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Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino Counties, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure H
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

See Also: 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?

Summary Prepared by President, Sonoma County Junior College District:

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.

  • Upgrade and expand facilities (some dating back to the 1950's) for career training in well-paying careers and transfer to universities.
  • Provide career technical education in fields such as vocational engineering, welding, auto mechanics and building trades.
  • Modernize and expand job training centers for nursing and other health care fields.
  • Keep instructional technology updated over time.
  • Expand course offerings, classrooms and instructional facilities in core academic classes, by building a new Santa Rosa Lab and Classroom Complex.
  • Expand facilities for veterans to provide career training and support services to returning veterans seeking training or retraining to reenter the workforce.
  • Upgrade outdated science, math and computer labs and expand College facilities providing instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
  • Upgrade outdated job-training classrooms, labs and equipment to provide all students with opportunities to learn job skills, by modernizing the 34 year-old Lounibos building.
  • Upgrade classroom technology to provide instruction that gives students 21st Century skills.
  • Upgrade and replace technology systems used for job training and retraining programs.
  • Improve laboratories to prepare students to work in the fast-growing local job market of information technology and engineering.
  • Update 50-year old Bailey Hall and Button Building.
  • Expand math and science complex to train students in fields such as engineering, biology, chemistry and other sciences, by constructing a new Science-Mathematics Building.
  • Expand Public Safety Training Center in Windsor to support police, emergency medical care and fire science programs.
  • Expand classroom capacity at Petaluma campus, particularly for science, engineering and health science instruction.

Repair and Construction Projects to Provide Greater Access to an Affordable Education

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.

  • Repair aging roofs, and upgrade disabled accessibility, electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Improve heating, ventilation, insulation, doors, lighting, and windows to increase energy efficiency and save money; install alternative energy systems.
  • Upgrade outdated electrical systems and wiring for computer technology and Internet access.
  • Renovate, repair or replace outdated laboratories, classrooms, training centers and support facilities.
  • Ensure facilities meet earthquake and fire safety codes.
  • Expand and modernize the automotive technology center with newer equipment to teach students how to repair modern cars and trucks, including computerized parts.

  • ** FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY This bond measure has strict accountability requirements including (a) an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee with representation from throughout our region; (b) annual financial audits to make sure money is being spent as promised; (c) no money from this measure will go towards salaries or pensions, and (d) all money will stay local and cannot be taken by Sacramento politicians.



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.

  • ** 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/project management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency. In addition to the listed projects stated above, authorized projects also include 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 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 college activities caused by construction projects. In addition to the projects listed above, repair, renovation and construction projects may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: renovation of student and staff restrooms; replace aging electrical and plumbing systems; repair and replacement of heating and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies, including photovoltaic/solar installations; repair and replacement of worn-out and leaky roofs, windows, walls doors and drinking fountains; removal of outdated buildings and construction of new classrooms and support buildings; installation of wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrade facilities to meet current earthquake safety standards; repair and replacement of fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; install phone tower system in case of emergencies; improve roadway crossings and signage; upgrading, resurfacing, replacing or relocating of hard courts, fields, turf and irrigation systems; upgrade classrooms; build or upgrade facilities for math, physical sciences, and horticulture; upgrade/construct parking lots/garages; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; replace water and sewer lines and other plumbing systems; construct, upgrade or expand a health sciences and public safety training center, student union, veterans' support facility, hospitality and agri-science center, allied career technical center, industrial technology building, physical sciences building, foreign language, humanities buildings, physical education and aquatic facilities, administrative offices, 54 year-old maintenance yard/warehouse/building, outdoor education labs, instructional buildings, science and technology building, athletic fields, parking lots, turf; improve water conservation and energy efficiency; at the Petaluma campus, expand the science complex and renovate and expand the student services center; at the Shone Farm, improve classrooms, labs and student housing; expand the Southwest Santa Rosa Center; replace outdated security systems; replace existing window systems with energy-efficient systems to reduce costs; improve insulation, weatherproofing and roofs to reduce costs; improve access for the disabled; install and repair fire safety equipment, including alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency lighting, and fire safety doors; replace broken concrete walks, deteriorated asphalt; replace/upgrade existing signage, bells and clocks; demolition of unsafe facilities; install new security systems, such as security (surveillance) cameras, outdoor lighting, fencing, gates and classroom door locks; improve drainage systems; upgrade roadway and pedestrian paths for improved safety and access for emergency vehicles, site parking, utilities and grounds. The project list also includes the refinancing of outstanding lease obligations. Modernization projects are expected at numerous facilities, including but not limited to Tauzer Gym (79 years old), Haehl pavilion (33 years old), Emeritus Hall (36 years old), Burbank Auditorium (74 years old), Kathleen Doyle/Jacob Halls (20 years old), Analy Hall (74 years old), Bussman Hall (74 years old), Forsyth Hall (34 years old), Garcia Hall (78 years old), Pioneer Hall (83 years old), Baker Hall (49 years old), Maggini Hall (24 years old), Call Center, and facilities housing District-wide support services. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, the funding of a technology endowment, LCD projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, information systems, printers, digital white boards, upgrade voice-over-IP, communication systems, new computer systems, call manager and network security/firewall, Internet connectivity, wireless systems, technology infrastructure, and other miscellaneous equipment.

