Lodi Unified Schools: Vote Yes on Measure U Bonds - San Joaquin County - 2016 general Election
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  Commentary    Question    Analysis    Argument in Favor    Rebuttal in Favor    Argument Against    Rebuttal Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Commentary on Measure U

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    Rebuttal in Favor    Argument Against    Rebuttal Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Measure U Question

SCHOOL
MEASURE U

Local School Repair/Student Safety Measure. To repair and upgrade aging classrooms in local schools to prepare students for college and careers, retain/attract quality teachers and improve student health/safety by removing mold//lead paint, , updating classrooms and acquiring/constructing/modernizing sites/facilities/equipment, shall Lodi Unified School District issue $281,000,000 of bonds at legal interest rates, with citizens' oversight, annual audits, no money for administrators' salaries/pensions and all funds staying local?

BONDS YES BONDS NO

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

Impartial Analysis for Measure U

IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE U

Lodi Unified School District School Bond Measure

Prepared by San Joaquin County Counsel

Approval of Measure U would allow Lodi Unified School District (the "District") to incur bonded indebtedness up to a maximum amount of two hundred eighty-one million dollars and no cents ($281,000,000.00). The issuance and sale of such general obligation bonds would be for repairing and upgrading aging school facilities, school safety and security upgrades, and technology and science modernization projects. Bond proceeds could also be used to qualify for State of California matching funds.

No funds derived from bond sales could be used for District administrators' salaries or for any purpose or project other than those expressly stated in the measure.

To assure that funds derived from bond sales authorized by Measure U are spent only for the purposes expressly stated in Measure U, and for no other purposes, Measure U would require the District to: (1) appoint an independent citizens' oversight committee; and (2) conduct annual independent performance and financial audits.

If Measure U is approved, and bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon shall be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. If Measure U is approved, the tax rate necessary for payment of principal and interest on any bonds sold will be largely dictated by the timing of the bond sales, the amount sold at a given sale, market interest rates at the time of each sale (although in no event greater than the maximum bond net interest rate allowed by law), as well as actual assessed valuation of taxable property in the District over the term of repayment. A statement of the tax rate data required by Elections Code Section 9401 will be provided to all registered voters with the sample ballot for the bond election.

Approval of Measure U does not guarantee that the projects proposed by the District to be funded from the proceeds of bonds authorized and sold will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the bond sales authorized by Measure U. The District's proposal for such projects assumes the receipt of matching State of California funds that could be subject to appropriation by the State Legislature or to approval by a statewide bond measure.

Passage of Measure U requires approval by fifty-five percent (55%) of voters voting thereon.

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

Argument in Favor of Measure U

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE U

Vote Yes on U – Unite for Better Schools!

Children need your help! Most local schools were built decades ago and need health and safety upgrades. Yes on U repairs local schools to keep children safe and prepare them for success!

Yes on U – Repair Aging Schools! Yes on U removes mold, asbestos, and lead paint, repairs leaky roofs, replaces outdated, deteriorating electrical wiring, heating/air conditioning systems and updates fire alarms and sprinklers.

Yes on U – Prepare Students For College and Careers! Not all students attend college. Yes on U provides students with hands-on learning tools to gain real-world skills necessary to compete for good paying jobs. Yes on U attracts and retains quality teachers, upgrades classrooms, science labs, and improves wiring for technology access to support science, technology, engineering, and math classes which are critical to success in the 21st Century.

Yes on U – Keep Students Safe! Yes on U creates safer schools by enabling teachers and principals to better monitor students, identify at-risk students, and expand programs to keep students off the street, out of trouble, and away from gangs.

Measure U is Fiscally Accountable! will be used only for Lodi Unified School District. Measure U includes tough SJ 024-016
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accountability and taxpayer safeguards including and annual financial audits. No money for administrator salaries, pensions or the State. Voting Yes on U ensures local schools are eligible for their fair share of state money that would otherwise go to other communities!

Measure U is a good long-term investment that helps the local economy. Remember, quality public schools maintain strong property values. Join teachers, parents, community leaders, local farmers and business owners in voting Yes on U – Unite for Better Schools! Stockton and Lodi get their fair share! Learn more and remember to vote: www.UniteforBetterSchools.com

/s/ James A. Mousalimas,
San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools

Julia Morgan Elementary School PTA
/s/ Veronica Aguas, President,

Reese Elementary School Parent Club
/s/ Marcy Zimmerman, President


/s/ Jeff Seybold, Chairman

/s/ Jose Maciel,
After School Education and Safety Program Manager

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Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure U

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE U

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO.

The bond proponents promise that bond dollars will only be used for buildings and equipment. What they don't tell you is that the bond will free up more money to be spent on salaries and spiraling pension costs that could be could be better spent on buildings and equipment.

