Sunday, January 26, 2020

HUMBOLDT COUNTY: MEASURE T MARCH 3RD ELECTION


Measure T

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE T EUREKA CITY SCHOOL

“EUREKA CITY SCHOOLS HIGH SCHOOL EMERGENCY REPAIR/STUDENT SAFETY MEASURE. To repair unsafe school buildings, storm drains, fields and facilities; improve campus, student and teacher safety/disabled accessibility; acquire, construct, repair sites, equipment/high school/continuing education facilities; qualify for emergency State matching funds, shall Eureka City Schools’ measure authorizing $18,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying $17/$100,000 assessed value ($1,100,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, requiring annual independent audits, citizens’ oversight and all funds spent locally?”

PROJECT LIST

The Board of Education of the Eureka City Schools is committed to retaining and attracting quality teachers in local schools by providing safe, secure, upgraded facilities. To that end, the Board evaluated the imminent danger to students’ health and safety caused by the failure of a storm drain system and its consequential facility damages, as well as safety issues, class size reduction, basic repairs, computer and information technology in developing the types of projects to be funded by this measure as described below. The District conducted an independent structural engineering study as well as had an assessment performed by the Public Works Department of the City of Eureka of the repairs required by the failure of the storm drainage pipelines. The Board has prioritized key health and safety needs so that the most critical repairs are addressed.
In approving this Project List, the Board of Education determines that the District must:

(i) Repair sections of Eureka High School which present life/hazard and imminent health and safety risks to teachers, students and staff, families and members of the public; and
(ii) Improve accessibility to the Eureka High School campus for disabled persons; and
(iii) Prevent dangerous sinkholes which create imminent health and safety risks to students and high school teachers and staff; and
(iv) Upgrade facilities to meet current seismic safety standards; and
(v) Apply for emergency State matching funds to offset the costs of stadium repairs; and
(vi) Adhere to specific fiscal accountability safeguards:
(a) All expenditures subject to annual independent financial audits.
(b) No money taken by the State. All funds stay local.
(c) All expenditures reviewed by an independent citizen oversight committee to ensure that funds are spent only as authorized.

The Project List includes the following types of upgrades and improvements at District schools, facilities and sites:

IMPROVE STUDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY

Emergency School Repair Projects Funded By Money That Cannot Be Taken By Sacramento

Goals and Purposes: Portions of the Eureka High School campus have been compromised by the failure of the District’s storm drainage infrastructure, creating dangerous sink holes, denying safe access to facilities by persons with disabilities, and undermining the safety of hillside and adjacent facilities. This measure will correct present life/hazard and imminent health and safety risks to students and staff.

This measure will restore certain fields for student use, allowing Eureka High School to provide physical education programs which help students stay out of trouble, focus, perform well in school, and stay away from gangs and drugs.

This measure will permit Eureka High School to be used effectively as an emergency evacuation site as California experiences more volatile wildfires and unpredictable PG&E outages.

  • Repair and upgrade failed storm drainage system.
  • Fill sinkholes for student safety and prevent future sinkholes from developing.
  • Improve access to school facilities for students with disabilities.
  • Install new lighting for student safety.
  • Repair fields, track and ancillary buildings damaged by the storm drain failure.
  • Replace deteriorating pipes.
  • Restore and upgrade career technical training facilities.
  • Improve facilities to meet current seismic safety standards.

In addition to the projects listed above, the repair and renovation of existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: add or renovate restrooms; repair and replace electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; repair and replace worn-out and deteriorated roofs, windows, walls, floors, doors and drinking fountains; upgrade wiring and electrical systems; upgrade or construct classroom and support facilities including physical education, career technical training facilities, buildings, swing space; repair and replace fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; improve facilities to satisfy ADA requirements; resurface or replace asphalt, broken concrete, concrete flatwork, and improve hard courts, turf, track and fields, and storm water collection, irrigation and drainage systems and campus landscaping; install signage, improve pathways and fencing; expand parking and drop-off areas; improve all site utilities; acquire land; upgrade or replace interior and exterior painting, floor covering (including carpets), portable classrooms and school facades; demolition; upgrade food service areas, and school cafeterias; construct various forms of storage and support spaces; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; construct, acquire or improve playgrounds, play structures, athletic fields, stadiums, bleachers, concession areas, tracks and facilities to support student health, fitness and safety, lockers, and other facilities serving District students; replace outdated security fences and security systems (including access control systems), add or upgrade parking lots, including accessible stalls. In addition to the listed projects stated above, the Project List also includes the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including and interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the Project List; payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility studies, assessment reviews, facility master plan preparation and updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring), design and construction documentation, and temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by construction projects. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, network rewiring, cabling, computers, mobile interface devices, data centers, switches, routers, modules, and sound projection systems, wireless technology systems, acquire miscellaneous IT and instructional equipment. 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 and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts 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 portable classrooms and 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 more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary on-site and off-site improvements, site preparation and restoration 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 or drainage systems, traffic signals, sewer or utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, road widening, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, permits or rights of way to the property. The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, legal fees and similar planning costs, connection fees, permit fees, program/project management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. 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 bond projects. Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the types of projects and purposes identified herein. 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: THIS MEASURE REQUIRES A CLEAR SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY, INCLUDING A PROJECT LIST DETAILING HOW THE MONEY WILL BE USED, A CITIZEN’S OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, AND INDEPENDENT AUDITS TO ENSURE MONEY IS SPENT PROPERLY.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH EDUCATION CODE SECTION 15272, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 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 WILL 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.

