PARAMOUNT : Low Turnout Expected on School Bond Issue

A low voter turnout is expected Tuesday for a special election on a proposed bond sale to help the Paramount Unified School District ease overcrowding. But that would suit some school officials just fine.

Proposition S, which would allow the district to sell $15 million in bonds, is the only item on the ballot in the 14,400-student district, which includes Paramount and parts of Long Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower and South Gate.

If the measure is approved by two-thirds of the voters, proceeds will be used to renovate old campuses and build two schools. Officials also hope to improve security on campuses by building more fences and installing alarms.

The proposed bond measure, which would raise taxes for each homeowner by about $22 a year, has attracted almost no controversy, and officials hope it stays that way.

"I would like to let sleeping dogs lie, but we'll see," said Gene Hartline, assistant superintendent of business services. "If we can get our yes votes out, that's our major push now."

A voters' pamphlet statement supporting the bond measure has been endorsed by Paramount Mayor Gerald A. Mulrooney, City Councilman Manuel E. Guillen, school board President Craig G. Olson and representatives from the teachers union and the PTA.

Board member Richard B. Caldwell, a former superintendent of the district, voted against putting the measure on the ballot. He says he opposes any proposal that would increase taxes.

District officials say the school system is bursting at the seams.

The district has grown by nearly 5,000 students in the past 15 years and an additional 1,000 students are expected by the end of the decade.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World