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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections
Special District

La Canada Unified School District
Measure LCF - 55% Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

2,900 votes yes (70.99%)

1,185 votes no (29.01%)

100% of precincts reporting (13/13).

To repair and modernize classroom and school facilities, including fixing deteriorating roofs, plumbing and electrical systems, improve student safety and campus security systems, upgrade/ expand classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities and instructional technology to support advanced programs in math, science, engineering, technology and the arts, construct, acquire, repair classrooms, sites, facilities and equipment, shall La Cañada Unified School District issue $149,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, all money staying local and without increasing current tax rates?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Mary C. Wickham, County Counsel

Approval of Measure LCF (“Measure”) would authorize the Governing Board (“Board”) of La Cañada Unified School District (“District”) to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $149,000,000. This Measure was placed on the ballot by Resolution No. 21-16-17 of the Board.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by the Measure shall be used only for the purposes specified in the Measure, including, but not limited to, repairing or replacing roofs, plumbing, and electrical systems; improving student safety and campus security systems; updating classrooms and instructional technology for science, technology, engineering and math; upgrading and modernizing career technology education facilities; building additional classrooms and expanding existing facilities; upgrading facilities for visual arts, music and performing arts; replacing portable classrooms; upgrading emergency communication systems; improving school pick-up and drop-off zones and parking lots; and creating multi-use classrooms. No funds shall be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses.

The Board shall cause independent performance and financial audits to be conducted annually to ensure bond proceeds are spent only for the projects identified in the Measure. The Board shall appoint an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (“Committee”) in accordance with Education Code section 15728 within 60 days after the Board enters the election results in its minutes. The Committee must include representatives of a bona fide taxpayers association, a business organization, and a senior citizens’ organization.

The maximum rate of interest on any bond shall not exceed the rate allowed by the Education and Government Codes. The tax levy authorized to secure the bonds shall not exceed the Proposition 39 limits per $100,000 of taxable property in the District when assessed valuation is projected by the District to increase.

According to the District’s Tax Rate Statement, the best estimate of the highest tax rate required to fund the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available when the District filed its Tax Rate Statement, or on a projection based on the experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $60.00 per $100,000 of the assessed value of taxable real property within the District, which is expected to be the same in each fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding. Estimated total debt service, including the principal and interest, is $268,200,000.

This Measure requires a fifty-five percent (55%) vote for passage.

Tax rate

Superintendent, La Cañada Unified School District

An election will be held in La Cañada Unified School District (the “District”) on November 7, 2017 for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the District the question of issuing bonds of the District in the principal amount of $149 million (“2017 Bond Authorization”). If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of taxes levied on 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. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the assessed valuations of taxable property in the District, and assuming the entire debt service on the bonds will be paid through property taxation:

1. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the first sale of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.000 per $100 ($0.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed for the year 2018-19.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the last sale of the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.04426 per $100 ($44.26 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed and the year 2026-27.

3. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.060 per $100 ($60.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed, which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding.

4. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rates associated with the 2017 Bond Authorization combined with the District’s outstanding obligations, based on a projection of assessed valuations, are estimated not to increase aggregate future tax rates above the current tax rate of $0.06105 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $61.05 per $100,000 of assessed valuation).

5. The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $268,200,000.

Attention of voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates. The actual timing of sales of the bonds and the amount to be sold at any time will be governed by the needs of the District and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold, which will not exceed the maximum permitted by law, will depend upon the bond market at the time of sale. The actual assessed valuations in future years will depend upon the value of property within the District as determined in the assessment and the equalization process. Therefore, the actual tax rates and the years in which those tax rates will be applicable may vary from those presently estimated and stated above.

WENDY SINNETTE
Superintendent
La Cañada Unified School District

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

We are fortunate to live in a community with involved citizens, beautiful surroundings and great schools. Whether or not you have school-age children, maintaining quality schools is a wise investment that protects our quality of life and the value of our homes.

Voting Yes on LCF protects excellent education in local schools and provides safe and up-to-date classrooms for local students – without increasing taxes beyond what we already pay.

While our schools continue to rank among California’s best, all La Cañada USD schools were built over 45 years ago and need to be updated. Essential repairs and improvements will ensure our schools continue to serve our students and the community for decades to come.

