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
“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.