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Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure L
Bonds
Berryessa Union School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 10622 / 69.33% Yes votes ...... 4698 / 30.67% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 28 11:41am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (45/45)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To improve schools and continue providing quality education for local students by upgrading school safety, including earthquake, fire and emergency systems, keeping schools clean and wellmaintained, updating classroom learning technology, maximizing energy efficiency to save money, and renovating, acquiring, constructing, and equipping classrooms, sites and facilities, shall Berryessa Union School District issue $77 million in bonds at legal rates with citizen oversight, annual audits, no funds for administrators' salaries and all funds staying in local schools?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $77,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote is a vote to not authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $77,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
Upon approval of 55% of the votes cast by voters in an election and subject to specified accountability measures, California law permits school districts to issue bonds, secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property within a district, for the purpose of 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.

The Board of Trustees (Board) of the Berryessa Union School District (District) proposes issuing bonds in the amount of $77,000,000. As identified in the measure, bond proceeds would be used for purposes including, but not limited to the following: (1) upgrading school safety, including earthquake, fire and emergency systems; (2) keeping schools clean and well-maintained, updating classroom learning technology, maximizing energy efficiency to save money; and (3) renovating, acquiring, constructing and equipping classrooms and facilities. A detailed list of projects and allowed expenditures is included within the full text of the measure. The District's resolution authorizing the sale and issuance of bonds does not include information about any other District debt obligations that may exist.

The California Constitution provides that proceeds of school district bond measures cannot be used for teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses, and requires independent annual performance and financial audits. State law requires the establishment of an independent citizens' oversight committee for ensuring that bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities on the bond project list included in Measure L.

The District's best estimate of the maximum tax rate to be levied to fund the proposed bonds during each fiscal year is $28.00 per $100,000 of assessed value. This includes the fiscal year after the initial sale of the bonds (2015-2016), and the first fiscal year after the final sale of the bonds (2019-2020).

Measure L was placed on the ballot by the Board.

A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $77,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

A "no" vote is a vote to not authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in the amount of up to $77,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

Orry P. Korb
County Counsel

By: /s/ Susan Swain
Lead Deputy County Counsel

 
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Arguments For Measure L Arguments Against Measure L
Vote Yes on Measure L to provide local elementary and middle school students with safe, modern schools and a 21st-century education.

Whether or not you have children in school, investing in our elementary and middle schools makes sense. By keeping neighborhood schools strong, we help maintain high property values in our community.

Berryessa Union School District provides local students with a strong academic foundation that prepares them for college and today's careers. However, our schools are between 39 and 59 years old and require essential repairs and upgrades to improve student safety and keep them well-maintained.

To ensure every student learns in a safe and modern learning environment, Measure L is needed now. Measure L will replace old and inefficient heating, cooling and plumbing, and upgrade fire and seismic safety systems to ensure that classrooms, science labs and school facilities are safe and updated.

Measure L will provide students with a 21st-century education and the skills needed to excel in today's economy by updating computers and other learning technology.

Measure L Will:

  • Upgrade school security, fire, earthquake and other emergency safety systems

  • Update classroom learning technology and provide teacher training for new technology

  • Upgrade classrooms to keep schools clean and well-maintained

  • Replace inefficient electrical, heating and cooling systems to maximize energy efficiency and save money for academic programs and retaining qualified teachers

Measure L Includes Strict Fiscal Accountability:

  • All funds will benefit our Berryessa schools and cannot be taken away by the state

  • No funds can be used for administrators' salaries, benefits or pensions

  • Citizen oversight and annual public audits will ensure funds are spent appropriately

  • Measure L will qualify our schools for millions in future state matching funds, which would otherwise not be available

Join parents, teachers, seniors and local business and community leaders--vote Yes on L!

