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Alameda County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure H
Facilities Safety and Maintenance
Berkeley Unified School District

2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 33946 / 80.88% Yes votes ...... 8027 / 19.12% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 2:56pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (99/99)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Facilities Safety and Maintenance Act of 2010

To provide essential maintenance of schools and grounds, shall Berkeley Unified School District continue its existing special tax of 6.31 / square foot on residential buildings and 9.46 / square foot on commercial buildings, and $20 on unimproved parcels with annual cost-of-living adjustments for 10 years? Revenues maintain school buildings, classrooms, playgrounds, roofs,electrical systems, and address fire and safety hazards. The state cannot take the funds. An independent committee oversees funds.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
Measure H, a Berkeley Unified School District ("District") special parcel tax measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to levy an annual special parcel tax on improvements of residential and commercial parcels and on unimproved parcels for a period of ten years, beginning July 1, 2013. This measure would levy an annual tax of 6.31 per square foot on all improvements on residential parcels; 9.46 per square foot on all improvements of commercial parcels; and $20.00 per parcel of unimproved parcels. These rates may be increased by a cost-of-living adjustment equal to the annual percentage increase of the State of California statutory inflation adjustment.

School districts have the authority to levy special taxes upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on the special tax proposals pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIIA, Section 4 and Article XIIIC, Section 2, and California Government Code Sections 50075-50077, 50079, and 53722.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, a special tax will be imposed annually for ten years at the rates described above. The tax will be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Upon annual application to the City of Berkeley, an exemption of any tax assessment year may be granted for any single-family residential parcel or multi-family dwelling unit owned and occupied by one or more very low-income senior citizen( s) 65 years of age or older as defined by the Berkeley Municipal Code.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the allocation of the funding revenue is to be used for the specific purposes set forth in the full text of the measure printed in this sample ballot.

These purposes include grounds operations and maintenance of District buildings and grounds. The measure further provides that the monies collected shall be accounted for separately and shall be expended only for those specified purposes. The Facilities Safety and Maintenance Oversight Committee will monitor the implementation of the measure, and the District will make revenue and expenditure reports available to the Committee and the public four times per year.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail, and the District will not be authorized to levy the special tax.

s/RICHARD E. WINNIE
County Counsel

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure H, which measure is printed in full in this sample ballot pamphlet. If you desire an additional copy of the measure, please call the Elections Official's office at (510) 272-6933 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

 
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Arguments For Measure H Arguments Against Measure H
Measure H insures that Berkeley will continue to maintain its investment in quality school facilities.

Measure H funds all of the maintenance on school buildings, landscaping and grounds.

In 2000, Berkeley passed a modest special tax to provide designated funding to maintain the enormous investment the community has in school buildings. This is a renewal of that tax.

Measure H is not a new tax. It is not a tax increase. Measure H simply renews an existing special school tax (Measure BB) at the existing tax rate for an additional ten years.

Measure H funds cannot be used for any other purpose. Measure H limits the specific use of all funds: "exclusively to provide grounds operations and essential maintenance of District buildings and grounds, thereby protecting the health, safety and security of children and staff and creating an environment that supports student and staff success." Measure H does not pay for custodial services.

The State cannot take these funds.

The school buildings are dependent on these funds to provide safe and sound places for children to learn. Over 10,000 students, teachers, and staff use these buildings every school day. Other districts have cut maintenance due to decreased state funding, and then watched the cost to repair buildings skyrocket after years of neglect. Instead, Berkeley taxpayers have prudently chosen to maintain their buildings.

Measure H includes independent audits and a citizen's oversight committee.

Measure H is endorsed by all School Board members, the Mayor, all City Council members, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, Supervisor Keith Carson, the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, the League of Women Voters, the Berkeley Association of Realtors, and community members throughout Berkeley. Please join us - Vote Yes on Measures H and I to protect Berkeley's investment in its schools.

BerkeleySchools2010.com

s/Loni Hancock
State Senator
s/Karen Hemphill
School Board President
s/Sherry Smith, individually and on behalf of
President, League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany & Emeryville
s/Cheryl Chinn
Former School Principal
s/Shirley Dean
Former Mayor

Rebuttal to Arguments For
VOTE NO ON MEASURE H The argument in favor of Measure H is non-existent. It says to continue a tax that was approved 10 years ago. That's not a reason! The measure itself has no specificity. Ten years ago the school facilities were deteriorating, requiring repairs and more maintenance. After spending $340 million building new school facilities and administrative offices, the maintenance and repairs should go down, compared with what older, aging buildings require. The District is asking for $200+ million for more new buildings in Measure I. Note that $14 million of Measure I is also maintenance, plus Measure H is maintenance: how are they doing their accounting?

