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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Pleasant Hill
Measure K Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


10,772 votes yes (67.09%)

5,284 votes no (32.91%)

100% of precincts reporting (19/19).

17,400 ballots counted.

To provide and maintain Pleasant Hill city services and facilities, including fixing potholes, and repairing neighborhood and city streets; replacing the aging library with a 21st century facility including space for after-school homework and tutoring; creating additional walking and biking paths; maintaining storm drains; and other city services; shall the City of Pleasant Hill levy a 1/2 cent sales tax, providing $4,000,000 annually for 20 years, providing locally controlled funding that cannot be taken by the State?"

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

On August 1, 2016, the City Council unanimously voted to place Measure “K” on the November 8, 2016 ballot. If approved by a majority of Pleasant Hill voters, this Measure would authorize a one-half percent (1/2%) retail transactions and use (sales) tax within the City of Pleasant Hill. It is estimated that Measure “K” will provide an additional $4,000,000 in annual funding. This tax would be a “general tax,” meaning that revenues raised from the tax would go into the City’s general fund to pay for any lawful City program, improvement, or service such as maintenance of streets, sidewalks and storm drains and construction of a new library.


California Revenue and Taxation Code section 7285.9 authorizes the City to levy a general transactions and use (sales) tax at a rate of one-half percent (1/2%) so long as the tax is approved by a majority of the voters voting in an election on that issue. If approved, the tax would become effective on April 1, 2017 and expire on March 31, 2037, unless extended by Pleasant Hill voters voting at a subsequent election.

The tax would be paid in addition to current sales taxes and would be collected at the same time and in the same manner as existing sales taxes. All revenues raised by the tax would belong to the City and would not be shared with the State or any other agency.

Measure “K” requires annual independent audits to verify that tax revenues are collected, managed and expended in accordance with its terms. Measure “K” also establishes a “Pleasant Hill Transactions and Use Tax Oversight Committee” to review the collection and expenditure of tax revenues and to make recommendations to the City Council as appropriate. The number, qualifications and duties of Committee members shall be established by the City Council.

By placing Measure “K” on the ballot, the City complies with Article XIIIC of the California Constitution (Proposition 218), which requires a majority of the voters to approve an ordinance which establishes a general tax.

A “yes” vote on Measure “K” will authorize the 1/2% transactions and use (sales) tax.

A “no” vote on Measure “K” will not authorize the 1/2% transactions and use (sales) tax.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure “K”. If you desire a copy of the Measure, please call Danielle Habr, the City’s elections official at (925) 671-5237 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost.

City Attorney

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

YES on K Improves Neighborhood and City Streets by providing funding to address $19,000,000 in infrastructure repair for potholes, failing streets, sidewalks, and bike paths.


YES on K Maintains Our Quality of Life services and will replace our 55-year old Pleasant Hill Library so that it is SAFE and meets TODAY’S health, safety, fire, and seismic standards for the security of our community and library users.

YES on K addresses $9,000,000 in storm drain improvements needed to prevent flooding.

For the past 10 years, Sacramento politicians have taken over $20,000,000 from Pleasant Hill! By law, every penny of Measure K money must continue to be spent on our LOCAL Pleasant Hill services, and cannot be taken by the State.

YES on K creates LOCAL funds for LOCAL needs – providing a reliable source of local funding and making infrastructure repairs now, before they become more expensive in the future.

YES on K includes Tough Fiscal Accountability Guarantees including Independent Citizens Oversight, mandatory annual financial audits to monitor spending and yearly reports to the community — guaranteeing funds are spent responsibly and as promised.

YES on K ensures that out of town shoppers share the cost.

Here’s what Measure K will NOT do:

Measure K is NOT a tax on your home or property.

Measure K does NOT apply to purchases of groceries or prescription medication.

YES on K is supported by Pleasant Hill residents from all neighborhoods and walks of life, who value our community and want to keep property values high. Join a unanimous City Council and business and civic leaders committed to fixing our streets, sidewalks, and storm drains, and providing the safe library that we expect by voting YES on K.

For factual information, visit Remember toVOTE LOCAL this election season!

Safe Streets & Library, Yes on K 2016,
Susan Weaver, President
Sue Noack, Pleasant Hill Mayor
Joe Stokley, Local Pleasant Hill Business Owner
Steve Oldenbourg, Co-Founder, Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education
Chuck Murphy, Chair, PH Traffic Safety Commission

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

Pleasant Hill has avoided its responsibilities for years. Instead of maintaining streets, storm drains and buildings, the city gave employees raises and benefits.


