It's hard to back teachers on this one

I love teachers. I don't say that just because my daughter has some of the best in the district, but because I really believe teachers are generally wonderful, amazing people. In fact, when I hear the word “teacher,” my first thought is, “good person.”

That's why I'm having great difficulty understanding why the Glendale Teachers Assn. is not supporting Measure S (“Teachers union will not support bond,” Jan. 27).

A recent letter from a Toll Middle School teacher states, “Glendale teachers don't feel the bond money is what our schools need at this time” (“Bond can’t be used for the right reasons,” Feb. 10).

That’s odd, considering the state has slashed Glendale Unified’s budget year after year and the district has been struggling to keep things afloat. Last summer, 83 teachers were slated to be cut when the teachers union wouldn’t make concessions needed to help cover them. Fortunately, President Obama issued one-time emergency funds, and we were able to hire most of them back.

Now, the Glendale Teachers Assn. is saying “no” to a bond that could save teachers' jobs because they can't get a “guarantee” that their jobs will be protected, even if we have more cuts.

What the union doesn’t say is that parents already pressed the district for a parcel tax to protect class sizes, and Glendale Unified officials paid to survey residents in hopes it was possible. Unfortunately, the numbers fell far short of the supermajority needed to pass a parcel tax. However, the survey did show the majority of residents are open to a bond measure.

Glendale Unified doesn’t want a repeat of demonstrations and standing-room-only board meetings when the public decried the cuts last year. Should Measure S pass, general-use funds currently budgeted for infrastructure improvements and maintenance could be used to help maintain current class sizes. The district has provided a viable solution, as we asked them to.

What has the Glendale Teachers Assn. offered? They claim they don't want to burden us, but they’re holding their support hostage because the district is unable to guarantee that teacher jobs will be protected, no matter what.

If we Glendale residents want to spend our money improving the schools our children attend, and help teachers and property values in the process, these tactics are not doing us any favors.

Teachers, if you feel differently than your union says you do — and I know many do — please speak up before you lose the support of the community.

I love teachers. But I love the kids they teach even more.

Amiee Klem

Glendale

Lots to dislike about Prop. 13 letter

It is difficult to begin a rebuttal against the logic of Gerry Rankin (“Past Brown-era tax law is not sacrosanct,” Feb. 11) as there are so many areas that can be addressed.

He begins by telling us how senior citizens have it so good and have virtually little or no needs. In reality, they chose to stay in their homes and pay it off so that they could comfortably put food on their table and meet the necessities of life in their retirement years as a hedge against inflation.

The lack of revenue he describes at the federal, state and local level can be attributed for the most part on overspending. Yes, the economy has been in a downturn; however, government has never had a dollar it didn’t like to spend.

Although this may sound naïve, if you are unable to cover your expenses, you simply do without. If property taxes were raised, I assure our politicians would continue to spend without saving for a rainy day, which by the way was one of the forces behind passing Proposition 13.

If Proposition 13 should be addressed in the future, it should not be personal residences, but rather businesses and corporations. The turnover ratio for buildings belonging to businesses and corporations is much less and in some instances nonexistent.

In conclusion, Rankin states that as Proposition 13 is phased out, property tax rates should be lowered to a reasonable level.

In reading Rankin’s op-ed, I believe he is an intelligent and caring man; however, does he really believe once tax rates are raised, our politicians will agree at a future date to lower them?

Santo N. Marino

La Crescenta

Glendale delicatessen owner Roger Frey desperately needs a loan to keep his popular establishment open (“ Frank's Famous in danger of closing,” Feb. 7).

“We’re looking for a partner or someone who wants to invest,” he said. “Banks won’t talk to anybody about loans these days, especially for a small business.”

Ironic when you consider that six years ago banks and finance companies were making risky, subprime loans to illegal immigrants. Before you accuse me of immigrant-bashing, remember the front-page story in the Los Angeles Times? (“Despite illegal status, buyers get home loans,” Aug. 9, 2005).

What one conservative writer dubbed “the illegal alien home-loan racket” was a contributing factor in the mortgage meltdown. Now the racketeers — pardon me, the banks — who were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers refuse to loan a few dollars to a deli.

Les Hammer

Pasadena

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