Monday, 10 May 2021

Bridges: Lakeport Unified School District taxpayers betrayed

During the winter of 2014 I was approached by then-Lakeport Unified School District Superintendent Erin Hagberg who asked for my support of a proposed bond issue. She told me it was for a new library/computer center and a new swimming pool.

I told her I believed that the last bond issue to build what we now call the “MAC” had been partially diverted to help build a new superintendent’s office that wasn’t on the bond list.

She assured me that the new bond proceeds would only be used for the library/computer center and a new swimming pool.

I said to her “no bait and switch” – “no hanky-panky” – and she assured me there would be no bait and switch.

I agreed to let her use my name. I went around my neighborhood to convince people to vote for the library/computer center and swimming pool. I believe I secured many votes for the bond.

Now the school board tells us that they have spent $4.2 million on a new food service and culinary arts kitchen and cafeteria.

I understand the item was not on the posted agenda when it was approved. A review of the bond project list that we all voted on does not reveal a “culinary arts kitchen” only a ”food service dining area.”

When the board’s misspending is combined with the library/computer center now under construction, the Board of Trustees tells us that there is not enough money to build the swimming pool. They hope to acquire other uncertain state funding in the future years to build the pool.

While the current Board of Trustees members are nice people, who are well-intentioned, they have not displayed the ability to budget, prioritize or respect the desire of the voters. It’s time to elect new board members who have the courage and critical thinking ability to not be misled by nonelected advisors and build the pool.

I am voting for Carly Alvord, Dan Buffalo and Jen Hanson for the Lakeport Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Bob Bridges lives in Lakeport, Calif.

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