Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Schools: Vote Yes on Measure J Bonds - Solano County - 2016 primary Election
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  Commentary    Question    Argument in Favor    Rebuttal in Favor    Argument Against    Rebuttal Against    Full Text    Tax Rate  

Commentary on Measure J

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

This campaign was designed by Isom Advisors. 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.

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Measure J Question

MEASURE J – Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Bond Proposal

"To improve the quality of education, provide safe and modern schools for all students with funding that cannot be taken by the state; upgrade, modernize and construct classrooms, science labs and libraries; improve student access to technology; repair leaky roofs, outdated electrical and plumbing systems; and improve safety, security and access for students with disabilities shall Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District issue $249,000,000 of bonds at legal rates, including independent citizens' oversight, audits and no money for administrative salaries?"

BONDS - YES BONDS - NO

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

Argument in Favor of Measure J

Argument in Favor of Measure J

Vote YES on Measure J to ensure local Fairfield and Suisun students continue learning in safe, modern schools.

FSUSD has been a good steward of school facilities, maintaining and repairing them as needed. However, most schools are over 35 years old and some are almost 70 years old, and need more than just upkeep.

Our schools require urgent repairs to address the health, safety, and instructional problems that impact thousands of students every day.

FSUSD completed a yearlong assessment of every school and developed a detailed plan with cost estimates to address the most urgent priorities.

Measure J is the solution to ensuring that our schools receive the critical improvements needed to continue keeping students safe and better prepare them for success in college and future careers.

Yes on Measure J:

  • ? Repairs or replaces leaky roofs, deteriorating plumbing, and sewer systems
  • ? Updates classrooms for students with disabilities
  • ? Upgrades old science labs and classrooms for job training
  • ? Updates infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology
  • ? Replaces aging portable classrooms
  • ? Provides libraries so students have full access to books, resources, and technology
  • ? Provides education space for music and the arts
  • ? Modernizes classrooms to meet 21st-century teaching and learning standards
  • ? Improves campus safety and security

Measure J Includes Mandatory Fiscal Accountability

  • ? Independent citizens' oversight and annual audits ensure funds are spent appropriately
  • ? No funds can be used for administrator salaries, benefits, or pensions
  • ? Every penny raised by Measure J will be used for our local schools
  • ? No funds can be taken away by the State

Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting quality schools, home values, and our quality of life is a wise investment.

Join parents, teachers, seniors, and local business and community leaders — Vote YES on J!

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Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure J

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure J

Look at your property tax bill for a list of the current school general obligation bonds that you are still paying with interest for the next 25 plus years. Three school bond measures are currently being paid by property owners: FSUSD 2002 Measure C, with two series of refinancing, and two Solano College bonds that property owners and renters will be paying for decades.

Much of the work described in Measure J is deferred maintenance of school properties for which the Education Code requires school districts to pay for from a deferred maintenance fund. Now the District tells us that the schools require urgent repairs and critical improvements. If the District had been a good steward, repairs and replacements would have been completed as needed rather than waiting for a new bond. The cost of new construction and certain replacements are eligible for matching state funds. Many of the listed items do not qualify for matching funds, strongly suggesting that they should not be in Measure J.

Since items listed in Measure J are not specific to any school site, the Measure is bait that gives the District a BLANK CHECK to squander bond dollars on whatever they want.

The FSUSD has the unilateral authority to refinance any portion of the bond amount during the bond term without voter approval or notice to refinance given to the property owner taxpayer.

Join overtaxed property owners—VOTE NO ON J!

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Argument Against Measure J

OPPOSITION TO MEASURE J

Suppose your house could use new carpets. The bathroom sink has a small leak. Want new furniture? A flat-screen TV?

Would you mortgage your home to pay for repairs and for things that will be junk long before the note is paid off? Would you expect your children to make the mortgage payments?

We wouldn't! But the school district wants to stick us with the bill.

Look at the list. See how regularly the words "repair," "renovate," and "replace" appear. This is not a school construction measure. It's a maintenance measure!

