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ABC School Board to Decide Future of the $635 Million Facilities Master Plan on Tuesday

 By Justin Cooley

(Cerritos) The ABC Unified School District Board of Education will meet on Tuesday night to discuss and vote on a widely touted and pricy Facilities Master Plan.

The project, first proposed in March 2013, was developed through ABCUSD’s joint contract with Flewelling & Moody to help gather information regarding the condition of all 30 schools and other locations scattered throughout the Southeast Los Angeles County public school system.

If passed by the board, the $648 million project would be implemented over a +20 year period to update “infrastructural and technology” at elementary, middle and high schools as well as the adult and district facilities.

The project is broken down into three categories according to documents reviewed by Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper and published online by district officials last week.

Category A focuses solely on the basic needs of each facility including helping the schools meet new and updated safety codes, preservation and restoration of older buildings, and the repair of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Category B would work towards improving the learning conditions and methods of each learning environment. This would mean a greater support of educational programs to support a broader array of learning in the 21st century.

The last area of focus, Category C, would specialize in improvements any infrastructure not covered by Category A including improvements to playgrounds and lunch areas.

If the seven member elected body approves the Facilities Master Plan, the Board of Education would then look to vote on the recently proposed bond measure to help alleviate the strain of the cost of the program.

Under the bond, taxpayers can expect to pay approximately $200 – $400 extra per year on property taxes depending on the assessment value of their particular home.  District officials estimate that the average homeowner who resides in the ABCUSD would pay more than $20,000 extra for each taxpayer property over the project’s 30-year-period.

It appears that the bond has already created a controversy inside several political inner circles around the Cerritos political arena, including during a privately held meeting last week called by Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Chen and attended by at least five to seven current and past local elected officials.

Voting on the proposed bond measure will take place on July 15th, and voters will be slated to then vote on the measure on the upcoming November 2014  California General Election Ballot.


  • PLEASE!!! says:

    PLEASE!!! I urge the board members to vote NO. Do not hang another huge financial noose around the taxpayer’s neck. We are chocking to death now with all the taxes, please give us a little breathing space.

    • Jeroge Lopez says:

      Cerritos schools get all the money. Our children are being left out. Please, if you can spend money on your library spend a little on schools so our children can use the library.

      Our teachers need more resources. We can’t afford private tutoring like rich Yoo and rich Johnson. Our children are being left behind because of greed.

      • M c M a h o n says:

        Question #1-
        Can the trustees identify the carrier over to this 2014 Master Plan, from prior Master Plans?
        Adopted 2014 Master Plan, there is no reference to the past master plans, which were/ were not completed from generated sales from the following:

        • Sunshine Park sale,
        • Whitney sale to Cerritos Park East,
        • Whitney Sale to Warmington developers,
        • 1997 Mello Roos Bond

        Question #2-
        CFO stated ABC district loses approximately 10% students annually, what percent of ABC school district, imports students from outside of the district, hence how much of the district will be suffering from this bond, allowing students to enter into the district, which will never pay towards financing of this 2014 Mello Roos bond?

        Question #3-
        How much of this bond will go to renewable energy, such as Solar energy and drought landscaping, since ABC is the largest consumer of water in the basin? Big ticket item for all campuses is renewing parking, but no mention of permeable hard surfacing in said parking staging?

        Question #4-
        What percentage of this bond will be used for:
        • Deferred maintenance.
        • New technology.
        • Internal changes For Common-Core introduction.

        Question #5-
        What is a spreadsheet analysis data derived from of the 1997 Mello Roos bond, combined with today’s 2014 Mello Roos bond?

        Question # 6-
        Can a Property Owner pre-pay off the 1997 Mellos Roos Bond plus 2014 Mello Roos Bond in full, without interest?

        Question #7-
        Bulk of revenue from 2014 Mello Roos Bond will be generated from Cerritos Dwellings and Business. What (%) of the revenue stream will be used in Cerritos Campuses?

