MISSION VIEJO : Trustees Vote 3 to 2 to Back Measure R

Trustees of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District have approved a resolution supporting Measure R, the June 27 ballot measure calling for a half-cent sales tax increase to help the county dig out of bankruptcy.

The board of education on Tuesday night voted 3 to 2 to back the resolution. Trustees Frank L. Ury and Debbie Hughes opposed the resolution.

Trustee Bobbee Cline said the proposed sales tax increase is only part of a recovery package for the county and other public agencies that had money in the county's failed investment pool. The pool lost nearly $1.7 billion late last year because of risky investment strategies by former county Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron.

"My grave concern is that we are punishing ourselves if we vote 'no,' " Cline said.

Ury predicted that Measure R will fail because it is a "bad deal" that would hurt the economy.

Ury also said the ballot measure does not give priority to schools, which by law had to place their money in the county's investment pool. Other public agencies, such as cities and transportation agencies, that had money in the pool chose to invest it there and now are eager to see Measure R pass, Ury said.

He contended that schools are being "used" by proponents of Measure R and suggested that other options be considered.

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