Is There Money to Operate Future Sports Facilities? N-O Spells No

By Steven Tavares

“No” was the response Thursday from San Leandro School Superintendent Cindy Cathey when asked if the school district had financial resources to operate revamped sports facilities across the city, including a new Burrell Fied, if the $50 million bond measure recently added to the November ballot is approved by voters.

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos asked the pivotal question at a joint meeting of the city council/school board liaison committee. It is ironic Santos posed the query since the opening of the city’s new senior center on East 14th Street was pushed back due to a lack of funding. Nevertheless, Cathey was noticeably distressed by the question. She paused, stared at papers in front of her for moment and simply said with a reddened face, “No.” Once she gathered herself she said the district hopes to discuss entering into an equitable joint-use arrangement with the city.

If Burrell Field is eventually transformed into a state-of-the-art facility similar to the park constructed at Castro Valley High School, rental dollars and user fees will greatly increase, said School Trustee and city council candidate Pauline Cutter. The language of the bond measure contains far more than reconstructing Burrell Field. It also includes rehabbing sports fields at nearly every school in the district. Paying for the bond in the middle of the deepest recession in generations may be a tough sell, in addition to a quarter-cent sales tax measure already on the ballot. Property owners would be asked to pay roughly $25 per $100,000 assessed value of their property. Santos indicated receiving numerous calls from seniors about an exemption to the bond, but the school district says the demographic is only exempt from a parcel tax.

Santos, though, says the district could have received a new sports facility for practically nothing if it sold the lucrative land under Burrell Field. Retail developers have longed desired the patch of land situated next to Interstate 880, he said. “Is this the best use of this land?” asked Santos who said the city and both the San Leandro and San Lorenzo School Districts could work on using land at San Lorenzo High School for a facility and possibly forming a regional district similar to the Hayward Area Recreational District to operate it. “This is something that should have been discussed, but wasn’t,” said Santos. Both Cutter and Cathey both said the plan was looked at, but found it not feasible and a hard sell to fund a project in another municipality.

Categories: Burrell Field, Cindy Cathey, election, school board, school bond, tax, Tony Santos

17 replies

  1. Santos is an idiot. He's still mouthing the old Maltester Machine lines about Burrell Field. Maltester had wanted to get one of his cronies in there for years, just like he did with Marina Square, the Cleveland School site, Roberts Landing and now with San Leandro Crossings. Fix up Burrell, but DON'T sell it. Where was all that money from the sales of Pacific, Cleveland, Lincoln, Halcyon???? Oh the School District had the money invested instead of using it for children.


  2. No worries, the bond will not pass, so no need for any discussion or debate.


  3. First of all, Cathy became superintendent recently and inherited these financial problems, we have to work together to make use of all of these new/upgraded facilities. When children are healthy, and having fun their school work excels. We will have to also put a Senior Volunteer corp in education to help run the senior center. Solutions, we all know the problems. Burrell Field is great and should be upgraded and we should make the best use of our community citizens, sports, youth and the field!


  4. Oh and the title of this article “Is there money?” Let's stop asking what we need to do something and start asking what do we have. We need organized community planning. We must do this together it's that simple…. We have to do the work that is expected of us, and make better decisions that affect people's lives. Let us handle the money in the future like it belongs to someone else the people. Now let's go fix the problem by educating our young people and our community. Let's keep San Leandro quiet, safe, beautiful, fun, prosperous, and educated.


  5. “Let's keep San Leandro quiet, safe, beautiful, fun, prosperous, and educated.”

    Hmm, good thought but doesn't the city have to be that way in the 1st place to keep it that way?


  6. Yes, over the past five years it has declined greatly. It is still better than Hayward, and Oakland, so I think we can move back towards that goal if we are aggressive. It isn't about race, or socio-economic status, it's about raising our standards then enforcing them. It is clear that the current administration doesn't care about San Leandro or the fact that it is on the verge of being a treeless ghetto. It is not too late.


  7. Santos the poster child for the worst mayor…hmmm interesting that a Mayor that when building a senior citizen center failed to plan enough monies to run it, so now it sits empty and idle! a mayor that spent 2 million dollars dredging the marina for a handful of boats, must residents of the city don't make use of the water way.Santos is also the same mayor that barely got involved in the hospital closure,and the same mayor that has pushed for the crossings(a mostly low income housing development).Mr Mayor and citizens the last 2 school bounds have been use with extreme benefit and money's were made available to operate the facilities.The bound will not just benefit the Burrell Complex , the bound will benefit all schools in the district so that students,parents and citizens can enjoy great facilities that as of now have been in great decay.
    Tony IF perhaps you still are the mayor when the facilities are complete don't bother coming to the ribbon cutting ceremony, for the nay sayers who don't realize the benefits of better schools and play areas go to san Lorenzo,oakland or hayward .To the EBC it's a shame that now you have reduced yourself to being the voice of santos!! you should have interviewed the Super. Cathey and asked for her clarification on her statement.


