College district puts $388 million bond measure on November ballot


The San Mateo County Community College District is going back to voters and asking them to approve a large bond measure for construction and modernization projects. At its July 23 meeting, the college district board voted unanimously to put a $388 million bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Three years ago, the district's $564 million bond measure won the favor of 53.1 percent of the voters, shy of the 55 percent required for passage. The new measure also requires 55 percent voter approval.

A recent survey showed that 75 percent of potential voters, when informed of the goals of the proposal, would support the $388 million bond measure, according to Godbe Research in San Mateo.

The $388 million measure works out to an annual property tax increase of $8.22 per $100,000 of assessed value, district board President Helen Schwarz told the Almanac.

This is the fourth bond measure proposed by the community college district since 2001. All but the 2011 measure passed. The previous measures raised $675 million, but all three campuses -- Canada College in Woodside, Skyline College in San Bruno, and the College of San Mateo in San Mateo -- still have classroom buildings that are 40 to 50 years old, officials have said.

The goals of this year's ballot measure are essentially the same as those for Measure H in 2011. The money would be used to modernize classrooms and labs to "prepare students for universities and high-demand jobs." Facilities would be built to improve access by disabled people, do seismic retrofitting, and increase energy efficiency.

Go to this link to view the list of projects that the college district says the bond measure would pay for.


1 person likes this
Posted by scout
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Vote NO!!!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Brigitte
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:22 am

I will definitely vote YES!!!

1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

A big no here. They need to learn to live within their means and stop hitting up the voters for more money every time they over run their budgets.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Vote NO. This will be the third bond issue this year. How much do these people think we can afford to pay? Our taxes are already outrageous and seniors - who cannot be excused from a bond payment - will be hurt the most. What are you people thinking?

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2014 at 8:41 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

They are thinking that the organized voter will vote yes to pass this financial obligation to property owners.

Like this comment
Posted by Judith
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm

"No" voters..think again. Employers (maybe you) are crying out for a skilled workforce, families are desperate find quality, affordable college choices for their children, communities are in need of informed and engaged citizens. If you think these are important, then yes is the answer. If you don't, well you will get only what you are willing to pay for: TAANSTAFL (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch).

2 people like this
Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I will vote no for sure.

Remember what our money went to pay for last time.

Web Link

Voting no is not about saying no to students, its about saying no to taxpayer waste.

1 person likes this
Posted by tom h
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

no more $$$$ till you learn how to use what you have with out huge waste.

2 people like this
Posted by Yee Haw, farmboy!
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Aug 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm


We can bring in all the fer-ners we need to do that complicated work and stuff. HB1 visas and mastercards git us all the enggyners we need.

'Murica don't need no more schoolin'... let India pay for training them computer enggyners and stuff. Too durn expensive!

YeeHaw! Vote no on edjimication.

2 people like this
Posted by Ham Marlybone
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Re the comment from Judith. If only it were as simple as paying $388 million and getting a well informed and educated workforce ready for challenging jobs throughout the private and public sectors. Will spending this money on facilities really deliver all this? Every school district in the area has done the same thing: putting on campaigns that suggest the kids will suffer if we don't spend more money on ... facilities. The correlation of spending money on facilities and quality of education is zero. I would gladly vote for this if the money were going to reward highly rated teachers and instructors, but unfortunately this is not the case

1 person likes this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

SMCCCD's Measure G parcel tax saw the tax-exempt Foundation which bears it's name contributing $64,260 to the political campaign. Web Link. They have made similar contributions to every AMCCCD bond measure I can recall.
And, they have spent $100's of thousands for campaign surveys which are thinly veiled efforts at crafting a campaign strategy.
In 1999,the District engaged in a $250,000 PR campaign 2 months prior to a bond election. I have documented that here: Web Link

When will they stop using tax dollars for electioneering purposes?

Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

This bond measure only requires a 55% vote for passage.

Let your legislature know that the 55% vote required for passage of school bonds is mortgaging the future of our children. Urge them to restore the 2/3 vote requirement and abandon efforts to lower parcel tax elections to the 55% level.

Like this comment
Posted by Maxine Terner
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm

The public is being lied to; the District is not meeting their core educational responsibilities of transferring students to 4-year colleges and training to learn new job skills for high-paying jobs; and they are squandering hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on lavish facilities that taxpayers didn’t know they were paying for. Web Link
Bond Projects List on ballot states “Whenever specific items are included in the following list, they are presented to provide examples and are not intended to limit the generality of the broader description of authorized projects.” The broader description allows them to do anything they can fantasize about. So what the voters think they are voting for is essentially meaningless. This gives the District a blank check. VOTE NO on Measure H

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