        Question #8-
        District has 2 Corporate Office compounds. What (%) of the district shares the new Corporate West Offices? The orig. Corporate Office has what (%) of vacant office space now? What plans do the trustees have to generate income from the non-used office space?

        Question #9-
        Since the district has new drawn boundaries/trustees, when will the next (7/11) review asset Mgmt. of the demographic within the district?

        Question #10-
        CFO illustrated data from the LA cities which have Mello Roos School Bonds. ABC was one of the lowest city with the least amount of Bond Debt, but high API national scores. No reference was made how the existing bonds aided the ADI test score or the property values per sq ft. in all of the other cities which have implemented bonds?

  • M c M a h o n says:


    State of California has approximately 500 cities. Most of those cities pay 1% percent property tax | Of Sales Price.

    In Cerritos we are between 1-2% property tax, which is double the average. If we include all these bonds, taxes, etc, except to pay be > 2%-3% property tax rate.

    Palos Verdes, (Rolling Hills, >7% property tax rate, plus very hard to sell a home there.

    2014: ABC Graduation Data

    • Gahr>1,000 +
    • Cer HS<1000+
    • Tracey HS +Art HS+Whitney 5%, plus Cer is home to 47% retirees.


    Resid. of Cerritos for 40 Yrs

  • M c M a h o n says:


    State of California has approximately 500 cities. Most of those cities pay 1% percent property tax | Of Sales Price.

    In Cerritos we are between 1-2% property tax, which is double the average. If we include all these bonds, taxes, etc, except to pay be > 2%-3% property tax rate.

    Palos Verdes, (Rolling Hills, >7% property tax rate, plus very hard to sell a home there.

    2014: ABC Graduation Data

    • Gahr>1,000 +
    • Cer HS<1000+
    • Tracey HS +Art HS+Whitney 5%, plus Cer is home to 47% retirees.

  • M c M a h o n says:

    ABC Trustee need to think outside the box. Combine 3 low graduating HS and save $.

    Around 2000Yr, we voted $140M Bond to retro ABC campus. Now they trustees are seeking more money for technology for ABC campus, after ABC received $2M from States.

    Here is what faces taxpayers in Nov 2014 election.

    1. ABC Bond Tax
    2. State of Calif Water Bond
    3. Cerrritos Increase in Water Rates
    4. Cerritos Street Light Tax.
    5. Cerritos Sheriff Tax
    6. Cerritos street tree and Public Works Tax.
    7. Cerritos Utilities Taxes ( Elect-Phone-Gas)
    8. Cerritos Permit fee Increase.
    CCC has doubled their travel expense, but failed to address our city landscape and streets for past 2 decades.


    Cerritos Real estate data:
    Aver Cerritos cost per Sq Ft is $300. Most surrounding cities, of (Like: Like) are between $400-$500+ Per Sq Ft. If these taxes succeed by voter vote, are property values will drop to around $200 Per Sq Ft. We are low now, because Cerritos additions to dwellings, have to pay ABC construction tax, so cheaper to purchase dwellings elsewhere.

    ABC Superintendant, Dr Mary Seiu has time to sit on the Chamber of Commerce, why has she not mentioned this ABC proposal, since conception in Fall 2013, revisited in Spring 2014 and now cramming this down taxpayers, when many dwellings are still in foreclosure, loan modification and unemployment greater >5%, plus Cer is home to 47% retirees.

  • Resident says:

    ABC —-Votes : 2nd Mello Roos Bond Property Tax

    RECORD OF NOTICE, MCMAHON FAMILY is neither for the school bond nor the pseudo ABC master plan.

    Frail master plan does not have enough safety nets, and was flawed from conception planning. Where is the ABC transparency and trustee public due diligence? No input from the residents, which will be bank accounts for Mello Roos.

