CUSD Already Receives Obscene Amounts of OUR Tax Dollars, More Than Enough To Live Within Its Means, Vote NO on Prop E

The Sky Isn’t Falling

the-sky-is-falling-2-chicken-littleLike Chicken Little, CUSD is crying “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Read our prior article on how CUSD’s self -created financial problems aren’t an emergency for Coronado homeowners by clicking here. CUSD can solve its self-created financial problems by making reasonable and necessary budget cuts, not by forcing the unnecessary property tax hike upon all of Coronado through Prop E. Don’t let the Prop E supporters and pundits tell you any different. These days EVERYONE needs to cut out frivolous spending, especially CUSD. CUSD wastes millions of dollars on:

  • School Pool fiasco
  • Redevelopment Debt repayment
  • Administrator raises and bonuses
  • Outside consultants
  • Conferences
  • Travel
  • Lawyers, and
  • More.

CUSD Fails to Teach Students Personal Responsibility

If you’re waiting for CUSD administrators and trustees to take personal responsibility for their actions, you’re going to be waiting forever. angelWe assume we’ll be gone to to our Eternal Reward before CUSD administrators and trustees admit they mucked up CUSD’s finances over the past few decades. Can you hear CUSD kicking that financial can all the way to forever? CUSD habitually points fingers at others in order to blame others for the financial problems that CUSD created. In this way, CUSD sends the wrong message to CUSD students because it teaches them to ignore personal responsibility and to blame others for their own bad actions. Sadly, CUSD’s actions shortchanges CUSD students by failing to prepare them for their future in college and careers where blaming others and failing to take personal responsibility will get them nowhere . . . unless they fancy a career in politics.

CUSD Rakes in an Obscene Amount of Public Money Every Year – Why Can’t They Live Within Their Means?

CUSD trustees should be ashamed of themselves for their failure to live within their means. Look at all the funding . . . most of it is OUR TAX DOLLARS . . . that CUSD “rakes in” every year:

  • raking in the cashOur regular property tax dollars – $67 million per year collected from Coronado taxpayers by the County Tax Collector with a piece to CUSD according to law
  • State Aid base grants from the State of California
  • State Aid ADA grants from the State of California
  • State Aid program grants from the State of California
  • Property tax hike of 1998 through voter-approved Prop KK CUSD school bonds – we’re still paying this on our property tax bill and we’re going to have to keep paying it until around 2024
  • Department of Defense aid for military children attending CUSD – around $1.5 million per year
  • Coronado City JPA and Community Grants annually to CUSD – has climbed up to around $330,000 for fiscal year 2014-2015
  • Fundraising revenue from private donations – as one example, Coronado Schools Foundation raised around $200,000 this year
  • Developers Fees paid directly to CUSD for overdevelopment of Coronado – around $200,000 per year
  • Glorietta Property Lease income – after CUSD received a big settlement award in 2009 from the lawsuit CUSD initiated against one of its tenants, Villa Coronado, CUSD has been receiving around $250,000 per year from that tenant on the prime 2+ acre property CUSD owns near the bay front in Coronado. Click here for the report out of CUSD trustees’ closed session.

Those who work in the private sector would like to have all of this money from various sources — mostly public sources which means OUR tax dollars — shoveled at them year after year without having to account to the public how they spent it, just like CUSD. It’s sickening that CUSD rakes in so much of our tax dollars every year . . . and yet CUSD is now waging a misleading Prop E campaign to hike our property taxes even higher.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneVote NO because you want CUSD to live within its means. Vote NO because you want to stay protected under Proposition 13 from the unreasonable Prop E property tax hike. Vote NO because you know the facts. Vote NO on Prop E on June 3.  

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Fact: State Grant Formula Doesn’t Take Money Away from CUSD, Vote NO on Prop E

CUSD Blames Its Favorite Bogeyman – the State of California

pointing fingers buck passingThe State is Coronado’s favorite bogeyman.

Coronado elected officials point their fingers at the bogeyman State so often, it appears that they actually think their  job is to scapegoat the State of California.

No, it isn’t.

So what are the elected CUSD trustees, administrators and Prop E pundits up to now?

This time that old villain, the State, has adopted an evil Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF.

Is the LCFF really evil? No, of course not.

Is the State really the villain who is causing CUSD financial problems? No, of course not.

CUSD is Weeping and Wailing Over the LCFF – What’s All the Fuss About?

A California State Department of Education grant program for public schools, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) increases fairness in state grant funding to high-needs students in order to:

  1. Prevent them from dropping out of school from K-12, and
  2. Help them move on to college and into careers.

happy-running-kidsAs part of their accountability for their local control, all public school districts are required to draft and implement Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) every three years in order to show the State how they are performing and whether they are meeting the above two goals.

These LCAPs require local oversight on the part of all public school districts.

The LCFF isn’t an unfunded mandate. It also bestows state grant funding for the purpose of local oversight. 

Get the Facts about LCFF from the California Department of Education Website Because CUSD’s Websites are False, Misleading and Chock Full of Spin

For the facts on LCFF, please go to the California Department of Education website by clicking here and here.

As expected, CUSD has failed to provide objective, unbiased information to Coronado voters.

The information on the CUSD school website and CUSD campaign website is extremely misleading. CUSD  is all about emotional hype.

spin roulette wheelCUSD’s obvious goal is to whip up voters into an emotional frenzy in order to vote for the Prop E property tax hike upon their friends, their neighbors and themselves.

It’s a hard sell. Truth is one the casualties in CUSD’s Prop E campaign.

As a result, the FAQs on the CUSD campaign website are devoid of relevant facts. Most of CUSD’s “answers” are wrong . . . wrong . . . wrong. CUSD’s spin will make you dizzy.

CUSD is gambling on the fact that you’ll be so dizzy from their spin that you’ll vote for the Prop E property tax hike AGAINST THE BEST INTERESTS of CUSD students, teachers, neighbors, friends and yourself.

The Facts about LCFF Grant Distribution on the California Legislative Analyst’s Office Website Prove CUSD’s Claim that “the State is Taking Money Away” from CUSD is Completely False

Here are more LCFF facts from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office:

Distributional Effects of Formula [LCFF]

Vast Majority of Districts to Receive More State Aid, No District to Get Less State Aid. The vast majority of districts will see significant increases in funding under the LCFF. That notwithstanding, statute further includes a “hold harmless” provision that specifies no district is to receive less state aid than it received in 2012–13. Specifically, no district is to receive less moving forward than it received last year for revenue limits (calculated on a per–ADA basis) and categorical programs (calculated based on the district’s total entitlement).

This means that CUSD’s incessant whining that they are going to receive “less money from the State” is completely false.

Crying man in suitUnder the “hold harmless” provision of the State statute implementing LCFF, California school districts won’t ever receive “less” money than they received in 2012-2013. Their base grants from the State will never decrease.

This also means that CUSD’s annoying complaints that “the State is taking money away from us” are completely false.

The State’s LCFF won’t take money away from CUSD. That’s a reason for CUSD to be thankful . . .  not whine that other districts with high-needs students are “getting more money” from State grants than CUSD.

CUSD, we suggest you adjust your attitude to one of gratitude for the obscene amount of public tax dollars that you receive each and every year just because you exist. Quit whining. Grow up. Take personal responsibility. Live within your ample means. Be a good example for your students. Stop being the poster child for fat cat, entitled, irresponsible school districts in California. Make us proud of you, not ashamed of you.

CUSD’s emotional and fact-free campaign to force the Prop E property tax on us doesn’t have the facts on the LCFF. CUSD’s school website and campaign website are false, misleading and wrong.

The Prop E “answers” in the FAQ section of CUSD’s campaign website are  . . . wrong . . . wrong . . . wrong.

The Prop E cartoon on the CUSD school website and the CUSD campaign website is . . . wrong . . . wrong . . . wrong.

For the real facts about the LCFF on the website of the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, click here.

Here’s What is Really Happening with the LCFF: High-Needs Students Get Help to Stay in School, Go to College and Embark on Careers

To increase equity in State grant funding for high-needs students in order to prevent them from dropping out of school and help them to get to college, the new LCFF helps ethnically diverse school districts with household income disparities by giving Foster children need homes have rightsthose districts more supplemental grants for high-needs students.

High-needs students are defined as:

  • Foster Children,
  • Students who receive Free or Reduced-Price Meals, or
  • English Learners.

A high-needs student can fall into one, two, or all three of the above categories.

San Diego foster children have rights. Click here.

CUSD Misleads Voters With False Comparison to San Diego Unified School District

CUSD misleads Coronado voters by making a false comparison between San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and CUSD when it comes to LCFF.

Through the LCFF formula, both SDUSD will receive base grants to help needy students that have been identified as needing extra help to stay in school, go to college, and find careers to support themselves. 

Finger waggingThe bogeyman-State isn’t “taking money away” from CUSD and “giving it to SDUSD.” That’s absolutely false.

Shame on CUSD trustees, administrators and certain teachers for spreading that BIG Lie all over our town . . . in their ads, on their school website, on their campaign website, in their emails, in their articles, in their conversations with voters. Shame on you!

Shame on arrogant Prop E pundits for spreading that BIG LIE, too. We suggest that before pundits open their mouths or keyboards, they check the facts. 

For LCFF supplemental grants SDUSD will receive funding based on the number of high-neeeds students. 

Extended family in living room smilingFor example, SDUSD has more English Learners (ELs) than CUSD. SDUSD has students from more than 15 ethnic groups who speak more than 60 different languages and dialects. Thus SDUSD will receive supplemental grants to help those high-needs students stay in school and move on to college and careers.

Also, SDUSD will receive more oversight grants because it has more than 132,000 students in 226 schools.