Did you know that the LUSD superintendent pulled in $269,405.90 in salary and benefits in 2014? The superintendent's base salary alone was $235,000, which is more than what the Governor of California makes. In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown's salary was $173,987, according to ballotpedia.org.

According to transparentcalifornia.com, there are over 300 Lodi Unified employees making over $100,000 in total salary and pension. Do you make this much in a year?

Salaries, benefits and pension costs account for more than 80% of the LUSD budget, while a measly 1% is spent on building maintenance.

LUSD passed a $114 million bond in 2006. Taxpayers are still footing the bill, principal and interest.

We do not need another bond. We need to reign in spiraling salaries and pension costs.

This will not help our children.

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO on Measure U.

/s/ Gregory P. Goehring,
Taxpayer

/s/ Alexander S. Aliferis,
Taxpayer Advocate

/s/ Jim Shoemaker,
Taxpayer

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Argument Against Measure U

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE U

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO.

The Lodi Unified School District (LUSD) has eight high schools, ten middle schools, and 32 elementary schools.

On the November ballot, there is a $9 billion statewide education bond that will cost $17.6 billion to repay with interest. Along with LUSD's $281 million bond (interest to be determined), your tax bill will get higher. How much can you afford?

What are you really pay for? Salaries and benefits, including pensions, accounted for more than 80% of LUSD's 2014-15 budget. In 2015-16, salaries and benefits remained at this level, while the district allocated less than 1% for repairs.

In 2016-17, pensions costs spiraled from 21% to 24% of the LUSD budget to cover the shortfall in the CalSTRS system whose unfunded liabilities are estimated at more than $80 billion. Let that sink in. LUSD is paying a quarter of its budget for pensions, not education or building maintenance.

All of the money is going to salaries and benefits, especially rising pension costs. There is no money left for building maintenance.

California State Treasurer John Chiang then stated the obvious recently when he expressed concern over pay to play arrangements where construction companies and Wall Street firms bankroll campaigns to pass local bond measures and then profit from the bond money. In 2014, the FBI and SEC initiated an investigation into the West Contra Costa Unified School District construction bond program.

The district does not have a revenue problem, it has a spiraling salary and pension problem that is cutting into the budget to maintain our school buildings.

Lack of accountability: one reason to vote NO on Measure U.

/s/ Gregory P. Goehring,
Taxpayer

/s/ Jim Shoemaker,
Taxpayer

/s/ Alexander S. Aliferis,
Taxpayer Advocate

/s/ Jim Hicks,
Taxpayer

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Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure U

U-1106

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE U

The opponent's argument is untrue and misleading. —not one penny— of Measure U funds can be spent on administrator salaries or pensions! Every dime is legally required to be used on the upgrades our aging schools need for the health and safety of our students—Vote Yes on U.

Lodi Unified School District has a history of strong and efficient financial management. In fact, LUSD recently saved taxpayers more than $4,000,000! This strict and transparent fiscal stewardship will continue with Measure U.

Yes on U is fiscally accountable. Strict taxpayer safeguards, including annual independent audits and an independent citizen's oversight committee, are required. No funds can be taken by Sacramento or spent on pensions or administrators' salaries.

Yes on U pays for basic repairs to our schools. All funds will be used to remove mold, asbestos, and lead paint; repair leaky roofs; replace outdated electrical, heating and air conditioning systems; improve school safety and security; update fire alarm and sprinkler systems; and replace old, unsafe portables.

Yes on U also upgrades classrooms and science labs, ensuring we can continue to attract and retain quality teachers and prepare students for college and 21st century careers.

Don't let political rhetoric get in the way of common sense. Good schools protect property values and keep neighborhoods desirable. Yes on U also ensures local schools qualify for their fair share of State matching grants that would otherwise go to other communities.

Yes on U - Working Together Locally to Unite for Better Schools!

/s/ Kelly Ray Brown,
Certified Public Accountant

/s/ John Griffin,
35 year Homeowner Taxpayer

/s/ Daniel C. Webb,
Local Business Owner

/s/ Terry Quashnick,
Local Business Owner


/s/ Homar Juarez

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Full Text of Measure U

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LODI UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE U

BOND AUTHORIZATION

By approval of this proposition by at least 55 percent of the registered voters voting on the measure, the Lodi Unified School District (the "District") will be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $281,000,000 in aggregated principal at interest rates not in excess of the legal limit and to provide financing for the specific projects listed in the Bond Project List described below, subject to all the accountability requirements specified below.

The Bonds may be issued under the provisions of the California Education Code (starting at Section 15100), under the provisions of the California Government Code (starting at Section 53506), or under any other provision of law authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds by school districts. The Bonds may be issued in series by the District from time to time, and each series of Bonds shall mature within the legal limitations set forth in the applicable law under which the Bonds are issued.

