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City of Palo Alto
Bonds - 2/3 Approval Required
Pass: 21,894 / 69.36% Yes votes ...... 9,672 / 30.64% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 25 11:10am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (57/57)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text|
To provide additional space to expand library collections, add new children's and group program areas, replace outdated lighting, provide modern ventilation and air conditioning systems, ensure seismic safety and enhance disabled access, shall the City of Palo Alto issue bonds up to $76,000,000 to construct a new energy-efficient Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, expand and renovate Main Library, and renovate Downtown Library, with annual audits and independent citizen oversight?"
(1)replacement of the existing Mitchell Park Library and Community Center buildings with one new, larger joint-use library and community center,
(2)expansion and renovation of Main Library; and
(3)renovation of Downtown Library.
This measure will pass if two thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes." The bonds would be repaid through a real property tax within the City, based on the assessed taxable value of property, which is formulated from the purchase price, not the current market value, of the property. According to the tax rate statement provided by the City's Financial Advisor, the best estimate of the highest annual tax rate to property owners is $28.74 for each $100,000 of assessed value.
In administering the bond proceeds, the City is required to comply with rules under State law for financial accountability and reporting. In addition, the City Council has required the formation of a Citizen's oversight committee to monitor the projects.
In 2007 the City Auditor completed an Audit of Library Operations which found that Palo Alto libraries are cramped and dilapidated in comparison to nearby libraries and recommended that the City address facility problems including overcrowding, poor lighting, and inadequate meeting space. The bond proceeds would be used for the following projects to address the Auditor's recommendations:
City of Palo Alto
League of Women Voters
|Arguments For Measure N||Arguments Against Measure N|
|Measure N will bring Palo Alto's aging libraries into the 21st century - and give Palo Alto the safe, comfortable and well-designed libraries other communities already enjoy.
Palo Alto libraries "are cramped and dilapidated," according to a report by the City Auditor in July 2007. In fact, in comparison with 10 neighboring libraries, our Auditor found that Palo Alto's libraries ranked dead last, - behind Mountain View, Menlo Park, Santa Clara, San Jose, Redwood City, Cupertino and Sunnyvale.
Our two busiest libraries - Mitchell Park and Main - were both constructed with voter-approved bond money in 1958. After fifty years, it's time for us to renew and rebuild our public libraries.
Measure N will:
More people visit our libraries every year than go to the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford football and basketball games combined. While some people think that the Internet has rendered libraries obsolete, our libraries have never been busier. Palo Alto's circulation has INCREASED 45% in the last seven years.
Measure N represents good value for our dollars - there are no frills with this plan and it will modernize our libraries for this and future generations of Palo Altans.
Please join us in voting Yes on N. http://www.betterlibrariesforpaloalto.com
/s/ Larry Klein
We all want more materials in our libraries. But information in the 21st century comes in smaller packages. Think of the rapid change from records to iPods!
The Internet does not make libraries obsolete, but does impact information access. Books will always be essential, but are now available as downloads as well as print. Movies and audio are also downloadable. Even today, videos and audios account for nearly 40% of our library's circulation.
Last year only about 16,000 unique library cards were used -- out of 60,000 residents, and non-residents. Circulation increases alone do not justify a massive and expensive expansion.
Measure N does NOT provide "good value for our dollars."
/s/ Wayne E Martin
|We strongly support our libraries, but not this fiscally irresponsible bond measure.
NO financial analysis exists to compare costs of five branches vs. one (or two) great libraries.
NO operational costs are available by branch. These costs include:
Staffing currently accounts for 77% of the library budget, a significant cost issue. The July 2007 library audit clearly states more branches require more staffing.
NO technology costs are included. This bond - for future libraries - was placed on the ballot without a technology plan. We know technology is rapidly revolutionizing information access. RFID (Radio Frequency ID) - for book drops, shelving, inventory, theft protection - saves time and staffing costs. Nationwide broadband now delivers books, movies, radio and TV everywhere, 24/7.
NO consideration has been given to taking on major debt in difficult economic times:
Your NO vote on Measure N will force Palo Alto's government to be fiscally responsible and provide a state-of-the-art library to serve us and future generations.
/s/ Wayne E. Martin
More than ninety per cent of this bond money will be used to build a new "green" Mitchell Park Library and Community Center and renovate and expand Main Library. The average annual cost of the bond for a Palo Alto homeowner will be $139, which means that the net annual cost for the majority of taxpayers who get an income tax deduction is less than $100. That's less than a "Latte" a week - a small investment with a big return.
