2 bond measures face Pleasanton voters June 7


Pleasanton voters will be asked to approve a $950 million bond measure June 7 for improvements to Las Positas and Chabot College campuses as well as a $25 million annual parcel tax for 20 years to pay for a San Francisco Bay clean water program.

The two measures on Pleasanton ballots will be part of more than a billion dollars in bond issues and parcel taxes facing voters in other parts of Alameda County, with more to come in the General Election on Nov. 8.

The community college bond measure, which requires a 55% voter support to pass, was approved by the Chabot-Las Positas board of trustees March 1. Loranzo Legaspi, the district's vice chancellor of business services, said the measure will cost an average of $92.12 per year. He based his estimate on the area's median home value of $376,000. The annual impact of the bond will be considerably more for homeowners in Pleasanton, where the current median home value is $975,800.

College administrators say they need the money to pay for new classrooms at both the Hayward and Livermore campuses, along with three new lecture halls, new health science classrooms, new facilities for the welding department and horticulture, and new offices for faculty.

A two-thirds voter approval will be required to approve the Measure AA parcel tax being sought by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. That would authorize a parcel tax of $12 a year for the next 20 years on all properties in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Marin counties -- which are considered part of the Bay Area.

The tax, which would automatically expire in 2037, is designed to restore wetlands near the San Francisco Bay. It would produce about $500 million in revenue over 20 years and would be the first local parcel tax in the history of the state to be levied throughout an entire region and multiple counties.

Voters in Dublin and Livermore will be voting on major bond issues which, because they are general obligation bonds, would require a 55% voter approval. If approved, the Dublin measure would raise $283 million, costing property owners $60 per $100,000 in assessed valuation, to provide funds for the initial phase of the city's proposed second high school to meet projected enrollment growth.

Called the "Dublin Quality Education and Overcrowding Prevention Measure," it is the Dublin Unified School District's third bond measure since 2004. Revenue from the bonds to be issued over time would allow the district to replace aging classrooms and update science and laboratory spaces, computers and educational technology.

Livermore residents will be asked to support a $245 million bond measure to be used to repair and upgrade its schools. Although district analysts said a $510 million bond would be required to provide sufficient funds for what's needed, a survey showed the strongest voter support for a bond came in at $225 million to $240 million.

Chris Van Schaack, assistant superintendent of administrative services, told the Livermore board that based upon research of similar-size school districts in California and successful general obligation bond elections, it was evident that the suggested $510 million would have to be reduced.

But while Pleasanton voters have escaped a school bond issue in the upcoming June 7 primary election, they may face one on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The school district is considering asking voters to approve a school bond measure for the first time since 1997 for improvements to buildings, equipment and hardware -- a 2013 report concluded the district needed roughly $500 million worth of facilities upgrades.

The Pleasanton school board hired a polling firm to gauge public support for a bond measure, and in March, the firm released its survey results, which found about two-thirds of polled local voters said they would support a school facilities bond in general.

Polling firm representatives recommended the district add a bond measure item to the November ballot, and they said a rate of $60 per $100,000 assessed valuation polled at about 55% in support -- which would be the threshold required for passage by voters.

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9 people like this
Posted by Henry
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 19, 2016 at 9:49 am

While the Chabot and Las Positas bond has a certain appeal, the effect of increasing property taxes on seniors with stable to declining income levels need to be considered. Social Security income remains level with no increases seen in the near future. 401k income is declining. Increases in property values only increases general property taxes even with Prop 13 constraints. Medical expenses associated with seniors like drug prescriptions are increasing at shocking levels. Where many seniors would have been glad to support the college bond issue in the past, many are now taking pause.

It would be good to know if any estimates are available for the tax increase for Pleasanton schools to be voted for in November. In addition, a bond issue for the needed new library and civic building complex will soon be on its way. It would be good to prioritize all these issues. Las Positas and Chabot may not be as important to many. These regularly occurring tax increases on stable to declining incomes may soon force some seniors out of their homes. But maybe that is not seen to be a problem by many, but having to move away from families as a result of higher taxes is in the back of the mind of many.

The wetlands bond issue appears to be wasted money. Increasing ocean levels over the next century will all but inundate these wetlands. I understand the value of the wetlands and under stable climate conditions the benefits of this initiative. But it appears to be short sighted. Macro costs for the effects of climate change will become a huge financial drain with maybe some opportunities. But our wetlands will not be here, unless they move inland and overlay currently occupied lands. That will result in some major spending.

5 people like this
Posted by Money and Taxes
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2016 at 8:42 am

Pleasanton has an extreme amount of building going on. The new projects should have an increase in paying for all of these measures. If the developers do not want to pay - then stop building here.
We have to watch water usage and yet we keep building.
When we work for a living, we can't go to our employers and tell them we need a raise because of what the city needs.
A lot of the money does not get spent the way it is voted for.
When young families were finally able to buy in Pleasanton because they wanted our community to live in - did they realize that their budget was going to go to the city and county - not to their family.

3 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on May 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

Our tax burden is one of the highest in the nation. Vote to all taxes otherwise Pleasanton will be beyond the reach of young families and will look like elder communities in Florida.

7 people like this
Posted by YellowRose
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Please, No More Taxes. We are not wealthy, we just happened to buy our home many years ago. Thank You for your comments: Henry, Money and Taxes, and Pete!

For years we have paid California Taxes only to be turned away at Public elementary schools and colleges due to overcrowding; or simply because colleges prefer to enroll out-of-state (more money) or "dream" children (parents probably paid taxes and I don't blame the "dreamers"). California Residents' children should take priority, after all we've been paying taxes for public schools/colleges.

We have lived in Pleasanton for 25 years. Due to overcrowding, only two of our Five kids attended public schools here. We are two years away from retirement, four of our five children have had to attend out-of-state Colleges(State/University). We saved money for their college, so none qualified for Financial Aid, and with the job market only recently have three of the four been employed.

I totally agree with all the comments made so far - Stop the building, No more taxes, Traffic and Water for current residents is already a pet peeve. Give Seniors a break. Older citizens (with no children at home) are unable to keep up with increasing costs. We are living on our savings. While we were hoping to leave our home to our children, we will probably have to sell it.

5 people like this
Posted by Adam
a resident of Avila
on May 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Chabot Las Positas, are greedy pigs! Does anyone know how much we are already paying for the large bond they passed a few years ago? They target the students and non property owners to vote yes, knowing they will not be paying it.

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