Sacramento City Unified School District bond propositions, Measures Q and R (November 2012)

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Two Sacramento City Unified School District bond propositions, Measures Q and R were on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the Sacramento City Unified School District in Sacramento County, where they were both approved.[1]

Measure Q authorized a $346 million school bond.

Measure R authorized a $68 million school bond.

A 55 percent supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure Q
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 74,861 70.16%
No31,84729.84%
Measure R
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 71,820 67.86%
No34,01432.14%
Final official results from the Sacramento County elections office.

Support

Supporters

The arguments in favor of Measure Q in the official voter guide were signed by:

  • Deborah Ortiz, Los Rios Community College Trustee
  • Anne Rudin, Former Mayor of Sacramento
  • Phil Serna, Sacramento County Supevisor
  • Greg Purcell, Principal, Sam Brannan Middle School
  • Pia Wong, Professor of Education/Parent

Arguments in favor

The arguments in favor of Measure Q in the official voter guide included:

  • "While there have been significant improvements in the quality of our local schools over the past few years, the fact remains that many of our neighborhood schools are old, classrooms are inadequate, electrical systems are outdated. The average age of our local schools is 50 years. Schools built years ago need significant updating."
  • "Over the past year each school in the district was independently evaluated to determine the most critically-needed repairs and renovations. They found roofs needing repair, deteriorating plumbing and heating systems, inadequate lighting, wiring and electrical outlets in many classrooms. When repairs involve breaking through walls and ceilings, asbestos is often present, making even minor problems expensive to fix."
  • "Measure Q will provide funding to upgrade classrooms, computer systems, science labs in our local high schools and middle schools. Measure Q insures that students have the facilities needed to provide career training and classrooms for advanced courses in math, science and technology."
  • "Measure Q will renovate heating, ventilation and electrical systems saving energy and reducing costs providing funding for programs like art, music and libraries. Measure Q will repair roofs, floors, walkways, bathrooms, sewer lines and plumbing systems."
  • "All money raised by Measure Q will stay in our community to benefit local children and will help stimulate our local economy. No money can be taken by the state or used for other purposes. None of the money will be used to pay school administrators' salaries."
  • "Safe, Quality schools protect local property values."

Funding for Yes Campaign

According to the FPPC Form 460 the Yes on Measure Q & R committee raised $67,127.50 through October 20. They have $60,946.48 cash on hand and debts of $108,820.23

DateDonorAmount
10/17/12Landmark Construction, Loomis, CA$5,000
10/16/12Issues Mobilization PAC (IMPAC), Los Angeles$5,000
10/15/12 Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners, Alameda, CA$500
10/15/12Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3, San Leandro$250
10/05/12Cumming, Temecula, CA$2,500
10/05/12DLR Group, Omaha, NE$1,500
10/04/12Labor Management Cooperation Trust, Sacramento, CA$2,500
10/04/12Lionakis Beyond Design, Sacramento, CA$5,000
10/04/12Northern California Carpenters Issue PAC, Oakland, CA$1,000
10/04/12 Operating Engineers Union Local 3, Alameda, CA$1,000
10/04/12 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, San Francisco, CA$5,000
10/04/12 Sacramento-Sierra Building Trades, Sacramento, CA$2,500
9/28/12Cumming, Temecula, CA$2,500
9/28/12Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, Sacramento$500
9/26/12Lozano Smith Law Firm, Fresno$5,000
9/19/12Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 447, Sacramento$25,000
9/14/12 Lozano Smith Law Firm, Fresno$5,000


$25,000 came from Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local 447. Local 447 is very politically active and was partly responsible for attack ads against Davis City Councilwoman Sue Greenwald last May.[2]

The Bee has reported on the Plumbers Union leader Harry Rotz. "Under Rotz's watch, the plumbers union has donated more than $800,000 to local campaigns in the past four years, records show. According to (Sandy) Sheedy, 'Harry and his family have always been among the most influential people at City Hall.' Rotz, who never speaks with the media and declined a request to comment for this article, regularly made his presence known during City Hall campaigns with independent expenditure mailings supporting pro-labor candidates and causes."[3]

Another major contributor was the Fresno based law firm of Lozano Smith who is the Legal Counsel for Sacramento City Unified School District and contributed $10,000. The Sacramento Teachers Union has criticized Lozano Smith for its “back door tactics" in dealing with the union.[4]

Landmark Construction is a school construction firm who has performed work for the district in the past.[5]

Also contributing was the firm Cumming, a Temecula based construction management firm that lists the LA Community College District as one of their clients. The LA Times has reported extensively on LACCD and "found that tens of millions have gone to waste."[6]

The Issues Mobilization PAC (IMPAC) is an entity of the California Association of Realtors. The fund has more than $8 million on hand and contributes to ballot measures throughout California.[7]

The Labor Management Trust is an arcane entity authorized by the obscure Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978, a law signed by President Jimmy Carter and implemented by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. There are no federal or state regulations specifically addressed toward these trusts, and these trusts do not have any reporting requirements to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.[8] It reported income of over $800,000 in 2011.[9]

The Committee also received a loan from re-election campaign of SCUSD Trustee Patrick Kennedy and co-chair of the "Yes on Q & R" committee - who has been contacting a variety of groups in Sacramento to support Q & R.[10]

The committee listed debts of $108,820.23 including $48,274.43 to Tramutola - an Oakland based consulting firm that received $31,142 from the school district to perform "voter opinion research / analysis and tax measure planning services for ballot measures dealing with general obligation bond measures and parcel tax measures"[11] and $60,017.80 for the design and printing of campaign materials.

