By Grace Bon
What exactly is this Measure H that Sonomans are pushing for so actively? “It is a three-part, $40 million bond,” explained Louann Carlomagno, SVUSD superintendent. “The first $15 million would be used to install solar panels throughout the district.” These solar panels would save SVUDS approximately one million dollars a year by decreasing net operating costs.
“The next $15 million is focused on efficiency measures that include water and energy efficiency, as well as different maintenance projects, like heating and air conditioning,” continued Ms. Carlomagno.
The remaining $10 million would fund career technical education as well as new-and-improved technology for schools.
The school district currently operates on a $38 million annual budget. In recent years, the district has made about $3 million in budget cuts, which directly affect bus transportation, library hours, and small programs. If Measure H passes, schools will collect money from being energy efficient, which will help lighten the burden of State budget cuts on schools.
Supporters of Measure H want voters to know that the measure will not increase taxes, but will only extend existing ones.
According to Ms. Carlomagno, none of the bond money will be wasted. Because Measure H is a Prop. 39 general obligation bond, an Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee must be instituted to ensure that money is spent as promised. “If Measure H passes, we will be required to give the Committee a list of specific projects that will be funded by the bond money,” added Ms. Carlomagno. “So there is no question about whether or not the money will be spent well.”
Those who oppose Measure H are few. The Sonoma County Taxpayer’s Association released a statement, saying, “This bond proposal is a red flag suggesting the management practices at the SVUSD need to be modified to regain taxpayers’ confidence.”
Whether you’re for Measure H or not, Ms. Carlomagno urges everyone to vote. “That’s really the most important thing. Get registered, get informed, and get out there and vote.”