Opponents object that the bond doesn't include funding for technology. The reason is simple. California law doesn't allow it. Bond money is permitted only for design and construction - not staffing, technology, books or other materials. These important items will be paid for through a combination of City general fund monies and private donations.
There are no frills or extras proposed in this bond. With extensive input from the community, the City has developed a solid plan to bring our libraries into the 21st Century. We urge you to support this responsible investment in our community.
/s/ Dana Tom
|Tax Rate Statement from the Mayor|
|An election will be held in the City of Palo Alto (the "City") on November 4, 2008, on the question of issuing bonds in the principal amount of $76,000,000 to finance library and community center facilities as described in the bond measure. If the bonds are approved, the City expects to sell the bonds in one series. Principal and interest on the bonds will be paid from taxes levied on taxable property in the City. The following tax rate information is given to comply with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.
Based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement:
1. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first and only series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.02874 per $100 ($28.74 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.
2. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing this statement, is $0.02874 per $100 ($28.74 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.
3. The best estimate of the average annual 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 $0.02698 per $100 ($26.98 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.
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. 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 the County Assessor 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 City's projections and are not binding upon the City. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the City based on the 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 City as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.
Dated: August 5, 2008
|Full Text of Measure N|
|ORDINANCE NO. 4996|
ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PALO ALTO CALLING A SPECIAL ELECTION AND ORDERING THE SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSITION INCURRING BONDED DEBT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTION AND COMPLETION OF A NEW MITCHELL PARK LIBRARY AND COMMUNITY CENTER, RENOVATION AND EXPANSION OF MAIN LIBRARY, AND RENOVATIONS TO DOWNTOWN LIBRARY TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF PALO ALTO AT THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 4, 2008
WHEREAS, use of the Palo Alto libraries has increased; in fiscal year 2007-2008 circulation in Palo Alto libraries increased 8% over the prior year, and users checked out over 1.5 million books, periodicals, DVDs, and other materials; and
WHEREAS, in a 2007 report, the City Auditor determined that Palo Alto libraries are in the poorest condition when compared to libraries in ten surrounding communities; and
WHEREAS, the Auditor's report specifically noted that Palo Alto's libraries were overcrowded, had poor lighting and inadequate meeting spaces; and
WHEREAS, Palo Alto libraries are cramped, have poor lighting, and have no room for expansion of collections or group study and quiet reading areas; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell Park Library was built more than fifty years ago; over the past twenty years circulation there has tripled and it currently receives more than one thousand visitors per day; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell Park Library has the highest circulation of all libraries in Palo Alto, but it is too small and outdated to serve the population that uses it today; and
WHEREAS, many residents in our community, especially children and seniors, rely on Palo Alto libraries; and
WHEREAS, some of the heaviest use occurs after school when children from the neighborhood schools gather to do homework, research and work on group projects; at these times, the libraries can be overcrowded and noisy, making it challenging for others to comfortably use the library, study, or access services; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell Park, Main and Downtown libraries have poor ventilation and lack air conditioning; and
WHEREAS, Mitchell Park, Main and Downtown libraries are too small to accommodate growth in library collections, which residents have identified as a priority for City libraries; and
WHEREAS, under the conditions described above, our libraries cannot fully offer the services and resources our Palo Alto residents deserve; and
WHEREAS, it is critical that the City provide libraries and community centers that afford earthquake safety by construction to modern seismic standards; and
WHEREAS, the City needs to ensure and enhance disabled access at its public libraries and community centers; and
WHEREAS, libraries are an important community asset because they provide more than just books-they are a place for residents to learn and to gather and they enrich the culture of our City; and
WHEREAS, on July 21, 2008, this City Council adopted, by a two-thirds vote of all the members of the Council, a Resolution entitled "A Resolution of the Council of the City of Palo Alto Determining That the Public Interest and Necessity Demand the Construction and Completion of a New Mitchell Park Library and Community Center and the Renovation of Main and Downtown Libraries and their Financing Through the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds" (the "Resolution"); and
WHEREAS, in order to provide for the issuance by the City of its general obligation bonds to finance the costs of constructing the new Mitchell Park library and community center and renovating and improving Main and Downtown libraries, it is necessary for this Council to pass an ordinance ordering the submission of the proposition of incurring bonded indebtedness for such purpose to the qualified voters of the City at an election; and
WHEREAS, a Special Municipal Election for the City is to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008; and
WHEREAS, the City Council desires to submit to the voters at the election the proposition of incurring bonded indebtedness as hereinafter set forth.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, does ordain as follows:
SECTION 1. Ballot Proposition. That the following question shall be submitted to the voters of the City at the Special Municipal Election to be held on November 4, 2008:
"LIBRARY FACILITIES, COLLECTIONS, SAFETY IMPROVEMENT BOND. To provide additional space to expand library collections, add new children's and group program areas, replace outdated lighting, provide modern ventilation and air conditioning systems, ensure seismic safety and enhance disabled access, shall the City of Palo Alto issue bonds up to $76,000,000 to construct a new energy-efficient Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, expand and renovate Main Library, and renovate Downtown Library, with annual audits and independent citizen oversight?"
