I’d like to correct an error that was made at Wednesday’s 3rd District candidate forum. Bruce Porter said the Goleta Union School District is in financial trouble because of revenues lost when the oil platforms shut down after the Refugio oil spill. This does not fit the published facts in the 2015-2016 Goleta Union School District Interim Report.
Presented months after the oil spill, this report indicates that the district is in strong financial shape, with no budget shortfall. The report states that taxes from oil (including transport) represent less than 3 percent of the district’s total tax revenue, and any decline of oil taxes (largely caused by falling oil prices) “will be more than offset by other growth in the community’s property values.”
It is also worth noting that any school district claiming reduced income caused by the oil spill has recourse: Plains All American is responsible for paying claims for damages, including to school districts. School districts are just like oil workers, the fishing industry, tourism-related businesses, and even property owners — they are entitled to reimbursement for any costs they incur because of the spill.
This community has made it clear: We do not want 200 daily trips of oil trucks passing through our neighborhoods and on local highways. Any candidate running for the 3rd District needs to respect the wishes of its residents, and to have his facts straight.