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Simi Voters OK Funds to Repair Schools, Reject Gym Measure

Times Staff Writer

Simi Valley voters Tuesday approved a $35-million bond issue to renovate aging schools and narrowly rejected an $8-million measure that would have provided funds to build gymnasiums and an auditorium.

Measures A and B had to be approved by more than two-thirds of the voters to gain passage. Measure A, which will provide $35 million for new heating and air-conditioning systems for the district’s 27 schools, passed with 7,096 votes, or 70.4%.

But Measure B, which would have provided $8 million for new construction, only garnered 6,630 votes, or 65.9%, just short of the two-thirds majority.

Voter turnout was a light 21.3% in the special election. There were 48,467 people eligible to vote, but only 10,309 ballots were cast.

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Supt. John Duncan said school officials will decide today whether to ask for a recount.

“It is just too close to rely on the machines correctly counting the ballots,” Duncan said. “What this means is we’ll be able to fix our schools and get a tax break, but not be able to build anything.”

In April, Simi Valley voters rejected a $35-million bond issue by 147 votes.

This time, the district campaigned aggressively for the bond issues. 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.

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Property taxes will decrease with passage of Measure A, Duncan said. 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 will drop from $113 per year to $88 per year. Tax rates will drop again after 1994 when the existing state loan is repaid.


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