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Smart Voter
Alameda, Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure WW
Extend Existing East Bay Regional Park District Bond With No Increase In Tax Rate
East Bay Regional Park District

2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 671,485 / 71.9% Yes votes ...... 262,212 / 28.1% No votes
   294018 (71.66%) Yes / 116289 (28.34%) No in Contra Costa County
   377467 (72.12%) Yes / 145923 (27.88%) No in Alameda County

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 2 8:18pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (1826/1826)
  Includes 854/854 Precincts in Contra Costa County as of Dec 2 8:18pm
  Includes 972/972 Precincts in Alameda County as of Nov 25 10:26am
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement |

To continue restoring urban creeks, protect wildlife, purchase/save open space, wetlands/shoreline, acquire/develop/improve local and regional parks, trails and recreational facilities, shall East Bay Regional Park District be authorized to issue up to $500 million in general obligation bonds, provided repayment projections, verified by independent auditors, demonstrate that property tax rates will not increase beyond present rates of $10 per year, per $100,000 of assessed valuation?

Impartial Analysis from the Alameda County Counsel
Measure WW, an East Bay Regional Park District ("District") bond measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the governing Board of the District to cause general obligation bonds to be issued and sold in a principal amount not to exceed $500,000,000 at interest rates within the statutory limit. The measure's purposes are to finance the District's completion of its Regional Park District Master Plan by acquiring and improving regional parks, trails and recreation facilities, and purchasing and restoring open space and wildlife corridors and to provide funds to cities and local park and recreation districts for acquisition and development of local parklands.

Pursuant to California Public Resources Code Section 5568 and California Government Code Section 43614, this Measure will become effective upon the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this Measure.

If two-thirds of those voting on the Measure vote "yes", the District will be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $500,000,000. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds may only be used for the projects listed in the Measure, which include completing the District's Master Plan Projects, creating a reserve fund for unanticipated future project needs, and assisting with financing the acquisition and improvement of local park and recreation facilities. Issuance of the bonds would pay to restore urban creeks; protect wildlife; purchase open space, wetlands and bay shoreline; and acquire, develop and improve both local and regional parks, trails, and recreational facilities. The specific projects are listed on Exhibit I to the District's Ordinance No. 2008-8-200 printed in this Voter Pamphlet, and are balanced on a population basis among the District's three regional planning areas. The District would receive $350 million for regional projects, which amount includes a reserve for unanticipated needs or opportunities. Cities and local park and recreation districts, including the Oakland Zoo, would receive $125 million to use for local parklands with local projects determined on the needs and priorities of local entities on a per capita basis.

Approval of this Measure will authorize the District to levy an ad valorem tax on the assessed value of real property within the District by an amount needed to pay the principal and interest on these bonds in each year that the bonds are outstanding. The Tax Rate Statement for Measure WW printed in this Voter Pamphlet reflects the District's best estimates, based upon currently available data and projections, of the property tax rates required to service the bonds. The proposed measure provides that bonds will not be issued unless independently verified repayment projections demonstrate property tax rates will not increase above the present tax rate commitment of not to exceed $10 per $100,000 assessed valuation. This provision, however, does not limit the District from levying the tax at a rate sufficient to pay the debt service on the bonds.

If not approved by two-thirds of those voting on this Measure, the Measure will fail and the District will not be authorized to issue the bonds.

County Counsel

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure WW, which measure is printed in full in this sample ballot pamphlet. If you desire an additional copy of the measure, please call the East Bay Regional Park District office at (510) 544-2020 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

  Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters


Televised Pros & Cons Presentations

  • These presentations briefly cover all 12 State Ballot Measures, 2 Regional Measures (VV & WW) and the three Oakland Measures (N, NN & OO).
  • Date: Thurs., Oct 23
    Time: 3:30 - 4:30 PM
    Channel: KTOP, Oakland Cable Channel 10
    Sponsor: League of Women Voters of Oakland
News and Analysis

Tri Valley Herald

Measure WW would extend bond for parks

Oakland Tribune

Ballot error prompts clarification, lawsuit
Partisan Information

Website for yes on WW

Website for no on WW
General Links

Web site of East Bay Regional Park District
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Arguments For Measure WW Arguments Against Measure WW
Vote Yes on Measure WW to protect and preserve our East Bay Regional Parks.

