The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District Board of Directors approved the purchase of the Broadway Middle School in their closed session of Dec. 28. What surprises me is how they can move forward without full disclosure of all the inspection reports and the remediation costs to the public.

In the reports I have read there is no estimate of these costs, only that these issues are very expensive and could be into the millions. The roof needs immediate repair estimated at $4 million. With the purchase price, roof replacement, seismic retrofit, lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement and mold remediation, the costs could reach $10 million to $12 million.

Has the board considered these additional costs, repairs and maintenance and ongoing administrative costs. Have they just dismissed them? Why have these issues not been discussed in open session or at least disclosed? Are the taxpayers aware of these costs and that the district receives about $1.7 million in tax revenues per year plus miscellaneous revenues of about $1.2 million (which includes $600,000 opening fund balance) for a total of about $2.9 million per year, which is all allocated already? Where is the money going to come from to repay the loan and repairs that are needed? What programs will be cut or downsized to fund this debt? Why isn’t there transparency on this major cost that the taxpayers will ultimately have to pay?

Taxpayers should be aware of how district residents’ money is being spent and how much debt the board will be entering into.

Al Hernandez


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