The current city budget shows annual compensation, including benefits, averages $151,207 per employee. This average is even higher when you include the $1.64 million in UNBUDGETED increases given AFTER Council approved the budget.

Measure K can be spent on anything. There’s no guarantee it would be spent on maintenance or a new library.

  • They don’t have a prioritized spending plan.
    • They still need to identify everything that needs maintenance and repair.
    • The city says it will do a study by 2018.
    • They shouldn’t ask for new taxes until priorities are clear and they know how much they need.
  • Their library cost estimates are unrealistic.
    • They say they’ll build a new library for $15-20 million, but nearby cities have paid more than that for their libraries. (Construction of the Lafayette library cost $43 million; Walnut Creek’s library cost $40 million.)
    • The city doesn’t own land to build on. There’s no plan or budget.
    • The project could easily cost $40 million or more to buy land and build at today’s prices.
  • The city wants us to pay the county’s bills.
    • Pleasant Hill’s library is owned and operated by the county.
    • Pleasant Hill can’t afford to fix flooding problems, repair buildings and maintain streets; it can’t afford to maintain county facilities, too.

Pleasant Hill Citizens for Responsible Growth (PHCRG) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit group that promotes fiscal responsibility and transparency in local government. We work to ensure residents receive good value for their tax dollars.

Measure K is a blank check to a city that hasn’t done its homework.


Vote NO on Measure K!


Pleasant Hill Citizens for Responsible Growth,
Norman Vanhole, Treasurer

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

Even if Measure K generates $80 million over 20 years, it still wouldn’t satisfy the city’s spending habits.


The city spends without thinking:

  • They over-promise.
    • The city wants $28 million from Measure K to fix streets, sidewalks and storm drains.
    • They want $42 million for other capital projects.
    • They also want $20 million for a new library. But there hasn’t been a local library built for less than $40 million.
  • They forget about upcoming costs.
    • The city plans to borrow money for the library. Loan payments could cost $26 million.
    • Employee pension and healthcare costs grow bigger every year. (Last year 11 city retirees each received over $100,000 in annual pension benefits:
    • Measure K will buy higher employee salaries, benefits and pensions.
  • They don’t plan to be held accountable.
    • Oversight committees lack authority and aren’t independent.
    • The Measure K oversight committee will be no different. It’s created to rubberstamp city decisions.
    • Audits don’t ensure money is spent wisely or as promised.
    • The city can – and will – spend Measure K money however it wants.
    • They’ll say anything to pass Measure K – their salaries and benefits depend on it.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We deserve a city that thinks before it taxes and spends. Before asking for new taxes, the city should do its homework first and be straight with usabout how the money will be spent.



Vote NO on K!


Pleasant Hill Citizens for Responsible Growth,
Norman Vanhole, Treasurer

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Measure K provides a reliable source of local revenue for local needs with local control – money that the City will use for local infrastructure and building a new library.


Pleasant Hill has been financially responsible. However, because of State Takeaways of over $20 million and the recession, the City was forced to defer critical maintenance of its infrastructure. Measure K addresses this need with a reliable funding source that cannot be taken by the State.

Measure K will NOT be used for employee salaries and benefits.

The City’s adopted Goals include improved infrastructure and a new library, and the City’s Long Term Financial Plan and Capital Improvement Plan clearly identify the following needs:

  • $15 million in deferred maintenance on neighborhood streets
  • $13 million in vital maintenance and improvements to sidewalks and storm drains
  • $11 million for ADA upgrades and pedestrian walkways and bike paths

While the County provides library services, it does not build libraries. The City’s Library Task Force recommended a new 25,000 square foot library suitable for Pleasant Hill, which would cost $15 million based on recent library construction costs. There is NO additional cost for land.

And, to guarantee that the money is spent as promised, Measure K requires the establishment of an INDEPENDENT CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE and MANDATORY FINANCIAL AUDITS.

Join with the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, a unanimous City Council, and community leaders in supporting Measure K to fix our deteriorating streets, sidewalks and storm drains, and build a new library. Vote YES on Measure K!

Julie McCoy, Chairperson, Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce
Jim Bonato, Program Manager, Pleasant Hill Community Emergency Response Team
Mary Gray, Pleasant Hill Education Commissioner
David Durant, City Councilmember
Angela Warren, Owner, Wise Girl Ristorante

— Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure K

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure K
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (1)

Pleasant Hill: Sales tax hike on November ballot — August 2, 2016 The Mercury News

Opinions & Analysis (1)

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