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Editorial: A time for Cubberley planning

Original post made on Oct 2, 2011

There are endless possibilities for how the 35-acre former Cubberley High School site on Middlefield Road in south Palo Alto could be used to meet the future needs of the school district and broader community.

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Comments (2)

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:07 am

This editorial fails to mention two key facts that greatly impact this conversation. The Utility User Tax generates revenue for the City far in excess of the current costs of the Cubberley Agreement and the community services at Cubberley are an invaluable asset!

First, the Utility Users Tax that was approved by voters in the 1980s (to make the arrangement revenue neutral) now generates millions of dollars for the City, in excess of the costs. It's disingenuous to look at only the cost side of the equation and ignore the income from the Utility Users Tax.

Second, Cubberley is a community center that provides invaluable services to the public. It has arguably the highest utiization rates of all community facilities in the city at and operating costs that are far less than other sites. When one compares what the City has spent at Lucy Stern, City Hall or the Libraries over the last decade or two, the deferred maintenance expenses are not out of line.

Yes, there needs to be long term plans for the entire site, but let's not start the discussion wearing blinders.

Like this comment
Posted by Close neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

This is the first time I've read a Weekly editorial and so thoroughly agreed with everything you wrote.

It is time the School District came forward with their future plans for Cubberley. The City's lease for the School District owned 26 acres will end in December 2013. The City can no longer afford $6 Million a year rent when the non-profits contribute so little towards the City's rent.

Bob says: "the Utility Users Tax that was approved by voters in the 1980s". The voter's approved the utility tax but nothing in the ballot measure stated that it must be used specifically for Cubberley or rent for Cubberley.

After 29 years the City has better things to spend their money on than maintaining Cubberley's deteriorating buildings. The School District needs to take them back, and come up with a vision for the future of the Cubberley site.

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