Vote YES on LCF to:

- Repair leaky roofs and old rusty plumbing

- Replace faulty electrical and air conditioning systems with cost-saving energy-efficient systems

- Improve student safety and campus security

- Upgrade classrooms and career tech education facilities to prepare students for college and in-demand careers

- Update instructional technology to support advanced courses in math, science, engineering

- Replace worn out arts, music and athletic facilities

- Replace deteriorating portables that are expensive to maintain with permanent classrooms

Measure LCF requires strict fiscal accountability:

- Only voter-approved projects may be funded

- All funds must be used locally to improve La Cañada USD schools

- No funds can be taken by the State or used for administrators’ salaries

- Independent citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits ensure funds are used properly

- Measure LCF helps our district qualify for state matching funds that otherwise will go to other communities

Measure LCF will fund needed school improvements by extending, but NOT increasing, the tax rate currently paid to support school facilities. Measure LCF does NOT increase our tax rates.

Great towns have great schools. Please vote Yes on LCF!

YesOnLCF.com

          ELLEN MULTARI
          Board Member and Former President,
          La Cañada USD

          JONATHAN CURTIS
          La Cañada Flintridge City Councilmember
          and Immediate Past Mayor

          KIM BEATTIE
          Former President,
          La Cañada Chamber of Commerce

          NEAL H. BROCKMEYER
          LCF Educational Foundation
          Co-Founder/Lifelong LCF Resident

          SOO KIM CHOI
          Board Member,
          Flintridge Guild of Children’s Hospital
          LA/LCUSD Parent

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Arguments AGAINST

Are you parents? Do you hold your children accountable?

While we support schools, we don’t support wasting your money on vague, unenforceable promises.

Don’t be deceived by the District’s campaign funded by businesses that will likely benefit from bond money. (Isn’t that called pay-to-play?) Beware of high-priced marketers masquerading as “parents, teachers, and community leaders.”

Why Vote No on Measure LCF?

- It’s virtually, word-for-word, identical to every other bond measure written by lawyers (bond counsel) who make tens of thousands of dollars every time bonds are issued.

- Did you hear about a list of projects? Why isn’t it in Measure LCF? Because it would restrict the District to spend the money ONLY on those items?

- Can you trust the District? For months it showed off specific projects Measure LCF would fund. Why aren’t they shown in Measure LCF?

- Were you surveyed? Did you get a fancy mailer from the District? YOU PAID FOR IT ALL. Is that fair? Using your money for campaign purposes?

- Why has the District scrubbed its website of previous Measure B?

Proposition 39 permits a bare majority of voters (55%) to approve these bonds. “To ensure that before they vote, voters will be given a list of specific projects their bond money will be used for,” it requires that the proposal provide a “list of the specific school facilities projects to be funded.” (Source: Proposition 39 ballot measure.)

Measure LCF’s vague language gives the District a BLANK CHECK with NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

Don’t vote to waste your taxes on vague promises. Did the District keep its promises from Measure B (2004)? It spent $25,000,000 and still has “leaky roofs?”

Bond money is like drugs. Don’t give the District another fix. VOTE NO on Measure LCF.

http://bit.ly/NoLCUSDBond

          TED BROWN
          Secretary, Foothills Libertarian Party

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Replies to Arguments FOR

Did you know that La Cañada Unified put a bond for a huge, new $268,200,000 property tax on the ballot? It’s time to ask if past bond measures have been recklessly spent and poorly managed.

The elite hired guns from San Francisco who wrote these bonds say they would take effect “without increasing taxes”! Do you really believe that?

Bonds are money borrowed at interest, secured by your home, and paid back with your property taxes. Just look at your property tax bill every year.

Are local schools REALLY falling apart? They always say that.

And, who oversees spending the bond money? The law requires oversight committees to report to YOU at least once a year. Have you EVER seen a report from Measure B (2004 bond) or Measure LC (2014 $300 parcel tax)?

FACTS

La Cañada Unified has ONLY FOUR SCHOOLS.

They were all upgraded, repaired, and equipped over the last several years with $25,000,000 from Measure B, passed in 2004.

Measure LCF now calls for over $35,000,000 PER SCHOOL. For LEAKY ROOFS? They must be kidding!

