Construction, building interests give $357K to pass community college bond measure

Voters approved $388 million bond measure for community colleges

Construction and building interests, including several from out of state, were in a class by themselves in contributing $357,100 in 2014 to the campaign for Measure H, a bond measure in the November election put on the ballot by the San Mateo County Community College District, according to a report filed with the county Elections Office.

To pass, the measure needed the approval of 55 percent majority of the voters. It passed with a 66 percent majority, giving the district authority to borrow up to $388 million in the bond market to finance new and updated facilities and to buy equipment. The measure increased annual property taxes in the district by an estimated $8.22 per $100,000 of a property's assessed value.

Of the 101 contributions received by the campaign in 2014, the reports show that not one came from an individual. All came from business interests.

Of the total, the campaign received $73,000 (about 20 percent) after the last mandatory campaign finance reporting period before the election, from Oct. 1 to 18. Between Oct. 31 and Dec. 4, 2014, there were 18 late contributions, including six of $5,000 or more.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. of St. Louis, gave $25,000. All of the others were for $5,000: Charles Pankow Builders Ltd. of Pasadena, Noll & Tam Architects and Planners of Berkeley, TEECOM of Oakland, Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company of Santa Clara, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of San Mateo.

Twenty-four of the corporate donors are also listed as members of the Chancellors Circle of the San Mateo Community College Foundation. Admission to the circle requires a gift of $1,000 or more, according to the foundation's website. The foundation itself gave $50,000 to the campaign.

Among the major donors in the circle: the aforementioned McCarthy Building in St. Louis, Swinerton Management & Consulting in San Francisco ($25,000), BCA Architects of San Jose ($20,000), and MediFit Community Services in New Jersey ($10,000).

Many more of this year's corporate donors are listed as sponsors of the foundation's annual golf tournament, including Hensel Phelps Construction in San Jose ($25,000) and Blach Construction in Santa Clara ($10,000).

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Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm

They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect, in the end, to make much more money than they contributed.

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