UPDATE JUNE 17, 2022: SSUSD Superintendent “Optimistic” After Failing Grade, as Sierra Sands $52 MILLION Bond Issue Goes Up in Smoke

Originally published June 8, 2022

Indian Wells Valley, California

UPDATE June 17, 2022: The Superintendent of Sierra Sands Unified School District, Dr. David Ostash, commented in the Daily Independent last week, saying he was “optimistic” and only temporarily disappointed in the outcome.

The school district is plagued with aging schools and a failure to address Monroe school’s end-of-life without any alternatives but remodeling Viewig as a 6th grade-only school. For more information, please see The Daily Independent.

Developing: The Sierra Sands School District Bond Measure C failed by a large margin.

54% voted No on Low Turnout

Only 991 residents of the Indian Wells Valley showed up to vote “Yes” on Measure C, in a primary election that failed to generate any interest or enough support with only 2,146 total votes cast.

Completed Precints: 25 of 25 VotesPercent

The Sierra Sands Unified School District includes the towns of Inyokern, Randsburg and Johannesburg, and many families of workers in Trona as well as agricultural areas in Inyokern. The Indian Wells Valley has a population of approximately 35,000 residents.

SSUSD’s response to Covid was controversial, and the SSUSD Board came under heavy fire as many public schools grappled with mandates and masks. Students protested by refusing to wear masks.

From The Daily Independent, just last week, we saw the following news from SSUSD:

SSUSD to seek funding for electric school buses

  • By John V. Ciani For The Daily Independent
  • May 26, 2022

Correction: 15 buses at $425K each, “The district hopes to have four buses for the next school year, and 15 buses over the next seven years along with the charging capabilities.”

An Anonymous Roadrunner had a few things to say:

The measure would have closed Monroe Junior High School, which is adjacent to the Sgt. John Pinney Memorial Pool. The Pool has been closed for over 10 years. In addition, perhaps a mistake in timing, SSUSD announced it was planning to buy 10 15 EV Buses at a cost of nearly $5,000,000 $7,500,000. Residents are likely to reject any mandates to convert to EV anything, so I’d add that to the list of reasons the measure failed.

Anonymous Roadrunner

More comments from “We the Peanut Gallery”:

The failure of Measure C is a result of our local elected leaders on the school board and mayor and city council not listening to the majority of the people they represent over the last 2 years. They refused to rule respectfully and let FREEDOM be their first priority. Instead it was to rule in fear of up chain politicians. The people have had it with poor representation.  As a separate note: KZGN TV Ridgecrest was the only local media that opposed the measure.

Local Business Owner

Finally, a Letter to the Editor in The Daily Independent, re-iterating another reason voters rejected the Measure C Bond:

The Sierra Sands Trustees approved a ballot question which is not in compliance with AB 195. Rather than clearly stating the duration information , available in the tax rate statement, 30 years, they placed the words “while the bonds are outstanding”. That is not meaningful information to the voter. The voter is deprived of the information necessary to calculate the total cost of the bond over it’s term.

For the record , the tax rate statement estimates that debt service including interest and principal will total $96,315,350.

Stephen Curtis Petzold, The Center for Truth in School Bond Measures ID #1408280
June 2, 2022

Yet Another Anonymous Roadrunner wasn’t surprised:

Heck, I saw the condition of Monroe, my old junior high alma-mater (and it was old when I went there) and my other old alma-mater, Viewig, and thought to myself, self, how could they let it all go this far downhill for so long. But I signed the petition anyway. When I saw the plan to buy 15 EV buses, I said that’s enough. SSUSD has been taken over by Murray brats and leftist ideologues.

Yet Another Anonymous Roadrunner

The Indian Wells Valley is divided by the issues surrounding the IWV Water District’s defense of valley resident’s water rights currently being adjudicated in court with seven separate lawsuits, and the City Council in Ridgecrest isn’t making things any easier for their residents and customers of the Indian Wells Valley Water District.

Residents of Ridgecrest have also recently been forced to comply with the State’s new law that will change how you sort your trash, adding to the collection fees. the County is increasing the City’s cost for fire protection by nearly $1.7 million per year, and last but not least, the IWVGA Fees currently assessed to residents on their water bills will be used to buy the treated wasterwater from their new Wastewater Treatment Facility that hasn’t been built yet in addition to a $300 million water import project. AVEK AVEK AVEK.

This post will be updated as news develops.

Bond Failure and Leadership Failure. See here for more info:


File under: Mask and Vax Mandates, Taxed Enough Already, Navy-centric Leadership Failure, Company Town, Build Like Hell, AVEK AVEK AVEK



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