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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

Willits Unified School District
Measure G - 55% Approval Required

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Election Results

Failing

2,281 votes yes (54.81%)

1,881 votes no (45.19%)

In order to: repair aging classrooms and school facilities, fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, heating/cooling, and electric systems, improve student safety and security, upgrade, acquire, construct, and equip classrooms, labs and facilities supporting college and career readiness, shall the Willits Unified School District measure authorizing $17 million in bonds at legal rates be adopted, with estimated levies of 4¢ per $100 assessed value (approximately $900,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight and money staying local?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Acting County Counse

A Measure by the Willits Unified School District to Authorize the Issuance of School Bonds of up to $17,000,00

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Willits Unified School District Board of Trustees to seek voter approval for the issuance and sale of bonds in the amount of Seventeen Million Dollars ($17,000,000).  The bonds would issue at legal interest rates, to generate an average of Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($900,000) annually at a rate of approximately Four Cents ($.04) per One Hundred Dollars ($100) of assessed value.  The money raised by the sale of these bonds can only be used for the purposes stated in the bond measure and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrative salaries and other school operating expenses.

The purposes stated in the Bond Project List are the repair of deteriorating roofs, plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems; removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead paint; construction, modernization and modification of classrooms, science labs, and career training facilities; replacement of portable classrooms with permanent classrooms; improvements to safety and security systems; and other miscellaneous projects at school sites.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects that are the subject of these bonds will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the measure.  The District’s proposal for the projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which, if available, could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

This measure includes the accountability requirements set forth in the California Constitution and the Education Code, including the creation of an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

Pursuant to Elections Code section 9400 et seq., the District has prepared a Tax Rate Statement which estimates the property tax levies required to pay off the bonds.  The information provided is based on the District’s projections and estimates and are not binding on the District.

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Willits Unified School District Board of Trustees.

This measure shall become effective only upon the affirmative vote of fifty-five percent (55%) of those electors voting on the measure.

A “YES vote is a vote in favor of the issuance of the bonds.

A “NO vote is a vote against the issuance of the bonds.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of the Ordinance or Measure G. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the elections official’s office at (707) 234-6819 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

 

Tax rate

Superintendent, Willits Unified School District

 

TAX RATE STATEMENT

 

REGARDING PROPOSED

$75.0 MILLION

WILLITS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

 

An election will be held in the Willits Unified School District (the “District”) on March 3, 2020 to authorize the sale of up to $17 million in general obligation bonds.  The following information is submitted in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections 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 District’s assessed valuation, the following information is provided:

1.        The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 4¢ per $100 ($40 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.  It is currently expected that the tax will be collected until fiscal year 2054-2055.

2.        The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing this statement, is 4¢ per $100 ($40 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.  This rate is projected to apply in each fiscal year that the bonds are outstanding.

3.        The best estimate of total debt service, including principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold will be approximately $31.5 million.

These estimates are based on projections derived from information obtained from official sources, and are based on the assessed value (not the market value) of taxable property on the County’s official tax rolls.  In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner’s exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above.  Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.  The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which amounts are not maximum amounts and durations and are not binding upon the District.  The actual debt service, tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary depending on the timing of bond sales, the par amount of bonds sold at each sale and actual increases in assessed valuations.  The timing of the bond sales and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the need for project funds and other considerations.  Actual assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Kids deserve schools that are safe and well-maintained.  Our goal is to fix what is broken and keep our facilities in good repair – it is the responsible thing to do.  We encourage voters to approve $17 million in general obligation bonds with citizen oversight.  They will be issued in four phases to ensure fiscal responsibility and help stimulate the local economy with potential employment opportunities.  The bond would levy 4 cents per $100 of assessed property value (not market value) per year.  We understand that no one wants to pay additional taxes.  However, it is the only approach available to do major repairs.  The district will also seek any matching funds and grants available from the State to maximize our efforts and minimize the burden on taxpayers.

We need this funding to improve student safety and security; fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, heating/cooling, and electrical systems; pave parking lots; repair old, outdated classrooms and school facilities; purchase a pool cover; update athletic facilities; and to modernize classrooms, science labs, and other facilities that will help prepare students for college and in-demand careers in fields like health sciences, arts, technology, agriculture, and skilled trades.

