This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/mnd/ for current information.
Affordable Local Education, Job Training
Sonoma County Junior College District
Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required
Pass: 843 / 64.06% Yes votes ...... 473 / 35.94% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 4 10:10pm, 0.0% of Precincts Reporting (0/11)|
|Information shown below: Summary | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
To upgrade facilities, prepare students for careers/university transfer, attract quality faculty, keep SRJC current, improve student access, upgrade classrooms/labs/technology for 21st Century science/math skills, modernize career education facilities for vocational engineering, nursing, public safety, agriculture, jobs, meet earthquake/fire codes, acquire, construct/repair classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, shall Sonoma County Junior College District issue $410,000,000 in bonds at legal rates with citizens' oversight, auunal audits?
The Board of Trustees of the Sonoma County Junior College District, to be responsive to the needs of its community, evaluated Santa Rosa Junior College's urgent and critical facility needs, and its capacity to provide local area students and veterans with support facilities, an affordable education and prepare them for success in college and careers. Job training, career technical education, safety, enrollment, class size and class offerings, and information and computer technology infrastructure were each considered, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. In identifying the scope of projects, the Board has developed a Master Strategic Capital Projects Plan (June 2014), incorporated herein by reference, which prioritized facilities available to support an affordable education for local area students, help veterans prepare to reenter the workforce, offer career technical education in skilled trades, and workforce job training, so that Santa Rosa Junior College remains an effective place for learning and training. In the course of developing the Project List, public input was received from many constituents. It was concluded that if these facility needs were not addressed now, the Santa Rosa Junior College would be unable to remain competitive in preparing students for jobs in high demand industries and university transfer. The Board concluded that the longer they waited to repair and upgrade the several campuses of Santa Rosa Junior College, the more expensive it would be. In upgrading facilities, the Board of Trustees determines that Santa Rosa Junior College MUST: (i) Provide better access to an AFFORDABLE, LOW-COST, HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION closer to home for local students which is needed to successfully transfer to four-year universities; and (ii) TRAIN LOCAL STUDENTS for LOCAL JOBS AND CAREERS in healthcare, public safety, agriculture and building trades, as high school graduates should not have to leave their community to get skilled training they need for these local industries; and (iii) Provide training and workforce preparation education for students of all ages, including in public safety, nursing and health care, auto mechanics, building trades, science, technology, agriculture and others; and (iv) Provide classrooms and laboratories for a growing enrollment so that Santa Rosa Junior College can better serve more students today and in the future; and (v) Adhere to stringent FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY safeguards including: (a) REQUIRE ANNUAL FINANCIAL AUDITS, (b) Require citizens' oversight of all funds, (c) No funds will be used for administrators' salaries and pensions, (d) ALL FUNDS WILL BE SUBJECT TO LOCAL CONTROL AND WILL REMAIN LOCAL WITH SANTA ROSA JUNIOR COLLEGE.
The following types of projects are authorized to be undertaken at Santa Rosa Junior College:
Academic Facility and Technology Upgrade Projects to Help Students, Active Military and Veterans Transfer to Four-Year Universities or be Trained for Today's Jobs
Goal and Purpose: Ensuring students and veterans are either prepared for transfer to University of California or the State college systems or trained for in-demand, good paying jobs are major objectives of Santa Rosa Junior College.
Veterans are an increasing percentage of the Santa Rosa Junior College student body. This measure will upgrade and expand veteran support facilities and job training to ensure that the growing number of returning service members receive the support they need as they re-enter the civilian workforce or seek to transfer to a four-year college to earn their degrees.
Santa Rosa Junior College provides essential job training and workforce preparation for students of all ages + and the demand for career education is growing steadily. This measure will support workforce training and education in public safety, nursing and health care, auto mechanics, building trades, science, technology, agriculture, and many others. High school graduates should not have to leave their community to get the skilled training they need for these local industries.
Goal and Purpose: Since the cost of attending a public university has risen to as much as six (6) times that of attending Santa Rosa Junior College, students rely on Santa Rosa Junior College to save as much as $35,000 in tuition on their way to a four-year degree. Therefore, keeping the College's facilities upgraded will help ensure that our local community college can provide our high school graduates and other local residents with access to high-quality, affordable college options closer to home.
This measure will update outdated 50- to 60-year-old classrooms, laboratories and facilities that need important health and safety upgrades. This includes repairing leaky roofs and deteriorating electrical, plumbing, heating, and mechanical systems, helping to avoid even more expensive repairs down the road.
2. FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY. 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.
3. BOND ISSUANCE LIMITS. (a) No bonds shall be issued until the Board has identified projects to be funded. (b) Bonds must be phased in over time so that project success can be determined before more bonds are issued. (c) Bonds must have a term not longer than the useful life of the project or equipment being financed. (d) The availability of State and Federal matching funds shall be considered in selecting projects.
TAX RATE STATEMENT Sonoma County Junior College District Bond Measure H
To: The voters voting in the November 4, 2014 election on the question of the issuance of $410,000,000 General Obligation Bonds of the Sonoma County Junior College District.
You are hereby notified in accordance with Section 9401 of the Elections Code of the State of California of the following:
1. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments during the first fiscal year after the first sale of bonds (Fiscal Year 2015-2016), based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is the following: $.02500 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $25.00 per $100,000.
