Public meetings worth attending

Regular attendees at public meetings occasionally hear someone stand and say something like, “When did this happen? What’s going on? I never heard anything about this.” Never mind that the elected officials, whether they be planning group or school board members, have been discussing the issue for awhile — sometimes years — and it’s been reported in the media, discussed around town, been the subject of letters to the editor and website blogs — and in some cases the information’s been mailed to all residents, property owners, voters or parents.

Well, here’s a chance to keep up with what’s happening. Thursday, May 16, Ramona school board will review the district’s most recent state-required budget report, called the third interim report. The meeting’s open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m. at 720 Ninth St.

We’re confident it’s not the same as the second interim report in March, the first interim report in December, or the 2012-13 budget approved last June. Chances are that’s not because anyone’s been hiding a pot of money. It’s because circumstances have changed.

The budget report we’ll see Thursday won’t show the deficits we saw in previous reports for the next two years. Why? Primarily because it reflects the three-year teachers agreement the board approved last month.

The board next month likely will be looking at an even different budget, one that reflects the governor’s May budget revision due this week.

On Monday, Ramona planning group’s Parks and Recreation Subcommittee meeting, led by recently elected planning group member Jim Cooper, will discuss how much money is in the county’s Park Land Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) fund earmarked for Ramona — and how to spend it.

According to Cooper’s agenda, there’s about $631,000. That’s not chump change. Those in the know understand that it’s at this level that all suggestions for parks and recreation projects originate. If that’s your interest, this is a meeting to attend. It will be in the community center, 434 Aqua Lane, at 6 p.m.

Next Wednesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. in the Ramona Library Community Room, the recently established Ramona Parents Coalition will present “Fact or Fiction,” results of its independent fact-finding efforts regarding the dispute between the district and teachers union. Coalition members encourage us to be informed. They’ll discuss “What do the proposed cuts really mean to our teachers, children, and community?” It’s a meeting worth attending.

Staying informed is an active — and interesting — pastime. We recommend it.

   
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