Cuesta places $275 million bond on ballot

July 30, 2014

cuesta collegeThe Cuesta College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to place a $275 million bond measure on the November ballot.

If 55 percent of voters approve of the initiative, San Luis Obispo County property owners will receive annual assessments of $19.45 per $100,000 of assessed value. The measure will also affect some property owners in Southern Monterey County.

Cuesta College is requesting the additional funding for campus repairs and upgrades. The revenue would go toward modular classroom safety, technology upgrades and the construction of a job and career training facility in North County.

In addition, Cuesta also plans to use funds from the bond initiative to help eliminate or refinance millions of dollars of debt.

Many voters in San Luis Obispo County will have sales tax measures on their ballots in addition to the Cuesta bond initiative. Voters in the city of San Luis Obispo will have the Cuesta bond, a city sales tax renewal and a San Luis Coastal school district bond measure on their ballots.

Election day is Nov. 4.


I think Cuesta played this very poorly.

First, the claims they make about needing more money — to fix leaking plumbing and leaky roofs! Pardon me, but why haven’t things like that been fixed as they occur, instead of being allowed to pile up to where they’ll cost millions? This story speaks to untrustworthy stewardship of the college’s buildings. Recession be damned: any responsible college administration fixes its leaks!

Second, President Gil Stork, for whom personally I have a lot of respect, has allowed himself to be used by the promoters of this bond in a very evil way. “He” has mailed out to all of us (and signed) a number of very expensive, slick, manipulative, fancy color campaign mailers, right up to the eve of the decision to place on the ballot what he knew full well was going to be placed on the ballot (at which time such campaign nonsense from the college must stop). When I saw those mailers, and thought a moment about what they must have cost the college and how much the elections consultant behind them charged the college, any conceivable support I might have had for this bond evaporated. When will public officials learn that campaigning like this is a huge turnoff for most voters?

Oh, right, he could have done what the city of SLO has done with Measure G: appoint a committee of those who favor the tax to “advise” the city council, who are apparently incapable of making any judgment about anything on their own without a committee or staff report standing behind them, whether to put it on the ballot, and then morph the hand-picked “advisory” committee into a campaign committee. That stinks, too.


I truly wonder about something you mentioned — was facility maintenance knowingly deferred understanding the future consequences and if it was, why didn’t alarm bells go off then? Or, has facility maintenance planning simply been incompetent at Cuesta for many years?

I think Cuesta overbuilt from the very beginning. I think it built structures it didn’t need and then couldn’t afford to maintain. Cuesta certainly doesn’t utilize its facilities to the same level that Cal Poly does and I have to wonder why?

FWIW, I agree that Gil Stork is a darned good man, but I’m still voting NO!


Why is it these bonds measures are never specific as to exactly what the money would be used for? They often mentioned general ideas, some which sound good, but there is always a statement made that seems to open the door for the money to be spent any way those in charge want.

Mr. Holly

Exactly. Atascadero’s sales tax started off as a road maintenance issue and ended up with “or and ither vital city needs”. It’s just another tax increase for the general fund to be used anyway they choose. They promise that it will be used for roads so that makes it ok, because when was the last time that your government broke their promise?

Beware on election day and read the ballot measures carefully.


Woohoo! You hit the nail on the head. That’s what the city of SLO did with Measure Y, and will do with its successor, Measure G, if it passes. They list a lot of nice sounding stuff, but there’s always the footnote — This Tax Can Be Spent For Anything. Broken promises all around are the result. They’re not breaking the law spending the money for other things, just breaking their promises and making people not trust them. It’s really dumb because even if people don’t know the details, they get the drift that they’ve been deceived.

Short answer to your question why not allocate the funds for only the promised items? That takes a 2/3 positive vote. So they make up stories that only require a majority (for sales tax) or 55% for bonds. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.



* SLO Coastal School District (bond request)

* SLO Sales Tax continuance (Thank you Ken Hampien, retired City Manager who implemented this tax, I got your letter stating my retirement was at risk without this continued tax and where I could send my donation to support the continued income of theft)

* Water/Wastewater increase

* Parking rate increase

* Cuesta College Bond


* Sales Tax increase for employee pensions (will be no different than SLO story of SAVE THE ROADS and CAPITAL PROJECTS but have not been able to ID them except the money for Homeless Taj Mahal, more employees and better pensions)

* School Board coming back for more bond money because they are running out

* Water rate increase

Almost all the cities in the County are imposing or attempting to impose additional fees, penalties, rate increases, new taxes, bonds, etc.


