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Teachers Oppose T

By Lookout Staff

October 21 -- The local teachers union this week joined a host of other civic and political groups that are opposing a measure to curb most commercial development in Santa Monica.

Leaders of the Santa Monica Malibu Classroom Teachers Association (SMMCTA) said the group is worried that Prop T -- which would cap most development at 75,000 square feet a year for the next 15 years -- would have “unintended consequences.

“Measure T would undermine the authority of our elected City Council, boards and commissions,” said Don Hedrick, a SAMOHI history teacher and member of the union’s board.

“As a US Government teacher, I don’t believe that ballot box governing is the ideal approach to policy development,” Hendrick said. “The reality is that such initiatives can often result in unforeseen problems, which often outweigh the good that may be gained.”

Union officials also worried that the measure could curb future municipal revenues to the School District, which receives more than $7million a year from the City.

“Although the financial impact on our district is difficult to quantify, our schools and students rely on our city’s support,” said Jenny Lipson, chair of the union’s Political Action Committee and a teacher at Grant Elementary.

“Any measure, which would potentially undermine the City’s ability to build on its current financial commitment to our local schools, should be of great concern to voters,” Lipson said.

Supporters of the measure have said such fears are unfounded, with Council member Bobby Shriver calling allegations that the measure would hurt future revenues for police, fire and schools “cheap scare tactics.”

“If the City loses revenue for whatever reason, funding for public safety and helping our schools are two of the last items in the City budget that would be cut,” Shriver said.

The teachers union joined the Santa Monica police, firefighters and municipal employees associations in opposing Prop T.

Prop T is backed by the city's six neighborhood groups and the County Democratic Party.

Ted Winterer for Santa Monica City Council

Dr. Margaret


Vote # 158


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