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Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Measure G
Bonds
Mountain View Whisman School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 7,341 / 67.58% Yes votes ...... 3,522 / 32.42% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jul 3 3:58pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (28/28)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To protect quality education in Mountain View, provide safe and modern classrooms, and make schools operate more efficiently, shall the Mountain View Whisman School District remove hazardous lead/asbestos materials, improve earthquake safety, upgrade fire alarms/security, replace outdated and inefficient plumbing/electrical/ heating/ventilation, update computers/technology, and upgrade, acquire, construct schools, sites, facilities and equipment by issuing $198 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent oversight and all funds spent on local elementary and middle 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 an amount not to exceed $198 million 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 not to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in an amount not to exceed $198 million to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the district.

Impartial Analysis
Upon approval of 55% of the votes cast by voters in an election, 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 of the Mountain View Whisman School District proposes issuing bonds in an amount not to exceed $198 million. As identified in the measure, bond proceeds would be used to provide safe and modern classrooms and make schools operate more efficiently by removing hazardous lead and asbestos materials, improving earthquake safety, upgrading fire alarms and security systems, replacing outdated and inefficient plumbing, electrical, heating and ventilation systems, upgrading computer and technology equipment, and upgrading, acquiring, constructing schools, sites, facilities and equipment.

Proceeds of the bonds could not be used for teacher and administrator salaries or other school operating expenses. The District would conduct performance and financial audits, and appoint an independent citizens' oversight committee to ensure bond proceeds are spent as promised and specified.

The District's best estimate of the tax rate to be levied to fund the proposed bond issue is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds and during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds. The District's best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue is $30.00 per $100,000 per fiscal year of assessed valuation.

A "yes" vote is a vote to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in an amount not to exceed $198 million to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the district.

A "no" vote is a vote not to authorize the issuance and sale of the bonds in an amount not to exceed $198 million to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the district.

Miguel Marquez
County Counsel

By: /s/Melissa Kiniyalocts

for Susan B. Swain
Lead Deputy County Counsel

 
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Arguments For Measure G Arguments Against Measure G
Vote YES on G to provide a great education for all students in Mountain View Whisman School District.

Student achievement is on the rise in our schools. Test scores have improved five years in a row and exceed state standards for excellence.

However, 50-60 year old classrooms, science labs, and school libraries need to be upgraded for safety, efficiency and to accommodate 21st century teaching and learning. Schools must be brought up to current earthquake standards and made safe from asbestos, lead and other hazards. Aging fire alarms, security systems, computers and technology must be updated.

Measure G funds cannot be taken away by Sacramento and will be 100% locally controlled. Independent oversight and annual audits will ensure funds are used to:

  • Bring schools up to current fire and earthquake safety standards

  • Remove hazardous materials like asbestos and lead

  • Repair and upgrade deteriorated plumbing, sewers and restrooms

  • Make schools accessible for students with disabilities

  • Build classrooms to avoid overcrowding and allow children to attend their neighborhood schools

  • Maintain school facilities to protect the community's investment

  • Modernize science labs, classroom computers and technology

  • Improve energy and operational efficiency to save millions that can be used to protect quality instructional programs and teachers

Measure G requires strict accountability:

  • Every penny goes to support Mountain View Whisman schools

  • No funds can be taken away by the State

  • Funds cannot be spent on administrators' salaries, pensions or benefits

  • Independent citizen oversight and annual audits ensure funds are spent as promised 44

All students deserve a great education regardless of which school or school district they attend. Measure G will help ensure Mountain View students are as prepared as students in Los Altos and elsewhere for high school, college and the world ahead!

Join parents, teachers, seniors, business and community leaders and Vote YES on G!

