Pine Ridge Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure R (June 2014)

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A Pine Ridge Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure R ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the Pine Ridge Elementary School District in Fresno County, California, where it was defeated.

If approved, Measure R would have authorized the district to increase its debt by $4 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to fund the renovation, construction, modernization and improvement of school facilities and technology. The property tax rate required to repay these bonds was estimated at $29 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.[1]

A 55 percent supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure R.

Election results

Measure R
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No17848.77%
Yes 187 51.23%
Election results from Fresno County Elections Office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[1]

To improve the quality of education with funding that cannot be taken by the State; repair/ replace outdated plumbing systems; increase student access to modern technology; modernize/renovate outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; replace aging portables with permanent classrooms; and upgrade P.E. fields and facilities for school and community use; shall the Pine Ridge Elementary School District issue $4,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, have an independent citizens’ oversight committee and have no money used for salaries?[2]

Impartial analysis

The following impartial analysis of Measure R was prepared by the office of the county counsel:[1]

Voter approval of this measure will authorize the governing board of the Pine Ridge Elementary School District (the "District") to issue and sell bonds in the maximum amount of Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00) bearing interest at legal rates and with maturity dates within the legal limits. The bond proceeds may be expended to construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, furnish, equip, or replace school facilities within the District. The bonds proceeds may not be used for any other purpose, including teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses. This measure would require annual, independent, performance and financial audits of the proceeds and appointment of a citizens' oversight committee. This measure was placed on the ballot by order of the governing board of the District.[2]

—Kevin B. Briggs, Fresno County Counsel[1]

Project list

Below is a list of projects for which the bond money was intended:[1]

  • Repair or replace outdated plumbing systems
  • Improve technology infrastructure and increase student access to computers and modern technology
  • Provide ongoing 21st century technology needs
  • Repair, construct and/or upgrade classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
  • Replace aging, temporary portable buildings with permanent classrooms
  • Improve student safety; including installing security cameras, fencing and lighting
  • Improve/upgrade P.E. fields and facilities for school and community use
  • Construct, upgrade, renovate and equip labs, multipurpose rooms/cafeterias, classrooms, and other school facilities
  • Make facility improvements to increase the District’s energy efficiency, including upgrading HVAC systems and replacing outdated and inefficient windows lighting
  • Make health and safety improvements
  • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades including site access, parking, staff and student restrooms, relocation of some existing electrical devices, drinking fountains, playground equipment, etc.
  • Repair and upgrade roofs, walls, and floors
  • Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/modernization (e.g., plumbing or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic, structural, etc.)
  • Federal and State-mandated Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) safety upgrades including playground equipment replacement
  • Abate and remove hazardous materials identified prior to or during construction
  • Necessary site preparation/restoration in connection with new construction, renovating or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms[2]

Support

Supporters

The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure R:[1]

  • Julie Falk
  • Richard E. Nichols
  • Michael O. Peterson
  • Lee Gates
  • Barbara Hankins

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in support of Measure R:[1]

Our elementary school is the most important assets in our community and should be our number one priority. From higher achieving students, to greater neighborhood safety and improved property values, quality schools make a difference. While our teachers and staff do a great job in educating our children, there are school facilities at the Pine Ridge Elementary School District that are outdated and inadequate to provide students with the facilities they need to succeed. This is why our children need your YES vote on Measure R!

Although Pine Ridge Elementary School has been well maintained over the years, aging classrooms and facilities must be upgraded since many do not meet 21st century standards. Measure R would allow the District to improve our local school and the quality of education provided to local children. By investing in our school, we can meet today’s safety, technological, and educational standards and improve our community.

If passed, Measure R will provide funding to make facility improvements at Pine Ridge school including:

  • Repairing/replacing outdated plumbing systems
  • Improving student access to computers and modern technology
  • Replacing deteriorating portables with permanent classrooms
  • Modernizing outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
  • Improving P.E. fields and facilities for school and community use

Measure R makes financial sense and 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.
  • Funds can only be spent to improve our elementary school, not for teacher or administrator salaries.

Measure R upgrades and renovates old and inadequate school facilities, improves the education of local children, and maintains the quality of our community. That’s something we can all support. Please join us and VOTE YES ON MEASURE R![2]

—Julie Falk, Richard E. Nichols, Michael O. Peterson, Lee Gates and Barbara Hankins[1]

Opposition

Opponents

Gaylee Fiel submitted the official arguments in opposition to Measure R:[1]

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in opposition to Measure R:[1]

Everyone knows that the word “Bond” according to the dictionary means to subdue someone. Bond is the root word of bondage.

Is it worth enslaving ourselves, our children and our grandchildren with additional debt that we must pay back with high interest rates? It is never prudent when you find yourself in a financial hole to commit yourself to further debt.

This $4 Million Bond to improve facilities for less than 95 students works out to be close to $45,000 per child. On top of the 49% of our taxes that already go to education, schools receive millions in Federal funds and grants. In addition to this, Californian’s recently passed Proposition 30, which increased sales and income taxes to fund schools. Sierra Unified School District being deeply affected with dwindling enrollment had to close two schools, Auberry Elementary and Sierra Elementary. It would be a shame if Our Pine Ridge School suffered the same fate, yet still owed this Four Million Dollar debt. Pine Ridge School District has a huge percentage of absentee property owners who pay local property taxes, but have no children attending Pine Ridge School. They also cannot vote on this Bond issue because they are registered elsewhere. This is an unfair tax.

Some of our friends and neighbors are struggling to get by and our school should tighten their belts too until our economy improves.

Please vote “No” on Measure “R”.[2]

—Gaylee Fiel[1]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Fresno County Elections Office website, "June 3, 2014 election sample ballot," archived May 21, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.