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South County voters to determine $116M in school improvements on ballot

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There are 11 school construction bond measures on the Nov. 6 general election ballot around the county and South Bay residents have two of them -- propositions E and Y.

Prop. E seeks to authorize the Chula Vista Elementary School District to issue $90 million of bonds to pay for repairs, renovations, new buildings and upgrades to classrooms and school facilities. The measure also calls for the purchase of new technology for students, upgrades to heating systems and energy cost-saving improvements. In all, 31 elementary schools would receive some sort of improvements if Prop. E is passed.

Annual audits would take place and an independent citizens' oversight committee would be formed if the proposition passes.

Bonds would be paid back, with interest, via a tax on individuals' property values in the district at a rate of $29 per $100,000 dollars of assessed valuation.

No opposition to Prop. E was filed with the county's Registrar of Voters and no contributions for a "No on Proposition E" campaign have been reported.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association supports this measure because the Chula Vista Elementary School District has been transparent in its construction bond program.

"They provided us with all their construction and spending plans, including cash flow and scheduling," said Chris Cate, vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. "We believe this district can spend money effectively and finish projects on time based on their plan and track record for previous bond measures."

Prop. E is also supported by Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox.

Proposition Y would authorize the South Bay Union School District to sell $26 million in general obligation bonds to pay for elementary classroom and school renovations; safety improvements; computers and technology access; and roof, plumbing and heating and air-conditioning repairs. If passed, 13 schools would be receiving repairs and improvements, and an independent citizens' oversight committee would be formed.

Residents in the South Bay Union School District, which includes Imperial Beach, south San Diego and San Ysidro, would pay $30 per every $100,000 of their assessed property value each year, as an addition to their property taxes, until the bonds are paid off.

South Bay Union School District parents and area business and community leaders support Prop. Y because they say it will improve aging schools with new technology and new classroom buildings. A total of $8,877 has been reported to the "Yes on Y" campaign, including Eric Hall and Associates and Westberg & White Inc.

No opposition has been filed against Prop. Y.

Both propositions must pass by 55 percent. Taxpayers would be assessed for these bond measures beginning in 2013 if passed. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 25 years or 40 years after the date the bonds are issued, according to state law.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters says the 11 school bond measures on the November ballot are the most since 2003. The Registrar could not go back any further than 10 years to check records.

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