In contrast, CUSD has only around 2,800 students in 5 schools. So CUSD doesn’t need oversight grants like SDUSD does to oversee its LCAPs.

It’s important to note here that CUSD lacks integrity in reporting the number of students that attend school in Coronado. Thanks to CUSD’s lack of integrity, we can’t trust CUSD’s assertion on how many students actually attend school in our town.

boy in hundred dollar bill costume

CUSD has been caught with reporting discrepancies in its Average Daily Attendance (ADA) numbers by its own auditor.

ADA is another mechanism by which CUSD gets money, money, money from the State as State aid.

Read our prior article on the 21 major problems the auditor found in CUSD’s books, including CUSD getting caught with reporting discrepancies in its ADA numbers, by clicking here.

You won’t find relevant, true facts on the CUSD school website or CUSD campaign website. You’ll just get dizzy from all their pro-Prop E spin.

Please get the true facts about SDUSD and how the LCFF impacts SDUSD on the SDUSD website by clicking here and here.

The Real Comparison is CUSD and Del Mar Union School District

CUSD’s constant caterwauling that CUSD is “second to last in San Diego County” in State grant funding isn’t a valid argument to raise our property taxes through Prop E. CUSD should be ashamed of itself.  

del mar beachDel Mar Union school district (DMUSD) doesn’t top the list. Yet we don’t hear DMUSD hyperventilating over the LCFF.

But then again, the elected officials in Del Mar city and DUSD didn’t feed at the Redevelopment trough over the last several decades like greedy Coronado city and school officials did.

As an affluent, upscale beach town, Del Mar refused to take advantage of loopholes in California Redevelopment Law that was meant for selected blighted areas in large cities. Del Mar refused to declare itself “blighted.” Del Mar didn’t forge a devil’s bargain between Del Mar city and DMUSD. Del Mar refused to issue non-voter-approved Redevelopment Bonds.

As a direct result of their ethics, integrity, financial savvy, and common sense, Del Mar taxpayers don’t have the burden of the enormous off-balance-sheet Redevelopment Debts that Coronado taxpayers have weighing us down.

And DMUSD doesn’t lose property tax dollars to Redevelopment Debt repayment like CUSD does. 

del mar ca beachBy tradition DMUSD has led by example and taught its students valuable lessons about ethics, integrity and personal responsibility.

CUSD should take notes and try to do better.

First thing CUSD should do is to retract its ridiculous Prop E property tax hike from the ballot, look inward, and get its financial house in order.

CUSD, Prop E supporters and Prop E pundits should be ashamed of trying to rob Coronado households of hard-earned money through the Prop E property tax hike.

Del Mar School Bond Failed to Pass in 2012

DMUSD doesn’t have all the pretty new buildings that CUSD has because DMUSD didn’t go into Redevelopment Debt like CUSD did. DMUSD also doesn’t have the large maintenance bills for pretty new buildings like CUSD does. Del Mar Vote-Notook a pass on Redevelopment Debt financing because they didn’t consider their town “blighted” and they didn’t want to incur non-voter-approved Redevelopment Bond debts.

And still, DMUSD failed to pass a school bond on the ballot in 2012.

That bond was for $76.8 million. This was about $8.44 per $100,000 of assessed property value in Del Mar.

Read about DMUSD in the Carmel Valley News story by Karen Billing by clicking here.

Note that Benjamin Dolinka of the Dolinka Group appears to be advising DMUSD decide if they want to try on the ballot for a property tax hike in the future through either a General Obligation Bond (GOB) like Coronado’s Prop E, or a Parcel Tax which differs from a GOB.

spendthriftCUSD has been paying Dolinka Group as one of many outside consultants according to our reading of CUSD’s warrant lists. However, CUSD assistant superintendent Keith Butler was silent on whether CUSD hired Dolinka Group to “help” CUSD with Prop E. Butler only said that “Stone & Youngberg underwriters aren’t helping” with Prop E on one of the local social websites in town.

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. CUSD is very tight-lipped about how they spend OUR tax dollars, aren’t they? Perhaps Keith will be persuaded to tell the San Diego Superior Court Judge on May 9 what’s going on. He has a scheduled appearance there to tell the court why CUSD refuses to turn over its bank statements for public review and forensic audit by an individual hired by Coronado residents to review CUSD’s books.

Vote NO on Prop E

The Prop E supporters an pundits insult Coronado voters by spreading the Big Lie to force a property tax hike on us.

No, the State isn’t “taking money away from CUSD.”

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneThe Prop E property tax hike is unnecessary.

Love your neighbors, your friends, your family and yourself.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

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Posted in Articles, Bond Underwriters to Reap Big Profts, Silly Pro-Prop E Campaign Promises

Republican Party of San Diego County Endorses NO Vote on Prop E, Vote NO on Prop E

Republican Party of San Diego logoWho joined the list of endorsers for a NO vote on Prop E?

The Republican Party of San Diego County.

We’re proud to have their endorsement for a NO vote on Prop E on June 3.

Here’s our list so far.

Endorse NO Vote on Prop E on June 3

~ Coronado Taxpayers Association for Excellence in Public Education

~ San Diego Tax Fighters

~ Republican Party of San Diego County


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Bombshell Admission: CUSD Trustee Admits CUSD Doesn’t Need Prop E School Bonds, Vote NO on Prop E

Bombshell Admission: CUSD Trustee Says “We Don’t Need Prop E School Bonds”

We know it’s true.

wile e coyote and roadrunnerBut we never thought CUSD would actually admit it.

As we’ve been saying in our prior articles, voters who know the truth about Prop E will vote NO.

So, Folks, here’s more truth.

If you read the local weekly paper today, you may have read a letter with the heading Prop E-ven More Confusing. The writer explains that a CUSD trustee admitted to him that CUSD doesn’t need Prop E school bonds. So he’s going to vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

The letter writer, who teaches in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), sat down with a CUSD trustee and asked questions. Here are three things the CUSD trustee said:

We’ll be fine without it (the bond).

(T)he bottom line is we don’t need the bond.

We’ll be okay if it (Prop E) doesn’t pass.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

It’s ok to vote NO on Prop E.

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneA CUSD trustee unequivocally said they don’t need the Prop E school bonds. Take that trustee at their word.

Ignore the emotional hype and fact-free generalizations from the pro-Prop E crowd.

Stand with us against the unnecessary Prop E property tax hike.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3.



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Despicable Pay-to-Play Culture of School Bonds Harms Coronado Taxpayers, Vote NO on Prop E

Stone & Youngberg and Piper Jaffray are Inseparable in School Bond Campaigns

By simply using your computer search engine of choice, you will find that in school bond campaigns throughout California, Stone & Youngberg and Piper Jaffray are inseparable.

cat and dog friendsStone & Youngberg and Piper Jaffray are school bond underwriting firms. Sometimes they are called “bond managers.” Sometimes they are called “bond salesmen.” Sometimes they are called “bond brokers.” 

There can be more than one underwriter working a school bond issue. One can be the “lead manager” while others are “managers.” Or there can be several “co-managers” on a school bond issue. What unites them is that they all profit from the public debt of the school bond issue.

Such is the profitable working relationship between Stone & Youngberg and Piper Jaffray.

To read our prior article on the current statewide ethics probe of Stone & Youngberg, click here.

Multiple School Bond Underwriters for a Single Ballot Proposition All Successfully Feed at the Property Tax Hike Trough

In California Watch on May 3, 2012, Will Evans writes:

. . . At times, multiple underwriting firms will donate to a single bond campaign. But even there, the success rate is high. In almost all cases in which multiple bond underwriters donated to the same campaign, they all were given contracts by the school district to market those bonds.

pigleta at a troughFor donors, failure is rare. In only five cases out of 111 did an underwriter make a donation and fail to receive a contract to sell the bonds. In four of those, however, more than one underwriter made donations and the contract went to the firm that had contributed a larger amount to the campaign.

Former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, a Democrat from Pittsburg, tried and failed to pass a law in 2005 requiring competitive bidding of bond sales. In a competitive sale, which takes place after the election, the underwriter with the lowest bid wins the bonds.

Canciamilla said school districts instead negotiate underwriting deals before bond elections specifically to draw in campaign money. Districts are “in effect negotiating much more attractive deals for the underwriters in order to generate the money necessary to run the campaign,” he said.

Under state law, school districts can’t use their own funds for bond campaigns. That leaves other interested parties – underwriters, builders and organized labor – to pony up the necessary cash. For their part, underwriters have justified the practice to federal regulators by noting that bond campaigns simply need thesecontributions in order to convince voters.

Bond underwriters who pony up cash and other donations of school bond campaigns successfully reap their financial rewards.

Bond underwriters who pony up cash and other donations to school bond campaigns successfully reap financial rewards for their firms.

Last November’s $63 million bond measure for the Newark Unified School District in Alameda County, for example, raised money from architecture and construction firms, the financial adviser and the law firm working on the bond issue, and local construction unions.

The only underwriter to donate, Los Angeles-based De La Rosa & Co., gave $20,000.

“All the money was donated by outside companies,” said Gary Stadler, a parent volunteer who was the campaign’s treasurer. “We said, ‘Hey, we’re going to pass this bond to improve the schools, we need some contributions, are you going to contribute?’ And of course they’re going to, because they’re going to work here.” . . .

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Pay-to-Play System Prevents a Truly Competitive Deal & Prohibits Fair Value for Taxpayers

The San Francisco Gate also published Will Evans’ California Watch article:

Leading financial firms donated $1.8 million to successful school bond measures in California over the past five years, and in almost every instance, school district officials hired those same underwriters to sell the bonds for a profit, a California Watch review has found.