A recent request to the District asking for more detail on fund usage was refused.

It is estimated by people who should know that one-third to one-half of the student population actually lives outside the district. This means hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Berkeleyans in taxes are being spent on non-Berkeley students! Existing funds could go so much farther on educating Berkeley's own children instead of everyone else's, if the District would just get its act together.

A District that shows bad faith and lack of transparency does not deserve our support. VOTE NO ON MEASURE H + SEND A MESSAGE THAT MORE MONEY WILL NOT FIX THE PROBLEMS UNLESS THE DISTRICT CHANGES ITS WAYS.

s/Julie Dickinson
Individually and On Behalf, Secretary, Council of Neighborhood Associations
s/Barbara Gilbert
On Behalf of, Vice-President North East Berkeley Association (NEBA)
s/Cole Smith
On Behalf of, Treasurer, Berkeleyans Against Soaring Taxes! (BASTA!)
s/Viki Tamaradze
Individually and on Behalf of, Secretary and Treasurer, Berkeley Can Do Better (BCDB)
s/Frankie L. Fraser
Past HAC Commissioner, Past Pres. San Pablo PK. Neig. Council (SPNC)

VOTE NO ON MEASURE H

THIS BALLOT MEASURE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SPECIFICITY AS TO HOW THE FIFTY MILLION OF FUNDS WILL BE EXPENDED.

THE DISTRICT ALREADY HAS MAINTENANCE FUNDS AND MANY BRAND NEW BUILDINGS FROM PREVIOUS BOND MEASURES. NEW BUILDINGS SHOULD REQUIRE LESS MAINTENANCE THAN THE BUILDINGS THEY REPLACED.. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAINTENANCE FUNDS THAT HAVE BEEN USED TO MAINTAIN THE OLDER BUILDINGS?

THIS IS NOT A 5 MILLION DOLLAR MEASURE. IT IS A FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR MEASURE OVER TEN YEARS. EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS ARE NOT RESTRICTED TO MAINTENANCE. TAXES ON BERKELEY HOMEOWNERS AND BUSINESS ARE ALREADY HIGH. HOW MANY EMPTY STORES AND FORECLOSED HOUSES AND EMPTY APARTMENT BUILDINGS DO WE NEED?

VOTE NO ON MEASURE H

s/Julie Dickinson Individually and On Behalf, Secretary, Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA)
s/George S. Oram
Founder of Elmwood Realty and Berkeley Can Do Better (BCDB) and Parent of BUSD Students
s/Arthur Goldberg
Former Chair, Berkeley Citizen Budget Review Com- , Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA)
s/Greg Harper
Attorney, Former Chair Housing Advisory Commission, Treasurer, Berkeley Alliance of Neighborhood Associations (BANA)
s/William D. Hermann
Professor of Economics North East Berkeley Association (NEBA) Board Member

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure H renews an existing tax at the same rate. It is not a tax increase.

The argument against Measure H is erroneous. Measure H's funds are specifically limited: "exclusively to provide grounds operations and essential maintenance of District buildings and grounds ...."

Measure H funds all of the maintenance on school buildings, landscaping and grounds.

If Measure H fails, millions of dollars will be taken from schools and classrooms to maintain buildings. Layoffs of both teachers and maintenance workers would occur. The school district has sustained three straight years of budget reductions due to decreased state funding, cutting about $14 million over three years out of a $90 million budget. An additional $5 million annual reduction would be devastating to our children.

Measure H funds are used wisely - a citizen's oversight committee monitors expenses. Independent audits ensure the money is spent as approved by the voters. There is no better investment than making sure our children receive a quality education--the foundation of quality education is safe, sound schools.

Measure H is endorsed throughout Berkeley:
the Berkeley Association of Realtors,
the League of Women Voters (Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville),
the Berkeley Federation of Teachers,
Mayor Tom Bates and former Mayor Shirley Dean, City Auditor Ann Marie Hogan, all School Board members, all City Council members, State Senator Loni Hancock, Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, Supervisor Keith Carson, and
Community members throughout Berkeley.

Vote Yes on Measures H & I to protect Berkeley's investment in its schools. BekeleySchools2010.com

s/Barry Fike
Past President, Berkeley Federation of Teachers
s/Sheila Jordan
Superintendent, Alameda County Schools
s/Joaquin Rivera
Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education
s/Jennifer Burroughs
Individually and on behalf of Co-President, BHS Development Group
s/Dan Lindheim
BUSD Audit Committee Member


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