The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only. 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 its 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. Accordingly, the actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated as above stated.
s/ Dr. Frank Chang, President Superintendent/President Sonoma County Junior College District
Money raised by bond sales can be used for the purposes and projects stated in the Project List set forth in the Measure. Projects include but are not limited to constructing, upgrading, and expanding veterans' support, job training, and other facilities; modernization projects at numerous facilities; repairs of roofs and electrical, plumbing, heating, and mechanical systems; and refinancing or retirement of outstanding lease obligations. As required by state law, the measure prohibits using bond proceeds for teacher or administrator salaries or other operating expenses.
The inclusion of a project on the Project List does not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed. Some projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other public or non-profit agencies. The Project List does not imply any particular prioritization among improvements.
If the Measure is adopted, the District's Board will conduct annual, independent financial and performance audits to ensure that bond proceeds have been expended only on the projects on the Bond Project List. In addition, a Citizens' Oversight Committee will be established within sixty days of the entry of the election results on the Board's minutes. The proceeds of the bonds will be maintained in a separate account in the County Treasury, and the Board must receive an annual report on the status of projects undertaken and the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year.
If the Measure is approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in series over time. 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, but cannot exceed the rate set by state law. The Tax Rate Statement prepared by the District Superintendent, which follows this analysis, estimates the property tax levies required to pay off the bonds. The estimated tax levies are a projection, and could go up or down, depending on a number of factors including the timing and amount of bond sales, and changes in assessed value of property in the District.
s/Bruce D. Goldstein Sonoma County Counsel
s/Douglas L. Losak Acting Mendocino County Counsel
s/Steven M. Woodside Marin County Counsel
|Arguments For Measure H||Arguments Against Measure H|
|Vote Yes on H to upgrade Santa Rosa Junior College, address overcrowding, and prepare students to attend four-year universities and to succeed in 21st century careers.
SRJC is a vital community resource and must stay current. Half of our local high school graduates rely on SRJC for affordable higher education right here in Sonoma County. As the cost of attending a university in California has skyrocketed, more students are relying on community colleges for some or all of their education. This measure will help provide local high school graduates access to high-quality, affordable college options.
Local high school graduates need to take courses toward a four-year college degree closer to home. Stronger partnerships with California State University, University of California and other colleges will allow students to take university courses at community college locations.
SRJC classrooms and laboratories are overcrowded and out of date, which has limited students' access to the courses they need. This measure would enable SRJC to better serve more students into the future. If we don't pass Measure H today, these problems will get worse and more expensive to fix.
This measure will support training in public safety, nursing and healthcare, manufacturing and engineering, science, information and communication, technology, automotive and diesel mechanics, agriculture, and others. SRJC must upgrade outdated classrooms, laboratories, and facilities like science and math buildings first constructed in 1955.
Measure H has tough accountability requirements to protect taxpayers:
All of the funds from this measure will be spent to improve SRJC + not one penny can be taken by the state government, and Sacramento politicians will have no say in how these funds are used. Annual financial audit and independent citizen oversight will ensure funds are used as promised.
Join us in voting Yes on H to upgrade SRJC!
s/Dante B. Benedetti Chairman, Clover Stornetta Farms
s/Gaye LeBaron Alumnus/Columnist/Historian
s/Albert Maggini Retired Trustee
s/Willie Tamayo Co-Founder, La Tortilla Factory
s/Jonathan Coe President/CEO Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
s/Jack Atkin President, Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association
s/Dan Drummond Executive Director, Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association
s/Timothy J. Hannan Vice President, Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association
s/Roy D. Thylin Secretary, Treasurer, Sonoma County Taxpayers' Association
Measure H is a whopping $410 million bond measure. If passed, it will become the largest Sonoma County bond issuance ever. And it comes on the heels of Measure A, the SRJC's $251 million bond that in 2002 was then the largest Sonoma County bond ever issued. With a still unpaid balance of $175 million remaining from Measure A, Measure H is a lot of debt to pile on top of existing debt. But there's more to this story than the sheer volume of debt involved. The question yet to be answered is why is the college coming back for so much more money so soon? Voters were promised in 2002 that Measure A would build facilities like the new parking garage, library and culinary arts center. We were further promised that Measure A would replace and modernize existing structures on both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. In fact, the official argument in support of Measure A promised that Measure A would meet the needs of the college for the 21st Century. Why then, are we having this same discussion a mere twelve years later? It gets better. Voters in 2002 were further led to believe that Measure A would qualify for matching state funds. Voters were not told, however, that the availability of any matching funds was contingent upon California voters approving a $13 billion state-wide bond measure in a later election. Withholding information from voters is a breach of the public trust that cannot go unchallenged. Voters are entitled to know the whole story. We are entitled to an honest assessment from college officials, both as to how far our money will go and of any hidden requirements lurking in the background. If voters don't demand the truth, who will? Vote No on Measure H.
s/Daniel A. Drummond
s/ Roy D. Thylin
s/Timothy J. Hannan
s/Bryant R. Moynihan
s/Steve Bolman Superintendent Petaluma City Schools
s/John Balletto Vineyard Owner
s/Cynthia L. Murray CEO, North Bay Leadership Council
s/C. William Reinking Retired Exchange Bank Executive
s/Pamela S. Chanter Measure A + Chair, Citizen Bond Oversight Committee