The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees is hoping to form two citizen oversight committees by mid-February to monitor and report the expenditure of Measure N and Measure O bond proceeds, following their certification of election results Tuesday.
During their Tuesday Board meeting, Trustees unanimously declared the results of general obligation bond Measure N and a district-wide general obligation bond Measure O, as well as approved the process for establishment of Citizens’ Oversight Committees for both bonds.
“The Board approved of the process for both committees and seeing as how they had already been front loaded with information from a November Board meeting, there was very little discussion,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor.
Trustees have 60 days, or until March 4, to form the two committees. The closest regularly scheduled meeting date to the 60 day-time period would be their Feb. 21 meeting, or 49 days following Board certification of the election.
The purpose of the committees are to alert the public if funds are not being spent on the projects specified in the bond measures. As part of the committee, members can review independent financial and performance audits annually, physically inspect school buildings and grounds and request or encourage cost-saving efforts in design and use of facilities.
The committees will encompass at least seven members, which will be appointed by the Board for a two-year term. The composition of the committee is mandated by the State to include one member who is active in a business organization representing the business community located within the District, one member active in a senior citizens’ organization, one member active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization, a parent or guardian of a student in the District and a parent or guardian who is also involved in a parent-teacher organization.
“We are very confident that we’ll be able to assemble strong committees for both measures who will appropriately inform the public about the expenditures related to both bond measures,” said Trainor.
Results from the Nov. 8 election showed 69.3 percent approval for Measure N and 67.9 percent approval for Measure O. The focus of the two bonds, a $40.8 million elementary bond measure and a $48 million district wide bond measure, is to address critical educational and facility needs throughout the district, including safety improvements, modernization of facilities, updated and improved facilities for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics programs and renovations to the Turlock High Science wing.
While the Board’s certification of election results was originally slated to occur during the Dec. 6 meeting, Trainor said that the agenda item was moved to the Jan. 3 meeting due to the fact that the County Elections Office did not provide results to TUSD in time.