Roundup of what folks are saying today about the passage of the Measure B parcel tax last night. Will be updated as I get more reaction.
***Updated at 12:30 with comments from Shayne Silva and Art Kapoor.
***Updated 4:15 with comments from Teresa Gerringer
Lafayette School District Superintendent Fred Brill:
This is a testament to the hard work, the commitment of¬†the parents of our community, and especially when we consider that 80 percent of our registered¬†voters do not currently have kids in our schools. What that tells us is, a) we know that this¬†is a community of really high standards, they have profound expectations for what we provide¬†for ours students and children in the community, but they are also willing to do what’s necessary to support us,¬†as evidenced by 74.3 percent approval. So they’re saying, provide the best education that you can provide,¬†the best¬†opportunities¬†for the kids, and we’re willing to support you even in¬†really¬†tough economic times,¬†even when there is a lot of anti-tax sentiment in the country.
School board President Shayne Silva:
I am just so pleased for the children of Lafayette, I can’t tell you, and it’s such a tribute to our community that¬†they recognize the importance of well-educated children. And our volunteers were awesome. To get the kind of¬†percentage¬†that¬†we did is incredible. … We have a community that pulls together for the kids.
School board Clerk Stephenie Teichman:
Obviously we’re extremely gratified by the support of the community in such a strong way, and now that Measure B is passed we’re hoping to start focusing again on the actual work of education and curriculum development for the betterment of our students.
Trustee Art Kapoor:
The passage of Measure B really helps in terms of handling the future, whatever that¬†may be. It just doesn’t look very good coming from¬†the state i just cant imagine a scenario at¬†this point where they’re suddenly going to find a ton of money and make the school districts whole, and so the¬†only way that school districts can really be masters of their own fate is to find other sources of revenue and¬†really legally the only options that are available to school districts are parcel taxes. … It’s such a tribute to¬†the citizens of Lafayette that they feel so strongly about the importance of schools that they passed it with such¬†a high rate. We didn’t just clear the bar, we went way over the top and it’s really¬†gratifying. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of.
Trustee David Gerson:
I was not surprised because I believed that Lafayette would come out and support Measure B ,and I think the result is evidence that we do have broad community support for our schools, so I’m very heartened by that.
Emailed statement from Trustee Teresa Gerringer:
My heartfelt thanks goes out to the Lafayette community, who even in these tough economic times, recognized the real need for additional public education funding and continued their long-standing support of our students and schools.¬† Now that Measure B has passed, I look forward to continuing to work with the citizens of Lafayette, both Measure B supporters and opponents, to channel the debate in to finding real solutions to the challenge of providing adequate, stable public education funding.
Measure B co-coordinator Juleen Lapporte (Tuesday night):
We’re just trhilled that L is supporting education.
Measure B co-coordinator Corinne Christiansen (Tuesday night):
The biggest thing is thank you Lafayette, it really is. It shows a community that¬†cares. … I’m really grateful for the people who put up with all our pestering. Thank you Lafayette.
Emailed statement Tuesday night from Measure B opponent Larry Pines:
Facing well over $60,000 in PTA and other Measure B contributions, plus the City of Lafayette effectively outlawing public election signs, and the consultant-driven LSD Administration controlling the channels of communication advocating for the tax to anxious parents through their email system, it’s hard to get any message¬†across to would-be voters¬†that this 10th school tax for Lafayette is unfair to property owners.¬† Moreover, expensive Special Elections guarantee very low voter participation, and skew the outcome toward passage.
In handing out purely aged-based senior exemptions, the District in effect ‚Äúbuys‚ÄĚ the senior vote ‚Äď a very reliable voting block — which in turn puts more financial pressure on everyone else; and, in the long-term will make it more difficult to continue passing such taxes.¬† In effect, the parents are just taxing themselves more.¬† In claiming that this 508% increase in the elementary parcel tax over 10 years is a ‚Äústable source of funding‚ÄĚ, proponents seem to forget that our property tax bills may be viewed as more ‚Äústable‚ÄĚ by those that don‚Äôt have to pay, like seniors and non-homeowners.
Seniors now make up almost 30% of Lafayette homeowners and their number is growing.¬† With over half now opting out and more each day as they see the tax growing rapidly, the schools are just imploding by allowing them to opt out.¬† Pretty soon 70% of the residents (of which about half are parents) will be paying for 100% of the school taxes.
Lafayette Citizens for Tax Fairness will continue to strive for tax fairness in this and all future local tax measures effecting our residents.