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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 8:55 pm | Fair 53º


Letter to the Editor: Measure S Is Not What It Seems

Measure S is not what it seems.

I am a strong supporter of public education. SBCC is an incredible community resource for our local kids, providing opportunities to learn employable skills and work towards enrolling in colleges to complete their degrees. High school students can take classes to enhance their learning and for college credit.

Measure S is well-intentioned, but the proponents are being less than honest and are trying to deceive you. Let’s take a look:

» 1. "Replacing leaky roofs, decaying and aging classrooms.” Absolutely. No argument there! Send me my share of the bill.

» 2. "Maintain access to quality, affordable education for local high school students and veterans." Yes! Of course. But how exactly does Measure S do that? Why are half of the enrolled students not local?

» 3. "Resurface, replace or relocate hard courts, fields, renovate or replace sports pavilion complex." How does that relate to No. 2? A few hundred students actively participate in sports, and most are not local kids! For example, of 81 kids on the football team, 13 are from Santa Barbara and a whopping 55 don’t even live in California! The soccer team has but two local players out of 30.

» 4. "Construct or renovate student housing." What? Dorms? Is that in the SBCC charter? I thought SBCC is a two-year commuter school for locals. Is there a hidden agenda to grow SBCC into a four-year college? Is encouraging more out-of-town and state students the right path for our community college?

» 5. Donors to the SBCC Foundation should be concerned about the huge amounts of money being spent promoting the measure. The foundation is sitting on $4 million to be spent now with nearly $50 million in reserves! That money is supposed to “provide financial support for college programs including scholarships and rewards, general department and program support, equipment purchase and capital improvements, and faculty research and teaching activities.” So, do it!

» 6. We’re already paying the debt service on a host of school bonds and property tax add-ons. The repayment plan on this one may likely cost far more than the proponents are letting you know — because they really don’t know.

I am totally in favor of supporting SBCC to provide excellent education and job skills training for our local kids. The campus is in clear need of fixing. Show me a proposal that funds specific projects with specific dollar amounts with a clear action time frame. Measure S does not do that. Ask me to support an honest proposal that makes sense.

I’m voting no on Measure S. But please, SBCC, try again very soon.

Dr. Larry Bickford, O.D.
Santa Barbara

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