LCUSD officials seek locals for panel overseeing Measure LC parcel tax funds

La Cañada school officials want the public to know the district holds itself accountable for properly spending Measure LC parcel tax funds, and they're looking for a few good men, or women, to help them do it.

Recently, school board members heard an annual report from the outgoing Measure LC Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, the group that oversaw spending from the tax that expired earlier this month. They also approved bylaws regarding the formation of a new seven-member oversight committee and announced their intent to fill the panel.

"We may be outreaching to the board to find or solicit candidates who may be interested in applying," La Cañada Unified School District Supt. Wendy Sinnette told board members in a June 3 meeting.

Three members from the last committee have expressed an interest in continuing their service, Sinnette reported, and another two individuals have applied. Now, with two spots remaining, district officials are encouraging people to get involved.

"The intention of the committee is to make sure the money is going to things that are mentioned in the (parcel tax) language," said La Cañada Unified Board President Ellen Multari, who served on the district's bond oversight before joining the school board in 2011.

The Measure LC Oversight Committee — comprising members from different stakeholder groups — will meet at least twice a year to make sure funds raised by the new $450 annual tax are used solely for their authorized purposes. The terms last for a period of five years.

Jeff Olson, a district parent and chairman of the most recent committee, said he learned a lot in his five years of service and would love to serve as part of the new group.

"I just wanted to be involved in the community and kind of see how the money was being used," Olson said of his membership. "It gives you good insight as to what's going on with the schools."

Becky Lankey lent her professional expertise as an audit accountant to the last oversight committee, on which she served as a parent representative. Now that her two children have graduated, she hopes a new crop of parents will become involved in what she says was a great experience.

"It gave me a much greater understanding of school district finances and how the (Educational) Foundation and the parcel tax impact the schools," Lankey said. "It's a great way to get involved."

To learn more about the Measure LC Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, call (818) 952-8381.


Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.