The Ventura County Economic Development Association, or VCEDA, has not budged on its opposition to two state ballot measures that would raise money for public education by increasing taxes.
Earlier this month, VCEDA’s opposition to Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 — dueling tax measures designed to raise money for public education — kicked off a firestorm that resulted in the Ventura County Community College District rescinding a $10,000 title sponsorship of the association’s annual Business Outlook Conference.
Following the fallout, VCEDA’s executive committee brought a proponent and an opponent of the two tax measures to speak at its Sept. 25 board meeting and allowed for the board of the business group to reconsider its stance on the propositions.
Following the presentations, a board member called for a revote on the group’s position on the two tax measures. A vote to change the group’s stance to “no opposition” did not pass, leaving VCEDA’s resistance to both propositions 30 and 38 intact.
“The willingness of the board to further consider its original decision on Propositions 30 and 38 is indicative of its recognition of the importance of these issues to the business community, education and Ventura County,” VCEDA President and CEO Bill Buratto said in a statement. “By design, the VCEDA board represents a diverse group of people and interests. This diversity gives the board the ability to collegially debate issues and develop positions. There was much discussion on both sides of the issue and it was a tough decision, but in the end, the board stands by its original position.”
VCEDA has hosted the popular annual business outlook conference for the past 42 years, drawing hundreds of attendees from business, education and government. This year’s working theme is “Business and Education: A Partnership for the Future” and the conference is slated for Nov. 7.
VCEDA said Sept. 26 that it plans to move forward with the conference as usual.
“Regardless of the fate of the propositions on election day, VCEDA believes that business and education must come together to find local solutions to help schools overcome their fiscal challenges and to educate a workforce for the 21st century Ventura County economy,” Buratto said in the statement.
Full disclosure: The Business Times is a VCEDA member and Editor Henry Dubroff sits on the group’s board. The Business Times is also a media sponsor of the Economic Outlook Conference. As a matter of policy, Dubroff abstains from votes on issues where the Business Times has not expressed an opinion on its editorial pages. In keeping with this policy, he has abstained from the votes on Propositions 30 and 38.
For a related story published Sept. 19, click here.