2016 Bond Authorization

2016 Bond Authorization

Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District
Information About Measure C

Question: Why is Measure C on the ballot this November?

The first phase of projects using Measure B funds were completed, or are in the plan approval stage, so the board approved conducting a feasibility study to see if this was the right time to move to phase 2. Based on the results of the study, which included polling, community support has never been higher for our schools. We believe this is due in part to our improvements in facilities and instruction. The feasibility study showed assessed valuation in the district the last two years has grown above the district’s conservative projections as well. It was determined that the November 2016 ballot would be very favorable.

Question: Was it known there would be more than one bond measure back in 2014? What if there was only one measure?

Our district undertook an extensive facilities master planning process in 2013, which identified over $240 million in critical repairs and updates needed at our district schools. An extensive feasibility study was conducted that determined the best approach was to divide the authorization for the needed funding into phases. This was known in 2014 and has been a part of all Board of Trustees discussions as projects were approved. The plan for developing and scheduling projects was based on this phased approach. If there are not three phases then some projects may need to be reprioritized or delayed due to a lack of funding.

Question: If Measure C passes, when would the next bond measure be put to the voters?

Each potential measure would be analyzed through a feasibility study and require approval from the Board of Trustees to move forward. At this time, it is not anticipated that the next measure would be sooner than 2020.

Question: Is there an oversight committee for Measure B? If so, would the same committee oversee Measure C?

The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meets four times per year and has responsibility to oversee the expenditure of bond funds to ensure compliance with the adopted election resolution. The meetings are public and all agendas are posted. The committee prepares an annual report, which is delivered at the December Board of Trustees Meeting, and ensures the bond program is audited. The application for anyone to join the committee is posted online and applications are accepted at any time. By law no employee of the district can be on the committee. The same committee will oversee the expenditure of Measure C funds.

Question: How are projects prioritized?

All projects are discussed and debated by the district facilities committee and the Board of Trustees. A standing item is on every board agenda to discuss program implementation. All of the projects place a priority on creating safe learning environments for our students. We have replaced aging buildings, aging portables, aging heating and cooling systems, inadequate lighting and completed extensive major repair work.

The focus in our district is to ensure we stay true to our vision that all students are entitled to a successful education, our focus is learning and we are a team. A key part of this is making sure we provide our students and teachers with the safe, modern facilities they need to learn and teach.

Question: How are bond funds collected and paid?

The Sonoma County Treasurer/Tax Collector collects the property taxes for all districts in the county. The portion of property taxes collected to pay the interest and principal of the bonds is put in a separate fund called the Bond Interest and Redemption fund. The district has no access to these funds. The County Treasurer/Tax Collector decides how much to collect and makes the payments when they are due. In this county the Treasurer is conservative and builds a reserve for the next year’s payments.

Question: How does Measure C impact the General Fund? Is there risk to the General Fund?

Without bond funds, the General Fund is completely responsible for major maintenance and capital facility outlays. By having bond funds, the district can use the General Fund to meet current obligations and build reserves for the future. There is no risk the General Fund would have to repay the bonds and the district has a 36-year track record of successful bond program implementation.

Question: How much interest is paid on the bonds?

An official Tax Rate Statement was included with Resolution 1516-34 that called for the election and will appear in the sample ballot.