NUSD Race: District School Bond Measure

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

SECOND IN A SERIES

THE NATOMAS BUZZ invited the four candidates running for the Natomas Unified school board to participate in a series of articles wherein they answer questions submitted by readers. Today’s question asked,

“Do you support the upcoming bond? Why and why not?” -Elizabeth Brushwyler

Here are the answers submitted by the deadline, in the order they were received.

Jag Bains

Jag Bains

JAG BAINS
I support this bond because I believe that in order for students to be successful, they need the best educational environment possible. This bond will provide the money for much needed facilities upgrades to our schools and will also provide the means for new construction which will go a long way towards making parking lots more safe and accessible for everyone, including students with disabilities. As a construction management professional, I deal with multi-million dollar projects like these on a daily basis and have firsthand experience in spending money efficiently and keeping costs low. If I’m elected to Natomas Unified School Board, I’ll be sure to keep a very close eye on how this money will be spent, and will not repeat mistakes like the botched Natomas land deal, where the district had to pay $550,000 to settle with a development company.

Lisa Kaplan

Lisa Kaplan

LISA KAPLAN
I support this bond because Natomas schools are the center of our neighborhoods and commonly bring our community together as they educate our future leaders. All children deserve to learn in clean, safe, modern and efficient buildings. Measure J is about investing in the future of our children today and for the children attending our schools 20 years from now. Built into Measure J are accountability and transparency measures meant to protect taxpayer dollars, from an independent auditor, to a citizen oversight committee, along with leveraging savings by using policies on purchasing and bidding techniques, and where no money is used for salaries or pensions/benefits. To understand how the District plans to responsibly invest in all our schools, visit the facility master plan, detailing the need at http://natomasunified.org/departments/facilities-strategic-planning/. I support responsible investing in high quality facilities for our children to learn in. For all these reasons, I support Measure J.

Sachiko Konatsu

Sachiko Konatsu

SACHIKO KONATSU
Yes, I support the passage of Measure J. Our schools are in need of repairs, facility upgrades and new schools. However, we need new school board members that will be responsible and accountable to the Natomas taxpayers. 13.4 million dollars was spent on a land deal that could not be used for building any new schools as noted in a 2009 Sacramento County Grand Jury Report. I will ensure there is a bond oversight committee with community members on it.

Teri Burns

Teri Burns

TERI BURNS
I absolutely support Measure J on the November ballot. Measure J will allow Natomas School District to make much needed repairs to existing schools and construct the new facilities we will need once the flood building moratorium ends in Natomas. We are seeing enrollment grow over 250 students a year even with the moratorium. Space will be critical once new building starts. Likewise, many of the old portable classrooms that have served us well are in need of replacement. Measure J funds are limited strictly to school facilities. They cannot be spent on salaries or programs. Bonds will only be sold when we are ready to build. There will be an independent community oversight panel and I’m certain they will find we have spent the money as promised – just as we have done on our other facilities bonds. Our schools must demonstrate to students that we value their education.


Submit candidate questions for consideration to [email protected]. Two public forums are planned for the Natomas Unified School District candidates. The first, hosted by Lights of Tomorrow is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the South Natomas Community Center, 2921 Truxel Road. The second, hosted by Natomas Charter School is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center, 4600 Blackrock Drive.