Letter to Editor: Response to SSFUSD Response to my Public records request of April 26, 2018 by Cindy Alger

South San Francisco, CA June 13, 2018 by Cindy Alger, SSF Resident

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms Alger sent a letter to the School Board on April 26, 2018 which can be read CLICK HERE . The District’s response can be found CLICK HERE. Below is a follow up by Ms. Alger to the District to refine questions for the purpose of more thorough answers to the questions posed in her initial public records request. Ms Alger is acting on behalf of community members and has included some of that input in her writing below. Please note this evening the SSFUSD will be presenting an update to our City Council at the MSB 33 Arroyo Drive at 7:01PM- more info on that meeting please CLICK HERE.

June 13, 2018

South San Francisco Unified School District

398 B Street

South San Francisco, CA  94080

Attn:                 Dr. Shawnterra Moore

Reference:      SSF High and El Camino High Schools’ Softball/Baseball Fields

Dear Dr. Moore,

This letter is addressing SSFUSD’s response letter of May 7, 2018 to my Public Records Request of April 26, 2018. For quick reference, following this paragraph is an excerpt from my April 26th letter regarding my Public Records Request. I have noted SSFUSD’s reply along with SSF concerned citizens’ additional comments.

I am hereby submitting a Public Record Request for the following information:

(2)     Maintenance Invoices:


SSFUSD:        Because the District staff maintains these fields, they do not submit invoices.


:                       The nine (9) groundkeepers that were recently hired by the District with our tax payers’ money to care for the fields would still have invoices for materials for the upkeep of the fields. Please submit the allocated hours of the groundkeepers for the maintenance of the leased fields. SSFHS, ECHS, PMS, ALMS.


(3)     Payment Records to our District regarding these fields:


SSFUSD:        Payments are made by cash and check and are deposited into our bank accounts. All cash receipts are presented to the Board of Trustees each month for approval.


:                        These payments may be in cash and check, but you still have to be accountable and maintain accurate records for the total that is coming into the District on a monthly/yearly basis. SSFUSD knows exactly how much revenue is brought in by the leasing of the fields on a monthly /yearly basis.


According to the Minutes of the May 10, 2018 meeting, Michael Krause stated that the District gives to $30,000 each to SSFHS and ECHS, for a total of $60,000 for their sports activities from the rental permits. Michael Krause, in his job capacity, would be knowledgeable of the revenue from the leased fields, and I believe this is public and taxpayer information. Mr. Krause’s statement above about the District’s donations is counterfactual.


(6)     What the rental proceeds are being used for:

SSFUSD:        While the District is not obligated to respond to your question under the Public Records Act in the interest of cooperating with you to the full extent                            possible in this matter the District responds that the proceeds from the field use permits fees are used for field maintenance.


        :                        Will you please clarify which one of the two following statements is true and which one is not true regarding the proceeds from the field rentals:


(a)  the proceeds from field use permits are used for field maintenance (per SSFUSD statement above); or


(b)  the District gives $60,000 to SSFHS and ECHS for their schools’ sports activities (per Michael Krause)?


(7)     Schedules of the other cities’ reserved practice times at our fields:


SSFUSD:        Again, while the District has no obligation to respond to question under  Public Records Act, the District responds that no one has any reserved                                 practice times. All field permits are on a first come, first serve basis. Any teams or organizations wanting to use the fields must go through the online                          permit system and request field use for a specific and scheduled time and date.


:                       Contrary to the above, please see the attached Reserved Calendar for the fields that Michael Krause sent to the soccer teams trying to get the permits                         needed for the SSF team.


(8-d) South San Francisco Boys play and practice at Orange Memorial Park.


SSFUSD:        At this time, there is no field available for the SSFHS boy’s baseball team.


        :                        The statement above is not true; they practice and play at Orange Memorial                      Park.


(8-e) SSFHS girls’ softball practice for 3+ hours even though CCS limits practices to 2 hours, denying the leagues access to Ponderosa field both on weekdays and weekends.


