Promises Made to the Community Seem to be Disappearing

Guest Opinion


Jim Gibson
Less than a year ago, Vista Unified School District Board of Trustees were making promises about a bond that was ABSOLUTELY necessary. The Trustees implied that our children’s world would fall apart, and children would not have a desk to sit at if the bond was not passed. The Trustees guaranteed that every penny of the Bond would be spent for the CHILDREN!

I was a VUSD Trustee when this bond was first proposed. I did not see a need for this bond and I voted against it (the vote was 4 to 1).

Since the passage of the Bond, the promises made to the community seem to be disappearing like the marine layer over the beach in Oceanside. One promise that was made in VUSD Board Resolution Number 18 – 47 clearly states that the money would be used exclusively as described in the bond and that the bond money would not be used for consideration given to a project labor agreement (PLA). The board members promised that if you vote for this bond that no project labor agreement or money would be spent in any other way except to on those things which were proposed within the bond. What is a PLA? A PLA is an agreement between a government agency, VUSD, and unionized construction companies. Non-union contractors are not allowed to bid on the projects. Why does this matter? PLA’s limit competition. When competition is limited, prices increase on average by 20%. There are plenty of quality non-union construction contracting companies in our area. Vista School District built most of our schools with open bid competitive contracts. If VUSD enters into a PLA, there is a good chance the Bond will not cover the projects it was voted to cover.

Why would VUSD Trustees consider this? Why would they break a promise to voters and the entire community? It comes down to money. Each Trustee needs to run for office every 4 years. The campaign takes thousands of dollars to print signs, literature and do mailings. A large amount of that money comes from Unions to Union supported Trustees.

I would like to remind the current Board of Trustees that they are in trusted to look out for the best interest of the taxpayers and community, not the Unions. I urge the VUSD Board Members to vote for open competition this Thursday, September 12th and keep their promise to their fellow citizens. Please contact VUSD and encourage them to vote for no restrictions on competitive bidding.

A promise is a promise and it must be kept. Actions speak louder than words.