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San Mateo County Community College District in California to put $564 million bond measure on November ballot

The Daily Journal
College officials are banking on voters passing a $564 million bond to continue upgrading facilities and technology at three San Mateo County campuses — a measure that will be on the November ballot.

On Wednesday, the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to put such a measure before voters this November. Since 2001, the college district has had a clear vision for updating facilities. Late last year, the board began discussing another bond measure to finish projects like science buildings and purchasing new technology. As proposed, the $564 million bond would have a rate of up to $12.92 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value. Such a measure would require a 55 percent passage rate.

Recently, statewide tax measures ceased. As previously distributed, about 50 cents of each dollar previously collected would go to education. Board Vice President Dave Mandelkern thought it prudent to ask if residents would be willing to dedicate a smaller portion of the funds now in their pocket into education.

“We need to at least give the public the opportunity to weigh in,” he said.

Noting a drop in support from the state, Mandelkern anticipates further cuts in the future. With the drop in the economy, providing adequate training opportunities and facilities becomes more important, he said. And bond funds could be used to create two goals. Facility funds could cover mandated upgrades to facilities and technology currently being funded through the general fund, he said. In addition, increasing energy efficiency could save the district in the long run while providing hands-on training for green jobs, he said.
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