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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

Alameda County Fire Department
Measure X - 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

Passed

38,796 votes yes (66.78%)

19,300 votes no (33.22%)

100% of precincts reporting (132/132).

Shall the measure authorizing the Alameda County Fire Department to issue $90,000,000 in general obligation bonds to repair / replace outdated stations, thereby maintaining services in unincorporated communities (including medical emergency lifesaving services, fast 911 response, wildfire protection and disaster response) in an estimated levy of 1.6 cents per $100 assessed value, raising on average $5,200,000 annually for approximately 31 years, with oversight and audits, and no funds for salaries, benefits or pensions be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

If two-thirds of those who vote on the Measure vote “yes,” the District will be authorized to issue bonds in the amount noted.

NO vote means

If two-thirds of those voting on this Measure do not vote for approval, the Measure will fail, and the District will not be authorized to issue the bonds.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Alameda County Counsel Donna Ziegler

ANALYSIS BY THE COUNTY COUNSEL FOR THE COUNTY OF ALAMEDA OF AN ALAMEDA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT FIRE SAFETY BOND MEASURE

Measure X (“Measure”), an Alameda County Fire Department (“District”) bond measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to issue general obligation bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed ninety million dollars ($90,000,000) at an interest rate within the maximum permitted by law. Approval of this Measure will authorize a levy on the assessed value of taxable real property within the District by an amount needed to pay the principal and interest on these bonds in each year that the bonds are outstanding.

The primary purpose of the bonds, as outlined in the Measure, is to finance the acquisition and improvement of real property, including facilities related to medical, 911, and wildfire protection services; replacing and repairing stations; and retrofitting fire facilities for earthquake safety. The proceeds will be used only for the purposes specified in the Measure.

The Tax Rate Statement for this Measure in this sample ballot pamphlet reflects the District’s best estimate, based on currently available data and projections, of the property tax rates required to service the bonds. The best estimate of the annual average tax rate required to be levied to fund the bonds is $0.0157 per $100 of assessed valuation ($15.70 per $100,000) of all property to be taxed. The best estimate of the highest tax rate is $0.0160 per $100 of assessed valuation ($16.00 per $100,000) of all property to be taxed in 2021/2022. The best estimate of the final fiscal year in which the tax is anticipated to be collected is 2051/52. The District’s best estimate of the total debt service, including principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the bonds are issued and sold is $160,471,000.

The Fire Chief of the District shall file an annual report with the District’s Board that contains information regarding the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of the projects. The District’s Board will establish an independent oversight committee to confirm that the expenditures are consistent with this Measure’s intent. The Measure also provides for an annual independent financial audit to confirm that the expenditures are consistent with the Measure’s intent.

If two-thirds of those who vote on the Measure vote “yes,” the District will be authorized to issue bonds in the amount noted above. If two-thirds of those voting on this Measure do not vote for approval, the Measure will fail, and the District will not be authorized to issue the bonds.

This Measure is placed on the ballot by the District’s governing board.

DONNA R. ZIEGLER

County Counsel

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure __, which is printed in full in this sample ballot pamphlet.  If you desire an additional copy of the measure, please call the Elections Official's office at (510) 272-6933 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.  You may also access the full text of the measure on the Alameda County website at the following address: www.acvote.org.   

Tax rate

Melissa Wilk, Auditor-Controller, County of Alameda

An election will be held in the Alameda County Fire Department (the “District”) on November 3, 2020, to authorize the sale of up to $90 million in bonds of the District to finance the acquisition and improvement of essential fire service facilities as described in the measure. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in one or more series. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The information regarding tax rates is provided to comply with Section 9401 of the Elections Code of the State of California. This information is based upon assessed valuations presently available from official sources, and the best estimates and projections based 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:

Average Annual Tax Rate: The best estimate from official sources of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bonds over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors is $0.0157 per $100 of assessed valuation ($15.70 per $100,000) of all property to be taxed. The best estimate of the final fiscal year in which the tax is anticipated to be collected is 2051/2052.

Highest Tax Rate: The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bonds, and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors is $0.0160 per $100 of assessed valuation ($16.00 per $100,000) of all property to be taxed in 2021/2022.

Total Debt Service: The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $160,471,000.

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 the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold, 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 at 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 Alameda 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.

s/MELISSA WILK

Auditor-Controller

County of Alameda

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

While your firefighters remain on the frontlines of this pandemic and the fire line, NOW is the time to enhance our fire safety in unincorporated Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Livermore, San Lorenzo, and Sunol communities -- vote YES on X!

We rely on the medical lifesaving services, fast 911 response, wildfire protection and disaster services County Firefighters provide—yet the County has closed an unincorporated fire station.

YES on X ensures responses for wildfires, emergency medical services and disasters are enhanced with state of the art facilities strategically located to serve our communities.

Yes on X upgrades fire stations built in the 1950’s. These fire stations are out of date and do not provide the functions necessary for emergency response and community preparedness.

YES on X ensures our firefighters have adequate facilities for our diverse workforce. When these fire stations were built the workforce was vastly different.   Our firefighters need facilities for both our male and female firefighters ensuring privacy and the personal needs for all of our firefighters.

Yes on X ensures our communities have the needed public facilities for all types of emergencies including impacts from Covid-19.  These facilities can be utilized should the pandemic force additional community needs as well as for the planning of the next public health emergency.

YES on X’s strong Fiscal Accountability requirements include:

• Citizens Oversight

• Annual Independent Audits

• NO MONEY for salaries, benefits or pensions that voters haven’t approved.

By law, EVERY DIME is required to be spent ONLY for fire stations and facilities IN OUR UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITIES and cannot be taken by Sacramento politicians or used for other purposes by County bureaucrats.

