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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Southwestern Community College District
Measure Z Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

115,479 votes yes (70.46%)

48,411 votes no (29.54%)

To repair/ upgrade local community college campuses, prepare students/ veterans for jobs/ university transfer, repair deteriorating roofs, electrical wiring, gas, water/ sewer lines, remove asbestos/ lead paint, improve energy efficiency/ campus safety/ security, upgrade, acquire, repair, construct classrooms/ labs/ sites/ facilities/ equipment, shall Southwestern Community College District issue $400 million in bonds at legal rates, no money for administrators' salaries/ pensions, independent audits, citizen oversight, all funds used locally?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $400,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 

NO vote means

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $400,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 

Background

San Diego County Counsel

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the Southwestern Community College District (“District”). 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

San Diego County Counsel

This measure, if approved by 55% of the votes cast on the measure, will authorize the District to issue and sell $400,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The sale of these bonds by the District is for the purpose of raising money for the District, and represents a debt of the District. In exchange for the money received from the bond holders, the District promises to pay the holders an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the bonds on the expiration date.

Voter approval of this measure will also authorize an annual tax to be levied upon the taxable property within the District. The purpose of this tax is to generate sufficient revenue to pay interest on the bonds as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure may be used by the District for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of community college facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of community college facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for community college facilities.

The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, could not exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 40 years after the date the bonds are issued as determined by the District.

The tax authorized by this measure is consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution. The California Constitution permits property taxes, above the standard one percent (1%) limitation, to be levied upon real property to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for, among other things, the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if:

(1) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified,

(2) the District, by evaluating safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs, has approved a list of specific projects to be funded,

(3) the District will conduct an annual, independent performance audit, and

(4) the District will conduct an annual, independent financial audit.

If a bond measure is approved, state law requires the District to establish an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The District has made this ballot measure subject to these requirements.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the District that are the subject of these bonds will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. 

Tax rate

Acting Superintendent/President, Southwestern Community College District

An election will be held in the Southwestern Community College District (the “District”) on November 8, 2016, for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the District the question of incurring a bonded indebterdness of the District in a principal amount of $400,000,000. If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof an interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information regarding tax rates is provided to comply with Section 9401 of the Election 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, including principal and interest on the bonds, will be paid through property taxation:

1. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund the bonds issue during the first fiscal year after the first sale of bonds, and an estimate of the year in which that tax rate will apply is $0.0250 per $100, or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed in fiscal year 2017-2018.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund the bonds issue during the first fiscal year after the last sale of bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply is $0.0250 per $100, or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed in 2029-2030.

3. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply is $0.0250 per $100 or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed in fiscal year 2017-2018. 

4. The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including principal and interest which would be required to be repaid by tax rates levied on taxable property, if all the bonds are issued, sold and paid as projected would be $ 771,677,155.

The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold, and the market interest rates at the time of the sales, and the actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The date of sale and the amount of bonds sold any given time will be determined by the District based on its need for construction funding as well as other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on bond market conditions at the time of sale. Actual assessed valuations at future dates will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the County of San Diego in the annual assessment and the equalization process. Accordingly, the actual tax rate and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated above.

Acting Superintendent/President
Southwestern Community College District
Timothy Flood

Dated: 8-10-16 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Z

 

Southwestern Community College Affordable Education
Job Training & Veterans Support Measure

Make College Affordable.
The cost of California’s public universities has skyrocketed. South Bay students rely on Southwestern College to improve job skills, earn an associate degree, and transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. Measure Z ensures Southwestern College can provide affordable, quality higher education for students and working families throughout the South Bay.

Prepare Students for 21st Century Careers.
Technology has changed our economy. Many workers, including 70% of nurses and 80% of law enforcement, attend community colleges to learn essential science and computer skills. Measure Z will build state-of-the-art classrooms and expand technology training programs to prepare students for 21st century careers and find better-paying jobs in fields like biotech, engineering, healthcare.

Accountability & Transparency.

  • Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.
  • Funds must be spent locally.
  • Mandatory Annual Fiscal Audits.
  • No Funds for Administrators’ Salaries.
  • 100% Transparency Rating - San Diego Taxpayers Association

Affordable Job Training and Vocational Education.
Many good-paying careers don’t require 4-year degrees, but do require career technical training. Measure Z ensures Southwestern College provides a positive alternative for students seeking vocational training and workers who need to learn new job skills later in life.

Assist Veterans Re-Entering the Workforce.
Southwestern College serves thousands of military veterans, many of whom recently returned from war zones and face tough challenges. Measure Z expands veterans’ services and job training to help returning veterans complete their education and re-enter the workforce.

Critically Needed Repairs.
Many Southwestern College classrooms were built 50 years ago and are outdated, deteriorating and run down. Measure Z makes urgently needed repairs, including removing asbestos and lead paint, improving fire/earthquake safety, renovating electrical, gas and sewer lines, fixing leaky roofs, and repairing classrooms and labs.

YES ON MEASURE Z
Making College and Job Training Affordable

/s/

JIM MAHLER
President,
American Federation of Teachers

LINDA LEGERRETTE
Director,
Middle Class Taxpayers Association 

BOB MUFF 
Southwestern College Citizens 
Bond Oversight Committee

NICK SEGURA
Director,
San Diego Electrical Job Training Center

VINCENT ALEXANDER AVILA-WALKER
President, Southwestern College
Student Veterans Organization 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Z

 

Don’t be a victim of The School Bond Scam! (www.schoolbondscam.org)

News articles and campaign finance disclosures show Wall Streeters, contractors and consultants pay money to pass school bonds for their immediate profit leaving each taxpayer with decades of additional debt. Google: “Local School Bonds: Big Donors Win Big Contracts” OR Orange County Register’s “Bankers Push School Bonds for C.A.S.H.”

