Ponce-Gomez also noted that they do have community members that use the high school facilities. She said that the with parking district they will now be forced to park blocks away to attend school events. She added that the new science building is an incredible resource and that a small group of people has demonized them. Board member Kolbeck suggested the district offer to help pay for a traffic study to show they are serious about the issue.
The board also discussed a letter from City Attorney John Cotti telling them that they have an obligation to resolve potential dangers that they have created because of the construction of the new Science and Technology buildings. Cotti states that the city informed the district last year about the dangers existing due to student drop-off and pick-up. Cotti further states, “Given that the District is creating and has knowledge of the danger, the district arguably has an obligation to resolve those dangers through the placement of traffic control devices, traffic monitors, crossing guards and signage, among other potential safety measures.”
Superintendent Alfonso Gamino told the board that it is not the responsibility of the school district to hire, to train, to supervise, to schedule and to monitor any traffic monitors or crossing guards. “We’re not in the traffic business,” he added. He said it is the obligation of the city to mitigate any traffic issues and he noted they are happy to work with the city.
Board member Michelle Kolbeck said the letter from the City Attorney puts the issue at a whole new level. Board President Diana Ponce-Gomez said the letter displays the city’s lack of willingness to work with the school district. She added, “All of these things could and should have been addressed in a joint meeting. They’ve cancelled every single meeting that we have tried to set up. They refuse to contact us and when they do they send a letter from their law firm.” The Governing Board decided to have the school district’s attorney respond to Cotti’s letter.