Tuesday, September 20, 2011

49ers' Subsidies: Measure J - and Measure Jed

Dear Santa Clarans,

In November of 2004, voters in the Santa Clara Unified School District passed a bond measure to upgrade badly aged and seismically inadequate infrastructure at our middle and high schools.   That bond measure?

Measure J.

In June of 2010, however, voters in Santa Clara voted to pay HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in subsidies to the San Francisco 49ers, all for (1) $7,000-per-year jobs *, (2) economic activity less than that of the 49ers' own Training Center and (3) losses to our city's General Fund .

That bond measure was also called Measure J, but it could not be more different from the original Measure J.

This matters because of a couple of exchanges I've had in the last several months with "49ers stadium boosters" who should know better.  They persist with the utterly false claim that the 49ers are somehow putting money into the Santa Clara Unified School District.  Now, while it's true that the 49ers exploited a funding crisis in our schools to get what they wanted last June, please note they're not giving a single cent to Santa Clara schools.

It's downright deceitful of "stadium boosters" to be promoting confusion between the two ballot measures above in order to advance their cause of stadium subsidies for the San Francisco 49ers.

This also matters because of the SCUSD newsletter "School Days," for fall, 2011, which a great many of you have already received.  The latest letter indeed describes the true, original Measure J projects, which are upgrading Santa Clara schools by using money from the 2004 bond measure.  However, by providing no context, the article in "School Days" invites anyone unfamiliar with the 2004 measure to assume that the 49ers' "J" is somehow responsible for the upgrades in SCUSD classrooms and physical plant.

It simply is not.

When you read about the 2004 Measure J and what it's accomplishing for SCUSD schools, please remember that this is our $315,000,000.  We authorized it.  That amount and its debt service is being paid for out of our property taxes - and not by the San Francisco 49ers. 

There's a better name for the 2010 measure, though.  Let's just call it "Measure Jed."

After all, Jed York is the only one benefiting  from it.

Thanks for your continuing support,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,

* See footnote here .