The following is a letter sent to Superintendent John Bowes and the Trustees in support of the Measure M Oversight Committee’s opinion regarding borrowing from the Measure M fund. They urge the district to follow the advice of the committee and pay back the funds with interest.
Dear President DiNunzio, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Superintendent Bowes:
As parents and concerned citizens in the Davis Joint Unified School District, we are writing to request the District include funds to pay interest on the District’s interfund loans from the Measure M Building Fund in the 2021-22 District budget. Please consider this letter as public comment for the January 7, 2020 Board of Trustees meeting.
We strongly agree with the finding of the Measure M Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, as described in the Committee’s May 2020 annual report and again in the December 2020 letter from Chair Donna Neville to the Board of Trustees (Attachment A), that the District is legally and ethically obligated to pay interest on the $8 million borrowed from the Measure M Building Fund in the 2019-20 fiscal year and the $15 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, as well as all future loans. Based on Chair Neville’s December letter, the District owes a significant amount in interest to the Measure M Building Fund, funding the District would otherwise use to improve school facilities.
Measure M funds earn interest in a Yolo County Treasury account before expenditure, which rightfully become part of the funds allocated to Measure M purposes as approved by the voters. Money withdrawn from that account for an interfund loan results in the loss of this interest. Given the legal arguments put forward by Chairperson Neville, not paying interest on these loans may also expose the District to a potential lawsuit. In the worst-case scenario, the District will have to expend dollars to defend itself in a losing effort in court, compounding the original error.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Sincerely,
Erinne O’Hara Aboytes
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