Specific language needed for bond repayment strategy
Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to the superintendents and boards of the San Dieguito Union High School District and the Del Mar Union School District. The letter was also submitted to this newspaper for publication.Dear Superintendent Noah, Superintendent McClurg, SDUHSD Board of Trustees and DMUSD Board of Trustees :
I read with great interest the following article on the Voice of San Diego web site, which reports that Poway residents will end up paying almost 10 times the face amount (or close to a billion dollars!) of a bond residents approved a few years ago, apparently due to a financing method called a Capital Appreciation Bond (CAB): https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/education/article_c83343e8-ddd5-11e1-bfca-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story
I also recently learned that the same Orange County financial consultant used by the Poway school district, Benjamin Dolinka, who apparently recommended this outrageously costly repayment strategy, is being used by SDUHSD and DMUSD. This raises a huge red flag — are SDUHSD and DMUSD residents potentially at risk of repaying 10 times the face amount of the bond we’re currently being asked to approve in November? If not, what assurances do we have that the repayment amount and/or strategy won’t change after our vote?
If the exact bond language has not yet been submitted for the November ballot, I encourage you to include specific language ensuring residents that the total debt service amount and repayment strategy for the bond are guaranteed for the future and if changes need to be made, another vote would be required.
I would like this to be entered in to the record for the next SDUHSD and DMUSD Board of Trustees meetings. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.