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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA February 5, 2008 Election
Measure D
Skateboard Park
Town of Los Gatos

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 4,163 / 34.22% Yes votes ...... 8,001 / 65.78% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Feb 26 1:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (17/17)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the Town of Los Gatos be required to construct and operate a skatepark for the free use of its citizens on its Miles Avenue property, generally conforming with plans and specifications approved by the Town, the one-time cost to design and construct not to exceed $1,000,000, paid from existing Town funds, the annual operating cost not to exceed $50,000, said costs to be reduced by any valuable contributions made by others?


Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A yes vote would require the Town to construct and operate a skate park on Town-owned land on Miles Avenue

A NO vote on this measure means:
A no vote would not require the Town to construct a skate park.

Impartial Analysis from the Town Attorney
This measure was placed on the ballot by the Town Council after receiving a petition signed by a sufficient number of registered voters in the Town. If approved, it would require the Town to spend up to $1,000,000 to construct a skate park on Town-owned land on Miles Avenue, and up to $50,000 annually to operate the park. Use of the park must be free to citizens of the Town.

In 2001, the Council allocated $125,000 to a skate park. In 2004, the Council planned a skate park located at 41 Miles Avenue in an area currently used as a 34-space public parking lot. The park would replace 29 parking spaces, 21 of which would be relocated nearby. A use permit was approved for a skate park at 41 Miles Avenue. As of 2004, a conceptual design for the park was estimated to cost $1,000,000, including $863,000 for construction and $137,000 for design and engineering. Annual maintenance and operations, including supervision, were estimated to cost $39,300. The value of the land was estimated at $1,000,000. These estimates have not been updated.

The fiscal impact of the measure is unknown. As of June 30, 2007, $88,423 of the funds allocated by the Town in 2001 remain unspent. Monte Sereno pledged $100,000 of its Proposition 40 park funds, which are available to reimburse costs incurred prior to December 31, 2009. The Town received cash contributions of approximately $14,300. The Sobrato Foundation pledged to match up to $50,000, payable on confirmation of sufficient funds for the project and issuance of building permits. The Town received other pledges of cash, construction materials and labor, which require collection. The value of pledged materials and labor depends on their conformity to construction plans and specifications and mandatory competitive bidding requirements.

The Town has not allocated other funds to the skate park. Should the measure be approved and result in additional costs to the Town, monies must be reallocated from funds dedicated to other purposes. According to audited financial statements, as of June 30, 2007, Town funds totally approximately $74,400,000 are either restricted to legal obligations, allocated to meet anticipated operating expenses, or reserved or designated for specific future uses.

The land use impact of the measure is unknown. The existing use permit for a skate park at 41 Miles Avenue was extended by the Planning Commission in November 2007, prior to its expiration in December 2007. That action was appealed to the Council. A hearing on the appeal will occur after the election.

The effect of the measure is unclear in several respects. It does not specify the Town's obligations should the cost to construct the park exceed $1,000,000 or the annual cost to operate the park exceed $50,000. It does not specify whether maintenance is included in the annual operating cost limit. It refers to "the plans and specifications approved by the Town," which do not exist as of this date.

/s/ Orry P. Korb, Town Attorney
Town of Los Gatos

  Official Information

This is not an official copy of this ballot measure and its accompanying documents. For an official copy see the Town Clerk.

Town of Los Gatos
News and Analysis

Los Gatos Observer

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Arguments For Measure D Arguments Against Measure D
A yes vote on Measure D is a victory for our kids.

Measure D requires the Town of Los Gatos to build a skatepark without raising taxes or cutting existing town services and it guarantees no cost overruns.

A skatepark will make Los Gatos an even better place for families -- giving our kids a safe and legal recreational outlet where they can participate in a healthy and positive form of exercise. Great public schools and recreational facilities make Los Gatos a great place to buy a home and raise a family.

Cities throughout California and the world have built publicly funded skateparks because they are a positive influence on their communities - providing safe and healthy recreational outlets for their young people and helping youngsters to build confidence, perseverance and self-esteem.

The biggest obstacle to the construction of a skatepark in the Town of Los Gatos has been politics. For years, roadblocks have thwarted the effort, including administrative barriers, inflated projected costs, and unreasonable funding goals assigned to our kids.

That's why private citizens, including young people, parents, educators, youth and public safety advocates have joined together to show the power of grassroots democracy and put Measure D to a vote of the people.

In place of meritless scare tactics, Measure D assures:

  • No new taxes.
  • No impact to existing Town services.
  • No cost overruns - our Town's expenditure is limited to a maximum of $1 million - which will be decreased by private donations.
We believe that you are capable of making a wise choice on how the Town of Los Gatos spends our money.

Let's improve our town. Let's build a skatepark for our kids.

Vote Yes on Measure D.

/s/ Tina E. Orsi-Hartigan
Member of The Board of Trustees, Los Gatos Union School District

/s/ Steve Glickman
Councilmember, Town of Los Gatos

/s/ Jordan Kahler
Chair, Youth Commission

/s/ Liz Mellema
Vice-Chair, Youth Commission

/s/ Karen Deloumi
Los Gatos Skatepark Fundraising Committee Chairwoman

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Please Don't Be Fooled or Forced

If you want to support the skateboard fundraising effort, donate
directly to it --
But don't allow yourself to be FORCED to pay for it!