School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) for La Cañada schools rate ALL facilities GOOD (highest rating). Why the discrepancy between what La Cañada Unified reported, and the sob story it’s peddling now? Read to find out: sarconline.org

La Cañada Unified actively recruits out-of-district students - reportedly 15.7%. What about concentrating on students who live in La Cañada before asking for money to serve extra students?

The promises aren’t spelled out. It seems extravagant. It’s more than LCUSD needs. You are being deceived. Vote NO on Measure LCF!

http://bit.ly/NoLCUSDBond

          TED BROWN
          Secretary, Foothills Libertarian Party

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The lone opponent of Measure LCF DOES NOT LIVE in La Cañada Flintridge and does not understand the needs of our outstanding local schools. He has his facts wrong.

Here is the truth:

Measure LCF includes a LEGALLY-BINDING project list. Check your voter pamphlet. The legally-binding language specifies the only projects eligible for Measure LCF funding. La Cañada Unified School District developed this plan based on a careful analysis of every school in the district and months of input from school facility experts and hundreds of local parents, teachers and community members.

Measure LCF DOES NOT increase our tax rates. Measure LCF will upgrade our 45+ year old classrooms by extending -- but not increasing -- the tax rate we already pay to support school facilities.

Measure LCF requires strict FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY PROTECTIONS. Mandatory annual audits and an independent citizens’ oversight committee will ensure all funds are spent as promised. By law, every penny must stay local to support our schools, no funds can be taken by the State or used for administrator salaries.

La Cañada Unified School District has a strong record of fiscal responsibility. Thirteen years ago voters approved a bond to fund a preliminary phase of school improvements. A citizens’ oversight committee confirmed those projects were completed on time and on budget.

La Cañada’s great schools PROTECT OUR PROPERTY VALUES. Local residents know that maintaining quality schools is a wise investment that protects our quality of life and the value of our homes.

That’s why La Cañada’s most respected local leaders recommend a YES vote on Measure LCF.

Visit: www.YesOnLCF.com

          SCOTT TRACY
          Past President, LCUSD Board of Education and
          La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation/
          Private Equity Firm Co-Founder and
          Managing Director

          STEPHEN A. DEL GUERCIO
          Former Mayor, City of La Cañada
          Flintridge/Attorney/
          Board of Directors for a National Bank

          JACOB TUJIAN
          Past Chair, LCUSD Measure B Bond
          Citizens’ Oversight Committee/
          Local Business Owner

          JEANNE BROBERG
          Past President, LCUSD Board of Education/
          47-Year La Cañada Flintridge Resident/
          Community Volunteer

          BRIAN R. HULL
          40-Year Local Businessperson/
          Community Volunteer/
          Three Generation LCUSD Family

— Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the La Cañada Unified School District.

“To repair and modernize classroom and school facilities, including fixing deteriorating roofs, plumbing and electrical systems, improve student safety and campus security systems, upgrade/expand classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities and instructional technology to support advanced programs in math, science, engineering, technology and the arts, construct, acquire, repair classrooms, sites, facilities and equipment, shall La Cañada Unified School District issue $149,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, all money staying local and without increasing current tax rates?”

PROJECT LIST

The Governing Board of the La Cañada Unified School District is committed to improving the high-quality of education in local schools by providing safe, secure, upgraded classrooms and science labs so students are prepared for college or other post-secondary training. To that end, the Board evaluated the District’s urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, class size, computer and information technology, and prepared a Facilities Master Plan (approved by the Board on June 20, 2017) which is incorporated herein in its entirety, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input in developing this Project List. Teachers, staff, community members and the Board have prioritized the key health and safety needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board concluded that protecting the quality of our schools, the quality of life in our community, and the value of our homes is a wise investment. Therefore, in approving this Project List, the Governing Board determines that the District must:

(i) Repair or replace leaky roofs, old rusty plumbing and faulty electrical systems; and

(ii) Improve student safety and campus security systems, including security lighting, cameras, emergency communications systems, smoke detectors and fire alarms; and

(iii) Update classrooms and instructional technology to support advanced courses in math, science, engineering and technology to prepare students for college; and

(iv) Upgrade and modernize career technology education facilities so students are prepared for in-demand careers; and

(v) Adhere to specific fiscal accountability safeguards:

(a) No increase in the rates currently paid to support school facilities.

