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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

San Jose|Evergreen Community College District
Measure J - 55% Approval Required

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To upgrade facilities preparing students/veterans for university transfer/careers like healthcare, technology, emergency response, and recruit/retain quality faculty by modernizing, repairing aging classrooms, technology, science labs; acquire construct, repair facilities, equipment, sites; shall San José-Evergreen Community College District's measure authorizing $858,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying 1.75¢ per $100 assessed valuation, raising approximately $53,000,000 annually while bonds are outstanding, with audits/no money for administrators' salaries, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

James R. Williams, County Council

 

California law permits community college districts to issue bonds with the approval of 55 Percent of the voters. Such bonds may only be used for construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition of lease of real property for school facilities. These bonds are required to be paid by the levy of ad valorem taxes—a tax on the assessed value of property within a district.

 

 

 

The Board of Trustees (Board) of the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District (District) proposes to issue such bonds in the amount of up to $858,000,000 for the purposes of upgrading facilities preparing students and veterans for university transfer and careers like healthcare, technology, and emergency response, recruiting and retaining quality faculty by modernizing, repairing ageing classrooms, technology, science labs; and acquiring, constructing repairing facilities, equipment, and sites.

 

As identified in the Measure, projects may include by are not limited to:

 

 

 

·         Upgrade outdated technology in classrooms and albs.

 

·         Repair deteriorating water and sewer lines.

 

·         Improve campus safety and security.

 

·         Update campus facilities to improve disabled access.

 

·         Replace outdated electrical and internet wiring.

 

·         Repair classrooms and upgrade classrooms and labs for nursing, technology, and other vocational career education.

 

·         Acquisition of a variety of instructional maintenance and operational equipment.

 

 

 

The project list also includes all of the projects that were authorized by Measure X, approved by the voters on November 8, 2016 and the refinancing of outstanding lease obligations and the funding of an endowment for technology and other authorized projects. Additional projects are listed in the full text of the measure. Projects costs include the costs of furnishing and equipping such facilities, and all costs that are incidental, but directly related to the types of projects described in the Measure.

 

 

 

The Board has certified that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing its project list.

 

 

 

By law, these bond funds cannot be used for teacher and administrator salaries or other school operating expenses. The District also must conduct independent annual performance and financial audits. State law requires the District to have an independent citizens’ oversight committee to help make sure bond funds are spent only for projects included in the Measure.

 

 

 

The District’s stated best estimate of the highest tax rate to be levied to repay the proposed bonds is $17.50 per $100,000 of assessed value. The District estimates that the total debt service during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, will be approximately $1.74 billion.

 

 

 

Measure J was placed on the ballot by the Board.

 

 

 

A “yes” vote is a vote to authorize the issuance of the bonds in the amount of up to $898,000,000 to be secured by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property located within the District.

 

 

 

A “no” vote is a vote to not authorized the issuance of the bonds.

 

 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

 

As we plan for the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Evergreen Valley and San Jose City Colleges are working hard to ensure students have equal opportunities to access online learning, no matter what their circumstances.

 

Vote YES on J to ensure our Colleges have the technology and resources necessary to expand online education, continue to support high-quality learning, and keep local college education affordable through the economic recovery.

 

San Jose City and Evergreen Valley Colleges provide essential job training and workforce preparation for students of all ages, veterans and local residents. YES on J provides job training to students and local residents struggling to find good-paying jobs.

 

Your YES on J vote ensures that classrooms and educational facilities that help students learn new skills and find better paying jobs in business, biotechnology, nursing, engineering, and other high-demand careers will be upgraded and expanded.

 

San Jose City and Evergreen Valley Colleges serve thousands of veterans – many facing significant challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder and permanent disability. YES on J upgrades access for disabled students and provides improved campus resources and educational opportunities so returning service members and disabled students can receive the support they need for college and careers.

 

Measure J is FISCALLY ACCOUNTABLE. Measure J includes strict accountability requirements, including published independent financial and performance audits and oversight by an Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure all funds are spent effectively, efficiently, and as promised for students in our communities.

 

-        NO money can be spent on administrators’ salaries or pensions.

 

-        NO money can be taken by the state.

 

-        ALL funds must be spent on San Jose City and Evergreen Valley Colleges.

 

Join a unanimous San Jose – Evergreen Community College District Board of Trustees, local employers, community leaders, and residents in voting YES on J.

 

Arguments AGAINST

 

In 2010 voters approved a $268,000,000 bond measure “G” to “upgrade, acquire, construct energy-efficient technology-driven teaching classrooms, labs, sites, facilities equipment for health/science, general education/job-training, upgrade outdated electrical, plumbing, heating/ventilation systems”.

 

Then in 2016, just 6 years later, they got $748,000,000 bond money to do the same thing.

 

Now, they want a whopping $858,000,000 to do the same thing all over again! It is “deja vu” all over again.

 

The local TV station (NBC Bay Area) did an extensive investigation into the expenditures of the district after the passage of Measure G.

 

The District advertised one set of goals, then after the measure was passed, other priorities surfaced that led teachers, students, and taxpayer advocates to question the “bait and switch” tactics employed by the district.

 

Instead of the promised rebuilding the vocational center buildings, they opted to fund building a new theater and recording studio instead.

 

Clearly bait and switch by the district.

 

The District Board were already wrongly entrusted with $268 million to upgrade facilities in 2010, upped the ante to $748,000,000 in 2016 and now just 4 years later, they want another whopping $858 million (saddling us with another 25-30 years of debt!)… to do the same thing all over again.

 

Are school buildings constructed so poorly that they need repairs every 4-6 years?

 

They promised in 2010 to rebuild the vocational buildings but failed to do so.

 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But three times is idiocy.

 

Let us reject these bait and switch tactics by voting “NO” on Measure J.

 

Like us, you can be for schools, for students, for teachers, but against Measure J.

 

Do not reward bait and switch mismanagement, vote NO on J.

 

For more information: www.svtaxpayers.org

 

 

 

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