Westminster Schools: Vote Yes on Measure T Bonds - Orange County - 2016 general Election
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  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Commentary on Measure T

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

This campaign was designed by a member of the school bonds cartel. 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    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Measure T Question

Ballot Measures-T 7
Section

T Westminster School District, Westminster School District Classroom Improvement Measure

To upgrade aging schools and improve the quality of education with funding that cannot be taken by the State; provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at every school; upgrade inadequate electrical systems; improve student access to modern technology; and modernize/renovate outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; shall Westminster School District issue $76,000,000 of bonds at legal interest rates, with citizens' oversight, annual audits, and NO money used for administrative or teacher salaries?

  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Impartial Analysis for Measure T

Ballot Measures-T 7
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Impartial Analysis
Westminster School District
Measure T

The California Constitution provides that school districts may issue general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, with the approval of 55% of the voters of the district, voting at an election for that purpose. The California Constitution further provides that the bond measure must include a requirement that the bond proceeds will be used only for the permitted purposes and other requirements designed to ensure accountability.

The Board of Trustees of the Westminster School District has proposed to the voters within the Westminster School District that general obligation bonds be issued in an amount up to $76,000,000 and that ad valorem taxes be levied upon taxable property within the school district to repay the bonded indebtedness.

The measure provides that proceeds from the sale of the bonds will generally be used to modernize, repair, construct and upgrade school facilities within the Westminster School District, including upgrading inadequate electrical systems, gymnasiums and playgrounds; modernizing technology infrastructure; repairing or replacing leaky roofs HVAC systems and plumbing; and constructing a gymnasium at Stacey Middle School. Bond proceeds may only be spent on the projects set forth in the measure.

The measure provides that a citizens' oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond proceeds are properly expended within Westminster School District. In addition, annual performance and financial audits will be conducted. The measures also requires the Superintendent or Chief Business Official of the Westminster School District to submit a yearly report to the Board of Education as long as the proceeds of the bond remain unexpended The measure further provides that bond proceeds will not be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses.

Approval of the measure does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Westminster School District that are the subject of bonds under the measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the measure. The school district's proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

The Board of Trustees of the Westminster School District has called the election for the purpose of submitting the measure to the voters within the school district. If 55% of the voters within Westminster School District voting on the measure vote "yes," the school district may proceed to sell the bonds and levy the related taxes as estimated in the tax rate statement. A "no" vote on this measure will disapprove the issuance of the bonds and the levy of the taxes for such bonded indebtedness.

  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Argument in Favor of Measure T

Ballot Measures-T 7
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Argument in Favor of Measure T

Vote YES on T to upgrade aging local elementary and middle schools to maintain excellent education for local students.

We are fortunate to live in a community with outstanding neighborhood schools. The high quality of our local schools protects our property values and our quality of life.

Yet each of our local elementary and middle schools were built 46 to 66 years ago. Aging classrooms with leaky roofs or no air conditioning require urgent upgrades. Leaky roofs disrupt classroom instruction and classrooms without air conditioning reach uncomfortable and unsafe temperatures of up to 100 degrees.

The State continues to reduce funding for school facility improvements and we can't rely on Sacramento to make these important repairs. Voting YES on T provides a local solution to complete urgent upgrades to classrooms, science labs, student restrooms and other facilities to ensure our schools are safe and support high student achievement.

YES on T:

  • Repairs leaky roofs
  • Replaces outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Upgrades inadequate electrical systems and deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems
  • Constructs a gymnasium at Stacey Middle School for physical education and community use
  • Improves student access to modern instructional technology
  • Renovates outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
  • Improves access for students with disabilities

Strict Fiscal Accountability

  • All funds would benefit our local elementary and middle schools and cannot be taken by the State
  • An and annual audits ensure that funds are spent properly
  • By law,

The Orange County Taxpayers' Association has carefully reviewed Measure T and certified that it meets their strict criteria for a fiscally responsible school facility improvement measure.

Join local teachers, parents, civic and business leaders in supporting Measure T to upgrade aging schools to maintain quality education for local students.

s/ Jamison Power
President, Westminster School District Board of Trustees

s/ Kim Bui
President, Westminster Teachers Association

s/ Suzanne Gentilini
Businesswoman

s/ Edward M. Munoz
After School Program Director, Stacey Middle School

s/ Pho Huynh
Chairman, Board of Directors, Vietnamese Cultural Center

  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Argument Against Measure T

No argument against this measure was submitted.

  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Argument Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Full Text of Measure T

Ballot Measures-T 7
Section

Full Text of Measure T
Westminster School District

INTRODUCTION

"To upgrade aging schools and improve the quality of education with funding that cannot be taken by the State; provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at every school; upgrade inadequate electrical systems; improve student access to modern technology; and modernize/renovate outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; shall Westminster School District issue $76,000,000 of bonds at legal interest rates, with citizens' oversight, annual audits, and NO money used for administrative or teacher salaries?"

