PROP. BB OVERSIGHT PANEL WEIGHS FUNDING OPTIONS FOR BELMONT CENTER.
The independent committee overseeing $2.4 billion in school improvement bonds looked at options for financing the controversial downtown Belmont High School on Thursday but made no decisions.
At its first official meeting, the Blue Ribbon Oversight Committee heard from the Los Angeles Unified School District's financial officer Henry Jones, who said using Proposition BB money would cost less than other kinds of financing, including the issuance of certificates of participation.
But oversight members said they would have to weigh the impact of using Proposition BB funds on public confidence.
Steve Soboroff, who was appointed chairman of the 11-member oversight committee and who is also a senior adviser to Mayor Richard Riordan, said that ultimately, ``All we want to do is have voters say they're glad they voted for Prop. BB.''
Taxpayers were outraged last week when they learned that school repair bond money would be used to help pay for the $87 million Belmont project, saying the district failed to inform the voters of its plan.
The board approved construction of the high school Monday but agreed to ask the committee's opinion whether Proposition BB funds should be used for the project.
David Barulich, representing the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said the board has left the oversight committee in a bind by not asking its opinion before it approved the high school.
``You're putting us in a bad position by saying, well, do you want the district to spend this much money, or save this much money? and I hope that doesn't happen again,'' he said.
In other action Thursday, Tim Lyle, deputy city controller, was appointed vice chairman.
PHOTO Steve Soboroff
Seeks to please voters