Willows Unified School District Bond Issue, Measure R (June 2014)

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A Willows Unified School District Bond Issue, Measure R ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in Willows Unified School District in Glenn County, California, where it was defeated.

If approved, Measure R would have authorized the district to increase its debt by $14 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to fund the improvement, renovation, maintenance, construction and updating of school facilities and technology.[1]

Election results

Measure R
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,25850.66%
Yes 1,225 49.34%
Election results from Glenn County Elections Office

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This ballot measure article has preliminary election results. Certified election results will be added as soon as they are made available by the state or county election office. The following totals are as of percent of precincts reporting.

Support

The Willows City Council voted unanimously to endorse Measure R.[2]

Willows Councilman Gary Hansen said, "This is for the betterment of the community. I think it is important that we publicly support it."[2]

Willows Councilwoman Terry Ta lor-Vodden said, "Long-term issuance of debt is not a scary thing in real terms. That is the way it works. Most of us have 30-or-40-year mortgages. I know I do. We borrow now and pay it forward."[2]

Willows Intermediate School student Austin McDonald said, "You can only use a Band-Aid so long. It's not up to the state to give us the money, it is up to the community."[2]

Willows Councilman Larry Domenighini said, "Great schools make for a great community."[2]

Opposition

In a letter to the editor of the Chico ER, Angela Parisio, a Willows City resident, wrote an argument against Measure R. This letter is reproduced below:[3]

The Willows Unified School District bond, Measure R, is too vaguely written. Digging deeper into the actual bond language I have found our community will be paying for this $14 million "Band-Aid" for up to 40 years at a total cost of up to $56 million.

A controversial form of bond financing is allowed. It is known as a capital appreciation bond and has caused financial disaster for many districts including Orland. Half of the Orland bond is financed this way, putting payments off for years while interest on the loan piles up. In other words, our children and grandchildren will have to pay the bill.

The other problem I see with the bond is that projects are not prioritized. The bond vaguely talks of the need for roof repairs, computers, update classrooms and restrooms, upgrade PE fields and athletic facilities ... and so on. Yet it states in the bond language that "the listing of a capital improvement on the project list does not imply particular prioritization among such improvements, which remains the province of the board."

I do agree that the schools need repair, but at what cost? Our children deserve better, but so do taxpayers. If we must borrow, let's borrow for our future, not from our future.[4]

—Angela Parisio, Willows[3]

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