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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure E
Bond Measure
Acalanes Union High School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 39556 / 64.26% Yes votes ...... 21997 / 35.74% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 2 8:18pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (121/121)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

Acalanes Union High School District Improvement. To establish a ten-year technology fund, upgrade instructional classroom technology, replace worn, aging roofs, convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space, upgrade electrical and energy management systems to improve efficiency and repair, construct, equip or upgrade school facilities, shall the Acalanes Union High School District issue $93 million in bonds at interest rates within the legal limit, with all expenditures reviewed by an independent citizens' oversight committee without increasing current tax rates?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
The issuance of the bonds and the levy of taxes as estimated in the Tax Rate Statement to repay the bonded indebtedness is authorized.

A NO vote on this measure means:
The issuance of the bonds and the levy of the taxes for the bonded indebtedness is disapproved.

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
The California Constitution provides that school districts may issue bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, with the approval of 55% of the voters voting at an election for that purpose.

By resolution, the Acalanes Union High School District has proposed that bonds of the District be issued in an amount up to $93,000,000. This measure provides that proceeds from the sale of the bonds will generally be used to "establish a ten-year technology fund, upgrade instructional classroom technology, replace worn, aging roofs, convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space, upgrade electrical and energy management systems to improve efficiency and repair, construct, equip or upgrade school facilities." The specific projects are set forth in the bond project list attached to the resolution of the Board of Education. The measure provides that a citizens' oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond proceeds are properly expended and that annual performance and financial audits will be conducted. The measure further provides that bond proceeds will only be used for the purposes specified in the measure, and not for any other purpose.

Approval of this measure authorizes the levy of ad valorem taxes upon taxable property in the District to repay the bonded indebtedness, both principal and interest, in each year that bonds are outstanding. The District has prepared a Tax Rate Statement, which represents the District's best estimates of the property tax rates required to service the bonds. The District estimates that the tax rates associated with this bond authorization, when combined with the District's outstanding general obligation bond issues, will not increase the tax rate above the $35.58 per $100,000 previously approved by voters at the November 5, 2002 bond election.

Approval of the measure does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the District that are the subject of bonds under the measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the measure. The proposed project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

A "yes" vote authorizes the issuance of the bonds and the levy of taxes as estimated in the Tax Rate Statement to repay the bonded indebtedness. A "yes" vote by 55% of the voters within the District voting on the measure is required for passage of this measure. A "no" vote on this measure disapproves the issuance of the bonds and the levy of the taxes for the bonded indebtedness.

 
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Arguments For Measure E Arguments Against Measure E
Measure E continues a community investment in quality school facilities without increasing current tax rates.

Measure E raises the funds needed to continue to renovate and modernize the four comprehensive high schools serving our community -- Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte + and the district's adult education facilities.

Measure E funds will:

  • Upgrade electrical systems to allow for the use of additional computers and technology in classrooms and labs;

  • Replace and upgrade outdated classroom instructional technology;

  • Repair or replace aging, leaky roofs;

  • Convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space;

  • Renovate, modernize and expand the district's adult education facilities; and

  • Upgrade energy management systems to improve the energy efficiency at each high school.

To keep classroom computers and technology well maintained and up-to-date, Measure E also creates a dedicated 10-year technology fund.

Measure E provides for strict accountability. An independent citizens' oversight committee will review the use of all Measure E funds.

Measure E raises the local funds needed for each of these projects without increasing current tax rates. Instead, Measure E extends the number of years it will take to pay off high school bonds voters in the district have already approved. Learn more at http://www.aboutmeasureE.com.

Measure E is also an investment in a district with a solid record of academic achievement. Student test scores in our district are among the highest in the state. The outstanding academic success of the district's students reflects the willingness of local voters to invest in the quality of the classrooms, labs, libraries and other facilities our students use every day.

The investment our community has made in its high schools strengthens and protects the value of every home in the district.

Please join us in continuing this investment in quality schools. Join us in voting Yes on Measure E.