SSFUSD:        Board Policy gives all schools and school sites priority over any outside organizations.


:                       This is also an untrue statement, per the Joint Powers Act dated March 1, 2008, per Sharon Ranals’ statement at the May 10, 2018 SSFUSD meeting. SSF Park and Recreation have first priority.


                                 Attached is a copy of the related page from meeting of May 10, 2018.



Under the JPA dated March 1, 2008: SSFUSD is responsible to maintain the following fields:


–       Spruce Elementary – Baseball Field: SSFUSD removed field, no baseball field.


–       Foxridge Elementary School – Baseball Field: Not maintained, no baseball field.


–       Sunshine Gardens – Softball Diamond- Upper & Lower Fields: Community is unable to use field because ECHS girls use the field because of lack of maintenance of the field at  ECHS. SG is poorly maintained.


–       Parkway Middle School -Soccer & Baseball Field: Soccer field is rented out for profit,SSF Little League unable to play on baseball field.


–       Westborough Middle School –Soccer and Track Field: No maintenance, no fields, but SSFUSD rents out the Parking lot for profit.


–       SSFHS – Football Field, Track and Small Baseball Field: Baseball field not maintained by the District, SSFHS girls play at Ponderosa.


–       The only fields being maintained by the SSFUSD under the JPA March 1, 2008 are Parkway Middle School- Soccer field and SSFHS Football and Track fields. These fields are being rented out for profit by the SSFUSD.



Under the JPA dated March 1, 2018:  The City of South San Francisco is responsible to maintain the following fields:


–       Buri Buri Elementary School – Large & Small Baseball Fields: SSFUSD removed large and small fields and has not replaced them.


–       Hillside Elementary – Terra Bay Baseball & Soccer Fields:


–       Martin Elementary School – Baseball Field: Needs to be better maintained.


–       Ponderosa Elementary School – Baseball Field:  Needs better maintenance for the community, not the SSFUSD teams. Because of the Districts’ lack of maintenance of their fields at SSFHS, the community of SSF is unable to use this field because the  SSFHS Girls softball team practices and plays all games at Ponderosa.


–       Alta Loma Middle School – Baseball & Soccer Fields: Maintained by the City of SSF and rented out for profit by the SSFUSD to other cities. Our SSF community is unable to use ALMS for soccer or baseball.


–       Baden High School – Large field is maintained by the City of SSF.


–       Baden High School – Small field is not maintained at all by either City of SF or SSFUSD.


Under the JPA dated March 1, 2008, the SSFUSD is responsible for maintenance of five (5) baseball fields, and not one of them have been maintained by the DISTRICT. The six (6) fields that are maintained under this agreement by the City of SSF are still opened and maintained by the City. The City of SSF is paying for these fields from the SSF community’s tax money, and the SSFUSD rents them out for profit and does not give the community access.

Here is an example:  Alta Loma Middle School is being rented out for profit by SSFUSD, and Ponderosa has NO ACCESS to the community because SSFUSD did not honor their agreement to maintain the field at SSFHS for them to use.  All SSFUSD fields that have been renovated, such as ECHS, SSFHS, ALMS and PMS, are being rented out for profit by SSFUSD, and the SSF community has no access.

Reiterating from my first letter, both the leasing out of the school fields and the conditions of the other fields are not satisfactory, nor fair, to the families of South San Francisco.


Again, we respectfully request a timely reply to this letter, with (1) a committed agenda for returning the fields back to our SSF community, and (2) documentation that provides a very clear understanding of how much money the District  is bringing in on the leasing of the fields and how they are allocated for our fields.


(See Attachments Below)



Cindy Alger



      Ryan Sebers, Director Student Services, Public Information Officer

      Michael Krause, Asst. Superintendent Business Services, SSFUSD

      Jay Spaulding, Asst. Superintendent Human Resources and Student




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