Measure U campaign Q&A
October 14, 2008
Truckee voters have already demonstrated their support for Measure U. Measure L received a majority vote in Nevada County and won in Placer County. However, L was 117 votes short of passing with the 55 percent majority required. There were 435 voters who affirmed their position of Yes on L that did not come to the polls. Unfortunately, poor voter turnout in the June, 2008 election clearly affected the results.We believe that the general election will encourage more voter participation on all issues, and are expecting up to five times the overall voting volume as compared to June, 2008, giving more voters a chance to cast their support for Measure U.Our campaign committee is highly focused on providing consistent information, addressing questions/concerns …A wide network of local support will greatly enhance our ability to pass U and provide modernized educational facilities to the students and community of Truckee. Measure U has received formal endorsements from TTEA (our teachers union), Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, Excellence in Education, KidZone Museum, and more. A host of community leaders, parents and voters also support Measure U and believe in the necessity of providing new and modernized facilities and educational infrastructure to effectively serve our students, children and community in a positive manner.
Anytime a tax assessment is on the ballot, voters should become educated and make their personal decision based on their philosophy and understanding of the issue. Providing support for a school facilities bond and subsequently passing it is an investment in the infrastructure of Truckee and the future of our students. Its a practical decision for a long term benefit to our community. Good schools are good for property values and also prepare our children for their future.Measure U delivers what our local voters said they would support and our community infrastructure needs. In 1999, voters committed to up to $48 per $100,000 of assessed property value when Measure C was passed. Today, we pay $34 per $100,000 due to good bond management.When Measure U is passed, we will pay an additional $13 per $100,000 of assessed property value from 2009 until 2025, for a total of $47 per $100,000 (Measure C plus Measure U).Our median property value in Truckee is $319,000 annually Measure U amounts to $41.47. This is less than $ 3.50 per month and less than $0.12 per day. When C is paid off, U will move up to the 1999 approved amount of $48 per $100,000 until 2052 $4 per month. Voters should be aware of costs and balance those costs based on the overall improvement and positive impact to our community and future. Schools are core to a communitys infrastructure.
A key data point we should all be aware of is that 1999s Measure C bond essentially built Alder Creek Middle School. This bond amounted to $35 million and received $12 million of State of California matching funds (for which we were not assessed). Thus, the value of this bond was substantially enhanced. Remember, the only way to construct a school facility is through a bond and then pursuing State of California matching funds.Today, our facilities at Truckee High School are in poor condition and, as compared to our other schools that serve students and the community, the high school does not provide modern nor safe teaching facilities. Our students leave Alder Creek Middle School and move to a poor condition and low tech environment when they should instead be learning in modern facilities that prepare them for higher education. There are also critical safety and structural issues Measure U will correct in Truckee Elementary and Truckee High School as well as prepare Sierra Mountain as a much needed elementary school in the future.The real issue is Truckee High School is nearly 60 years old. It desperately needs modernization, structural retrofits and space for permanent classrooms. The fields are in complete disrepair and virtually impossible to maintain. Our vocational education programs require expansion. Many of our students are spending their day in 1985 portables that are in poor condition. Pick up, drop off and parking are safety issues for both the younger Truckee Elementary children, along with new drivers at the high school. We have significant structural issues that impact the viability of the high school building. Ive visited multiple high school classrooms where the teachers demonstrate everything from dilapidated facilities to ventilation issues. Truckee Elementary is hugely below state play space requirements. Today, there are too many children being educated in portables our elementary schools are at capacity and enrollment is projected to grow substantially in the coming years. The Old Sierra Mountain Middle School needs to become equipped to handle our projected growth and serve as a safe and secure elementary school.As a community, its time to complete the educational facilities for our students and Truckees community to use, learn, teach and enjoy. Modern school facilities are good for everyone we all benefit both short and long term. Schools are intrinsic to our infrastructure and social fabric. The time to move forward and invest in our future is now.