presents
Voter’s Edge California
Conozca la información antes de votar.
Presentado por
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
June 5, 2018 — Elecciones Primarias de California
Distrito especial

West Sonoma County Union High School District
Measure A Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

Se aprueba

11,551 votos si (64.7%)

6,310 votos no (35.3%)

100% de distritos activos (74/74).

To improve the quality of education with funding that cannot be taken by the State; repair or replace leaky roofs; and modernize/renovate/con struct class rooms, restrooms and school facilities; shall West Sonoma County Union High School District issue $91,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, averaging $4.9 million annually as long as bonds are outstanding at a rate of approximately 3 cents per $100 assessed value, with annual audits, independent citizens' oversight committee, No money for salaries and all money staying local?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Resumen

County of Sonoma Registrar of Voters

California law permits school districts to issue bonds to pay for construction, repair, replacement, and acquisition of school facilities if 55 percent of the voters who vote on the measure approve the sale of the bonds. The West Sonoma County Union High School District Board of Trustees has placed on the ballot the question of whether to issue $91,000,000 in bonds for such purposes.

Money raised by bond sales may only be used for the purposes and projects stated in the Bond Project List set forth in Measure A, which follows this analysis. Projects include, but are not limited to: modernizing, renovating, constructing, acquiring, equipping, expanding, and otherwise improving educational and support facilities (including athletic facilities such as physical education facilities); making mandatory upgrades to meet federal and state disabled accessibility requirements; and removing hazardous materials as necessary. As required by state law, Measure A prohibits using bond proceeds for teacher or administrator salaries or other operating expenses.

The Board of Trustees has certified that it evaluated safety, class size, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List. Inclusion of a project on the Bond Project List does not guarantee it will be funded or completed. Measure A states that the District’s capital needs may exceed the amount of the proposed bonds. The District will seek funds from other sources to advance the Bond Project List as far as possible. The Board of Trustees will establish the priority and order in which projects are undertaken.

If adopted, Measure A includes “Accountability Safeguards” that require the Board of Trustees to: annually conduct independent financial and performance audits to ensure bond proceeds have been expended only on projects on the Bond Project List; establish an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee; maintain bond proceeds in a separate account in the County Treasury. Measure A further requires the District’s Superintendent to provide an annual report to the Board on the status of projects undertaken and the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in each year.

If approved, West Sonoma County Union High School District may issue and sell bonds in series, at different times, as projects are undertaken. Bonds of any series must mature within the statutory maximum number of years from their date of issue. The bonds will be repaid with funds raised from an increase in property taxes based upon the value of land and improvements within the District. The interest rate on the bonds would depend on the market rate at the time the bonds are sold, but cannot exceed the rate set by state law. The Tax Rate Statement prepared by District’s Superintendent, which follows this analysis, estimates the property tax levies required to pay off the bonds. Those tax levies are projections, and could go up or down, depending on a number of factors including the timing and amount of bond sales, and changes in assessed property values in the District.

A “yes” vote on Measure A will authorize the District to issue the bonds and levy taxes to pay for the indebtedness. A “no” vote on Measure A will not authorize either the issuance of bonds or the associated levy of taxes.

REQUIRED STATEMENT REGARDING STATE MATCHING FUNDS MEASURE A

 

Approval of Measure A does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the West Sonoma County Union High School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure A will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure A. The school district's proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure. California Education Code §15122.5

Tax rate

An election will be held in the West Sonoma County Union High School District (the “District”) on June 5, 2018, to authorize the sale of up to $91.0 million in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest on the bonds will be payable only from the proceeds of ad valorem tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District’s assessed valuation, the following information is provided:

  1. The be stestimate of the average annua ltaxrate whichwould berequiredto be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on a projection of assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.03 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $30 per $100,000 of assessed value). The final fiscal year in which it is anticipated that the tax will be collected is 2054-55.

  2. The best estimate of the highest taxrate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on a projection of assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.03 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $30 per $100,000 of assessed value). It is estimated that such rate would be levied starting in fiscal year 2018-19 and following.

  3. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $184.0 million.

Voters should note the estimated tax rate is based on the assessed value (not market value) of taxable property on the County’s official tax rolls. In addition, tax- payers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner’s exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their prop- erty’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which amounts are not maximum amounts and are not binding upon the District. The actual debt service, tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those used to provide the estimates set forth above, due to factors such as variations in the timing of bond sales, the par amount of bonds sold and market interest rates available at the time of each sale, actual assessed valuations over the term of the bonds, and other fac- tors. The date and amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the need for project funds and other considerations. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on conditions in the bond market at the time of sale. Actual future assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

s/ Steven Kellner
Superintendent
West Sonoma County Union High School District

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

High quality schools prepare students to pursue well paid professional and vocational careers; moreover, they provide greater neighborhood safety, they improve property values, and they make a substantial contribution to the future well-being of our youth. The West Sonoma County Union High School teachers and staff have received numerous accolades for their efforts, but many facilities in the District are outdated and inadequate to provide students with the educational environment they need to succeed. This is why our students need your Yes vote on Measure A.

Significant improvements to District facilities have been completed using the funds provided by the 2010 bond measure, but more needs to be done. Classrooms and core elements of our District infrastructure are outdated and in need of attention. (Some elements are almost 50 years old.) While facilities have been well maintained, many areas do not meet current safety, education, and technology standards. Your investment in our schools will ensure that essential upgrades are completed.

