As the 2012 election nears, sides are lining up on Measure D, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's $260 million bond proposal.
The measure would approve the sale of bonds, with the proceeds used to finance construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities. The bond proceeds could also be used for furnishing and equipping of school facilities and the acquisition or lease of property and construction of a new school in Dougherty Valley.
Bond sale proceeds could only be used for the purposes specified in the measure, and repayment would cost an average of about $27.75 per $100,000 of assessed value. To pass, Measure D needs a super-majority of 55 percent of voter approval.
In support, aside from the members of the school board that approved the ballot measure, are some well-known names, including two politicians: former Danville mayor and current Contra Costa Court Supervisor Candace Anderson and former San Ramon City councilwoman Carol Rowley.
Also in favor of the measure's approval is Rebecca S. Livingston a parent and president of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, Steven Mick, a member of the citizens facilities oversight committee, which recommended the bond, and Darren S. Day, a teacher and president of the San Ramon Valley Education Association.
Opposed is a grassroots coalition of residents, including two Danville residents, Beverly O'Connor, a retired teacher and grandmother of a SRVUSD student, and Heather Gass, who describes herself as a homemaker, former network engineer, and community action volunteer, among other things.
Two San Ramon residents are also members of the coalition. Geoff Massa is a contractor and parent of two current students and one graduate; John A. Kolberg, is a retired executive and the parent of SRV school district graduate.
Also on the coalition is Alamo resident Patrick R Walt, a commercial real estate broker and parent of two.
At issue is the cost to taxpayers. The opponents claim the new bond measure, if approved, would cost $75 annually per $100,000 of assessed value, or about $375 for a home assessed at $500,000. The opponents note that's based upon the District's projections and estimates only, and are not binding upon the District.
Those in favor, meanwhile, say safety is a prime concern, noting that many of the schools are in need of fire and earthquake improvements, along with upgrades for aging classrooms, science labs, and technology.
Measure D proponents also point out that no money could be used for administrator salaries and that a citizens oversight committee would monitor the spending.
Those opposed, however, say oversight committees just go to validate spending, and note that the new bond proposal does not allow senior exemptions.