Tuesday, Nov. 7, is Election Day. A parcel tax measure is on the ballot in Atherton and there's a school board election in the Portola Valley School District.
Results will start coming in from the San Mateo County elections office beginning at 8:05 p.m. that night. Sign up to receive an email when new results are posted at ShapeTheFuture.org, the county's election website.
Find the results here once they have been posted.
Atherton parcel tax
Measure F asks for a three-year renewal of the town's parcel tax. The terms of the tax, which the town has had since 1978, are the same as currently in place, except the term will be for three years instead of the maximum four years. The tax costs the average homeowner $750 a year.
The three-year term will put future renewals on the ballot in presidential election years, when voter turnout is historically higher and the town's proportional share of the election cost is lower.
Passage requires the approval of at least two-thirds of those voting.
The existing and proposed parcel taxes vary by parcel size and use. For homes on the average Atherton lot of between a half and two acres, the tax is $750 a year. The tax is as low as $225 for unimproved parcels between a quarter and half acre, and as high as $10,000 for a private club.
The tax brings the town annual revenues of $1.86 million. Its proceeds can be spent only on the town's police services and on its roads and drainage system. The current parcel tax expires in mid-2018, and the proposed tax will expire June 30, 2021.
The parcel tax had the approval of 78 percent of voters in 2009 and 73 percent in 2013.
The ballot text reads: "To continue providing funding to maintain neighborhood police patrols and the Town's ability to respond to emergencies, repairing and maintaining streets, and repairing and constructing storm drains, shall an ordinance be adopted to continue a Special Parcel Tax for three years and allowing for the expenditure of funds derived from such tax?"
Opponents argue that the town no longer needs the parcel tax, which was passed in the wake of Proposition 13, because property tax revenues have risen so much in recent years.
Proponents say that the town does need the parcel tax for at least three more years, while the new civic center is built, to pay for capital improvement projects and designated police services.
Portola Valley school board
The ballot for the Portola Valley School District's board has four candidates for three open seats. But Karen Tate, the only incumbent on the ballot, has withdrawn from the race because of health problems and has said she will have to immediately resign if elected.
The other candidates are Karyn Bechtel, Mike Maffia and Jeff Klugman, all parents of district students.
If Ms. Tate is elected, the board will have to either make an appointment to replace her or set a special election, which would be next April at the earliest.
Even if Ms. Tate is not elected, the school board will have to either make at least one appointment or set a special election. That's because last month the current board appointed Mr. Klugman to fill a seat left vacant by the resignation of board member Jennifer Youstra in September, who had two years remaining in her term.
State law says that if Mr. Klugman is elected, he will have to resign the appointed position and take the elected position.
Superintendent Eric Hartwig has said that he thinks the board could either make the appointment (or two if both Ms. Tate and Mr. Klugman are elected) or vote in December to hold a special election next year.