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San Mateo County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure B
School Facilities Modernization
Hillsborough City School District

Bond - 55% Voter Approval Required

2,292 / 65.6% Yes votes ...... 1,204 / 34.4% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 6 2:34am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (12/12 0/2 Absentee)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

In order to enable the Hillsborough City School District to continue providing exceptional educational opportunities and modernize its deteriorating facilities, shall the District issue $66.8 million in bonds, at interest rates within legal limits, to modernize, repair, replace and equip its school facilities to meet safety and instructional needs and create additional space for student class size reduction, additional educational programs and other needs, subject to oversight by an independent citizens' committee as legally required?

Impartial Analysis
Education Code section 15100 authorizes a school district to issue bonds for specified purposes. However, the voters must first approve the issuance of the bonds at an election. Education Code section 15266 provides the measure passes if 55% of those voting on the measure vote for the measure, provided that certain accountability eequirements are included in the measure.

This measure would authorize the Hillsborough City School District to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $66.8 million. The bonds will have an interest rate below the legal maximum.

The Board of Trustees has listed the specified purposes of the bonds to modernize, replace, renovate, construct, equip and furnish all three elementary schools, the middle school and the District administrative offices. In the Bond Project List, which is part of the bond measure, the Trustees have listed specific projects for each individual school site and the administrative offices as well as projects that will be performed at every school site and at the District's offices. The Bond Project List is contained in this sample ballot. For the specific projects contained on the Bond Project List, the project includes all related and incidental costs such as architect and other professional services and incidental costs such as costs of design, engineering and construction management.

The measure requires the Hillsborough City School District to take certain steps to account for the proceeds from the sale of the bonds as set forth in Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3) of the California Constitution and Education Code sections 15264 et seq. The District Board must appoint a citizens' oversight committee and conduct annual independent performance and financial audits to assure that funds are spent only on school and classroom improvements and for no other purposes.

A "yes" vote on this measure would authorize Hillsborough City School District to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $66.8 million to: modernize, replace, renovate, construct, equip and furnish all three elementary schools, the middle school and the District administrative offices, as set forth on the Bond Project List contained in the bond measure.

A "no" vote would prevent Hillsborough City School District from issuing bonds of up to $66.8 million.

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

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Arguments For Measure B Arguments Against Measure B
We in Hillsborough have a serious problem: we must begin renovating and modernizing our deteriorating school facilities, and we have only ourselves to rely on to accomplish this task.

Our schools are our most used public buildings; 50 years of wear and tear have taken the inevitable toll. With increased enrollment and smaller class sizes, every available space is being used, including converted closets. Aged plumbing and wiring must be replaced and improvements made for student safety, including shatter-proof windows and interior locks on classroom doors in case of a Columbine-type event.

With 80% of the District's budget required for personnel and no help forthcoming from the State, the only way to finance this urgently needed renovation is with this bond measure, which mandates:

an absolute limit of $30 per $100,000 of assessed-not actual-valuation (please consult your County tax bill)

an absolute limit on amount of money to be raised ($66.8 million)

strict accountability! An independent community oversight committee will regularly monitor bond projects and expenditures.

Hillsborough has a reputation for valuing quality education and being willing to pay for it. When changes in State funding threatened our exceptional instructional program, we invested in our schools through our schools foundation and parcel tax. We receive an excellent return on that investment - our students score at the top of standardized tests, our schools continue to receive distinguished awards, and our property values remain among the highest in the State.

Let us now invest in our school buildings. The cost is not prohibitive. A property assessed at $800,000 would pay $240/year (8 x $30), or 66 cents a day. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, we can restore our otherwise excellent schools to standards befitting our Town. Vote "Yes" on Measure B.

