United Homeowners Alliance
A California Community Organization for Artesia, Cerritos and Surrounding Areas
United, We Safeguard Our Homes and Our Community.

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Measure BB Pros and Cons
Voices from the Community
OCTax School Bond Criteria
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The 1997 ABC School Bond
The Case of Gahr High Roofing
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United HOA
16407 Greenlake Lane
Cerritos, CA 90703
ID #1293711

The Case of Gahr High School Roofing

Gahr High School was built in 1963. It has 157,981 square feet of flat tar-and-gravel BUR roofing. Over 10 years ago, ABC School District spent $12,009,204 to modernize school facilities in Gahr High, and part of that effort was to "replace roofing". According to a note from CFO Toan Nguyen, all of the Gahr High roofing was replaced, 60% in 1999 and 40% in 2002.

However, here is what we have learned about what really happened with that "roofing replacement" project.

In 1996, the district requested $1,621,000 for roofing replacement at Gahr High.

In 1999, the district hired San Marino Roof Co., Inc. to replace the roofing on all buildings at Gahr High except the gym and the girls' restroom. According to an email from SMR, the work order number was #ABC-1039 and the cost was $427,590.

In 2002, the district hired Southwest Group, Inc. to repair the roofing on the gym and the girls' restroom. According to a telephone conversation with Mr. Kurt Marsotti, the district rejected SWG's recommendation to replace the roofing. Instead, it paid SWG about $50,000 for a patch job.

In 2005, the district hired SMR again to repair some leaks in the 1999 roofing. According to an email from SMR, the district had to pay $3,000 for that job, because the 20 year warranty on that roofing had expired due to the district's failure to keep an annual inspection and maintenance program on that roofing as required by the warranty.

Thus, the district requested $1,621,000 for the roofing job at Gahr High, but only spent a total of about $480,000 in 1999 and 2002. So where did the remaining $1,141,000 go?

Why does the district tell us they replaced 40% of roofing at Gahr High in 2002, when in reality all they did was a patch job?

Many other questions about the 1999 Gahr High roofing job remain: How was San Marino Roof selected? Why was their warranty contingent on annual maintenance? Was the cost of annual maintenance factored into the budget of the 1999 job? Was the board aware of that contingency and the associated cost? Was there ever an intention to honor the annual maintenance program? If not, whose decision was it to forfeit the 20 year warranty and why? If so, then who decided to terminate the program to forfeit the 20 year warranty? when? and for what reason?

To recapitulate, over $1.6 million was requested to replace the roofing at Gahr High in 1999, with a 20 year warranty that was forfeited, and now 15 years later the district tells us in their FMP that "All throughout the (Gahr High) campus, the roofing has outlived (its) useful life", and they want to spend over $835,000 to tear down and replace that same roofing at Gahr High. Is that fair? How often do they replace roofing at their own homes? If this is not negligence of taxpayers' investment, then what is it? If this is not wasteful and irresponsible spending, then what is it?

What happened with the Gahr High School roofing is just a tiny tip of a giant iceberg. What about similar roofing replacement jobs in other ABC schools? What about the entire school facility modernization effort 10 years ago? How much money collected in the name of helping our children has gone missing? We need honest answers from the school district.

What happened with the Gahr High School roofing was due to the lack of any legal requirements for the protection of taxpayers' investment. The resolution for the 1997 school bond says nothing about the maintenance and warranty of projects funded with the bond money. By contrast, Orange Unified School District's resolution for their Measure K states that the bond money must not be used for routine maintenance, that the district must set aside money from its general fund for the maintenance of any project funded with the bond money, and that any project funded with the bond money must last as long as the bond itself. ABC School District's most recent resolution for a school bond doesn't have any such requirements. Because of that, there is no guarantee what happened with Gahr High roofing 10 years ago will not happen again. That is why we must oppose Measure AA as it stands. We must not support any taxation plan without proper protection for taxpayers' investment.

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