Redwood City Elementary Schools parcel tax, Measure E (June 2009)

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A Redwood City Elementary Schools parcel tax, Measure E ballot question was on the June 2, 2009 ballot for voters in the Redwood City Elementary School District in San Mateo County, California, where it was defeated.[1]

If Measure E had been approved, it would have imposed a $91 annual education parcel tax for five years. This would have raised about $2.2 million in taxes.[2]

Measure E represented the third time in the last 17 years that the Redwood City elementary school district put a parcel tax measure on the ballot. The previous attempts (Measure A in 1993 and Measure V in 2005) also failed.[1]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure E
Defeatedd No4,18136.4%
Yes 7,300 63.6%
These final, certified, results are from the San Mateo County elections office.

School board candidates emerge

In the wake of Measure E's defeat, Jack Hickey and Lea Cuniberti-Duran declared their intention to run for seats on the Redwood City Elementary school board.

Hickey said that one reason he decided to run for a spot on the school board is the school board's push for Measure E: "The Redwood City School District wasted more than $200,000 on the recent parcel tax election. Its leadership cannot go unchallenged in this election."

Hickey and Cuniberti-Duran ran against incumbents Maria Diaz-Slocum and Hilary Paulson.[3]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure E: "To protect the quality of education in Redwood City elementary and middle schools; retain qualified teachers; maintain classroom science and technology programs; keep school libraries open; preserve art, music, physical education classes, and continue reading/math tutoring; shall Redwood City School District levy an annual tax of $91 per parcel, for 5 years only, with independent oversight, an exemption available for seniors, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds staying local to benefit neighborhood K-8 schools?"[4]

Election costs

The school district paid $139,000 to a political consulting firm to do "pre-election research" which included a survey of voters conducted in February 2009 to find out how voters were likely to perceive a parcel tax measure. Based on that poll, which indicated that 73% of likely voters would vote "yes," the trustees of the school voted in March 2009 to put the parcel tax measure on the June ballot.

Since there were no other ballot measures on the June ballot, the Redwood City Elementary School District had to reimburse San Mateo County for the full $280,000 cost of administering the election.[2]

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