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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
El Dorado County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure G
Bond measure to provide for repairs, modernization and growth
Lake Tahoe Unified School District

School District General Obligation Bond - 55% Approval Required

Pass: 5477 / 58.54% Yes votes ...... 3879 / 41.46% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 5 12:56am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (22/22)
60.2% Voter Turnout (9356/15531)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To improve health, safety and the quality of education at every school by repairing, updating, and constructing facilities; including furnishing equipment and technology; replacing outdated portables; electrical / plumbing / heating systems; and qualifying for $15.4 Million Dollars in state matching funds, shall Lake Tahoe Unified School District issue $64.5 Million in bonds at legal interest rate with citizen's oversight committee, annual financial audits, and funds only for school and classroom facility improvements, with no money for administrators' salaries?

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
This measure, if approved by 55% of the voters voting thereon, would authorize the Lake Tahoe Unified School District ("School District") to issue and sell up to $64,500,000 in general obligation bonds.

Proceeds from the sale of the bonds may be used by the School District only for the construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of its school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of the facilities, acquisition, or lease of real property for its school facilities and construction management by School District personnel. Every local school in the School District will receive some of the following: student health and safety projects such as additional fencing for student safety; reconfiguring traffic flow for student safety; installing student security systems, electrical and fire alarm upgrades as required by law; energy and environmental cost efficiencies and conservation such as implementation of "green" building concepts; improve lake water quality through enhanced storm water runoff management; create climate responsive design; replacement of portables with permanent classrooms; upgrade classrooms/technology/physical education facilities such as career technical education programs, library/media centers, renovate physical education and student activities spaces; and expand community joint-use including community partnerships and maximize potential, and additional state funding. Proceeds cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses.

The School District will conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on these projects, will conduct an annual, independent financial audit, and will establish an independent citizens' oversight committee.

The interest rate on any bond cannot exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 25 years after the date of bonds issued pursuant to the Education Code, or not later than 40 years after the date of bonds issued pursuant to the Government Code. Principal and interest on the bonds would be paid by revenue derived from an annual tax levied upon the taxable property within the School District in an amount sufficient to pay the interest as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity. The School District's Tax Rate Statement is included in this Voter Information Pamphlet, which represents the School District's best estimates of the property tax rates required to be levied to pay debt service on the bonds based on certain assumptions described in the statement.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. The School District's proposal for the projects assumes the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the Lake Tahoe Unified School District to issue and sell up to $64,500,000 in general obligation bonds.

A "no" vote is a vote against authorizing the Lake Tahoe Unified School District to issue and sell up to $64,500,000 in general obligation bonds.

Louis B. Green - El Dorado County Counsel

 
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Arguments For Measure G Arguments Against Measure G
Strong communities maintain and invest in quality schools for children. Measure G provides locally-needed funds to renovate and modernize classrooms for South Lake Tahoe children, while carefully monitoring local education dollars. With passage of this bond, the District will obtain an additional $15.4 million in state funds that have already been reserved and appropriated by the State for these projects. Specifically, Measure G will improve the quality of District schools by:
making critical safety and structural upgrades consistent with State Fire and Safety Codes;
providing all schools with the infrastructure and computer equipment needed to support technology education at all levels;
removing substandard portable classrooms and a 1949 middle school classroom wing;
constructing energy-efficient, permanent classrooms at various affected school sites;
modernizing aging school buildings -- elementary and middle school classrooms; high school gym/locker rooms structural retrofit, heating and ventilation system replacement, and cafeteria reconstruction;
constructing, expanding, and upgrading job training equipment and facilities.

With Measure G, each of our six school sites will directly benefit -- ensuring that students continue to receive the high quality education they deserve, in facilities that meet the stringent academic and safety standards we demand. A citizens' oversight committee representing at least seven various organizations, with annual financial audits, will guarantee that the $64.5 million bond is spent wisely. No funds will be used for teacher or administrator salaries. Measure G is a sound investment, requiring 55% of the vote. It provides major educational improvements throughout the district, while costing the average property owner less than $5 per month. Excellent, safe schools are a community asset.

