This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/sn/ for current information.
Twin Hills Union School District
55% Approval Required
Pass: 1,975 / 64.8% Yes votes ...... 1,071 / 35.2% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (14/14)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
To qualify for State matching grants; reduce annual school operating costs by installing solar energy improvements and eliminating leases; replace portables and construct permanent libraries at Apple Blossom School and Twin Hills Middle School; and to construct a technology center and expand student access to computers and technology, shall the Twin Hills Union School District be authorized to issue up to $11,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates, with citizens' oversight and independent annual performance and financial audits?
Money raised by the sale of the bonds can be used only for the purposes and projects stated in the Measure. The Bond Project List is set forth in the Measure, and is published as part of the Measure in this ballot pamphlet. Examples of projects listed include but are not limited to modernizing or rehabilitating classrooms; replacing outdated portables with permanent classrooms; constructing a permanent library building at Apple Blossom School; providing solar and energy improvements; furnishing and equipping classrooms and other facilities; improving art and music facilities; improving school grounds including repaving or constructing walkways, playgrounds, and drop off areas; constructing a library/technology center for joint school and community use at Twin Hills Middle School; and acquiring computers and education technology equipment. As required by state law, the measure prohibits using bond proceeds for school operating expenses or teacher and administrator salaries. The District's Board will establish the priority and order in which the projects will be completed.
If the measure is adopted, the District's Board will conduct annual, independent financial and performance audits to verify that expenditures are proper and projects are being completed. In addition, an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will be established within sixty days of the report of election results to the Board. The proceeds of the bonds will be maintained in a separate account in the County Treasury, and the Superintendent of the District is required to report to the Board annually on the status of projects undertaken and the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year.
Within limits set by law, the District has the discretion to decide when to sell all or any portion of the bonds. The bonds may be issued and sold in series, at different times, as projects are undertaken. The bonds of any series must mature within 40 years of the date they are issued. The funds to repay the bonds would be raised by an increase in property taxes based upon the value of land and improvements in the District. The interest rate on the bonds would depend on the market rate at the time the bonds are sold. The rate cannot exceed the rate set by state law, currently 12 percent. The Tax Rate Statement prepared by the Superintendent of the District, which estimates the property tax levies required to pay off the bonds, follows this analysis.
STEVEN WOODSIDE County Counsel
By: s/ Kathleen Larocque Deputy County Counsel
|Arguments For Measure M||Arguments Against Measure M|
|In Twin Hills Union School District, schools are the center of our community. We all
know that the schools provide our children with a quality education. The District
successfully partners with dedicated teachers and involved parents to provide
each student with the education they need and deserve.
However, due to the State's lack of funding, we now need to re-invest in our schools so they continue to provide a quality education. Measure "M" will improve our schools and save money better spent in the classroom without increasing taxes.
Measure "M" will modernize and repair facilities to make our classrooms comparable to neighboring schools and improve our libraries. It will eliminate existing facility leases that would free up more funding to retain and attract qualified teachers and programs. And it will provide solar and energy improvements to reduce annual operating costs and put more money in the classroom + where it belongs.
As taxpayers, we know it is crucial to have high quality local public schools with adequate facilities. Measure "M" makes financial sense. It will provide the local match for $1 million in State aid, reduce the impact of increasing energy costs, and save money to retain and attract qualified teachers and programs, without increasing current tax rates.
By law, Measure "M" requires taxpayer safeguards, including independent performance and financial audits and an independent citizens' oversight committee of senior citizens, taxpayer advocates, local business owners and parents to ensure funds are only used for voter-approved projects. Join senior citizens, business owners, parents and teachers and support Twin Hills schools! On Tuesday, November 2nd, vote Yes on Measure "M"!
s/ Maben Rainwater
Board President THUSD
If bond proceeds fund energy efficiency installations that help reduce energy bills, and those savings are not used to repay the bonds, those savings will be used to create more money available for the school's general funds. Since 80% of general fund budgets typically pay for salaries, the bond proceeds will be used to support higher salaries.
One of the stated uses of bond proceeds is technology upgrades and equipment. With the rapid pace of technological development most technology equipment has a short useful life before its out dated. Even being generous and assuming a five year life, taxpayers will be paying for these improvements long after they have been retired to the landfill.
Issuance of bonds usually is sign of failure of the district to provide a financial plan to maintain and replace aging buildings. Prudent school officials will have set aside funds in a reserve so that they will have the money to upgrade building systems and replace things like roofs. Taxpayers should not reward those officials who have allocated their entire budget to higher salaries, failing to set aside reserves for predictable maintenance/replacement needs.
This bond represents a tax increase. The District's statement that the measure does not increase taxes is simply false.
SONOMA COUNTY TAXPAYERS' ASSOCIATION
|We suggest taxpayers start by asking why the Twin Hills School District needs to
borrow money and raise taxes to perform predictable maintenance and replacement
of major building components. When a school district proposes a bond it's
usually a sign of failure to plan adequately and to prudently manage the finances of
The fact that a roof and other major building components do not last forever should surprise no one. Providing for a sound roof, functioning heating system and other elements of the physical plant should be every bit as much a part of the annual budgeting as staff salaries and utility bills. Because roofs are not replaced every year, a portion of the replacement cost should be placed in a dedicated replacement reserve fund each year so that funds will be available when the need does arise. Without an adequately funded reserve only three things can happen, and they are all bad; the District must defer maintenance, take funds from educational programs for building maintenance or raise taxes (issue bonds).
The Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association has been and continues to be a strong supporter of public education. However, taxpayers have a right to expect the officials who manage our public schools to be prudent managers of the taxpayer resources accorded them. A District that has not made adequate plans nor maintained a replacement reserve fund, and has to resort to raising taxes has not met this basic requirement for prudent management.
This bond proposal is a red flag suggesting the management practices at the Twin Hills School District need to be modified to regain taxpayers' confidence, before they ask for more of our money. We recommend a No vote on Measure M.
SONOMA COUNTY TAXPAYERS' ASSOCIATION
Energy costs are increasing as State funding is decreasing. Measure "M" will save money and put it back in the classroom by making solar and other renewable energy improvements.
In the last three years, the State has cut $1 million from Twin Hills schools. Teacher salaries are among the lowest in the County and many critical educational programs are at risk of being reduced or removed. Measure "M" will provide additional funding to attract and retain quality teachers And maintain educational programs by eliminating existing facility leases.
We need a local source of funding to modernize Twin Hills schools and provide the computers and technology that are increasingly important for our children's education. Measure "M" will repair and modernize our schools, including improving student access to computers and classroom technology, to improve future academic and employment success.
Good schools attract families, add to our local economy and are the center of our community. We now need to re-invest in our schools so they continue to provide a quality education Without increasing taxes.
Vote Yes on Measure "M"!
s/ Maben Rainwater
Board President THUSD