LWV League of Women Voters of California
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San Mateo County, CA June 5, 2001 Election
Measure D
Library/Community Center Construction
City of San Bruno

Bond Measure - 2/3 Approval Required

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement |

To provide space for children's programs and materials, full access for seniors and the disabled, expanded space for books and computers for public use, local history displays, community meeting rooms, and sufficient parking, while coordinating with local schools to provide educational opportunities, shall the City issue general obligation bonds to construct a Library/Community Center in an amount not to exceed $14 million, with fiscal accountability per law and input from a citizens advisory committee?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
A two-thirds "yes" vote authorizes the City of San Bruno to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed the principal amount of $14 million to construct a new Library/Community Center.

A NO vote of this measure means:
A "no" vote means that the City of San Bruno will not be authorized to issue and sell bonds for construction of a new Library/Community Center.

Impartial Analysis from Jonathan P. Lowell, City Attorney
This Measure was unanimously placed on the ballot by the San Bruno City Council. The Measure would authorize the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds in the principal amount of $14 million by the City of San Bruno. The bond proceeds would be used to construct a new Library/Community Center in the vicinity of Downtown/San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno.

The new Library/Community Center would provide improved access for senior citizens and the disabled, expanded space for books and computers for public use, local history displays, community meeting rooms and parking. A citizens advisory committee would be formed to provide input on planning for the facility.

The Measure provides that the City would comply with accountability and reporting rules, as required by state law, in administering the bond proceeds. Site acquisition costs would be paid by the City of San Bruno, the San Bruno Redevelopment Agency, or a combination of both entities.

Bond obligations would be repaid through a real property tax within the City, based on the assessed taxable value of such property. The highest annual tax rate would be $36.24 per $100,000 of the assessed value of real property in the City of San Bruno.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the City of San Bruno to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed the principal amount of $14 million to construct a new Library/Community Center in the vicinity of Downtown/San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno.

A "no" vote is a vote not to authorize the issuance and sale of said bonds.

This Measure would only take effect if passed by a two-thirds majority.

  Official Information

Election Results

Town Hall Forum on Measures D and E
Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 pm
San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno
News and Analysis

San Francisco Chronicle

General Links

City of San Bruno
for information about the City of San Bruno and its services
Partisan Information


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Arguments For Measure D Arguments Against Measure D
Measure D allows for the construction of a new Library/Community Center for San Bruno residents.

San Bruno's current library is almost 50 years old. Built in 1954, San Bruno then had a population of 17,000, now we are a city of 41,000.

The current library cannot be effectively expanded or remodeled. The site is too small and parking is inadequate. It would cost many millions of dollars just to bring it up to safety codes and earthquake standards, and we would still be left with an inadequate library.

The library has too little space for books, computers, and meeting rooms. Much of it is inaccessible to the disabled and there is only one restroom.

A new library would give us much needed room for:

  • shelves for additional books (currently, the library disposes of one book for every one it acquires);
  • increased parking (there is only one handicapped space and seven designated spaces);
  • learning programs for our local schools;
  • more computers for public use;
  • room for Internet classes;
  • children's story time;
  • meeting rooms to accommodate neighborhood groups;
  • a homework center;
  • adult literacy classes;
  • study area for school and community groups.

San Bruno citizens helped craft a master plan for this vitally needed Library/Community Center. Many recommendations came directly from residents and library users.

Costs have been carefully considered and minimized. The City will work to acquire matching State funds to keep costs low. Measure D would provide $14 million in funds to go directly towards construction costs.

The proposed downtown location will improve, beautify, and revitalize the Downtown.

A new Library/Community Center will benefit all of us, especially our children and grandchildren.

We urge you to join us and hundreds of your neighbors in voting YES on Measure D.

/s/ Russ Hanley
Member, San Bruno Elementary School Board
/s/ Edith McClurg
President, Friends of the Library
/s/ Ed Simon
Former Mayor, City of San Bruno
/s/ Irene O'Connell
Councilmember, City of San Bruno
/s/ Tom Lara
Commissioner, Park and Recreation Commission

Rebuttal to Arguments For
What is a Community Center? San Bruno has many: Tanforan Mall, and 4 smaller shopping centers; Skyline College, and 8 smaller schools; 2 larger churches, and uncounted smaller congregations; neighborhood bars, and other clubs. The library is but one community center with a unique purpose: book lending.

The Library: a solution in search of a problem: When books were expensive, and travel difficult, the neighborhood library was a valuable innovation. Subsequent developments in transportation, and inventions like the paperback book, the television, and the internet have rendered the old fashioned library somewhat obsolescent. Its core constituency is small and shrinking.

Librarians have tried to purchase relevancy; acquiring long-playing vinyl records, then laser discs, then video tapes. Now they want to spend $14 million to build what is effectively a school library - with no school!

$1,800 per household: The total cost of this bond, with interest, would be roughly $27 million, to be paid by 15,000 local households. On average, that's $1,800 in new taxes. Many residents need that money to pay their utility bills or health insurance.

