Poll: Fremont area voters support Ohlone Bond

Let’s see if I can do this without screwing up. A pollster finds that 67 percent of Ohlone College district voters would support a $349 bond measure in November to to make infrastructure improvements to the Fremont campus.

The bond needs just 55 percent to pass.

A similar poll last year found that 58 percent of voters would support the bond. The college has spent money on two mailers since then highlighting their facility issues.

The surveys show that job training is seen as very important for voters this year, which might be one reason the college has named the facilities bond, “The Ohlone College Job Training & Quality Education Local Funding Measure.”

The board will discuss the bond at its meeting Wednesday. Read the report here.

Matt Artz


  1. I will support the Ohlone Bond Issue, IF, they do not turn over the Ohlone College, Mission Campus, frontage property to Developers (Dutra’s) to build a damned Strip Mall and Condo’s.
    I want to see the scenic Olive Tree’s remain.
    When we passed the various bond issues in the past, we did not give permission to let developers have any of the property.
    I think any plans for development should go before the voters, Ohlone is a Public College.
    What do you think?

  2. Matt: From looking at the report, that’s $349 _million_ .

    I want to look at what this is going for, the bond that the FUSD passed in 2002 was for less than half as much ($157 million). May support it, but concerned about the size.

    I like the olive trees too, but we may not be able to save them in this environment. Certainly need to have transparency in the planning though.

  3. How is money spent on “infrastructure improvements”going to result in “Job Training & Quality Education”? I think the community would be better served if instead of putting in a few walkways, repaving the parking lot, remodeling the administration building, and buying an overpriced piece of art, the college made being able to offer as many classes with inspiring teachers as possible it’s first priority instead of an afterthought.

    I’m sure there is a way that we can work some campus
    improvements into the curriculum. Even if only “small” ones for “extra credit”.
    The title would then be an honest representation of the bond and not an obvious lie.

  4. Sunny: Have you read the info at

    Looks like real infrastructure work needed, including upgrading labs and facilities for training.

    I’d like to see what the breakdown is, it is a big bond for sure. But how does paying for infrastructure from the bond affect paying for actual classes? The money comes from different sources, do you have a suggestion for how to increase the class offerings?

    You have a list of projects you think are going to be funded (work on the admin building and an over-priced piece of art?), where do you get that from?

  5. I was being cynical when I made up those projects. Where did you find an actual list of projects that will be undertaken?

    As for the classes, I was being sarcastic. I understand the source of funds is intended for infrastructure repairs, but the title of their bond measure STATES it’s for “Job Training and Quality Education”.

    Does that suggest infrastructure repairs to you Bruce?

    I will now go read the info at the url you specified.

  6. I think this has been addressed last year, but Fremont is not on the hook for interest payments on this bond if it were to pass and Ohlone took a s__t, right?

  7. I couldn’t open either of the files above. Is there anywhere they can be viewed on the web?

  8. Sunny wrote – “Is there anywhere they can be viewed on the web?”

    The above link is already a web address.

    The web address above links directly to a PDF file already on the web. In this case, The pdf file is the web page (so to speak).

    There is a chance you do not have adobe acrobat reader (free), or at least do not have the updated version.

    Also, it is a somewhat large file and might need time to “appear.”

    Hope that helps.

  9. Sunny: the “needs” web site gives examples of work that needs to be done, but no break-down of the planned spending. I’ve asked them when this would be available, for such a big bond they should provide a plan for how it will be spent long before the election.

  10. Bruce, I think detailed list is a fair request. It doesn’t have to be binding and can change. If so, I’d be inclined to vote yes. But otherwise I see this as another money grab and will decline.

  11. Agreed, we need a plan. The FUSD published a plan for the 2002 bond, Ohlone should do the same.

  12. Huh ?

    A “plan” that is promoted to taxpayers and which “..doesn’t have to be binding and can change.” – is no plan at all.

    It’s a marketing piece.

    What prevents “specification creep” into needs contrary to that originally intended by those who approved the bond ?

  13. Box, even when our governments list specifically what a bond, tax or fee is exactly for they can still turn around and reallocate and never refund the taxpayer. The Dumbraton rail project comes to mind.

    But still, I think it’s common courtesy to at least lie about what you want to do with other people’s money.

