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Today in
S.C.V. History
April 12
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue

Commentary by Steve Petzold
| Monday, Jun 6, 2016

stevepetzoldMake no mistake about it. Measure E will send a message across our state on the morning of June 8.

Unbeknownst to many, the Santa Clarita Valley is being closely monitored by taxpayer advocate organizations and the growing Proposition 39 bond industry. Both sides want to see if just a little pushback from regular citizens without meaningful financial resources can stop a juggernaut public agency like College of the Canyons from ambushing taxpayers for the third time in 15 years.

We have already learned a lot which will help other taxpayers who choose to stand up and fight special interests like unions and contractors who aren’t as interested in education as they are in “edu cash in on.”

What has become clear, and which ought to scare all residents in the COC college district, is that the accumulation of bond debt and a permanent building program is COC’s business model. The administration and Board of Trustees have adopted an “if we build it, they will come” attitude without regard to scope of programs or scale relative to district population.

Nearly 50 percent of students at COC are commuters, categorized as out-of-district by COC in its 2015-2016 Fact Book. It is time for the district voters to exercise a tiny bit of discipline and stop the madness.

The college district already owes nearly $240 million (Measure C and M), with dedicated debt service payments exceeding $400 million. Should Measure E pass, we will owe nearly $470 million, with secured debt service payment of nearly $1 billion. You should be outraged.

The COC campus in Valencia is beautiful; unfortunately, the foundation sits on a mountain of unseen debt.

Please tell your family friends and neighbors to vote “no” on Measure E. Let us take the time to get this decision right.

For the best information heading into Tuesday’s election, monitor NoCOCTax.com or feel free to call me directly at 661-609-1739. In the best interest of generations to come, please vote “no” on tax bond Measure E.


Steve Petzold is a Santa Clarita resident.

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  1. They put out a press release on saving us (you & me) millions by refinancing their debt. The numbers were astounding. Was it 50 million? And now they want us to pay more taxes, to accrue more debt? Not voting for E. Nope.

  2. Out of district students are not necessarily commuters. They are online students or LAPD, Sheriff, LAFD and other programs that do not take seats in the classrooms. The majority of students are local! Your kids! Your neighbors! Each year more and more are looking for affordable schooling and new job training. More space is needed so that next years high school graduates and the years after that can get an excellent quality and affordable education.

  3. Ruth Rassool says:

    1. It’s short-sighted to think that the value of the properties you sell are not impacted by having one of the highest ranked California Community Colleges in our valley.
    2. The “build it and they will come” attitude is not prevalent; they are already here, but they can’t get the classes they need.
    3. “Special interests lie unions . . . Who are not interested in education . . .” Is particularly offensive. The two faculty unions on campus represent over 800 employees; every one of whom is committed to a standard of excellence in higher education in our valley.

  4. Ruth Rassool Ruth Rassool says:

    1. It’s short-sighted to think that the value of the properties you sell are not impacted by having one of the highest ranked California Community Colleges in our valley.
    2. The “build it and they will come” attitude is not prevalent; they are already here, but they can’t get the classes they need.
    3. “Special interests like unions . . . Who are not interested in education . . .” Is particularly offensive. The two faculty unions on campus represent over 800 employees; every one of whom is committed to a standard of excellence in higher education in our valley.

    • Jimmy Stewart says:

      Do you think it’s realistic to keep adding to the debt for this? At what point would you say we should stop? 750 million? 1 billion, 3 billion at some point you have disaster on your hands if you keep adding to the debt. Whatever happened to common sense?

  5. Scott Ferguson says:

    The middle class homeowners of the SCV are not personal ATMs for the fiefdom at COC. We are already paying taxes direct and indirect to support this public junior college. Are their arrangements with full high dollar private 4 yr universities and county law enforcement academies something we should continue to bankroll? How about night school? Lots of private business entities in this valley contribute imensely to our all important economy but they don’t stick their hand into my pocket and remove my hard earned cash. This is shameful. Support education and a healthy COC by VOTING NO on E in order to reel them back into accountability and stop the exploitative drunken with power practices they’ve been exhibiting. The salary base of this core group is also out of control. http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2014/college-canyons/ Wake up SCV sheeple.

  6. Abigail says:

    We are mortgaging our future and for our kids/grand kids. This has to stop. COC does have a large portion of people from outside the area and online classes do not need a classroom so that does not fly for me. I am a recent COC graduate and I think complaining about the realities of higher education like wait lists and parking is what happens and if COC is not setting these students up to know what comes next it is false advertising for higher education. We are teaching the students it is okay to keep taking on lots of debt when it is not. Pay off the other measures/bonds first and then start looking for more money. SCV is growing too fast and getting over developed. Look at all the projects on the books. This will be the next San Fernando Valley and that truly stinks in my opinion and not why I am and have been a homeowner here for 17 years. NO on measure E.

  7. Scott Ferguson says:

    How long do comments typically await “moderation”
    I have one waiting over an hour.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      When there are a lot of comments, we moderate them 3 or 4 times a day on average. Otherwise 1-2 times.

  8. Pam Miller says:

    More tighty-whitey, I’ve-got-mine, anti-education, anti-union, whiny rhetoric from a man who most probably once benefited from the very Democratic Party institutions he so smugly criticizes. Mr. Putzold maintains a smug, parochial point of view which speaks poorly for both he and the citizens in our city. What is this: “…Nearly 50 percent of students at COC are commuters…” Of *course* they are; it’s a *junior college* not a university, Einstein. In a civilized society, people must pay taxes for public services — whether one likes it or not. Time to get the big boys to pay their share.

    • Jimmy Stewart says:

      I didn’t know being responsible is a “tighty-whitey” thing. Pam your view is more of a loosey-goosey, everything that is mine is yours, my hard work pays for your utopia even if I don’t agree type of rhetoric. It’s time to wake up to reality and realize that there are principles that are true no matter what your ethnicity, political views etc…if you spend too much money and don’t pay your bills you will have to pay the piper. Wake up Pam.

  9. Pam Miller says:

    And may I add, Mr. Putzold might be a Santa Clarita resident — as of late, but he is not *from* here which gives his provincial comment about commuters a hypocritical bent. If you look at his Linkedin page you’ll see he’s going negative on Prop. E because it affects his real estate business. It’s all about the dollars with Steve. Not about your sons and daughters or you…all about the dollars in his coin purse.

  10. Jim Shorts says:

    Pam Miller, you’re intellect is so superior! Thats a joke. All you do is criticize, but funny how you have not one reasonable solution to NOT GETTING US IN MORE DEBT! You cant spend money you don’t have! There are no dollars in the coin purse to even protect! It’s empty and you want to fill it with IOU’s that are grandchildren will be paying for. You need a reality check.

  11. Richard Hood says:

    At least you tried Steve. Most people have no clue about the bottom line, or mismanagement. How much is enough?= Always a little more. Offended union? When did a union take a salary decrease to prove their dedication to their educational cause – without being forced? Looks like every single career do nothing but draw a salary politician got re-elected too. Very disappointing. And to “all about the dollars”: you are free to give all your money away without the need of slandering Steve. Hope he sues.

  12. Jimmy Stewart says:

    Santa Clarita and COC in particular is taking the same route our federal government is going. Spend it now and don’t worry how it’s going to be paid for! The real problem is a lack of prioritizing. Now that they are going to be 470 million in debt, they will have to keep adding to the debt to keep the illusion going until it at some point it all unravels and everyone loses. Then it’s those terrible people that said we should live within our means fault! We live in a world that denies reality and the laws of economics cannot be overcome forever. It will catch up to us. I don’t look forward to that day.

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