/s/ Kansen Chu
San Jose City Councilmember

/s/ Linda V. Locke
Board Member, Berryessa Citizens Advisory Council

/s/Carl Guardino
President & CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

/s/ Jorge O. Licea
Committee Member, Berryessa Union School District Measure B Citizens' Oversight Committee

/s/ Latoya Brown
Chair, Measure K Oversight Committee

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Proponents say "Berryessa Union School District provides local students with a strong academic foundation...."

Oh Really?

34% of their students are NOT proficient in English

33% of their students are NOT proficient in Mathematics

25% of their students are NOT proficient in Science

35% of their students are NOT proficient in History

(Source: Education Data Partnership, www.Ed-Data.K12.ca.us)

Don't reward failure. Vote No on L.

The BUSD Board claims that "citizen oversight and annual audits will ensure funds are spent appropriately."

But the Board doesn't tell you that it has a formal policy to "disband the citizens' oversight committee when all the bond projects have been completed" even though the bond tax itself may last for another 20 or 30 years after the borrowed money is spent. This is a good reason to vote NO on Measure L. Paying off this huge new debt and collecting the bond tax for 20 or 30 years needs citizen oversight on the Board's management of this huge new debt.

Berryessa taxpayers still have a large left-over debt for the 1999 bond tax and pay annual taxes on that bond We need to end this shocking erosion of citizen oversight here and now by voting NO to send a message to the Board that as long as there is a bond tax there should be citizen oversight for all of Measure L, a new $77 million debt.

Please vote NO on Measure L.

For more information: http://www.SVTaxpayers.org/berryessa-bond

/s/Mark W.A. Hinkle
President: Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

/s/ Edward Leo Wimmers
Chair, Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County

/s/Dale Warner
District Resident

You should vote "NO" on Measure L because of poor management practices by the Berryessa Union Elementary School District board regarding the 1999 $48,000,000 bond.

Much of that amount is still owed even after 14 years. The fundamental problem was the board's refusal to fully implement the services of a citizens' oversight committee over the long-term indebtedness, thus reducing transparency and accountability. The board eventually divided the 1999 debt into five accounts and appears to have suspended payments on three of the accounts.

In the face of this debacle, the board adopted a policy (at the same meeting in June that placed Measure L on the ballot this November) mandating that the "board shall disband the citizens' oversight committee when all the bond projects have been completed..." This means that any citizen oversight will end within three or four years from now, while the bond indebtedness will continue for possibly another 25 years.

Voters and taxpayers have to ask themselves, do we really want to shut the citizens' oversight committee out of long-term debt management? Borrowing $77,000,000 at 2% interest means $1,540,000 in annual interest payments for up to 25 years.

The excessive overhang of debt from the 1999 bond is directly related to the absence of continuous citizen oversight on debt management. The fact is that superintendents and board members come and go, but only a continuously operating citizen oversight committee with revolving membership throughout the period of bonded indebtedness will blow the whistle on bad management.

Send the BUESD board a message that voters and taxpayers want a continuous citizens' oversight committee beginning with borrowing and ending only when long-term debt is paid in order to enhance transparency and accountability.

Make the board get it right. Vote "NO" on Measure L.

Visit our website: http://www.SVTaxpayers.org/berryessa-bond

/s/Mark W.A. Hinkle
President: Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

/s/ Edward Leo Wimmers
Chair, Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County

/s/Dale Warner
District Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The authors of the argument against Measure L are frequent opponents to measures that support our schools. Unlike these ideologues, we know that the quality of Berryessa schools is key to strong neighborhoods and high property values.

As community and business leaders, we know the facts and that is why we are voting Yes on L.

Measure L is the only source of funding to provide safer, better schools for Berryessa students. We can't count on Sacramento to provide the critical funding necessary to repair and upgrade our neighborhood elementary and middle schools.

Measure L must be used for specific classroom repairs and upgrades. The specific Measure L projects that appear in your ballot book will ensure our students are learning in safe, modern classrooms with the classroom learning technology needed for success in our 21stcentury economy.

Measure L includes strict fiscal safeguards, including citizen oversight and annual public audits. Every penny will benefit Berryessa schools and can't be taken by the state. No funds can be used for administrators' salaries, pensions or benefits. In fact, Yes on L is a smart fiscal decision. Measure L qualifies our schools to receive future state matching funds, which would otherwise go to other districts.

