Piedmont City Unified Schools: Vote Yes on Measure H1 Bonds - Alameda County - 2016 general Election
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  Commentary    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text  

Commentary on Measure H1

Are you sure you want vote to support this extravagant measure? It has no accountability.

This campaign was designed by KNN Public Finance. We figured out just the right words to get you to you to open up your checkbook.

We'd also like to introduce you to our partners -- bond lawyers, brokers, wealthy investors, architects, management firms, construction companies, and trade unions. We all stand to make a ton of money on these bonds. Our profits come right off the top, before a penny is actually spent on improving the facilities.

We're not just doing it for the money. We like to show off our work in Architectural Digest and other places where the rich and famous congregate.

Remember, we've taken a lot of risk. We gave money to get your governing board members elected, so they'd be sure to remember us when we came around for a hand-out later.

It's just business-as-usual, here in sunny Corruptifornia.

Please don't read the fine print. That's just put in by the lawyers to make what we're going to do to for you legal.

When you see highlighting in the documents below, it to see the commentary.

  Commentary    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text  

Impartial Analysis for Measure H1



Measure H1, a Piedmont Unified School District ("District") bond measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to issue and sell bonds of up to sixty-six million dollars ($66,000,000) in aggregate principal amount at legal interest rates. The purpose of the bonds is to finance school facilities projects as specified in the measure.

Pursuant to California Constitution Section 18 of Article XVI and Section 1 of Article XIIIA and California Education Code Section 15274, this measure will become effective upon the affirmative vote of at least 55% of the qualified electors voting on this measure. California Education Code Section 15100 restricts the use of the proceeds from the bonds sale to items such as building school buildings, improving school grounds, supplying school buildings and grounds with equipment, and the acquisition of real property for school facilities. In addition, proceeds may only be used for the projects listed in the measure. This measure provides that its proceeds will fund projects that include, among others: construction of a new high school building to focus on certain academic subjects; renovation, refurbishment or replacement of existing buildings at various campuses; and the addition of classrooms at elementary schools. Proceeds may not be used for any other purpose.

If 55% of those who vote on the measure vote "yes", the District will be authorized to issue bonds in the amount noted above. Approval of this measure will authorize a levy on the assessed value of taxable 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 Tax Rate Statement for Measure H1 in this sample ballot pamphlet reflects the District's best estimates, based upon currently available data and projections, of the property tax rates required to fund the bonds. The District expects to issue the bonds in multiple series. The best estimate of the tax rate required to be levied to fund the bonds during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series and last series of bonds is $0.06 (six cents) per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The best estimate of the highest tax rate required to be levied to fund the bonds is $0.06 (six cents) per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The best estimate of total debt service, including principal and interest, if all the bonds are issued and sold is $118,729,017.

An independent citizens' oversight committee will ensure that the bond proceeds are expended only on the projects outlined in the measure. Performance and financial audits will be conducted annually.

If 55% 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 governing board of the District.

County Counsel

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure H1, 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.acgov.org/rov/.

  Commentary    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text  

Argument in Favor of Measure H1

Argument in Favor of Measure H1

The maintenance of excellent public schools is an essential element of our community's reputation as one of the premier places to live in the Bay Area. Our Piedmont School District is ranked #1 in Northern California based on academic performance. Passage of Measure H1 is critical to keep our schools among the best in the State.

Measure H1 is on the ballot to permit repairs, renovations and upgrades to all of our schools. Most urgently needed are classroom improvements to Piedmont High School and Piedmont Middle School, both built more than 40 years ago.

Specifically, Measure H1 will:

  • ? Provide modern classrooms, science labs and equipment to support advanced courses in math, engineering, science, and technology;
  • ? Repair or replace leaky roofs, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical systems;
  • ? Improve heating, ventilation, insulation; install solar to increase energy efficiency and save money;
  • ? Remove hazardous materials like asbestos and lead paint as sites are repaired;
  • ? Upgrade facilities to support quality instruction in arts and music;
  • ? Add kindergarten classrooms at the elementary schools needed to meet higher educational standards.

Measure H1 requires a clear system of accountability, including a Citizens' Oversight Committee, and independent audits to ensure the money is spent properly.

Every penny from Measure H1 will stay in Piedmont to benefit local schools and will help qualify our schools to receive additional funds from the State.

Adequate school facilities are necessary to maintain the quality of education in Piedmont and keep us competitive with other schools in the area. Not just parents, but all Piedmonters have a vested interest at stake. The state of our schools shapes the quality of life in our community, and is a major factor determining our property values.

Please join your neighbors and us in voting YES on Measure H1.

