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CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE for MEASURE M(1)

By Billy Riley,2014-08-09 01:07
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CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE for MEASURE M(1)

    SALINAS UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

    INDEPENDENT CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

    for MEASURE M

    ANNUAL REPORT TO THE VOTERS for 2009

    March 2010

Background

    Measure M, a general obligation school bond measure, was passed in November of 2002 by the voters of the middle school attendance area of the Salinas Union High School District (hereinafter “District”) in accordance with Proposition 39. The funds raised by Measure M are dedicated specifically to the repair, maintenance, physical improvement and expansion of the middle schools in the District.

    Measure M provided for a total of $37 million in bond sales. The first and refunding incremental sale of these bonds raised $31,156,665. Subsequent sales of Measure M bonds will be implemented in the future when the District is ready to proceed with the construction of a new middle school (the only major project included in the Measure M project list which has not yet been completed and funded).

The Committee

    Under Proposition 39, applicable implementing legislation relating thereto, and the California Education Code (together hereinafter “Law”), the District was required to establish a Citizens’ Oversight Committee (hereinafter “Committee”). This was done in March of 2003. The Law and the Committee’s current Bylaws (available for viewing on

    the Committee’s website: www.salinas.k12.ca.us/bondm/) set forth the required

    membership of the Committee. All Committee members serve for a fixed two-year term; the current terms all end on December 31, 2010.

    The Bylaws of the Committee were amended during 2006 to reduce the committee membership to just the five representatives required by law, plus up to three additional parent representatives if and when such representatives express an interest in serving and are appointed by the District’s Board of Trustees. As of the date of this report the committee is made up of only the five members required by law, as follows:

    Diane Ausonio, Business Representative

    Rick Giffin, Taxpayers’ Representative

    Connie Chisum, Parent Representative

    Jan Collins, Senior Representative

    Kathy Hernandez, School Site Council Representative

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    Serving as non-voting advisors in a resource capacity to the Committee were:

    Jim Earhart, Superintendent, Salinas Union High School District.

    Karen Luna, Manager of Maintenance, Facilities and Planning, Salinas Union

    High School District.

    Lisa Gonzales, Secretary to Business Services and administrative assistant to the

    Committee.

    The Committee met in March 2009. Agendas for and Minutes of these meetings are posted to the Committee’s website: www.salinas.k12.ca.us/bondm/.

Committee Responsibilities

    Applicable California law states that the Committee shall actively review and report on the expenditures of school bond revenues raised under the provisions of Proposition 39. Specifically these responsibilities are listed in the Committee’s website: www.salinas.k12.ca.us/bondm/. In summary they include the following:

    ; Ensuring that Measure M bond funds are spent only as allowed by the Law.

    ; Reviewing copies of annual performance and financial audits.

    ; Inspecting school facilities and grounds to ensure bond funds are spent only as

    allowed in Measure M and the Law.

    ; Reviewing copies of any deferred maintenance proposals or plans developed by

    the District.

    ; Reviewing cost-saving efforts by the District to maximize the efficient use of

    bond funds.

    ; Reporting annually to the voters on the results of its activities.

Findings of the Committee

    The Committee has received full cooperation and all data requested from the District for the facilitation of its review of the expenditure of Measure M funds as required by the Law. Up to date information on the projects and expenditures is available for public review at any time on the Committee’s website: www.salinas.k12.ca.us/bondm/.) Many

    of the projects have been completed. The District is moving forward with investigative testing, environmental impact reports and appraisals for a new middle school site.

    The Committee has reviewed periodic reports submitted by the District on the expenditures of Measure M funds, and has found no indication that any expenditures to date of Measure M funds were made in violation of the Law; no Measure M funds have been spent on salaries, operating expenses or projects not included in the Measure M specifications. All projects either completed or still underway as of this report are, in the aggregate, at or below budget, and are on schedule except for short unavoidable weather delays.

    The Committee has reviewed the legally required performance audit (performed by Perry-Smith LLP, CPA, an independent third party) of Measure M fund expenditures for

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    the year ending December 31, 2008. In this audit a sampling of the projects in progress during the audit period were examined, and, within these samples, the auditors found no violations of law in the expenditure of Measure M funds. This audit has been accepted and approved by the District’s Board of Trustees.

    The latest financial audit by an independent third party (Perry-Smith LLP) of the District’s financial affairs covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. This was

    reviewed by the Committee with respect to the District’s handling of and accounting for Measure M funds. No discrepancies were reported by the auditors or found by the Committee.

The District’s deferred maintenance program with respect to its middle schools has been

    examined by the Committee. The District’s deferred maintenance program appears, as of the date of this report, to be in excellent shape and inclusive of all significant anticipated deferred maintenance needs for the next five years. The District is taking full advantage of matching funds provided by the state for deferred maintenance.

    The Committee continues to monitor the District’s efforts to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the expenditure of Measure M funds, and is satisfied that the District is spending those funds for achievement of the best long-term value rather than simply contracting for the cheapest products.

Conclusions

    The District appears to be in full compliance with the Law with respect to the use of Measure M bond funds. Further, the District appears to be spending Measure M bond funds efficiently.

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