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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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— Facilities Improvement Projects —

Special District
June 7, 2016 —California Primary Election

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District
Measure J - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

15,529 votes yes (56.7%)

11,846 votes no (43.3%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (54/54).
  • 0 ballots counted.

To improve the quality of education, provide safe and modern schools for all students with funding that cannot be taken by the state; upgrade, modernize and construct classrooms, science labs and libraries; improve student access to technology; repair leaky roofs, outdated electrical and plumbing systems; and improve safety, security and access for students with disabilities shall Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District issue $249,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, including independent citizens' oversight, audits and no money for administrative salaries?

Summary

 

MEASURE J Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Bond Proposal

“To improve the quality of education, provide safe and modern schools for all students with funding that cannot be taken by the state; upgrade, modernize and construct classrooms, science labs and libraries; improve student access to technology; repair leaky roofs, outdated electrical and plumbing systems; and improve safety, security and access for students with disabilities shall Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District issue $249,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, including independent citizens’ oversight, audits and no money for administrative salaries?”

BONDS - YES  BONDS - NO 

Background

 

Background

The Governing Board of the District (the “Board”) is committed to providing a modern learning environment in local schools with safe, secure, upgraded classrooms and science labs which keep pace with 21st Century technologies and learning standards. The Board recognizes the need to modernize facilities so Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District schools can meet the demands of current and future students. Over the last year, the District initiated a long-term planning process and commissioned a facilities master plan detailing all facility’s needs. The development of this plan included input from the community, teachers, staff, parents and students. Said plan is available for review at the District office and incorporated into the Bond Project list by this reference.

Proposition 39 Bond Accountability Measures

At its February 25, 2016, meeting, the Board certified that it evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List set forth below. The proceeds of the Bonds shall be used only for the projects identified in the Bond Project List, and not for any other purpose (i.e., teacher and administrative salaries and other school operating expenses).

The District will deposit the proceeds of the bonds in a separate account. The Board is bound to conduct financial and performance audits annually to account for the bond funds and to assure that funds have only been expended on the specific projects authorized. The District shall prepare and deliver an annual report to the Board containing the amount of funds collected and expended as well as the status of school facilities projects authorized to be funded by proceeds of the Bonds.

The Board will appoint a citizen’s oversight committee (the “Committee”) having a minimum seven members and including at least one member active in a business organization representing the business community located within the District, one member active in a senior citizens’ organization, one member active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization, one member who is the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District, and one member who is both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District and active in a parent-teacher organization. 

Tax rate

EXHIBIT B
TAX RATE STATEMENT

An election will be held in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (the “District”) on June 7, 2016, to authorize the sale of up to $ 249,000,000 in bonds of the District to modernize and improve schools within the District. Specifically, bond proceeds shall be utilized for the purposes of financing the 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.

If the bonds are authorized and sold, debt service thereon 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 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California. It is anticipated that the District will sell the bonds in four (4) separate series.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2016-17.

2. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first 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 $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2023-24.

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 $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

4. The best estimate of the average tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the life of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

5. The best estimate of the total debt service, including principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $ 550,000,000.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County’s 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, the years in which they will apply, and the total debt service may vary 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.

B-1

 

The dates 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, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote. 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.

Dated: February 25, 2016

Kris Corey, Superintendent Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District 

— Kris Corey, Superintendent Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District

Arguments FOR

 

Argument in Favor of Measure J
Vote YES on Measure J to ensure local Fairfield and Suisun students continue learning in safe,

modern schools.

FSUSD has been a good steward of school facilities, maintaining and repairing them as needed. However, most schools are over 35 years old and some are almost 70 years old, and need more than just upkeep.

Our schools require urgent repairs to address the health, safety, and instructional problems that impact thousands of students every day.

FSUSD completed a yearlong assessment of every school and developed a detailed plan with cost estimates to address the most urgent priorities.

Measure J is the solution to ensuring that our schools receive the critical improvements needed to continue keeping students safe and better prepare them for success in college and future careers.