(b) All expenditures subject to annual independent financial audits.

(c) No funds used for administrators’ salaries and pensions.

(d) No money taken by the State. All funds stay local.

(e) All expenditures reviewed by an independent citizens’ 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 and sites:

BUILDING STRONG FOUNDATIONS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS: Basic School Repair and Upgrade Projects To Maintain High-Quality Learning Environment

Goals and Purposes: While our schools are among the best in the State and student achievement scores are in the top 5%, allowing 98% of our graduates to go on to college, repairing our schools is essential to maintaining our high-quality learning environment.

Local schools were built more than 45 years ago and they need basic repairs, including roofs, plumbing and electrical systems so they can serve the community well for decades to:

– Upgrade science labs and career technology education facilities so students are prepared for college and in-demand careers.

Repair or replace leaky roofs, old rusty plumbing and faulty electrical systems where needed.

– Build additional classrooms and expand existing facilities enable smaller class sizes and specialized instruction.

 

– Upgrade facilities to support high quality instruction in visual arts, music and performing arts.

PROTECTING SCHOOL SAFETY: Student Safety and Campus Security Projects

Goal and Purpose: WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN, PROTECTING THE QUALITY OF OUR SCHOOLS, THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND THE VALUE OF OUR HOMES IS A WISE INVESTMENT. This measure will upgrade security lighting, fencing, smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers, and campus security systems for improved student safety.

Schools will benefit from a variety of safety projects, such as:

– Replace deteriorating portable classrooms that are expensive to maintain with permanent classrooms.

– Improve student safety and campus security systems, including security lighting, security cameras, smoke detectors and fire alarms.

– Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

– Improve school pick-up, drop-off zones and parking lots to improve student safety.

PREPARING FOR 21st CENTURY CAREERS: District-Wide Instructional Technology Projects

Goal and Purpose: Since academic standards are rising for what it takes to compete in the 21st Century, we must provide local students to access to education, facilities and technology they need to succeed. This measure will update instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like math, science and technology.

This measure also ensures that money raised will stay local to support our students and cannot be taken by the state.

– Update classrooms and instructional technology for improved student learning in core subjects like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

– Upgrade classrooms and labs for career and technical education classes and computer systems to keep pace with technology.

– Create flexible, multi-use classrooms to support hands-on instruction and learning-by-doing.

The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program/project management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. 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 the reduction or retirement of outstanding lease obligations and interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the Project List; installation of signage and fencing; 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. In addition to the projects listed above, the repair and renovation of each of the existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: add or renovate student and staff restrooms; repair and replace electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; repair and replace worn-out and deteriorated roofs, windows, walls, doors and drinking fountains; construct or renovate the District office and facilities for professional development of teachers, more efficient administration and proper data security; install wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrade or construct support facilities including administrative, physical education (including constructing, upgrading, or adding gyms, field house, stadiums, locker/weight rooms, bleachers, athletic facilities, which support student health, fitness and athletic programs similarly for boys and girls), music, art, performing arts, science, computer labs/classrooms, libraries and buildings, maintenance facilities and yards; repair and replace fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; improve facilities to satisfy ADA requirements; resurface or replace hard courts, turf (including artificial turf) and irrigation systems and campus landscaping; expand parking and drop-off areas; improve all site utilities; acquire land; construct new school buildings; upgrade interior and exterior painting and floor covering; demolition; upgrade or construct new pools; upgrade kitchens, food service, and school cafeterias; construct various forms of storage and support spaces and classrooms; improve outdoor learning environments and quads; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; improve playgrounds, athletic fields and play apparatus; replace outdated security fences and security systems (including access control systems), provide lunch shelters, indoor space for assemblies or for rainy day lunch; upgrade music labs, multi-purpose rooms, learning centers and media centers; add new parking lots and parking structures (with tennis courts). The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, network rewiring, computers, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, laser printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, wireless technology systems, refresh classroom technology and other miscellaneous equipment. The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the District’s receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District’s share of the costs of the projects, the District will not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District’s control. Some projects throughout the District, such as gyms, fields and performing arts facilities, may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies. 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 site preparation/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, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property. 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 specific 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: 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.

 

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