SECTION 2. Object and Purpose of Bonds. The object and purpose of incurring the indebtedness is to finance the costs of constructing a new energy efficient, environmentally friendly library and community center at Mitchell Park and the costs of renovating and expanding Main Library and renovating Downtown Library, including enhancements at all three facilities for earthquake safety and disabled access, expanded space for library collections, meeting and study areas, and new air conditioning, ventilation and lighting systems. The foregoing improvements are referred to herein as the "Improvements". The City wishes to construct the Improvements because the present library and community center at Mitchell Park, and the Main and Downtown libraries, are inadequate to serve the needs of the citizens of the City.
SECTION 3. Estimated Cost of Improvements. The estimated cost of the portion of the costs of the Improvements to be paid for from the City's general obligations bonds is seventy-six million dollars ($76,000,000). The estimated cost includes legal and other fees and the cost of printing the bonds and other costs and expenses incidental to or connected with the authorization, issuance and sale of bonds. The cost of constructing the Improvements in excess of $76,000,000 will be paid for from other funds of the City.
SECTION 4. Principal Amount of Bonds. The amount of the principal of the indebtedness to be incurred is not to exceed seventy-six million dollars ($76,000,000).
SECTION 5. Maximum Interest Rate. The maximum rate of interest to be paid on the indebtedness shall be twelve percent (12%) per annum.
SECTION 6. Issuance and Sale of Bonds. This City Council does hereby call a special municipal election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, and submit to the qualified voters of the City, at said Special Municipal Election, the proposition set forth in Section 1 hereof. The City proposes to construct and complete the Improvements, and to issue and sell General Obligation Bonds of the City pursuant to Article 1, commencing with Section 43600, of Chapter 4 of Division 4 of Title 4 of the California Government Code, in one or more series, in the maximum amount and for the objects and purposes set forth above, if two-thirds of all qualified voters voting on the proposition set forth above vote in favor thereof. The bonds are to be general obligations of the City, payable from and secured by taxes levied and collected in the manner prescribed by laws of the State of California. All of said bonds are to be equally and ratably secured, without priority, by the taxing power of the City.
SECTION 7. Consolidation; Manner of Conducting Election. That in all particulars not recited in this Ordinance, the election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding municipal elections. That pursuant to the requirements of section 10403 of the Elections Code, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara is hereby requested to consent and agree to the consolidation of a Special Municipal Election with the Statewide Special Election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, and said election shall be held in all respects as if there were only one election and only one form of ballot shall be used.
SECTION 8. Procedure for Voting on Proposition. Ballots for the election shall be provided in the form and in the number provided by law. Voters shall be provided an opportunity to vote for or against the proposition on the ballot, in accordance with procedures to be adopted by the authorized officers of the County charged with conducting the election.
SECTION 9. Time and Place of Election. Notice of the time and place of holding the election is given and the City Clerk is authorized, instructed, and directed to give further or additional notice of the election, in the time, form, and manner required by law.
SECTION 10. Publication of Ordinance. This Ordinance shall be published once a day for at least seven days in a newspaper printed, published and circulated at least six days a week in the City, or once a week for two weeks in a newspaper printed, published and circulated less than six days a week in the City. The first of said publications shall, in either event, be within fifteen (15) days after the adoption of this ordinance. The City Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to make said publications and to transmit, for receipt no later than August 8, 2008, a certified copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Supervisors (the "Board of Supervisors") of Santa Clara County (the "County"), and a copy with the County Clerk of the County and the Registrar of Voters of the County.