Citizen oversight committee members support Measure L. They agree that Berryessa Union School District is a strong fiscal steward of voter-approved funding. View the past oversight committee's reports at: http://www.berryessa.k12.ca.us/OUR-DISTRICT/Committees/Measure-B/index.html.

Let's send Berryessa students a message that we value their education and future success: Vote YES on L.

/s/ Thomas J. Carroll
Volunteer Firefighter

/s/ Liz Chew
Committee Member, Berryessa Union School District Measure B Citizens' Oversight Committee

/s/ Frank Cancilla
President, Berryessa Business Association

/s/Derek Fujikawa
C.P.A.

/s/Manny Barbara
VP, Advocacy & Thought Leadership Silcon Valley Education Foundation

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the Berryessa School District (the "District") on November 4, 2014, to authorize the sale of up to $77 million in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, 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 as required by Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California. Such information represents the best estimates and projections of the District and is based on assessed valuations currently available and projections of assessed valuations based on experience within the District and other factors.

1. The best estimate of the tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds is $0.02800 per $100 of assessed value (or $28.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2015-16.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds is $0.02800 per $100 of assessed value (or $28.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2019-20.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that will be required to be levied to fund principal and interest on bonds issued under this measure is $0.02800 per $100 of assessed value (or $28.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) in fiscal year 2015-16.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates will apply to the assessed valuations of taxable property in the District as shown on the official tax rolls of Santa Clara County, not to a property's market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for any property tax exemption, including the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the tax rates and fiscal years shown above are based on estimates and projections and are not binding on the District. The actual tax rates and the fiscal years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated depending on the timing of future bond sales, the amount of bonds sold in each series, the principal repayment structure, established interest rates, and the actual future assessed valuations of the District over the term of repayment for the bonds. The date of future bond sales and the amount sold in each series will be determined by the District based on the need for project funds and other factors (including annual tax rate impact). The actual interest rates for the bonds will depend on bond market conditions at the time of each sale and other factors. Actual future assessed valuations of the District will depend on the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office in the annual assessment and equalization process.

/s/Will Ector
Superintendent, Berryessa School District

Full Text of Measure L
The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the Berryessa Union School District.

"To improve schools and continue providing quality education for local students by upgrading school safety, including earthquake, fire and emergency systems, keeping schools clean and well-maintained, updating classroom learning technology, maximizing energy efficiency to save money, and renovating, acquiring, constructing, and equipping classrooms, sites and facilities, shall Berryessa Union School District issue $77 million in bonds at legal rates with citizen oversight, annual audits, no funds for administrators' salaries and all funds staying in local schools?"

PROJECT LIST

The Board of Trustees of the Berryessa Union School District evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility repair 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. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input and review in developing this Project List, and has prepared a Facility Needs Assessment which was presented to the Board and which is incorporated herein and on file in the Office of the Superintendent. 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 believes 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 bond money must stay exclusively in our local community, under local control and cannot be taken away by the State; and

(ii) in repairing schools, priority must be given to the basics, such as maintaining and repairing aging classrooms, science labs and school buildings, and replacing inefficient electrical, heating and cooling systems to maximize energy efficiency and save money; and

(iii) priority should also be given to school and student safety by removing potentially hazardous materials from old school structures and improving school earthquake, fire safety and security systems; and

(iv) schools must be clean, safe and well-maintained learning environments; and

(v) schools must have up-to-date classroom learning technology and provide teacher training for new technology; and

(vi) the District must establish an independent citizens' oversight committee and require annual independent audits to make sure all money is spent as authorized, and not for administrators' salaries, benefits or pensions.

