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Alameda’s Measure E: Only 65% Say Yes

The Alameda County Registrar’s unofficial tally puts Measure E behind the needed 66.6% super-majority required to pass the new school parcel-tax measure.

The ballot count stands at 65.39% for the measure, representing 13,789 voters.

Those against, 34.61%, representing 7,297 voters, are likely to have defeated the measure.

Stay tuned for the official results, which won’t be available until Wednesday, June 23, after a few remaining ballots at City Hall are tallied.

Given the weak state of many family budgets and businesses these days, the pro-Measure E ballot count is fairly impressive.

However, a slightly less taxing measure, i.e., one that didn’t generally double previous taxation levels, could have garnered those extra 100 or so votes that would have made the difference.  

Hopefully, residents and school supporters can take such a lesson to heart.

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Election Day for Alameda’s Measure E

The ballots for the hotly contested school parcel tax are due today, June 22, at the Alameda County Registrar of Voter’s Office: 1255 Fallon Street in Oakland.

Preliminary results we be posted online by the county registrar starting at 8 p.m. tonight, when pro-Measure E supporters will meet at Otaez Mexican Restaurant on Webster Street.

Please share any news on anti-Measure E events, if you can.

Some residents shared their anti-Measure E views recently by posting hand-made signs in their cars, which were parked at Alameda Town Centre.

On Bay Farm, a lot of the homes directly facing the San Francisco Bay have posted pro-Measure E signsin the past week or so, many with the “protect our home values” message.

While most Alameda residents and business want to support the public schools, many have mixed feelings about the size of the parcel tax and the way it is applied to commercial property.

Any bets? With the required 66.6% needed to pass, and the economy still hobbling along, this could prove to be a tough parcel tax for voters to swallow.

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Alamedans Push for Measure E

Several hundred students, parents and other Alameda residents turned out for the Measure E march and rally this past Saturday, May 22.

Speakers included county and local leaders who stressed Alameda’s need to maintain the quality and scope of its school system, while keeping the “low adminstrators-to-students” ratio, they said.

Many local media sources are focusing on the Measure E parcel tax issue on the Island to see how it fits into Bay Area and statewide trends. Voters recently voted down new school parcel taxes in Pleasanton and Pasadena but approved one in Piedmont.

And while many residents are posting signs that support Measure E, there are a large number of signs around town against the new parcel tax.

The debate will rage on for the next week or so.

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AUSD retains counsel to fight Measure H lawsuits

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the Alameda Unified School District released a statement Wednesday regarding its legal team and the fight against the Measure H lawsuits. Here it is in its entirety:

Two Alameda taxpayers have brought separate lawsuits to invalidate Measure H, a new parcel tax to support Alameda schools that over two-thirds of Alameda voters approved in last June’s election. The tax, which will raise over $16 million in the next four years, will help close the budget gap caused by a reduction in State funding.

The lawsuits, Borikas, et al. v. AUSD, et al and Beery, et al. v. AUSD et al., are commonly called “reverse” validation proceedings. Each alleges that Measure H violates certain provisions of the California Government Code.

The Alameda Unified School District has retained the law firms of Chapman, Popik & White LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP. The District will vigorously defend Measure H.

In other school news the group, Alamedans For Fair Taxation, a group for which no one, to my knowledge, has stepped up and claimed public responsiblity, has a double-length, unsigned editorial in this week’s Alameda Sun. While we’re all used to pseudonymous postings on the Internet (I don’t much like ‘em, but they’re here), it continues to mystify me that no one from this group that is, as I understand it, responsible for funding at least one of the legal challenges to the popular parcel tax, doesn’t step up and say, “Hello. This is who we are and why we’re doing what we’re doing.” It’s all well and good to disagree—many reasonable people disagree much of the time—but the refusal to take a public stand (while having a willingness to fund a lawsuit) continues to confound me.