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is widely considered to be one of the most successful examples of integrated parklands in any urban area in America.

With Alameda and Contra Costa Counties' populations growing rapidly, Measure WW is needed to preserve our vanishing open space, available parklands, and shoreline.

Measure WW extends the existing parks bond measure passed by voters in 1988. The 2008 bond extension will not increase your taxes. It has bipartisan support.

The original 1988 ballot measure made possible our current system of parks, thousands of acres of protected open space, and hundreds of miles of trails throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

All of the revenue from 2008's Measure WW is local and will stay in our two counties to protect and preserve our parks.

25% of the revenue will fund city parks and recreation departments.

75% will fund regional park acquisitions, open space preservation, new parks and trails for walking, hiking, and biking, environmental maintenance, the rehabilitation of aging park facilities, and wildlife habitat restoration.

Measure WW is also crucial for environmental sustainability. The vegetation in our Regional Parks absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by over 80,000 cars. Voting yes on WW will help us fight global climate change at the local level.

Measure WW will also help protect and renew our urban creeks and ponds, which will enhance the quality of drinking water for our communities.

A citizen's oversight committee will ensure that Measure WW's funding is spent as promised.

Measure WW has something for everyone. For a complete project list, please visit

Vote Yes on Measure WW for our East Bay Regional Parks.

George Miller Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Member of Congress Chapter

Norman La Force, Chair

Ayn Wieskamp Doug Siden

President, East Bay Regional Park Chair, Yes For Parks Committee

District Board of Directors Marion Taylor, Vice-President, Action

League of Women Voters of the Bay Area

Rebuttal to Arguments For

NO on Measure WW !

As a former Tri-Valley Herald editor observes, EBRPD's $500 MILLION bond represents "another hit on folks struggling to make ends meet...." Since EBRPD "struggles to operate the land and facilities it already owns," voters should "ask whether spending more on acquiring park land is a higher priority than fixing environmental challenges in the Delta" threatening "water supply and native fish" (07-20-08).

  • Venture very far into EBRPD "parklands," and you'll find neglected grounds and facilities, with much of EBRPD's existing 98,000 acres off limits.

  • EBRPD's non-bond revenues, rising much faster than inflation and population growth combined, could readily maintain -- even expand -- such resources.

  • Instead, EBRPD's top-heavy bureaucracy irresponsibly reroutes what should be maintenance, restoration, preservation, and accessibility dollars into lavish compensation packages and enormous consultant fees.

  • Handing EBRPD another $500 MILLION won't affect global climate change.

  • Prominent conservation organizations, signing the California Rangeland Resolution, recognize that rangelands and their critical species habitats "largely persist today due to positive and experienced... land stewardship practices" of private owners / managers.

  • Conservation easements on private lands, guaranteeing tax revenues without future residential or commercial development, promote cost-effective habitat preservation.

  • EBRPD is promoting WW with public funds. And the League of Women Voters, given $9,000 by EBRPD since last November, now cheerleads for WW.

Before acquiring more land-purchase money, EBRPD must reacquire the mission it advertises: to "provide recreational opportunities, ensure the natural beauty of the land, and protect wildlife habitat."

See separate arguments:


Kenneth R. Arras Luana L. Layton

Chairman, Citizens for Business Owner; Adult-

Responsible Government Education Prison Instructor

Donald Lively Michael Arata

Telecommunications Consultant, Water-Treatment Consultant; Retired Former Chemistry Instructor and

Swim Coach

Karen Weber

Former EBRPD Chief, Personnel,


Amid high food and fuel prices, home-mortgage and property-tax defaults, and other severe economic hardships, Measure WW perpetuates taxes that would otherwise expire.

  • EBRPD already controls 153 SQUARE MILES of parkland ! Additional private property purchased with Measure WW's $500 MILLION (plus interest up to 12%!) would no longer generate tax revenues for police and fire protection, local schools, hospitals, or libraries.