The Project List includes the following types of projects at the following school sites:

Brooktree Elementary School
Cherrywood Elementary School
Laneview Elementary School
Majestic Way Elementary School
Morrill Middle School
Noble Elementary School
Northwood Elementary School
Piedmont Middle School
Ruskin Elementary School
Sierramont Middle School
Summerdale Elementary School
Toyon Elementary School
Vinci Park Elementary School

Essential School Repair and Upgrade Projects

Goals and Benefits: Since neighborhood schools are between 39 and 64 years old, schools need essential repairs to maintain a safe and modern learning environment, such as maintaining and repairing aging classrooms, science labs and other school buildings, improving fire, earthquake and other emergency safety systems, and providing up-to-date classroom technology:

  • Increase water efficiency by replacing or repairing failing water, sewer and plumbing systems.

  • Make schools safe by removing hazardous materials, such as asbestos and lead paint where applicable.

  • Maintain and repair aging classrooms, science labs and school buildings.

  • Upgrade and/or improve electrical service capacity to relieve overloaded electrical systems so that it can handle modern instructional technology.

  • Replace older windows, ceilings, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems with building code compliant, energy efficient systems which will save money on operating costs; remove dry rot.

  • Upgrade classrooms, science labs, libraries, multi-purpose rooms, computers and other learning technology, and enhance the educational environment so that our students are prepared to excel in the 21st Century economy.

  • Upgrade aging school restrooms.

Student Health, Safety and Security Projects

Goals and Purposes: Since good, safe, clean, well-maintained and up-to-date schools help protect and improve local property values, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of health and safety projects, such as:

  • Upgrades for earthquake safety and bring all schools up to current standards and codes.

  • Upgrade fire alarm systems, improve fire safety equipment and fire exit doors to make students safer in the event of an emergency.

  • Improve and upgrade school access for students, teachers and staff with disabilities to meet current requirements.

  • Install, replace and upgrade security fencing, classroom door locks.

  • Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

  • Enhance student safety by improving traffic flow and student drop-off areas.

  • Upgrade existing security systems.

Energy Efficiency and Cost Saving Projects

Goals and Purposes: To reduce maintenance and operating costs returning more money to the classroom to protect academic programs, schools will benefit from a variety of projects, such as:

  • Replace old and inefficient windows, lighting, heating, ventilation and irrigation systems to save money and use the savings to support instructional programs. Upgrades for earthquake safety and bring all schools up to current standards and codes.

  • Install energy efficient systems to save money and return the savings to the classroom.

  • Improve insulation and weather proofing to reduce costs.

Instructional Technology Upgrade Projects
For Effective Student Learning and Teacher Training

Goals and Purposes: To upgrade classroom learning and computer technology to allow our teachers and students to use up-to-date teaching methods so that our students are prepared to excel in the 21st century economy:

  • Provide and maintain up-to-date technology, data and communication equipment.

  • Upgrade and expand wireless systems, telecommunications, Internet and network connections.

  • Replace or upgrade outdated electrical systems and technology infrastructure.

  • Provide technology to implement new rigorous national academic standards called the "Common Core."

  • Upgrade electrical capacity to improve computer technology and Internet access.

* * *

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 payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility assessment reviews, environmental studies, construction documentation, inspection and permit fees, 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, hand-held mobile devices, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, phone system integration, document archiving, cabling infrastructure, wireless technology systems, laser printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, and other miscellaneous equipment. The construction and repair of school facilities includes the installation of signage, clocks, bells and fencing; repair and replace heating and ventilation systems; repair and maintain worn-out and aging roofs; upgrade or construct support facilities, including administrative, physical education and maintenance yards and shade shelters; repair and replace fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; demolish and construct various forms of storage and support spaces; upgrade classrooms; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; upgrade school site parking and student drop-off areas, utilities, and grounds, kitchens, playground equipment, hard court and rubberized surfaces, libraries, multi-use buildings, and District support offices and facilities, athletic and play fields and turf; acquire land;r replace deteriorated walkways, upgrade bathrooms, drinking fountains, paint and floor coverings and door frames. The Project List also includes the refinancing of any outstanding lease obligations or the bridge loans taken to initiate voter approved projects. 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.


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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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