The practice is especially pronounced in California, where underwriters gave 155 political contributions since 2007 to successful bond campaigns for school construction and repairs. One major underwriter, Piper Jaffray, has said it gets more requests for campaign contributions in California than in any other state where it does business.

The success rate of these underwriters is extremely high. In only five cases since 2007 has a campaign donor failed to receive a bond-selling contract from the school district.

pay to play money changes handsSchool districts say they choose bond underwriters for their expertise and competitive rates and because they’ve served them well in the past. Underwriting firms say their practice is to contribute only after they’ve been hired to sell the bonds, avoiding any undue influence.

But critics say that no matter when the agreement is made, the campaign donations influence school districts’ business decisions. They argue that prearranged underwriting contracts bypass a truly competitive sale, leaving in doubt whether districts got the best possible deal.

‘Proof of pay to play’

“If this isn’t clear proof of pay to play, then pay to play doesn’t exist,” said Glenn Byers, Los Angeles County’s assistant treasurer, who oversees some school bond sales but doesn’t control the hiring of underwriters. “The timing of the payment is irrelevant. You paid, and you got the job. That’s pay to play.”

Some states have banned the practice. Missouri, for one, outlaws donations to bond campaigns from companies with a financial interest in the bond sale.

In the past five years in California, five major underwriters donated $1.8 million to help pass 111 ballot measures, authorizing $15.5 billion in debt. A couple dozen other measures received underwriter contributions but failed at the ballot box.

rubber stamp approvedOverwhelmingly, bond underwriters who donated to these campaigns were granted contracts by school districts.

In nearly all cases, the only underwriters that donated to a successful school bond campaign ended up working on the bond sale. Bond Buyer, a trade publication, found the same pattern in an earlier review of 2010 campaign contributions.

In Alameda County last year, underwriter De La Rosa & Co. gave $20,000 to a $63 million bond measure for the Newark Unified School District, while Piper Jaffray gave $25,000 to a 2010 bond measure for the Ohlone Community College District. The districts hired the donating firms for their bond sales . . .

To continue reading the story, click here.

Ethically Wrong, Despicable & Should Be Stopped

In her September 7, 2010 Contra Costa Times article, Theresa Harrington writes:

As school district and other bond measures have become more popular in California, competition for school business among underwriters who help districts finance bonds has heated up.

While some districts seek underwriters through a competitive request for proposals, others enter into exclusive agreements with firms. In some cases, the hired firms contribute money or time to the bond campaigns, causing some critics to liken the practice to a “pay-to-play” scenario.

To restrict underwriters from donating or working on bond campaigns — and possibly having an advantage over firms that don’t — state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, proposed SB 623. The bill died last month in committee, but Ashburn, who is leaving office this year because of term limits, said he will try to attach it to the state budget as a trailer bill.

“It is ethically wrong,” he said. “It is a despicable process, and it should be stopped.”

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, voted against the bill. He said he’s not entirely opposed to it; instead, he just wants more time to study it.

The Minions of Despicable Proposition mE

“The bill was a close call for me,” he said, “but I would like to make sure that I understand what the problem is to make sure the bill is worded correctly, so we’re getting after the problem.”

In the June election, bond underwriters Stone & Youngberg LLC of San Francisco gave more than $50,000 to six California school bond measures, including $30,000 to the Mt. Diablo district’s $348 million Measure C campaign and $10,000 to the West Contra Costa district’s $380 million Measure D fund. Underwriting firms George K. Baum and Company and Brandis Tallman LLC gave $15,000 each to the Mt. Diablo campaign May 25. The donation came just two weeks after Mt. Diablo district trustees approved a master investment banking agreement with those firms, along with Stone & Youngberg, without a competitive bidding process.

Representatives of the firms could not be reached for comment Friday, but Mt. Diablo’s financial adviser, Jon Isom, said the arrangement allowed for competition among the three.

Isom said districts typically receive contributions from underwriters and others who could potentially benefit from the bond, and no laws are violated in the process.

“That’s the standard,” he said. “It is absolutely the norm for school districts that are running bond campaigns.”

But Oakland district spokesman Troy Flint said his district has tried to avoid negotiating bond contracts, opting instead for competitive financing when bonds are sold.

“There are situations throughout California where an underwriter will pay for the bond campaign in exchange for the exclusive right to buy or sell the district’s bonds,” he said. “On occasion, this has resulted in abuse, with the underwriting firm getting compensated above market rates when they sell the bonds. We’ve tried to avoid finding ourselves in that position.” . . .

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Glorified Pay-to-Play System of School Bond Campaigns

In his January 13, 2012 article in Bond Buyer, Randall Jensen wrote:

spendthriftWhen broker-dealers give money to California school bond campaigns, it appears to be money well spent.

A review of campaign finance records by The Bond Buyer found a nearly perfect correlation between broker-dealer contributions to California school bond efforts in 2010 and their underwriting subsequent bond sales.

The review found only one instance when a broker-dealer didn’t handle the bond sale after making a contribution to a political action committee advocating a successful school-bond measure. In that case, the business went to a firm that gave more, a review of disclosure filings with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board found.

Such contributions are not illegal, but they raise questions for some that regulations may need to be updated to prevent “pay-to-play” conflicts of interest.

In 2009, the MSRB elected not to restrict broker-dealer contributions to bond ballot campaigns as part of its Rule G-37, saying there was not enough evidence to show firms were being awarded underwriting business after helping to fund the measures. Instead, it required broker-dealers to disclose such contributions in filings to the MSRB beginning in February 2010. California voters approved 61 of the 83 school bond measures on the ballot in 2010, a passage rate of 74%.

According to the MSRB filings, underwriters contributed more than $700,000 to 41, or 67%, of those elections, all of which resulted in negotiated bond issues. Other successful bond elections resulted in competitive bond sales, in which the underwriter is not selected in advance.

Ten other negotiated sales by school districts also took place in 2010 without any disclosure of corresponding contributions by broker-dealers. Negotiated deals typically result in higher underwriter fees.

Tmortar board on cash billshe California school bond measures linked to broker-dealer contributions approved in 2010 resulted in an estimated $3.85 billion of bond authorizations, resulting in around $1.2 billion of debt issued. Every time but once, the records showed, when a broker-dealer contributed to a bond referendum that passed, it ended up as lead manager or co-manager.

Piper Jaffray, De La Rosa, Stone & Youngberg, George K. Baum and RBC Capital Markets all lead negotiated school bond transactions after contributing to election campaigns, a review of MSRB records found.

Broker-dealers that commented for this story say they are hired before they give any money to a campaign. They said financial advisors and bond counsel firms generally give more and are not required to disclose campaign contributions to the MSRB.

Other companies, such as construction firms, typically give more to the bond campaigns, but they are subject to a bid process overseen by a committee.

George K. Baum vice chairman Robert Dalton said it’s the policy of the firm to donate if asked by an independent campaign committee, not the school district, and only if the firm had already been hired as an underwriter.

“We do not make campaign contributions to influence the hiring decision,” Dalton said in a statement. “Our underwriting contracts with our school district clients are most often entered into six months to a year before the bond election is called.”

Dalton’s comments mirrored those by other broker-dealers.

The only firm not selected to underwrite a bond sale after giving money to a ballot measure committee was Stone & Youngberg, after it contributed $10,000 to West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Measure D, a $380 million bond referendum. Piper Jaffray was the lead manager on the district’s subsequent $100 million sale last November, after giving $25,000, according to disclosure documents filed by the firm to the MSRB.

A spokesperson for Piper Jaffray contacted for comment pointed to the firm’s internal policy stating it will not make any financial contribution as a condition of being retained as an underwriter. The firm didn’t comment further.

An investment banker who declined to be identified said the truth about school bond elections in California is that money is needed to pay for ballot measures. 

no pay to play logo“We want to support our clients and the unfortunate reality in California is to do a voter outreach program it takes resources,” the banker said. “This is what happens in California. In an ideal world you wouldn’t need all this stuff.” . . .

Glenn Byers, assistant treasurer for Los Angeles County, along with county Treasurer Mark Saladino, has been challenging some school districts in the county over their bond issuance practices. He said pay to play is endemic.

“It is a glorified version of pay to play,” said Byers. “These people are not going to be contributing the money if they are not going to be standing in line to then work on the bond transaction. I don’t know of a single instance where someone gave money and didn’t work on the bond transaction.”

While the state government regulates campaign contributions, it cannot limit donations to referendum campaigns because of a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, according to Robert Stern, an expert of California campaign finance law. “It is not common knowledge, but it is not unusual and clearly it’s not illegal,” he said . . .

To continue reading the story, click here.

Normal & Customary for School Districts to Extract Bond Campaign Donations & Additional Help from Underwriters

In her November 1, 2012 article in the San Jose Mercury News, Bonnie Eslinger writes:

bills in handsJoyce Romeo, one of the committee’s campaign managers, said the companies were approached for money at the recommendation of San Francisco-based TBWB Strategies, a consultant hired by the pro-Measure H committee.

“The way it was explained to me is that they donate to many campaigns,” Romeo said. “That it’s normal and customary and not because of our contracts,” she added.

TBWB partner Sarah Stern offered a similar explanation in an email Wednesday, calling it “very typical for the companies you mentioned to contribute to volunteer-run and privately funded campaigns to help ensure that school bond measures pass.”

Their motivation, Stern said, was to help fill the gaps left by shortfalls in state education funding.

San Carlos School Board President Seth Rosenblatt, who noted he has not been involved in Measure H fundraising, said he didn’t think there were any “literal connections going on” between the companies with district contracts and their donations. The campaign solicitation was an “unfortunate side effect of politics in general” because money is needed to get an election message out to the public, he added.

