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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Kern County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure J
Richland School District

55% Approval Required

Pass: 2469 / 71.30% Yes votes ...... 994 / 28.70% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 24 10:33am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (15/15)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement | Full Text

To improve educational opportunities, increase safety in our schools and qualify for State matching funds: shall the Richland School District issue $23 million in bonds, providing for a citizens' oversight committee, annual audits, interest rates below legal limits, and no money for salaries or school operating expenses, in order to renovate existing school buildings, update technology, purchase land and construct a new elementary school, with all money raised benefitting our local students?

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
A "Yes" vote by at least fifty five percent (55%) of the voters voting on this measure will authorize the issuance and sale of bonds for the benefit of the Richland School District ("District") in an amount up to twenty three million dollars ($23,000,000).

Proceeds from the sale of these school bonds may only be used for 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. As required by law, the District has listed the specific projects to be funded, in whole or in part, by the bonds. The list of projects is printed in the sample ballot. Approval of the bond measure does not guarantee that the listed projects will be fully funded.

The District will conduct an annual independent performance audit, in order to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the specific projects listed, and an annual independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those funds have been expended. In addition, the District's Board of Trustees will appoint an independent citizens' oversight committee to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues.

The bond debt will be a general obligation of the District and will be financed by property taxes levied annually on taxable property located within the District, based on the property's value, in an amount necessary to pay the annual debt obligation.

The interest rate will be established at the time of the sale of the bonds and will depend on prevailing market rates. As a matter of law, that rate cannot exceed twelve percent (12%) per annum and shall mature and be paid no later than forty (40) years following their date of issuance. In the District's Tax Rate Statement, it has provided its best estimate of the tax rates which will be applied to pay the debt at various intervals during the life of the bonds.

This wording applies to Measure J:

Approval of Measure J does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Richland School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure J will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure J. The school district's proposal for the project or 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.

This wording applies to Measure J:

This is an impartial analysis of Measure J. If you want a copy of the District's resolution ordering the election to vote on Measure J, please call Kern County Elections at (661) 868-3590 or 1-800-452-8683 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

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Arguments For Measure J
Please join us and vote YES on Measure J to support the children of Richland School District. Our dedicated school board and administration have made excellent progress in providing our students safe, healthy and productive learning environments, but they are faced with severe budget limitations. It is critical that all students have access to equitable, modern facilities. It is time to finish the job.

Measure J is one part of a comprehensive facilities master plan developed closely with the City of Shafter. This responsible plan calls upon the District, state, developers, and new homeowners to do their part in meeting the needs of our students, now and in the future.

Measure J will enable us to provide modern, upgraded classrooms and other facilities at Redwood Elementary School. These include improvements to heating, ventilation, plumbing, lighting, and electrical systems. Bond funds will also be used to meet the remaining needs in other aging district facilities. With Measure J funds the district will be able to build a new elementary school to accommodate students as our district grows.

We are pleased that safeguards are built into Measure J to assure us that funds will be used for their intended purpose only. No funds will be used for administrator salaries and a Citizens' Oversight Committee will monitor all expenditures of bond funds.

We MUST pass Measure J so that Richland School District will qualify for millions of dollars of additional state matching funds. Without a bond measure in place, these needed funds will disappear.

We support Measure J because the funds raised will benefit our local schools. Making these improvements will continue the tradition of excellence at Richland School District.

Comprehensive planning, shared responsibility, and accountability. We urge you to vote YES on Measure J for the children of Richland School District.

s/Gary Rodriguez, Teacher / Community Advocate
s/Cathy Prout, City of Shafter, Mayor
s/Dean Florez, State Senator
s/Larry Starrh, Farmer
s/Deanna Rodriguez Root, Business Owner

(No arguments against Measure J were submitted)

Tax Rate Statement
An election will be held in the Richland School District (the "District") on November 4, 2008, to authorize the sale of up to $23,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in several series. Principal and interest on the bonds 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 required to 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 3.00 cents per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.

2.The best estimate of the tax rate 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 3.00 cents per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2017-18.

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 3.00 cents per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2009-10.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the assessed value of taxable property on the official tax rolls of the respective counties, not on the property's market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner's exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Certain taxpayers may also be eligible to postpone payment of taxes. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors 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.

Full Text of Measure J
DISCLAIMER: All documents are printed exactly as submitted to the Elections Office.




Project List

Richland School District would use the proceeds of authorized Bonds to pay for some or all of the listed projects, with tax rates remaining at or below $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed (not market) value throughout the District.



Complete essential facility upgrade to aging school, including upgrades to classrooms, building interiors and exteriors, furniture, equipment, fencing, and school grounds.

Repair or replace aging/deteriorated plumbing and restrooms

Repair or replace aging/deteriorated roofs

Repair or replace inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems

Repair or replace building interior surfaces + e.g. walls, ceilings, floors, and floor coverings

Construct outdoor shaded area for instructional/eating/multi-use purposes

Repair or replace aging/deteriorated windows, doors, flooring, furniture, and equipment

Replace deteriorated portables with new classrooms

Remodel/renovate/expand inadequate school office and student support spaces

Repair, replace, or install systems for improved school safety and security (fire, alarm, lighting, etc.)

Upgrade learning technology and equipment in libraries and multipurpose classrooms


Complete essential facility upgrades including upgrades to cafeteria, library, school offices and student support spaces

Replace deteriorated portables with new classrooms


Complete site development including: site preparation, grading, utilities, safe parking, drop-off and pickup zones, and road extensions

Complete school construction including: classrooms, library/multimedia facility, computer labs, multi-purpose room, food service facility and general use school buildings and grounds

Acquire site for future elementary school


Provide furniture and equipment for all classrooms, and spaces to be newly constructed or reconstructed, including classroom technology, computer and science equipment, and book storage, and replacement of worn/broken/out of date furniture and equipment

Improve schools as required to comply with existing building codes, including the Field Act, and access requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act

Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/modernization (e.g. plumbing, or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic structural, etc.)

Remove hazardous materials (asbestos, lead, mold, mildew, etc.) where necessary

Necessary site preparation/restoration in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling.

Acquisition of any of the facilities on the Project List through temporary lease or lease-purchase arrangements, or execute purchase option under lease for any of these authorized facilities

Provide temporary (interim) classrooms and other school facilities as needed to accommodate students and school functions displaced during construction


Pay or pre-pay certain lease-purchase obligations of the District including those utilized to renovate Golden Oak Elementary School

Acquire/Construct new district office building and facilities in conjunction with Redwood improvement projects

Acquire/Construct new transportation/maintenance yard and facilities

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Created: January 24, 2009 10:33 PST
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