Opposition

Opponents

The arguments against Measure Q in the official voter guide were signed by:

  • Stephen R. McCutcheon, Jr., a parent in the district
  • Eric Christen, Executive Director, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
  • Nicole Goehring, Government Affairs Director, Associated Builders and Contractors, Northern California Chapter
  • Terry Seabury, CEO Western Electrical Contractors Association
  • Tracy Threlfall, Interim Executive Vice President, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California

Arguments against

The arguments against Measure Q in the official voter guide included:

  • "Politicians don’t get it, and Measure Q is an excellent example. Bureaucrats want you to pay more taxes in an economy worse than any since the Great Depression. And California is at the top of the unemployment rankings. The politicians who run Sacramento City schools want to borrow $346 million to build new facilities, while they still owe $556 million on past construction. This District has declining enrollment, but it rarely consolidates schools to save money. Instead, they cut teachers, counselors, music, sports, transportation, and otherwise preside over a decline in the quality of education our children receive. And shockingly, the State Department of Education says the District “may not meet its financial obligations” in the future. Worse, the District has refused to temper this request with reform that could save taxpayers considerable money. They could allow construction to be performed under fair and open competition, allowing all contractors to compete with each other for the project. Instead, the District shows every indication that they will rely on a contracting process, which, according to a recent study, costs taxpayers up to 15%, more than necessary and excludes many local workers from working on these construction projects. Meanwhile, this District is accused of illegal teacher layoffs. It fired its ‘Teacher of the Year.’ It has an unfunded benefit obligation of $552 million, and despite declines in enrollment, will close only 2 schools out of 127 facilities. Maintenance on existing schools is deferred, and yet they ask taxpayers to fund this grandiose new spending, all while insisting that the construction be at a rate 15% higher than necessary. The District shouldn’t continue to spend money it doesn’t have and ask taxpayers to fund projects that cost more than they should. Vote NO on Measure Q."[12]

The arguments against Measure R in the official voter guide include:

  • "Politicians don’t get it, and Measure R is an excellent example. Bureaucrats want you to pay more taxes in an economy worse than any since the Great Depression. And California is at the top of the unemployment rankings. The politicians who run Sacramento City schools want to borrow $68 million to repair facilities that the district hasn’t maintained, while they still owe $556 million on past projects. This District has declining enrollment, but it rarely consolidates schools to save money. Instead, they cut teachers, counselors, music, sports, transportation, and otherwise preside over a decline in the quality of education our children receive. And the State of California says the District “may not meet its financial obligations” in the future. Worse, the District has refused to temper this request with reform that could save taxpayers considerable money. They could allow construction to be performed under fair and open competition, allowing all contractors to compete with each other for the project. Instead, the District shows every indication that they will rely on a contracting process, which, according to a recent study, costs taxpayers up to 15%, more than necessary and excludes many local workers from working on these construction projects. Meanwhile, this District is accused of illegal teacher layoffs. It fired its ‘Teacher of the Year.’ It has an unfunded benefit obligation of $552 million, and despite declines in enrollment, will close only 2 schools out of 127 facilities. Maintenance on existing schools is deferred, and yet they ask taxpayers to fund this grandiose new spending, all while insisting that the construction be at a rate 15% higher than necessary. The District shouldn’t continue to spend money it doesn’t have and ask taxpayers to fund projects that cost more than they should. Vote NO on Measure R."

Funding for NO Campaign

The opponents did not file a FPPC form 460

Ballot questions

Measure Q

The question on the ballot:

Measure Q: "To better prepare students for college and careers by upgrading classrooms, science labs, computer systems and technology; renovating heating and ventilation systems; reducing costs through energy efficiency;improving student safety and security systems; repairing roofs, floors, walkways, bathrooms, electrical, plumbing and sewer systems; shall Sacramento City Unified School District issue $346 million in bonds with independent citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, and mandatory annual audits to guarantee funds are spent properly to benefit local children?"[13]

Measure R

The question on the ballot:

Measure R: "To improve the health and safety of children, repair playgrounds and playfields to meet modern safety standards, improve physical education facilities and bathrooms, improve irrigation systems and water drainage to reduce water consumption, remove asbestos, lead paint and other unsafe conditions and to upgrade kitchen facilities to improve nutrition and nutritional education for children, shall the Sacramento City Unified School District issue $68 million of bonds, with independent Citizen's Oversight and no money for administrator salaries?"[13]

See also

External links

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References


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