THE ELECTION ISSUE
CUSD’s Measure M: What You Need to Know BY ALLISON JARRELL
The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees voted in August to call a school bond election within the newly formed School Facilities Improvement District #2, which encompasses the entire district except for Rancho Mission Viejo. On Nov. 8, district voters will have to decide whether they want to pay more taxes to help the school district leverage state funds for over $800 million in deferred facilities maintenance. Below is the district’s official summary of Measure M, which will appear on the ballot: “To upgrade neighborhood schools by repairing outdated classrooms; improving science, technology, engineering, and math labs; ensuring fire/drinking water safety; removing asbestos; replacing leaky roofs; upgrading safety/security; repairing, constructing, and equipping educational facilities to prepare students for college/ vocational/military careers, shall School Facilities Improvement District #2 of the
Capistrano Unified School District issue $889 million in bonds at legal interest rates, requiring an independent citizens’ oversight committee, annual independent audits, no funds for administrator or teacher salaries/ benefits, and all funds used locally?” Five Facts about Measure M: 1. If 55 percent of voters approve Measure M in November, the district estimates that residents living within SFID #2—which includes the entire district except for Rancho Mission Viejo—will be taxed $41.81 per $100,000 of assessed value on their homes in fiscal year 2017-18 in order to begin funding the bond. That amount will grow to $42.93 per $100,000 in 2025-26 and reach a maximum of $42.99 per $100,000 of assessed value in fiscal year 2032-33. *Bonds can only be issued if the tax rate levied does not exceed $60 per year per $100,000 of taxable property, according to the California Education Code. 2. The total debt service, including principal and interest, for the $889 million general obligation bond would be $1.8 billion. Taxpayers will pay off the bond over a 35-year period. 3. The Orange County Taxpayers Association has confirmed that Measure M meets
Race for the State Assembly Bill Brough, the Republican candidate for California’s 73rd Assembly District, served on the Dana Point City Council from 20102014. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army from 1986-1991, and operated a government affairs consulting firm from 20052014, according to his campaign page. Brough’s challenger is Mesbah Islam, a write-in candidate. The San Clemente Times reached out to the Democratic candidate and did get in contact with him initially. However, after weeks of continuous emails and phone calls, Islam did not respond to set up an interview. After taking down his campaign’s Facebook page for months, Islam recently reopened it. However, he still did not respond to questions, and a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Orange County said in September that they didn’t think Islam “was very serious about running anymore.”
the association’s minimum criteria for school bonds; however, the association does not endorse measures. The South Orange County Economic Coalition announced its opposition to Measure M in September because it is “too large and its impacts too broad to support.” 4. How CUSD will spend the potential new funding is a topic of contention. Measure M states that the proceeds from the sale of bonds would be used for “construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities.” The measure lists 53 school sites, including charter schools. Additional expenditures may include “student transportation, food service, maintenance and operations facilities” (excluding the district office). By law, none of the bond’s funds can be used for administrator salaries or pensions. Critics of the measure say the ballot language lacks specificity and transparency. 5. Should Measure M pass, the district will be required to establish an “independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to ensure that bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities projects” listed. The district will also conduct an “annual independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects” listed in the measure.
As Islam has been unreachable, we will only report excerpts from our conversation with Brough. If Islam responds between now and the election, we will run his answers online.
On Prop 47 San Clemente Times asked Brough if he would do anything to alter Prop 47, which reduced punishments of certain crimes to citations in lieu of jail time. “We had a series of fixes come through because we found out that things like the date-rape drug, stealing firearms or less than $950 were things that were missed in the proposition,” Brough said. “I think there were some unintended consequences that were missed when Prop 47 was passed. We had a series of bills to try to correct those, and as things come up… we’ll certainly look at legislation to fix that.”
On Sober Living Homes Bill Brough We do know Islam is a resident of Mission Viejo, a young man and a Democrat. His write-in campaign earned him 278 votes, or about .4 percent of Brough’s 74,568 votes.
“We’ve got a big epidemic with prescription drug use,” Brough said, adding that he wants to approach sober living as a “consumer-protection issue.” He said, “I’m going to get with the insurance (companies) and see what it is they offer, and maybe there’s a way to steer people toward a licensed facility rather than an unlicensed (facility).”
Bond Measure Key Features BOND AMOUNT
$889 Million ESTIMATED MAXIMUM TAX LEVY
$43 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) IMPLEMENTATION TIMEFRAME
10-year plan SCHOOLS INCLUDED
Every existing school in CUSD
Wondering what specific improvements are planned for your school? For a complete list of facility projects included in the ballot measure, visit www.capousd.ca.schoolloop.com.
Brough also said it’s difficult to find space in South Orange County to establish a larger sober living facility.
On Homelessness SC Times asked Brough about what can be done to alleviate the increase in the homeless population. “We have to have a community plan,” Brough said. “There’s actually money and programs out there, and the county is sitting on a bunch of mental health money, and I know they’re moving forward on that as a county problem. We just need to get that money out, and the money needs to go to the homeless veterans and the support groups who are helping.”
On Marijuana Legalization “I don’t think (recreational marijuana legalization) is a good thing,” he said. “If a doctor thinks it will help someone, I have no problem with that. My big issue is if it’s legalized and gets into the hands of kids.” Brough said if Prop. 64 (which would legalize recreational marijuana) passes, he would like to tax both medicinal and recreational purposes as much as possible and to craft regulation around the marijuana industry that would limit negative repercussions.
San Clemente Times 2016 Election Issue