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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Pacifica
Measure N - 2/3 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


10,368 votes yes (54.6%)

8,628 votes no (45.4%)

100% of precincts reporting (29/29).

323,303 ballots counted.

To build a new Library that will eliminate building deficiencies like leaky roofs and deteriorating electrical wiring; improve earthquake/fire safety and disability access; enable modern computer technology and internet access; and provide safe spaces and study areas for teens and children seven days a week; shall the City of Pacifica issue $33,500,000 in general obligation bond subject to financial audits and citizens' oversight?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney of Pacifica

If adopted by the voters, Measure N would authorize the City of Pacifica ("City") to issue general obligation bonds in a maximum amount of $33,500,00 to design and construct a new public library. Measure N was placed on the ballot by the City Council of the City of Pacifica.

General obligation bonds are a form of municipal indebtedness used to finance public improvements are are authorized by the California Constitution and Government Code sections 43600 and 43506 et seq. They allow long term borrowing by cities to raise money for real property acquisition and improvements. The City Council determines how to issue general obligation bonds including the date of maturity and denomination of the bonds. Once the bonds are issued the City must repay the amount borrowed plus interest. This repayment is secured by an ad valorem property tax levied on all taxable property in the City. General obligation bonds may only be issued if at least two-thirds of those voting in a municipal election approve a bond measure like Measure N.

Measure N limits the principal amount of the bonds to no more than $33,500,000 and provides that interest on the bonds shall not exceed 8% per year. The best estimate of the tax rate required to fund this bond issue the year after the first bonds are issued is $17.84 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in the year 2017-18. Proceeds of the bonds may only be used for the design and construction of a new public library. Measure N includes accountability requirements, including the bond proceeds shall be deposited into a separate account created and held by the City, and that the chief fiscal officer of the City shall file an annual report showing the amount of bond proceeds collected and expended and tht status of the library project. Measure N would also require the City Council to establish and appoint members to an oversight committee, which would have responsibility for reviewing and reporting on the expenditure of the bond proceeds, and to seek input from the public regarding the scope and design of the library.

In order to pass, Measure N must receive two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the ballots cast. 

A "yes" vote would be in favor of authorizing the City to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $33,500,000 for the purpose of designing and constructing a new public library.

A "no" vote would be against authorizing the City to issue such bonds.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on N to strengthen local Pacifica library services that serve our entire community including children, teens, families, and seniors.

Students count on the library as a safe place to finish homework and stay out of trouble after school. For those without Internet access at home, libraries are crucial for 21st century education and to stay connected, engaged, and informed. 

For nearly 15% of San Mateo County residents below basic levels of literacy, libraries are invaluable to learn to read and write, apply for jobs, and contribute to our workforce.

Yet Pacifica's two outdated and understaffed libraries cannot meet our community's demand. Our libraries - built over 35 years ago - have leaky roofs, moldy walls, outdated computer technology, and inadequate seismic and fire safety systems. Additionally, our libraries are only open part of the week and closed on Sundays.

Measure N supports one central library, open seven days a week - including weekends and after school - strengthening this community resource.

Vote Yes on N: Our Library, Our Pacifica

 * Provide quiet study spaces and a Homework Center for Pacifica students

 * Keep the library open seven days a week and after school

 * Expand computer labs for students and others without Internet access at home

 * Provide safe spaces for children and teens after school

 * ensure access for people with disabilities

 * Continue one-on-one literacy instruction for those who need it most

A Responsible Plan for Pacifica

 * Strict accountability provisions, including mandatory citizen oversight, annual audits, andp ublic review ensures every penny is spent as promised

 * The Coastal Commission and third-party experts thoroughly vetted Measure N to ensure our library is safe from flooding and sea-level rise

 * Smart partnerships with San Mateo County will save Pacifica taxpayers millions

Join us: Vote Yes on N. Let's provide Pacifica the safe, modern library we need and deserve.

