News

Editorial: Vote Yes on Measure J, Sunol's $10.9 million school bond

Sunol Glen Unified School District has returned to the ballot proposing a $10.9 million bond to pay for a range of construction upgrades to the K-8 campus on Main Street in Sunol, including safety improvements and better accessibility; roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC repairs; cafeteria modernization; and a STEM lab for students.

Measure J calls for a tax rate of $52.10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of properties within the SGUSD boundaries to cover the resulting bond debt. (We can't help but snicker, though, at the district absurdly using "5.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation" in their ballot language; they should have been more upfront in framing the rate based around actual property values.)

This seeks to be the first bond measure for Sunol since 1999, the tax from which is beginning to wind down. SGUSD did try to pass $9.5 million Measure O in March 2020, but it failed to clear the 55% threshold with 50.56% Yes, 49.44% No -- an even narrower margin when comparing the actual vote count of 227 to 222.

District leaders and stakeholders think they've found the solution to pass their bond this time around: take out the high-dollar multipurpose room proposed in 2020 in favor of comprehensive infrastructure improvements and STEM facilities in 2022.

The need is clear if you visit the 97-year-old campus in Sunol. Many maintenance projects are decades behind because of a lack of funding, and those detrimental conditions will only worsen from here.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

Students and staff in SGUSD, and really the Sunol community at-large, deserve for their school facilities to be brought into the 21st century. All of the work outlined in the ballot statement and resolution are critical projects that will tangibly enhance the academic experience at the campus.

And as you've heard us say over and over in recent election cycles: A local bond measure is the only concrete way districts can ensure their facilities projects get funded and come to fruition.

We are not swayed by the anti-Measure J arguments put forth by the Alameda County Libertarian Party, which contend the district's project list is too vague. Ironically the group relies on primarily vague platitudes as the basis for those criticisms in the Sunol arguments -- similar talking points we've seen from them in opposition statements for other school bond measures.

They also question whether all of the projects would justifiably add up to $10 million-plus. We can't help but wonder if they're aware of how much deferred school maintenance projects cost for supplies and labor in 2022, not to mention the cafeteria and tech lab aspects.

Vote Yes on Measure J to better modernize Sunol Glen School, finally.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important political news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

Editorial: Vote Yes on Measure J, Sunol's $10.9 million school bond

by Pleasanton Weekly editorial board /

Uploaded: Sun, Oct 9, 2022, 7:55 pm

Sunol Glen Unified School District has returned to the ballot proposing a $10.9 million bond to pay for a range of construction upgrades to the K-8 campus on Main Street in Sunol, including safety improvements and better accessibility; roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC repairs; cafeteria modernization; and a STEM lab for students.

Measure J calls for a tax rate of $52.10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of properties within the SGUSD boundaries to cover the resulting bond debt. (We can't help but snicker, though, at the district absurdly using "5.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation" in their ballot language; they should have been more upfront in framing the rate based around actual property values.)

This seeks to be the first bond measure for Sunol since 1999, the tax from which is beginning to wind down. SGUSD did try to pass $9.5 million Measure O in March 2020, but it failed to clear the 55% threshold with 50.56% Yes, 49.44% No -- an even narrower margin when comparing the actual vote count of 227 to 222.

District leaders and stakeholders think they've found the solution to pass their bond this time around: take out the high-dollar multipurpose room proposed in 2020 in favor of comprehensive infrastructure improvements and STEM facilities in 2022.

The need is clear if you visit the 97-year-old campus in Sunol. Many maintenance projects are decades behind because of a lack of funding, and those detrimental conditions will only worsen from here.

Students and staff in SGUSD, and really the Sunol community at-large, deserve for their school facilities to be brought into the 21st century. All of the work outlined in the ballot statement and resolution are critical projects that will tangibly enhance the academic experience at the campus.

And as you've heard us say over and over in recent election cycles: A local bond measure is the only concrete way districts can ensure their facilities projects get funded and come to fruition.

We are not swayed by the anti-Measure J arguments put forth by the Alameda County Libertarian Party, which contend the district's project list is too vague. Ironically the group relies on primarily vague platitudes as the basis for those criticisms in the Sunol arguments -- similar talking points we've seen from them in opposition statements for other school bond measures.

They also question whether all of the projects would justifiably add up to $10 million-plus. We can't help but wonder if they're aware of how much deferred school maintenance projects cost for supplies and labor in 2022, not to mention the cafeteria and tech lab aspects.

Vote Yes on Measure J to better modernize Sunol Glen School, finally.

Comments

Resident of Sunol
Registered user
another community
on Oct 10, 2022 at 9:53 am
Resident of Sunol, another community
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2022 at 9:53 am

I can’t say I’m surprised by this bias editorial from the Pleasanton weekly. They’ve never met a tax they didn’t like, just go back and take a look at their history. Because of this editorial and an asinine email going around the community, we (my wife and I) decided to write this rebuttal.

For the record, we are 24 year Sunol resident, put our son through Sunol Glen, support Sunol Glen but we are voting NO on Measure J. Wait, what? That doesn’t make sense. Yes, the school needs work and safety changes, AGREED. We, however, don’t agree with the they way Measure J is being proposed and handled. After the failure of measure O and the promise from the school board that it was a “lesson learned” and things would be different next time, next time is here and it’s the same old story, “see the new boss, same as the old boss”. The bond request is equivalent to a blank $22 Million dollar check, with vague requests with equally vague or missing numbers to approximate expenditures. As individuals, we would not put up with this nebulous conduct if it was work on our homes or the companies we work for. If I proposed projects like this at any of the companies I’ve worked for, not only would the project not happen but I would have been let go and for good reason. Why should we put up with less from a 30 year plus financial commitment on our community’s part?

Some would have you believe this is not a “new” tax. If we are asked to vote on it, it’s a new tax, unless they are trying to prove the old saying “there is no such thing as a temporary tax”.

We do agree with the editorial comment of “5.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation”, this is disingenuous. While we’re on it, the slogan “Save our Sunol Glen School”, is a parochial attempt to strike fear in the voters.

No on Measure J


Resident of Sunol
Registered user
another community
on Oct 10, 2022 at 1:32 pm
Resident of Sunol, another community
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2022 at 1:32 pm

This is meant to be a follow up to my previous post since there is a size limit.

An oversight committee, is that suppose to make us feel better and that it’s financially responsible? Just show us once where that’s worked ANYWHERE, the money is spent, gone and it’s not coming back. For the potential argument that a school is not a business, take a look at their budget or California’s educational commitment or what we’re been asked to fork over for the next 30 years and tell us that doesn’t constitute a big business.

Some would call out the statistic that Sunol itself has lower taxes than others in Alameda county. In a state with the highest taxes in the nation, a county with close to the highest taxes in the state and country, inflation, gas and food prices out of control, and people trying to make ends meet, I’m trying to understand the problem with paying less taxes?

Additionally, the editorial’s flippant comment, “They also question whether all of the projects would justifiably add up to $10 million-plus. We can't help but wonder if they're aware of how much deferred school maintenance projects cost for supplies and labor in 2022, not to mention the cafeteria and tech lab aspects.” we find offensively condescending and arrogant. Home owners are more than aware of the cost of projects and the cost of schools. As already stated, the school and measure J use swags or nothing at all to approximate cost of projects. Again, would you approve work on your home or property if the contractor couldn’t give you an itemized costing for the proposed work?

Get informed www.sunolglenmeasurej.com

No on Measure J

A correction to my prior post. In an email exchange with the Pleasanton weekly, there have been times that the weekly didn't support tax increases. I stand corrected.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.