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Opinion

Letters: LCUSD’s Measure LC pros and cons; concern for Glenhaven Park court; endorsement for candidate

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Three letters to the editor this week are in support of La Cañada Unified School District’s Measure LC while another writer suggests voters take a closer look at the parcel tax measure. Above, La Cañada High School 7/8 students work on class projects in this file photo.
(File Photo)

Measure LC supporters weigh in

My younger son will be graduating from La Cañada High School in June 2021, about the same time that our existing parcel tax is set to expire. Although by then I will no longer be part of the La Cañada Unified School District family, I joined the Committee for La Cañada Schools to help pass Measure LC to renew the parcel tax because I believe in the lasting impact it will have on our schools and community.

Our public schools are pillars of our community which attract families who value their children’s education. I am an LCHS alumna. After starting our own family, my husband and I chose to move to La Cañada for the schools; we soon realized how closely connected the community is to the schools.

Parent volunteers, teachers and administrators are constantly struggling for the funds to decrease elementary school class sizes or create new programs at the high school. State funds are not enough. The district is dependent on annual fundraising and funds from the parcel tax to provide a higher quality of education. Measure LC will continue to provide $2.5 million in revenue every year for our school district to fully address the needs of our children.

As my older son and his peers — now college freshmen — have confirmed, the depth of course offerings and quality of teachers at LCHS have adequately prepared them for college. Vote to invest in your students’ education beyond their high school years. Vote to maintain the strength and draw of your community. Vote Yes on Measure LC.

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Soo Kim Choi
La Cañada Flintridge

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I’m writing to encourage my fellow La Cañada Flintridge residents to join me and so many others (e.g. parents, civic leaders, business owners, etc.) in supporting Measure LC in the upcoming March 3 ballot.

As LCUSD Governing Board president, I’ve learned firsthand what it takes to run a great school district like ours: best in class teachers and staff, strong leadership, and a supportive as well as generous community.

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Thanks to our highly qualified teachers, challenging academic programs and manageable class sizes, students in the La Cañada Unified School District consistently rank in the top 5% in state student achievement scores, and 98% of LCUSD graduates go on to college.

However, La Cañada Unified continues to be in the bottom 5% in state funding on a per pupil basis. Measure LC renews $2.5 million in critical “locally” controlled funding we’ve used over the years to close the funding gap from the state.

Even for those who do not have school-age children, Measure LC is a wise investment. Having great schools protects our home values, attracts wonderful families to our community and directly contributes to the high quality of life we all hold so dear.

Measure LC is only renewed if two-thirds of La Cañada Flintridge voters support. Without it, deep cuts will be required.

Please vote “yes” on LC. Every vote counts.

Joe Radabaugh
President, LCUSD Board of Education

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Next week, as you fill out your ballot you are going to be faced with a number of important decisions. A “yes” vote to renew Measure LC may seem like just one small choice among the many you need to make, but for the students of the La Cañada Unified School District the stakes couldn’t be higher. The current expiring parcel tax has existed since 2009 and currently provides funding for 23 full-time teaching positions. These 23 teachers keep class sizes manageable and advanced classes available, and those jobs will disappear if we can’t gather a “yes” vote from over 66% of our voters to renew this measure.

Our community’s teachers, administrators and students continue to astound us at every turn. Between our high-performing academic programs and our world-class extracurricular activities, residents can be proud to say that we raise our kids and own homes in such a vibrant and highly sought after community.

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But, living in La Cañada isn’t just about bragging rights, it’s also about hard work: The hard work our students put in to maintain that excellence and the hard work we do as a community to maintain strong schools.

The simple fact is that the state of California does not provide enough funding to give us the public school education we expect and demand in our town. That is why parents and community members have spent so much time raising money for our schools through alternate means. Every dollar you give to LCFEF, the PTA or the Boosters goes directly to our schools — and Measure LC functions in exactly the same way.

Measure LC cannot be taken away by the state. And it will not be used to fund administrator salaries or infrastructure projects. Measure LC provides complete local spending control and accountability with a mandated oversight committee. This is about putting high-quality teachers in the classroom and providing programs and opportunities to our students that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Whether you are a parent of a school-age child or just a proud citizen in our community, we ask that you vote “yes” on Measure LC. Because Measure LC will keep our schools and our community strong for years to come.

Josh Epstein and Matt Weber
Co-chairs of the Committee for La Cañada Schools

Don’t believe Measure LC ‘propaganda’

LCUSD gleefully notes there is no organized opposition to Measure LC. That does not mean, however, that there are no concerns about the measure that voters should consider before voting next week. Here are a few of the important issues that the district’s scripted campaign propaganda has glossed over.

First, why would anyone who does not have children enrolled in the district vote for Measure LC? The district suggests that “real estate prices” are somehow dependent on its passage. There is no evidence to support that speculative conclusion. Does anyone seriously believe that a single offer on a property will be withdrawn or that potential buyers who are poised to bid on local properties will disappear overnight if Measure LC is not passed? I certainly do not.

Second, if you believe LCUSD has spent its money “unwisely” in recent years on any number of programs/matters, why would you vote to give it more money to spend “as it sees fit?”

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Third — and most important — Measure LC provides no sunset/expiration for the parcel tax this time around; it would be charged against your property “indefinitely,” until such time, if ever, as the community is able to organize a vote to repeal the assessment. The district wants to put the burden on the community to repeal the tax rather than be responsible for justifying a need for the tax every few years. Even if you see an “immediate” need for the funds sought through Meaure LC, that does not mean the district should not have to explain to taxpayers on a regular basis why the parcel tax should be renewed in years to come.

Please think for yourselves concerning Measure LC.

Glen Mertens
La Cañada Flintridge

Is Glenhaven Park tennis court in jeopardy?

It’s great that options are being reviewed and still coming in for pickleball in the area. I would like to point out that besides the residential concerns regarding Glenhaven Park, La Cañada only owns one tennis court in our whole city and that is the one at Glenhaven.

I don’t think a lot of La Cañada residents or park patrons realize Glenhaven’s court is our city’s only fully owned park court (the Cornishon courts are under a joint-use agreement between the city and the school district) or that it was being considered for conversion to pickleball courts.

Granted La Cañada does not have a lot of flat land for several sports amenities. One that we are lacking is a proper baseball field. Right now the league uses the local elementary school fields or the Cornishon field. There are several divisions in the La Cañada baseball/softball league, so there are a lot of young residents and their parents to meet the needs of.

For that matter our city does not have a designated dog park, and I know La Cañadans love their dogs, right? Right now, they too are sharing and doing the best they can with what’s available.

I had been in favor of pickleball trying out at the local schools so that students too could benefit from this.

But the bottom line is that we are and have been short enough on sports amenities and feel park patrons and residents need to know if the Glenhaven tennis court is in jeopardy of being converted.

Gloria Cotten
La Cañada Flintridge

She likes Eich

I know there’s an election right around the corner, and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to sing the praises of someone who truly deserves them: La Cañada Flintridge City Council candidate Keith Eich.

I’ve gotten to know Eich and his delightful family over the last few years, and they are simply wonderful people. Keith Eich has proven to be very organized, incredibly collaborative and a trusted leader. What I like most about what he brings to every table he joins is that he actually makes moves. He’s not all talk and fluff.

He is open to change and helpful beyond belief. He drives small tweaks to make things better and isn’t satisfied by the status quo when it just isn’t working. He gets things done! This has been shown time and again, which is why I highly encourage everyone to vote for Keith Eich for City Council on March 3.

Melanie Bee
La Cañada Flintridge

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