Five of six school funding measures in Sonoma County were in commanding leads Tuesday night with early returns and mail-in ballots tallied.
‘Of immediate concern is that the money to be raised is inadequate to fully fund the projects specified. There remains a $2 million shortfall even if the tax is approved. No source for the additional funding has been identified and given today’s economic environment can likely be found.’
‘This successful communitywide commitment to save Petaluma parks is unique in California because it is totally led by volunteers. The grassroots nature is also reflected in the way these funds will be managed. Once the voters approve this initiative, the funds generated will be placed in a special account at the city, separate from other funds.’
A parcel tax in Cotati-Rohnert Park School District and a bond measure in Old Adobe School District are assured passage after county elections officials said too few ballots remain uncounted to change the outcomes. The victories finalize a sweep for the five school bond measures and one parcel tax that voters were asked to approve on June 5. Voters also said yes to bond measures for Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Wright and Guerneville school districts.
Santa Rosa Junior College trustees decided Tuesday against putting a parcel tax before voters in November after board members expressed unease with the pace of the discussion. The seven-member board voted unanimously to study the issue further but set aside a proposal to pay for a consultant and a voter poll that would have opened the way to placing the issue on the presidential race ballot in the fall.
Supporters of a proposed parcel tax in Petaluma appear to have gathered enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. Petaluma Friends of Recreation this week turned in about 5,100 signatures, 65 percent more than the 3,100 needed for qualification, said committee co-chairwoman Carol Eber.
Voters passed four school district bond measures in Sonoma County, but Tuesday’s vote was too close to call for two more school districts hoping for bond and tax measure money. Bonds totalling $64 million were approved in Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Wright and Guerneville.
The Santa Rosa Junior College board of trustees on Monday will consider taking a key step toward putting a parcel tax before Sonoma County’s voters to offset steep cuts from Sacramento. The seven member board called the special meeting to decide whether to hire a consultant and conduct a poll, said Board President Terry Lindley. He estimated the cost of a consultant could range from $25,000 to $40,000.
Santa Rosa parks officials are exploring whether a combination of new taxes, partnerships with volunteer groups and the creation of a nonprofit foundation might help solve the sad state of the city’s 65 parks after years of budget cuts. An additional $2.5 million to $3 million a year is needed to address vandalism, deferred maintenance and safety issues in city parks, according to the city.
The Cotati-Rohnert Park School District is moving forward with plans to put a parcel tax on the June ballot. The five-member board on Wednesday unanimously agreed to ask voters to support a $89-per-parcel tax for five years, a move that officials believe could bring in $5.3 million over that span.