Join local Firefighters, First Responders, and leaders in unincorporated Alameda County -- vote YES on X.

s/SEAN BURROWS

President International Association Of Firefighters Local 55

s/MARK BLANCHARD

40+year San Lorenzo resident/ Retired Deputy Chief

s/MARIA GORDINEER

Castro Valley Resident/ Palomares Hill Homeowner Assn Member

s/AISHA KNOWLES

Fire safety professional/ Alameda County Board of Education Trustee

s/LARRY VOLD

Castro Valley Resident

s/JOSHUA LEINES

Political Director IAFF Local 55

— Alameda County ROV

Arguments AGAINST

Are you kidding us? A LARGE NEW TAX, NOW?

Before Covid, last March 2020, the VOTERS rejected this same bond measure.

The Board of Supervisors has simply submitted the measure to us again unchanged. The Board seems blind to the fact that the world has changed a lot since March. Due to Covid, many people have lost their jobs or businesses, and we are all unsure of the future.

This is a terrible time to add over $160 million of TAXES that ALL property owners must pay. Yes, it's $160 million not $90 million because we have to pay 30 years of interest on the $90 million Bonds. Renters pay these taxes thru increased rents. Many of us are struggling to make our next mortgage or rental payment. Asking us to pay EVEN MORE in taxes for the next 30 years is BAD.  This is a terrible time to add over $160 million of TAXES that ALL property owners must pay.

The Fire District requires $103,695,000 for this Program but the Supervisors are only asking for $90,000,000.  The Fire Department Program admits that 'less will 11 result in ACFD seeking other funding.’  Maybe the Fire Chief knows how to manage a $103 million construction project with only $90 million. Maybe not. There is nobody in charge of auditing or enforcing the bond expenditures. This Program is designed to fail and has NO accountability:

• No independent audit is required for actual expenditures

• The oversight committee's report can be ignored by the Board

• The Fire Chief ‘shall report to the Board', but the report can be as little as ‘we got the money and spent it.’

This is a terrible time for a large new tax. Building fancy new fire stations can wait.

VOTE NO on this MEASURE!

s/MARCUS CRAWLEY

President, Alameda County Taxpayers Association

s/THOMAS RUBIN

Vice President, Alameda County Taxpayers Association

s/TERRI LUTZ

Member

s/PETER KAVALER

Member

s/JOHN FERRERO

Voter

— Alameda County ROV

Replies to Arguments FOR

The Argument in Favor failed to explain the need for a $90,000,000 Bond for Fire  Stations, which will cost $160,000,000 in taxes.

  • OK. The County closed one Flre Station. Neither the Argument or the Measure explain WHY.  Maybe, because a new municipal Fire Station is nearby.  They didn’t say and we don’t know.
  • OK. A couple of Flre Stations are old. The Argument fails to even explain the need or cost of modernizing these two.
  • OK. Some Stations need a ‘Lady’s Room.’ The Argument failed to explain how many and at what cost.
  • This Project was drafted before COVID. The COVID argument is simply an excuse.

The Fire District’s letter explain that the purpose of this project is to sell a $90,000,000 Bond;

  • The EMC Survey found that a $90,000,000 Bond would be preferred by respondents.
  • The Survey found certain ‘hot button issues’ resonated with respondents.
  • The Survey found Voters rejected this same Measure at the March election for ‘economic concerns.’ The Argument failed to address our economic concerns.

This Measure is ALL about selling a Bond.

The project failed to identify repair projects from remodel projects. The Argument fails to identify which Stations are obsolete and need to be replaced. Let’s spend our taxes wisely.  Make repairs with Parcel Taxes.  The Dlstrlct needs to present a program that respects taxpayers’ scarce dollars.  Skip the political surveys and give us engineering surveys. 2

Reject a Bond for the sake of selling bonds. Vote No.

s/MARCUS CRAWLEY

President, Alameda County Taxpayers Association

s/THOMAS RUBIN

Vice President, Alameda County Taxpayers Association

s/TERRI LUTZ

Member

s/PETER KAVALER

Member

s/STEVE KAUSLARICH

— Alameda County ROV

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

As Fire Commissioners and Firefighters, it our responsibility to assess the threats to the unincorporated areas that we serve, and how best to keep the community safe. After gathering feedback from thousands of residents living in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County, Measure X was placed on the ballot to address inadequate fire stations that support our ability to respond to fires, medical emergencies, disasters and even a pandemic.

A YES on Measure X will upgrade existing fire station that are at least 30 to 70 years old by designing and constructing fire stations to reduce emergency response times, improve our ability to respond to wildfires that threaten your community, allow for the installation of modern communications equipment and be functional when an earthquake strikes.

Measure X is intended to benefit the unincorporated communities of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Livermore, San Lorenzo and Sunol— not cities. There is no funding gap as purported. A closer read of the documents would prove this fact.

A YES on Measure X means independent citizen oversight and annual audits. Bonds can only be spent on “bricks and mortar“. No funding can be spent on salaries, benefits or pensions. By law, all funds must be spent in the unincorporated communities and cannot be taken by cities or the state.

Please vote YES on Measure X and join a clear majority of voters in the unincorporated communities that supported the Fire Safety Bond in March.

s/JOSHUA LEINES

Political Director IAFF Local 55

s/DENNIS WAESPI

Fire Commissioner/ Castro Valley Resident

s/ARIO YSIT

Fire Commissioner/ Sunol Resident

s/CYNTHIA TORRES

President, Cherryland Community Asociation/Cherryland Resident

s/THOMAS SPETH

Member, Alameda County Firefighters Association/Castro Valley Resident

s/MATTHEW MCAUSLAND

Member, Alameda County Firefighters Association/Castro Valley Resident

— Alameda County ROV
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