I have no problem supporting a reasonable dollar amount to fix up the Rocklin campus. However, I do take issue with misleading and lying to voters. The Sierra College Board of Trustees have lied to the voters about Measure E.
Unfortunately voters fail to research or read the full text of ballot measures and the statement for Measure E on the actual ballot were a lie as they omit the truth. Here is the truth.
1. According to a Jan. 10 Sierra College memo to county election officials, SC President Duncan requests that any language referencing that this measure is part of a "state matching fund" initiative be stricken from the ballot and the sample ballot. (Ref: Education Code 15122.5 which states this language must be part of the ballot.). One has to ask why did the college hide this fact. Was it because instead of receiving $350 million they will actually receive $700 million and perhaps this is a disproportionate amount of money? Ask yourself this question, does it really take $700 MILLION dollars to fix up the Rocklin campus? Or is something amiss?
2. Neither the ballot, sample ballot nor the Measure E campaign discloses that probably most of the money will be spent on other "projects" than fixing up the Rocklin campus. If you read the actual text of the bond, monies are allowed to be spent on and I quote:
a) “Build a (new) Joint California State University – Sierra College Facility on donated land in West Placer”
b) "The project list also includes the refinancing of outstanding lease obligations.”
c) “Some projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local agencies.” Is this opening the door for the college to spend bond money on Highway 65 improvements? Perhaps one should ask all the developers who donated huge amounts of money ($50,000 from one developer) to the Yes on Measure E campaign.
d) “Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay … for the cost of district staff when performing work … incidental to bond projects.” However, the Yes on Measure E campaign alleged "bond funds cannot be used for staff salaries."
e) “The following types of projects are authorized to be undertaken at each of the district’s locations.” (SC also has campuses in Nevada Co, Tahoe-Truckee and Roseville)
f) “Construction projects (plural) may include, but not limited to … construct, expand or reconfigure facilities to create university center … improve vehicular access and traffic circulation … pedestrian bridge ..." and “authorized projects also include … interim funding incurred to advance fund projects of the costs of preparation of all facility planning … environmental studies …” Does this mean the college will use bond money to pay for its development of 107 acres of land off rocklin road which has nothing to do with fixing up the Rocklin campus?
More relevant information withheld from voters by the Sierra College Board of
3. They told voters, "No bonds have been adopted for Sierra College since the
1957 bond passed," however, they failed to acknowledge:
a) Voters approved Proposition 51 in 2016 (less than two years ago) that included $2 billion for community college construction.
b) Two Sierra College bond measures (G and H) were passed by Placer County voters in November 2004 for a combined total of $79.4 million.
c) The SC Board of Trustees are in the middle of developing and then selling
107 acres of land with tiny lot subdivisions for profit. This land across from the main Rocklin campus should have been retained for future college purposes.
4. They told voters "There will be local taxpayer oversight on how bonds funds are spent." But failed to mention:
a) The oversight “Committee (will be) appointed by the College Board of Trustees.”
b) A 2006 Placer County Grand Jury report of the Sierra College President who was investigated for bond related money laundering. And oh yes there was also a local oversight committee then too.
Has the Sierra College Board of Trustees committed a crime by misleading voters? Should this measure be overturned? Should there be a Citizen's Committee created that is NOT appointed by the Board of Trustees to ensure funds are appropriately spent?
Denise Gaddis, Rocklin