Mira Mesa Town Council, Schools - Not Money Smart, Not Green


You hear about folks funneling public monies for personal use, but it is weird to experience it in my own backyard, literally.  (Below is a one of our photos of my brother-in-law at a Vernal Pool habitat that will be plowed over by San Diego Unified School District - in my neighborhood.)Jared at Jonas Salk Vernal Pool

When I learned the Mira Mesa town council supports spending $30M on a new school (we don't need, at all) in my neighborhood.....on top of one of the last Fairy Shrimp habitats on the Mesa, well, I schlupped to a long and boring Town Council Meeting (no wonder people don't pay attention!)

Although seemingly good folks, these guys are not exactly fresh-thinking-spring chickens. (Nor any of them Filipino, odd, since our town's nickname is Manila Mesa, and for good reason.)  They are certainly anything BUT green.

After Jason and I shyly expressed our concerns, both financial and environmental, with their proposed $30M Jonas Salk School project.....they actually made fun of us and invited us to a party where they would be 'barequeing fairy shrimp' (they actually said these Horton-Hears-A-Who fragile creatures 'hate our kids'  --  really guys?). 

Mirsa Mesa Endangered Fairy Shrimp - Due to Loss of Habitat

There are six schools on our Mesa, and all of them have excess classroom capacity, and are laying off teachers due to budget cuts. They could all use some nice capital improvements too -- like a new computer lab or in-school network, or new lockers for the kids, better (and more environmentally friendly) heating, cooling, electrical and water systems, and more.

mira mesa census info

The number of kids in our schools has decreased steadily over the past 10 years, by more than 20%.  Very worst case predictions by the San Diego School District say we might gain back 10% of that population by 2025.  They also say, "It is really difficult to get a new school approved, so we need to build it now just in case our neighborhood ends up growing again."  Seriously guys?

Why not improve our exising six schools instead? Benefit all our of children instead of just the lucky ones that get to go to Jonas Salks?  Save millions of dollars, now and in the future? And preserve one of the last undeveloped pieces of land, that house the very cool (and terribly endangered) Mira Mesa Fairy Shrimp?

Hickman Elementary School

Why not?  Because Sillman Wright and other developers won't be able to add more taxpayer revenue to their income statement over the next five years?  I was most saddened at Sillman Wright's GreenWashing - touting sustainable projects.  If you're plowing under protected land for an endangered species, well, how is that sustainable? 

I'm going to go bang my head against the wall and lament the ignorance of the citizenry and the corruption of those in power.....and have hope for our future, still!


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