March 05, 2018


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The Cabrillo School District for Half Moon Bay and the unincorporated Midcoast is going through the same calculated push process at this time. Some years ago, after a number of failed bond attempts in a row and sufficient turnover in the local population, the school district's campaign consultants arrived at a formula that got sufficient votes. They have polished the same basic scheme through a couple of successful bond measures since. Make no mistake, these campaigns are a sales job with only a casual association with real funding needs. Roofs in need of repair provide a selling point that works, no matter how small a part of the proposed bond the repairs may be, leading some of us to wonder when they are finally going to fix those roofs.

Oh, I'm sure the D.A.'s office will be all over this one. Local governments and special agencies routinely engage in deception of the ever-gullible and ill-informed voters. And there's always mentioned in the ballot measure the ever-famous "oversight committee" that supposedly will look out for the taxpayer in how bond money is spent. What a joke.

Thanks, Bill, for uncovering this and thanks to John for bringing it to our attention. Please keep us advised about how the District Attorney handles it.

I appreciate Bill Collins' concern about local governments promoting ballot measures. But in the case of the Pacifica School District's bond measure, the flyer I see says that PSD is "considering placing a $55 million local education bond measure on the June 2018 ballot." No measure is on the ballot yet, which is what makes the PSD flyer legal and not in violation of the California Elections Code. But there's the spirit and the letter of the law.

I have the same concern about the taxpayer-funded Get Us Moving (GUM) campaign, which is supporting a proposed November ballot measure to increase sales taxes in San Mateo County. GUM representatives argue that because no measure is on the ballot yet, the taxpayer-funded campaign is legal. That's true by the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

In the case of the sales tax increase measure, the revenue from the tax increase is being sold as if it would reduce traffic congestion. But it wouldn't. If the measure passes, it would fund Lexus lanes – toll lanes – on Highway 101 and other projects like highway and rail improvements on the Dumbarton Bridge. Cities are being led to believe that some revenue will somehow fund local improvements such as pothole repairs. That will never happen. But $650,000 of your tax money is being spent on the Get Us Moving con game, promoting a ballot measure that doesn't exist yet. It's legal, but it's not legitimate.

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