/s/ Janis C. Pepper
President, League of Women Voters, Los Altos-Mountain View Area

/s/ Stephen R. Olsen
President, Mountain View Whisman Board of Trustees

/s/Donna Campbell
President, Mountain View Educators Association

/s/ James R. Cochran
45-year Mountain View resident and former City Council Member

/s/ S. Hughes
Mountain View Realtor

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Please look at the Argument Against Measure C. (C*) See what trouble a bond can cause when you don't have them tell you exactly what they are going to build before you give them the money!

Many of us in Mountain View live in 50-60 year old houses. We regularly update our houses and our schools. But really, how much does a Los Altos resident and taxpayer, Janis Pepper, know about our situation? We received some very good help writing Argument AGAINST, we just edited and added a few lines. We got AGAINST help from a former member, Fiscal Oversight Advisory Committee, 1998 MVSD Bond, and a former Mountain View Education Foundation board member.

Let's review details Pepper's organization missed: The engineering consultants working on the "Conditions and Needs Analysis" did not find any hazardous conditions from "lead" or "asbestos". There were Category 1 safety issues from wood chips around playground structures. We guess kids really can break their arms when they fall on this stuff.

The political consultants did find more VOTES in the phrase "asbestos, lead and other hazardous materials." Political comedian Stephen Colbert calls this "truthiness".

"Neighborhood schools" don't even exist in the Whisman/Slater neighborhood.

What we want:

  • "Priority" and "Timeline" before bond vote in November (basic good fiscal management)!

  • Less crowding by first reopening a K-5 school.

  • Less "demolition" of permanent classrooms.

  • A better Parcel Tax for direct operational dollars.

  • No NEW District Office!

(C*) Voter Information Pamphlet, West Valley-Mission Community College District

/s/ Steven Nelson
MVWSD voter, taxpayer, parent

/s/ Alan Keith
MVWSD voter, resident, parent

/s/ Elena Perez
No. Whisman resident, parent

/s/Cameron McClintock
Mtn. View resident, parent, past N. Whisman resident

Measure G will be wasting your money and here's why:

  • Plan is to demolish 47 permanent classrooms district-wide and replace all of these (which underwent major renovation with last decade's bond)

  • Asbestos/lead removal? - the district's own engineering consultants report there are no obvious asbestos or lead issues in district facilities. This is a scare tactic directly from the political consultants.

  • This bond will increase the number of classrooms and students at all school campuses. What happened to "small schools"?

  • Most of the K-5 campuses will have a new 2-story classroom building, even though the 2nd story classrooms at Crittenden are unusable as classrooms.

  • MVWSD is using the same architect who failed to install fire sprinklers in SJ's Trace Elementary School, which burned down in 2010.

  • There have been no community forums or opportunities to prioritize projects in the 22 months since the Facilities Plan was adopted.

  • They have a $197 million budget, a $423 million Plan, and yet have adopted no priorities or timelines. We need to make them tell us exactly what they are building before we give them our money.

Better community engagement, like we get from city government, would give a school Plan we could be proud of, and support. The District's efforts might be better spent for a Parcel Tax so that the District could operate the facilities that it already has instead of having to lease them out for operating revenue and crowding students into the remaining schools.

/s/ Steven Nelson
Treasurer, No on June Bond Measure G

/s/ Alan J. Keith
Voter

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The two opponents have their facts completely wrong.

Here's the truth:

  • Most classrooms to be replaced are outdated and deteriorating portables or structures that fail to meet current safety standards.

  • Safe Mountain View schools require the removal of lead and asbestos contained in 50-60 year old paint, plumbing, and ceiling and floor tiles.

  • Rising student achievement attracts families to our community. This creates demand for our homes and protects property values, but it also increases school enrollment. Measure G provides classrooms needed to avoid overcrowding and allows students to attend their neighborhood schools. To accommodate student growth while maintaining a commitment to small schools, Measure G also provides funding to update and reopen schools that were closed in the past.

  • The Student Facilities Improvement Plan and Conditions and Needs Analysis (available at http://www.mvwsd.org/sfip) contain over 500 pages of detailed school facility plans and assessments. The planning process took nearly two years and incorporated community input from:

  • 4 public forums (advertised in The Voice)

  • 13 school community meetings, and

  • 18 public school board meetings.

