Measure A cruises to victory | SierraSun.com

Measure A cruises to victory

Renee Shadforth
Sierra Sun

Measure A, the parcel tax that provides roughly $3 million for programs in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, passed voter scrutiny this week. Now, the district can get down to the business of strengthening the programs funded by the parcel tax, district officials said.

Complete unofficial results for the three-county district show 74.5 percent of voters casting a yes vote, and 25.5 percent voting against the measure. Measure A needed a 66.6 percent super majority to pass.

The district will continue to be one of less than 1 percent of school districts in California with a parcel tax.

“We’re one of a few districts in the state that has this kind of success with bond measures ” especially with the financial status of the people who live here,” said school board President Cindy Gustafson.

“It’s such an overwhelming statement about our community, and it’s great for the future of our kids.”

Parcel tax measures elsewhere in the state weren’t so successful. In the Bay Area, 11 of 17 parcel taxes on ballots in five counties failed or were failing in late returns, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Measure A ” formerly Measure S ” has had a 16-year run in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, funding programs like physical education, music and counseling ” programs not paid for by the state of California. It provides approximately $3 million per year.

Though the parcel tax has had a four-year term in years past, the school district asked voters to approve a seven-year term this time around, and increased the tax from $80 to $98 to cover increasing costs and support more programs.

School district Superintendent Dennis Williams said the passage of Measure A illustrates that the community cares about local control over education.

“It means to me that the community trusts this school district,” Williams said. “It’s my commitment that we will earn that trust and continue to run the best programs with the money that has been entrusted to us with this parcel tax.”

There may be some changes in the future of Measure A’s programs, Williams said. While the categories the parcel tax supports must be honored, he said the citizens review committee will focus on making the existing programs stronger.

For example, “We have been replacing computer labs, but we have not increase the tech support to make sure our network is maintained,” Williams said. “We’re looking at addressing that need.”

In the high schools, district officials would like to increase vocational course offerings to provide opportunities for students to get training in jobs that are available in the area, like resort management, construction and auto technician courses.

In Truckee, voters trickled in and out of the Truckee Donner Community Center polling station Tuesday morning for the Measure A special election.

According to the Nevada County Elections Office, most people who voted for or against the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District parcel tax likely voted absentee.

There were signs around town indicating that not everyone was in favor of the parcel tax.

The campaign heated up last week, when signs for and against Measure A popped up around Truckee on Friday. Critics of the parcel tax said their anti-Measure A signs were removed early in the weekend and were replaced by pro-Measure A signs.

Campaign co-chair Phebe Bell said the Yes on Measure A Campaign did not remove the signs.