The November election for three of five seats on the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School Board of Trustees can’t come soon enough. After years of non-contested elections, it is apparent that a changing of the guard is needed. School district officials are being scrutinized for apparently not taking appropriate steps to protect students from a coach/custodian with prior sexual misconduct complaints at Ralston Middle School (San Mateo County Times Sept. 6). This school has had five principals in two years. Redwood Shores’ families have been fighting over the district’s moveable boundaries that result in their children having to travel over eight lanes of Highway 101 to attend school. In addition, the district has put a new parcel tax on the ballot to replace two current parcel taxes that don’t expire for one and a half and two years respectively.
Did I mention the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury report from 2007-08 questioning the legality of the district’s costly “Cash Out Refunding” or refinancing of a $12 million bond without voter approval or knowledge? BRSSD taxpayers pay five additional school bonds annually. Oh, and by the way, one recently remodeled school in the district added a commercial size kitchen even though school lunches are prepared off sight. The Times notes that the district has hired a $150 an hour public relations expert to deal with some of these issues. Looks like too many cooks in the kitchen and taxpayer money going down the drain. Can we speed up the election?
Matthew J. Reising