DAILY NEWS SAYS “NO ON MEASURE L”

No on Measure L

A classic political bait-and-switch trick

Article Last Updated: 03/01/2007 09:35:48 PM PST 

THERE’S been little campaigning or debate about Measure L on Tuesday’s ballot, and that’s exactly what proponents want. That’s because on its face, Measure L looks like a solid good-government initiative.

It imposes spending limits in Los Angeles Unified school board races and limits board members to just three terms in office. But that’s just the sugar coating on the otherwise bitter pill proponents want voters to swallow.

The heart of Measure L is the creation of a compensation committee that would be able to set board members’ salaries at any level it wants, with no limit. This is the political mechanism that would do what Compton Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally couldn’t – get LAUSD’s board members a huge salary. Why else would the school board not be fighting this, when members are resisting every other reform-minded initiative that stems from City Hall?

Councilman Jose Huizar, the former school board president, is the force behind Measure L, but it’s not part of the mayor’s takeover bid. Even the reforms in Measure L that sound promising are illusory. The term limits apply only to terms that begin after the election – incumbents would get 12 more years in office. And the $1,000 caps on donations to school-board campaigns won’t stop special interests from bundling their contributions.

Measure L is about as honest as its predecessor, Measure R, which last year used misleading advertising to trick voters into thinking they were cleaning up City Hall instead of giving the ineffective council four more years to do nothing.

The school board is supposed to be a citizen oversight panel, and members are paid as such with salaries of $24,000 a year. But instead of policymakers, board members have become micromanagers. They don’t deserve more money, and this measure would allow them sky’s-the-limit salaries.

It doesn’t set a figure. It doesn’t even set a maximum. Vote no on Measure L.
 

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