February 21, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

School Board Delays Facilities Bond Measure Decision:

After hearing suggestions from the District’s Bond Feasibility Committee and Chief Financial Officer, the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education decided to delay deciding whether to place a facilities bond measure on the November ballot. The decision will be made on August 3.

Craig Hamilton, co-chair of the Bond Feasibility “Blue Ribbon” Committee, told the Board his committee recommended a $400 million bond measure over a 20-year period which would mean parcels in the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu would be assessed $32 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. The committee’s other co-chair, Gleam Davis, stressed that the Voter Attitude Survey done by the District’s pollster Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates showed voter support “would soften” if the assessment was much more than $32.

Winston Braham, the District’s Chief Financial Officer thinks otherwise. He suggested the District should have a $268 million bond measure over a 13-15 year period with a $30 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. With this formula, renters would pay $3 per month.

Braham noted that while the committee emphasized feasibility in their recommendation, his job is “to look at everything in the mix.” His mix consists of such things as, “How long it will take to get projects out of the Department of State Architecture, the planning process in putting projects together, the sequencing and scheduling of projects.” Braham will also need to make sure the school sites are prepared, stay aware of possible market volatility, make sure the District’s parcel tax is successfully renewed in 2008 and be informed about other bond issues from the State and the City of Santa Monica on November’s ballot.

Board members responded by scheduling an additional Board meeting on August 3 to discuss the issue further. President Julia Brownly announced she “preferred to delay” her decision so she could “mull things over.”

Also calling for the delay was Board President Kathy Wisnicki, who stated she needed more time to “talk to various constituents we haven’t spoke with to build consensus.”

August 3 will be the last opportunity the Board has to discuss the issue because the 88-Day Rule requires the Board to file the bond measure with the Los Angeles County Electoral Office by August 11.

Once complete, the District’s ongoing 20-year Master Facilities planning process will guide the District in planning the projects the bond revenue will be used for if the bond measure is placed on the ballot and approved by voters.

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