JUDGE REMOVES BAN ON BELMONT PROJECT.Byline: Terri Hardy Daily News Staff Writer
A Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. judge lifted an injunction Friday against the controversial Belmont Learning Complex, giving the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. the green light to proceed with the pricey Pricey
Term used for an unrealistically low bid price or unrealistically high offer price.
Of, relating to, or being an unrealistically high offer. An offer to sell a security at $50 when the current market price is $47 is pricey. project.
Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne, who has insisted that the school board fulfill its commitment to the public for real oversight on bond-money spending, issued the ruling after reviewing a unanimous recommendation by the Blue Ribbon blue ribbon
denotes highest honor. [Western Folklore: Brewer Dictionary, 127]
See : Prize Citizens Oversight Committee against using Proposition BB money to fund the $87 million high school.
Wayne had issued an injunction last month halting the Belmont project until the citizens committee reviewed whether voter-approved bond funds should be used.
``I hope the public's interest has been served,'' Wayne said in court. ``At least the committee is doing what voters thought they would do.''
Public outrage erupted in late April when the board announced that it intended to use $43.5 million from a $2.4 billion pool of school-repair bond funds - without input from the specially created oversight committee.
The school board, now faced with a virtually no-win funding scenario, is expected to vote Monday on how to pay for the Belmont complex.
If the board flouts the citizens panel's recommendation and votes to use BB funds, it faces further public outrage. And if the board proceeds with the project using certificates of participation or COPs, it would cost an additional $18 million, increasing already high costs and requiring use of money from the general fund. As currently proposed, Belmont - with its high school campus, retail shops and housing units - already would be the costliest school in the state.
``The board is caught in the biggest boondoggle boon·dog·gle Informal
1. An unnecessary or wasteful project or activity.
a. A braided leather cord worn as a decoration especially by Boy Scouts.
b. ever created by the district,'' school board member David Tokofsky said of the board's funding quandary.
Chief Financial Officer Henry Jones said the real difference is that, by using COPs, ``You're using money you could have used for other instructional purposes.''
Jones said he would recommend the school board use COPs ``only if no other alternative is available.''
District officials say that, given the citizens committee's recommendation and the political realities, the four board members who have consistently voted for the Belmont project will lean toward using COPs.
``They want to push this through, but I think they'll eventually go back to BB funds,'' Tokofsky said.
Board President Jeff Horton Jeff Horton, born (date?) in Arlington, Texas, is currently an assistant coach (Special Assistant/Offense) for the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. He has also been active as an assistant coach at the collegiate level (Minnesota, Nevada, UNLV, Wisconsin) and as a , a supporter of Belmont, said he is inclined to take the oversight committee's advice and vote to fund the project with COPs.
``I don't think COPs are the best way to go, but if that's what it takes, then we'll do it,'' Horton said.
The oversight committee has said it would consider revisiting the issue if the state agrees to provide matching funds Noun 1. matching funds - funds that will be supplied in an amount matching the funds available from other sources
cash in hand, finances, funds, monetary resource, pecuniary resource - assets in the form of money for Belmont.
Meanwhile, Tokofsky and union officials are pushing for reconsideration of the project.
``The board needs to review the circumstances behind the vote of no confidence issued by the oversight committee,'' said Jesus Quinonez, an attorney for United Teachers - Los Angeles, one of the parties that filed the suit seeking an injunction against the district.
Quinonez said that other parts of the envisioned Belmont project - including retail space, low-income housing and recreational facilities Noun 1. recreational facility - a public facility for recreation
facility, installation - a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry; "the assembly plant is an enormous facility" - have not been firmed-up.
``Deadline after deadline has passed,'' Quinonez said. ``The board is obligated ob·li·gate
tr.v. ob·li·gat·ed, ob·li·gat·ing, ob·li·gates
1. To bind, compel, or constrain by a social, legal, or moral tie. See Synonyms at force.
2. To cause to be grateful or indebted; oblige. to take a hard look at that. . . . They need to re-evaluate the project.''
Dom Shambra, director of the LAUSD's planning and development office, acknowledged that the district missed Friday's deadline to put together the project's retail plan. And, he said, the housing and recreation components had not yet solidified so·lid·i·fy
v. so·lid·i·fied, so·lid·i·fy·ing, so·lid·i·fies
1. To make solid, compact, or hard.
2. To make strong or united.
The 40-day injunction has taken a toll on the project, he added.
``Everything's so thrown off I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. where we are,'' Shambra said.
Board member Tokofsky, a longtime critic of the Belmont proposal, wants his colleagues to take a deeper look at the project.
The district would have to pay penalty costs if it terminated its development agreement with Kajima International and rebid re·bid
v. re·bid, re·bid·den or re·bid, re·bid·ding, re·bids
1. Games To bid (a previously bid suit) again in bridge.
2. the project, but could still get a high school ``for $20 million less,'' said Tokofsky.
``It's just not a choice of one type of funding or another,'' he said.