Woodside Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure D (June 2014)

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A Woodside Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure D ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the Woodside Elementary School District in San Mateo County, California, where it was approved.

Measure D authorized the district to increase its debt by $13.5 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to upgrade, improve, renovate and construct school facilities. The bonds were set to be retired in a maximum of either 25 or 40 years, according to the discretion of the district's board. District officials estimated that a property tax rate of about $24.05 per $100,000 of assessed valuation would be necessary to repay these bonds.[1]

In 2014, there were about 453 students in the Woodside Elementary School District.[1]

In 2009, district voters approved Measure C, an annual $242 parcel tax lasting eight years.

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

Election results

Measure D
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 713 64.4%
No39535.6%
Election results from San Mateo County Elections Office (timed out)'

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[1]

To repair basic Woodside Elementary School infrastructure and protect quality academic instruction in core subjects with local funding that cannot be taken by the State, upgrade educational facilities to meet current health/safety codes, renovate heating, electrical, sewer/security systems, fix leaking roofs, shall Woodside Elementary School District issue $13,500,000 of bonds at legal rates to repair, renovate, construct, reconstruct, acquire, and equip classrooms and school facilities with independent audits, citizens' oversight, and no money for administrators?[2]

Impartial analysis

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

Education Code Section 15100 authorizes a school district to issue bonds for specified purposes if voters first approve the issuance of the bonds at an election. Education Code Section 15266 provides the measure passes if 55% of those voting on it vote for the measure.

The Board of Trustees of the Woodside Elementary School District proposes this measure, which would authorize the district to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $13.5 million. The bonds will have an interest rate not exceeding the legal maximum and will mature in a maximum of 25 to 40 years from their date of issuance, depending on how the bonds are issued. The District's best estimate of the average annual tax levy per $100,000 of assessed valuation to fund this bond is $24.05 for fiscal year 2014-2015 and also for fiscal years 2016-2017. The District's best estimate of the highest average annual tax rate levy per $100,000 of assessed valuation to fund this bond is $24.05.

The California Constitution requires the listing of specific school facilities projects to be funded from the bond revenue and certification that the District governing board has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in the development of that list. The District's Project List for the bond is attached to the full text of the measures and lists three general types of projects: core school repairs, renovation, and upgrades; health, safety, and energy efficiency improvements; and district wide instructional technology projects. Specific improvements include: repairing or replacing roofs, floors, walkways, lighting, plumbing, sewers, and electrical systems; improving energy efficiency; replacing portable classrooms with permanent ones; updating classrooms and other education facilities; improving access for disabled students; upgrading fire, emergency, electrical, and security systems; and adding additional electrical service capacity. The Project list should be reviewed for further specifics.

The California Constitution and Education Code require the District to take certain steps to account for the proceeds from the bonds. Accordingly, the District will direct the funds to be deposited into a special account, appoint a citizens' oversight committee, conduct annual independent performance and financial audits to assure that funds are spent only on the listed improvements and for other other purposes, and prepare annual reports listing the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of any funded project.

A "yes" vote on this measure would authorize the Woodside Elementary School District to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $13.5 million for the purposes listed in the Project List.

A "no" vote would prevent the Woodside Elementary School District from issuing the bonds.

This measure passes if 55% of those voting on the measure vote "yes."[2]

—San Mateo County Counsel[1]

Support

Supporters

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

  • Wendy Warren Roth, Woodside Elementary School District Board President
  • Frank York, president of W.L. Butler Construction, Inc. and long time Woodside resident
  • Charline Quest Douty, longtime Woodside resident
  • Erika M. Demma, realtor & longtime Woodside resident
  • Rudolph W. Driscoll, Jr., Woodside Elementary School District Board Member

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in favor of Measure D:[1]

Protect the outstanding and award winning education children receive at Woodside Elementary School. Vote YES on Measure D. For over 160 years, Woodside Elementary School has been an important part of what makes our community special. Our great teachers and rigorous math, science, and reading curriculum have prepared generations of Woodside students to succeed in high school, college, and careers. We want that legacy to continue.

It has been nearly a decade since we invested in the physical upkeep of Woodside Elementary. Facility needs are growing - the school needs major roof, sewer, and other repairs, and renovation of heating and electrical systems. Measure D will allow Woodside Elementary to address these basic needs.

Specifically Measure D will:

  • repair critical school facilities including sewer, lights, and leaking roofs
  • upgrade classrooms and other facilities to meet current health and safety codes, and replace two aging portable classrooms with permanent facilities
  • replace older heating and electrical systems to save on utility bills
  • protect the quality of academic instruction in math, science, reading, and writing, and help students receive a 21st century education

Every penny of Measure D will be locally controlled and used to improve Woodside Elementary facilities. BY LAW these funds cannot be taken by the State or spent on administrators' salaries or pensions. Taxpayer protections are REQUIRED: an Independent Citizens' Oversight commission will ensure funds are spent properly.

This prudent measure asks for far less money than neighboring school measures and will be supplemented by a private parent fundraising effort. Measure D is a smart investment to keep Woodside a desirable place to live and to enhance our property values.

Measure D is proudly endorsed by residents from every Woodside neighborhood. Join teachers, parents, and Woodside community leaders in supporting Measure D.

Please VOTE YES on Measure D.[2]

—Wendy Warren Roth, Frank York, Charline Quest Douty, Erika M. Demma and Rudolph W. Driscoll, Jr.[1]

Opposition

Opponents

Mark W.A. Hinkle, president of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association, submitted the official arguments in opposition to Measure D, as well as every other June 3, 2014 school bond and tax measure in San Mateo County and San Benito County.[1]

Arguments against

Official arguments

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

When school boards ask voters for permission to go into debt with bonds like Measure D, they are admitting that everything they are currently spending your tax dollars on now is more important than the projects for which this tax increase is being sought. Budgets set priorities. Woodside Elementary School District is saying every educational dollar spent today is going to something they consider a higher priority than "safety issues" and "computer technology." Do you agree?

Would you borrow money for computer technology that will be obsolete in 3-5 years yet pay interest on that loan for a quarter century?

Education Data Partnership (www.Ed-Data.K12.ca.us) shows only about 453 students in Woodside Elementary School District which means this bond could exceed $29,500 per student - NOT counting interest and administrative expenses.

When we buy homes, truth-in-lending laws require we be told the real coast of buying these homes. For example:

borrowing $1,135,500 and paying 5% interest for 30 years means annual payments of $73,115 in principal and interest- for a lifetime cost of $2,193,454.

Shouldn't consumer protection laws apply to bond issues, too? As taxpayers we deserve to know the full truth about Measure D. We don't know when this debt will begin or what the market interest rate will be when it does.

Which is more important to you?

1. Paying reasonable amounts on "safety issues" and "computer technology" now with dollars already in schools' budgets

2. sending new tax dollars - through principal and interest payments - to big banks, investment brokers, and wealthy people who buy these bonds as tax shelters.

If you value children's safety and technology more than funding tax shelters, vote No on Measure D.

If you value school maintenance more than making interest payments for 25 years, vote NO on Measure D.[2]

—Mark W.A. Hinkle, president of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association[1]

Similar measures

Related measures

Approveda Woodside Elementary School District parcel tax, Measure C (May 2009)

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 League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, San Mateo County, June 3, 2014 election information," accessed May 9, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.