Measure B argument leads to dispute over where money would go
One argument made by opponents of Measure B shocked the superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District.
Made in a formal rebuttal, the argument states “We believe that the District is planning to use the bond funds to support operating costs when enrollment falls to a level that is not supported by state funding.”
The measure, however, explicitly states that none of the $47 million raised through a bond issuance can go toward operations. The money is earmarked for maintenance and repairs of the district’s schools. None can be used for administrator and teacher salaries or their pensions.
District voters will decide at the Nov. 8 election on Measure B.
Wade Freedle, author of the argument, said maintenance projects listed in the measure fall under the umbrella of operating costs. He pointed to the district’s budget, noting some maintenance items like painting fall under operations.
“I really do not know whether the facilities are in need of repair,” Freedle said. “My guess is most of them will not.”
Louise B. Johnson, superintendent of the school district, noted that routine maintenance is, in fact, listed under operations. However, that money goes toward the salaries of maintenance workers.
“The measure is for large repairs,” Johnson said, adding later, “I think it’s an accusation and misrepresentation to say we’re going to use it for operating costs.”
Freedle has come under fire before for making statements about a ballot measure. He also opposed the August 2015 measure that would have increased an annual tax for property owners in the Higgins Fire Protection District.
At that time Freedle said the fire district provided no emergency medical services because its fire personnel are not trained as emergency medical technicians.
Freedle later acknowledged that statement was an error. However, he argues the closing of the Morning Sun Road fire station was justified because its call volume wasn’t high enough.
That fire station’s closure and the layoff of six Higgins employees came months after the failed vote.
The Higgins per-parcel tax is different from Measure B, which would repay the bonds through annual property tax assessments.
Measure B, if passed, would raise money for multiple projects, including renovating bathrooms, repairing and replacing heating and ventilation systems, repairing and replacing deteriorated roofs, installing wiring for computers and other technology, along with several other upgrades and repairs.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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