Voters in the greater Livermore Valley face the question of approving a $450 million bond, Measure G, to advance key projects from Phase 2 of the Facilities Master Plan for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. It aims to build on the work completed in Phase 1 under the $245 million bond in 2016.
Centering around five large-scale school renovations, in addition to ongoing infrastructure upgrades districtwide, Measure G would cost approximately $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for properties within LVJUSD boundaries annually for the duration of the bond debt repayment period.
We do note, with derision, that the ballot question casts the cost as "approximately 6 cents per $100" -- perhaps a way to save on the word count, or a cynical attempt to make the amounts look more favorable at a glance. Either way, no Livermore property taxpayer looks at a bill with hundreds of dollars in valuation; this rate should be on the ballot in a more recognizable, more realistic presentation.
But no matter how the tax rate is listed, the bond capacity of $450 million is clearly a significant chunk that would go a long way toward bringing more and more Livermore facilities into the 21st century.
And necessary, we might add.
The Measure G project list is ambitious at a glance, but it wisely remains grounded in fulfilling actual academic-facility needs of students and staff in Livermore.
Of course the classroom and administration buildings at Granada High School and the classroom building with student union and courtyard at Livermore High stand out, but the bond would also achieve vital transformations at Marylin Avenue Elementary, Rancho Las Positas Elementary and Junction Avenue TK-8 schools.
Those are in addition to key improvements to safety, security, technology and classroom furniture districtwide.
All of these goals are needed to truly enhance the modern student experience in LVJUSD, and like it or not, a school bond measure is the only tangible option available to local districts in California to accomplish even a single necessary campus renovation, let alone five.
Buoying our confidence in Measure G in 2022 is what we've seen from the district in recent years in completing key projects under the 2016 Measure J bond. Just look at the exquisite athletic facilities at Granada and Livermore highs, for example; it's like day and night when compared to neighboring Pleasanton.
We acknowledge the anti-Measure G arguments put forth by members of the Alameda County Taxpayers' Association and Alameda County Libertarian Party.
It's difficult to view them in any way other than just repeating vague criticisms and claims centered around their main contention -- they seem to just oppose all new tax increases effectively on principle, and will sling any and every argument or allegation at the wall hoping to bolster their biased perspective.
None of them stick with us.
Livermore schools must have the funding to continue evolving in the 2020s and beyond. We recommend Yes on Measure G.