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Local Businessman Lights Up “No on Measure E” Campaign with Digital Sign

In Alameda, the first weapon of choice for political campaigns is the lawn sign. Alameda resident and business owner Marshall Cromer has what might be a bazooka compared to everyone else’s standard-issue rifle.

Marshall Cromer owns Cromer Material Handling on Oakport Street in Oakland, near I-880, and he has lived in Alameda for twenty-one years. The digital sign he has in the parking lot of his business flashes messages, such as sales promotions, to drivers on the freeway. Lately, the sign has included messages urging Alameda residents to vote “no” on Measure E.

“This isn’t about the children,” Mr. Cromer told Action Alameda News, “this is about the administrators and the labor groups and all the money they’ve approved for themselves. I’ve taken the time to read the labor agreements.”

Cromer says that if all AUSD staff – administrators, teachers, everyone – would accept “a 10% haircut, like all the rest of us have had,” then the District could save about $7 million. That would be half of the $14 million annually that AUSD hopes to raise with the passage of Measure E. “But they won’t do it,” he said.

The messages on the sign, he says, despite some glitches in the digital billboard – “they’re coming next week to fix the sign” – have generated a number of telephone calls to his office, all of them positive.

Ballots for the Measure E special vote-by-mail only election began arriving in Alameda mailboxes this week. There will be no polling stations; voters must cast their vote, place it in the envelope and sign the outside of the envelope, and mail it back to the Registrar of Voters.

6 comments to Local Businessman Lights Up “No on Measure E” Campaign with Digital Sign

  • Marshall Cromer is absolutely right! This is all about the unions, not about the kids. I too have studied the labor agreements, and if Measure E passes, no teachers will be laid off and in fact they will receive negotiated increases in salary. Since Base Closure in 1996, AUSD enrollment has declined by 900 students, but no teachers have been laid off. They’ve avoided this by “class size reduction,” (no evidence this improves outcomes), smaller, “neighborhood schools,” (which don’t improve outcomes), new music, art and PE teaching positions in ELEMENTARY schools, (which never had them until very recently), more counselors and special program teachers.

    If Measure E fails, and student/school test scores and ratings don’t decline, which they almost certainly will not, lots of people are going to be proven wrong. How embarrassing!

    Those in favor of E don’t hesitate to talk about their views, online, in demonstrations, in meetings, in letters to the editors, and walking precincts. Many Alamedans opposed to E don’t speak out, for fear of being judged or ostracized or called “kid/education unfriendly.” But they will vote. So the number of “Vote Yes On e” signs are misleading. I think the Measure will be defeated.

  • joel

    Vote no on E , they want the support of the community yet for memorial day not a single flag fly on the school , thanks for giving back to the community , that is obscene . no on rent increase .

  • Eliza

    Measure E does not address the schools’ need for restructuring and using the funds they have in a productive way. It taxes both businesses and residences to a degree that seems to me to be excessive. At $700 per residential parcel, every block in Alameda may as well take up a collection to send a child to private school. The potential hit for businesses is frighteningly high and does not take into account the income of the business or how it serves the community. For example, a restaurant or mom-and-pop grocery (yes, we still have those on Alameda) might take up a lot of space without making very much money. Yet these are just the sort of businesses that employ local people and donate to local schools and nonprofits.

  • LARoth

    Measure E is a cop out.
    Prop 13 has canibalized CA schools. I pay 8 times more property tax than my neighbor with the same condo floor plan and a higher income. Where has our school money gone? Gone to prisons every one, or rather Prison Guard Unions and Prison Industries. Folks, we’ve been had. Next time somebody pulls out a boogey man, just say NO.

  • RM

    If you really want quality schools, one word: vouchers!!! Look at the successful voucher programs in such places as Washington D.C….Private schools are providing a quality education without all the overhead/admin…Why must we continue to be slaves to the teacher’s union?! Clearly the current system is unsustainable…a parcel tax now and another in a few years (they said a few years ago it would only be “temporary”) where/when will it end?

  • I agree with your letter to Alameda Journal (Dec 10) about teachers unwilling to take a 10% pay cut for working less than half a year (175 per 365 days) for $80,000 and up. I would add that the public schools should learn from the private schools and pay teachers what the private schools in Alameda get. Same with class size which has nothing to do with learning. We should start to consider making Alameda a charter school to break the back of the teachers union and return the education to the students and their families.