  14. The FUSD published a plan for their bond money, and I think they have been transparent about how they’ve spent it. A good example for Ohlone to emulate.

  15. Marty, #7, the City is not liable for any obligations of any other governmental agency, schools, colleges, etc.

    And on #14, there never was a specific funding measure for the Dumbarton rail, but rather for a bridge toll increase in the region to be spent on a variety of projects, with examples listed, at the discretion of a set of directors, I think, in this case, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. They cannot add projects (I don’t believe) but they can shuffle between the projects on the list. This is one where I am almost sure, but not 100% sure since I have been away from this stuff for a while.

  16. Good points, Marty –

    But I think I might nominate the Bush Administrations rationalization of war-like activity based on the faulty premise of the existance of WMD, as taking top honors in the category of political prestidigitation.

    Certainly in economic terms and as measured by lives consumed, this little sleight of hand has cost our nation far more dearly than the . . . (what was it ?) . . . Dumbarton rail project.

    But, my apologies, I thought there may have been a modicum of sincerity to your original suggestion.

  17. One thing is for certain – funds are badly needed to improve Ohlone College’s critical thinking program. Bbox’s writing is a stark reminder of the program’s sub-par offerings.

  18. Gus, the Dumbarton rail project was promoted heavily to Alameda county voters for support of the toll increase. Seeing how easily the MTC dropped it, you have to believe they never intended on moving it forward with the project. It was a carrot on a stick.

  19. Marty, Dumbarton Rail has many problems which must be solved before there is any thought of actually spending money on it. And, we can’t confuse a campaign with reality, can we? IMO, the only reason the project was in the measure was to appease Newark and Union City. That toll measure was a special interest measure primarily designed to fund the ferry service. Everything else was added to buy votes.

  20. IMO, the only reason the project was in the measure was to appease Newark and Union City…Everything else was added to buy votes.

    Gus, that’s exactly my point. Now can you see why I’m jaded about tax and bond measures? You pols would have an extremely easy time funding things if you hadn’t put so much effort into pissing voter trust away.

  21. Nice thinking, Marty – except there is no continuity of reasoning.

    On one hand you want to assign responsibility for “pissing voter trust away” to others and simultaneously you suggest that a bond plan have no teeth or controls.

    Where is there anything of any productive value in your words ?

    Certainly if your intent is the creation of divisiveness and dissension, *that* would make some sense out of these not-so-thoughtfully crafted taunts.

  22. Marty, don’t blame me for the toll measure. I saw it for what it was long before it made the ballot. I actually debated against the ferry program at the Commonwealth Club and I was opposed to Dumbarton Rail since it surfaced as an idea. On this one, you only need consider who the major proponent was.

    I’ll take blame/credit for Measure B and BART to Warm Springs proudly, though. And, I do resent the “…you pols…” dig.

  23. Fair enough, Gus. You get a pass from being lumped in because you’re retired an no longer devising ways to ‘convince taxpayers on the benefits of taxing themselves’, as Artz put it.

    And it’s not about the rail line. I’m just giving one of the 100’s of examples CA voters have been burned.

  24. I went the the website and still couldn’t download the PDF! Could someone please post it here. I don’t why Ohlone can’t have it available to read right on their site. How long is it?
    Is it printed anywhere?


  25. Sunny: the pdf is there, I think only Matt can add it to this blog web site.

    You can also view the board packet at:

    (this html wraps around, you may have to cut and paste it)

    I didn’t read the whole board packet, the resolution lists the type of projects to be funded but not how much of the bond would go to each item. It all sounds like good stuff, but I’d still like a break-down of how much money goes to each need.

  26. Sunny –

    Try this link –


    If, for some reason, this link does not work for you, cut and paste this into GOOGLE –

    “FM3″ +”Ohlone college”

    Somewhere in the search results you will see a link for “[PDF] 24d-Polling Results – City of Sacramento BOT Survey” and right underneath *that* you’ll see the words “VIEW HTML” – – click on the VIEW HTML link and you’ll get a text only version of the PDF.

  27. Bbox231!!!! The “Can we have some Primary Documents please?”
    award goes to you!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Though I don’t think the College is as happy you’ve provided this easy access to the info as I am.