  • EBRPD wants the land of family farmers -- who manage their property responsibly, providing healthy foods and wildlife habitats, who pay large taxes rather than consume them.

  • EBRPD should expand recreational opportunities in existing parkland, with existing funds, not reduce the number of local farms and ranches that feed our community.

  • Further land set-asides make housing even more unaffordable. (Contra Costa County already mandates 65% open space.)

  • Taxes now consume half the next dollar earned by many East Bay families. Many work so hard to pay taxes that there's little time left to enjoy regional parks!

Parks... not PERKS !

Measure WW's fine print says its advertised project list can "be modified by the Board in future years."

Meanwhile, many of Measure WW's MILLIONS would finance maintenance and preservation projects which EBRPD's existing general fund could and should fund now.

But the same general fund diverts too many millions to exorbitant EBRPD wages and benefits instead:

  • EBRPD's general manager makes $216,923 annually; seven "assistant general managers," $162,843 to $197,101; "administrative assistants" $101,878. Even starting gardeners get $51,917! It's all-aboard on EBRPD's taxpayer-fueled gravy train.

  • Benefits add another 70%, rocketing EBRPD's average 2008 per-employee compensation costs to $113,191 annually -- up 20% just since 2005 !

  • During 2007-08, EBRPD has paid its tax-measure consultants $185,500.

Let's require responsible use of existing EBRPD funds -- and reject OUTRAGEOUS employee costs, more bureaucracy, and new TAXES.


Daniel Marciel, President
Alameda County Farm Bureau

Ken Hambrick, Chairman
Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers

Marilynne L. Mellander, Save El Sobrante Coordinator

Paul Spinola, President
Contra Costa County Farm Bureau

Kenneth D. Steadman, President Waste Watchers, Inc. (Fremont)

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

Opponents of Measure WW are trying to confuse you

Measure WW will not raise taxes.

  • It extends the existing bond program at the current tax rate.
  • The District receives annual awards for accurate and responsible budgeting and always balances its budgets.
  • The District has an "AAA" bond rating. A citizen's oversight committee oversees all spending.

Measure WW protects agriculture and ranching.

  • The District allows ranching to continue in its parklands.
  • It ensures that agriculture remains in the East Bay and that we continue to preserve our rural landscape.

Measure WW will allow the East Bay Regional Park District to do what it does best:

  • Preserve open space and habitat, expand parks and trails, improve local parks, and protect and restore our urban creeks and watersheds.
  • Meet the desires of a rapidly expanding population and ensure more accessible parkland near your neighborhood.
  • Benefit over 67 current and future parks, trails, creeks and shoreline projects.

Projects include:

  • Expanding the Bay, East Bay Greenway, Delta and Ridge Trails
  • Preserving wetlands along the Oakland and Richmond shorelines
  • Improving the Eastshore State Park and Martin Luther King Junior Shoreline
  • Creating a new regional park at the Concord Naval Weapons Station
  • Increasing access at Briones, Sunol and Pleasanton Ridges
  • Building and renovating local and regional park visitor facilities

For a complete list:

Vote Yes on Measure WW so the East Bay Regional Park District can continue to provide you with exceptional regional parks.

Barbara Lee, Member of Congress

Linda Best, President of Contra Costa Council

Richard Rainey, Retired State Senator & Sheriff

Robert A. Wilkins, President and CEO YMCA of the East Bay

Tim Koopmann, Rancher

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the East Bay Regional Park District (the "District") on November 4, 2008, to authorize the sale of up to $500,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance the continued acquisition of land for open space; protection of wildlife and its habitat; restoration of urban creeks; preservation of wetlands and bay shoreline; and acquisition, development and improvement of local and regional parks, trails, and recreation facilities as described in the ballot measure. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in several 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 information contained in numbered paragraphs 1 + 3 below 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 0.96 cents per $100 ($9.60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.

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 0.91 cents per $100 ($9.10 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2025-26.

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 0.96 cents per $100 ($9.60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. 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 dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on its needs for 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 County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: August 4, 2008.

Pat O'Brien
General Manager
East Bay Regional Park District

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