Patch asked Ron Skrehot, former Martinez Unified School District board member, why he is once again running for a seat. Here are his reasons, in Skrehot's own words:
First, dealing with budget cuts caused by the reduction of the state budget. Even if Proposition 30 passes the money owed to school districts around California through Proposition 98 will not be made up. The best scenario is that major cuts will be avoided for the current year. Under Proposition 98 the state currently owes districts about 20% of their one year budget amounts and that figure grows annually.
For Martinez Unified that is about 6 million dollars as of May 2012. Neither Proposition 30 nor 38 will make that up. Also, Proposition 30 has no guarantees that the money has to be used for education throughout its life. Proposition 98 was stated to the voters of California as “Minimum Funding Guarantees for Education”. It has been anything but a guarantee and like the current Prop 30, is filled with loopholes to relieve state politicians from their responsibilities to provide many services. There have been several other resources from this very generous community to make up some of those shortfalls.
The second issue is GASB 45 funding. Because of years of budget cuts, MUSD has had no additional funds to put into long term accounts to pay for future benefits for employees and retirees. To help offset some of this and to help current budget shortfalls, employees have allowed a cap to their current benefits paid for by the district and employees pay the rest. If the state were to give MUSD what is owed just through Prop 98 funding it could go a long way to supporting future unfunded liabilities.
The third issue is around Measure K bond projects. I was a board member at the time Measure K was put on the ballot and supported the measure because of what the state has been doing to education funding for nearly a decade.
There was one board member who opposed the measure completely and a second who wanted to wait and put it on the ballot at some later date.
Those two members are John Fuller and Denise Elsken and they are up for re-election this fall. Their opposition was completely out of sync with the needs of the district and the support of the community. Since the passage of measure K, they slowed the process for issuing the bonds, they have slowed decisions on the projects funded by measure K which makes the costs of those projects more expensive and delays completion. They have tried to micromanage those projects and ignore what district administration and staff have outlined as the most critical facility needs around the district. They have tried to micromanage the architects hired to work with staff to understand those needs and provide the best possible solutions to meet those needs. As board members that is not their charter and many of their actions are in their own interests instead of the best interests of the community.
This is the main reason I have decided at this time to run once again for election after a two year break which came after eight years on the board.
I support Kathi McLaughlin for re-election and welcome Dena Betti as a partner to this opportunity to remove the two self interests that currently reside on the board. The three of us have the support of the current Board President and Vice President and ask for the support of this community in November.