It is time for citizens on the South Shore to get a return on the tax dollars we send to Sacramento.

YES on Measure G -- GOOD FOR KIDS, GREAT FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

Dr Gregory W Bergner -- Family Physician/29-year Resident Paul Middlebrook -- Business Owner/28-year Resident Tom Millham -- Retired USPS/Secretary-Treasurer Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care/32-year Resident David Kelly -- Chairman of Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled/27-year Resident Mike Patterson -- Automotive Teacher and South Tahoe Educators' Association President/21-year Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Strong Community -- No community in Tahoe, Just interest groups with the Educational establishment being one segment. With Measure G, they want all property owners to pay for their extravagant pet projects. Five dollars a month average cost -- No such thing, some pay less, but thousands of us will pay much more. As the economy worsens, people will need every dollar. Renovate and modernize classrooms and facilities The District's Accountability Report cards for 2006-2007 state that schools have been modernized, updated, and retrofitted; schools are in "GOOD REPAIR". Their 2008 report cards, released in July, state that there is a lot of repair and building to be done. The wording is almost a duplicate of what they propose in the Bond issue, very Questionable. NO CREDIBILITY -- Accountability report cards are required by law and facility inspection is required by the Williams Decision by the California Supreme Court in 2004. All schools have to be inspected for health, safety and repair status annually. All of the District's schools received "IN Good Repair" reports up through JUNE 2008. Declining Enrollment -- new buildings and classrooms are not needed -- Nearly 2000 fewer students since 1996, projected to lose 100 annually into the foreseeable future, and hundreds more if low income families leave with the bad economy and some Stateline Casinos go bankrupt. Good for kids, Best interest of the children? Educational Code Words for what some Adults want: which is your sympathy, support, and money. It's okay, to VOTE NO on Measure G.

Peter Guth, Retired Educator and Senior Citizen

The credibility of the School Board's arguments for raising taxes is sadly lacking. This proposal is not about safety and educational improvement, but rather a Big Wish List and/or Pet Projects. The voters were told that they most pass the last tax proposal or lose the state matching funds, But now they say the matching funds are still available? How did that happen? The truth is, they don't tell the public the whole truth. The voters have already twice rejected new Tax proposals, Don't be fooled by this Tax Increase, The School District still owes over $21 million dollars in Principal from previous Bond Measures, Plus the interest. They already upgraded the schools. Raising taxes in a faltering economy is foolish and poor judgement. The 2006-2007 School Accountability Report cards for the District (which are required by law) all stated that the District facilities are in good repair. The schools had been modernized, updated and retrofitted. The 2008 Report cards show that much maintenance is needed and new construction is being planned. How could all these problems happen in a year? I contacted the School Board President about this discrepancy but received no response back. They just changed the report cards. The work needed and construction planned for is all taylor made to try and justify the District's Bond Measure. Fix up and take care of what you already have. It might not be the best, but it is better than many School Districts have. Don't be fooled, this is not about safety and quality education but rather spending your hard earned tax money on projects the voters have already rejected, and are NOT NEEDED.

VOTE NO.

Peter J. Guth

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
There's never a good time to raise taxes but this is the time to invest in our community and children. Your investment:

preserves $15.4 million in matching funds that will expire before another local bond election can be held. Without voter approval now, these funds go to other districts;
makes tax dollars go further by getting best prices in the slow construction market;
infuses millions into Tahoe's economy in 2009;
leverages over $4.00 from non-local property owners for each $1.00 paid by locals.

Measure G was drafted by a Facilities Master Plan Committee. They pared $130 million in needs to just those necessary repairs and improvements. The School Board acted on their recommendation with the only means available since Proposition 13 -- a local bond.