The altemative? Voting 'No' will not harm the library. A 'No' vote will cause the library to "stay the course" and continue to operate as a well-funded "small town library" focused on its traditional mission.

/s/ Jack Hickey
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

This is NOT a referendum on the value of public libraries. We all want our public services to be adequately funded and well-run. That's why we ALREADY pay property taxes. Last year, San Bruno taxpayers (including renters) contributed $29 million in property taxes.

Property tax growth has outstripped inflation in each of the last 8 years - up 10% in 1999 and 7% in 2000 (http://www.care.co.sanmateo.ca.us/assessor/). Sales tax revenue is also posting record highs (http://www.boe.ca.gov/tsalescont.htm).

This IS a vote on working within a budget. Should the city borrow money to spend more than we already give them in fees, property taxes, sales taxes, donations, etc? We say 'No'.

This IS a vote on bonded indebtedness - passing costs to another generation of taxpayers, many of whom are too young to vote or haven't been born yet. Should we stick our kids with the bill? We say 'No'.

This IS a vote on decades of future interest payments, totaling approximately $11 million. No, thanks.

This IS a vote on financial shell games. When politicians want to initiate pet projects, they try to use existing revenue, and cry to the voters that they need a bond to pay for traditional budget items like libraries. Do they think we are so easily fooled? We say 'No'.

/s/ John J. Hickey
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Our 50 year old library has very serious problems. It was built to hold 36,000 books when there were no computers or audio-visual materials. Today:
  • We have over 132,000 books, 12,000 audio-visual items, and 20 computers crammed into the same amount of space;
  • There are only 7 parking spaces, one handicapped space and one common bathroom to serve over 700 people daily;
  • Due to inadequate space, we dispose of one book every time a new book is acquired.

A new Library/Community Center will not only alleviate these problems, but also provides space for local groups to meet, study areas, a homework center, a children's story time room and room for computers.

The argument submitted against our San Bruno library comes from residents of Redwood City. They argue against bond financing - yet bond financing is the traditional and most prudent way to upgrade city facilities such as schools, police departments, fire stations and libraries. It is the same principle as a mortgage on an individual's home.

It's true that San Bruno property taxes were $29 million last year - but the Redwood City opponents did not tell you that only $3.4 million of that goes to San Bruno and partially pays for Police, Fire, Recreation and other city services.

Past generations built our libraries. They did it to benefit themselves, their children and grandchildren.

Now it is our turn. We can do no less!

We urge all San Bruno residents to join us and vote Yes on Measure D - for our generation and future generations.

/s/ Larry Franzella
Mayor, City of San Bruno
/s/ Karen Hornung
Treasurer, City of San Bruno
/s/ Carolyn Livengood
Member, Library Foundation
/s/ Raymond Stagnaro
Retired Principal
/s/ William Kanada
President, San Bruno Police Officers Association

Tax Rate Statement

Statement In Compliance With Elections Code Sections 9401 and 9404

As shown on the enclosed sample ballot, an election will be held in the City of San Bruno on June 5, 2001 for the purpose of submitting to the electors of said City the question of incurring bonded indebtedness of said City in the aggregate principal amount of $14,000,000 to be applied towards the cost of the acquisition, construction and/or improvement of certain library facilities throughout the City. If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in said City. The following information regarding tax rates is given to comply with Section 9401 and 9404 of the Elections Code. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, experience within said City and other demonstrable factors.

If said bonds are authorized, the present projection is that the bonds will be sold on or about June 2002. Principal payments on the Bonds would be due annually commencing the fiscal year after the date of issue (2002/03) and annually thereafter for a period of thirty years. Interest on the bonds, estimated at six and one-half percent (6.5%), would be payable semiannually on February 1 and August 1. The maturity schedule would provide for approximately equal annual payments of principal and interest so as to provide a level annual debt service.

It is estimated that the assessed valuation of property within the City in 2002/03 FY will be approximately $3,074,653,548. It is further estimated that the City's assessed valuation in 2003/04 the second fiscal year after the sale of bonds will be approximately $3,197,639,690. Based upon the financing plan outlined above and said projections of the assessed valuations, the estimated tax rates necessary to service the debt are as follows:

 Per $100 of Assessed Valuation
(1) First year after sale of bonds (2002/03)$.03624
(2) Highest annual rate during the entire period of indebtedness (2002/03)$.03624

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which are not legally binding upon the City. The actual time of sale of bonds and the amounts to be sold (not to exceed that total authorized amount of this issue) will be governed by the needs of the City. The actual interest rate at which the bonds will be sold, not to exceed twelve percent (12%) or such maximum rate as may hereafter be established for general obligation bonds of the City, will depend upon the bond market at the time of sale. The actual assessed valuations in the future years will depend upon the value of property within the City as determined in the assessment and equalization process of the County of San Mateo.

The foregoing statement has been approved by and is submitted by order of the City Council of the City of San Bruno, San Mateo County, California.

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Created: August 7, 2001 02:34
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