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Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure N
Bond Measure
Pittsburg Unified School District

Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

Pass: 5483 / 68.48% Yes votes ...... 2524 / 31.52% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 28 11:39am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (28/28)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To provide safe, modern neighborhood schools with updated computer technology,upgrade energy systems, including solar, reduce overcrowding, improve student learning by acquiring, upgrading, constructing, equipping classrooms, science/computer labs, and school facilities, replace aging roofs, plumbing, heating, ventilation/electrical systems, improve fire alarms, school security and earthquake safety, shall Pittsburg Unified School District issue $85,000,000 of bonds, within legal rates and state approved bonding capacity limits with independent oversight, no money for administrators' salaries, all funds staying local?

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
The Board of Trustees of the Pittsburg Unified School District has adopted a resolution proposing to issue and sell general obligation bonds. This ballot measure asks voters to decide whether the District should be authorized to issue and sell bonds in an amount up to $85,000,000.

The measure provides that proceeds from the sale of bonds will generally be used to: finance improvements to existing school sites, facilities, and classrooms; finance construction of new classrooms, school-site improvements, and educational support facilities; purchase \computers, classroom furnishings, and equipment; and for other \specified purposes. The specific projects are set forth in the Bond \Project List attached to the Board's resolution. The proceeds from the \sale of bonds may be used only for those purposes. Approval of the measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects listed on the Bond Project List will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the measure. The measure states that the allocation of proceeds from the sale of bonds may be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds, if any. The measure states that in the absence of State matching funds, the District may be unable to complete some of the projects on the Bond Project List.

Approval of this measure authorizes the District to issue and sell the bonds under authority of the California Education and Government Codes. Bonds could have a maturity of up to 25 years if issued under the Education Code, or up to 40 years if issued under the Government Code. Under State law, the bonds could have an interest rate of up to 12% per year.

Approval of this measure authorizes the District to levy a tax on each parcel of taxable real property within the District to generate revenue to repay the bonded indebtedness until all bonds are repaid. The District's Tax Rate Statement estimates that the highest tax rate that would need to be levied to repay bonds issued under this measure would be $52.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation beginning in fiscal year 2015-2016.

State law requires the District to conduct an annual performance audit, and, as long as any funds remain unspent, an annual independent financial audit, to ensure that funds are used only for the purposes described in the measure. The measure also would require the District to establish an independent citizens' oversight committee that would ensure funds are used only for the purposes described in the measure.

A "yes" vote on this measure authorizes the issuance of the bonds and the levy of taxes as estimated in the District's Tax Rate Statement to repay the bonded indebtedness. Fifty-five percent (55%) of those voting on the ballot measure must approve the measure for it to pass. A "no" vote on this measure disapproves the issuance of bonds and the levy of the taxes for the bonded indebtedness.

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Arguments For Measure N Arguments Against Measure N
The Pittsburg Unified School District is committed to providing all students a quality education in a safe learning environment.

In order to provide our students with the classrooms, school facilities and educational tools comparable to other Contra Costa County school districts, we must make vital repairs to our schools, upgrade technology, and construct new classrooms and school facilities.

Measure N will fund:

. Rebuild Hillview Junior High School to provide the up-to-date classrooms, library, science and computer labs needed to better prepare our students for high school. . Build new permanent classrooms to replace the deteriorating portable classrooms at Los Medanos Elementary School. . Construct a multi-use room and modernize a library/media center and community resource room at Willow Cove Elementary School. . Build additional classrooms and science labs to relieve overcrowding at Pittsburg High School.

As long time residents of the Pittsburg community, we are proud of our schools. We take great pride in the education provided at Pittsburg High School and are involved in the activities of the district's schools. We support the teachers, principals and staffs at our schools as they meet new challenges in the classroom every day. Passage of Measure N will provide our teachers and students with the classroom space they need and deserve.

Measure N provides for strict accountability. The School Board adopted a very specific project list when calling this election. In addition, an Independent Citizens Oversight Committee will monitor and review all bond expenditures. This committee of local residents will make sure that all bond funds are spent as planned for the benefit of local students.

