East County voters appear to be of mixed opinion on a series of school construction bond measures that would, if passed, approve $586.2 million in bond sales from various districts to support school construction, renovation, technology upgrades and facilities repair.
The release of absentee returns shows two of the measures, Propositions V and C, passing by a narrow margins, while Propositions D, G and R are coming up short of the threshold for passage, which is 55 percent for all five measures. Proposition C has so far earned 55.92 percent support with 30 percent of the precincts reporting and Proposition V has earned 56.29 percent support.
Proposition C asked voters to reauthorize the sale of $88.4 million in bonds previously approved by voters with a 2008 measure that allowed for the sale of $156.5 million in bonds altogether for renovation, repair and new elementary school classroom construction in the Cajon Valley Union School District. Lower interest rates prompted the request for reauthorization. Funds from the bond sales would also go toward the purchase of new computers and upgrading related technology equipment.
Passage would add an additional 3 cents per every $100 of assessed property value on district residents’ property taxes, until the bonds are paid off. The district serves 29 elementary and middle schools, which were built from 1949 to 2007.
In the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, voters were asked to approve Proposition V, which would authorize $398 million in bond sales if passed, at a cost to property owners of an additional $16.94 for every $100,000 in assessed value.
Funds would be used to upgrade career training facilities for science, medical and public safety training, create a Veterans Support Center on each campus, modernize classroom, lab and library technology and improve access for people with disabilities. Nearly $155,000 was donated to the Yes on V campaign, with donors like the Hamann Co. and the political action committee of the Associated General Contractors.
Proposition D affects voters in the Dehesa School District, and asked them to approve the reauthorization of $3 million worth of bonds approved in 2010’s Proposition M for the district to buy new computers, repair school equipment and continue funding construction of new classrooms, a science lab and library.
The measure is failing with 92.3 percent of precincts in by a score of 50.1 percent against it versus 49.9 percent in favor.
The reauthorized bonds would be repaid with an additional $30 in property taxes per $100,000 in assessed property value. Supporters said the reauthorization was needed because the 2010 measure didn’t generate enough money and that reauthorizing the bond sales could release the $3 million in bonds now, rather than decades from now. Since the measure would reauthorize previously approved bonds, it would not increase the district indebtedness.
The Mountain Empire School District put proposition G on the ballot, asking for authorization to sell $30.8 million in construction bonds for improvements to seven schools, such as the replacement of portable classrooms with permanent buildings, upgrades to renewable energy systems and campus infrastructure repair. Passage of the measure would increase property taxes within the district by $36.50 per every $100,000 in assessed property value.
The absentee numbers indicate it falling well shy of the minimum, with only 45.44 percent support with 63.6 percent of precincts reporting.
Proposition R is a $66 million bond measure in the Ramona Unified School District, and requests authorization for a property tax increase of 6 cents for every $100 in assessed property value to fund the repair of roofs at schools built as early as 1936, upgrade infrastructure systems, build new classrooms, purchase new computers and install solar panels. Improvements to playgrounds and sports fields would also be funded by the bond sales. It was failking in early returns, with 34.4 percent precincts reporting, with 52 percent voting against it.
Nearly $16,000 was contributed to the Yes on Proposition R campaign.