond on November ballot
  3. School bond will be Proposition R on Nov. 6 ballot
  4. Survey shows support for a school bond
  5. School board lays off 15, cuts 31 non-teaching jobs

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Feb 6 2013. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “School board president calls for town meeting”

  1. Lets set up a non-profit organization for Ramonans to voluntarily donate funds toward the anticipated buget deficit. If 50% of families in Ramona ( ie 5000 households) donate $1 a day for the next 18.5 years, the debt for the 2 new schools would be paid off. For an additional 14 cents a day from each family, RUSD would have the $250K per year for repairs for its older buildings. Another 16 cents a day from each household would add up to almost $300K for school supplies that teachers are spending out of pocket each year. $1.50 cents a day is less than a large diet coke when you eat out at a taco shop. Those who dont want to sacrifice this much or cant afford to, dont have to. Perhaps the 50% who did for Proposition R would still be willing to support our school district in this different way. Please dont let our school district be taken over by the State school czar due to insolvency. It would effect our students for the next 20 years!

  2. Deb

    Isn't this interesting…. Our district appears to be in a financial crisis and our board members are discussing this crisis at a day long retreat at Rivera Oaks. With the financial crisis looming, did our great leaders pay for this out of their pockets or did Ramona Unified School District pay for this?

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