Will Ladera Benefit from the CUSD Bond Measure?

Jim Reardon, the Second District Trustee representing Ladera Ranch and surrounding area, provided an update to the Council on the school bond, Measure “M”, on the November ballot.

The bond measure would raise money to complete repairs and upgrades on potentially all CUSD schools and the cost to do this would be assessed evenly across the district except for Rancho Mission Viejo which is exempt from the measure.  

The cost would be $43/1000 of assessed value include residents and business properties.  For a typical $750,000 house, the cost would be $315 per year on top of the Mello Roos tax paid by Ladera homeowners. Mr. Reardon was the only member of the CUSD board that voted against the measure as he did not believe is was in the best interest of those he represents. 

Mr. Reardon pointed out there are many older schools in the District in need of significant repairs and upgrades including San Clemente High School that was built in 1964, Dana Hills 1972, and Capistrano Valley High, built in 1978.  
These, and number of other older middle and element schools in the District, would be first priority for projects funded by the bond.  

The Trustee noted it may be 10 years before any schools generally attended by Ladera students would be in need of any capital improvements. By that time, the bond money would have been spent or committed to other schools. Ladera would get little if any benefit from the bond money, but would pay approximately $3-4 million a year for the next 25 to 30 years for improvement to schools outside our community.  

The Trustee supports an approach where each community pays for the improvements to the schools in their area.  Most of San Clemente and those who go to Capo Valley High, Dana Hills, and their feeder schools do not pay a Mello Roos tax as Ladera Ranch residents do.  The bond value is based on a facilities assessment completed in 2008. Many in attendance did not feel this was a valid representation of the facilities needed in the District and a more accurate, current assessment of each schedule should be completed and each community determine what should be done for their schools.  The Council will consider taking a position on the bond measure at it October meeting once more public comment is received.

The Civic Council Announce New Board Members

The Council is pleased to announce that Mike Eilly and Amir Arbabi will be joining the Council Board along with Jett McCormick returning for a 5 term and Gary Kephart will is continuing on the Board.  

The Council thanks Jeff Hamilton, Scott Wiesgerber, and Todd Stearns who decided not to rerun for the Board this year.  Each has made significant contributions to the Civic Council and the Community.  These include working the County on the current street repairs, the upcoming third left turn from O’Neill north onto Crown Valley, traffic improvement at Oso Grande Elementary, stop signs on Narrow Canyon at the Goddard School and more.

The Next Meeting

The next LRCC’s next meeting will be at 7:00 pm on October 17 at the Santa Margarita Water District building. The Council thanks O’Connell Landscape and Rancho Mission Viejo Company for their ongoing support of the Ladera Ranch Civic Council. We are a volunteer organization however; we do have bills to pay.

Help your Civic Council help you. Your membership will ensure you have a voice in the community’s future and keep you informed on community issues.

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Help your Civic Council help you. Your membership will ensure you have a voice in the community’s future and keep you informed on community issues. Join at

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