BUHSD fiscal year ends with surplus, worst case scenario approaching



Patti Wilson of Oh La La Dance Studio stresses the importance of Palmer

BRAWLEY – District financial officer, Jennifer Layaye, reported to the board the state of their finances, saying, “Thanks to the maintenance crew for turning lights off at night and everyone doing their part, we  ended the year with a surplus.”

Layaye went on to report about the rocky road ahead that is filled with uncertainty as their fate is put in the hands of the voters in November. Governor Brown has placed on the November 6 ballot Proposition 30 which raises taxes on California residents to fund public safety and education. The state is experiencing a financial crises with reports of California’s debt that usually just includes the $17 billion budget deficit, but California also owes the federal government $14 billion, and public schools $10 billion according to California Watchdog.

The board passed a resolution to show their support for Proposition 30 and 38, both raise taxes to fund public education.

The board also received a report on the damage at Palmer Auditorium after the earthquake swarms in late August.

State officials are inspecting Palmer to determine all that will need to be done to make Palmer useful again. IVROP teacher Randy Smith said since the stage just went through a major renovation, the lights, curtains, sound system and the stage itself are all fine. The problem was the ceiling. Major sections of the ceiling plaster has fallen and work is estimated to cost from $100,000 up to $500,000.

Layaye met with the state and BUHS doesn’t qualify for any hardship classifications which would have opened the state coffers up to paying a majority of the repairs.

The work most likely will include removing the existing plaster and retro fitting with a seismic suspended ceiling with cables.

Patti Wilson of Oh La La Dance Studio asked the board to consider putting the repairs on the front burner as Palmer is the only venue in town with seating. “I don’t want to take my business to El Centro. I want to keep it here.” She also mentioned that the North County Coalition for the Arts that uses Palmer regularly, plans on holding a fundraiser to help with some of the costs.

Speaking for the board and the state architects, Layaye responded by saying, “They are expediting everything. It is a priority for them too.”

Board President Ralph Fernandez said, “Fixing Palmer is a noble cause for the whole community. The Board is saddened. We spent so much time and money fixing Palmer and now it is closed again.”


  1. I’m one of those that was called by the besd survey co. I’m a homeowner, employed, and Latino. I spoke with a lady who had a very thick Latino accent. She spoke to me in Spanish at first, but I told her I wanted to hear her questions in English. She was hard to understand, but we pressed on. By the slant of her questions, I felt she was trying to guilt me into supporting the measure. I informed her more than once that I would vote no. She wanted to know why. I told her I don’t trust the district administration and the Board because of their lack of integrity and common sense. I would donate to raise funds for Palmer, though.

  2. Thank you Desert Review for a great publication. I just want to clarify that it was Mrs. Noriega that mentioned North County Coalition for the Arts was willing to participate in fundraising activities. I do not represent NOCCA and therefore cannot speak on their behalf. I did, as referenced, urge the Board to make the situation at Palmer a priority and offered, if necessary, to help with any facilitation needed to urge the state (and feds, although, there was no mention of FEMA funds) to make it a priority as well. I commended the Board for thier efforts in expediting the replacement of the lights at the football field subsequent to the Easter earthquake state of emergency designation. I did later in the meeting speak to my experience with Missoula Children’s Theatre which NOCCA is planning on sponsoring here in Brawley. I believe the School Board will make this a priority and not put the full burden of fundraising on NOCCA. There are Building Industry Association funds that are designated for “modernization.” The seismic retrofitting of Palmer Auditorium would seem to fit this category and be a good use of these funds. It is my understanding that the use of these funds must be approved by the BIA prior to expenditure. I believe the sound system upgrade at Warne field was either partially or wholly funded by this. I hope I have my facts correct. The retrofitting of Palmer does not seem to be an unsurmaountable problem. Thank you again for covering these important events.

  3. so buhs wants money for palmer. besd wants to pass a bond for a gymnasium at barbara worth. besd hired a firm to conduct a survey in the community on the gym. i did not get a call and neither did any person i ask and i ask alot of persons. i would like to see the people they ask. the ones that do not vote or pay taxes.. i will gladly help palmer before i would vote to pass a bond for besd.. enough is enough…. take the supes 15000.00 raise and start a fund for the gym. i say no to this…

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