Letters: County Board of Education is out of touch with voters

I read with interest about the hiring of a new (Santa Clara
County school) superintendent at a base salary of $285,000 plus
benefits. Those benefits include full health and welfare benefits
plus $1,823 in

uncovered

medical costs, an expense account, $1,000 per month car
allowance plus a credit card for any expenses above that amount,
$20,000 deferred compensation and $15,000 relocation allowance.
That brings his first year salary and benefits to well over
$333,823. Very generous but that’s not the big problem.
County Board of Education is out of touch with voters

Dear Editor,

I read with interest about the hiring of a new (Santa Clara County school) superintendent at a base salary of $285,000 plus benefits. Those benefits include full health and welfare benefits plus $1,823 in “uncovered” medical costs, an expense account, $1,000 per month car allowance plus a credit card for any expenses above that amount, $20,000 deferred compensation and $15,000 relocation allowance. That brings his first year salary and benefits to well over $333,823. Very generous but that’s not the big problem.

This housing loan of $1 million with the first $500,000 interest free and the other $500,000 at 3 percent interest is the problem.

Has the County Board of Education completely lost their minds? In a time when I know of several teachers and countless others that are losing their homes to foreclosure because of these tough economic times, the Board of Education has the audacity to loan $1 million to a new employee that they just gave a salary and benefit package worth well over $333,000. With that compensation package let him buy his own home, he can more than afford it! This action is so far out of touch with reality that I am at a loss for words. And elected officials wonder why taxpayers are so fed up. The board needs to keep this in mind the next time taxpayers say no to any proposed tax increase or bond issue. The actions of this board show they are not good stewards of the monies we have entrusted them. I urge the board to reconsider its actions and rescind this loan offer. 

Art Gillespie, Gilroy

There is still time to apply for that college scholarship

Dear Editor:

The clock is ticking and seniors will soon be graduating. For many, these past four years have been filled with balancing work, extra-curricular activities and studies. It is always impressive how our local students balance so much and still maintain high grade point averages. The next step for many is college, and as we all know, there will be a few more years of hard work – and expenses to underwrite continuing education. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and the Gilroy Rotary Club each have scholarship applications available to local students interested in applying. Both our organizations have extended the deadline to May 15, so there is still time to get an application in. Forms are available at the Gilroy Chamber office located in downtown Gilroy, through Gilroy High School, by e-mailing a request to the Chamber at [email protected] or downloading an application from the Gilroy Rotary web site at www.gilroyrotary.org. There are valuable dollars available – but, remember that the clock is ticking!

Susan Valenta, President/C.E.O. Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

Leave election cycle the way it is

Dear Editor:,

So Mayor Al and a few of his cohorts want to move the city council elections to even-numbered years; the excuse is to save money (one city employee), which will not happen. We have two locally-elected bodies, the council and the school board. The city runs “in the black.”

The school district, which is elected in even-numbered years, is not only constantly broke, but has also made the most incompetent financial decisions ever seen. During the last recession, they decided to sell some land low, and then changed their minds and bought high (when local homes in regular neighborhoods went for $1 million). Now that housing and land is in a slump, they’re ready to sell the old Las Animas School parcel.

And all they have to do is ask the voters for another tax hike (we already pay two additional property taxes to the district) and blame the bad decisions on the previous board. That’s exactly what they’ve done since the first con job (Measure J) in the early 1990s. Now they underestimated the cost of Christopher High School and are planning to come crying (for more money) in November.

This is the (pathetic) quality of representatives we get when we pile the local election onto the state and federal elections. People who don’t care enough to regularly get out and vote merely pick names according to whom their union commands them. Let’s keep our elections on odd-numbered years or the city will wind up like the Gilroy Unified School District.

Alan Viarengo, Gilroy

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