THE FACTS: Skateboard supporters were given valuable land by the Town of Los Gatos and $225,000 towards the $945,000 deluxe facility they wanted. They said they would raise the rest of the necessary money, but after four years they've raised less than $20,000 in contributions. They are now attempting to force Los Gatos taxpayers to pay for something the community has chosen not to support financially.

THE REAL COSTS: Measure D would force Los Gatos taxpayers to spend $2 Million (in cash and land) plus $50,000 per year FOREVER for the design, construction and maintenance of a concrete skateboarding arena.

THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: Town services could be affected. Money for skateboarding would be taken from the Town's General Fund -- the same place money comes from for our police, streets, library, trails and Senior services.

THE QUESTION OF FAIRNESS: Measure D favors one special interest group and disregards the needs of other youth sports groups (soccer, baseball, football, basketball) that have a history of being financially self sufficient.

If you want to support the skateboarding fundraising effort, donate
directly to it --
But don't allow taxpayers to be forced to pay for it!

STAND UP FOR YOURSELF and Vote NO on Measure D

/s/ Sandy Decker
Former Los Gatos Mayor

/s/ Dave Ferrari
Los Gatos Little League President

/s/ Randi Chen
Home and School Club Board Member

/s/ Dale R. Greenley
Los Gatos United Soccer League President

/s/ Ted Simonson
Retired Principal & Veterans Foundation Chair

Measure D is NOT an advisory vote. It forces the expenditure of $1 million of public money on the construction of a skateboard park and guarantees $50,000 a year from the Town budget, forever, for its operation. This measure has both short term and long range negative impacts on this community. For these reasons we oppose it.

The Town of Los Gatos is already investing more than $1 million in the proposed skateboard park with the donation of land and funds for design. At the insistence of its supporters, the proposed skateboard park would be a "deluxe" version, estimated in 2004 to cost $945,000 to build. Concrete prices have since doubled. Skateboard park supporters promised to raise private dollars to supplement public funds to pay for the more expensive model. As of November, less than $20,000 had been secured.

Each year the Town makes budget decisions based on what revenues are available. We live within our means. The public hearing process allows citizens to give input on what should be funded given the current financial situation. There are always competing priorities. Measure D limits the public's right to make those decisions each year. It could take away money from core services such as police, library, street repair. Measure D is fiscally irresponsible.

Los Gatos has many recreation and sports facility needs. All are important. It is not fair to spend $2+ million to build and $50,000 every year thereafter to support just one activity. Other youth sports (soccer, Little League, basketball, football, etc.) also need space and funding.

Measure D is contrary to the democratic process because it limits the public's right to make sound budget decisions. It favors one special interest group and disregards the needs of other youth sports. We urge you to Vote No on Measure D.

/s/ Diane McNutt
Town Councilmember, Past Mayor

/s/ Joe Pirzynski
Town Councilmember, Past Mayor

/s/ Mike Wasserman
Town Councilmember, Past Mayor

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure D's opponents think allowing the people to decide how to spend our tax dollars is "contrary to the democratic process." Hogwash!

Measure D gives Los Gatos citizens - not politicians - the power to decide whether to make our town a better place for families by building a typical skatepark without raising taxes or cutting existing town services.

Because the opponents don't want citizens deciding how to spend our own tax dollars, they've concocted inflated cost estimates, half-truths and outright lies to scare us.

Don't believe them.

Look at the facts.

  • Less than $1 million - Measure D caps the skatepark's one-time cost to Los Gatos at $1 million. In fact, it will cost less because dedicated citizens already have secured commitments of more than $300,000 in contributions.

  • Less than $50,000 - Measure D also caps Los Gatos' annual operating cost. In fact, the Town could choose to spend far less, as most cities do to operate their publicly-funded skateparks.

  • No cuts in services - A skatepark for our kids will NOT impact town services like police, library or street repair. Los Gatos has $70 million in reserves and healthy finances, allowing us to easily provide a skatepark and still live within our means.

    Let's live up to our Town's image as a family-friendly place to live. Please join, parents, educators, seniors, youth, and public safety advocates who have come together to build a skatepark for our kids.

    Vote Yes on Measure D!

    /s/ Michael J. Verga
    Former L.G.H.S. Basketball Coach, Los Gatos Little League Coach, Fire Captain

    /s/ Steven Leonardis
    Los Gatos Little League Coach, Los Gatos Skatepark Committee Member

    /s/ Rick Pfaff
    Los Gatos Little League Coach

    /s/ Eric Muller
    Los Gatos Unified Soccer League Coach

Full Text of Measure D
"The Town of Los Gatos shall construct and operate a skatepark for the free use of its citizens on its Miles Avenue property, in general conformance with the plans and specifications approved by the Town. The one-time cost of design and construction shall be no more than $1,000,000 and shall be paid from existing town funds. The cost of operating the skatepark shall be no more than $50,000 per year. These costs shall be reduced by any contributions made by others, such as the $100,000 offered by the City of Monte Sereno, or other valuable contributions."

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Created: March 21, 2008 14:54 PDT
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