Measure G is about basic essentials, not pork barrel projects. Facilities are well maintained. Many have been upgraded through past successful bond measures. Some are nearly 60 years old, and "temporary" portable facilities and beyond their normal economic life. The 2008 Report Cards reflect ALL the above facts, and are NOT inconsistent. Caring for our schools is caring for our community by:

creating a skilled workforce;
maintaining a safe community;
building the foundation for future leaders;
giving every child a chance.
Our community must provide quality education in a safe learning environment. Measure G improvements are needed to equip kids with the skills to be competitive. Your Yes vote is our community's last opportunity for State financial assistance. Dede Bacon, Realtor/California Association of Realtors (CAR) Director John Rice, General Manager Ed Cook, Owner, Ed Cook Tree Service John Upton, Formerly: School Board Member/Board President; El Dorado County Supervisor; City Council Member/City Treasurer; Currently: Rental Properties Owner Chris Proctor, Basketball Coach / Director of Rehabilitation, Tahoe Fracture Clinic

Tax Rate Statement from the Superintendent of Lake Tahoe Unified School District
An election will be held in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (the "District") on November 4, 2008, to authorize the sale of up to $64,500,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition and the Bond Project List. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in one or more 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 provided in paragraphs 1-3 below is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the California Elections Code.

1. 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 first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $28.70 per $100,000 ($0.0287 per $100) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.
2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the 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 $28.70 per $100,000 ($0.0287 per $100) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2014-15.
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 $28.70 per $100,000 ($0.0287 per $100) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2014-15.

The average tax rate is expected to be is $28.70 per $100,000 ($0.0287 per $100) of assessed valuation over the life of the bonds.

Voters should note that estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on 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.

James R. Tarwater, Superintendent - Lake Tahoe Unified School District

Full Text of Measure G
This proposition may be known/referred to as the Lake Tahoe Unified School District General Obligation Bond of 2008, or Measure G. FINDINGS The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (the "District), which serves the City of South Lake Tahoe and portions of the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County and the Lake Tahoe Basin, is a recognized leader in providing excellent education to El Dorado County students. The achievements have been accrued by the District as a result of the long history of visionary leadership from the Board of Education of the District (the "Board"), as well as from staff members, parents, and residents of South Lake Tahoe, who have supported local schools by establishing high standards for academic achievement, while at the same time providing the support necessary to improve them. South Tahoe Middle School, the oldest District school, has been serving students and the community for more than 58 years. In order to provide our South Lake Tahoe students with the same classrooms and school facilities as in other California school districts, major repairs, upgrades, and classroom construction are necessary to ensure these buildings will remain functional for future generations. The Board has prepared a facilities plan and identified significant repairs, upgrades, and classroom construction needs that are more than the District is able to fund from currently available sources or annual revenues. The District has sought, and continues to seek, all available outside sources of funding to improve our school buildings, including local, state, and federal grants and state bond funds. Historically, the State requires that local school districts provide local funds as a condition of receipt of State matching funds. It is necessary to seek voter approval of a bond measure in order to provide the local funding for identified school facility repairs, modernization projects, and growth needs to address student enrollment; and to qualify the District for receipt of $15.4 Million Dollars in State Matching Funds. The District has initiated architectural plans in order to meet the timeline to receive the matching funds which would otherwise go to other School Districts, unless the local community provides a "match" by the next election of November 4, 2008. BOND AUTHORIZATION By approval of this proposition by at least 55 percent of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the District shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $64,500,000 in aggregate principal at interest rates below the legal limit, to provide finance for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List attached hereto as Exhibit A-1, subject to all the accountability requirements specified below, and to receive $15.4 Million Dollars in State Matching Funds for these projects. BOND PROJECT LIST The Bond Project List attached to this resolution as Exhibit A-1 shall be considered a part of the ballot proposition and shall be reproduced in any official document required to contain the full statement of the bond proposition. Approval of this Bond Measure (the "Measure") does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the District that are the subject of bonds under the Measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the Measure. If state matching funds become available, they will be used for and applied to the Bond Project List as per Exhibit A-1. The District's proposal for the project or projects assumes the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure. ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers in the District may be assured that their money will be spent wisely to address specific facilities needs of the District all in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), of the State Constitution and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at Education Code Sections 15264 and following.) Evaluation of Needs. The Board, after a year long process involving staff members, parents, students, and community members at each school site throughout district, has prepared an updated facilities plan in order to evaluate and address all of the facilities needs of the District and determine which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The Board hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, enrollment growth, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List contained in Exhibit A-1. Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board shall establish an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee pursuant to Education Code Section 15278 and following to ensure bond proceeds are expended only on the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A-1. The committee shall be established within 60 days of the date when the results of the election appear in the minutes of the Board. Performance Audits. The Board shall conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A-1. Financial Audits. The Board shall conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed in Exhibit A-1. Special Bond Proceeds Account: Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this proposition and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board 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 annually 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 in the annual budget, audit, or another appropriate routine report to the Board.

FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of school facilities including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities or acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses. The proceeds of the bonds will be deposited into a Building Fund to be held by the El Dorado County Treasurer, as required by the California Education Code.

EXHIBIT A-1
BOND PROJECT LIST
Every local school will receive improvements as a result of $15.4 Million Dollars in State Matching Funds and a locally approved school bond, including some of the following Upgrade & Repair Projects:
Student Health and Safety Projects
(Additional fencing for student safety; reconfiguring traffic flow for student safety; installing student security systems, electrical and fire alarm upgrades as required by law)
Energy and Environmental Cost Efficiencies and Conservation
(Implementation of "green" building concepts; improve lake water quality through enhanced storm water runoff management; create climate responsive design)
Replace Portable Classrooms
(With permanent classrooms)
Upgrade Classrooms/Technology/Physical Education Facilities
(Add career technical education programs, improve library/media centers, renovate physical education and student activities spaces)
Expand Community Joint-Use
(Expand community partnerships and maximize potential, additional state funding)
Additional specific school improvement and repair projects to be funded are as follows:

South Tahoe High School:

Construct new career technical education facilities for the automotive/construction "green" technologies, media/design arts, and performing arts production/managerial arts academies.
Construct additional permanent classrooms to replace outdated portable classrooms.
Upgrade heating, ventilation and lighting systems for energy efficiency and to reduce energy costs; implement "green" energy conservation improvements.
Repair/upgrade classrooms, instructional buildings, including support areas and utility systems to improve the educational environment and facilitate the introduction of current educational technologies.
Repair/upgrade physical education/athletic facilities and student activities spaces, including student cafeteria facilities.
Enhance student safety and upgrade auto/bus parking and drop-off areas.
Improve fire safety/access.
Upgrade classroom computer infrastructure and instructional support technology.

South Tahoe Middle School:

Construct additional permanent classrooms to replace outdated buildings and portable classrooms.
Upgrade heating, ventilation and lighting systems for energy efficiency and to reduce energy costs; implement "green" energy conservation improvements.
Repair, replace and upgrade outdated classrooms, instructional buildings, including support areas and utility systems to improve the educational environment and facilitate the introduction of current educational technologies.
Renovate/upgrade library, physical education facilities and music classrooms.

Bijou Community School, Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, Sierra House Elementary School, Tahoe Valley Elementary School, Mt. Tallac Alternative School, Transitional Learning Center Continuation School, School Transportation/Warehouse Facility, and Al Tahoe School Site: Repair, renovate and expand existing facilities within the District, including but not limited to, some or all of the following: repair/upgrade classrooms, instructional buildings; upgrade/replace lighting, heating and ventilation, and fire alarm systems; reinforce structural systems so that snow load standards are satisfied, install electrical system wiring to safely accommodate expanded computer access and instruction technologies; improve grading and site storm water runoff; enhance student safety and upgrade auto/bus drop-off areas; purchase new equipment; repair, improve or eliminate portable classrooms; inspect for and abate any hazardous materials, including asbestos and mold; improve field areas; construct and complete physical education facilities with Community Joint-Use; construct new classrooms, renovate library/media centers, and expand student playgrounds; participate in state joint use projects including child care, teacher education, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, libraries, and other facilities that may be identified in Education Code 17077.40.


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