LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure J
School Improvement Bond Measure
Hermosa Beach City Elementary School District

General Obligation Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

3,874 / 65.17% Yes votes ...... 2,070 / 34.83% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 26 10:38am, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting ( 17/ 17)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement |

To improve the quality of education, shall the Hermosa Beach City School District be authorized to finance classroom modernization; upgrade electrical systems to improve access to technology; make health, safety, and security improvements; upgrade plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; construct classrooms and science labs; acquire property, and qualify for State funds up to $1,700,000, by issuing 13,600,000 in bonds, within maximum legal interest rates, with annual audits, and citizens' oversight committee and no money for administrators' salaries?

Impartial Analysis from Lloyd W. Pellman, County Counsel
Click on selected language to view the following information (pdf format) in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese

Approval of Measure J would authorize the Hermosa Beach City School District ("District") to issue up to $13,600,000 in general obligation bonds.

Funds received from the sale of the bonds would be used only for the construction, rehabilitation and equipping of District facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for District facilities. No funds may be used for teacher or administrator salaries, or other school operating expenses.

As required by law, the Board of Trustees of the District ("Board of Trustees") has adopted a list of the specific school facilities projects to be funded by the sale of the bonds. The Board of Trustees will conduct annual, independent financial and performance audits to ensure that funds received from the sale of the bonds will have been expended only on the specific projects listed, and will appoint a citizen's oversight committee to inform the public on expenditures.

The bonds would be issued and sold at an interest rate not to exceed the maximum rate allowed by law, and would be repaid by a property tax levied upon real property located within the District over a period not to exceed forty (40) years. The tax rate levied as the result of approval of this Measure shall be no more than $30 per $100,000 of taxable property value within the District.

This Measure requires a fifty-five percent (55%) vote for passage.


Approval of Measure J does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Hermosa Beach City School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure J will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure J. The school district's proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

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Arguments For Measure J Arguments Against Measure J
Your YES vote on Measure "J" will have a lasting, positive impact on our children's schools and on our community.

As taxpayers, we all agree in the importance of our children's education and the value of quality schools.

# Making repairs now instead of later when they will only cost more
# Qualifying the District for approximately $1.7 million in State-matching funds
# Improving property values in our community and homes

Children in Hermosa Beach have received a quality education for over 100 years. While the maintenance staff has done a good job of maintaining our schools over this time, facilities and classrooms are now 30 to 50 years old and in need of major improvements. It's time we upgrade and renovate our schools so our children will have 21st century classrooms and a safe and healthy learning environment.


# Making health and safety improvements and improving accessibility for disabled students
# Upgrading electrical systems to accommodate computers and other technology
# Replacing old and inefficient heating, plumbing, and sewer systems
# Building a new gym/multipurpose facility for school and community use while preserving green space in the area
# Constructing new classrooms and providing facilities to improve science programs


# A citizens' oversight committee to protect taxpayer funds
# Annual independent audits on all Measure "J" expenditures
# A requirement that funds be used only to improve our children's schools - not to pay teacher or administrator salaries

Measure "J" will maintain our schools as a focal point of Hermosa Beach, allow for the continued quality education of our children, and add to the value of our homes.

Invest in Hermosa's future. VOTE YES ON MEASURE "J"!

Hermosa School Board President

Public Works Commissioner

Owner-Ocean Diner-Java Man


Parent & Former Mayor

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure J doesn't make financial sense.

The district has already spent thousands of your tax dollars on political consultants and will spend thousands more on bond brokers, consultants and attorneys.

Proponents don't mention Measure J's cost because they don't want you to know it's total cost could reach $24,000,000 or more. There are improvement and repair solutions that don't mean more taxes.

Measure J makes no guarantee that the costly gym will be open to the public after school hours. The gym, Measure J's most expensive project, will not educate one Hermosa student.