It's here because the district has not taken proper care of its facilities for years.

Instead of budgeting for maintenance, to keep buildings and equipment useful for a long time, the district has spent the overwhelming share – around 85 percent -- on personnel: salaries and wages; retirement plans; health care; junkets. There isn't enough left to take care of the buildings.

California law tries to provide accountability by requiring a Citizens Oversight Committee. That worked very well on the previous bond measure. But this time, there are no specific projects and no estimates of how much anything might cost. What's the citizens committee going to oversee?

Since there are no cost estimates, how did the school district come up with the $249 million amount of the bond measure? Simple. It's just the maximum amount of debt the district could stick us with. Does that sound responsible?

So what are we to do?

Reject Measure J!

Tell the district to budget properly.
Take care of facilities that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.
Separate the "must-do" from the "nice-to-have."
Figure what each job will cost.
Then bring us a measure that we can understand and approve.

We're voting NO on Measure J

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Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure J

Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure J

The FEW opponents of Measure J frequently write similar arguments against measures to support schools, police, firefighters, and other important local services. Their opposition is ideological and not based on the needs of our schools or our community.

Their comparison of urgent school safety and educational issues to a home needing new carpets and a flat screen TV is an offensive slap in the face to our students, teachers, and families. They misunderstand Measure J and trivialize serious health, safety, and instructional issues.

FACTS:

  • ? Most schools are over 35 years old and some are almost 70 years old
  • ? Leaky roofs disrupt instruction
  • ? Schools need earthquake and fire safety improvements
  • ? Deteriorating plumbing/sewer systems long ago exceeded their lifespan
  • ? Fifty year old electrical systems fail because they were not designed for modern instructional technology
  • ? Some classrooms aren't accessible for students with disabilities
  • ? Science labs and job training classrooms built in the 1960s cannot prepare students for college and 21st-century careers

Measure J is the result of an extensive, yearlong facilities assessment and addresses the most urgent priorities.

The District has a proven track record of spending taxpayers' dollars carefully and responsibly. Mandatory citizens' oversight and annual audits will ensure Measure J funds are spent on top priorities.

Protecting quality education and ensuring that students continue to learn in safe, modern schools IS a wise investment.

Let's send Fairfield-Suisun students a message that we value their education and future success: vote Yes on J!

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Full Text of Measure J

EXHIBIT A

FULL TEXT OF THE MEASURE

Upon the passage of Measure J, the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (the "District") shall be authorized to issue bonds in the aggregate amount of $ 249,000,000, bearing interest at rates not exceeding the statutory limit, for the purpose of funding the school facilities projects listed below under the heading "School Facilities Projects to Be Funded with Proceeds of Bonds" (the "Bond Project List").

Background

The Governing Board of the District (the "Board") is committed to providing a modern learning environment in local schools with safe, secure, upgraded classrooms and science labs which keep pace with 21st Century technologies and learning standards. The Board recognizes the need to modernize facilities so Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District schools can meet the demands of current and future students. Over the last year, the District initiated a long-term planning process and commissioned a facilities master plan detailing all facility's needs. The development of this plan included input from the community, teachers, staff, parents and students. Said plan is available for review at the District office and incorporated into the Bond Project list by this reference.

Proposition 39 Bond Accountability Measures

At its February 25, 2016, meeting, the Board certified that it evaluated safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List set forth below. The proceeds of the Bonds shall be used only for the projects identified in the Bond Project List, and not for any other purpose (i.e., teacher and administrative salaries and other school operating expenses).

The District will deposit the proceeds of the bonds in a separate account. The Board is bound to conduct financial and performance audits annually to account for the bond funds and to assure that funds have only been expended on the specific projects authorized. The District shall prepare and deliver an annual report to the Board containing the amount of funds collected and expended as well as the status of school facilities projects authorized to be funded by proceeds of the Bonds.

