Founder of D.U.D.E.S. Urges Yes Vote

Mail-in ballots for Measure S Parcel Tax must be postmarked by Feb. 27

PHOTO: | South Pas voters first approved the UUT it in 1983 (Utility Users Tax) and it has been in place ever since. Ed Donnelly, a highly visible member of the community, is urging local voters to renew it when they go to the polls in November. Yuki Cutcheon joins Donnelly as co-chair of committee that is working to educate community members to maintain the tax. Courtesy Photo

Measure S needs your support.

That was the message delivered by Ed Donnelly, among a group of parents actively calling on community members to mail in ballots with a “yes” reply for the ballot measure.

“The renewal of Measure S is for the continual of the parcel tax that has been in place the past eight years,” Donnelly told those on hand at last week’s City Council meeting. “We are in desperate need of critical funding that does not come from Sacramento, and all funds stay here in South Pasadena.”

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Donnelly is well aware of those who contend the school district might make frivolous spending decision or say teacher salaries are too high. “The truth is, the highest paid teacher makes less than the In-N-Out Burger manager at Huntington and Garfield [in Alhambra],” said the founder of the D.U.D.E.S., an acronym for Dads Uniting Dads in Education and Service. The organization’s mission is to support kids at the schools and help the faculty and PTA.

“Others might say,” continued Donnelly, “What about the superintendent? He’s well paid. But if you look at surrounding school districts, his salary is almost the median number. He’s right in the middle.”

Donnelly said Geoff Yantz, the SPUSD superintendent, “manages a $47 million to $48 million dollar operating budget. Do we want to skimp on that? Probably not.”

Others might say the school district is not transparent on how it spends. “That’s not true at all,” Donnelly continued. “Every penny is accounted for and it is available on the world-wide web for anybody to see.”

District officials say funding from Measure S will support advanced programs in science, technology, engineering and math, will be used to attract and retain highly qualified teachers, maintain manageable class sizes and provide for advanced programs in music, visual and performing arts.

Mail-in ballots were mailed to residents at the beginning of the month. “Scribble in the circle next to yes,” Donnelly concluded, asking residents to get them to the post office soon.