They Can't Jive With 55
Thursday, September 14, 2000
The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board of Trustees should thank their lucky stars that Proposition 39 will appear on November''s ballot. Why? According to a district report, the school facilities need about $60 million worth of upgrades and repairs, so MPUSD desperately needs to pass a bond measure. However, given the community''s current mistrust of the district, the board would have a helluva time passing a bond right now. Prop. 39 could save the day. If passed, it would lower the bar from the current requirement of a two-thirds majority to pass a school bond to a 55 percent majority.
However, MPUSD''s plight hasn''t stopped Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association from opposing Prop. 39. In fact, the association voted to cut a $10,000 check to the "No on 39" campaign coffers. Association President Ron Pasquinelli says if a school district can really justify the need for more money, it should be able to pass a bond by a two-thirds vote. "You want my money, convince me," he says.
He has a point. MPUSD has mismanaged its budget for the better part of a decade and racked up a resulting $6-9 million deficit. So why should we give the board more money to squander unless they convince an overwhelming majority of us they can use it wisely?
On the other hand, the district doesn''t exist for the board, does it? No. It''s about the kids. And while the taxpayers association plays politics, children are attending school in veritable slums where roofs cave in on their heads. Squid says if a district can justify a bond to 55 percent of the voters, that''s good enough. We''ve had too many bond measures lose by too few percentage points. End the tyranny of the 35 percent minority!
Maybe the taxpayers association''s 10 grand would be better spent by, say, selecting a school district and painting its portable buildings.
I''ll Have a Cup of Coffee and Al Gore To Go, Please
Every once in a while the Squid gets duped. The culprit this week: my friendly 7-Eleven store. It started innocently enough when I stopped by to grab a cup of joe. I poured the black stuff into an innocuous-looking Styrofoam cup, threw down my nickel and sauntered out of the store. It wasn''t until I got back to the office that I realized I''d been had.
Perhaps it was the shocked expressions of my coworkers coupled with the pervasive snickering that made me realize something was wrong. Did I forget to wear clothes today? No. Did I take the sea mud mask off my face before coming to work? Yes. Am I carrying around a cup that says, "I''m Voting for Bush?" Why, matter of fact, I am! Turns out my coffee cup had a darker, more sinister side than I had initially perceived. Upon turning it 180 degrees, I realized I was advertising myself as a card-carrying Compassionate Republican.
Miffed to no end, I marched back down to the convenience store to investigate further. Is the chain store promoting Bush for President? Actually, no. Turns out the cups are part of a nonpartisan corporate effort to increase voter awareness and participation. But if it''s indeed nonpartisan, where are all the Gore cups? "I guess all the customers, they grab the Gore!" exclaimed a clerk, pointing to an empty cup dispenser.
Well, that explains the Gore thing, but Squid noticed there were no "I''m voting for Nader" cups in sight. Of course, Styrofoam ... Nader ... Green ... Nah. Wouldn''t work.
Just try to dupe Squid: email@example.com.