Orrick’s director of governmental affairs, Jim Bruner, said the company has had a long attorney-client relationship with the district and felt the campaign’s contribution request “made sense from a public policy perspective and for the schools.” The district’s new contract with Orrick is for $88,000, “to provide bond and disclosure counsel services.”

????????????????????Keygent Advisors was awarded a $70,000 contract on Sept. 20 to provide “financial advisory service for potential bond issuance,” and the agreement with Stone & Youngberg/Piper Jaffray & Co., for “underwriting services for potential bond issuance,” could be worth up to $324,000, according to Porter.

Neither Keygent nor Stone & Youngberg replied to a request for comment on their contributions . . .

To continue reading the rest of the story, click here.

CUSD Outspending Us 200 to 1

Why do we say CUSD is outspending us by a margin of around 200 to 1?

Because CUSD has solicited campaign contributions and other help from Piper Jaffray, and perhaps other school bond underwriters.

Could one of those other school bond underwriters be Stone & Youngberg? Yes, it’s possible. CUSD isn’t honest, open and transparent with us so they can’t be trusted to tell us the truth.

risk diceEven if Stone & Youngberg hasn’t been “involved” to a certain extent with Prop E, they still can be “involved” in the future with Prop E.


CUSD can hire Stone & Youngberg in the future. Or Piper Jaffray can hire Stone & Youngberg to assist with Prop E bonds, if they pass.

Prop E is simply too risky. We can’t rule out Stone & Youngberg’s influence.

And we know Stone & Youngberg is the subject of a statewide ethics investigation currently.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

Stop the pay-to-play culture of CUSD.

Stop the waste of taxpayer dollars to feed bond underwriters at the Coronado taxpayer trough.

Understand that like other employers in the private sector, CUSD can live within their means. They just don’t want to.

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneIt’s ok to vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

The sun will still rise on June 4 and CUSD will simply have to go back to its books and make reasonable cuts like every other employer.

CUSD can “do more with less” . . . just like Coronado property taxpayers are forced to do in this economy.

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Posted in Articles, Bond Underwriters to Reap Big Profts

CUSD’s Bond Underwriter is the Subject of a Statewide Ethics Probe, Vote NO on Prop E

Bond Underwriter of Choice for CUSD, Coronado City and Coronado Redevelopment Agency is the Subject of a Statewide Ethics Investigation

You can judge a man’s character by the company he keeps.

suit in handcuffs

White collar crime is a well-known problem in school districts. Southwest Community College School District was the most recent headline grabber in our San Diego area. White collar crime in school districts is seldom reported and seldom prosecuted. Not all white collar crime makes the news.

So, too, you can judge local government agencies by the company they keep . . . or whom they choose to hire . . . especially those no-bid contractors for various services . . . including bond underwriters.

Along with Coronado City and the now-defunct Coronado Redevelopment Agency, CUSD has been using Stone & Youngberg bond underwriters without the benefit of open, competitive bidding. Open, competitive bidding is the established, accepted way to ensure that public tax dollars aren’t wasted and to ensure that there’s no funny business. A pay-to-play culture of local government is always at risk of developing.

No-bid contracts are the opposite of competitive, open bidding. No-bid contracts are giant red flags that signal that public officials and outside contractors are “chummy.”

Stifel Nicolaus purhased Stone & Youngberg. Stone & Youngberg is now a “division” of Stifel Nicolaus.

Stone & Youngberg is the underwriter of the infamous Poway School Bonds. For $100 million face value of school bonds, Poway property taxpayers will pay $1 Billion!  You can read our prior article that discusses the infamous Poway School Bond scam by clicking here.

CUSD’s Bond Underwriter Stone & Youngberg is the Subject of a Statewide Ethics Investigation

CUSD’s bond underwriter made headlines recently for being the subject of a statewide ethics investigation — Stone & Youngberg.

Read the Union-Tribune article by clicking here.

spendthriftExcerpt from U-T article by Ashly McGlone:

State ethics regulators have opened an investigation into hundreds of dinners purchased for school officials by Stone & Youngberg, an underwriter that has issued billions of dollars of bonds across California — many approved by recipients of those meals.

The company has picked up the tab for dinners during conferences for school officials, and the state is checking to see how many meals and other gifts went unreported on mandated conflict-of-interest disclosures.

U-T Watchdog in 2012 reported on school officials in Poway, who retroactively disclosed accepting $2,200 in Stone & Youngberg meals over five years. The officials were responding to a corruption probe in South County, where officials were being prosecuted for similar failures to disclose meals from vendors and contractors.

In response to the Watchdog’s Poway story, the California Fair Political Practices Commission has launched a statewide probe of Stone & Youngberg’s hospitality, to determine whether other school districts made the same omission as Poway.

“We opened an investigation based on the article you wrote, so we are looking at unreported gifts by Stone & Youngberg to officials,” said Gary Winuk, chief of the commission’s enforcement division. “The whole purpose of the law is so the money bills stackspublic knows which public officials are receiving gifts, so they can decide for themselves how it affects doing their jobs on behalf of the public.”

Stone & Youngberg’s managing director and head of public finance, Stephen Heaney, did not respond to calls and emails seeking an interview for this story. . . 

The 2011 Poway bond issue was known as a “capital-appreciation bond,” and Stone & Youngberg issued many like it. According to data from the state Treasurer’s Office, the firm made more than $46 million selling more than $4.9 billion in bonds from 2000 to September 2012.

The company made more than $9 million of that in San Diego County, including issuances for Poway Unified, Grossmont Union High School District, San Marcos Unified, Santee School District and San Ysidro School District.

Stone & Youngberg’s parent company, St. Louis-based Stifel Nicolaus, earlier this year acquired De la Rosa & Co., so the two firms are now sibling companies.

Stone & Youngberg Profited from Coronado Public Bond Debts

In Coronado, Stone & Youngberg has profited untold millions of dollars — OUR tax dollars — by underwriting hundreds of millions of dollars of public bond debt for . . . Coronado City . . . and the now-defunct Coronado Redevelopment Agency . . . and CUSD . . . over the years.

“No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt

“No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt

And it seems that public officials, including school officials in California, haven’t been reporting their “perks” from Stone & Youngberg. “Perks” are the usual “free” dinners, “free” lunches, “free” tickets, and other “free” stuff, that public officials feel so very, very entitled to take while holding public office.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

According to the requirements of the law such gifts, or perks, must be reported regularly on school board officials’ Form 700.

The law requires reporting of gifts in order to let the public know exactly who is exercising influence over public officials. Also the law seeks to deter pay-to-play government agencies by disclosing various influences on public officials.

Under the law, public officials are required to remain unbiased, impartial, and make thoughtful decisions in the best interests of their communities after thorough deliberation and public debate. In other words, the law says that public officials must not rubber-stamp decisions in favor of outside contractors who give them perks.

CUSD Hired Stone & Youngberg Just 2 Years Ago in 2012 to Re-Finance CUSD’s 1998 Prop KK School Bond Debts

Read our prior article called $200+ Million is CUSD’s Total Debt, Vote NO on Prop E by clicking here. In our article is a chart that shows CUSD’s debt according to our research.

We don't need a crystal ball. The best predictor of  future behavior is . . . past behavior.

We don’t need a crystal ball. The best predictor of future behavior is . . . past behavior.

In the chart and in the paragraph below the chart of our prior article, you’ll also read where we found some of the latest activity of Stone & Youngberg for CUSD in the 2012 Refund General Obligation Bonds (GOBs) for $12 million face value that was the way CUSD re-financed, or rolled over, the 1998 Prop KK $17 million face value GOBs.

As we said in prior articles, if Coronado voters give CUSD the property tax hike CUSD seeks with Prop E, then in the future CUSD will likely roll over . . . or re-fund . . . or re-finance . . . Prop E school bonds in the same way CUSD rolled over the 1998 Prop KK school bonds in 2012 with Stone & Youngberg. 

Continually re-financing old debt is a sign of financial mismanagement. It’s bad for taxpayers. It’s good for the bond underwriters and others who make money off of the re-financing schemes.

It’s CUSD’s Responsibility to Inform Voters of CUSD’s Debts

mortar board on cash billsDoes it sound complex and confusing? It is.

And it’s CUSD’s responsibility to disclose and explain all of this complex financial information to Coronado voters from whom CUSD demands the Prop E property tax hike.

Why do we have to do the research? Because CUSD and Prop E supporters aren’t open and aren’t honest about CUSD’s debts and other financial information. As a result, CUSD’s lack of transparency makes it extremely difficult for voters to make an informed decision.

Why do CUSD representative refuse to be open and honest about their debts and other financial information? Because voters who know the facts will vote NO on Prop E on June 3. 

It’s CUSD’s Responsibility to Inform Voters of Ethics Investigation of CUSD’s Bond Underwriter

You didn’t hear about the Stone & Youngberg ethics investigation from CUSD. You heard it from the Union-Tribune, here at in this article and on here.

appearance of honesty is best policyDid CUSD hire Piper Jaffray, the carpet baggers from Minneapolis and London, who CUSD now claims is the Prop E underwriter, because of Stone & Youngberg’s ethics probe? Perhaps.

But we’ll likely never know because CUSD isn’t open and honest about CUSD’s finances including debts. It’s possible that CUSD won’t ever tell us how they came to choose Piper Jaffray as their no-bid Prop E bond underwriter.

Stone & Youngberg Might Become Involved in Prop E in the Future if it Passes

Will Piper Jaffray choose Stone & Youngberg to assist in carrying out the Prop E school bond scheme if it passes? Possibly.

Prop E is too risky for many reasons.

To read our story about the despicable culture of school bonds, click here.