The district's seismically unsafe North School site is worth $10-20 million. Selling or leasing this surplus land could more than pay for the district's proposed improvements without raising your taxes and would generate tens of thousands of dollars in property tax revenues for the city. The North School buildings are seismically unsafe and selling them would eliminate the potential hazard to the daycare children and adult students currently using that site. The Hermosa City School District has let facilities run down but refuses to offer "no tax" alternatives like:
Selling or leasing the North School site that is currently not used to educate Hermosa Beach City School District students.
Partnering with Beach Cities Health District to build the gym at no cost to the Hermosa Beach City School District.
Cutting overhead that has built up at the expense of regular maintenance.

Is it any wonder that only one school board member signed the argument in favor of Measure J?

No on J - There is a better way!

Hermosa Beach Homeowner

Homeowner Retired Teacher

Hermosa Beach Homeowner & Educator

Resident & Grandparent

Hermosa Beach Business Owner and Property Owner

Everyone wants Hermosa students to get a good education. But at what price?

Hermosa schools are asking $13,600,000 in bonds while existing buildings and contents are only valued at $12,500,000. The state currently spends over $7000 per pupil, or $196,000, for the average Hermosa class. Teacher's salaries average $59,000, so where does the rest of the $137,000 go?

For the 1020 Hermosa students, there are 120 on district staff. Only 54 of those are teachers. HBCSD should cut it's excessive overhead before forcing taxpayers to pay more.

HBCSD claims no money will be spent on administrator's "salaries," but gives no guarantee that bond money will not be spent on administrator's perks and benefits. Further, there is nothing stopping them from spending current maintenance funds on administrator's salaries, perks and pet projects.

Hermosa can't afford that sort of accounting.

Many of the projects the district plans should have been done on an ongoing basis. Now they want you to pay interest on what should have been done years ago. They also have plans to force their neighbor to sell. The district will have to pay a high price for the property and pay to relocate the neighbor. Say "NO!" to this costly boondoggle. HBCSD plans a computer lab. Most Hermosa students already have computer access and for K-8, computers are more of a toy than an educational necessity. Taxpayers will be paying on the computers years after they have joined the trash heap of the 8-track and rotary phone.

Focus spending on education, not a costly gym
Don't use long-term funds for short-term investments like computers.
Vote NO on higher taxes and send a message to the district to cut its overhead.
Vote No on J, there is a better way!

Hermosa Beach Homeowner

Hermosa Homeowner & Retired Teacher

Hermosa Homeowner & Educator

Grand Parent & Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
We have studied Measure "J" and recognize its importance to Hermosa.


These are the facts:

Under State Law, no funds from Measure "J" can be used for salaries, perks, or employee benefits. Funds can only be used to construct and improve school facilities and purchase furniture and equipment for the benefit of students. A citizen's oversight committee along with annual independent financial and performance audits will guarantee this.

The district serves over 1,000 students with five full-time administrators. The District is currently 15% below the State allowance for number of full-time administrators per student.

Hermosa View and Hermosa Valley schools have been well maintained for the past 50 years. However, state funding is insufficient to cover new construction and major renovations and modernization. For this reason, over 400 school districts in California and all 10 other South Bay school districts have financed needed school improvements in this manner. Hermosa Beach City School District has not asked for any bonds until now.

Our students' academic performance is among the best in the County. We must provide children with modernized schools so they can continue to excel. Measure "J":
# Makes health and safety improvements
# Upgrades electrical systems to accommodate computers and technology
# Replaces old and inefficient heating, plumbing, and sewer systems
# Builds a new gym/multipurpose facility
# Constructs new classrooms and provide facilities to improve science programs

Vote "YES" on Measure "J" and increase our property values and the academic achievements of our children.

School Board President

Co-President Hermosa Beach Education Foundation

City Treasurer

Local Business Owner/Architect

Chairman of Board of Directors Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce

Tax Rate Statement from M. Robert "Duffy" Clark, Ed.D, Superintendent, Hermosa Beach City School District

An election will be held in the Hermosa Beach City School District (the "District") on November 5, 2002, to authorize the sale of up to $13,600,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in three series. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 2.1 cents per $100 ($21 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2003-04.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 2.1 cents per $100 ($21 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2013-14.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 2.1 cents per $100 ($21 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. The tax rate is expected to remain the same in each year.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: August 13, 2002.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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