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.


The state is also going to have to come up with a solution to non-county residents using schools like Cuesta as a gateway to schools like Cal Poly.

When Johnny from Marin County and Janie from San Mateo County can’t get into a good college directly out of high school their parents shuttle them off to places like Cuesta College and Santa Barbara City college. Their they consume resources that where paid for by local county residents and not their parents.

There needs to be a re-distribution of money similar to what would happen if Johnny and Janie came to Cuesta from out of state.


Not a snowballs chance in you know where will I or my wife vote for this.

First, maintenance, repair and updating of buildings should be part of the annual budget. This is what the private sector does, but too much of the public sector gets away with not dealing with these issues until they become a “crisis”. (In the private sector we get fired for this type of malfeasance.) If these items were part of the annual budget you would see that the economics of the college are very problematic.

Second, in the last few years the college has built new buildings at both SLO and North County. Why does the college need a performing arts building? And why such a large library when we have Poly and SLO city libraries. How about sharing these resources.

Third, the college needs to provide utilization data for all existing buildings.

Fourth, the Job Training facility sounds like a boondoggle to me. Where is the justification. Don’t our high schools and Cuesta do this now as part of their mission?

Fifth, with online teaching becoming more important how does this impact the need for facilities and related spending?

Last and most important: Cuesta needs to re-examine its mission in view of twenty-first century realities. They then need to look at the economics of how to deliver that mission and only then develop a facilities plan. In the private sector we do this routinely or go out of business!


Mr. Stork, who is a really nice guy, wants a legacy for himself and the Job Training Facility would certainly be it. In the Tribune this morning there was an article about a State Job Training Program in California offered to Private Businesses, Community Colleges, and sorry I can’t remember the third one. There is money there because it has not been applied for. There is accountable and if this is so important I think Cuesta should apply.

I will not vote for any bonds or taxes and these school bonds are a joke.

Here is the bottom line: Budgets should to contain items for Capital Improvement Projects. Every year schools, cities, the County, and the State would plan for building a new building, repaving roads, upgrading heating conditioning etc. EVERY YEAR there was a plan so that every 5 years a building would be painted and upgraded, or every 10 years a new heating system, every 3 years a department would get new computers, etc. It was called planning. BUT, now, all the money is going to salaries, pensions, new programs, and whatever the persons in power want. There is no planned upgrades, planning, etc. They have the staff but have deverted the money to better needs. I do not see a plan for x, y, and z just a bunch of whining about we want, we want, we want…


“First, maintenance, repair and updating of buildings should be part of the annual budget. This is what the private sector does.” Well, maybe. Looked at the ruins of the Motel Inn lately? That’s the private sector in action. Looked at the mess at Taft and Kentucky in SLO? That’s private sector in action. Looked at the College Square shopping center? More private sector in action. Looked at slums lately? That’s the private sector in action. You over-generalize. But I agree, Cuesta should have maintained their buildings — that’s basic.


$275 million? Really? Trump tower cost a mere $210 million to build from the ground up and it has all the lavish bells and whistles. Who wrote up this over inflated estimate? Maybe the same extortionists who sell expensive books to colleges that are deemed obsolete after one year. Ridiculous! Once again, greed and pigs at the trough are poised to grab all they can get. Calling Bullshit on this price tag.


Not a good comparison. Trump tower was built on some of the most expensive real estate in the entire world. Cuesta was built on surplus federal/state land.


San Luis Obispo/SLO County voters are being asked to pay $452M ($275M + $177M) to fix-up a community college, it’s North County extension, two high schools and a continuation high school.

Almost HALF A BILLION (yes with a “B”) DOLLARS to spruce-up five existing campuses! That’s twilight zone crap!


I spent 7 years at Cuesta college and my personal opinion is Cuesta is a big waste of time. What the biggest problems with Cuesta College is they have a semester system that’s a long 18 weeks of school when they should be 9 weeks system not 18 weeks.

At Cuesta college you can only do two 18 week semesters a year and forget about their summer school program it’s only 6 weeks in their summer program and of that 6 weeks you can only take one class instead because teaching is so brutal (students spend 3 hours a day per class 5 days a week and with 6 hours of homework per night making it 60 hours a week for one class which is common for Cuesta’s summer program) compared to Cal Poly and Allan Hancock, I attended all of them besides going to Oxford University as well but Cuesta was the worst college in the amount of teaching. I don’t recommend Cuesta College to anybody, don’t wast your time there, it’s a long dragging education system and they do have all the updates facilities they are complaining about as I have been out there many times throughout the school which this $275 million is complete hogwash to ask SLO property owners to folk out, it’s ridiculous to ask for this kind of money.