FINANCING PLAN

The District intends to use the Bonds to modernize, replace, renovate, construct, acquire and rebuild the District facilities on the Bond Project List.

All Bonds will be sold as current interest bonds and the use of capital appreciation bonds will not be permitted. No series of Bonds will be issued if such issuance would cause the tax rate levied to pay debt service on all of the outstanding Bonds to exceed $60 per year per $100,000 of taxable property, based on projections made by the District at the time of issuance of such series of Bonds.

ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS

The provisions in this section are specifically included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers in the District may be assured that their money will be spent wisely. Expenditures to address specific facility needs of the District will be 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 Education of the District (the "Board of Education") has identified detailed facility needs of the District and has determined which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The Board of Education hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction, enrollment growth, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List shown below.

Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee. The Board of Education shall establish an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee under Education Code Section 15278 and following to ensure that bond proceeds are expended only on the 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 Education.

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 described in the Bond Project List below.

Financial Audits. The Board of Education shall conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List below.

Annual Report. The Associate Superintendent of Business Services/Chief Business Officer of the District will cause an annual report to be filed with the Board of Education, the first report to be filed not later than one year after the issuance of the first series of the bonds, which report will 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 applicable California law.

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Expenditure of Bond Proceeds. The proceeds from the sale of the District's bonds will be used only for the purposes specified in this measure, and not for any other purpose. Such proceeds will be deposited into a Project Fund to be held by the San Joaquin County Treasurer, as required by the California Education Code.

FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS

No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the school facilities projects on the Bond Project List below, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses; provided, however, that bond proceeds may be used to pay for project administration by District personnel during the duration of such projects.

BOND PROJECT LIST

Scope of Projects. The Bond Project List shown below is a part of the ballot measure and must be reproduced in any official document required to contain the full statement of the bond measure.

The Board of Education is committed to repairing and upgrading its old schools, attracting and retaining quality teachers, and preparing students for college and careers, removing mold, asbestos, and lead paint, repairing leaky roofs, and ensuring the safety and security of all students. To that end, the Board of Education received input from teachers, staff and the community and evaluated the District's urgent and critical facility needs, including the need for up-to-date technology, science labs, safety issues, and computer and information technology; and adopted a Long Range Facilities Master Plan presented to the Board of Education on June 7, 2016. In developing the scope of projects, community members were engaged to prioritize the key health and safety and repair needs so that the most critical school site needs are addressed.

In approving the following priorities Project List, the Board of Education determines that the District must:

  1. (a) attract and retain quality teachers;
  2. (b) improve student safety;
  3. (c) remove hazardous materials like asbestos, mold and lead paint from older school sites;
  4. (d) provide clean and safe classrooms and a quality learning environment for current and future students;
  5. (e) update deteriorating and outdated electrical systems and wiring to provide job training for students who plan to enter the workforce right after high school; and
  6. (f) adhere to specific fiscal accountability safeguards such as:
    1. (i) ensure all funds are only used locally;
    2. (ii) prohibit the State from taking any of the funds raised;
    3. (iii) require that expenditures are subject to annual independent financial audits;
    4. (iv) prohibit funds from being used for administrator's salaries or pensions; and
    5. (v) require independent citizens' oversight of bond funds.

Bond proceeds will be expended to modernize, replace, renovate, construct, acquire and rebuild the District's facilities as described in the following list. Whenever specific items are included in the following list, they are presented to provide an example and are not intended to limit the generality of the broader description of the types of authorized projects.

The Project List includes the following at the following District schools:

  1. Ansel Adams
  2. Beckman
  3. Clairemont
  4. Clyde W. Needham
  5. Creekside
  6. Davis
  7. Elkhorn
  8. Ellerth E. Larson
  9. Erma B. Reese
  10. George Lincoln Mosher
  11. George Washington
  12. Heritage
  13. John Muir
  14. Julia Morgan
  15. Lakewood
  16. Lawrence Leroy Nichols
  17. Live Oak
  18. Lois E. Borchardt
  19. Manilo Silvia Houston
  20. Joe Serna Jr.
  21. Christa McAuliffe
  22. Delta Sierra
  23. Henderson
  24. Lodi Middle
  25. Bear Creek
  26. Liberty
  27. Lodi High
  28. Plaza Robles
  29. Ronald E. McNair
  30. Lincoln Tech. Academy
  31. Needham West
  32. School/Readiness Preschool
  33. Turner
  34. Tokay Colony
  35. Turner Academy
  36. Walter J. Katnich
  37. Tokay
  38. Millswood
  39. Morada
  40. Lockeford
  41. Oakwood
  42. Parklane
  43. Podesta Ranch
  44. Sutherland
  45. Victor
  46. Vinewood
  47. Wagner Holt
  48. Westwood
  49. Woodbridge

Such projects shall include but shall not be limited to:

1. Repairing and upgrading aging schools District-wide. Most of the District's schools were built decades ago and, as a result, many are aging and in need of basic health and safety upgrades. Funds from this measure will be used to repair deteriorating restrooms and leaky roofs, remove mold, asbestos, and lead paint, and replace outdated electrical, heating and air conditioning so children can learn in safe, healthy classrooms.