* Water fines

* Carbon Tax on gas (15 cent a gallon)


1. Utility costs

2. Insurance costs (house and car)

3. Healthcare costs

4. Food

5. Clothing and necessities

6. Auto repair, maintenance and transportation costs (tires, etc.)

7. Entertainment (what little is leftover for it)

This is happening as the federal government has more dependents to take care of, is the bank of the world giving to our wars, terrorists, friends and foe, taking care of everyone everywhere, increases in size and duplication of services (i.e. federal, state, county, city all doing the same thing with multi layers of administration and educational is a perfect example as it social services, etc.)

As more of the government money is spent on “causes” we need more tax money to maintain roads, public safety, schools, etc. so plan on paying more, and more, and more, and more. Taxes are creative and come in little dib here and a little dib there and before you know it, POW, you are now getting your government assistance.

The best news is now breaking: Highway trust fund for maintaining roads, bridges, etc. will be out of money as of this Friday, so again, another 2-3 billion dollars from the taxpayers but don’t worry, that will be paid by the grandkids.


And lets not forget the sanitation district who gets a rate increase EVERY time they ask for it. I love the fact no body has to even live in the house and you have to pay for garage pick up,

The tax man the song is so true to this day.

Slobird I think your comment about your retirement being at risk, and here is where to send your donation is classic.


Good luck to all you leaches who just want to raise my property tax a wee bit. Stand in line behind the fire dept, the police dept, city hall,the tax assessor, state government, federal government, next thing you know other countries will be asking to put a increase on my property tax to fund their war, Hell Putin might already be writing it up to present to us.


“all you leaches ” “Putin”

What? Red scare? Bengazi?

Also you/we are allready funding a couple of wars.

Mitch C

It appears that the Board of Trustees forgot that they already get taxpayer money. Of course, have you ever known a government agency that had enough money. The Trustees need to look at the fees charged to those taking classes and leave the rest of us alone. The only correct vote is NO>


I have no problem with the low fees charged to students or tax supported higher education. I support HIGHER taxes as necessary for the additional burdens placed on our collective (roads, cops, prisons, environmental cleanup, whatever is thrown at us and has to be done). And LOWER taxes as we modify or eliminate antiquated systems. We need to look at is who is taking classes at Cuesta and what are the results. This is not a question you need to ask at Poly. Nor is Poly always starved for students and needing to sell people on going to college. And, half of what Cuesta does was available in high school had one chosen to avail oneself of the abundant educational resources provided. Too many Cuesta students are rich punks who couldn’t go away to a 4 year school so they’re going away to a 2 year school (I actually had a Cuesta parent tell me how happy she was that her son had been “accepted” to Cuesta) and too many are locals killing time and collecting aid and running up loan debt. All students at Poly are evaluated for progress towards a stated objective. This is notably absent at Cuesta outside a few in-demand programs. And what with the administration and the budget? Poly builds new buildings all the time that are figured into their operating budget. Cuesta is badly run, like the City College of San Francisco, and it shows. A constant, embarrassing soap opera. I have in my hands Cuesta campaign flier titled “Community Update”, sent out at taxpayer expense just before the vote that consists of nothing but advocacy for the tax. Everybody needs to vote “No” on this. This is an almost blank check for more waste. Operations at Cuesta need to be evaluated before we pass a crisis tax sprung on us by Cuesta.


Not only NO, but HELL NO.

Its beyond time to be fiscally responsible period.




I always love how, it’s only x amount of money, no big deal. Yes you’re right no big deal but you are the tenth person in line. The local school district already put, just a tiny bit on my taxes (Paso). They also put, just a tiny bit for capital improvements. And a tiny bit for this and a tiny bit for that until I now pay $5000.00 a year in property taxes and mind you we didn’t buy at the high end of market, so it isn’t a case of 5k assessed on a higher value.

I get so tired of the………’s only a small bit bullshit. How about showing us tiny bitters some RESULTS FIRST!!! Enough of the orgy of money grabbing.

Kevin Rice



I second that!


No thank you. This supposedly 1%er is tapped out. More assessments on my property to pay for non-resident and un-documented students. Wonderful.

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