While our school sites may be old, we can still be proud of them and keep them functional and attractive.  Willits High School was built in 1929, Baechtel Grove Middle School in 1952, Brookside Elementary in 1953, and Blosser Lane School in 1989.  With historical buildings comes the need for repairs and upgrades.  By phasing bonds over time periods and the ability to lower the rate, WUSD school board minimizes the taxpayers’ risk and financial burden while achieving the goal of improving our schools.  Quality schools benefit the entire community.

Please help us provide better facilities for the students and our community.

 

s/Alex Bowlds

President, Willits Unified School District

 

s/Robert Colvig

Board Clerk, Willits Unified School District

 

s/Robert Chavez

Board Member, Willits Unified School District

 

s/Jeanne King

Board Member, Willits Unified School District

 

s/Mark Westerburg

Superintendent, Willits Unified School District

 

Arguments AGAINST

No Argument Against Measure G was received.

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

 

WILLITS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE G

 

INTRODUCTION

In order to:

• Repair aging classrooms and school facilities,

• Fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, heating/cooling, and electric systems,

• Improve student safety and security,

• Upgrade, acquire, construct, and equip classrooms, labs and facilities supporting college and career readiness,

Shall the Willits Unified School District measure authorizing $17 million in bonds at legal rates be adopted, with estimated levies of 4¢ per $100 assessed value (approximately $900,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight and money staying local?

BOND AUTHORIZATION

By approval of this measure by at least 55 percent of the registered voters voting on the measure, the District will be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $17 million in aggregate principal amount at interest rates not to exceed legal limits and to provide financing for the specific types of school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List included below, subject to all the accountability requirements specified below.

ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS

The provisions in this section are specifically included in this measure in order that the voters and taxpayers in the District may be assured that their money will be spent wisely.  Expenditures to address specific facilities needs of the District will be made in compliance with the requirements of Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), of the State Constitution and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at Education Code Sections 15264 and following.)

Evaluation of Needs.  The Board of Trustees has identified detailed facilities needs of the District and has determined which projects to finance from a local bond.  The Board of Trustees hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, enrollment growth, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List included below.

Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.  Following approval of this measure, the Board of Trustees will establish an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee, under California Education Code Sections 15278 and following, to ensure bond proceeds are expended only on the types of school facilities projects listed below.  The committee will be established within 60 days of the date when the results of the election appear in the minutes of the Board of Trustees.

Performance Audits.  The Board of Trustees will conduct annual, independent performance audits to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed below.

Financial Audits.  The Board of Trustees will conduct annual, independent financial audits of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed below.

Government Code Accountability Requirements.  As required by Section 53410 of the Government Code, (1) the specific purpose of the bonds is set forth in this Full Text of the Measure, (2) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used only for the purposes specified in this measure, and not for any other purpose, (3) the proceeds of the bonds, when and if issued, will be deposited into a building fund to be held by the Mendocino County Treasurer, as required by the California Education Code, and (4) the Superintendent of the District shall cause an annual report to be filed with the Board of Trustees of the District not later than January 1 of

 

 
 

23G1

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FULL TEXT OF MEASURE G – continued

 

each year, which report shall contain pertinent information regarding the amount of funds collected and expended, as well as the status of the projects listed in this measure, as required by Sections 53410 and 53411 of the Government Code.

NO TEACHER OR ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure shall be used only for the purposes specified in Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), those being for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or  replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, and the acquisition or lease of school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.