FINDINGS

The following findings have been made by the Board of Trustees of Westminster School District (the "District") in connection with the placement of this measure before voters.

The District offers a quality education for local students to provide the foundation in core academic subjects they need for success in high school, college and 21st-century careers.

As the District looks to the future with a focus on continuing to provide a strong education that prepares students to compete in the 21st century, the District's aging classrooms and school facilities need repairs and updates. All of the District's local schools are 46 to 66 years old and have aging classrooms and science labs that need to be updated. For example, aging roofs leak, which disrupts classroom instruction. Schools lack air conditioning systems and classrooms often reach temperatures of 80 to 100 degrees.

If approved, this Bond measure will fund facility upgrades, including: repairing or replacing leaky roofs; replacing outdated heating and ventilation systems with updated air conditioning systems in all classrooms; constructing a gym at Stacey Middle School for physical education and community use; upgrading inadequate electrical systems; improving student access to modern technology; and renovating outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities.

This Bond measure requires strict taxpayer protections to ensure funds are spent appropriately. All funds must stay in the District and none of the funds can be taken away by the State. None of the funds can be spent on administrator salaries. An independent citizens' oversight committee will ensure the funds are spent as promised and annual audits are mandatory.

BOND AUTHORIZATION

By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters voting on the proposition, the Westminster School District (the "District") shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $76 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.

ACCOUNTABILITY SAFEGUARDS

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 Trustees 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. only when performing work on or to the bond projects.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Trustees 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 Trustees enters the election results on its minutes.

Annual Performance Audits. The Board of Trustees 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 Trustees 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 Trustees 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 Ballot Measures-T 7
Section
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.

FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS

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 County of Orange, 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 Trustees 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 Bonds may be sold in one or more series in response to the District's project needs, and shall bear interest within legal limits.

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 project or 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 project or 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.

BOND PROJECT LIST

The Bond Project List below describes the the Westminster School District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds. Listed projects will be completed 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.

Unless otherwise noted, the projects in this 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 Trustees.

The types of projects authorized by this measure are:

  • Repair or replace leaky roofs
  • Replace outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • Upgrade inadequate electrical systems
  • Improve technology infrastructure and increase student access to computers and modern technology
  • Upgrade deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems
  • Modernize/renovate outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities
  • Make improvements for health, safety and accessibility for students with disabilities (ADA)
  • Replace aging temporary portables with permanent classrooms
  • Construct a gymnasium at Stacey Middle School for physical education and community use
  • Make facility improvements to increase the District's energy efficiency, including replacing outdated and inefficient windows and lighting
  • Upgrade/construct P.E. fields, gymnasiums, and other facilities for school and community use
  • Upgrade school site parking, utilities and grounds
  • Upgrade playgrounds and playfields for school and community use
  • Replace existing wiring systems to meet current electrical and accessibility codes and increased capacity
  • Federal and State-mandated Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) safety upgrades including playground equipment replacement
  • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades including but not limited to site access, parking access, staff and student restroom access, relocation of certain existing electrical devices and drinking fountain and playground equipment
  • Ballot Measures-T 7
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  • Abate and remove hazardous materials identified prior or during construction
  • Repair, replace and/or upgrade paved surfaces, turf, and other grounds to eliminate safety hazards and improve outside instructional areas

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, including the and from the list; installation of signage and fencing; , 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: 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, including administrative, physical education/athletic facilities and maintenance yards; 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; expand parking; 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. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, display technology, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, wireless technology systems and other miscellaneous equipment and software. Bond proceeds for technology will only be used to purchase equipment that will likely have a useful life as long as the term of the bonds. The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the District's receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District's share of the costs of the projects, the District will not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District's control. Some projects throughout the District, such as gyms, fields and , 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 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. when performing work on or 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.

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Measure T Tax Rate Statement

Tax Rate Statement
Westminster School District
Measure T

An election will be held in the Westminster School District (the "District") on November 8, 2016 to authorize the sale of up to $76,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The following information is submitted in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $.02450 per $100 ($24.50 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2017-18.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $.02450 per $100 ($24.50 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2027-28.

3. 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 $.02450 per $100 ($24.50 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. This vote is projected to apply in each fiscal year that the bonds are outstanding.

4. 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 will be approximately $164,800,000.

These estimates are based on projections derived from information obtained from official sources. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary depending on the timing of bond sales, the 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 needs of the District. Actual assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined in the assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: June 27, 2016

s/ Marian Kim-Phelps
Superintendent
Westminster School District

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