Friday, August 24, 2012

Grossmont-Cuyamaca board opposes use of long-term bonds

Governing Board: Bill Garrett, Debbie Justeson,
Edwin Hiel, Mary Kay Rosinski and Greg Barr

The Governing Board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the use of long-term bonds, assuring East County residents that the district will seek bonds with a reasonable repayment rate should Proposition V be approved by voters in November.
The resolution approved by the district’s Governing Board Tuesday night promises to follow a policy set by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association against obtaining long-term bonds unless it can be shown that their debt costs are less than shorter-term alternatives. Other school districts in San Diego County have been criticized recently for obtaining 40-year capital appreciation bonds, resulting in a repayment schedule more than nine times the cost of the original bond.
Proposition R, approved by East County voters in 2002, was a $207 million bond measure that allowed the college district to address some of the most pressing needs identified in a facilities master plan. During the work on the bond, the district only obtained general obligation bonds that met the industry repayment standard and had no long-term capital appreciation bonds.
Proposition V is the $398 million bond measure being sought by the East County college district on the Nov. 6 ballot to renovate and expand educational and career training facilities, create an East County Workforce Solutions Training Center, and create veterans’ centers on the Grossmont and Cuyamaca college campuses. The proposition calls for the creation of a citizen oversight committee to review bond expenditures, and prohibits money from the bond from being used for administrator salaries or pensions. 
 “Our district got spotless audits during the 10 years of construction projects on Proposition R,” said Bill Garrett, president of the district Governing Board. “We pledge to continue our frugality and make the best use of taxpayer dollars with Proposition V.”