/s/ John F. Keller
Honorary Co-chair, Committee to Safeguard Our Hillsborough schools

/s/ Ruth S. Steiner
Honorary Co-chair, Committee to Safeguard Our Hillsborough schools

/s/ John J. Fannon
Mayor, Town of Hillsborough

/s/ Daniel J. Furniss
President, Hillsborough City School District Board of Trustees

/s/ Barbara Regan
Co-chair, Committee to Safeguard Our Hillsborough Schools

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Granted: School Buildings require maintenance. --But taxpayers ALREADY contribute more than enough. Local revenues are 345% of the state average.

Total revenues of $180,000 per classroom of 20 students are enough to hire top teachers--and buy bullet-proof doorknobs, too.

No. The District is NOT required to spend 80% of its budget on personnel. The state requires only 70 teachers for an average daily student body of 1400 students (i.e. 20 students per class).

The District's decision to employ 22 additional teachers (apparently putting some in closets), plus 69 non-teaching staff, is a situation of the board's own making.

Limit? A tax rate estimate is not the same as a limit. If these bonds had been outstanding last year, the county treasurer would have had to assess taxes of $96 per $100,000 for interest PLUS an (estimated) $28 per $100,000 towards a fund to retire the principal in 30 years.

Make your own estimate: 5% interest on $66.8 million is $3.34 million. For Hillsborough's 3700 households, that's $900 per year (on average) just to pay the interest. Add in the principal, and you're talking about a lot of coffee!

We surmise the proponents are fudging their numbers by assuming that property tax valuations will be 4 times higher in 10 years, when they plan to sell the last of the bonds. Maybe... But, one way or another, the interest will be paid, and, ultimately, property owners will pay it.

--unless you vote NO!

/s/ Harland Harrison
Central Committee, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Robert W. Giedt
Candidate, 19th Assembly District

/s/ Christopher V.A. Schmidt
Retired Computer Professional

The mind boggles.

It is hard to imagine a school district anywhere in California less needful of going into debt at this time or to the proposed degree.

Last year, Hillsborough taxpayers paid $34 million in property taxes, from which the school district received $8.1 million. Other revenues increased the district's total to $13 million.
(http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/dev/District.asp)

$13 million for 1400 students amounts to almost $9,500 per student, or over $180,000 per classroom of 20 students. That's enough to pay teachers very good wages-and leave plenty for maintenance and overhead. Heck, that's enough money to remodel every classroom every year!

Is that a typo?

$66.8 million of debt for 30 years would require $130 million in taxes to pay off. That's $35,000 in new taxes for each of Hillsborough's 3700 households (on average).

That's like asking homeowners to pay their annual property taxes over 28 times in the next 25 years!

Borrowing $950,000 for each of 70 classrooms of 20 students would cost $1.9 million in taxes per classroom.

One could buy 70 of the nicest houses in Burlingame for much less--including the land!

That's enough money to endow 65 new chairs at Stanford University!

Give us a break!

This is a vote on working within a budget.

Should the District act responsibly, and work within one of the most enviable budgets in California, or borrow money like last year's dot-com? We recommend saying `No' to irresponsible and unnecessary borrowing.

/s/ Linden Hsu
Secretary, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Christopher V.A. Schmidt
Retired Computer Professional

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The mind boggles indeed! Libertarians should applaud a town that tackles its problems instead of hoping that big government will bail it out.

We acted in the l970s to secure local funding when drastic State cuts threatened our schools. We can now say with pride that l/4 of our school budget comes from "other revenue": our schools foundation, parcel tax, Concours. Thanks to our efforts we do not rank with California as the 33rd state in spending-per-pupil; we join the top ten. (California average: $6,837, Hillsborough: $9,728, New York: $11,089.)

But these funds pay for our exceptional instructional program and small classes. There is no surplus. We urgently need Measure B to renovate our deteriorating 50-year-old schools.

To claim the bond imposes an "average" tax shows a total lack of understanding of our town. Long-time residents with grown children and homes generally assessed under $400,000 would pay $120 or less annually.* Many contribute more than that to our schools foundation. Younger families with more recently purchased homes assessed at $3,000,000 or more, realize their tax of $900 is still a great deal less than private school tuition for even one child.