The facts are simple:

  • 50-60 year old classrooms, science labs and libraries need to be upgraded for safety, efficiency and for 21st century education.

  • Measure G provides locally controlled funds that cannot be taken by Sacramento or used for administrator salaries.

  • Mandatory independent oversight and audits ensure funds are spent properly.

Our community's most trusted leaders support Measure G because it protects our great Mountain View schools.

Please vote Yes on G.

/s/R. Michael Kasperzak, Jr.
Mayor, City of Mountain View

/s/Margaret Abe-Koga
Mountain View City Council Member and former Mountain View Mayor

/s/Craig A. Goldman
Superintendent, Mountain View Whisman School District

/s/ Judy Crates
Principal, Mariano Castro Elementary School, 15-year District Principal

/s/ Liza Levin
President, Mountain View Educational Foundation

Tax Rate Statement from Superintendent, Mountain View Whisman School District
An election will be held in the Mountain View Whisman School District (the "District") on June 5, 2012, to authorize the sale of up to $198,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance projects as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest on the bonds will be payable only 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. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District's assessed valuation, the following information is provided:

1. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on a projection of assessed valuations, is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2013-14.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on a projection of assessed valuations, is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2021-22.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied, based on a projection of assessed valuations, is $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value for fiscal year 2013-14 and the subsequent fiscal years thereafter.

Voters should note the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax 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 foregoing information is based upon 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 date of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the 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 Santa Clara County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

/s/Craig A. Goldman
Superintendent, Mountain View Whisman School District

Full Text of Measure G
The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the Mountain View Whisman School District.

"To protect quality education in Mountain View, provide safe and modern classrooms, and make schools operate more efficiently, shall the Mountain View Whisman School District remove hazardous lead/asbestos materials, improve earthquake safety, upgrade fire alarms/security, replace outdated and inefficient plumbing/electrical/ heating/ventilation, update computers/technology, and upgrade, acquire, construct schools, sites, facilities and equipment by issuing $198 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent oversight and all funds spent on local elementary and middle schools?"

PROJECT LIST

The Board of Trustees of the Mountain View Whisman 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. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input and review in developing this Project List, and has prepared a Student Facilities Plan which was approved by the Board on May 6, 2010 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 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 bond money shall stay exclusively in our local community and cannot be taken away by the State; and

(ii) all of its schools must be healthy and safe from earthquake risks, fire dangers and hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead paint and mold; and

(iii) in repairing aging schools, priority shall be given to basic repairs, such as bathrooms, plumbing, and sewer lines which have aging pipes that leak and back-up; and

(iv) all of its schools should be safe learning environments; and

(v) all of its schools should have the classrooms, science labs, libraries and technology for every student to learn and prepare for high school; and

(vi) the District must install and upgrade fire detection systems, security and emergency response systems at every school so that all students, staff and facilities are safe, as well as make repairs in compliance with energy saving and sustainability standards; and

(vii) the District must reduce operating costs through energy efficiency and upgrades and utilize the savings to preserve valuable student programs; and (viii) with ongoing State budget cuts, utilize operational savings to support Mountain View Whisman elementary and middle schools, classrooms and instructional programs.

The Project List is on file at the District Office of the Superintendent and includes the following types of projects:

Core School Renovation, Repair and Improvement Projects

Goal and Purpose: To maintain safe, comparable neighborhood schools, schools will benefit from the renovation, repair and improvement of outdated school buildings, including bathrooms, plumbing and sewer lines, science labs, classrooms, computer learning centers and school libraries and equipment, allowing all children to have the facilities and resources they need to learn and stay up-to-date with advances in technology and education:

  • Replace existing water, sewer and plumbing systems to meet current codes, including the elimination of lead-containing fixtures.