TAX RATE STATEMENT

An election will be held within Eureka City Schools (the “District”) on March 3, 2020, to authorize the sale of up to $18,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to issue the bonds in a single 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 following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 through 9405 of the California Elections Code.

  1. The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 1.7 cents per $100 ($17 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The final fiscal year in which the tax to be levied to fund this bond issue is anticipated to be collected is fiscal year 2048-49.
  2. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that 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 2 cents per $100 ($20 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.
  3. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $31,351,360.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County of Humboldt 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, debt service 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.

/s/ Paul Ziegler, Assistant Superintendent Eureka City Schools

IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

The California Constitution provides a school district may issue general obligation bonds for construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including furnishing and equipping school facilities, or acquiring or leasing real property for school facilities, with the approval of 55% of the voters of the district. Approval of Measure T will authorize the Board of Education (“Board”) of the Eureka City Schools (“District”) to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $18 million to be used only for repair and upgrade of failed storm drainage infrastructure, modernization, renovation, expansion, acquisition, construction/reconstruction, rehabilitation, and/or replacement of school facilities of the District, including furnishing and equipping such school facilities. The specific projects to be funded are described in the full text of Measure T. As required by law, the Board certified it evaluated safety, class size reduction, enrollment growth, and information technology needs in developing the project list.

Measure T provides a citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure bond proceeds are properly expended. In addition, annual performance and financial audits will be conducted.

Approval of Measure T will also authorize the District to levy a tax on the assessed value of real property within the District by an amount needed to pay the principal and interest of the bonds each year the bonds are outstanding. The District estimates the average tax rate levied to meet the debt service requirements of the bonds will be $17 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property, and the highest tax rate will be $20 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property, and the tax will be levied from 2020-21 through 2048-49.

If 55% of the voters of the school district voting on Measure T vote yes, the District will be authorized to issue bonds in the amount not to exceed $18 million and levy a tax to pay the principal and interest of the bonds.

A no vote on Measure T will disapprove issuance of the bonds and levying a tax to pay for the bonds.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Ensure the health and safety of the public, teachers, families and students using Eureka High School’s stadium – Vote YES on T!

Measure T was placed on the ballot unanimously by the Board of Education as an Emergency Measure.

Independent structural engineers recently determined that portions of Eureka High School are compromised by a deteriorated storm drain system – posing a significant health and safety hazard with potentially fatal implications.

A second public works engineer concurred with these findings. To learn more, visit www.eurekacityschools.org

Dangerous sinkholes have already developed, resulting in the closure and condemnation of the welding shop to protect students. Additional sinkholes could develop with no warning – creating an imminent health and safety risk to High School students, teachers and staff.

YES on T protects the health and safety of Eureka High students, teachers, staff, families and visitors, by:

  • Repairing unsafe conditions, including the failed storm drainage system and deteriorating pipes.
  • Filling and preventing sinkholes.
  • Improving high school buildings to meet current seismic safety standards.

YES on T also ensures Eureka High’s stadium can be used in the future as an emergency evacuation site in unpredictable or catastrophic emergencies, such as wildfires or PG&E power outages.

Measure T’s Fiscal Accountability includes:

  • Independent Citizens Oversight as a watchdog, to ensure all money is spent properly
  • Annual audits for public transparency and review
  • NO money for administrators’ salaries or benefits
  • By law, all Measure T funding can only be spent as approved by voters for the
  • benefit of Eureka High, and can’t be taken by Sacramento politicians

YES on T also qualifies this project for millions in emergency State matching funds that would otherwise go to other school districts.

Keep Eureka High School safe – vote YES on T!

/s/ Scott Pesch, Eureka High School parent and local business owner /s/ Dean Beck, Local building and safety inspector
/s/ Joyce McGibbon, Eureka Teacher Association President
/s/ John Albertini, Medical Doctor, Eureka High School Parent
/s/ Chris A. Kemp, Fire Fighter, Retired

THERE IS NO ARGUMENT AGAINST POSTED AT THIS TIME. (INFORMATION ABOVE IS FROM THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY OFFICE OF ELECTIONS)
Note: State propositions, and state and federal candidate information is available at the Secretary of State website: https://www.sos.ca.gov/.