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SCV residents should vote no on Measure SA

Posted: August 21, 2008 8:23 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2008 5:01 a.m.

In 2001, Santa Clarita Valley residents approved Measure V, a $158 million bond to fund facility modernization projects, improve classrooms and build new schools, including the construction of a Castaic high school.

Unfortunately, many of the projects promised under Measure V have not been completed, and taxpayers are now being asked for more money.

The projects described in the new William S. Hart Union High School District bond, Measure SA, are almost identical to those that were proposed under Measure V, which will not be paid off until 2030.

Measure SA would be the second bond issued by the Hart district in the past seven years and would be the most expensive. Moreover, Measure V has been plagued by cost overruns of nearly $80 million due to poor management and oversight by the Hart district.

Bond proponents argue that additional bond funds are necessary to finish the facility improvements, and are subject to audit. However, the results of prior audits have not all been favorable.

Bond proponents also incorrectly assert that the cost of the bond will only be $10 per $100,000 of assessed value, even though the express language of the bond permits a tax increase of up to $30.00 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The Hart district has repeatedly proven its inability to manage taxpayers' Measure V funds, and yet they want us to entrust an additional $300 million of taxpayer money to complete these projects.

We are not against public bonds to help build and improve school facilities. However, without community input or guaranteed safeguards to protect taxpayers, this bond, as drafted, does not make sense.

Voting NO on Measure SA will force the William S. Hart Union High School District to reconsider another bond at a later date that has the support of parents, teachers, and the local business community and makes more sense for our children and taxpayers.

Vote NO on Measure SA.


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