Measure G: Let’s not break taxpayers’ trust

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Demethrasis Blackmon
November 15, 2002
Filed under Opinion

With the passing of Measure G, Bakersfield College and all

of the other colleges in the Kern Community College District will share $180 million in bond funds.

This money will be used to upgrade aging facilities, build new classrooms and install modern equipment to prepare the colleges for the inevitable enrollment explosion that has been predicted for the future.

This seems to be just what the doctor ordered, as long as the architects of this measure did not misdiagnose the needs of the district.

The voters were very generous in passing this measure, given the fact that their taxes will be higher because of this bond.

The district must get the maximum amount of projects done with these bond funds because the voters may not be so generous the next time the district asks for money.

KCCD does not need a quick fix for these maintenance problems. BC will be celebrating its 90th birthday next year. It will take time and patience to renovate and upgrade one of the oldest community colleges in the nation.

It is extremely important that the funds generated by this bond strictly adhere to the educational master plans provided by each school in the district as a way to determine what projects need to be completed on each campus.

This is essentially the road map for the distribution of the bond.

According to this measure, there will be a formal committee of consultants from the community who will oversee how the money is being spent.

In addition, the distribution of the funds generated by the bonds will take place in three phases covering a two-to 18-year span.

All of the children born this year will still be reaping the benefits of this bond when they line up in front of the Admissions and Records office at BC 18 years from now to pay for their classes.

However, the families who happen to live in a home that is located in the district will still be shelling out money in property taxes to pay for this bond. By law, the money generated can only be used on projects outlined in the measure.

Most will agree that as long as the upgrades are made, the benefits for the students and faculty will outweigh the cost in taxes.

BC has been a place to teach and learn since 1913. Hopefully, with these upgrades it will still be around to teach our future children and grandchildren.

The funds will provide for the institution to be on par with an excellent instructional staff to provide the highest quality of education for the future leaders of this country.

Planning, networking and thoroughly following through on the objectives outlined in this bond is what is going to determine whether the district achieves all of its goals.

Failing to do so would be a serious breakdown in trust between the district and all of the people who voted for this measure.

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