Financial Advisor Says Del Norte Voters Can Support $ 39 Million School Facilities Bail Measure, Urges DNUSD Trustees to Gain Stakeholder Support | Wild rivers outpost


Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Yesterday @ 4:21 pm

Financial Advisor Says Del Norte Voters Can Support $ 39 Million School Facilities Bail Measure, Urges DNUSD Trustees to Gain Stakeholder Support


The roof of Joe Hamilton Elementary School shows the decay and corrosion that comes with being in a humid environment. A renovation project paid for by voter-approved bond dollars was carried out this summer. Photo courtesy of Steve Morgan

Previously:

• DNUSD Trustees Mull School Facilities Bond Measure for 2022

• The survey shows marginal support for school obligations; Teacher support needed for measure to pass, consultant says

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Voters could back a bail measure for local schools next year, a financial adviser from the Del Norte Unified School District said Thursday.

After his company polled 240 residents earlier this month, Jon Isom, of Isom Advisors, said voters could approve a $ 39 million bond measure. Costing owners $ 49 for $ 100,000 of annual assessment or $ 4 for $ 100,000 of monthly assessment, Isom said his company’s survey showed support was approaching the 55% voter approval threshold necessary for the measure to be adopted.

Isom recommended the school district to try for the November 2022 general election and advised the DNUSD to seek support from local stakeholders, including other elected officials, business representatives, and presidents of classified staff and unions. teachers.

“What do the actors think? What do some of the opinion makers in this community think? Isom asked rhetorically. “Would they be in favor of the types of projects envisaged? Would they be in favor of a tax rate of $ 49? Do they think we should go higher? Do they think we should go lower? Soliciting this support would be invaluable.

Isom’s presentation was intended for the information of the DNUSD school board. The trustees have yet to decide whether they will seek voter approval for any obligation measures.

The results of Isom’s survey showed improved voter sentiment about an obligation for schools from March 2020. At that time, just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced DNUSD to close schools, 50% of those questioned supported a compulsory measure while 43% opposed it. Isom said Thursday.

This year, 54% of those polled said they would approve a bail measure for schools while 41.7% said they would vote against, Isom said.

Vocational technical education, upgrading of plumbing, sewer and electrical systems in schools, and improving the energy efficiency of DNUSD buildings are high on the list of priorities of survey respondents, a declared Isom.

They also helped repair old classrooms and student support facilities, as well as updating the district’s heating and ventilation systems, he said.

According to Isom, upgrading the farming and farming equipment of Future Farmers of America students at Del Norte and Sunset High Schools was less popular, improving safety and health and safety and repairing parking lots, according to Isom.

“But encouragingly, even with all of this, all of these projects except the parking lot received a level of support above 55%,” Isom said. “This is important for two reasons: First, we are able to educate voters and give them a sense of how you might be spending their money. Second, it gives you insight into the priorities of the community.

If the district goes ahead with placing a bail measure for the facilities on the ballot, Isom recommended doing so in November 2022 to take advantage of the higher voter turnout that a general election brings. A higher turnout would improve the bond measure’s chances of success, Isom said.

Isom also told the board that they might consider conducting a follow-up poll in the spring to determine if voters’ feelings have changed.

“To participate in the November 2022 ballot, the district must submit a resolution passed by the first week of August,” he said. “If we don’t do the November 2022 election, then this is a reset and will be considered for 2024. School boards cannot participate in an odd-year election, so it would be 2024.”

In June, Steve Morgan, director of installations and maintenance at DNUSD, told administrators that, if successful, the dollar bonds would help fund eight modernization projects. The cost of these projects is nearly $ 47 million, Morgan told directors in June.

Morgan said on Thursday that DNUSD received or pledged $ 5 million in state dollars for the facility upgrade. Another modernization project worth $ 4.5 million has received approval without funding from the State Allocation Board, he said.

DNUSD is also hoping to get approval for three modernization projects for schools in Mountain, Redwood and Smith River from the Division of State Architecture and the California Department of Education, Morgan said. If California voters adopt a statewide school facilities requirement in 2022, DNUSD could receive $ 8 million in modernization dollars, he said.

Del Norte Unified could also be eligible for state facility hardship dollars, between $ 5 million and $ 10 million, Morgan said.

In total, DNUSD has the potential to receive $ 25 million in state dollars for facility upgrades, Morgan said, but it must be able to cover 40 to 50 percent of project costs.

“Without a new local facility requirement on our part, I don’t know how we could realize this potential of $ 25 million in public funds,” he told administrators. “Jon recommended that we ask for a local bond of $ 39 million. If you put that together with $ 25 million, we could really do a great job. “

Despite the support, Isom’s investigation says people feel for a bailout measure for school facilities, residents Roger Gitlin, Linda Sutter and Donna Westfall felt otherwise.

Holding up his property tax bill in front of administrators, Gitlin noted that he was already on the education bond measures. While DNUSD administrators have yet to decide to move forward with a vote on install obligations, Gitlin noted that over the past year, the community has been asked to approve the increases. sales tax and property tax.

“The people are under siege,” he said. “They are exhausted. Where will the tax dollars come from?

Westfall, claiming that the DNUSD students were brainwashed, said that while she was not among those interviewed, she would not support a bail measure for school facilities. Referring to the Declaration of Independence – and falsely claiming it was the US Constitution – Westfall said the public has the “right to abolish the Del Norte Unified School District.”

“If the school district is to continue to operate, you have to bring back the gun safety lessons and the importance of the Second Amendment,” she said. “I will not support a $ 47 million bond. We will do all we can to defeat him. Your mission is to educate our children, not to indoctrinate our children.


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