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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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San Mateo County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Measure H
Appropriations Limit
Town of Portola Valley

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 1,133 / 52.2% Yes votes ...... 1,039 / 47.8% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 30 9:53am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (5/5)
Information shown below: Arguments |

"Shall the Town of Portola Valley adjust the appropriations limit of the Town each fiscal year commencing July 1, 2006 by the amount of money collected from the existing 5.5% Utility Users Tax during the time of its levy and collection, provided that the authorization to so adjust the appropriations limit shall not exceed four (4) years from the end of Fiscal Year 2005 + 2006?"

Yes ________ No _________

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Arguments For Measure H Arguments Against Measure H
VOTE YES ON MEASURE H to permit our Town Council to continue our Utility Users Tax (UUT) at its current rate to assure Portola Valley's continued financial strength.

Portola Valley's tradition of sound government has always been characterized by prudent financial management. With its small, but efficient staff, and strong volunteer tradition, the Town serves its residents with the smallest municipal budget in San Mateo County.

In 1985, the Town Council enacted the first UUT to provide funds for public works facilities. Residents voted to extend the UUT to complete these projects in 1987. Since then, loss of property tax revenues from the State, and costly Federal and State mandates have reduced revenues and increased costs to all local governments including Portola Valley. To confront this loss of revenue and increase in costs, Town residents voted overwhelmingly in 1993, 1997, and 2001 to extend the UUT for four year periods at the present 5 1/2% rate.

Currently, the UUT provides about $612,000 per year toward our General Fund, which is 12% of our total yearly revenue. Renewing the tax would allow the town to continue its present level of services and maintain a prudent level of reserves. In the past, the UUT has provided funding for such projects as the Rossotti Field renovation, road repairs, trail maintenance, and litter removal.

In the future, the UUT will provide funding for items such as: Road maintenance Public Safety Parks and Fields maintenance Budgeted Town operations

By voting YES ON MEASURE H, we will give the Town Council discretion to levy the UUT at a 5 1/2% rates, or less if circumstances permit, and continue our tradition of responsive and financially sound government. Please join us on November 8 in voting YES ON MEASURE H. Signed Date Signed Date ___________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ Sue Crane + Former Mayor

Kirke Comstock + Former Mayor ___________________________ ______ ________________________ ______ Ed Davis + Mayor

Chip McIntosh + Planning Commissioner ___________________________ ______ Michele T. Takei + Finance Committee Chair

Raising Portola Valley's Appropriation Limit would give Carte Blanche to Town Government.

Twenty years ago our town government asked us to pass a utility tax for a shortterm emergency cashflow problem.

--Twenty years later the town has a $3,000,000+ reserve, and the tax is still with us. Our town leaders have been less than candid in explaining why they want this tax.

A new town center is in the works. Not just a replacement for the old town center, but a town center that will be greatly expanded to fill the needs of the community." A new town center that will be safe in an earthquake. (Ask any geologist about that claim") Estimated costs have increased from 8 to 20 million.

--That's quite a bit while just in the planning stages. The final tab could reach 25 million or more--not to mention the increased costs of running the larger plant.

Town leaders present a rosy picture of the financing: there will be fundraising, there will be private donations, there are, of course, the town reserves, and THEN there will be long term debt and a new bond issue.

What they don't mention is that there has been no clear imperative from the residents for a new, enlarged town center. A general obligation bond requires a 2/3 voter approval but the utility tax only 50% approval. These folks are relying on the utility tax to launch the town center that THEY--not necessarily WE--want. And after this extravagant and pretentious project is begun, we will no doubt need to approve another bond to rescue the city from unfunded costs.

Vote NO on Measure H, and make your town leaders get voter approval for their pet projects.

The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the primary argument against Ballot Measure ___ at the Consolidated Special Statewide Election for the Town of Portola Valley to be held on November 8, 2005, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.

signed Date

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Created: January 28, 2006 14:46 PST
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