The only way to renew our schools is for residents again to act responsibly. We are confident that Libertarians who actually live in Hillsborough will agree.

Vote "YES" on "B" to repair and modernize our distinguished schools.

  • * Tax cannot exceed $30 per $100,000 of assessed - not actual - valuation: $30 x 4 = $120.

/s/ Polly Boyar
Former President, Hillsborough School Board

/s/ Mary D. Chigos
Former President, Hillsborough School Board

/s/ Brian Cunningham
Former President, Hillsborough School Board

/s/ Bruce H. Hasenkamp
Former President, Hillsborough School Board

/s/ Catherine U. Mullooly
Former President, Hillsborough School Board

Tax Rate Statement
Hillsborough City School District

An election will be held in the Hillsborough City School District (the "District") on November 5, 2002, to authorize the sale of up to $66,800,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.02998 per $100 ($29.98 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2003-04.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.02987 per $100 ($29.87 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2012-13.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.02999 per $100 ($29.99 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2029-30.

Voters should note that these estimated tax rates are based on the assessed value of taxable property in the District as shown on the official tax rolls of San Mateo County, not on the property's market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Certain taxpayers may also be eligible to postpone the payment of taxes. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The estimates are based upon the District's projections and are not binding upon the District. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the San Mateo County assessors in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

/s/ Lawrence A. Raffo
Assistant Superintendent
Hillsborough City School District

Full Text of Measure B
BOND AUTHORIZATION By approval of this proposition by at least 55 percent of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the District will be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $66.8 million in aggregated principal at interest rates below the legal limit and to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List described below, subject to all the accountability requirements specified below.

ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS

The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers in the District may be assured that their money will be spent wisely. Expenditures to address specific facilities needs of the District will be in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), of the State Constitution and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at Education Code Sections 15264 and following.)

Evaluation of Needs. The School Board has identified detailed facilities needs of the District and has determined which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The School Board hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, enrollment growth, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List shown below.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The School Board shall establish an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee under Education Code Section 15278 and following to ensure bond proceeds are expended only on the school facilities projects listed below. The committee will be established within 60 days of the date when the results of the election appear in the minutes of the School Board. Performance Audits. The School Board shall conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed below.

Financial Audits. The School Board shall conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed below.

FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS

No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of school facilities including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities or acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.

BOND PROJECT LIST

The Bond Project List shown below is a part of the ballot proposition and must be reproduced in any official document required to contain the full statement of the bond proposition.

Projects Subject to Available Funding. The following list of projects is subject to the availability of adequate funding to the District.

Scope of Projects. Bond proceeds will be expended to modernize, replace, renovate, construct, equip, furnish and otherwise improve the following facilities of the District located at all three elementary school sites, at the middle school site and at the District administrative offices. The specific school facilities projects which are described below include all related and incidental costs, including costs of design, engineering, architect and other professional services, site preparation, utilities, landscaping and other incidental costs, and construction management (including construction management by District personnel). The District may alter the scope and nature of any of the specific projects which are described below as required by conditions which arise during the course of design and construction.

ALL SCHOOL SITES
Upgrade science and computer labs
Replace electrical, heating and plumbing systems
Add additional classrooms
Replace leaking and weather-damaged roofs and replace gutters
Improve drainage on fields
Install exterior safety lighting in walkways and parking lots
Provide safety improvements to comply with current codes and Americans with Disabilities Act
Upgrade security systems
Replace countertops, cabinets, chalkboards and bulletin boards in classrooms
Upgrade earthquake resistive systems
Provide accessibility to school buildings and restrooms for disabled students and public by:

Adding or improving elevators and ramps
Enlarging door openings and modifying toilet stalls
Providing access to showers and lockers
Providing access to patios and serving counters
Upgrading drinking fountains
Replacing door hardware