Quality schools protect and enhance everyone's property values. Good schools make great communities. Please join us in supporting our local teachers and students.

Vote Yes on Measure N.

De'shawn Woolridge, PUSD Citizens Bond Oversight Committee Vice Chair Christene Coan, Elementary Teacher Adrienne Mims, Former Student Board Member Jess Leber, Retired Educator Marvin Pounds, Parent-Pittsburg HS

Rebuttal to Arguments For
They want yet MORE money! For the FIFTH time in 20 years. The Pittsburg Unified School District has been allowed to borrow a total of $255 million for construction since 1995. In fact, it can still borrow another $20 million. It gets this money by selling bonds to institutional investors on Wall Street and other places. Then you pay it back to them, with interest. You and other Pittsburg residents still owe $192 million to these investors. Total debt service on these bonds was reported in April 2014 to be $478 million through 2052.

Now the district wants to borrow $85 million more from them. When is it enough? Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Alex Aliferis, Executive Director

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO.

Most California school districts do not force their construction contractors to sign union agreements. But PUSD requires contractors to sign a "Project Stabilization Agreement" (PSA) with unions to work on most school projects funded by bonds. This agreement is often referred to as a "Project Labor Agreement" (PLA).

The school district's union agreement is negotiated and signed by union officials. It requires construction contractors to use a union "job referral system" or register their workers with unions. All workers must pay union dues and application fees. Workers must have their benefits paid into union-affiliated trust funds.

How has this union agreement affected PUSD school construction? No one really knows, because PUSD has never commissioned an independent study about how the PSA affects construction costs.

One California School Study, the Cost of Project Labor Agreements on School Construction, showed an increased cost of 13-15% on school projects built with Project Labor Agreements. As a result, only four schools can be built for the price of five.

This union agreement discourages many responsible contractors from bidding on district construction projects.

Residents expect and deserve to get the best value for every tax dollar.

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO on Measure N.

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Alex Aliferis, Executive Director

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
A Yes vote on Measure N will allow the Pittsburg Unified School District to continue to provide our students with the modern classrooms, libraries, science labs and computer labs they need to learn and succeed.

In the past ten years, community support has helped transform Pittsburg's schools. Pittsburg High School has been rebuild and re-energized. Families who once left the district have returned. High school enrollment has increased by 19% in the past four years. We have two new elementary schools, two new junior high schools, and two new high schools.

A Citizens' Oversight Committee, formed after the 2004 election has reported annually to the community about the progress and success of the bond program. Annual audits have shown the District to be fiscally responsible.

Measure N will provide funds needed to rebuild Hillview Junior High and Los Medanos Elementary Schools. These schools are old and deteriorating and are not adequate for the needs of students today. Measure N will allow the district to continue to provide safe neighborhood schools for all students in Pittsburg.

Don't listen to the lone opponent who does not even live in Pittsburg

The Project Labor Agreement has been in place for the construction of all schools. Prior to construction, the District conducts a 3rd party review to protect against inflated costs. The projects have provided hundreds of jobs for local workers and have stimulated the local economy during some of the worst economic times this state has known.

Please join us and Vote Yes on Measure N.

Heidi Leber, Parent Orin T. Allen, Over Site Committee Salvatore N. Evola, Mayor of Pittsburg

Tax Rate Statement from Janet Schulze, Superintendent
An election will be held in the Pittsburg Unified School District (the "District") on November 4, 2014, to authorize the sale of up to $85,000,000 in bonds of the District for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List established by the District, as described in the proposition. If the bonds are authorized and a State bonding capacity waiver is received, the District expects to sell the bonds in one or more series. 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.

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 and 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 $52 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2015-16.

2. 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 last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $52 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2021-22.

3. The best estimate of the average tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the life of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $52 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Voters should note that estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on Contra Costa 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 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 District as determined by the Contra Costa County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Full Text of Measure N
BOND AUTHORIZATION

By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the District shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $85,000,000 in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List attached hereto as Exhibit A, subject to all of the accountability safeguards specified below. Bonds will be issued in one or more series.

