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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Marin County, CA March 8, 2005 Election
Measure C
Facilities Bond Election
Ross School District

two-thirds vote

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To enhance the educational environment and improve safety for students, staff and the community through the reconstruction of deteriorated elementary classrooms, library and facilities (most over 60 years old); to rectify substandard heating, ventilation, plumbing, roofing and electrical systems; to comply with current earthquake and flood safety codes; and to improve energy efficiency; shall Ross Elementary School District issue $19 million of bonds at legal interest rates, with a citizens' oversight committee to monitor bond expenditures and audits?

Impartial Analysis from Patrick K. Faulkner, County Counsel
If this Measure is approved by a two-thirds vote, the Ross School District will be authorized to incur bonded indebtedness of Nineteen Million Dollars ($19,000,000) with an interest rate not to exceed the limit set by law. The proceeds of the proposed bonds must be used for the purposes set forth in the Measure and for no other purposes, and will be subject to oversight by a citizens' oversight committee and annual independent audits to assure that the funds are spent only for the school facilities projects listed in the Measure.

Dated: December 17, 2004

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Arguments For Measure C
The Ross Elementary School District is recognized as one of California's top districts for outstanding student achievement. Strong support from parents and community members has ensured that our school provides the highest quality educational program.

Built primarily in the 1940s, the Kindergarten-Fifth Grade classrooms and certain other facilities are in dire need of major reconstruction to ensure safe and healthy facilities for students, staff and community members. These facilities require earthquake retrofitting and a replacement of antiquated and deficient plumbing, heating, roofing and electrical systems. Ross School is one of the few districts in Marin that has not utilized bond proceeds for facilities improvements, and our facilities are no longer commensurate with our exceptional educational program or our neighboring public schools.

Over the past year, the District has worked with the community, staff, parents, and construction experts, updating its Facilities Master Plan and identifying improvements necessary to provide a safe and healthy learning environment. The Board of Trustees voted to place Measure C on the ballot to provide funds necessary to rebuild the K-5 classrooms and other facilities to better serve our students, staff and community.

Measure C includes:

  • Replacing deteriorated K-5 classrooms to comply with current seismic and flood safety codes
  • Rectifying substandard heating, plumbing, roofing and electrical systems
  • Replacing antiquated restrooms
  • Improving energy efficiencies
  • Rebuilding K-8 library and multi-purpose room

Measure C will provide an improved layout to enhance the learning environment and better serve our community, and facilitate a cohesive architectural design on par with other buildings in our Town. A citizens' oversight committee will monitor bond expenditures and audits.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure C. We must provide students, teachers and our community with safe classrooms and facilities to maintain our acclaimed educational program and keep our property values strong.

s/ Tony Campodonico

s/ Jessica E. Hart

s/ Jeanne Barr

s/ G.P. Scales

s/ Julie A. McMillan

President, Ross School Board

(No arguments against Measure C were submitted)

Full Text of Measure C

Commencing in March 2004, the citizen/staff Design Committee of the Ross Elementary School District gathered input from the school and community to evaluate current and future school facility safety and program needs and assist in revising the facilities master plan originally developed in 1998.

The Design Committee found that the Kindergarten through Fifth grade classrooms and other facilities at Ross School, primarily constructed in the 1940s, were below current seismic safety standards and in need of major improvements to enhance the educational environment, improve safety for students, staff and the community, and rectify deficient building systems. The Design Committee reviewed cost and design options to renovate and repair the existing Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities at Ross School, or to construct new replacement Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities.

Due to the high cost of the renovation option, and to provide the District opportunities afforded by a new design and new construction, the Design Committee unanimously recommended to the Board of Trustees that the District proceed with construction of an all new school building option for the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities. The new design is expected to achieve the following:

- Establish better seismic integrity
- Remedy the Flood Zone issue
- Remedy heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues
- Ensure improved energy efficiencies
- Ensure better functionality for the program
- Create lower maintenance costs for the facility over the long term
- Ensure fulfillment of the long-term 30-50 year vision
- Create an optimal layout
- Increase synergies with the Town of Ross and the community
- Facilitate a cohesive architectural design and be on a par with other buildings in the Town
- Provide an opportunity to reclaim land by moving to two stories; and

Despite the historic generosity of the parents and the community towards the Ross School, the citizens' Funding Committee has concluded that the costs of the proposed project are beyond the capacity of the community to fund through private voluntary contributions, and the Board of Trustees has concluded that a bond is necessary to finance the project.


