No new $ for KPPCSD please!

I think others have probably filled you in on why Measure L is not such a great idea.  I just want to mention irresponsible financial actions by KPPCSD that should make voters think twice about giving this agency any more money to spend.

1.  In 2010 they passed a “safety” Measure G which allowed them to set a rate up to $200/residence.  They promised they only needed $50/residence.  This year they collected $208 which included the COLA.  Where did it go?  Increased salaries and new upside down org chart that has 5 officers supervising 4 officers.  No increase in the number of officers which was promised for “safety.”

2.  They refused a request from Bay View Refuse for a 6% rate increase.  They spent over $400,000 on lawyers to fight the increase only to have the judge award Bay View a 21% increase.

3.  Nine residents filed a Writ of Mandamus to force the  agency to follow Open Meeting Laws.  In response, directors sued their own constituents with a SLAPP suit and have spent over $200,000 on lawyers on this so far and it is not settled.

4.  Directors are still paying 100% of employee contributions to PERS and, as the CC Times mentioned in their editorial, KPPCSD pensions are under funded by $2 Million.

5.  KPPCSD directors spent all this money on law suits, but could not find the money to fix the leaking roof on the community center for the last 5 years.

6.  In 2008, the City of El Cerrito bid $1.4 million to contract for police services for Kensington at the exact same level of service Kensington presently enjoyed.  Chief Harman and his hand picked committee reported the bid as $2.4 million.  Now there is a scandalous story!

Privately, the folks running this agency like to smirk about adding the word “safety” to a measure because Kensington residents always vote for "safety" issues; Measure L has little to do with safety.  And there is no business plan for this measure.  Be a competent voter and vote Measure L down.
Gayle Tapscott June 02, 2014 at 04:23 PM
Great…now we are on subject. 1. Yes, option one is cheaper, but better? Is it better not to have new energy efficient heating and ventilation systems, improved acoustics, flooring , lighting, wall surfaces? Is it better not to improve the entry, and have to access the restrooms walking through other meetings and events. 4. It’s hard to believe that this building is 60 years old, but an update and reinforcement won’t last even half that time. Really? 6. I can say for sure that if people who oppose L attended the meetings they would be aware of the process. I don’t think it is the Boards responsibility to notify opposition. Why should they shoot themselves in the foot. It’s the responsibility of the “no” people to do their homework. Ted Blanckenburg said it best in the Outlook, when he wrote…“If people cannot help, might they recall the old adage of “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”” 7. Putting it on the November ballot may have been your choice, but I haven’t heard the committee or Board suggest doing it for a lower turnout. Speculation at best. What I heard at the meetings were many reports from the citizen group who made a final recommendation, which the Board adopted after surveying the community. 8. The court says in the brief that we can get our money back since the writ/suit had no merit. 9. Lack courage???? I can tell you from experience (school board member in Albany during the 80’s), that it takes courage to run and have to wear the “white gloves” while citizens show no respect. 10. Who says it’s all about safety? I have attended more than 80% of the meetings over the past two years, and safety is only one of the reasons, albeit, an important one. Sorry, I don’t know enough to respond to your other reasons, but bravo for staying on point.
Ray June 02, 2014 at 04:33 PM
Cathie, Great list. You've got my NO vote.
Chuck Toombs June 02, 2014 at 06:03 PM
Dear Kensington Community Neighbors, I am supporting Measure L for Kensington. The Community Center needs improvements and the Kensington Community has few choices on how to pay for them. The Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District spent 4 years researching different options, hosting many town hall meetings, preparing community surveys, and presenting numerous public discussions at 14 different Board meetings. Our community indicated support for major improvements designed to enhance the Community Center's use by everyone, rather than a few modest improvements that would leave the community with a Spartan cement cinderblock structure of value to only a few. Measure L is NOT about creating a commercial venue; this building, like all public buildings will never be self supporting. Measure L is about upgrading a building that is 60 years old to provide it with amenities that it sorely lacks. The District has regularly maintained this structure for the last 60 years. However, the District needs the support of the Kensington Community to help pay for necessary improvements to allow the Community Center to continue on for another 60 years. The District only has firm commitments of $420,000 for this project. The cheapest option costs approximately $740,000 in 2012 dollars; however that price is expected to increase to around $850,000 by the anticipated December 2015 construction date due to rising costs, leaving the District with a $430,000 shortfall. It is impractical to obtain a bond for this shortfall. It also does not make sense to do this construction in phases; it is a public works project and each phase of construction has to be put out to public bid with work done at prevailing wages, by preparing separate, costly requests for proposals. And each new phase will require separate expensive mobilization costs. The District cannot wait the 3-8 years it will take to accumulate the necessary additional funds and the District can never hold enough bake sales to raise the balance. And at the end of the day all the District will have is the same cement cinderblock building, perhaps with new structural steel supporting elements, a new kitchen and a new bathroom; nothing else will change. Please go to http://kensingtoncalifornia.org/ and click on "Learn More about the Kensington Community Center Safety Project" to see for yourself the facts behind this project. And look at http://kensingtoncalifornia.org/files/active/0/Summary_of_Costs.pdf to see how these funds will be used! Please join with me to pass Measure L to support these vital improvements for all of us. Thanks, Chuck Toombs
Eyleen Nadolny June 03, 2014 at 02:12 PM
It still makes no sense to me to borrow $2,000,000 so that you can cover a $430,000 shortfall. In fact, it's mind-boggling. VOTE NO ON MEASURE L.
Chuck Toombs June 03, 2014 at 02:56 PM
The fact is that the building needs more than a simple band aide to make it usable to the entire community; the cheaper option will only give the community the same concrete cinder block building it currently has with upgrades to the kitchen, bathroom and structural work to the façade. And the District does NOT have funds sufficient to pay for the basic renovations without having to delay necessary work. We took the pulse of this community and most of it believes that sharing in the costs to upgrade and improve the building is a better value than doing the bare minimum which may need to be postponed until all of the money is available. Again, Measure L is the smartest way to finance these improvements and to get a building of real value to the community. Please vote yes!


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