Dennis P. Govan AUHSD Measure B
Oversight Committee Member
from Lafayette

Phyllis C. Gallaher, AUHSD Measure B
Oversight Committee Member
from Walnut Creek

Robert E. Latham, AUHSD Measure B
Oversight Committee Member
from Moraga

Robert R. Gangi, AUHSD Measure B
Oversight Committee Member
from Walnut Creek

Karen Murphy AUHSD Measure B
Oversight Committee Member
from Orinda

Rebuttal to Arguments For
In 2002 voters approved a $43 million bond measure. Now the District wants another $93 million, more than double the previous bonds for which we are still paying.

Much of the new money would do many things that were promised to be done with 2002 bonds.

  • $3.5 million - stadium turf replacement, supposedly replaced with 2002 bonds
  • $5 million - roof replacement normally done with maintenance money from the General Fund
  • $3.4 million - for an unnecessary new pool at Acalanes High School
  • $10.7 million - electrical work
  • $10 million - technology update
  • More than $25 million (27% of bonds) to rebuild Del Valle campus used primarily for adult education. District previously promised to sell other property to pay for this.

If the proposed maintenance projects are so critical, why did the District spend 60.6% of the 2002 bond money on athletic facilities and want to spend millions more from these proposed bonds?

Claiming that Measure E does not increase our taxes is disingenuous. We will pay more over a longer period which means more taxes.

This District already has three bond measures in effect which we are paying on our property tax bill. They have not used previous bonds as promised so why should we believe them now?

Senior citizens can't afford these new bonds and don't get an exemption (Rossmoor voters please note this!).

AUHSD has an insatiable thirst for our money. Please tell them NO this time.

Join us and VOTE NO on Measure E.

For more details see http://www.ACCTaxpayers.com

Richard S. Colman, Taxpayer and
Credentialed Small Business Owner

Nancy M. Woodfield, High School Teacher

Robert W. Hoffmann, Electrical Engineer

Edward C. Hartman, Financial Advisor

Kris Hunt, Executive Director
Contra Costa Taxpayers Assn.

The Acalanes High School District already has three bond measures on which they are collecting money through our property tax bills. Now they want another one.

The District is asking for $93 million in new bonds specifying in only general terms what the money will be used for. Last time they used the money for artificial turf on the football fields, tennis courts, and other things that had little to do with educating students.

According to the District's budget, the number of students will continue to decline and yet the District wants bond money to "convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space". Why?

They also want to replace "aging roofs" which is something that should be done on an on-going basis with money from the General Fund set aside for maintenance. Instead they let things deteriorate and then go for a bond measure.

This money is fungible and money not used for maintenance is available for administration, salaries and benefits.

The District also claims that this bond can be done "without increasing current tax rates". This is pure double talk. Since they are not retiring any of the three current bond measures, our taxes will go up with another charge on our property tax bill.

Do you really want to pay more tax dollars for things that aren't really necessary? The District should manage its finances properly. On-going maintenance from the General Fund will do what they claim to want to do with this bond money.

In today's economy, government agencies, including schools have to learn to live within the revenues they receive.

Please join us in voting NO on the Measure E

William G. Mattonen, Spokesman
Citizens Against Regulatory Excess

Donald Lively, Spokesman
Lafayette Taxpayers Association

Louis T. Marracci, Lafayette Taxpayer

Arthur W. Ronat, Lafayette Taxpayer

Kenneth E. Hambrick, Chairman
Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The meaning of every vote on Measure E is clear:

  • Every yes vote is a vote to continue to invest in classrooms, technology and other school facilities at the four outstanding high schools + Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte - serving our communities;

  • Every no vote is a vote to ignore the renovation and modernization needs of schools built between 1940 and 1962 and to ask this and future generations to "get by" in aging classrooms and school facilities.

The decision is that simple.

The facts about Measure E are also clear.

Measure E:

  • Raises additional funds without increasing existing tax rates by extending the term of existing voter approved bonds.

  • Includes a very specific project list that defines how every dollar will be spent.

  • Funds construction and renovation projects and cannot be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries.

You can learn more at http://www.AboutMeasureE.com.

Our high school district has had less to spend on each child's education than either the national or the state average. Therefore, voters have approved local school bonds to fund the renovation and improvement of each of our high schools.

This process began when the oldest of our high schools approached fifty years of service to the community. It continues this year as the newest of our schools approaches its fiftieth year.

