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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Council Approves Split-Funding of Crossing Guards with School District

SOME MEMBERS INITIALLY BALK AT $35,000 CONTRIBUTION; APPROVES IT, 6-0
By Steven Tavares

When stuck between a rock and hard place, the San Leandro City Council unanimously approved sharing the cost of school crossing guards for a second consecutive year. Similar to last year, the council belatedly approved funding roughly half the cost of guards after leaving the expenditure out of their mid-summer fiscal budget. The city stand to be on the hook for roughly $35,000 this year.

San Leandro schools went without crossing guards for the first three months of last year's school leading to sometimes raucous opposition towards both the city council and school board leading to a cost-sharing deal similarly approved Tuesday night. The city covered the cost of crossing guards until last year when the program was cut due to rising deficits. The council did not fund the program for this fiscal year amid some confusion among council members on whether it was included or not.

"It seems like last year, we said the same thing, 'Ok, we'll do it this time.'," said Vice Mayor Ursula Reed.

"We continue to say, 'Oh, Ok' and it is eating away at our reserves, which are already low," said Councilwoman Diana Souza. Although Souza says she is in favor of funding crossing guards she wanted to find expenditures for cutting to balance the other side of the ledger, which has become increasingly difficult with the rise of small factions in the city successfully rescuing their programs from trimming.


"We passed a budget and we need to stick to it," said Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak, who also asked the city manager to investigate whether the city's Traffic Safety Fund could be used to fund the program.

After the city council and school board liaison meeting last August, the school district approved funding guards for the first half of the school year. School Trustee Diana Prola said the board did not have a plan for funding the rest of the year if the council had not approved sharing the cost. "This is late in the game," said Prola. "It will be hard to find the money."

Souza urged the city to begin a dialogue with school district immediately to stave off any confusion in the future, but the some members did more than imply the city is looking to get out of the crossing guard business. "We must give a message to the school district that we can't follow through in the future," said Councilman Jim Prola. He urged parents and teacher to volunteer in the future and has witnessed quality of the hired guards to be uneven. "They have year to get the act together," said Prola.

8 comments :

These six City Council members should be tossed out as soon as possible. There is no way that precious city funds should be invested in Crossing Guards. Crossing Guards should be volunteer only and not compensated.

Congratulations to the six City Council members for finally voting on this matter and passing it,our youngest citizens need all the protection they can get on most of our streets, police can't be everywhere, and the monies are only going to the elementary school crossings. To the Anonymous person above... yea why don't you put your time in and volunteer at one of the other crossing areas, at John Muir Middle School for example ..we could use your volunteering between 0745-815,1500-1530( 3pm to 3:30pm). Hope to see you there soon we could use your help! thanks

A concern parent and volunteer

Al V.

I could care less about crossing guards. My volunteer time goes to things I care about, which is not the safety of your kids. I am glad you are willing to pay the price for guards and supporting volunteerism. The good news is that I too get to vote against the plans to use unwisely the City's funds.

Anonymous Poster,

If you feel that $9M to subsidize low-income housing; $2M for partial dredging of the Marina for 30 boaters; and $10M in bloated pension payments to do-nothing city employees is just; but think $35K to protect the safety of our most vulnerable members of society who are mandated to go to school by law is wasteful, then you are a cancer on the human genepool and should have your rights to procreate immediately revoked.

Frank Lynn

Frank, I never said that spending money to subsidize low-income housing is ok. I do not. I would not spend a dime on low income housing. I would spend money to plant cherry trees in the areas where all of the trailer homes are. I would not spend a dime in the marina. I would drop all subsidies by the city for the whole area. I would sell the land to the highest bidder for private development without a nickel of support from the city. I would furlough city employees to make up the shortfall. The furlough likely would not work so I would cut every city service to balance the budget and not run a deficit. I would certainly not spend a dime on crossing guards which are a parental or school board responsibility.

WOw....this Anonymous sounds like PALAO ! so spend nothing have nothing get rid of everything, and everyone...in time time this would a rat hole without rats ( they too would have to be laid off), lets cut all city services,no police,fire,no city hall,no one would come in to develop the waist land...... the good news would that no crossing guards would be need it, and your cave would have nice cherry trees all around.... . I come here to poke a little fun, stir the pot .....but you are a extremist !! I'm starting to think that you,Manuel,Flipoffvich...must all reside together and have the same extreme toughest.....another sad character of san leandro

You do not spell well, do you. Must be some Ebonics in your GED work. Take a look around San Leandro, the rats are already here. The city services are a cess pool of entitlements and self serving interests ripping off the few remaining tax payers and home owners. The cops spend their time getting revenue for prettier cars and more offsite training. Their revenue is coming from tickets and not from peacekeeping. Does anyone remember the last time someone in City Hall helped someone who was not a relative or Union Member? The firemen talk a good line but do very little of benefit to maintain their excessive salary and pension. Now as to the waist land, you are right, too many fat guys and f cup broads. The balance of San Leandro is a wasteland. Look at what happened with North Face. Extreme. Walk down the street some time. It is already there.

It is precariously close to tipping all the way over into a cesspool and no mans land, hopefully Cassidy can turn it around, not much time though.

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