State Matching Funds

The following statement is included in this measure pursuant to Education Code Section 15122.5:  Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects that are the subject of bonds under this measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure.  The District's proposal for the projects described below may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which, if available, could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

INFORMATION ABOUT ESTIMATES AND PROJECTIONS INCLUDED IN BALLOT

This measure authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the types of projects set forth on the Bond Project List set forth below, to be repaid by tax collections for the years that bonds are outstanding.  The measure presented to District voters on the ballot, as set forth above under the heading “INTRODUCTION”, includes information regarding the expected approximate amount of money to be raised annually to pay issued bonds, the estimated rate of the approved tax per $100 of assessed valuation, and the year through which it is approximated that the proposed tax will be levied and collected.  Each of these estimates and approximations are provided as informational only.  Such amounts are estimates only, and are not maximum amounts or limitations on the terms of the bonds or the tax rate or duration supporting repayment of bonds.  The approximations are estimates provided depend on numerous variables which are subject to variation and change over the term of the District’s overall facilities and bond financing plan, including but not limited to the amount of bonds issued and outstanding at any one time, the interest rates applicable to issued bonds, market conditions at the time of sale of the bonds, when bonds mature, the timing of project needs and changes in assessed valuations in the District.  As such, while such estimates and approximations have been provided based on information currently available to the District and its current expectations, such estimates and approximations are not limitations and are not binding upon the District.

BOND PROJECT LIST

The Bond Project List below describes the specific types of projects the Willits Unified School District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds.  Listed projects will be completed as needed at a particular school site according to Board-established priorities, and the order in which such projects appear on the Bond Project List is not an indication of priority for funding or completion.  The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded, and projects are completed.  Certain construction funds expected from non-bond sources, including State grant funds for eligible projects, have not yet been secured.  Until all project costs and funding sources are known, the Board of Trustees cannot determine the amount of bond proceeds available to be spent on each project, nor guarantee that the bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all listed projects.  Completion of some projects may be subject to further government approvals or appropriation by State officials and boards, to local environmental review, and to input from the public.  For these reasons, inclusion of a project on the Bond Project List is not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed.

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE G – continued

 

Unless otherwise noted, the projects in this Bond Project List are authorized to be completed at all District sites, as shall be approved by the Board of Trustees.  The types of projects authorized by this measure are:

  • Repair deteriorating roofs, plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems
  • Provide modern science labs and career training facilities

·         Remove hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead paint, from older school sites

·         Create modern, multi-use classrooms to support hands-on science instruction

·         Modernize classrooms and other school facilities to support instruction in math, science, engineering, technology, music, visual and performing arts and other subjects

·         Improve access to school facilities for students with disabilities

·         Upgrade older school facilities to meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools

·         Replace aging portable classrooms with modern permanent classrooms

·         Construct new classrooms and facilities to replace deteriorated school buildings

·         Improve student safety and campus security systems, including security fencing, communication systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers

The listed projects will be completed as needed.  Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program/project management, State agency approvals, staff training expenses and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs.  In addition to the listed projects stated above, the list also includes the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including the reduction or retirement of outstanding lease obligations and interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the list; installation of signage and fencing; payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility studies, assessment reviews, facility master plan preparation and updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring), design and construction documentation, and temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by construction projects.  In addition to the projects listed above, the construction, repair and renovation of each of the existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; repair and replacement of windows, walls, doors and drinking fountains; installation wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrades of support facilities, physical education/athletic facilities and maintenance yards; construction or renovation of multi-use facilities; repair and replacement of fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; resurfacing or replacing of hard courts, turf and irrigation systems and campus landscaping and play fields; improve access to school site; install interior and exterior painting and floor covering; demolition; and construction of various forms of storage and support spaces, bleachers, kitchens, repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems.

 

23G2

 
The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, laser printers, digital white boards, display technology, projectors, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, wireless technology systems and other miscellaneous equipment and software.  The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the District’s receipt of State matching funds, if any, and the final costs of each

23G2

 

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE G – continued

 

project.  The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District’s control.  Certain projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies if State matching funds are received.  The final cost of each project will be determined as plans and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts are awarded and projects are completed.  Based on the final costs of each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed.  Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be more cost-effective in creating more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses.  Necessary site preparation/restoration may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.  Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to bond projects and the costs of issuing the bonds.  Bond proceeds shall only be expanded for the specific purposes identified herein.  The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code § 53410.

 

The Bond Project List shall be considered a part of

this ballot proposition, and shall be reproduced in any

official document required to contain the full statement

of the bond proposition.

 

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