Measure L School Tax Trailing by Narrow Margin PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Thursday, 08 November 2012 18:08

Measure B1 transportation tax, Oakland Zoo tax defeated

By Amy Sylvestri

San Leandro Times

Measure L, the proposed $2.4 million parcel tax to benefit San Leandro public schools, appears to have failed by a margin of just one percent.

If passed, the tax would have annually accessed $39 per house on San Leandro residents.

The tax was approved by 65 percent of voters (9,464 votes) but needed a two-thirds super-majority to win.

“We were so close, but didn’t quite make it,” said Jon Sherr, president of the teacher’s union.

Cindy Cathey, the district’s superintendent remained hopeful Wednesday afternoon.

“We are thrilled with the response and the support we have gotten,” sad Cathey. Absentee votes are still being counted, but a change in results is not likely.

San Leandro public schools have never successfully passed a parcel tax, but did recently pass two bond measures worth over $150 million. The parcel tax was to go to the the school district’s general fund, whereas the bonds are earmarked for specific projects.

“We had 65 percent, a majority” said Sherr. “In my books, it’s undemocratic for a minority to decide over the majority.”

But Sherr said he was still heartened by the response of San Leandrans, despite Measure L’s failure.

“Even though it went down, we had overwhelming support and I’m really thankful for that,” said Sherr. “The students spent hundreds of hours campaigning and running phone banks and I think they are still winners because they learned a lot.”

Measure B1 Transportation Tax and A1 Zoo Tax Both Fail

In other races, Measure B1 went down. The sales tax measure would have permanently raised taxes by a half-cent to benefit transportation in the county. It failed with 65 percent of the vote when it needed two-thirds.

Measure A1, the $112 million tax for the Oakland Zoo, also failed – it would have been a 25-year parcel tax of $12 per year to benefit the Oakland Zoo. Measure A1 received 62 percent of the vote when it also needed two-thirds.

Penny Peck Wins Seat on San Lorenzo School Board

In the race for the San Lorenzo school board, newcomer Penny Peck – a former San Leandro children’s librarian – was elected, as were incumbents Helen Foster and Jim Sherman.

San Leandro’s new representative in the state assembly will be Rob Bonta. In the District 18 race, Bonta squeezed out a victory over Abel Guillen, taking 51 percent of the votes (50,028 votes) to Guillen’s 49 percent (48,470 votes).

In one of the most surprising results of the night, 31-year-old Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell defeated Congressman Pete Stark, with 52 percent of the vote (74,007 votes) to Stark’s 47 percent (67,675 votes).

Stark had represented the East Bay in Congress since 1972, serving 19 terms.

Because the state’s new “top two” primary system allows the two highest vote-getters in the primary to be in the run-off regardless of political party, this was the first time Stark faced a fellow Democrat in a general election.

 

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