The risk of Stone & Youngberg coming in through the back door through Piper Jaffray is yet another reason to vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

In Coronado, voters apparently don’t get a say on the type of company CUSD keeps. Voters would be surprised at the number of “chummy” relationships between CUSD and outside contractors, local businesses, and others that are kept hidden from the public.

risk diceCUSD’s bond campaign consists of emotional pleas and trying to guilt and/or bully parents into voting for the Prop E property tax hike. Prop E supporters speak in vague generalities using emotional buzzwords — not substantive, quantifiable facts with cited sources to verify facts. If and when we hear of a verifiable fact in favor of Prop E, we’ll let you know.

The Prop E property tax hike campaign is all smoke and mirrors. Don’t expect CUSD to come clean on Stone & Youngberg, Piper Jaffray, or any of the decisions to try to force the Prop E property tax hike on us.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

Vote NO because CUSD refused to tell voters the truth about CUSD’s debts.

Vote NO because CUSD refused to tell voters the truth about CUSD’s bond underwriters and the existence of a statewide ethics probe of Stone & Youngberg.

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneVote NO because CUSD keeps company with a no-bid bond underwriter that’s the subject of a statewide ethics investigation.

Vote NO because CUSD’s financial choices are highly suspect.

Vote NO because CUSD has failed to openly and honestly be transparent in its financial dealings with public tax dollars . . .  OUR property tax dollars . . . yet at the same time CUSD demands yet another property tax hike through Prop E.

Enough is enough!

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3.





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Posted in Articles, Bond Underwriters to Reap Big Profts

Ballot Pamphlet Materials Prove Prop E is Too Risky & Expensive, Vote NO on Prop E

Read All 11 Pages of Ballot Materials

no tax increaseThe San Diego Registrar of Voters published the complete Prop E materials on their website.

Click here to read all eleven pages of Prop E ballot materials.

Click here to read our prior article on how to understand the Prop E materials.

Ballot Materials Prove Prop E is Too Risky & Too Expensive

The ballot materials prove that Prop E is too risky and too expensive.


Because according to the COUNTY COUNSEL’s IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS, the Prop E property tax hike will cost us a lot more in principal and interest than CUSD would have us believe with their rosy promises. And the Prop E property tax hike will burden us for a far longer duration than CUSD would like us to believe. In reality, the Prop E school bonds can kitten and rosehave a legal interest rate UP TO 12% and a legal duration of UP TO 40 years. Yikes! That’s an expensive and burdensome tax hike.

Because in CUSD’s TAX RATE STATEMENT submitted by CUSD superintendent Jeff Felix, his extensive and untitled legal disclaimer proves that CUSD’s rosy promises of low interest rates and a short term property tax hike aren’t legally binding on CUSD and aren’t legally enforceable by Coronado taxpayers. CUSD’s “best estimates” from unidentified “official sources” that three bond issues at the low 1% interest rate will be paid off by Coronado property taxpayers in 10 years is silly. CUSD doesn’t control the bond market so it’s silly of CUSD representatives to make unrealistic promises that they can’t keep.

In reality, the Prop E property tax hike is going to COST a lot more and burden us for MORE YEARS than CUSD would like us to believe. Yikes! That’s an expensive and burdensome tax hike.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

Extended family in living room smilingIt’s ok to vote NO on Prop E.

Vote NO because you don’t want to risk an expensive tax hike on your family, your neighbors, your friends and yourself.

Vote NO because you like your family, your neighbors, your friends and yourself.

Vote NO because no one deserves another burdensome property tax hike in Coronado. Enough is enough!

Vote NO because CUSD doesn’t deserve another credit card to pay off the other credit cards they maxed out. Enough is enough!

Vote NO because CUSD will survive without Prop E school bonds.

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneIn fact, a CUSD trustee admitted that CUSD doesn’t need Prop E school bonds. Read our prior article called Bombshell Admission: CUSD Trustee Admits CUSD Doesn’t Need Prop E Bonds, Vote NO on Prop E by clicking here.

In reality, CUSD will be fine when Prop E fails.

Do the right thing: Vote NO on Prop E on June 3.


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Posted in Articles, Ballot Pamphlet Materials, How To Understand Prop E Ballot Pamphlet Materials

How to Read Your Ballot Pamphlet to Understand What Prop E Really Means, Vote NO on Prop E

Extended family in living room smilingCUSD Made it Difficult, But Not Impossible, To Understand What Prop E Means

Like other school districts seeking additional property tax hikes through additional school bonds, Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) has hidden a lot of important information from voters.

And the information that CUSD has revealed is difficult to understand.

The reason is that if voters know what Prop E really means, then they will vote NO.

Here’s your guide to what Prop E really means.

Prop E Property Tax Hike is Too Risky

By their own admission, CUSD intends to “rake in” $29 million in public debt financing with Prop E.

credit card cat d2a1104b495a52e2d88ba0876dfee1ba67bab5b6b93613c6f9c0cfc347ae48afBut CUSD can’t guarantee how much THEIR $29 million will cost US Coronado taxpayers in principal and interest because CUSD isn’t in control of the bond market.

The cost plus interest to Coronado property taxpayers is much HIGHER than the $29 million that CUSD wants to “rake in” for itself in order to pay off its old debts.

How much will Prop E cost Coronado homeowners? Too much. We can’t afford it.

Prop E is too expensive. Read our prior article on CUSD’s $200+ million debt by clicking here.

Forget the Emotional Hype, Prop E Supporters are Highly Self-Interested

Forget the rumors you heard from pro-Prop E tax hike supporters.

None of their generalized statements and fact-free propaganda that they’ve frantically spread around our community before rushing this tax hike onto the ballot has any true meaning. Forget what they’ve told you.

The Prop E property tax hike is a hard sell. If voters understand Prop E, they won’t vote for it.

Most, if not all, on the list of pro-Prop E tax hike supporters and ballot “signatories” have a high degree of self-interest in seeing Prop E pass on election day:

  • money bills stacksElected officials, past and present, who created financial problems for CUSD in a variety of ways over the years,
  • People responsible for the School Pool fiasco,
  • Administrators, directors, teachers and others employed by CUSD who “toe the party line” for their job,
  • Parents hoping to get good grades, positive recommendations and favorable treatment for their children who are students of people employed by CUSD,
  • Local business owners who supply goods and services to CUSD as outside contractors,
  • Other outside contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to CUSD,
  • Wannabe outside contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers who try to curry favor with CUSD, and
  • Many of the relatives of all of the above people.

We are disappointed, but not surprised, that many of these Prop E supporters have stated that they are “proud” to vote for the Prop E property tax hike against US — their neighbors, friends and acquaintances. As the saying goes, with friends like that who needs enemies?

The Prop E supporters shouldn’t be proud. They should be ashamed. Pay them no attention.

keep-calm-and-love-thy-neighborProp E NO Voters Love Our Neighbors & Protect Our Proposition 13 Guarantees Against Unreasonable Prop E Property Tax Hikes

Coronado homeowners and business owners who endorse a NO vote on Prop E are indeed proud that we stand WITH our neighbors, friends and acquaintances AGAINST yet another property tax hike.We won’t force a property tax hike on OTHERS because we don’t want OTHERS to force one on us.

We know it’s important for CUSD to live within its means. And we know CUSD won’t live within its means if they know they can keep coming back to us, Coronado property taxpayers, for additional tax hikes. CUSD must stop taking the easy way out and, instead, make the hard choices and make reasonable budget cuts.

Also, we are proud of our California State Proposition 13 protections against such unreasonable property tax hikes that are above the constitutionally guaranteed limit. Voting for Prop E violates and removes our Proposition 13 constitutionally-guaranteed limit on our property taxes.

We’re proud to vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

Ballot Pamphlet Materials Are Key to Understanding What Prop E Means

When you receive your ballot pamphlet in the mail, you’ll see that there are many parts to it. It’s 10 pages long. 

If you don’t want to wait, you can click here to read all 11 pages of the Prop E ballot pamphlet materials online at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters website.

Like other school districts, CUSD is counting on the fact that many voters will either fail to read the ballot pamphlet materials or not know what to focus on if they do read it.

boy-thumbs-down-NO-v1Some of the ballot materials are long. CUSD supplied most of the ballot items. CUSD’s materials seem complex and confusing. It’s difficult to know what information is relevant, what’s irrelevant, and what’s meaningless.

If you’ve analyzed school bond measures in other districts, then you realize that much of the information supplied by CUSD for Prop E is boilerplate, cookie-cutter language intended to mislead voters into approving a property tax hike upon THEMSELVES and their NEIGHBORS and FRIENDS.

After all, the Prop E property tax hike is a hard sell.

Who would vote to RAISE their own property taxes? Not anyone in their right mind.

If voters know what Prop E really means, then they will vote NO.