    I have only read the first paragraph at this point and already I have to pause. Mayor Morrison are you there?

    How much did we pay Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates to call 601 people?

    While we wait for the answer
    I’d like to ask everyone else that’s here:

    Do you consider the opinion of 601 people enough for a representative survey?

    And, without knowing what we’ve spent, how much is to much to spend per person surveyed??

    Let the fun begin, and thanks again,
    for unlocking the Pandora Bbox twenty-three-one!!

  28. After reading the detail of the poll/survey it is obvious that far and away the most important issue to the 601 people who were polled was that:

    Ohlone should provide job training and education for people
    entering the workforce, or new professions. (9 said yes out of every 10 surveyed)

    and that

    Ohlone College should provide an affordable education for
    students preparing to transfer to UC and other state
    university systems. (9 out of 10)


    Upgrading earthquake safety for campus facilities and
    classrooms (7 out of 10)

    Acquiring up-to-date technology for classrooms (7 out of 10)

    Making repairs to the aging plumbing system to prevent
    flooding and water damage and reduce future maintenance (7 out of 10)

    Improving access for the disabled (7 out of 10)

    Installing and repair fire safety equipment including alarms,
    smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency lighting, and fire
    safety doors ( 7 out of 10)

    Repairing and renovating classrooms and facilities that lack
    adequate plumbing, heating, air conditioning,
    ventilation or electrical systems. (6 out of 10)

    But instead of being clear and up front with the voters and calling the bond measure the
    The board has to call their bond the
    Because that’s what the people want.

    Unfortunately the people are who vote for it expecting that the college will then be able to provide more JOB TRAINING & QUALITY EDUCATION are going to be disappointed to find that College President Gari Browning as well as “trustee” Garret Yee have deceived them.

  29. HOW MUCH did we pay Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates to call 601 people?

  30. Newark isn’t far behind with efforts to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. Staff and council decry the reduction in police at the high school; elimination of school crossing guards; reduction in street sweeping and delays in infrastructure projects. To remedy these fiscal potholes the City is placing another utility tax on the November 2010 ballot.

    According to the Newark News, the City’s Official Publication, Newark will focus on working closely with the Chamber of Commerce, a new redevelopment plan area and developing new neighborhoods and parks. How any of those proposals will show fiscal responsibility is a mystery.

    The City and Chamber of Commerce have little to show for the high rate of office and industrial park vacancies in the City. The Redevelopment Agency is nearly broke and owes the City general fund $400K; no plan to repay. New neighborhoods and parks in a former wetland/wildlife habitat zone are reckless and a complete waste of resources.

    Newark residents should be prepared for another dog-and-pony show complete with flyers and brochures stuffing the mailboxes. More threats that if the tax doesn’t pass the Silliman Center will close, City Hall will close or fall down or some other disaster will befall the City.

    Don’t believe it. The Newark News says on page 2 that Redevelopment will result in $100 million invested in the plan area; and on page 3 that new neighborhoods in the wetlands/wildlife habitat areas will bring in millions of dollars for community facilities. Why does the City need a utility tax when we will all soon be rolling in dough? It doesn’t make sense.

  31. I wonder if, even after they told us city hall was going to fall down, we were to vote NO, would they then tear city hall down out of spite?

    Is that what happened to the city hall in Fremont?

    Hey people! Nothing is going to fall down during the next inevitable earthquake from the future that can’t. And that includes the police station.

    Vote no and when they then try to tear something useful down say “No”.

    Sometimes I wonder if these city council people wouldn’t be better suited in charge of a homeowners association.

    It’s apparent they’re not quite pragmatic enough to run a city.

  32. Newark Mayor Smith and the Newark City Counsel is incompetent., they need to be recalled.
    Why the people of Newark continuously re-elect them is a mystery.
    Instead of focusing on Empty Offices Building, Empty Warehouses, Empty Manufacturing Buildings.

    What is going to happen to NewPark when Target leaves, NewPark is like a ghost town, now.

    They are hell bent to develop wetlands for housing that is not needed.

    They should be working on existing assets, (Empty Buildings). Watch what they do and you to will realize they are incompetent.

    Now they want more of our money, are they kidding?

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