Repair and replace damaged floors
Improve exterior of sites by landscaping, painting, repairing and building sidewalks, walkways, blacktops, playgrounds
Expand undersized classrooms
Replace modular classrooms with permanent facilities
Expand existing rooms to improve storage and meeting areas
Enlarge, repair, replace and build restrooms
Upgrade/install heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Replace all fixtures in restrooms, labs and classrooms
Replace all underground pipes
Replace or add phone, data, bells, clock, intercom and television distribution systems
Replace or modify windows
Install computer connections and technology access in new and renovated classrooms; make technology upgrades to existing classrooms
Relocate all utilities
Add portables for temporary use during construction and/or renovation, modernization, expansion or replacement of occupied facilities
Relocate or remove portables
Construct or renovate, equip and furnish preschool facilities
Build and expand libraries
Replace irrigation and drainage systems

WILLIAM H. CROCKER MIDDLE SCHOOL
Renovate, equip and furnish science labs and lecture hall
Renovate, modernize, equip and furnish classrooms
Reconfigure main entry to school
Reconfigure main driveway entrance to school and expand parking areas
Replace or renovate and equip, furnish the gymnasium, locker rooms, office and storage areas
Construct, furnish and equip a new school office area
Remove Eucalyptus trees including along Crocker property line on Ralston Avenue
Widen Ralston Avenue
Replace or renovate, and equip and furnish the art room, staff work room, HTV room, and storage area
Construct, equip and furnish a new technology/computer center, TV/ media arts center
Construct, equip and furnish a new library with meeting, conference, office, and storage space
Renovate, equip and furnish current computer labs and library as classrooms
Construct, furnish and equip a new auditorium
Construct underground parking area
Replace or renovate, and furnish, equip the multi-purpose room, band room, kitchen and staff lunch room
Construct, furnish and equip a new sports/activity center
Construct, equip and furnish a new District Office facility at Crocker

NORTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Replace or renovate, enlarge, equip and furnish the multi-purpose room/cafeteria, kitchen and staff lunch room
Construct, equip and furnish a stage in the multi-purpose room
Construct, or renovate, expand, equip and furnish a library and computer/technology center
Renovate, equip and furnish current computer lab, library, resource room and preschool room as classrooms
Renovate, modernize, enlarge current classrooms
Replace or renovate, equip and furnish the school office area
Construct a new school entry and covered waiting area
Reconfigure and expand parking, pick-up and drop-off areas
Construct, equip and furnish new classrooms
Construct large and small group learning areas

SOUTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Replace or renovate and equip, furnish the multi-purpose room/cafeteria, kitchen, classroom and storage in the Old Building
Replace or renovate, equip and furnish the staff lunch room and mechanical room
Construct, equip and furnish new classrooms
Replace or renovate and enlarge the school office area
Construct, equip and furnish a new computer/technology center
Renovate, modernize and enlarge classrooms
Construct or renovate and equip, furnish a science lab
Renovate, equip and furnish small group instruction areas and teacher preparation rooms
Enclose patio and refurbish other outdoor areas
Reconfigure the main entrance to the school
Reconfigure and expand parking, pick-up and drop-off areas
Renovate, equip and furnish the media center and stage area
Configure street changes for safety and traffic

WEST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Renovate, enlarge, equip and furnish classrooms
Construct, or renovate, enlarge, equip and furnish a library
Construct, or renovate, enlarge, equip and furnish a computer/technology center
Reconfigure, renovate, expand, equip and furnish the school office area and entry to the school
Reconfigure, the driveway for safer pick-up and drop-off
Reconfigure and expand parking areas
Construct, equip and furnish new classrooms
Construct large and small group learning areas

DISTRICT OFFICE
Relocate, construct, renovate and/or reconfigure, equip and furnish the District Office facilities and grounds
Relocate, construct, renovate and/or reconfigure and equip the District maintenance and grounds facility
Reconfigure and expand parking facilities
Construct or renovate, equip and furnish the District Office site as classrooms
Reconfigure El Cerrito Avenue and Stonehedge


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