The School Bond Scammers gladly pay to pass bonds anticipating school boards will reward them with inflated no bid contracts in return. Google: Sweetwater school pay to play OR Fresno Leaseback FBI Arax.

Voice of San Diego’s August 6, 2012 investigative report revealed Poway School District’s "Capital Appreciation Bonds" put their taxpayers on the hook to pay back about $1 billion for their $105 million bond. Google: “Thanks a Billion”

California Taxpayers Action Network (www.caltan.org) is not against all school bonds and has supported those (i.e. Walnut Valley Unified School District) that contain proper internal controls to prevent waste and encourage good value for taxpayers.

This bond does not include such taxpayer protections. Contracts can be handed to favored contractors and consultants without regard to price!

Worse, this bond lacks a prioritized Project List with estimated project costs for each and a commitment to build the proposed projects in the promised prioritized order. This bond allows pet projects to be built instead of necessary ones.

Why does District need another bond so soon after their last one? Did they handout over priced contracts and put in astroturf fields with the last bond instead of making needed classroom repairs?

Vote NO until they propose a better bond next election.

California Taxpayers Action Network is a San Diego based all-volunteer, statewide network of taxpayer advocates who promote sound fiscal policies, practices and business methods by government entities for the public’s benefit and protection.

/s/

M. KEVIN O’NEILL
President,
California Taxpayers Action Network 

MATY ADATO

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE Z

 

Measure Z’s tax increase is unfair to seniors and fixed income property owners.

Why another bond so soon? How can Southwestern still claim leaky roofs, rusty pipes or unsafe conditions after spending all the prior bond money voters approved? Was bond money wasted on pools, AstroTurf, bleachers or theaters instead of classrooms and student safety? WAS PRIOR BOND MONEY WASTED ON NO BID CONTRACTS TO FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS? How can voters trust Southwestern not to waste this money too?

Measure Z would give Southwestern an additional $400 million at a cost of $771.6 million to taxpayers over decades.

A $500,000 property can expect $125 more taxes per year for decades if Measure Z passes. Worse the estimated high of $25 per $100,000 is not guaranteed. IT COULD BE HIGHER!

You already pay taxes for your elementary schools’ bonds and these districtwide taxes:

Countywide Proposition 13
Sweetwater High School District, Bond 2000
Sweetwater High School District, Bond 2006
Southwestern Community College, Bond 2000
Southwestern Community College, Bond 2008
Metropolitan Water District

STOP TAXING US TO DEATH!

District’s promised Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee is a toothless tiger. Measure Z lacks a specific prioritized project list with estimated costs so voters and Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee can measure accountability.

Worse, many bond funded contracts will be handed out without competitive bidding that has historically protected schools from wasted funds, fostered healthy market competition, allowed all qualified bidders a fair opportunity to participate and protected against fraud, favoritism, corruption. Google: Sweetwater school pay to play OR Fresno Leaseback FBI Arax.

Vote NO until these problems are fixed.

www.CalTAN.org

/s/

M. KEVIN O’NEILL, President
California Taxpayers Action Network 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE Z

 

THE OPPONENTS HAVE THEIR FACTS WRONG. . .

Measure Z is designed to protect taxpayers and make college affordable for South Bay residents.

Ironclad Taxpayer Safeguards.

  • All funds, by law, must be spent locally.
  • Annual, independent financial audits account for every penny.
  • Independent Oversight Committee reviews every expenditure.
  • Total transparency. Every project listed on the ballot and online here: www.swccd.edu/FMP
  • NO funds for administrators’ salaries/pensions.
  • Funding Sacramento can NOT take away!

Trusted By Taxpayer Advocates
The Middle Class Taxpayers Association supports Measure Z. Southwestern College was awarded a 100% Transparency Rating from the San Diego Taxpayers Association for its school bond oversight program.

South Bay’s Affordable College
For over 50 years, working people in South Bay have relied on Southwestern College for an affordable, quality education and path to the middle class. Measure Z will renovate classrooms, expand job training and upgrade technology to enable a new generation of students to pursue careers, earn associate’s degrees and transfer to 4-year colleges.

Supporting Returning Veterans
Thousands of returning heroes have attended Southwestern College’s nationally renowned Veteran’s Programs to complete their education and re-enter the workforce. Measure Z provides urgently needed funds to support Southwestern’s Veterans Programs.

Critically Needed Classroom Repairs

  • Replace dangerously outdated electrical systems and deteriorating roofs.
  • Remove hazardous asbestos and lead paint from student classrooms.
  • Improve fire/earthquake safety.

Interest rates and construction costs are at record lows. Putting off urgent repairs would cost us millions more – funds Southwestern College needs to keep college affordable.

YES ON MEASURE Z
Making College and Job Training Affordable

/s/

LUCAS RATHE
Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, 
Southwestern College

VINCENT AVILA-WALKER 
President, Southwestern College 
Student Veterans Organization 

NICK SEGURA 
Director
San Diego Electrical Job Training Center

JIM MAHLER 
President, 
American Federation of Teachers 

SCOTT BARNETT
President, TaxpayerAdvocate.org 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure Z

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure Z

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (5)

Southwestern pushing for $400M construction bond — October 14, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune
Three college bond measures focus on vets — August 23, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune
Southwestern explores Nov. bond measure — March 2, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune

Contact Info

Yes on Measure Z
Southwestern Community College District
Phone: 619-482-6301
No on Measure Z
Not available.
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