Readers comments 3.15.13
City delays release of documents
I am writing in response to Mayor Larry Schroeder’s letter to the editor (Friday, March 8) suggesting that the city has been fully compliant with the intent and spirit of the California Public Records Act (PRA).
The California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights, a California private property rights organization, respectively disagrees with the mayor’s assertion.
For one, the city has not provided us all the documents we requested, including those required by law. We know this to be true because the city has been corresponding with other public agencies, and these agencies have provided us the very same documents that the city of Claremont has chosen to withhold from our organization and the public.
Secondly, the city has violated the spirit of the law by employing delay tactics to delay even the simplest requests. Such tactics may be legal, but are designed to withhold public information for the longest period possible.
Claremont residents share our interest in an open and transparent government. Even if the city can legally withhold some documents, there is nothing prohibiting the city from releasing a simple statement that explains how they intend to finance the taking of Golden State Water Company’s private property by eminent domain and whether such action will in fact lead to lower water rates.
We hope the mayor, city council and staff reconsider their long held belief that the public is not entitled to know how the city intends to use their tax dollars.
Keep the Club trees
I have lived in The Club for over 15 years. The big, mature pine trees that line my streets are one of the reasons my family moved here. It’s also one of the reasons that the people who live here, and so many others from outside the neighborhood, drive through, walk their dogs, push their strollers, jog and run here, not because the sidewalks and streets are a challenge to walk on or unsafe.
The removal of 59 trees now and others in 4 years is because they are damaging the hardscape, not because they are diseased or at risk to fall. Their removal would drastically change the appearance of our neighborhood and reduce the value of my home.
The proposed “Tree Replacement Program” would destroy valuable environmental assets that will take generations or more to replace, and it would also set a bad precedent for other neighborhoods throughout the city of Claremont that are now, or soon will be, facing the challenge of maintaining their mature trees.
I do not support the views of my HOA and the city staff. I support the current tree policy!
AB1064 school funding
[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Assemblyman Chris Holden, 41st District, with a copy forwarded for publication. —KD]
While I appreciate [Assemblyman Chris Holden’s] good intentions for funding schools, I do not think the proposal to use student enrollment is the appropriate mechanism. As a former teacher for 37 years, I offer the following input.
Presently, the schools receive funds based on student average daily attendance (ADA). This method incentivizes school administrators to enforce student attendance. The proposed bill has the potential to weaken this incentive unless it includes a provision to enforce student attendance.
If the bill should be passed, I suggest you include a provision which requires parents to ensure students’ attendance when school is in session. As it is, with existing ADA-based funding, parents pull their students from school before the school day ends.
I propose further strengthening of the ADA-based funding by requiring that attendance is recorded at the end of the school day rather than at the beginning, as is the case currently. Recording attendance at the end of the day will ensure that students stay in class—except in case of emergency—for the whole school day, and school administrators will have more incentive to insist that parents do not take their students out of class before the end of the school day.
After all, the objective is to educate students, and that can be achieved only when the students are in class. Both parents and school administrators have the responsibility to ensure that students are in the classroom for the entire school day. Therefore, while funding of schools is important, it should not be the sole objective. The objective should always be to educate students and that can only be achieved if the students are in school.
Thank you for the endeavour to improve our educational system. Nevertheless, emphasis should be placed on having the students in the classroom and not merely sending money to schools, which seems to be the objective of the proposed bill.
Kathryn A. Nasiali