League of Women Voters of California
Library and Community Center Facilities
City of Palo Alto
Bond Issue - 2/3 Approval Required
12,557 / 61.5% Yes votes ...... 7,859 / 38.5% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 20 3:06pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (60/60)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement ||
To improve library and community services for children by expanding Children's Library to provide needed space and safety repairs; rebuilding and expanding the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center for all community users; and, to meet current health and safety codes by making plumbing, heating, ventilation, and lighting system upgrades to 50-year-old systems in all three facilities, shall the City of Palo Alto issue $49.1 million in bonds, subject to independent citizen oversight and annual audits?
Measure D requries the City to comply with State law financial accountability and reporting rules while handling the bond proceeds. In addition, the Palo Alto City Council directed creation of an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to assure prudent financial management.
State law requires a two-thirds vote to pass Measure D. The bonds would be repaid through a real property tax. The best estimate of the average annual tax over the life of the bonds is $28.02 for each $100,000 of residential assessed value. Assessed value is typically formulated from the original purchase price, not the current market value, of residential real property.
The Children's Library is a 3,400 square foot building constructed in 1940. Most of the building's systems are past their useful life. The building needs an earthquake safety upgrade, re-roofing, and air conditioning. The library is overcrowded. The conceptual design proposes renovation of the current building and a historically compatible addition to bring the total library size to approximately 10,700 square feet. The project cost estimate is $7.1 million, including financing and project management expenses.
Mitchell Park Library
Mitchell Park Library is a 9,500 square foot building constructed in 1958 and expanded in 1975. Many of the building's systems are past their useful life. The library is overcrowded. The conceptual design proposes demolition of the current buidlings and construction of a new, expanded library of approximately 53,900 square feet. In partnership with the Palo Alto Unified School District, the library has a Homework Help and Enrichment Center. The project cost estimate is $31.3 million, including financing and project management expenses.
The City has applied for State Library Bond Act grant monies, seeking a 65% State, 35% City match of the library portion of the project. If approved, this grant will reduce the taxpayers' cost for the bonds.
Mitchell Park Community Center
Mitchell Park Community Center is a 10,000 square foot building constructed in 1970. Expansion will accomodate current and future recreation programs. The conceptual design proposes demolition of the existing building and construction of a new, expanded 16,800 square foot community center wing integrated with the library. The project cost estimate is $10.7 million, including financing and project management expenses.
Dated: August 21, 2002
/s/ Ariel Pierre Calonne, City Attorney
San Jose Mercury News - Oct. 26
|Arguments For Measure D||Arguments Against Measure D|
|Children's Libary and Mitchell Park Library/Community Center need major repair, renovation and replacement. Old, faulty systems and overcrowding seriously threaten books, children's services, computers and recreational programs. It's time for Palo Alto to act.
Children's Library was built in 1940 to handle 15% of today's patrons and books:
Measure D will solve crowding and safety problems while preserving this historic building - the first children's library in the U.S.
Mitchell Park Library is Palo Alto's most popular. Since 1940, south Palo Alto has experienced our greatest population growth. After years of delaying necessary maintenance and upgrades, today it is more cost-effective to rebuild. Environmentally-efficient construction will save money over time. There will be enough modern library/recreational space for children, students, families and seniors.
Measure D will:
Every dollar raised by Measure D will be spent on construction and renovation. An independent citizen oversight committee will monitor all expenditures.
Please vote YES on Measure D - ensure that Children's Library and Mitchell Park Library/Community Center meet the needs of our entire community.
/s/ Gary Fazzino, Campaign Co-chair & Former Mayor of Palo Alto
The balance of $42,300,000 will be spent on rebuilding Mitchell Park Library/Community Center. The conceptual plan is to build this huge structure over two tennis courts and the paddleball courts tow/ards the middle of Mitchell Park. This oversized, costly design is based upon wants, not needs. For less money a smaller Library/Community Center could be built closer to the present library and Middlefield Road. The City claims the plans can be modified; however, Council refused to commit to changes prior to Bond Measure argument submissions. If the bond passes, we have no guarantee any changes will be made.
A grant application for $19,000,000 has been submitted to the State to help fund construction of the new Mitchell Park Library if it provides an after school homework center. If this $19,000,000 grant is awarded, the entire $68,100,000 can be spent on libraries. None of the $49,100,000 need be returned to the taxpayers of Palo Alto.
$114,000,000 in debt service will be paid over the 30 years life of the Bond.
Repairing storm drains, upgrading the police building, and undergrounding utilities are more important priorities.
Vote NO on Measure D.
/s/ Jean M. Wilcox, Resident
|As part of a $49.1 Million bond measure, a 70,000 square-foot, two-story Library/Community Center complete with underground parking is proposed for the middle of Mitchell Park. This huge structure will change the character of the park forever.
The conceptual plan is to build the Mitchell Park Complex over two tennis courts and the paddleball courts, bringing the building much closer to the center of the park than the present library. At a cost of $400,000 the lost tennis courts may be moved where they will be isolated from the remaining courts, closer to Adobe Creek or the dog run, or moved to another park altogether.
The new library will be five times the size of the present building and contain several duplicate areas: two large multipurpose rooms, staff offices, study areas, and arts and crafts rooms. To conform to Palo Alto Municipal Code, 312 to 390 parking spaces will be needed which will increase the overall size; approximately 100 spaces will be under the new complex.
This oversized project will generate additional costs not covered by the bond measure. The estimated cost to run this facility annually is $2,200,000 which includes staff and maintenance; most of this money will come from new taxes or the General Fund. The City Council passed a resolution on June 17, giving up to $5,000,000 from Infrastructure Reserve or other funds for the Art Center if the bond passes. Taxpayer's money for critical projects is needed: storm drains, undergrounding utility wires, police building upgrade, and city-wide seismic retrofitting. We must prioritize our spending.
Mitchell Park is Palo Alto's largest residential open space and recreational area. We urge all residents to vote against the library bond and preserve this outdoor space for everyone to enjoy always.
VOTE NO ON MEASURE D
/s/ Elliott H. Bolter, Resident
|Tax Rate Statement from the City Manager|
|An election will be held in the City of Palo Alto (the "City") of Santa Clara County on November 5, 2002, for the purpose of authorizing the sale of $49,100,000 in general obligation bonds. The bonds would be payable from tax levies made upon the taxable property in the City.
In compliance with Elections Code Sections 9400-9404 the following information is submitted:
These estimates would result in an average annual tax over the life of the bonds of $28.02 for $100,000 of residential assessed valuation. This would be equivalent to about $2.34 per month.
The actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those currently estimated, due to variations from the official projections and estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold at any time, the interest rates on the bonds, and the assessed values in the several future years during which the bonds are to be repaid. The estimates are based upon projections and are not binding upon the City. The actual timing of the bond sales and the amount of the bonds sold at any time will be governed by the needs of the City and the then-applicable debt limit. The actual interest rates on the bonds will be based on the market tax-exempt interest rates at the time of the sale of the bonds. The actual assessed values during the several future years will depend upon the amount of taxable property within the City and the value of that property as determined in the assessment and equalization process.
Dated: August 8, 2002
/s/ Frank Benest, City Manager, City of Palo Alto