2016-11-03 / Front Page

L Yes: Voters overwhelmingly pass school bond

Photo by Greg Little
Shown above is rotting fascia boards at Woodland Elementary School. This is just one example of the many facilities issues facing the district. Voters approved Measure L by a wide margin on Tuesday, which will give the district funding to fix these types of problems.Photo by Greg Little Shown above is rotting fascia boards at Woodland Elementary School. This is just one example of the many facilities issues facing the district. Voters approved Measure L by a wide margin on Tuesday, which will give the district funding to fix these types of problems.By GREG LITTLE

Editor


History was made both nationally and locally on Tuesday night.

On the national level, Donald J. Trump, who had never ran for office before, became the president-elect of the United States.

History was also made locally when Mariposa County voters — for the first time ever — passed a school facilities bond.

Measure L, the $24 million bond for the Mariposa County Unified School District, didn’t just pass, it received overwhelming support from County voters.

The unofficial final results from the Mariposa County office of Elections shows 4,961 votes for the measure, or just over 69 percent. There were 2,185 votes against the bond, or about 30 percent.

That, coupled with the fact Californians passed Proposition 55, means even more funding could come to the district for facilities upgrades. Prop 51 is a $9 billion school bond measure.

That proposition also narrowly passed in Mariposa County, getting 3,742 votes for and 3,586 against.

Because local voters passed Measure L, it means the district can now apply for funds from the statewide bond.

“We will be poised to qualify for some matching funds for our facilities because we passed our local bond,” said Mariposa County Unified School District Superintendent Robin Hopper.

Hopper, visibly thrilled when the mail ballots were counted on Tuesday night, thanked everyone who supported the bond.

“Thank you to all who supported and worked to get this important investment in our schools and students accomplished,” said Hopper.

The next step in the process, she said, is forming an oversight committee to determine how to use the funding to improve school facilities.

“We want to go ahead and move forward,” said Hopper.

She said the matter would be discussed at this Thursday’s school board meeting.

Part of that discussion will be exactly how the oversight committee is chosen, she said.

Also, Hopper said passage of the bond will also allow the district to move forward with its master facilities plan.

During the past few months, there have been many discussions about how the funds will be used.

The main focus is the district’s aging infrastructure, including roofs, plumbing, electrical, lighting, security and much more.

In addition, decisions have to be made about all of the portable buildings within the district. More than 50 percent of the district’s classrooms are in portable buildings. Some of those buildings have already been condemned.

For Hopper, passage of the bond is a statement about how the community feels about its students.

“I continue to be so impressed and thankful for the amazing support and generosity of time, energy and resources the people of Mariposa County contribute to our youth,” said Hopper.

In addition, Proposition 55 also passed, keeping school funding at current levels, something Hopper said will keep Mariposa County schools stable.

Locally, that measure lost in Mariposa County, with 4,388 against and 2,930 for passage.


Other races

In another school-related matter, newcomer Jim Cupp narrowly defeated incumbent Steven Bacus for the school board seat in District 2.

Cupp garnered 3,043 votes, or 50.73 percent, compared to 2,956 for Bacus, or 49.27 percent.

Another race of high interest in  Mariposa County was for three seats on the John C. Fremont Healthcare District Board of Directors.

All three people who won will be new to the board.

The top vote-getter was Dr. Joseph C. Rogers who had 3,530 votes, or 24 percent. Next was Sally Uribe, who had 2,884 votes, or 20 percent. Philip DeBry received 2,260 votes, or 15 percent.

Incumbent Suzette Prue will not retain her seat, receiving 2,147 votes to finish fourth. Troy Foster was fifth with 2,181 votes while David Butler was sixth with 1,713 votes.

In the race for California Assembly, incumbent Republican Frank Bigelow was an easy winner in District 5. Bigelow had 91,315 votes compared to Democrat Robert Carabas with 50,772.

For U.S. House in District 4, incumbent Tom McClintock received 146,704 votes to retain his seat. Challenger Robert Derlet, a Democrat, had 88,690 votes.

In the presidential race, Democrat Hillary Clinton easily won California, however, it was Trump who was the choice of voters in Mariposa County. Trump had 4,317 votes in the County, compared to 2,568 for Clinton.


Statewide propositions

There were 17 propositions on the statewide ballot, ranging from marijuana legalization to firearms and ammunition sales.

Proposition 64, to legalize recreational use of marijuana, passed by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent statewide.  That proposition also had the narrow support of voters in Mariposa County. There were 3,763 votes in favor of legalization with 3,684 against.

Proposition 63, which puts new regulations on sales of firearms and ammunition, easily passed statewide with nearly 63 percent of the vote.

In Mariposa County, voters overwhelmingly rejected that proposition. There were 5,056 votes against Prop 63 while 2,324 supported the measure.

Many other propositions were on the ballot and the full results can be viewed online at http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures/.

For a complete list of how voters in Mariposa County cast ballots, visit http://www.mariposacounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/52181.


Greg Little is Editor of the Mariposa Gazette and can be reached at greg@mariposagazette.com.

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Now that the money for

Now that the money for measure L will be on my tax bill I would like to know if Social Security will give a raise to pay for it? When I built my house here in Mariposa county I have to write a check to the school district for $8506.00 before they would issue a permit to build. Now I am broke 70 years old and they want me to pay more!!

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