Page One

School board has a sound fiscal policy

Joaquín J. Rivera
Monday November 26, 2001



I would like to respond to Yolanda Huang’s letter (“Learn S.F. lessons”) published on Nov. 20. Clearly Huang misunderstood my comments, so, for her benefit and the benefit of the community that read the misrepresentation of the facts in her letter, I would like to set the record straight. 

At the last Berkeley Unified School District board meeting I commented on the poor quality of the reports we have received from the maintenance department during the past few years. Very often we have received documents, hundreds of pages long, listing deficiencies and projects that needed to be done. Never did these reports contain appropriate levels of staff analysis, prioritization, recommended course of action, budget or proposed timelines for completing the tasks. Despite my requests in the past for this information, it was never provided to the board. At the meeting Huang refers to, I complimented staff on its summary of Measure BB expenditures, but what Huang fails to mention is that I also called to light the absence of necessary information included in the reports we regularly receive and demanded that in the future we are provided this information — information that is necessary to ensure the proper spending of BB funds. 

The school board and Superintendent Michelle Lawrence are deeply committed to spending tax dollars wisely. Any suggestion otherwise is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the facts. 


Joaquín J. Rivera 

Director, Berkeley Unified School District