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Kensington Needs Measure L

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




Kay Reed May 28, 2014 at 06:34 PM
Endorsement = Recommendation. Whatever the qualifier, The CC Times recommends a Yes vote on L. If they thought differently, they would have made a different recommendation.
Jim Watt May 28, 2014 at 07:20 PM
Let's see if we have this correct. The "backers and ballot materials misrepresent the project's purpose." Could it possibly be that these distortions could result in a distorted vote? That maybe if the voters knew there was a less expensive option they would reject Measure L? Apparently some of Measure L's ardent supporters think it's okay to distort the truth so long as they get the outcome they want. Is it any wonder that the District Board and their minions are held in such low regard by many of us? Then there's the issue raised by the CC Times about the $2.0 million in unfunded pension obligations. The absurdity of proposing a tax to upscale a youth oriented building while a similar sized pension obligation remains unattended is beyond belief. Well, under the circumstances, it makes complete sense.
Chuck Toombs May 28, 2014 at 08:04 PM
I am utterly dismayed that Mr. Watt has resorted to such offensive, inaccurate and contemptuous conversation over the District Board and its management of district affairs. I am also puzzled by Mr. Watt’s attempts to conflate passage of a bond designed to provide improvements that will benefit the entire community with some form of mismanagement. After much community discussion, our District Board responsibly decided that it made complete sense to provide upgrades and improvements that will benefit the entire community rather than make minimal improvements (which it cannot afford to do alone) to preserve the space in its current condition for an organization with which he is associated that pays no rent. And our District has responsibly provided for funding of the long-term health care benefits which Government Accounting Standards Board Pronouncement 45 mandated (and of which he complains), beginning the year that GASB 45 went into effect, a fact which Mr. Watt sorely ignores. Mr. Watt is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. I welcome his participation in a constructive manner, but not if it involves offensive name calling, baiting, or deceptive misrepresentations.
Jim Watt May 28, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Mr Toombs, your tone speaks volumes.
Ray May 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM
This community is problemed with too many assessments, some approved under false assertions. Others such as measure L have questionable merit.

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