  8. 100 of the 700 crossings units were subsidized, what math class did you take where 100 out of 700 is the majority?

    Also its a bond not a bound.


  9. just curious how you come up with the 700 crossing units and the 100 subsidized….. 12 schools in the district IF 4 crossing guards were used per school only 48 would be used. Now most schools only only use 1…crossing guard.So please clarify to us where you arrived at your 100/700 numbers. By the way as home owners we're bound by the bond ….but thanks for pointing out my typo.


  10. I am talking about the Crossings Housing Development near BART. Many posters here(or at least Fran Lynn) keep stating that the project was going to be low income. As I read the info on the project only 100 of 700 were subsidized. I thought you mentioned the project in your rambling.


  11. “The Crossings” refers to only the 100-unit apartment building to be built directly adjacent to BART. This project alone requires $9 million in city money to fund.

    Frank Lynn


  12. The 9 miilion was a bond guarantee not city money, but Frank never lets facts get in the way and that was for the infrastructure for the entire 700 units, the reason the 100 were to go first was to take advanrage of federal funds. A smart business decision.
    But with the housing market the builder wanted to cut back and put up rental instead of property to be purchased and the city told hom no
    This was never a low cost development unlike Frank's condo across the road.
    I am still laughing that he bought a unit in a development that couldnt sell when it was new and blaming the city that his condo is down in value.


  13. Maybe you should get your personal blog page so you can attack/disagree with F Lynn,sounds like you have a personal vendetta against Frank. The EBC is more for political discussions and disagreements then it is for discussing what Frank has bought. I don't know Frank and often disagree with his postings , but he at least has the guts to put his post his name. You and other seem to hide…but thats ok,… this makes me wonder if you're Tom Silva?

    ps I noticed u corrected someone else's typo earlier…yea i think it's ADVANTAGE not ADVARANGE …but probably just a typo on your part.

    Sincerely ,
    A concerned Citizen of San Leandro



  14. Thanks for the editorial advice. I was going to get an editor, but he tried to takeover the entire operation, so that didn't work out. I understand, your need for clarification on the very clear answer of “no.” That's why the title says “N-O spells No”. Trustee Cutter and Cathey both say in the article they want to work a plan out with the city. That's the “clarification.” By the way, I like the EBC shorthand. Maybe I'll start using it.


  15. Yeah, they start out with 100 units. Then losers end up in there. Good people leave, more good people refuse to go in, units remain empty, then the developer fills those empty units with low income and the place becomes a ghetto. Sobrante Park on Juana.


  16. Manuel, your writings in here remind me of another fellow that is bitter,negative,border racist……gosh what is his name??? Paul…. i mean Manuel…as soon as I remember his name I'll tell you!…Oh yea while the lot is empty maybe you could go plant some batatas(potatoes) and couves so you can have it with your linguisa and bacalhau


  17. Let I try to explain how city development bonds work to some of the more ignorant commenters on here. The $9 million in question for the “Crossings” requires the city to take out a $9 million dollar bond to give to the developer/BRIDGE; it's not an insurance or bail bond that costs a fraction of the price – it's $9 million in cash the city has to front by going into debt.

    The California redevelopment law actually *requires* the city to go into debt to pay the $9 million redevelopment bond – so in actuality it costs the city a lot more after interest is computed – kind of like a $500K 30-year mortgage costs $900K when you add up all the interest.

    In theory, the bond monies the city lays out are offset by increased property tax revenues as the “redevelopment” is supposed to make the surrounding property more valuable, hence property taxes go up. But in the case of low-income housing, how many people do you know who have had their property values go up when low-income housing moves in next door?

    It's unfortunate, but ignorance allows the city to scam a lot of people and keep San Leandro downtrodden. People are outraged at me for daring to question the power structure and point out blatant corruption and misgivings and love to attack me personally; yet they have no problem with San Leandro becoming a crime-infested ghetto with worsening schools.

    I truly believe that all that's necessary to turn San Leandro around is one smart, competent leader. Or maybe even one who just isn't corrupt and stupid. I know it would be breaking with tradition, but then again, so was electing a Black president. I don't know why anyone holds it against me wanting to protect my real estate investment, especially if that person lives in San Leandro. As it is now San Leandro is one bad decision away from becoming Oakland or Detroit, and one bad leader away from becoming Cuba.

    Frank Lynn


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