Balloting has closed for the Alamo special mail-in only election, and while votes will continue to stream in over the next few days, unofficial Election Night results from the Contra Costa County Elections Division show Measure C ahead by a comfortable margin.
As of Tuesday night, 39.46% of the approximately 1,300 registered voters have had their ballots received, with 407 (75.51%) votes approving Measure C and 132 (24.49%) voting against. The tax increase needs two-thirds of those voting in order to pass, and is so far well on its way toward doing so.
If the results hold, Measure C will increase the special tax on each parcel of taxable property in the Round Hill area of Alamo will increase by $140 effective July 1, resulting in a maximum tax of $932 for parcels used for commercial recreational purposes and $470 for all other parcels. The tax has no expiration date, and will be used to support police services in the Round Hill area.
According to the ballot package issued by the county, it will be used “solely for the purposes of obtaining, furnishing, operating, and maintaining police protection equipment or apparatus, for paying the salaries and benefits of police protection personnel, and for such other police protection service expenses as are deemed necessary.”
According to the County Service Area P-5 Committee -- the citizen advisory committee tasked with advising the county Board of Supervisors on issues that concern the Round Hill area -- the special property tax for police services had not been increased in more than 15 years, and was necessary in order to maintain the current level of police response times and services in the area. Further claiming that a no vote could lead to increased criminal activity in the area.
In order to ensure that Measure C funds are used properly, the Contra Costa County’s chief fiscal officer will provide annual reports showing the amount of income that is collected from the tax and how those funds are spent.
Due to Measure C question being asked in a mail-in only election, ballots are expected to continue to come in over the next few days and the aforementioned voter tallies will be subject to change.
Measure E, Dublin USD parcel tax renewal
The Dublin Unified School District's Measure E parcel tax renewal was leading after Election Night, with early returns as of Tuesday night showing 74.43% approval for the ballot measure that requires support from two-thirds of voters.
Measure E, being decided in a mail-only special election with ballots due on Tuesday, asks DUSD residents whether they want to extend the district's existing $96-per-parcel tax for another nine years. The tax raises approximately $1.7 million each year and has been in place since 2008.
Ballots needed to be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday afternoon. Initial election results represent ballots received and processed as of Tuesday night with 22.66% voter turnout so far, but Alameda County election officials expect to receive more mailed ballots and provisional ballots in the next couple days.
Another results update is expected late Friday afternoon, and the final tally could extend into next week.
Supporters of Measure E say the parcel tax helps provide pivotal local funds to support DUSD students and schools and would not raise taxes on property owners, merely extend an existing tax, according to the argument in favor of Measure E included in the voter guide.
No argument against Measure E was filed for the ballot package.
The parcel tax spending would be subject to oversight by a citizens' committee and funds could not go toward administrator salaries. There is also an exemption for Dublin seniors (65 years old or older) who own and occupy their parcel as their primary residence.
The ballot measure was before the voters amid a time of significant transition for DUSD leadership.
The DUSD Board of Trustees and third-year superintendent Leslie Boozer agreed to a surprise mutual separation for undisclosed reasons March 26, at a time when DUSD was already down to only three active school board members after two midterm resignations -- one of which prompted a petition to override an interim appointment for Trustee Area 4 in favor of a special election, now set for June 4.