By approval of this proposition by at least two-thirds of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the Ross Elementary School District shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $19 million in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List attached hereto as Exhibit A, and in order to qualify to receive State matching grant funds, subject to all of the accountability safeguards specified below.


The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the Ross Elementary School District's voters and taxpayers may be assured that their money will be spent prudently to address specific facilities needs of the Ross Elementary School District.

Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Trustees shall designate a citizens' oversight committee comprised of such members as the Board shall determine to review bond expenditures and ensure bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A.

Annual Financial Audits. The Board of Trustees shall cause its annual, independent financial audit to include the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been expended for the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A. The Board shall provide the annual financial audit to the citizens' oversight committee for its review.

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 of the District shall cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than December 31 of each year, commencing December 31, 2005, 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.


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

The Bond Project List lists the specific projects the Ross Elementary School District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds. Listed projects and upgrades will be completed as needed according to Board-established priorities. Each project is assumed to include its share of costs of the bond issuance, architectural, engineering, inspection and similar planning costs, construction management, and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. The actual 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. Until all project costs and funding sources are known, the Board of Trustees cannot guarantee that the bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all listed projects.


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

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 30 years from the date borne by that bond.




Construction of New Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Classrooms and Other Facilities at Ross School

Construct new, seismically safe and energy-efficient Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities above the FEMA flood plain to replace existing buildings which were primarily built in the 1940s, at Ross School, 9 Lagunitas Road (at Ross Common), to include:

Classrooms suitable for students in grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.

Additional school facilities for use by entire Kindergarten through Eighth Grade school:

New restrooms Library Learning Lab Adequate student lunch area Nurse's room Faculty work and preparation areas Art and Music classrooms New multi-purpose room to replace existing unsafe facility School and District offices

Repairs and Rehabilitation In the event that the Board of Trustees shall determine that certain repair and rehabilitation projects rather than new construction will better serve the needs of the Ross School and the community, the Board is authorized in the alternative to use bond proceeds to finance repair and rehabilitation of existing Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities at Ross School, including projects such as:

Earthquake safety upgrades to meet current codes

Raise floor level of Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms and other facilities above FEMA Flood Plain

Replace deficient plumbing, electrical, and lighting systems to reduce maintenance expenses

Replace antiquated heating, cooling, and ventilation systems with modern, energy-efficient systems

Upgrade restrooms

Replace leaking roofs

Replace inoperable and uninsulated windows with new, energy-efficient and seismically-safe windows

Install and upgrade fire safety equipment and fire detection systems

Install technology infrastructure (including wiring, outlets, routers, servers and other permanent and immovable equipment for computers, communications, audio-video, etc.) for classroom usage and administrative support

Improve nurse and faculty rooms

Provide adequate sheltered student lunch space

Other Construction Work in connection with approved Projects

Provide necessary site preparation and restoration in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, and installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including demolition of existing buildings as needed to make way for new construction; ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.

Repair, replace, install and/or renovate utility connections, systems for water, sewer, electrical and gas service, including upgrading the capacity of such infrastructure to accommodate school facilities as needed.

Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/ modernization (e.g., plumbing or gas line breaks, dryrot, structural damage or deficiencies to buildings and support structures, seismic, structural, etc.).

Other improvements required to comply with existing State and local building codes, and access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Repair, replace, install, and/or upgrade security and energy systems including alarm, computer monitoring, automated lighting, outdoor lighting, fencing, gates and other improvements designed to improve energy conservation, reduce vandalism and theft as needed.

Repair or replace structural damage or deficiencies to buildings and support structures as needed.

Remove any hazardous materials, e.g., asbestos, lead, etc., where necessary. Provide temporary classrooms (including relocatables) as needed to house students during construction, through rental or acquisition.

Repair and renovate school playground as needed.


An election will be held in the Ross Elementary School District (the "District") on March 8, 2005, to authorize the sale of up to $19,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in 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 information in paragraphs numbered 1-3 below 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, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is five cents per $100 ($50.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2005-06.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate 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 five cents per $100 ($50.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2010-11.

3. 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 five cents per $100 ($50.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The tax rate is expected to remain the same in each year that the bonds are outstanding.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the 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 County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: December 8, 2004

s/ Catherine A. Townsley
Ross Elementary School District

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Created: March 29, 2005 12:43 PST
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