Yes on Measure J:

  •   Repairs or replaces leaky roofs, deteriorating plumbing, and sewer systems

  •   Updates classrooms for students with disabilities

  •   Upgrades old science labs and classrooms for job training

  •   Updates infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology

  •   Replaces aging portable classrooms

  •   Provides libraries so students have full access to books, resources, and technology

  •   Provides education space for music and the arts

  •   Modernizes classrooms to meet 21st-century teaching and learning standards

  •   Improves campus safety and security

    Measure J Includes Mandatory Fiscal Accountability

  •   Independent citizens’ oversight and annual audits ensure funds are spent appropriately

  •   No funds can be used for administrator salaries, benefits, or pensions

  •   Every penny raised by Measure J will be used for our local schools

  •   No funds can be taken away by the State

    Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting quality schools, home values, and our quality of life is a wise investment.

    Join parents, teachers, seniors, and local business and community leaders Vote YES on J

Arguments AGAINST

 

OPPOSITION TO MEASURE J

Suppose your house could use new carpets. The bathroom sink has a small leak. Want new furniture? A flat-screen TV?

Would you mortgage your home to pay for repairs and for things that will be junk long before the note is paid off? Would you expect your children to make the mortgage payments?

We wouldn’t! But the school district wants to stick us with the bill.

Look at the list. See how regularly the words “repair,” “renovate,” and “replace” appear. This is not a school construction measure. It’s a maintenance measure! It’s here because the district has not taken proper care of its facilities for years.

Instead of budgeting for maintenance, to keep buildings and equipment useful for a long time, the district has spent the overwhelming share around 85 percent -- on personnel: salaries and wages; retirement plans; health care; junkets. There isn’t enough left to take care of the buildings.

California law tries to provide accountability by requiring a Citizens Oversight Committee. That worked very well on the previous bond measure. But this time, there are no specific projects and no estimates of how much anything might
cost.
What’s the citizens committee going to oversee?

Since there are no cost estimates, how did the school district come up with the $249 million amount of the bond measure? Simple. It’s just the maximum amount of debt the district could stick us with. Does that sound responsible?

So what are we to do?

Reject Measure J!

Tell the district to budget properly.
Take care of facilities that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.
Separate the “must-do” from the “nice-to-have.”
Figure what each job will cost.
Then bring us a measure that we can understand and approve.

We’re voting NO on Measure J 

Replies to Arguments FOR

 

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure J

Look at your property tax bill for a list of the current school general obligation bonds that you are still paying with interest for the next 25 plus years. Three school bond measures are currently being paid by property owners: FSUSD 2002 Measure C, with two series of refinancing, and two Solano College bonds that property owners and renters will be paying for decades.

Much of the work described in Measure J is deferred maintenance of school properties for which the Education Code requires school districts to pay for from a deferred maintenance fund. Now the District tells us that the schools require urgent repairs and critical improvements. If the District had been a good steward, repairs and replacements would have been completed as needed rather than waiting for a new bond. The cost of new construction and certain replacements are eligible for matching state funds. Many of the listed items do not qualify for matching funds, strongly suggesting that they should not be in Measure J.

Since items listed in Measure J are not specific to any school site, the Measure is bait that gives the District a BLANK CHECK to squander bond dollars on whatever they want.

The FSUSD has the unilateral authority to refinance any portion of the bond amount during the bond term without voter approval or notice to refinance given to the property owner taxpayer.

Join overtaxed property ownersVOTE NO ON J! 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

 

Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure J

The FEW opponents of Measure J frequently write similar arguments against measures to support schools, police, firefighters, and other important local services. Their opposition is ideological and not based on the needs of our schools or our community.

Their comparison of urgent school safety and educational issues to a home needing new carpets and a flat screen TV is an offensive slap in the face to our students, teachers, and families. They misunderstand Measure J and trivialize serious health, safety, and instructional issues.

FACTS:

  •   Most schools are over 35 years old and some are almost 70 years old

  •   Leaky roofs disrupt instruction

  •   Schools need earthquake and fire safety improvements

  •   Deteriorating plumbing/sewer systems long ago exceeded their lifespan

  •   Fifty year old electrical systems fail because they were not designed for modern

    instructional technology

  •   Some classrooms aren’t accessible for students with disabilities

  •   Science labs and job training classrooms built in the 1960s cannot prepare students for

    college and 21st-century careers

    Measure J is the result of an extensive, yearlong facilities assessment and addresses the most urgent priorities.

    The District has a proven track record of spending taxpayers’ dollars carefully and responsibly. Mandatory citizensoversight and annual audits will ensure Measure J funds are spent on top priorities.

    Protecting quality education and ensuring that students continue to learn in safe, modern schools IS a wise investment.

    Let's send Fairfield-Suisun students a message that we value their education and future success: vote Yes on J

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