Join us in voting Yes. Join us as part of a community that continues to invest in quality high school facilities, educational excellence and solid property values.

Art Kapoor, Chairman, Measure B
Citizens Oversight Committee Member from Lafayette

Heather Gevertz, Vice-Chair,
Measure A Oversight Committee AUHSD

Pat Rudebusch, Trustee
Orinda Union School District Governing Board

Leonard Krauss, President
Rossmoor Computer Club

Emily Schardt, Past President
Walnut Creek Education Foundation

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the Acalanes Union High School District (the "District") on November 4, 2008, to authorize the sale of up to $93,000,000 in bonds ("2008 Bond Authorization") of the District to finance school facilities as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, 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. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District's assessed valuation, and assuming the entire debt service will be paid through property taxation:

1.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 first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for 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 $0.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2013-14.

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 $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal years 2024-25 and thereafter.

4.The tax rates associated with the 2008 Bond Authorization when combined with the District's outstanding general obligation bond issues, are estimated not to increase the tax rate above the $35.58 per $100,000 of assessed value previously approved by voters at the November 5, 2002 bond election.

Voters should note the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, 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 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 attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon 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 date 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 sale. Actual future assessed valuations 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.

James Negri
Superintendent
Acalanes Union High School District

Full Text of Measure E
The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the Acalanes Union High School District.

"Acalanes Union High School District Improvement. To establish a ten-year technology fund, upgrade instructional classroom technology, replace worn, aging roofs, convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space, upgrade electrical and energy management systems to improve efficiency and repair, construct, equip or upgrade school facilities, shall the Acalanes Union High School District issue $93 million in bonds at interest rates within the legal limit, with all expenditures reviewed by an independent citizens' oversight committee without increasing current tax rates?"

PRIORITY SCHOOL PROJECTS LIST

The Board of Trustees of the Acalanes Union High School District evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, enrollment trends, class size, and computer and information technology, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. In developing the scope of projects, teachers, staff and community members have prioritized the key health and safety needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input and review in developing this Priority School Projects List, as reflected in the District's Facility Master Plan, approved by the Board on July 21, 2008, incorporated herein, and as shall be amended from time to time. The District's Facility Master Plan is on file at the Superintendent's Office and on the District's website, www.acalanes.k12.ca.us. This input concluded that if these needs were not addressed now, the problems would only get worse.

In approving this Priority School Projects List, the Board of Trustees determines that the District must:

i. Upgrade instructional classroom technology;

ii. Replace worn, aging roofs;

(iii) Upgrade electrical and energy management systems to improve efficiency;

(iv) Repair, construct, equip, or upgrade school facilities;

v.Convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space; and

(vi) Establish a ten-year classroom technology fund.

The Bond Project List is on file at the District Office of the Superintendent and includes the following projects:

PRIORITY SCHOOL PROJECTS

Project costs for repair and renovation of all existing school facilities include, but are not limited to, some or all of the following: improve electrical systems for classroom technology; repair and/or replace leaky roofs, heating, and ventilation systems; repair and replace worn-out windows, walls and doors, and hardware; upgrade or replace walk-way canopies; repair and replace fire alarms, and security systems (including outdoor lighting); interior and exterior painting; demolition; improve drainage and irrigation systems; restore stadium surfaces; inspect for and abate any hazardous materials; install instructional classroom technology; replace gas and water mains for safety; convert obsolete campus facilities such as darkrooms into classroom space; and implement ten-year classroom technology replacement plan.

Acalanes High School (Built in 1940)

  • Upgrade aging and outdated classroom technology.
  • Replace or repair old and leaky roofs to prevent damage to classrooms, carpeting, floors and walls.
  • Upgrade electrical systems to accommodate modern classroom and laboratory technology.
  • Upgrade classrooms to enhance student achievement.
  • Replace existing 50-year old swimming pool.
  • Replace floor in small gym.
  • Convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space.
  • Convert storage space into an art lab.
  • Upgrade energy management system to improve efficiency, conserve energy, and reduce costs.

Campolindo High School (Built in 1961)

When the district began the renovations of its schools with voter-approved bond funds, Campolindo was its newest school and required less renovation work than the other schools. Campolindo is now 50 years old and in need of significant repair and renovation.