Six Parts of Prop E Ballot Material as They Will Appear in Your Ballot Pamphlet

Say NO to Propety Tax IncreaseIn your ballot pamphlet, available for you to read by clicking here, you will see these items for Prop E:

  1. Actual Ballot Measure E Language supplied by CUSD –Important, but all you need to know are 14 hidden words of great risk.
  2. Impartial Analysis of County Counsel as Required by Law — Very important, especially three paragraphs at the start which prove that Prop E bond interest rates can go up to the high of 12% and bond duration can last up to 40 years. This factual analysis is NOT supplied by CUSD. It  is required by law in order that voters receive the true facts about the Prop E property tax hike. It proves CUSD’s claims are wrong about the cost of Prop E to Coronado taxpayers and the number of years that Coronado taxpayers will be forced to pay off CUSD’s Prop E bond debts.
  3. Tax Rate Statement supplied by CUSD Superintendent Jeff Felix as Required by Law — Important, because this also proves CUSD’s claims are wrong about the cost and duration of Prop E to Coronado taxpayers. It contains rosy “best estimates” from unidentified “official sources” of the costs to Coronado homeowners of three Prop E school bond issues at the low 1% interest rate is around $40 per year per $100,000 assessed value of Coronado property. CUSD’s rosy “estimates” are immediately followed by CUSD’s extensive legal disclaimer that states that CUSD’s “best estimates” aren’t legally binding on CUSD or enforceable by Coronado property taxpayers because CUSD can’t guarantee the cost or duration of the Prop E bond debts. 
  4. Arguments For and AGAINST Prop E — To read our 2 arguments AGAINST Prop E, click here and here. At the time of this writing, CUSD hasn’t disclosed its arguments for Prop E to Coronado voters.
  5. Project List supplied by CUSD as Required by Law — Important, it’s in the four-page “Full Text Ballot Measure” at the end of your Prop E ballot materials. Near the very end of its Project List, CUSD hid its plans to pay for old School Pool debts in the cryptic phrase “re-financing of any outstanding lease obligations.” Also, CUSD states its plans to pay for Operating Costs including “landscaping”, “painting buildings,” “enhancing signage” and “tech” upgrades that can include purchasing iPads that will break or become obsolete before Coronado taxpayers pay off CUSD’s Prop E bond debts.

Hang in there, Coronado voters. We’ll walk you through it.

happy-running-kidsProp E Ballot Measure Language – All You Need to Know Are These 14 Hidden Words of Great Risk

Ignore all of the fluffy, emotional buzzwords in the Prop E measure before the word “shall.”

Skip over all of this front-loaded fluff because these words are meaningless and empty. They have no legal force and effect. CUSD, like other school districts, calculated that voters will stop reading partway through this mess:

“To provide modern classroom technology and facilities students need for college/career success, continue advanced programs in math, science and the arts, acquire, construct and repair classrooms/facilities/sites/equipment, permit smaller classes, and protect Coronado’s quality of education . . .”

Pay attention to the middle of the ballot measure where, like other school districts, CUSD hid the real meaning of Prop E:

“. . . shall Coronado Unified School District issue up to $29,000,000 in bonds at legal rates . . .”

This means that CUSD can’t legally guarantee that CUSD will definitely issue Prop E bonds at 1% interest rates and Coronado homeowners will pay them off in 5 years because  CUSD doesn’t control the bond market.

In reality, it’s important for voters to know that:

  • Legal rate of bond interest is UP to 12%
  • Legal rate of bond duration for Coronado taxpayers to pay back CUSD’s bond principal and interest is up to 25 or 40 years.

How do we know the above two facts? Because the Independent Analysis of County Counsel tells us these facts later on in the ballot pamphlet materials.

Skip the rest of the Prop E measure language because it’s meaningless.

Scam alert cap and diplomaLike other school districts, CUSD tacked on additional language that has no legal guarantees or real protections for Coronado taxpayers.

It’s simply more meaningless filler that hides the true risks and actual costs of Prop E:

“. . . with maturities under 5 years, all bonds repaid by September 30, 2024, less than $13,200,000 outstanding at any time, independent citizen oversight, and all money staying local?”

Many smart voters will stop reading Prop E materials here, vote NO on Prop E, and move on to the next ballot item.

Impartial Analysis of County Counsel – Paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 Prove Prop E Bond Interest Rates are Up to 12% & Prop E Bond Durations are Up to 40 Years

The County Counsel is required to make and publish an impartial analysis for every ballot measure because, simply put,  school bond proponents like CUSD are greedy for tax hikes and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Why not? Because if voters know the truth, they won’t vote for Prop E.

Here are the critical statements to look for in the County Counsel Impartial Analysis in your ballot pamphlet:

happy childrenParagraph # 1:

“. . . In exchange for the money received from the holdersthe District promises to pay the holder of the bonds an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the bonds on the expiration date . . .”

This means that the only legally binding and enforceable promises are the ones CUSD make to whoever holds, or buys, the bonds. All of the promises about Prop E that CUSD made to Coronado homeowners, Coronado taxpayers and Coronado voters are legally unenforceable because they’re not legally binding.

Paragraph # 2:

” . . .The purpose of this tax is to generate revenue to pay the principal and interest on the bonds in an amount sufficient to pay the interest as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity. . . “

This means that CUSD seeks additional revenue in the form of a property tax hike on Coronado property taxpayers who are responsible to pay both $29 million principal PLUS interest on the Prop E school bonds which is an expensive form of public debt financing.

No-on-Ev3-girl=phoneParagraph # 4:

” . . . The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, could not exceed 12% per annum [year]. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 25 years or 40 years after the date the bonds are issued as determined by the District . . .”

This means that if voters approve the Prop E school bonds, then CUSD has sole discretion to issue school bonds at UP TO 12% interest rates and Coronado homeowners could be forced to pay off CUSD’s bond debt for UP TO 25 or 40 years.

Why is this so? Because CUSD isn’t in control of the bond market, so CUSD doesn’t control bond interest rates. Bond interest rates are the costs of borrowing money to pay CUSD’s old debts.

Key relationships to understand are: The higher the interest rate, the higher the cost of the school bond debt that Coronado homeowners will be forced to pay and the longer it will take Coronado homeowners to pay it off.

If you approve the Prop E property tax hike, then you give sole control to CUSD over when they issue VARIOUS SERIES of bonds which means the interest rates could be VERY HIGH, up to 12%, and most likely HIGHER than CUSD has tried to trick you into believing they will be.

If you approve the Prop E property tax hike, then you give sole control to CUSD to force homeowners to pay back CUSD’s school bond debt for UP TO 25 or 40 years. Prop E is too risky.

pinocchio long noseYou’ve heard the Prop E tax hike supporters make promises they can’t keep:

  • Coronado homeowners will “only” have to pay 1% interest on 5-year bond debt issues,
  • It will “only” cost Coronado homeowners around $40 per year per $100,000 of assessed property value,
  • The average Coronado homeowner will “only” have to pay around $280 per year for the Prop E property tax hike,
  • The school bond for $29 million will “only” cost Coronado property taxpayers around $40 million in principal plus interest to pay off, and
  • Coronado taxpayers will “only” need 10 years to pay off all CUSD’s Prop E bond debts because all Prop E bonds will be paid off by 2024.

Specifically, on CUSD’s “Fact Sheet as of March 2014,” which you can read by clicking on CUSD’s school website here, CUSD printed this fiction as the last statement on page 2:

Taxpayer Expense: The $29 million bond translates to $39.87 per year for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. The median assessed value in Coronado is just below $700,000, which means that the majority of Coronado homeowners will pay less than $280 a year on account of Proposition E.


mortar board on cash billsAll of CUSD’s above promises are completely untrue. Their promises are legally invalid and unenforceable. As such their promises are empty and meaningless.

Prop E is the worst of ALL possible worlds because it gives CUSD sole control to burden Coronado homeowners with bond debt at legal interest rates up to 12% to be determined by the bond market that CUSD doesn’t control for as long as it takes homeowners to pay back CUSD’s bond principal and interest with the legal duration of up to 40 years. Yikes!

Many smart voters will stop reading Prop E ballot materials here, vote NO on Prop E, and move on to the next ballot item.

Tax Rate Statement by CUSD Superintendent Jeff Felix Has an Extensive Legal Disclaimer that Proves CUSD’s Costs Estimates for Prop E are Meaningless and Legally Unenforceable 

Every voter who reads and understands CUSD’s legally required Tax Rate Statement will vote NO on Prop E and move on to the next item in their ballot pamphlet.

We’ve printed it here in its entirety because we don’t want you to miss it in your ballot pamphlet.

This is CUSD’s legally required admission that its entire pro-property tax hike campaign is, at best, a hopeful fiction by CUSD:



To: The voters voting in the June 3, 2014 election on the question of the issuance of $29,000,000 General Obligation Bonds of the Coronado Unified School District.

scam-warningYou are hereby notified in accordance with Section 9401 of the Elections Code of the State of California of the following:

1. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments during the first fiscal year after the first sale of bonds (Fiscal Year 2014-2015), based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is the following:

$.03987 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $39.87 per $100,000.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments during the first fiscal year after the last sale of bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows:
$.03119 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $31.19 per $100,000.
First fiscal year after last sale of bonds: 2020-2021
3. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments on the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows:
$.03987 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $39.87 per $100,000.
Year of highest tax rate: Fiscal year 2016-2017
 truth-lies-sign         The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The date of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on its need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of sale. Actual future assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process. Accordingly, the actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated as above stated.

crossed fingers behind man's backThe above extensive legal disclaimer by CUSD in red text proves what we’ve been saying: CUSD’s promises to Coronado homeowners about the costs and duration of Prop E to Coronado homeowners are completely empty and meaningless. Remember, CUSD can’t guarantee interest rates or bond duration rates because CUSD doesn’t control the bond market.

As such, the Prop E supporters’ rosy promises are legally invalid and unenforceable, bless their little hearts. CUSD’s Tax Rate Statement, including CUSD’s extensive legal disclaimer, makes our point in black and white.

CUSD hasn’t disclosed the “official sources” responsible for the “best estimates” of the Prop E bond debt that CUSD expects Coronado homeowners to pay as a property tax hike. The investment advisors to whom we spoke think CUSD’s numbers aren’t realistic. The investment advisors to whom we spoke think CUSD is trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. Prop E is a bad deal for Coronado taxpayers.

Simply put, this Tax Rate Statement disclaimer means all promises by CUSD to Coronado homeowners are null and void.