SECTION 11. Canvassing Election Returns. The Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to canvass the returns of said City Bond Election.
SECTION 12. Election Instructions. The Board of Supervisors is hereby requested to issue instructions to the County Elections Department to take any and all steps necessary for the holding of the said consolidated elections.
SECTION 13. Accountability Requirements. As required by Section 53410 of the Government Code, a statement in substantially the following form shall be included on the ballot for the Bonds, and the City Council covenants to comply with the reporting requirements contained in Section 53411 of the Government Code:
As required by Section 53410 of the Government Code, the following accountability measures are hereby made a part of the City's Bond Measure "LIBRARY FACILITY, COLLECTIONS, SPACE, SAFETY IMPROVEMENT BOND" (the "Measure"):
a) The specific purpose of the bonds is to build a new Mitchell Park library and community center, expand and renovate Main library, and renovate Downtown library;
b) The proceeds from the sale of the City's bonds will be used only for the purposes specified in the Measure, and not for any other purpose;
c) The proceeds of the Bonds will be deposited into a Library/Community Center Project Construction Fund to be held by the City; and
d) The Administrative Services Director of the City shall file an annual report with the City Council of the City, commencing not later than November 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, which report shall contain pertinent information regarding the amount of funds collected and expended, as well as the status of the Library/Community Center project listed in the Measure.
In addition to those required measures, the City shall create a citizen's oversight committee to monitor the projects and report to the City Council.
SECTION 14. Estimated Tax Rate. At this time, the best estimate from official sources of the tax rate required to be levied to fund the bond issue is $27 per $100,000 of assessed value.
SECTION 15. Reimbursement for Election Costs. That the City of Palo Alto recognizes that additional costs will be incurred by the County by reason of this consolidation and agrees to reimburse the County for any costs.
SECTION 16. Ballot Form and Content. That the ballots to be used at the election shall be in form and content as required by law.
SECTION 17. Actions and Materials Necessary for Conducting Election. That the City Clerk is authorized, instructed and directed to have the Santa Clara County Election Department procure and furnish any and all official ballots, notices, printed matter and all supplies, equipment and paraphernalia that may be necessary in order to properly and lawfully conduct the election. The City Manager is authorized to make changes to the ballot language as required by the County Clerk and/or Registrar of Voters.
SECTION 18. Election Polls. That the polls for the election shall be open at 7:00 o'clock a.m. of the day of the election and shall remain open continuously from that time until 8:00 o'clock p.m. of the same day when the polls shall be closed, except as provided in Section 14401 of the Elections Code of the State of California.
SECTION 19. Ballot Arguments. Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10403, August 8, 2008 is be the deadline for submission to the Board of Supervisors by a local agency the ordinance or resolution requesting consolidation with the statewide election and any resolution or ordinance placing a measure on the November 4, 2008 ballot. Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9286 et. seq., August 13, 2008 at 5 p.m. shall be the deadline for submission of arguments in favor of, and arguments against, any local measures on the ballot. If more than one argument for and/or against is received, the priorities established by Elections Code Section 9287 shall control.
SECTION 20. Rebuttal Arguments. The provisions of Elections Code Section 9285 shall control the submission of any rebuttal arguments. The deadline for filing rebuttal arguments shall be August 20, 2008 at 5 p.m.
SECTION 21. Impartial Analysis. The City Council directs the City Clerk to transmit a copy of the measure to the City Attorney, who shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure showing the effect of the measure on the existing law and the operation of the measure. The impartial analysis shall be filed by the date set by the City Clerk for the filing of primary arguments.
SECTION 22. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall become effective immediately as an ordinance relating to an election pursuant to Government Code section 36937(a) upon its adoption by two-thirds vote of all the members of this City Council.
The above ordinance was introduced with the first reading waived at a regular meeting of the City Council on the 21st day of July, 2008, and passed and adopted at a regular meeting of said Council held on the 4th day of August, 2008, by the following vote:
INTRODUCED: July 21, 2008
PASSED: August 4, 2008
AYES: BARTON, BURT, DREKMEIER, ESPINOSA, KISHIMOTO, KLEIN, MORTON, SCHMID, YEH
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
/s/ Kelly Morariu