  • Upgrade aging and outdated classroom technology.
  • Replace or repair old and leaky roofs to prevent damage to classrooms, carpeting, floors and walls.
  • Upgrade electrical systems to accommodate modern classroom and laboratory technology.
  • Enhance student safety with improved security systems, outdoor lighting, and fire alarm systems.
  • Upgrade aging and/or deteriorating restrooms.
  • Replace worn mechanical equipment including exhaust fans, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems.
  • Convert obsolete facilities into additional classroom space.
  • Convert an obsolete classroom into a career technology classroom.
  • Modernize music classrooms and the cafeteria.
  • Convert existing space to expand the number of science classrooms to accommodate student demand.
  • Upgrade energy management system to improve efficiency, conserve energy, and reduce costs.

Las Lomas High School (Built in 1950)

  • Upgrade aging and outdated classroom technology.
  • Replace or repair old and leaky roofs to prevent damage to classrooms, carpeting, floors and walls.
  • Upgrade electrical systems to accommodate modern classroom and laboratory technology.
  • Add additional restrooms.
  • Improve campus safety by replacing outdated main gas and water lines.
  • Enhance student safety with improved outdoor lighting.
  • Renovate and upgrade culinary career classroom.
  • Update classroom space for art instruction.
  • Replace pedestrian bridge walkways to ensure safety.
  • Upgrade energy management to improve efficiency, conserve energy, and reduce costs.

Miramonte High School (Built in 1955)

  • Upgrade aging and outdated classroom technology.
  • Replace or repair old and leaky roofs to prevent damage to classrooms, carpeting, floors and walls.
  • Upgrade electrical systems to accommodate modern classroom and laboratory technology.
  • Replace worn mechanical equipment including exhaust fans, heating, ventilation, and cooling system.
  • Improve campus safety by replacing outdated gas and water mains.
  • Renovate and upgrade the 420 art classroom building.
  • Renovate and update culinary career classroom.
  • Upgrade energy management system to improve efficiency, conserve energy, and reduce costs.

District Office (Built in 1955)

  • Repair and expand existing District administrative center.

Del Valle Educational Center (Built in 1958)

The Del Valle Campus serves the Acalanes Adult Education Center and two alternative high schools, Del Oro High School and the Center for Independent Study. The Adult Education Program serves 8,000 community members. The facilities have not benefited significantly from previous local or state bonds. As the baby boomer population ages, the demand for programs and classrooms at this 50-year old campus continues to increase.

  • Improve the Adult Education facilities by constructing a new classroom building.
  • Renovate existing classrooms.
  • Increase parking.

Ten-Year Classroom Technology

  • Create a ten-year technology fund to provide students and teachers with up-to-date classroom computers and technology.

* * *

The listed building repair and rehabilitation projects, including upgrades will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency, and escalation for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition to the listed repair and construction projects stated above, the Priority School Projects List also includes the payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility assessment reviews, environmental studies, construction documentation, inspection and permit fees, and temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by bond projects. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, computers, LCD projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, laser printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over IP, call manager and network security/firewall, and other miscellaneous equipment and software. The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project.

In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District's share of the costs of the projects, the District may not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. Certain projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public agencies. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be more cost-effective in creating more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary site preparation/restoration, landscaping, may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, redirecting fire access, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.

Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the specific purposes identified herein. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to the bond projects. The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code 53410.

Fiscal Accountability: In accordance with education code section 15272, the board of trustees will appoint a citizens' oversight committee and conduct annual independent audits to assure that funds are spent only on district projects and for no other purpose. The expenditure of bond money on these projects is subject to stringent financial accountability requirements. By law, performance and financial audits will be performed annually, and all bond expenditures will be monitored by an independent citizens' oversight committee to ensure that funds are spent as promised and specified. The citizens' oversight committee must include, among others, representation of a bona fide taxpayers association, a business organization and a senior citizens organization. No district employees or vendors are allowed to serve on the citizens' oversight committee.

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

Approval of Measure E does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Acalanes Union High School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure E will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure E. The district's proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.


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Created: January 24, 2009 10:31 PST
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