  • ?Upgrade moldy, deteriorating portable classrooms, or replace with permanent classrooms
  • ?Repair roofs
  • ?Remove asbestos
  • ?Repair and rebuild aging classrooms and school facilities to meet health and safety requirements
  • ?Repair and upgrade school heating and air conditioning systems
  • ?Meet handicapped accessibility (ADA)requirements in restrooms, classrooms and schools sites
  • ?Providing adequate facilities for physical education to keep students healthy
  • ?Remove lead paint
  • ?Repair deteriorating restrooms
  • ?Repair aging plumbing systems
  • ?Remove mold

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2. School Safety and Security Upgrades. Many schools are outdated or have insufficient security features that need to be improved. This measure will help install security fencing, cameras and lighting, and upgrade other essential security systems to provide safe learning environments.

  • ?Improve campus security by installing additional lighting, fencing, and access control
  • ?Update fire alarm and sprinkler systems
  • ?Reconstruct/reconfigure loading zones and parking lots for student safety

3. Technology and Science Modernization Projects. In order to succeed in the 21st Century economy, our students need skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. This measure will improve and upgrade classrooms so that all students have access to the education programs and technology necessary to prepare them for college and careers. Additionally, it will allow students in technical and vocational education programs access to hands-on interactive learning tools to help them acquire the real-world skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs when they graduate.

  • ?Update deteriorating and outdated electrical systems/infrastructures and wiring for computer technology and internet access
  • ?Provide new science labs
  • ?Upgrade career technical and vocational classrooms
  • ?Upgrade classroom technology to prepare students for the 21st Century economy
  • ?Improve student access to computers and modern technology

Each of the bond projects described in this Bond Project List include all costs incidental but directly related to the specific projects described above. Such costs include, but are not limited to, demolition of existing structures, rental or construction of storage facilities and other space on an interim basis for materials and other equipment and furnishings displaced during construction, interim classrooms and facilities for students, administrators, and school functions but only to the extent such facilities are deemed necessary by the Board of Education as a result of unforeseen conditions, addressing unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/modernization and other necessary improvements required to comply with existing building codes, including the Field Act, access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), , bond issuance costs and project administration during the duration of such projects, including .

For any project listed above with respect to construction at an existing District site, the District is authorized to identify an alternate site and/or acquire land for such purpose and construct the approved project at such site if the District has determined that the existing site does not satisfy any requirements of the Division of State Architect or other State laws, codes and regulations applicable to public school sites.

The order in which school facilities projects are listed above does not suggest an order of priority. Project priority will be determined by the Board of Education. The District is unable to anticipate all unforeseen circumstances which may prevent some of the projects listed above from being undertaken or completed.

Projects Subject to Available Funding. The foregoing list of projects is subject to the availability of adequate funding to the District. Approval of the bond measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the District that are the subject of bonds under the measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the bond measure. The District's proposal for the 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.

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Measure U Tax Rate Statement

TAX RATE STATEMENT FOR MEASURE U

LODI UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

An election will be held in the Lodi Unified School District (the "District") on November 8, 2016, to authorize the sale of up to $281,000,000 in bonds of the District to continue improving the quality of education in local schools of the District. Specifically, bond proceeds shall be utilized for the purposes of modernizing, replacing, renovating, constructing, acquiring and rebuilding school facilities in the District.

If the bonds are authorized and sold, debt service thereon will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1.The best estimate of the tax which would be requiredto be levied 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 $0.06000 per $100 ($60.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2017 - 2018.

2.The best estimate of the tax which would be requiredto be levied 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 $0.06000 per $100 ($60.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2025 – 2026.

3.The best estimate of the highest tax rate which wouldbe required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.06000 per $100 ($60.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal years 2015 – 2016.

4.The best estimate of the average tax rate whichwould be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the life of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.05827 per $100 ($58.27 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

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5.The best estimate of the total debt service, includingprincipal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $560,823,795.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Taxpayers eligible for property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above, and certain taxpayers may be eligible for a postponement of their property taxes. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds.

The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the need for construction funds and other factors, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation 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.

Dated: July 12, 2016

/s/ Cathy Washer, Superintendent
Lodi Unified School District

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