If passed, Measure A will provide funding for critical facility improvements. Leaky roofs will be repaired or replaced. Inadequate electrical systems will be updated. Student access to computers and modern technology will be improved. Classrooms, restrooms, and other essential school facilities will be modernized or improved, and required health, safety, and handicapped accessibility improve- ments will be made.

Measure A makes financial sense and it protects taxpayers. All funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State. By law, spending must be reviewed and annually audited by an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The funds raised by Measure A can only be spent to improve our local high schools; they cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries.

Please, improve the educational experience of local students and maintain the quality of our community: Vote Yes on Measure A!

s/ Loretta Castleberry Business Owner/Educator

s/ Herman J. Hernandez Realtor

s/ Jeanne Bassett Fernandes Community Volunteer

s/ David Stecher
School Board President

s/ James S. Walton, Ph.D. Engineer/Scientist/Entrepreneur

Argumento EN CONTRA

You are being asked to authorize the West County’s largest school bond ever. $91 million is an enormous obligation you, your children and grandchildren will be repaying for decades to come. And this is on top of a $23.5 million bond mea- sure approved in 2010, one we are still repaying. Is more money justified? You decide for yourself.

The West Sonoma County High School District, like many school districts, faces serious financial problems. Student enrollment, the basis on which state funding is determined, is declining. Enrollment at Analy and El Molino dropped from 2,127 in the 2010-11 school year to 1,741 currently and the decline is projected to continue. Demographic experts say the enrollment decline is primarily attributable to the high cost of housing that drives away many young families.

Perhaps the first question you might ask is, “Do we really need any new buildings?” Buried in the legalese, this measure authorizes the construction of new facilities. New buildings might be appropriate for a district experiencing enrollment growth, but not one on the decline. The district trustees have yet to determine which of its existing facilities will no longer be needed or which ones might be repurposed to more economical uses, yet they want to build new facilities. Does this make sense?

The second question you might ask is, “If high housing costs are the primary reason younger families are fleeing the area, does it make sense to pile more property taxes (bonds are repaid via property tax assessments) on to the cost of that housing?” Doesn’t that just make things worse?

We recommend a No vote on Measure A and a message to the district trustees that greater diligence is demanded before committing ourselves and future generations to a $91 million obligation.

SONOMA COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION

s/ Daniel A. Drummond, Executive Director

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

Contrary to the argument in support of Measure A, the commitment of our teachers and the quality of education is not at issue. The argument is a red herring intended to divert your attention from the real issue. To be sure, our teachers are among the best in the profession and the resulting educational experience is excellent.

The issue you’re being diverted from is whether we should commit ourselves and future generations to repayment of $91 million in new bond debt on top of the $23.5 million debt currently outstanding. Given the declining enrollment, the district administration owes us an explanation of its facilities needs going forward and the extent to which current facilities are no longer needed before asking us for more money for more facilities.

There is a second red herring in the proponents’ argument. Don’t be lulled into thinking a citizen’s oversight committee will protect our investment. These oversight committees, commonly known as toothless tigers, have no power. Their approval is not required for any project and they have no veto authority to negate any project already approved by the administration. They exist solely to allow bond proponents to claim, as they have done here, the existence of meaningful over- sight when in fact none exists. Don’t be taken in by such political hijinks.

The bottom line. We’ve got $23.5 million in existing debt, a declining enrollment and more facilities than we need. Should we pile on another $91 million?

No on Measure A.

SONOMA COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION

s/ Daniel A. Drummond, Executive Director

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

High quality schools are essential for providing an excellent education, preserving property values, and maintaining our great community.

The sole argument against Measure A has been submitted by a group of people with minimal direct ties to the region served by the West Sonoma County Union High School District. Don’t let this disconnected group mislead you, they don’t have the facts, yet they regularly submit arguments against school bond measures, regardless of their merit. Here are the facts:

Measure A is a carefully considered program, with strict accountability. It will allow the District to continue providing a quality education for students in a safe and hos- pitable environment.

Our high schools are old. The District has done a good job of maintaining them with very limited resources, but the time has come to repair and renovate them. Their average age is 53 years. Analy High School, our oldest school, was first built in 1935. Measure A is not about new buildings but about fixing what we have. The only dollars for “new” construction will be allocated to complete the El Molino theatre. All other projects funded by Measure A will modernize and upgrade existing classrooms and facilities. Nothing is being hidden from you, the voter. We invite you to review these projects, on-line at:

http://bit.ly/Measure A

Measure A is locally controlled, with every dollar benefitting local schools, local children, and local property values. Many respected community members, who actually live in our District, support Measure A.

Our students deserve safe and up-to-date classrooms, please ... vote Yes on Measure A.

s/ James "Chip" Castleberry
Business Owner/Ret.Teacher, Coach

s/ Harold Kwalwasser
Education Consultant

s/ Lori Goodwin Bruhner 
School Board Vice-President

s/ Diana Gardner Rich
Fmr Director, Sebastopol Comm. Ctr.

s/ Jim "Mr. Music" Corbett 
Musician/Promoter

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Legislación propuesta

 

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