/s/ Caroline Barba, Co-President, Pacifica Friends of the Library

/s/ Allan Hale, Former Wars Commander

/s/ Mary K. Bier, Pacifica Collaborative

/s/ Matthew G. Lee, Pacifica Business Owner

/s/ Nicole J. Ortega, Pacifica Parent Volunteer 

Arguments AGAINST

The bond measure to build the library will be at least $58 million, including interest.  It will be funded by an increase in property taxes. Unlike parcel taxes, there will be no exemption for seniors.

Many of us support a new library, just not on Beach Blvd., property.  We all witnessed the damage to Beach Blvd. retaining wall and promenade this past winter.

As time goes on, the risks of flooding and sea level rise increase. Why construct a publicly funded building that is potentially in harm's way?

Some of us want to keep the Sanchez library open. It serves nearly half of Pacifica's population including young children, students, and seniors. The Sanchez Library will be demolished and the property sold to help finance the new library. How will kids and seniors who do not drive get to the new library?

Please, vote NO on this library bond issue.

/s/ John Keener, City Council Member 

/s/ Margaret Goddale,. Climate Committee member

/s/ Toni Boykin, Business Owner 

/s/ Dan Stegink, www.Pacifica city website founder

Replies to Arguments FOR

$58 MILLION. That's the estimated cost to Pacificans. Principal and interest will average about $3,000 per household. Seniors and low or fixed income people are not exempt.

ANOTHER $50 MILLION. That's the additional cost for maintaining the seawall and repeatedly replacing tons of sand on the beach. The City-funded study ignored the county vulnerability map which predicts potential flooding from higher sea levels. Every Pacifican witnessed the future in last winter's storm damage.

$57 MILLION. That's the amount of currently known City of Pacifica debt.

Sanchez Library will be demolished. No services will be available to many seniors, kids, students, and people with disabilities. Public transportation is infrequent and unreliable in Pacifica. The City's own evaluation for Sanchez Library shows it can be updated, that it is "most accessible ... qualifies as a Benchmark Building.", is "considered actually Life-Safe" and is in "general good condition"

We are library users and love neighborhood libraries. The outstanding debt and infrastructure needs ofthe City do not justify such a costly measure at the proposed location.


/s/ John Keener, City Council Member

/s/ Margaret Goddale, Climate Committee member

/s/ Toni Boykin, Business owner

/s/ Dan Stegink, www.pacifica website site founder


Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The authors of the argument against Measure N don't have their facts straight and are attempting to deny current and future generations of children, teens, seniors, and others the library we need.

Measure N is a thoroughly vetted plan to providce a modern library with free learning opportunities to Pacifica residents of all ages seven days a week.

The Measure N plan ensures our library is safe from sea-level rise, now and 50 years from now. An independent, third-party coastal hazard study and the California Coastal Commission support the library's location. Learn more here:

Measure N gives children and teens a safe place to go after school.

It funds a Homework Center, rooms for children's story time, and expanded computer labs for those without access at home.

Current Pacifica libraries are closed part of the week.

Librarians must split their time between the two libraries, reducing access for all. Measure N supports one central library, open seven days a week, including weeks and after school.

Our libraries are 35 years old and is disrepair.

The libraries have leaky roofs, moldy walls, outdated wiring, and antiquated computers. Extensive renovations are significantly more costly than the Measure N plan. Read the independent facility assessment here: http:/

Measure N is a responsible plan.

Annual independent financial audits, a citizens' oversight committee, and public review of expenditures ensure that every penny is spent as promised.

Vote Yes on N: the right choice for our community, our library, and our Pacifica.

/s/ Virginia "Ginny" Jaquith, Former Mayor, City of Pacifica 

/s/ Bruce M. Banco, Co-President, Pacificans Care

/s/ Ellen F. Ron, Resident, Pacifica Library Foundation

/s/ Mike Ray, Certified Public Accountant

/s/ Margo Meiman, Volunteer

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