The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the final costs of each project. Depending on costs, the District may not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. Some projects, such as physical education facilities, may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit 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 and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts 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 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, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property. 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 bond projects. Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the specific purposes identified herein. 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.

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.
2. 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 last sale of bonds (Fiscal Year 2021-22) based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows: $.02500 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $25.00 per $100,000.
3. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments on the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows: $.02500 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $25.00 per $100,000 in every year.

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

Impartial Analysis from County Counsels, Sonoma, Marin & Mendocino Counties
The California Constitution allows school districts to borrow money by issuing bonds to pay for construction, repair, replacement, and acquisition of school facilities if 55 percent of the voters who vote on the measure approve the sale of the bonds. The Sonoma County Junior College District Board of Trustees has called for an election in Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino Counties and placed on the ballot the question of whether to issue bonds in the amount of $410 million for construction, repairs, and improvements of District classrooms and school facilities.

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

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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

Rebuttal to Arguments For
We acknowledge SRJC is a vital community resource and that it has financial challenges. However, taxpayers have a right to expect college administrators to manage their resources so they will not need to raise taxes through bond sales every time a roof or heating system needs replacing. The JC has not performed a reserve study and does not have a fund dedicated for replacement of major building components. As a result of our discussions with SRJC, the administration committed to perform a reserve study; however, they have not accepted the idea of funding basic replacements except through tax increases. The JC operated for over 60 years without raising taxes through bond sales to finance facility upgrades. After a $251 million bond measure a scant twelve years ago, SRJC officials are back asking for $410 million more. With an unpaid balance of $175 million on the 2002 bonds, now is not the time for more debt. In 2002 voters were not told that these bonds were just the first of multiple installments. To the contrary, voters were told in the official ballot argument that the bonds would "meet the needs of the college for the 21st Century". We regret that Measure H also does not adequately provide for replacement reserves. Voters rightly expect college officials to be accountable for spending decisions and make full and transparent disclosure about their financing needs. We encourage SRJC to come back next election cycle with a long term plan for maintaining their facilities.

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

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Sonoma County voters passed Measure A, the only previous bond in SRJC's 96-year history, with almost 70% support. The independent citizens' oversight committee and annual, public audits show Measure A funds were well-used to repair aging SRJC classrooms and buildings and expand educational access. Completed projects included Doyle Library; Plover Hall; Petaluma Campus expansion; Bertolini Student Center; Burdo Culinary Center; technology upgrades and network infrastructure. A recent refinancing saved taxpayers millions and reduced tax rates by more than15%. Measure A was a terrific success + even winning an award from the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association. Today, as our beloved and well-used local college nears 100 years old, Measure H is essential: it's time to tackle remaining repairs and upgrades to the deteriorating classrooms and buildings that have served our community for many decades, such as SRJC's math and science classrooms and labs, which date from the 1950's. SRJC also needs critical upgrades to vocational and instructional technology. The world + and Sonoma County + have changed tremendously since 2002, when Measure A passed. Measure H is needed to prepare students for four-year colleges and rewarding careers in fields like public safety, nursing and healthcare, manufacturing, engineering, science, information technology, mechanics, agriculture, and many others. Classrooms, labs and technology must be upgraded to provide modern career skills and training. That's why people from all walks of life, including leaders in business, agriculture, healthcare and K-12 education are rallying behind Measure H. Vote Yes on H to upgrade and improve SRJC!

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

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