Mirror Staff Writer
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) Board of Education has created a citizens committee to examine “the feasibility of a bond measure on the November 2006 ballot.”
The committee will be made up of members from the existing Ad Hoc Facilities Committee, as well as other members recommended by District staff and the Board. The Ad Hoc Facilities Committee has been working on developing a 20-year Master Facilities Plan for the District since January. Their work will be completed in the fall.
The Board agreed with Board President Kathy Wisenicki that local people should be recommended for the facilities bond committee, to “incorporate many voices from the community.” The Board already has a list of names it compiled for the superintendent search.
According to the District staff report, the Committee will be responsible for “determining if a bond [measure] is necessary and advisable, working with a polling firm to craft questions on bond threshold and projects lists that meet with voter approval” and “identify projects from the Master Facilities Plan that may be included in the scope of the bond measure.” The identification of facilities projects would include an analysis to see if “there is enough information from the master plan at this time to meet” the requirements of Proposition 39. Proposition 39 guarantees state matching funds for facilities projects when a bond measure is passed.
The committee would also be permitted to spend up to $30,000 “to poll the electorate regarding bond feasibility” and would present their final report at the June 15 Board meeting.
Prior to creating the committee, the Board heard from the Facilities Ad-Hoc Committee co-chair Gleam Davis. Davis stated that her committee is confident a bond measure can be constructed “that will certainly be attractive to the voting populace.” She also mentioned that due to the tight time frame for the November election members of the committee will be giving the District’s pollster, Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin & Associates, a “factual download” so they can begin to construct the voter poll.
In other District news, the May 18 Board meeting had to be rescheduled for June 1 after an overflow crowd – many of them students – showed up at the City Council Chambers to hear a report and comment on the redesign of Santa Monica High School. Overflow crowds usually sit downstairs and watch the meeting on closed circuit TV; however, due to technical problems the meeting was adjourned.