Prop E is a disaster for Coronado homeowners, and for Coronado renters who naturally pay rent increases when property tax hikes are passed through to them.

Project List by CUSD Proves CUSD Plans to Spend Prop E Bond Debt Proceeds on Paying Old Debts from the School Pool Fiasco as well as Various Operating Costs 

It’s long. It’s dull.

children watching computer videoLike other school districts seeking property tax hikes through school bond debt, CUSD is counting on voters not having the patience and time to read the CUSD Project List.

Here are the two main points about CUSD’s Project List:

(1) Many of the listed projects should be paid out of the General Fund, NOT through school bond debt principal and interest. In this Project List CUSD gives voters CUSD’s blueprint for financial mismanagement by showing in black and white that CUSD is plans to finance OPERATING COSTS though school BOND DEBT. Yikes!

Prop E reeks of CUSD’s financial failures because CUSD’s Prop E Project List demands expensive school bonds to finance CUSD’s regular OPERATING COSTS including:

  • “tech” upgrades, which could be iPads, that will be obsolete, broken or stolen before Coronado homeowners have paid off CUSD’s Prop E school bond debts,
  • “landscaping,”
  • “painting buildings,”
  • “enhancing signage,” and
  • more operating costs.

Don’t waste your time reading the entire Project List. It’s not worth it . . . unless you want to see why all the business owners, outside contractors, outside sub-contractors and wannabes want to raise YOUR property taxes. The Project List points directly to their individual self-interests.

pool-lap-swimmers(2) Hidden toward the very end of the long Project List is this one sentence:

“The Project List also includes the refinancing of any outstanding lease obligations, or the bridge loans taken to initiate voter approved projects.”

This hidden sentence is CUSD’s clear-as-mud disclosure that CUSD intends to use the new Prop E bond proceeds to pay off old CUSD debts.

Specifically, CUSD’s “outstanding lease obligations” are the Certificates of Participation (COPs) through which CUSD finagled the School Pool fiasco WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL. 

In this way, Prop E is a sneaky re-finance plan for the School Pool fiasco.

To read our prior articles about COPs and the School Pool fiasco, click here, here and here.

Whatever “bridge loans” CUSD has hidden from us we can’t verify at the time of this writing.

Perhaps the greedy bond salesmen, bond underwriters, and bond managers who are running CUSD’s bond campaign are being paid for their pro-Prop E campaign work with a “bridge loan” from CUSD’s General Fund or other fund. This is generally how taxpayers are forced to pay the costs of the tax hike campaign. Notice the tidy pass through there of OUR tax dollars from Coronado taxpayers to the team of highly paid bond salesmen, underwriters and mangers. That’s additional money CUSD wants to squeeze out of us that doesn’t help STUDENTS.

When we find out the cost of the “bridge loans” CUSD plans to pay off with Prop E school bond proceeds, we’ll let you know. CUSD hasn’t disclosed that important information to voters yet.

man in suit secretly pocketing money billsCUSD Isn’t Open, Honest & Transparent

There is an awful lot of important information that CUSD hasn’t disclosed to Coronado voters. Like other school districts who campaign for school bonds, CUSD is hiding the truth because if voters know the truth, they won’t vote for Prop E.

CUSD has disclosed the bare minimum of information as legally required for their Prop E property tax hike. But even then, CUSD’s information is incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading to voters.

It shouldn’t be so difficult for us to find the facts in order to disclose the information for voters to make an informed vote.

CUSD should be open, honest and transparent. CUSD should analyze the Prop E information in a way that informs voters, not confuses us. CUSD has the responsibility to disclose the facts. After all, CUSD wants OUR money in the form of a property tax hike on US.

CUSD wants Other People’s Money (OPM) . . .  OUR property tax dollars in the form of yet ANOTHER property tax hike . . . so CUSD has the burden to inform US.

What has CUSD failed to provide for Prop E? As we analyzed in our prior article here which explains the 11 problems with Prop E that San Diego County Taxpayers Association found:

  • CUSD hasn’t met criteria for Prop E School Bond Description,
  • CUSD hasn’t met criteria for Prop E School Bond Budget & Funding, and
  • CUSD hasn’t met criteria for Prop E School Bond Execution.

Does CUSD provide sufficient financial statements to which we can turn to look up information that CUSD fails to provide for Prop E? Heck, no! As we analyzed in our prior article here, the auditor found 21 problems with CUSD’s books for the year ending June 30, 2012. If you find CUSD’s 2013 audit in the public domain, let us know.

CUSD’s “official” information on Prop E is misleading at best. The CUSD school website and the CUSD bond campaign website are devoid of the facts and analysis that voters need to make an informed vote. They confuse voters.

Why? Because voters who know the true facts will vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

cropped-chalkboard21.jpgNow that we have walked you through the ballot materials, we are confident that you are informed and will vote NO on Prop E on June 3.

It’s important that all NO voters turn out to vote NO on or before June 3 because CUSD only needs 55% of the voters who turn out for the June 3 election to vote yes in order to RAISE our property taxes.

You may already know that Prop 39 eroded Propoition 13’s reasonable requirement that 66.6% of voters must approve all property tax hikes through school bonds.

Prop E is a Prop 39 school bond measure and, as such, only requires 55% of Coronado voters who vote in the June 3 election to approve the Prop E property tax hike on the ENTIRE CITY OF CORONADO . . . including all residential and commercial property owners.

Your NO vote is the most important thing.

But if you can volunteer to help our campaign AGAINST the Prop E property tax hike in any further way, please click here.


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Posted in Articles, Ballot Pamphlet Materials, Bond Underwriters to Reap Big Profts, How To Understand Prop E Ballot Pamphlet Materials

CUSD Trustee Refused to Answer Questions About Prop E, Vote NO on Prop E

young studen with books don't raise my parents' property taxesCUSD Refused to Answer Questions About Prop E . . . Again

Oh, brother. It’s worse than we thought.

First the CUSD superintendent who is very, very highly paid with OUR tax dollars, refused to answer many questions about Prop E and the effect Prop E will have on Coronado homeowners.  Click here to read our prior article and see the evidence in black and white.

Next, the superintendent said on Thursday April 10 at 7:31 pm during the “exclusive Shores forum” at the Roeder Pavilion in the Coronado Shores that a community leader who is a retired from the military “endorses Prop E.” That’s not true. He doesn’t.

Now, a CUSD trustee refused to answer the same questions that the CUSD superintendent failed to answer. You can see it in black and white in the below email exchanges.

CUSD’s pro-bond campaign is a miserable failure because CUSD tax hike cheerleaders refuse to tell the truth about Prop E.

Read in black and white below how elected CUSD trustee Bruce Shepherd’s two emails to voter, homeowner and taxpayer Pete Fagan, Esq. earn trustee Shepherd an F grade, just like the CUSD superintendent earned earlier.

April 6 Email from CUSD Trustee Bruce Shepherd to Pete Fagan, Esq., Voter, Homeowner & Taxpayer

From: Bruce Shepherd

To: Pete Fagan, Esq.

F grade

Sent: Sun, Apr 6, 2014 9:54 pm

Subject: Re: CUSD Data

I believe that Jeff Felix provided a response to you earlier this week. I thought his answers were good and thoughtful. [CUSD superintendent Jeff’s answers were incomplete and dismissive.] No, I am not refusing to answer your question, but before I apply more time to answering your questions, I would want to know the areas over which you continue to have any confusion, so as to not duplicate efforts. [CUSD trustee Bruce refuses to answer Pete’s questions and insultingly refers to Pete as “having confusion.” Pete isn’t “confused.” Like all of us, Pete naturally has questions about the negative effects of Prop E because CUSD is hiding important and relevant information in order to make it impossible for Coronado voters to make an informed vote. Pete’s questions seek important and relevant answers for all voters. But, if voters know the truth about Prop E, they’ll vote NO on Prop E on June 3. So, just like CUSD superintendent Jeff, CUSD trustee Bruce must stonewall voters who ask questions. Stonewalling is a dishonorable tactic in public agencies such as CUSD, where the LAW requires transparency.]

On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 9:25 PM, Pete Fagan wrote to Bruce Shepherd:


I have not received a response from you on these important and relevant questions regarding the bond issue basis that you are supporting.

Can I regard your non-response as an official “refused to answer” or are you gathering the data to respond?


cropped-chalkboard21.jpg—–Original Message—–
From: Pete Fagan . . .
To: Bruce Shepherd . . .
Sent: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 10:26 am
Subject: CUSD Data

As we approach election day and voting on the School bond issue, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. In order to make a better decision on how to vote, can you please answer the following questions:

1. How many school aged children who live in Coronado go to private schools such as Francis Parker, Bishops, OLP, etc.

2. How much money does CUSD contribute annually to maintain the pool?

3. How much has the school district received from new construction funds in Coronado for each of the past 5 years?

4. What is the annual salary for each of the following for each of the past 5 years, and what is the name of the person serving in each capacity?

money bills stacksa. Superintendent

b. Assistant Superintendent for Business Services (CBO)

c. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services (CSSO)

d. Director of Curriculum & Instruction

e. Director of Human Resources

f. Technology Coordinator

g. Director of Aquatics

h. Principals of each school

5. What benefits does each of these employees receive, to include bonuses if any for each of the past five years?

6. What efforts have been made [by CUSD] to lobby for more money from the state, state senators, and state representatives?

7. What efforts have been made [by CUSD]  to obtain additional impact funds from the federal government due to the large military population?

No-on-Ev3-girl=phone8. How many property owners in Coronado have children currently attending schools within CUSD?

