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Submitted by on 1, August 13, 2009 – 1:52 pmNo Comment

Updated 4:04 p.m.

The Alameda Unified School District and businesses who sued over the Measure H parcel tax could settle the cases, attorneys working on them said today.

David Nied, an attorney working for the district, said the district and yacht merchant John Beery have come to a basic agreement in principle to form a committee that would create a new parcel tax to replace those created under measures A and H.

The goal would be to have something on the ballot in June 2010, Nied said.

Nied said the parties have until December 17 to show progress in their efforts, and if they don’t, the judge will put the case, which was slated to go to trial in September but has been put off, back on the calendar.

The attorney for George Borikas and other plaintiffs in a separate H case offered a separate settlement offer that is to be discussed by the school board on August 25, Nied and David Brillant, the attorney for those plaintiffs, said.

The specific terms of the settlement offers are confidential, the attorneys said.

“The district has some very specific ideas, as do we,” Brillant said.

If the talks fail, the plaintiffs expect the trial to end in the district’s favor. If that happens, the businesses will appeal, the attorneys said.

“I’d say Beery and the district are both optimistic about their ability to come up with a new parcel tax through this (process)” that will help the district meet its financial goals and be acceptable to the businesses, Nied said.

“It would have been ideal if Borikas had joined with Beery. Unfortunately, they decided not to,” Nied said.

The idea of a new and perhaps permanent parcel tax has been floated as part of the district’s budget and master plan processes.

An order summarizing the court’s decision is due within the next five days.

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