    In addition, district taxpayers are only approximately 50% payment completion with first school bond passed in 1997, now if this Nov 2014 bond passes, district taxpayers will have an overlay school bond, (2 Mello Roos) which will drag on for another 30+ approximate years. Many district dwellings will be paying aprox $1K per yr. in addition to states 1% sales tax.

    DR Seiu, superintendent, stated she emailed all of her list. I never got an email, as we share emails and phone conversation w/ her and (ret.)Dr. Smutts

    Cerritos is largest stake holder of district, home to approximately home to:
    • 47% seniors,
    • Residents who are gone through loan modifications,
    • >6% unemployed,
    • Properties still w/ under water loans.
    • Average sales value $550K.
    • 15% Residents are Orig property Owners ( Corelogic)
    • >25% Properties are rentals (tenants)

    Said prop. Sandwich bond, will only drive more residents to move away from the city of Cerritos. In addition, CCC has proposed:
    1. Utility tax,
    2. Sheriff tax,
    3. Street tree tax,
    4. Up-dates to street light pole tax,
    5. City Public Works tax or bond.
    6. Water Rate increase ( Proxy Voting by USPO)
    7. Plus a possible utility tax ( Water, Gar, electric and Phone)
    8. 90703 already has trash can utility tax.
    9. Poss statewide water bond tax.
    10. LACO 60’s Salt Water Detox Bond?

    Cerritos tax bill has way too many additional taxes, compared to the one (1%) percent statewide tax. Cerritos is too hot top heavy with employee staffers and too much Disneyland type of entertainment 12 months of the year. Cerritos stopped the Rose Parade entry, must abort many other programs in order to balance budget.

    Cerritos Overnight parking Ordinance cost the city aprox $.5, bleeding the budget. Sky Nite Helicopter : aprox $290K.

    7/8/2014 ( Verizon Cable #29, 6pm-1am) Majority of the attendees to the school master plan, and proposed bond, 99% were employed by the ABC school board, which is conflict of interest, as majority commute in to district employment.

    PDF takes aprox 15 min to download w/ FIOS

    ………..Jay Gray, ( Ret. Candidate) lifetime resident stated, ((STOP)): CCPA, Magnolia Power Plant, Lifetime CCC Benefits and travel; INORDER to dead- end new city bonds or taxes. Fyi: Jay was battered by CCC Barrows at council chambers foyers……..

    Residents who spoke, who said no, no, no:

    • Paddleford Fam.,
    • Jay Gray,
    • Ben Ao, (Ret. United HOA)
    • Dixie, P
    • R. Kakar.
    • Ret. District electee, said lack of transparency, so bond needs much good luck to pass!
    • Cer Mayor Pro Tem, Carol Chen.
    • Cer. commissioner of Cho, PHD

    Proposed Master Plan, has a wish list totaling almost $750M, legally, ABC school board can pass a school bond of approximately $250M/ 30 yr term.
    My word, district will want another bond shortly, to make up the windfall between $750K-$250K!!

    Most home owners agree, all properties every once in awhile need updating, but you cannot keep going to the homeowner to finance deferred district maintenance, when are 70-80’s homes need a lot of maintenance, because our Cerritos housing stock also is old and post recession era., most of them have not been retro-fitted to current codes. Residents are just trying to refurbish old cars from great recession.

    Discussed by the ABC trustees, mentioned that the master plan was not introduced to the public tell July 4th, which is a lie, as on July 2nd, (2) of the trustees, made the master plan public, behind closed doors of a private Cerritos mayor pro temp meeting. Backdoor deal, when pertinent information goes out to the public, before the unveiling date.

    All in all sad, the master plan is not a good precise plan, therefore, not supporting.

    Please join me in supporting No on the school bond.


    • Resident says:

      ABC Re runs / Facility Presentation 7.5hrs long
      Broadcast Schedule
      10:00 am – Board of Education Meeting Rebroadcast
      6:00 pm – Board of Education Meeting Rebroadcas
      Fios Chan 29
      Charter Chan 31

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