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Measure LCF supporters organize campaign and ramp up phone calls

Measure LCF supporters organize campaign and ramp up phone calls
Volunteers make calls to voters living within the boundaries of La Cañada Unified School District to urge them to vote "yes" on Measure LCF on the Nov. 7 ballot. (Photo by Matt Sanderson)

Ten volunteers made more than 350 calls on a recent Monday night to campaign residents to vote yes for Measure LCF, a $149-million bond on the Nov. 7 ballot to raise funds toward short- and long-term maintenance and campus upgrades at La Cañada schools.

The organizers of the "Yes on LCF" campaign say more than 100 La Cañada public school boosters signed up for the phone-banking effort that will continue throughout the month leading up to election night. Calls are being made to households within the La Cañada Unified School District boundaries from the Keller Williams Realty offices on Foothill Boulevard.

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Measure LCF campaign leaders Stephanie Fossan and Josh Epstein, who both have children enrolled in the school district, said they are "big supporters" of seeing the $149-million bond measure approved by the required 55% of the voters so the district can make vast capital improvements and infrastructure upgrades in line with the facilities master plan.

"A lot of it is sheer maintenance," said Epstein, referring to the plan calling for repairs to leaky roofs, replacing worn out arts and athletic facilities, districtwide campus security upgrades, refurbishing the pool and conducting a seismic assessment.

According to Fossan, the Yes on LCF committee has been meeting for about six weeks.

"We've been phone banking, getting endorsements, setting up the Facebook page, and now we're in the midst of getting ready to walk the neighborhood," she said.

Fossan said the early response from phone banking has been positive.

"I've been catching people at home," she said. "A lot of residents are appreciative that we're out doing this. Initial polling was really positive on [the bond measure]."

Epstein added this is a community that strongly supports its schools.

"We're seeing that in outreach for Measure LCF," he said. "When I mention Measure LCF, I get 'yes, we're definitely supporters.'"

Fossan and Epstein said they are pleased the school board could structure the bond so that, if approved, the tax rate will stay the same for everyone over its duration.

"It's getting toward crunch time," Fossan said. "We're actively seeking out more community volunteers to help with this effort. We're really excited of the prospect for Measure LCF passing and getting these schools move forward."

LCUSD Chief Business and Operations Officer Mark Evans said during an Oct. 4 phone interview that, if the measure is approved, the district will immediately have $100 million for building and purchasing power. The entire facilities master plan comes in at approximately $250 million.

Right now, district residents are paying about $60 per assessed $100,000, the maximum amount that can be levied for a single bond, for outstanding bonds passed in the last two decades. The oldest of those, passed in a 1995 election, is set to run out by 2021, at which point the tax rate will drop to about $30.

"With the existing bond people are paying on, the tax rate will stay flat as bonds expire and new ones are issued," he said.

Twitter: @CarolCormaci

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