The Board will appoint a citizen's oversight committee (the "Committee") having a minimum seven members and including at least one member active in a business organization representing the business community located within the District, one member active in a senior citizens' organization, one member active in a bona fide taxpayers' organization, one member who is the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District, and one member who is both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District and active in a parent-teacher organization.

School Facilities Projects to Be Funded with Proceeds of Bonds

The Bond Project List below describes the specific projects the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds. The District's goals are to provide equity among district schools so each student has similar facilities and educational opportunities. 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 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. Bond proceeds will be expended to repair, modernize, replace, renovate, expand, construct, acquire, equip, furnish and otherwise improve the classrooms and school facilities of the District's existing schools, new school sites, and other district-owned properties to provide equity among campuses, improved facilities, and student access to instructional technology. 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. Projects listed may or may not apply at every site.

Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects to High Schools

  • • Repair/replace outdated leaky roofs
  • • Repair/replace existing deteriorating plumbing systems, including drainage, irrigation and sewer systems
  • • Update infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology
  • • Upgrade inadequate electrical systems
  • • Repair/replace outdated portable classrooms
  • • Provide new shade/rain structures
  • • Modernize, renovate, repair, expand and/or upgrade the interior and/or exterior of existing classrooms and school facilities
  • • Repair and upgrade roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors
  • • Upgrade, expand, or construct classrooms and labs for career technical education
  • • Upgrade, expand, construct/provide, repair and/or equip student support facilities including labs, multipurpose rooms, cafeterias, auditoriums, libraries, locker rooms, and other school facilities
  • • Upgrade outdated restrooms
  • • Install energy efficient systems including "green" building projects and sustainable building practices to promote energy-efficiency (e.g., windows, solar, lighting, electrical systems panel, HVAC etc.)
  • • Make health, safety, and security improvements including upgrading, repairing, or expanding drop off and pick up areas, school site parking, walkways, ground, and utilities
  • • Upgrade physical education fields and athletic facilities for school and community use
  • • Provide education space for music and the arts
  • • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades and as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) including site access, parking, restrooms, relocation of some existing electrical devices, drinking fountains, playground equipment, etc.

Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects to Middle Schools and Schools of Choice

  • • Repair/replace outdated leaky roofs
  • • Repair/replace deteriorating plumbing systems, including drainage, irrigation and sewer systems
  • • Update infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology
  • • Repair/replace outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • • Renovate and upgrade outdated and inadequate school infrastructure including electrical and communication systems
  • • Upgrade, expand, or construct classrooms and labs for career technical education
  • • Upgrade, expand, construct/provide, repair and/or equip student support facilities including labs, multipurpose rooms, cafeterias, auditoriums, libraries, locker rooms, gymnasiums, and other school facilities
  • • Construct science and technology classroom labs
  • • Modernize, renovate, repair, expand and/or upgrade the interior and/or exterior of existing classrooms and school facilities
  • • Repair and upgrade roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors
  • • Provide education space for music and the arts
  • • Make health, safety, and security improvements including upgrading, repairing, or expanding drop off and pick up areas, school site parking, walkways, ground, and utilities
  • • Install energy efficient systems including "green" building projects and sustainable building practices to promote energy-efficiency (e.g., windows, solar, lighting, electrical systems panel, heating, air conditioning and ventilation)
  • • Repair/replace outdated portable classrooms
  • • Provide new shade/rain structures
  • • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades and as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) including site access, parking, restrooms, relocation of some existing electrical devices, drinking fountains, playground equipment, etc.