  • Additional electrical service capacity to relieve overloaded electrical systems so that they can handle modern instructional technology.

  • Upgrade aging school restrooms by replacing pipes that leak and back-up.

  • Replace old and inefficient windows, ceilings, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems with building code compliant, energy efficient systems which will save money on operating costs.

  • Provide students with improved, up-to-date computers and computer labs.

  • Upgrade and equip classrooms, science labs, multipurpose rooms, physical education facilities, kitchens, auditoriums, libraries, visual and performing arts classrooms and educational support spaces.

  • Provide adequate space in school libraries for book collections and for media centers to prepare children for the world of the future.

  • Ensure accessibility for all students, staff and community members by upgrading classrooms, science labs and other school facilities.

  • Replace outdated portable classrooms and construct new classrooms and facilities that comply with current safety and education standards.

  • Repair aging schools.

School Health and Safety, Earthquake Safety
and Energy Efficiency School Projects

Goal and Purpose: Since strong, safe and up-to-date schools help protect and improve local property values and reduce maintenance and operating costs, thus returning more money to the classroom, schools and school sites will benefit from a variety of health and safety projects, such as:

  • Make schools safe by removing asbestos, lead paint, mold and hazardous materials.

  • Upgrade fire alarm systems to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment, and add sprinklers and fire safety doors to make students safe in the event of an emergency.

  • Upgrade schools to meet handicap accessibility requirements.

  • Replace old and inefficient windows, lighting, irrigation, heating and ventilation systems which waste money and use the savings to help prevent cuts to instructional programs.

  • Inspect for and repair gas pipe leaks to enhance student and teacher safety.

  • Replace and upgrade existing signage, bells and clocks.

  • Replace and upgrade security systems and fencing to reduce break-ins, vandalism, and ensure student safety.

  • Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

  • Relocate or improve student drop-off areas, including a separate area for buses, to ensure student safety and reduce the impact of school traffic on local neighborhoods.

  • Strengthen and repair schools and classrooms vulnerable to serious damage in a major earthquake, as required by State law.

District-Wide Wiring and Instructional Technology
For Effective Learning Environment Projects

Goal and Purpose: To upgrade classroom computers and technology to allow our teachers and students to use up-to-date teaching methods and have access to current learning and research tools:

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

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

  • Replace and expand computers, hardware and software systems.

  • Upgrade and replace classroom furniture, equipment and instructional aids.

  • Improve media and audio/visual equipment.

School Infrastructure Improvement and Expansion Projects

Goal and Purpose: To improve educational programs, ensure safe schools, modernize buildings and prevent overcrowding at neighborhood schools, some schools require the construction and expansion of additional earthquake-safe and accessible facilities, such as:

  • Complete accessibility upgrades as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA).

  • Provide facilities for shared community use beyond school hours.

  • Upgrade or replace outdated and undersized multi-purpose rooms, educational support facilities, and classrooms.

  • Construct and expand permanent classrooms and school buildings, which will reduce dependency on outdated portable classrooms.

  • Upgrade and construct shade structures to protect students during lunch and other outdoor activities.

***

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, projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over- IP, call manager and network security/firewall, and other miscellaneous equipment and software. The repair of school facilities includes the, maintenance and transportation warehouse and yard, upgrading school site parking, utilities, and grounds, playground equipment, hard court surfaces, shade structures for student assembly and protecting students from sun and inclement weather during lunch, libraries and District support facilities, athletic and play fields and turf may be upgraded for safety and operational efficiency, and construction of performance facilities and auditoria. The Project List also includes the refinancing of any outstanding lease obligations, bridge loans taken to initiate voter approved projects, or the outstanding bonds of the former Whisman School District, as well as the demolition and reconstruction of closed schools and the construction of a new District administration facility. Some projects may be undertaken as joint-use facilities with other local public agencies or non-profit organizations. The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. Depending on project costs and the availability of funds, 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 WlLL 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 26, 2012 13:01 PDT
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