The other problem with Cuesta college is there is an opening enrollment to illegal immigrants who want to go to school there (even before the dream act was passed) as they’re giving money away to illegal immigrants attending school there now (and they have been for years which Cuesta pretends the public knows nothing) as they want record attendance numbers to complete with Allan Hancock (and to get more State funds) and don’t get me wrong because Allan Hancock college is just as guilty as charged for allowing a large number of illegal immigrants in too. They get free a admission program, free classes, free books, also free parking and then they get them the free pale grants and state funds they need putting the local people in back of the line, making them pay instead.

There is some things about Cuesta I do like, some of the teachers but their accredited system is bogus and their motto to teach tougher than Cal Poly is a shot in the foot in my view, just go to Cal Poly instead and get it done faster without Cuesta. Their board of executives, department heads, department chairs are making $125k to $230k salaries with pensions getting 95% of their income to retire with and with pension increases as they stayed retired, that’s where the money is going. The sad part is, the teachers are getting dirt for salaries and have to work part time jobs or teach at another institutions while these Cuesta Board of Trustees are perfectly paid and demanding more money for themselves.

I truly hope the voters deny all this money like they did in 2006 when Cuesta College for $230 million back then. Personally I think US Customs Enforcement should be patrolling Cuesta College audit books. While I want Cuesta do well but their teaching system stinks as they should switch to quarters and allow students to attend Cal Poly and get rid of their 18 long semesters, that’s needs to go first before asking for more money. Second, question the salaries the school is paying out, should be a big story in Cal Coast News to interview these excessive salaries out there.


Cuesta has not made a convincing case for this bond. I can’t vote myself a tax increase because Cuesta buildings are 40 years old or they want to replace portables with permanent buildings in the North County. Our public schools in Paso use portables all the time, and some regular classrooms haven’t been repainted on the inside for more than 40 years.

In Paso, we need to further support our K-12 schools, and in this regard, where are the wineries and vineyards? What about some donations from the big winery guys to the public schools? Justin Vineyards gave $10,000 to the Templeton school system.


I am going to vote NO!

Cuesta College was built upon the massive taxes paid by PG&E during the construction of Diablo Canyon. A lavish little place, or at least it was. As an institution it has spent far too freely for far too many years.

Cuesta administration is now telling us how dire things are. How the buildings are falling apart, etc. Here’s a few questions that I have never seen broached by Cuesta admin:

1.) How high is the utilization rate of Cuesta buildings? Do classes start at 07:00 as they do at Cal Poly? Are all the existing buildings even needed, do they need to be maintained?

2.) Exactly who made the decision over a great many years to defer facility maintenance? The alarm bell should have rung THEN and not when you want $275M

3.) What percentage of your budget goes to salaries, wages and benefits?

4.) Why was the Cuesta Performing Arts Center even built?


The Tax Increase Play Book:

1.Hire Consultant [ Manipulate The Voters]

2. Scare The Voters

3. Educate The Voters [ Law prohibits public funds to support tax increases]

This is how they work around it and waste taxpayers money.

4. Use Newspapers, Radio, TV for slanted view.

5. Use Students, Police, Fire, Public Works, as the Bait and Switch.

6. Small Increase [ Use the only the cost of a pizza per month]

The only problem is with all these Tax Increases and Automatic Rate Increases this is one Really Big Tax Increase not only for property owners, but Renters as well.

7. Union Funded Mailers [ Follow The Money, Excessive Salaries, Benefits, and Bankrupting Pensions]

8. Cheapskate Attack [ Make voters feel bad if they do not support Tax Increase]

9. Do it for the students. [ More online classes and degrees eliminate the need for this type of Tax Increase] They are living in the past.

Vote NO on Tax Increases In November !

* If we do not reject all these New Tax Increases it will only open the door for more in the future.

Mr. Holly

Have you ever seen a survey done for government that didn’t produce the results that they wanted. Surveys are like expert witnesses at a trial-you just buy the one you want that will best serve your purpose.


Your list leaves out an important cost — the pseudo-campaign mailers Cuesta College itself made and mailed out telling us 1, they’re listening to us (whatever that means) and 2, how much they need the money for this and that. This was a huge expense — totally out of order for them to do.


I propose that we tax all foreigners living abroad.

Thank you.