ACCOUNTABILITY SAFEGUARDS

The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers of the District may be assured that their money will be spent wisely to address specific facilities needs of the District, all in compliance with the requirements of Article XIII A, section 1(b)(3) of the State Constitution, and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at section 15264 et seq. of the California Education Code).

Evaluation of Needs. The Board of Trustees has updated its facilities plan in order to evaluate and address all of the facilities needs of the District, and to determine which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The Board of Trustees hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List contained in Exhibit A.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Trustees shall establish an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (section 15278 et seq. of the California Education Code), to ensure bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A. The committee shall be established within 60 days of the date when the results of the election appear in the minutes of the Board of Trustees.

Annual Performance Audits. The Board of Trustees shall cause to conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A.

Annual Financial Audits. The Board of Trustees shall cause to conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A.

Special Bond Proceeds Account; Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this proposition and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board of Trustees shall take actions necessary to establish an account in which proceeds of the sale of bonds will be deposited. As long as any proceeds of the bonds remain unexpended, the Superintendent shall cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than January 1 of each year, commencing January 1, 2011, stating (1) the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year, and (2) the status of any project funded or to be funded from bond proceeds. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period as the Superintendent shall determine, and may be incorporated into the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.

BOND PROJECT LIST

The Bond Project List attach to this resolution as Exhibit A shall be considered a part of the ballot proposition, and shall be reproduced in any official document required to contain the full statement of the bond proposition.

The Bond Project List, which is an integral part of this proposition, lists the specific projects the District proposes to finance with proceeds of the Bonds. Listed repairs, rehabilitation projects and upgrades will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of costs of the election and bond issuance, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, construction management, and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded, and projects are completed. In addition, certain construction funds expected from non-bond sources, including State grant funds for eligible projects, have not yet been secured. Therefore the Board of Trustees cannot guarantee that the bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all listed projects.

FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS

No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only 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, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.

Single Purpose. All of the purposes enumerated in this proposition shall be united and voted upon as one single proposition, pursuant to section 15100 of the California Education Code, and all the enumerated purposes shall constitute the specific single purpose of the bonds, and proceeds of the bonds shall be spent only for such purpose, pursuant to section 53410 of the California Government Code.

Other Terms of the Bonds. When sold, the bonds shall bear interest at an annual rate not exceeding the statutory maximum, and that interest will be made payable at the time or times permitted by law. The bonds may be issued and sold in several series, and no bond shall be made to mature more than 25 years (if issued pursuant to the provisions of the California Education Code) or 40 years (if issued pursuant to the provisions of the California Government Code) from the date borne by that bond.

EXHIBIT A

PITTSBURG UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

BOND PROJECT LIST

The Board of Trustees of the Pittsburg Unified School District evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, enrollment trends, the desire to preserve neighborhood schools, class size, and computer and information technology, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. Teachers, staff, community members and the Board have prioritized the key health and safety needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board concluded that if these needs are not addressed now, the problems will only become more pressing. Therefore, in approving this Project List, the Board of Trustees determines that: (i) all of its schools must be healthy and safe from earthquake risks, hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead paint, mold and fire dangers; and (ii) in repairing aging schools, priority shall be given to basic repairs, such as leaky roofs, plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation and utility systems; and (iii) because schools should be safe neighborhood learning environments protect property values, all schools must be at least comparable to schools in other school districts in Contra Costa County; and (iv) the District must replace aging portable classrooms with new permanent classrooms, so that students can improve their academic performance; and (v) the District must install and upgrade fire detection systems, security and emergency response systems at every school so that all students are safe, as well as make repairs in compliance with energy saving and cost reduction standards; and (vi) all bond money shall be used exclusively in our local community. Bond proceeds may be expended at one or more of the following sites or for the acquisition and improvement of new sites: Foothill Elementary Heights Elementary Highlands Elementary Los Medanos Elementary Marina Vista Elementary Parkside Elementary Stoneman Elementary Willow Cove Elementary Hillview Junior High Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High Rancho Medanos Junior High Pittsburg Senior High Black Diamond High School Adult Education Center District Office Maintenance Yard Old Riverside Bond proceeds may be expended for one or more of the following projects: Construction/Modernization of Hillview JHS Replace portable and kindergarten classrooms at Los Medanos ES Construct new Multipurpose Room at Willow Cove ES Construction/Modernization of additional classrooms at Pittsburg HS The Project List includes the following types of projects: School Health and Safety, Earthquake Safety and Energy Efficiency School Projects Goal and Purpose: To ensure that our local schools are safe for students and teachers, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of health and safety projects, such as:

  • Student Safety
  • Strengthen and repair schools and classrooms vulnerable to serious damage in a major earthquake, as required by State law.
  • Remove asbestos, lead paint, mold and hazardous materials.
  • Fire alarm systems upgraded to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment, add sprinklers and fire safety doors.
  • Upgrade schools to meet handicap accessibility requirements.
  • Inspect for/repair gas pipe leaks.
  • Install new security systems, such as security (surveillance) cameras, outdoor lighting, fencing, gates and classroom door locks.
  • Install/replace/upgrade security fencing to reduce break-ins and vandalism.
  • Replace/upgrade existing security systems.
  • Upgrade emergency communication systems.
  • Replace failing, cracked and buckled asphalt in playground area, classroom ramps and sidewalks
  • Upgrade hard court surfaces to meet current safety standards.
  • Relocate or improve student drop-off areas and parking areas for safety.
  • Upgrade school site parking, utilities and grounds.
  • Replace/upgrade existing signage, bells and clocks. Energy Efficiency Returns Savings to the Classroom
  • Install energy efficient systems, including solar power systems, to reduce energy/utility costs and return savings to educational programs.
  • Replace existing window systems with energy efficient systems to reduce costs.
  • Replace outdated heating and ventilation systems.
  • Improve insulation, weather proofing and roofs to reduce costs.

School Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects Goal and Purpose: To maintain our neighborhood schools at the same level as other schools in Contra Costa County school districts, schools will benefit from the renovation, repair and upgrade of outdated school buildings, classrooms, computer learning centers and school libraries and equipment, allowing all children to have the resources they need to learn and stay up-to-date with the latest advances in education:
  • Additional electrical service capacity to relieve overloaded electrical systems and accommodate technology.
  • Replace existing water, sewer and plumbing systems to meet current codes, including the elimination of lead- containing fixtures.
  • Upgrade aging school restrooms.
  • Replace older windows, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems with building code compliant, energy efficient systems which will save money on operating costs.
  • Repair or replace deteriorating roofs and ceilings, as needed.
  • Provide improved, upgraded technology.
  • Upgrade and equip classrooms, science labs, multipurpose rooms, physical education facilities, kitchens, auditoriums, libraries, arts and music rooms, and educational support spaces.
  • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades including site access, ramps, parking, staff and student restrooms and relocation of some existing electrical devices.
  • Replace old, portable classrooms and construct new classrooms and facilities.
  • Repair aging schools.

District-Wide Wiring and Instructional Technology for Effective Learning Environment Projects Goal and Purpose: To improve both current instruction methods by applying modern technology infrastructure:
  • Provide and maintain upgraded technology, data and communication equipment.
  • Upgrade and expand wireless systems, telecommunications, Internet and network connections.
  • Upgrade and replace computers, hardware and software systems.
  • Upgrade and replace classroom furniture, equipment and instructional aids.

New Construction/Education Enhancement Projects at School Sites

Goal and Purpose: To enhance educational programs and reduce overcrowding at some neighborhood schools, some schools would benefit from the construction and expansion of additional earthquake and accessibility code compliant facilities, such as:

  • New classrooms/classroom buildings, including those which will reduce dependency on aging portable classrooms.
  • Multi-Purpose/assembly rooms, educational support facilities, and classrooms.
  • ADA accessibility upgrades as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA).
  • Additional electrical service capacity.
  • Additional staff, visitor and student parking/drop-off areas.

The listed projects 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 projects stated above, the Project List also includes the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including the reduction or retirement of outstanding lease obligations and interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the Project List, payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility studies, assessment reviews, facility master plan preparation and updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring), design and construction documentation, 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. 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 enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary site preparation/restoration and 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 be expended only 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 N does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Pittsburg Unified School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure N will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure N. The school 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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