Cameron W. Wolfe, Jr.
Past President, Piedmont Education Foundation

Andrea Swenson
President, Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education

Sally Aldridge
Entrepreneur, STEAM Education Advocate

Dion Lim
Parent and CEO of Educational Technology Company

Christine Wente von Metzsch
President, Piedmont Education Foundation

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Argument Against Measure H1

No Argument Against was submitted

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Full Text of Measure H1



This proposition may be known and referred to as the Piedmont School Improvement and Modernization Bond Measure, or Measure ____.


By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the Piedmont Unified School District (the "District") shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $66 million in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List below, and in order to qualify to receive State matching grant funds, subject to all of the accountability safeguards specified below.


The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the District's voters and taxpayers may be assured that their money will be spent wisely to address specific facilities needs of the District, all in compliance with the requirements of Article XIII A, 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 Education hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List.

Limitation on Use of Bond Proceeds. The State of California does not have the power to take locally approved school district bond funds for any State purposes. The Constitution allows proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition to be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities listed in this proposition, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff only when performing work on or necessary and incidental to the bond projects.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Education shall establish an independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (pursuant to Education Code Section 15278 and following), to ensure bond proceeds are spent only for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List. The committee shall be established within 60 days of the date on which the Board of Education enters the election results on its minutes.

Annual Performance Audits. The Board of Education shall conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List.


Annual Financial Audits. The Board of Education shall conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds (which shall be separate from the District's regular annual financial audit) until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List.

Special Bond Proceeds Account; Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this proposition and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board of Education shall take actions necessary pursuant to Government Code Section 53410 and following to establish an account in which proceeds of the sale of bonds will be deposited. As long as any proceeds of the bonds remain unexpended, the Superintendent or the Chief Business Official of the District (or such other employee as may perform substantially similar duties) shall cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than December 31 of each year, commencing December 31 of the year in which bonds are first issued, stating (1) the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year, and (2) the status of any project funded or to be funded from bond proceeds. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period as such officer shall determine, and may be incorporated into the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.


Specific Purposes. All of the purposes enumerated in this proposition shall be united and voted upon as one single proposition, pursuant to Education Code Section 15100, and shall constitute the specific purposes of the bonds, and proceeds of the bonds shall be spent only for such purposes, pursuant to Government Code Section 53410.

Joint Use. The District may enter into agreements with the City of Piedmont, or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations for joint use of school facilities financed with the proceeds of the bonds in accordance with Education Code Section 17077.42 (or any successor provision). The District may seek State grant funds for eligible joint-use projects as permitted by law, and this proposition hereby specifies and acknowledges that bond funds will or may be used to fund all or a portion of the local share for any eligible joint-use projects identified in the Bond Project List or as otherwise permitted by California State regulations, as the Board of Education shall determine.

Rate of Interest. The bonds shall bear interest at a rate per annum not exceeding the statutory maximum, payable at the time or times permitted by law.

Term of Bonds. The number of years the whole or any part of the bonds are to run shall not exceed the legal limit, though this shall not preclude bonds from being sold which mature prior to the legal limit.


The Bond Project List below describes the specific projects the Piedmont 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 Education 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 A-2 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.

The Bond Project List contains more projects than the District currently estimates the Bonds can fund to provide flexibility should additional efficiencies be realized or should Board priorities change.

Unless otherwise noted, the projects in the Bond Project List are authorized to be completed at each or any of the District's sites, as shall be approved by the Board of Education:

  • ? Construction of a new Piedmont High School building, focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics ("STEAM"), with size, scope and location to be determined following additional public input;
  • ? Renovation, refurbishment, or replacement of existing Piedmont High School, Piedmont Middle School, and Millennium High School buildings, including classrooms, infrastructure and landscaping;
  • ? Addition of classrooms to elementary schools sufficient to meet higher educational standards for kindergarten;
  • ? Energy efficiency measures to reduce long term operational expense and environmental impact;
  • ? Addition or expansion of security measures, safe playground and outdoor structures, and "green" areas at existing schools;
  • ? Furnish and equip new, renovated and existing buildings, including modern technology and infrastructure;

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, 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, 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 repair and renovation of each of the existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: renovation of restrooms; repair and replacement of heating and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; repair and replacement of roofs, windows, walls, doors and drinking fountains; improvements to comply with access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; installation wiring and electrical systems to accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrades or construction of support facilities; acquisition of property; repair and replacement of fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; resurfacing or replacing of hard courts, and campus landscaping; parking; install interior and exterior painting and floor covering; demolition; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; replace outdated security systems; and upgrade technology infrastructure.


The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. Some projects throughout the District may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies. 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 relocatables, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access, 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 expended 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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