Amid low voter turnout, it's success for Measure S

It may have been a tiny turnout, but Burbank voters on Tuesday sent Measure S -- the $110-million school bond -- well above the 55% approval threshold needed to pass.

Of the 6,595 votes counted, 4,053, or 61.5%, were in favor of the bond, according to the Los Angeles city clerk’s office, which administered the election.

PHOTOS: Supporters of Measure S gather at Burbank's Gordon Biersch during election night

Burbank has 61,153 registered voters. But low voter turnout was expected, given that interest in the Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees election is typically tepid at best.

But since Burbank only conducts all mail-in ballot elections, it had to piggyback on the L.A. County election because state law requires polling stations for bond measures.

The $110-million Measure S bond comes 16 years after voters approved the 1997 bond, which allowed Burbank Unified to update its facilities. That bond was fully expended by 2005.

Measure S promises to fund overdue upgrades to deteriorating campus roofs, asphalt and plumbing, and could fund a new technological infrastructure and energy saving projects.

Although the final ballot tally wasn’t posted for roughly three hours after an election night party broke up, supporters were left with a strong sense of optimism as early returns put Measure S on a strong path to approval.

Former Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos, the campaign's figurehead, had set out knocking on doors drumming up support until the last minute, as did school board President Larry Applebaum.

“Things that are important require a great deal of personal sacrifice. This was worth every moment,” she said just before midnight as returns continued to trickle in. “This is about our future. Our schools are that important.”

Under the terms of the measure, property owners will be taxed $55 per $100,000 of assessed value through 2038. That's $5 more than what property owners pay on the bond voters approved in 1997, which is scheduled to be paid off in 2027.

-- Jason Wells and Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

Follow Jason Wells on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells

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