WCCUSD Response to Grand Jury to Be Discussed at Wednesday CBOC

Ever since the County Grand Jury re­port on all cit­i­zen bond over­sight com­mit­tees in the county, “School Bond Oversight – Raising the Bar,” was re­leased in May, I’ve been wait­ing for the re­sponse from the dis­trict. At the August 15th joint CBOC/​BOE meet­ing, staff was un­pre­pared even though it was the main item for the agenda and the dead-line was loom­ing. At the CBOC meet­ing to­day, staff is shar­ing it’s re­ply for dis­cus­sion.

Tom Waller on Citizens Bond Oversight Committee Now

For the man­dated mem­bers re­quired to be on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, Ed. Code 15282. (a) (1) says:

One mem­ber shall be ac­tive in a busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing the busi­ness com­mu­nity lo­cated within the dis­trict.

That slot has been un­filled for some time. However, at the September 19, 2012 meet­ing, the Board of Education ap­pointed Tom Waller to this po­si­tion.

He is a past pres­i­dent of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and a cur­rent Board mem­ber. Tom is also the Chair of the Chamber’s Education Workforce Readiness Committee.

He grad­u­ated from Harry Ells High School in Richmond. After a var­ied ca­reer, he now works as an in­de­pen­dent busi­ness con­sul­tant here.

I know him from some pre­vi­ous par­cel tax cam­paigns in the dis­trict. I’m look­ing for­ward to him be­ing on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

School Bond Tax Rates Compared to Northern Alameda County School Districts

I re­cently posted School Bond Tax Rates by School District in Contra Costa County to show just how ridicu­lously out of line our West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school bond tax rate at $232/$100K as­sessed value is, even be­fore adding on the pro­posed new Measure E (Nov. 2012) bond to jack the rate up to $280/$100K. A com­menter sug­gested look­ing at dis­tricts with more seis­mic is­sues, so I col­lected in­for­ma­tion on north­ern Alameda County school dis­tricts like Berkeley.

Here are my re­sults for the last billing cy­cle dis­played as a ta­ble and a Tableau-gen­er­ated chart. We are still way out of line be­fore Measure E passes.

School DistrictTax Rate
West Contra Costa$232.20
Albany$164.50
Piedmont$153.40
Berkeley$147.80
Oakland$130.50
Emeryville$66.60
AVERAGE$132.56
MEDIAN$147.80

How I Got This

I didn’t have ac­cess to a County Auditor list of ad val­orem (per as­sessed value) tax rates like I did for Contra Costa. Luckily, all of these school dis­tricts are uni­fied and have the same bound­aries as their cities, so I just used Google Maps to zoom in and find homes in the dif­fer­ent cities. I then got an ad­dress and looked up the last prop­erty tax bill us­ing the search page. Tedious, but it works.