Simi Valley school officials are making a last-minute effort to get out the vote and win passage of $43 million in school bonds when voters go to the polls today for a special election.
The vote caps an aggressive campaign to inform voters of the 27-school district’s need for more money for a new set of three R’s--renovation, rehabilitation and restoration--to go along with reading, writing and arithmetic, said Chet Howe, assistant to the superintendent.
Howe said volunteers telephoned voters Monday night and will be poll-watching and telephoning this afternoon as well to remind people to vote in favor of Measure A and Measure B.
A $35-million bond issue failed by 147 votes in April, 1988.
A citizens committee supporting the measures recruited more than 200 volunteers and raised more than $6,000 to hire a political consultant and pay for other campaign expenses.
“If someone needs a ride to the polls, we’re going to take them there,” Howe said. “If someone needs a reminder to vote, they’re going to get a call.”
Ironically, property tax rates will actually go down if both measures pass. Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) and signed into law last month extends the district’s repayment of its existing state loans.
As a result, even with payments for the new bonds, the annual school taxes on a $100,000 home would drop from $113 per year to $88 per year. Tax rates would drop again after 1994, when the state loan is to be repaid.
Measure A, if passed, would provide the district with $35 million, much of which would be spent on air conditioning and heating. The rest of the money would be spent on plumbing, roofing and asphalt repairs.
Measure B, which will not go into effect unless Measure A is also approved, would provide the district with $8 million to construct three new junior high school gymnasiums and an auditorium at a fourth junior high.
Each measure must be approved by more than two-thirds of the voters to gain passage. No organized opposition to the bond issues has emerged during the campaign.
“We think we are going to be successful,” Howe said. “We feel that this year we have informed more people on more issues and we hope they understand the needs and will rally around their community responsibility.”