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Contra Costa County Ballot

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November 6, 2007 Election

County Results as of Nov 9 1:29pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (26/26)
38.7% Countywide Voter Turnout (11,061/28,549)
School | Local Measures
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Contests for all precincts in Contra Costa County, CA combined are shown below.
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  • School

    Governing Board Member; Oakley Union Elementary School DistrictClick here for more info on this contest including known links to other sites (2 Elected)

    • Larry Polk
      859 votes 28.51%
    • Karen Lynn Bergenholtz
      742 votes 24.63%
    • Pat Dedmon
      725 votes 24.06%
    • Kimberly A. Solarski
      676 votes 22.44%
    • (11 Total Write-In Votes .37%)

    Local Measures

    Measure J Special Tax Measure -- Lafayette School District (2/3 Approval Required)
    Pass: 6,830 / 73.13% Yes votes ...... 2,509 / 26.87% No votes
    To prevent deep cuts at our elementary and middle schools; preserve small class sizes; attract and retain qualified and experienced teachers, classroom aides, and counselors; provide up-to-date textbooks, instructional materials and classroom technology; and support educational programs that enhance student health and achievement, shall Lafayette School District extend its expiring school parcel tax for seven years at $313.00 per parcel, with an exemption for seniors, adjustment for inflation, and all funds staying local to benefit Lafayette schools?


    The governing board of the Lafayette School District has adopted a resolution proposing a qualified special (parcel) tax. The current qualified special tax of $132 per year per parcel of taxable land within the School District will expire June 30, 2008. The ballot measure asks voters to decide whether to extend the qualified special tax. If this measure is approved, the amount of the tax in the first year will be $313 per taxable parcel of land within the School District,and will increase annually by three (3) percent per year. The qualified special tax will be levied and collected each year for a period of seven years, beginning July 1, 2008, if this measure is approved. An exemption from the qualified special tax will be available forparcels owned and occupied by persons 65 years of age or older pursuant to procedures to be prescribed by the governing board of the School District or otherwise as required by law or by the County Tax Collector's Office. The ballot measure states that the proceeds of the qualifiedspecial tax will be used to prevent deep cuts at elementary and middleschools; preserve small class sizes; attract and retain qualified and experienced teachers, classroom aides, and counselors; provide up-todate textbooks, instructional materials and classroom technology; andsupport educational programs that enhance student health andachievement. Proceeds from the qualified special tax may only be usedfor the purposes set forth in the ballot measure and according to otherconstitutional and statutory provisions. Two-thirds of those voting on the ballot measure must approve the measure in order for it to pass. A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the qualified special tax. A "no" vote is a vote against authorizing the qualified special tax.

    The above statement is an impartial analysis of Special Tax Measure J. If you desire a copy of the full text, please call the District Secretary's office at (925) 284-7011 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost.


    In 1992 local voters approved a parcel tax that has provided stable, locally controlled funding for Lafayette elementary and middle schools. This essential funding supports the outstanding core academic programsthat make Lafayette schools among the best in the State. Without approval of Measure J, this funding will expire next year. Funding for our schools is declining and the cost of maintaining programs increasing. In fact, Lafayette School District is facing a deficit of $700,000 next year. Without Measure J, Lafayette schools will lose an additional $1.27 million per year and will be forced to make significant cuts to educational programs. Measure J will extend the expiring parcel tax for 7 years and adjust it to $313 per parcel. (Moraga's parcel tax is $325 and Orinda's is $385) A built-in cost of living adjustment will ensure that funding keeps pace with inflation. Lafayette homeowners age 65 and over are eligible for an optional exemption. Specifically, Measure J funds will:

    • Preserve small class sizes
    • Attract and retain qualified teachers and instructional aides
    • Maintain science, reading and technology specialists
    • Provide up-to-date textbooks and instructional materials
    • Maintain updated technology in the classroom
    • Support critical educational programs that enhance student achievement. Every penny goes directly to classroom instruction. No funds fromMeasure J may be used for administration. Mandatory annual audits will ensure that the money is spent properly. All funds from Measure J will remain in Lafayette to benefit our elementary and middle schools. No funds can be taken away by the State or other school districts. Good schools help keep our property values high and maintain the quality of life in our community. Help prevent deep cuts to Lafayette schools. Please join Lafayette parents, teachers, principals, senior citizens, business and civicleaders in voting YES on Measure J.

