District selects community committee to monitor renovation spending

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The school board has chosen members of the district Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to ensure proper spending of the Measure E bond money directed for school construction.

According to school board trustee Catherine Vonnegut, the last two members were approved on Jan. 14. Among the newly appointed members is former School Board Trustee Joe Mitchner.  

The committee is mandated by the state due to Proposition 39, passed in November of 2000, which lowered the approval of borrowing bond money for school construction from a 66 percent vote to a 55 percent vote but consequently requires an oversight committee composed of seven community members from specific backgrounds to monitor spending.

Committee members will meet about four to six times a year for a few hours to review if the district is correctly spending the bond money allocated by Measure E.

The state requirements are: two parents or guardians of a child enrolled in the MVLA school district, one of which who is an active member in a parent-teacher association, two at-large community members, one member of a senior citizens’ organization, one member of a business organization, and one member active in a taxpayer organization.

They must be at least 18 years of age, and may not be a school employee. Committee members will meet about four to six times a year for a few hours to review if the district is correctly spending the bond money allocated by Measure E.

According to Mike Mathiesen, district associate superintendent, the committee acts as a check on district spending.

“If we need money for ‘x’ but it’s spent on ‘y’, that’s when the Citizens’ Oversight Committee would say, hey… we’re raising the flag,” Mathiesen said.

The members of the committee appoint a chairperson to consistently update the board about how the money is being spent, and ensure that the money is being spent according to its outlined purpose in school construction plans.

If we need money for ‘x’ but it’s spent on ‘y’, that’s when the Citizens’ Oversight Committee would say, hey… we’re raising the flag,

Michelle Lee, parent of LAHS and Egan students and member of the committee, said she applied in hopes to benefit her youngest son and because of his interest in the construction project.

“It’s important to contribute to your community,” Lee said.  “I’m doing so through the PTA [Parent Teacher Accociation] in Egan… this opportunity was presented at a good time because I’m not going to be a part of the PTA next year.”

Lee said that being a part of the committee would benefit people in the area because it “give[s]assurance in the community that there is a second entity checking that the money is being spent right.”

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Katherine Wang

Katherine is a sophomore and is the social media coordinator this year. She spends most of her free time doing rhythmic gymnastics. She also enjoys eating, hanging out with friends, and biking.

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