Oversight Committees Affirm District’s Responsible Use of Bond & Parcel Tax Funds

Members of oversight committees for Measure G, a 2006 bond measure passed by voters, and Measure R, a 2008 parcel tax, concluded in a September 8, 2016, meeting that Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) was in compliance with the requirements of both initiatives.

According to former CUHSD Business Officer Ron Wheelehan, who chaired both meetings, the district expended about $5.1 million during the 2014-15 fiscal year as part of Measure G on projects to renovate classrooms and improve educational facilities.

“Well maintained and up-to-date school facilities help improve property values,” Wheelehan told members of the Measure G oversight committee. “All the district’s libraries have been modernized, except for Del Mar, and several new buildings were constructed to enhance the delivery of educational programs such as the district’s career technical education classes.”

Measure G oversight committee member William Becker of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said he was impressed by the amount of information provided by the district.

“I’ve sat on oversight committees at other school districts, and they didn’t have as much information about their bond activities as you have,” said Becker.

Craig Palermo, a Leigh High School parent, and retired teacher Ray Dyer rounded out the remainder of the Measure G oversight committee.

They and Becker were invited to take a tour of the district’s schools to view the facility improvements made possible by Measure G.

Of the $90 million worth of bonds from Measure G that voters approved in 2006, only about $6.8 million dollars remains to be spent.

The most visible aspects of the facility improvements undertaken by CUHSD under Measure G are the five new performing art centers at the district’s comprehensive high schools and a network of solar arrays, which has helped the district save about $1 million a year on electricity.

Meanwhile, Measure R oversight committee members learned that as a “community-funded” district, the district is largely reliant on local property taxes for the majority of its budget.

“Parcel taxes like 2008’s voter-approved Measure R help the district stave off layoffs, retain teachers and staff, and expand educational programs, especially in lean budget years,” said Wheelehan.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the district collected $4.8 million worth of parcel taxes as part of Measure R, which enabled CUHSD to retain the services of 31 teachers and sustain school music programs through the purchase of new instruments.

Voters renewed the Measure R parcel tax in 2015 as Measure E.