    Mary Mc Cosker Ed Stokes, Community Volunteer Michelle M. Chan Robert L. Gonser, President, RAPPORT, Lafayette Happy Valley Elementary ALUM & Education Leadership Group Local Attorney Richard W. Holt, Local Realtor


    1992's parcel tax? $84. 1999's? $132, up 57%. Now, Lafayette School District's (LSD's) tax promoters want to "adjust it to $313" -- 2.37 times their current assessment (a 137% INCREASE), though enrollment has dropped 11% since 1999! Compounding its annual increases, Measure J's 7th year collectsalmost $374! Meanwhile:

    • LSD and the $36,800 outside consultants who shaped their arguments showed a $62 parcel-tax increase as meeting 2008-09's unrestricted structural deficit. Instead, they've made Measure J a what-can-we-get-away-with proposition.
    • Observant taxpayers realize that spendthrift public agencies play leapfrog: "other districts extract X dollars, so let's inflate our take, too." Then others demand more.... Spending spins out of control.
    • LSD's 2007-08 General Fund alone, including a $3 Million ending balance, already averages $9326 per student -- $186,500 per 20-student classroom! LSD's total budget exceeds $40 Million ($12,729/student)!
    • As California's Legislative Analyst noted, class-size reduction (CSR) -- among the state's "most costly categorical programs" -- shows "inconclusive" results. Disadvantaged K-3 students (not ours) may benefit slightly; but LSD's parcel taxes fund grade 4-8 CSR.
    • Measure J doesn't guarantee improved academic performance, property values, or quality of life. It does guarantee $2398 in cumulative new per-parcel taxes. Measure J would mostly benefit Lafayette's teacher unionists (who'd get retroactive raises atop existing step increases), not schoolkids or taxpayers. Senior-exemption applications may become public records. And fair-minded seniors recognize the inequity in supporting new taxes they needn't pay themselves. Please join us in voting "NO" on Measure J!

    Nancy Woodfield Robert L. Golden, Business Owner Construction Engineer, Retired;Board Member, Lafayette Taxpayers Association Irene G. Marracci Gordon Mattonen, Homemaker Software Developer, Retired; Member, Lafayette Taxpayers Association James C. Burns, Water-Treatment Chemist, Retired; Board Member, Lafayette Taxpayers Association


    The Lafayette Taxpayers Association (LTA) opposes Measure J's $313parcel tax. Income and FICA taxes alone already consume one-third to onehalf of next dollars earned by many local families (before even considering sales taxes, property taxes, gasoline taxes...). So tax dollars we already supply must provide needed public-agency services more efficiently:

    • The District passed a $132 parcel tax in 1999. Since then,enrollment has dropped 11%. But now, they want a $313 new parcel tax -- a 137% increase. That's far too much!
    • It's $313 just in this new tax's first year. That figure rises by 3% annually -- compounded! By year seven, it's nearly $374.
    • We're also paying a $189 parcel tax for the Acalanes Union High School District. That tax expires in four years, so they'll also return soon to the ballot for more money.
    • A universal "senior opt-out" provision is unwarranted in this affluent community. A realistically defined "means-tested opt out," recommended by the previous Superintendent, is omitted in Measure J.
    • Parcel taxes are highly regressive, requiring the same amount for a 1000 ft2 bungalow as for 5000 ft2 mansions. This District and others must respond to fewer students and proportionate state-funding with responsible, practical measures like those employed by private enterprises when faced with slowdowns in revenue or market demand -- e.g.,
    • Improved workforce/staff utilization and productivity;
    • Competitive contracting or outsourcing of non-certificated, nonteaching activity. We recognize the importance of good schools, and commend the efforts of Lafayette's best educators. But we also recognize that schools are just one part of a state-wide public-sector spending problem + one in which every tax-supported element of government must begin to limit its annual spending increases to at most the combined rates of inflation and served-population growth.

    Lafayette Taxpayers Association Ned Robinson Donald Lively, Spokesman Former Mayor, Lafayette Citizens Against Regulatory Excesses Arthur Ronat Louis T. Marracci, Secretary Board Member Lafayette Taxpayers Association Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers Kenneth Hambrick, Chair


    A No vote on Measure J will be devastating to Lafayette schools. Here are the facts: FACT: State funding for Lafayette schools ranks 16th lowest of the 18 school districts in Contra Costa County. Only 14.5 cents of your property tax dollar goes to our schools. Lafayette schools are already among the most lean and efficient. FACT: As student enrollment has declined, so has state funding. The loss of funding substantially exceeds the cost reduction from fewer students. Our schools face a $700,000 deficit. Measure J will make our schools less dependent on the State. FACT: Lafayette's parcel tax + which our schools have relied on since 1992 - expires next year. Without renewal, our schools will lose $1.27 million per year. Such a severe funding reduction would result in increased class sizes, teacher layoffs, reductions in textbooks and technology. FACT: Measure J adjusts the existing parcel tax for inflation and the cost of maintaining core programs. This assessment has not been increased since 1999. By law, parcel taxes are the only means for school districts to generate local funding for instruction. FACT: Measure J includes an optional senior exemption to ensure it is not a burden for seniors on a fixed income. FACT: Many families want to move to Lafayette so their children can attend our outstanding schools, increasing demand for our homes and protecting our property values. We all benefit from living in one of the best school districts in the State. Please vote Yes on J.

    Susan M. Graves Chuck Stuart, Former BVE PTA Pres. Lafayette Businessman Erling L. Horn Toni Mc Shane, Former Mayor, City of Lafayette Asst. Principal Stanley Middle School Marechal N. Duncan, Longtime Resident and Volunteer

    The order of the contests and candidates on this ballot representation is NOT necessarily the same as your county's official ballot.
    If you print and mark your choices on this page and take it to the polls instead of an official sample ballot, be very careful.

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