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Palos Verdes Reviews School Tax Proposals With Residents' Panel

April 30, 1987

The Palos Verdes Peninsula school board reviewed proposals to hold another parcel tax election with members of a citizens committee this week, but apparently concluded that the measure would have little chance of winning voter approval this year.

The original plan to impose a flat fee of $100 on parcels of land in the four cities served by the school district lost by a narrow margin in the March 3 elections. It would have raised about $2.4 million annually for five years to supplement income in the financially strapped district while it adjusts to declines in enrollment and state aid.

"I want you to know that I will support a parcel tax if you decide to hold another election," said Mimi Horowitz, one of about a dozen committee members who met with the board Tuesday night. "But I don't think you have shown the community yet that you are running the district in the most efficient manner."

She and other committee members criticized the board for not taking more decisive action to close more schools with very light enrollment. They urged the trustees to make good on their vows before the March election to shut down more campuses if the community failed to approve a parcel tax.

"You should take the bull by the horns, close more schools and get it done," committee member Joseph Sanford said. The board voted late last year to close Dapplegray Intermediate School and reassign its students to Miraleste High School campus, but Sanford termed the decision "another Band-Aid" measure that only postponed a decision on abandoning one of the district's three high schools.

Interest Appears on Wane

Ronald Stanky said the board's efforts to rent closed schools to the Los Angeles district has "caused quite a flap." But Supt. Jack Price reported that Los Angeles, which initially wanted to use the closed campuses to help relieve overcrowding in its inner-city schools, has lately appeared to lose interest in the plan.

Price said the district projects a $2-million budget deficit in the next budget year. That gap, he said, may have to be closed with $1.5 million in program and personnel cuts and $500,000 in fees recently imposed by the district on developers.

The board will take up the parcel-tax issue again at a meeting Monday night. Board President Sally Burrage, noting that the district could not receive any income from a new tax until July 1, 1988, said it appears unlikely that the trustees would put the parcel tax on the November ballot. She did not close out the possibility of trying again in the March or June elections next year.

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