9. How many property owners are there in Coronado?

10. How many registered voters are there in Coronado?

11. How many of the registered voters in Coronado own property in Coronado?

12. How many of the registered voters in Coronado have children currently attending schools within CUSD?

Please also confirm the following information that appears on the CUSD web site as being accurate:

A. 41% of students are military affiliated

B. 10% of students are Inter district transfers

easy money rainC. Board voted in 2011 to give the Superintendent a “Supplemental Retirement Plan” in addition to his regular retirement plan

School year Amount

2011/2012 $5,000

2012/2013 $10,000

2013/2014 $20,000

2014/2015 $35,000

Bruce Shepherd

April 8 Email from CUSD Trustee Bruce Shepherd to Pete Fagan, Esq., Voter, Homeowner & Taxpayer

pinocchio long noseFrom: Bruce Shepherd

To: Pete Fagan, Esq.

Sent: Tue, Apr 8, 2014 11:11 am

Subject: Re: CUSD Data

Pete: I do not agree with all of the statements in your email, but in any event, I understand that the Superintendent is preparing a supplemental response to your request. [A classic avoidance and brush-off email from a CUSD trustee. He gives a meaningless generality with no specific facts. He answers no questions.]

On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 10:20 PM, Pete Fagan . . . wrote to Bruce Shepherd:

Jeff did not respond to the questions. Although he provided some information, it was not responsive to the questions that I believe were relevant and important to the issue.

spin roulette wheelHe did not provide the names and salaries of the officials requested, but rather referred me to a link with a generalized pay schedule. The schedule doesn’t reveal the actual amounts paid for each person over each of the past five years as requested. As you may see, the schedule provides a broad range of pay for each position. Clearly, you and Jeff see that I am trying to see what these officials are paid and how that pay has changed in the last five years, as well as benefits. There is a lot of “spin” but I am looking for numbers and facts. I am looking for numbers to fill the blanks. He also would not confirm that the information I provided from the web site was accurate.

While the district may not be “required” to maintain certain demographic information regarding residents, property owners, children residing in the district but attending schools not within the district, I would think that this man in suit secretly pocketing money billsinformation would be critical for the board to consider in making the decision to float a bond issue. In response to his incomplete responses, I asked that my requests be treated as a request under the California Public Records Act. As you know, he has 10 days to respond.

I would like to know the demographic information requested as well as complete pay and benefits information for the senior officials over each of the past five years. I am concerned that in the face of this fiscal crisis, as it has been described, that senior administrators have received increases in pay, benefits, and “supplemental” retirement benefits, while teachers have been provided lay off notices. The district continues to fund the deficit in the pool (Jeff talks about “estimates” but I am looking for facts, as it is the “estimates” that got the district in trouble in the first place.)

I would appreciate your candid and transparent responses to these issues.


Pete Fagan

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3

CUSD’s refusal to answer questions about Prop E and its negative effects on Coronado homeowners earns CUSD a giant NO Prop E.

boy-thumbs-down-NO-v11.jpgCUSD’s giving a voter the run-around and stonewall, instead of answers to his relevant and important questions, also earns CUSD a giant NO on Prop E.

Plus, the CUSD superintendent’s untrue statement about a retired military leader’s “endorsement” of Prop E earns CUSD a giant NO on Prop E. It’s not true. The retired military leader doesn’t endorse Prop E.

CUSD isn’t honest, open and transparent with us about Prop E because voters who know the truth will vote NO on Prop E .

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3!


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$200+ Million Is CUSD’s Current Debt, Vote NO on Prop E

man in shirt and tie with cooking the books apronCUSD Made It Difficult, But Not Impossible, For Us to Track Their Debts

CUSD is hiding public information about public finances. Click here to read our prior article about that.

In other words, CUSD isn’t being open, honest and transparent with their books . . . as required by law.

There is evidence that CUSD is rife with financial mismanagement in plain sight for all to see:

  • School pool fiasco is an everlasting monument of CUSD’s financial mismanagement and CUSD’s financial irresponsibility. Click here, here and here to read our prior articles on that.
  • 21 problems found by auditor in CUSD’s books. Click here to read our prior article on that.
  • No-on-Ev3-girl=phone15 Problems found by San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTPA) in CUSD’s Prop E materials and stated that CUSD withheld requested information from the SDCTPA. Click here to read our prior article on that.

$200+ Million is CUSD’s Current Debt

Even though CUSD is hiding information and is rife with financial mismanagement, we’ve done our research. We were been able to find evidence of CUSD’s debt from various reliable sources.

Based on the information we found in the public domain, CUSD’s debt is below.

CUSD’s Public Debt

Coronado Taxpayers Owe All of This Money for Debts that CUSD Ran Up

Voter Approved? Years Duration Type of Debt Face Amounts Costs to Coronado taxpayers= Principal + Interest Total Debt
Yes 1998 -2024 Prop KK GOBs* $ 17 M $ 34-51 M $ 34-51 M
NO ~2002-2036 Redevelopment Bonds $ 40 M ~ $120 M ~$154-171M
NO 2005-2024 COPs $ 11 M $ 22-33 M ~$176-204M
NO Future Generations CalSTRS Pension Debt     — ($71 Billion State of CA) ~ 204 + M






Four Main Points About the Chart

Evidence: For people who think reality is more interesting than anything they could make up

Evidence: For people who think reality is more interesting than anything they could make up

The four main points that jump out at you are:

  1. CUSD already has around $200+ million in debt!  Coronado taxpayers are responsible for every single dollar. 
  2. * $12 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds. CUSD isn’t open and honest about its debts and other financial information. Through our own research, we found that CUSD may have issued “refunding” bonds in the face amount of $12 million, perhaps for the Prop KK GOB debts. You may hear people call this “rolling over,” or “re-financing,” existing bond debts. Click here to see a 149-page document that starts with a Preliminary Official Statement dated February 17, 2012. The underwriters are Stone & Youngberg, a Divison of Stifel Nicolaus, who are listed in the document. We understand that Stone & Youngberg has been the underwriter for hundreds of millions of Coronado City, Coronado Redevelopment and CUSD bonds over the years.
  3. The lion’s share of CUSD’s debt was NOT approved by voters!
  4. The value of CUSD’s enormous Pension Debt, expressed as a portion of the $71 billion California State Teachers Union (CalSTRS) Pension Debt, isn’t included in the chart. In reality, CUSD’s total debt is much higher than $200 million. That’s why we call it $200+ CUSD debt.

Chart Explanation

GOBs means General Obligation Bonds.  Coronado voters approved Prop KK GOBs for CUSD back in the 1990s. We’re still paying that debt through the Prop KK property tax hike. Your Prop KK property tax hike appears on your property tax bill as a line item under the headings:



You are going to be paying your Prop KK property tax hike until 2024.

scheming crafty aggressive malicious spells scamRedevelopment Bonds are debts incurred WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL. Read our prior article about that by clicking here. The actual debt may be higher than what we found. Redevelopment Bonds aren’t easy to track because CUSD keeps them off-balance-sheet.

COPs are Certificates of Participation debt incurred WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL. Read our prior article about COPs by clicking here, here, and here.

Prop E Property Tax Hike Could Add Over $50 Million to CUSD’s Debts

Prop E would ADD onto the $200+ million CUSD debt, which currently burdens Coronado taxpayers, yet another property tax hike which Coronado homeowners must pay. Enough is enough!

Prop E could ADD more than $50 million onto the $200 million of CUSD debt burden that Coronado homeowners and renters will have to pay.

taxpayer with taxes on back in sackWhy more than $50 million? Because as San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTPA) said in their Prop E analysis, and we explained hereCUSD’s numbers don’t add up. Prop E is a scam.

Prop E Property Tax Hike is Too Expensive

The Prop E property tax hike is going to cost more than the $40 million CUSD claims because in the bond market CUSD won’t be able to find cheap and easy financing for the $29 million face value of school bonds they seek. Bond investors are too smart.

What does that mean?  The $29 million that CUSD seeks is going to cost Coronado taxpayers MUCH more than CUSD claims in terms of principle and interest on CUSD’s Prop E school bonds. Prop E is too expensive.

Prop E Property Tax Hike is Too Risky

CUSD fully intends to get $29 more of OUR tax dollars through the Prop E property tax hike, but CUSD can’t guarantee how much that will cost US, the Coronado taxpayers, through public debt financing with school bonds. Indeed Prop E is a very bad deal for Coronado taxpayers. Prop E is too risky.

How do we know this? In the Impartial Analysis by the County Counsel you’ll receive in your ballot pamphlet in the mail soon, CUSD’s numbers aren’t realistic. Instead of “less than 1% interest on 3 bond issues” (the worthless campaign promise CUSD made, but isn’t legally obligated to keep) the interest rate on the Prop E school risk dicebonds can be up to 12% according to the County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis of Prop E in your Ballot Statement.

Instead of burdening Coronado taxpayers to “pay off all Prop E bond in 10 years or less” (another worthless campaign promise CUSD made, but isn’t legally obligated to keep) the legal duration of the Prop E property tax hike can be up to 40 years according to the County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis of Prop E in your Ballot Pamphlet.

Don’t be hoodwinked into ADDING yet ANOTHER property tax hike and ADDITIONAL debt onto the backs of Coronado taxpayers for CUSD.

Remember, Coronado homeowners are also shouldering enormous debts for CORONADO CITY.

Government spending is OUT OF CONTROL in Coronado . . . and CUSD is no exception.

Vote NO on Prop E on June 3 

The only vote on Prop E on June 3 is NO.

NO to yet another property tax hike.

cropped-chalkboard21.jpgNO to additional CUSD debt.

NO to CUSD hiding information from voters while demanding voters approve another tax hike for CUSD.


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Posted in Articles, Bond Underwriters to Reap Big Profts