Renovation, Repair and Upgrade Projects to Elementary and K-8 Schools

  • • Repair/replace outdated and leaky roofs
  • • Repair/replace deteriorating plumbing systems, including drainage, irrigation and sewer systems
  • • Update infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology
  • • Upgrade inadequate electrical systems
  • • Install, repair, upgrade, or replace safety and security systems for students and staff, including fire alarms, fencing, lighting and security cameras
  • • Modernize and renovate H. Glenn Richardson Educational Complex and re-open campus to reduce student overcrowding
  • • Upgrade, expand, construct, repair and/or equip labs, multipurpose rooms, food service facilities, auditoriums, libraries, and other school facilities, including the cafeterias and gymnasiums
  • • Provide education space for music and the arts
  • • Install energy efficient systems including "green" building projects and sustainable building practices to promote energy-efficiency (e.g., windows, solar, lighting, electrical systems panel, heating, air conditioning and ventilation)
  • • Federal and State-mandated Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) safety upgrades including playground areas and playground equipment replacement
  • • Upgrade and repair play areas, play fields, and nature areas
  • • Repair, replace and/or upgrade paved surfaces and other grounds to eliminate safety hazards and improve outside instructional areas
  • • Repair/replace outdated portable classrooms
  • • Provide new shade/rain structures
  • • Federal and State-mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility upgrades and as mandated by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) including site access, parking, restrooms, relocation of some existing electrical devices, drinking fountains, playground equipment, etc.

District-Wide Projects

  • • Reduce student overcrowding throughout the District including building new classrooms and/or a new school
  • • Update infrastructure to improve student access to instructional technology
  • • Install energy efficient systems including "green" building projects and sustainable building practices to promote energy-efficiency (e.g., windows, solar, lighting, electrical systems panel, HVAC etc.)
  • • Improve campus safety by upgrading intercom systems, wireless systems, and telecommunications systems
  • • Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/modernization (such as plumbing or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic, structural, etc.)
  • • Remove all dry rot and repair damaged caused by dry rot
  • • Abate and remove hazardous materials identified prior or during construction
  • • Fire alarm systems upgrades, repair fire safety equipment, and emergency exit lighting improvements
  • • Repair, replace and/or upgrade paved surfaces and other grounds to eliminate safety hazards and improve outside instructional areas
  • • Other improvements required to comply with existing building codes, including the Field Act, and access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • • Update/construct transportation yard facilities
  • • Necessary site acquisition and preparation/restoration 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 (such as gas lines, water lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, and communication lines), trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property
  • • Rental or construction of storage facilities and other space on an interim basis, as needed to accommodate construction materials, equipment, and personnel, and interim classrooms (including relocatables) for students and school functions or other storage for classroom materials displaced during construction
  • • Acquisition of any of the facilities on the Bond Project List through temporary lease or lease-purchase arrangements, or execute purchase option under leases for any of these authorized facilities
  • • For any project involving rehabilitation or renovation of a building or the major portion of a building, the District shall be authorized to proceed with new construction instead, if the Board determines that replacement and new construction is more economically practical than rehabilitation and renovation, considering the building's age, condition, expected remaining life, and other relevant factors
  • • All work necessary and incidental to specific projects described above, including demolition of existing structures

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, 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 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 student and staff restrooms; repair and replacement of heating and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; repair and replacement of worn-out and leaky roofs, windows, walls, doors and drinking fountains; installation wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrades or construction of support facilities, including administrative; physical education/athletic facilities and performing arts buildings and maintenance yards; repair and replacement of fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; resurfacing or replacing of hard courts, pools, 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, upgrade classrooms, bleachers, kitchens, repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; replace outdated security fences and security systems. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, servers, switches, routers, telephone systems, network security/firewall, and wireless technology systems. 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 performing arts facilities, 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. 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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Measure J Tax Rate Statement

B-1

EXHIBIT B

TAX RATE STATEMENT

An election will be held in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (the "District") on June 7, 2016, to authorize the sale of up to $ 249,000,000 in bonds of the District to modernize and improve schools within the District. Specifically, bond proceeds shall be utilized for the purposes of financing 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.

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. It is anticipated that the District will sell the bonds in four (4) separate series.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2016-17.

2. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to 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 $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2023-24.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

4. The best estimate of the average tax rate that would 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 $0.06 per $100 ($60 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.

5. The best estimate of the total debt service, including principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $ 550,000,000.

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. 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, the years in which they will apply, and the total debt service may vary 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.

>B-2

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: February 25, 2016

Kris Corey, Superintendent
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District

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