Solano board supports lower voter-approval for more than school bonds – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Solano County supervisors on Tuesday threw their support behind a proposed constitutional amendment that would lower the voter threshold required to pass bonds for public infrastructure and affordable housing.

The Legislative Committee of the Board of Supervisors, comprised of Chairwoman Erin Hannigan and Supervisor John Vasquez, recommended the board take a position of support.

Public safety facilities and library facilities were recently added to the list of what can be included as “public infrastructure.”

Source: Solano board supports lower voter-approval for more than school bonds

Fairfield-Suisun school bond refinances successful – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) announced that it had refinanced its 2011 General Obligation Bond Funds, which it said will save property owners in the district more than $1 million in taxes.

“FSUSD has a long history of being responsible stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars,” FSUSD Superintendent Kris Corey said in a statement. “Thanks to our exceptional credit rating and our fiscal responsibility, FSUSD was able to save our tax payers a little over one million dollars. We thank the community for their trust in us.”

FSUSD had previously completed its refinance in 2011. The original bonds were issued by the district in 2002 through the Measure C initiative to go toward providing adequate classrooms, fixing aging school sites and relieving overcrowding in the district through constructing and renovating locations. Measure C was approved by the voters that year. Among the projects completed through Measure C included a new library and quad at Armijo High School, the construction of a new Crystal Middle School site and the modernization of campuses throughout the district.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school bond refinances successful – The Reporter

VUSD ready to issue next series of bonds for Measure A projects – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Earlier in the month, Vacaville Unified School District issued its Series C of general obligation bonds provided by Measure A, a $194 million bond initiative passed by Vacaville voters in 2014.

The district says this most recent issuance has saved local property owners millions in taxes due to a rating upgrade for the district, a recent downturn in interest rates and bond structure optimization, according to a district news release.

Through this most recent issuance, VUSD has priced $145 million in general obligation bonds. The district’s credit was reviewed during the process, and it received an AAA rating from Fitch Group, according to the district.

Source: VUSD ready to issue next series of bonds for Measure A projects – The Reporter

Changing the rules to fill vacated seat on Vallejo school board agenda – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Changing the procedure for filling an empty board seat, the results of union negotiations, school closure recommendations and Measure S fund expenditures are among the issues on the agenda for Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting.

District staff is recommending the Governing Board use the provisional appointment process to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown.

As it now stands, the board would appoint the fourth highest vote-getter in the last election, which was Christy Gardner. However, also on the agenda is changing Board Bylaw 9223, by removing the line, “When authorized by law to make a provisional appointment to fill a vacancy on the Board, the Board shall appoint the next highest candidate who received votes from the previous election.”

Source: Changing the rules to fill vacated seat on Vallejo school board agenda – Times-Herald

School Bond Measures On November Ballot – SFGate

Two cannabis tax measures, three school bond measures and a sales tax measure are on ballots around Solano County for the Nov. 6 election.

Voters in Suisun City and Benicia will consider a cannabis industry general tax that requires majority approval.

The tax rate under Measure C in Suisun City would be no more than 15 percent of gross receipts and $25 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis activities.

The estimated $2 million in annual tax revenue will pay for public safety, street maintenance and other city services until voters repeal it.

Source: Cannabis, Street Repair Sales Taxes, School Bond Measures On November Ballot – SFGate

Dixon taxpayers group launches Measure Q Oversight website – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The Dixon chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association (SCTA) launched a website recently to provide residents with access to documents regarding Dixon Unified School District’s Measure Q bond funds.

Measure Q is a $30.4 million revenue initiative that was passed by Dixon voters in 2016 to provide funds for construction and renovation projects at DUSD schools. Such projects include reopening the old Dixon High School site as a new middle school, repairs and renovations at Anderson Elementary School, and providing security and safety improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance upgrades at all the district schools.

Following the passage of Measure Q, the school board established a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) made up of independent volunteers in Aug. 2017 to ensure that the Measure Q money would only be spent on its projects. Per Proposition 39, which was approved by California voters in 2000, school districts that pass bond measures are required to have a CBOC that meets at least once a year and provide information to the public about bond revenues.

Source: Dixon taxpayers group launches Measure Q Oversight website – The Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun schools to issue $80 million in bonds | Bond Buyer

By Imran Ghori

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in Northern California plans to issue $80 million in bonds as part of its effort to modernize its campuses.

The general obligation bonds are the second series to be issued since voters in the district in Solano County, 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, approved a $249 million bond measure two years ago.

A bond-funded school construction project at the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in California.

The school district issued $84 million in bonds that year and will have $85 million in authorized bonds remaining following this issuance.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools to issue $80 million in bonds | Bond Buyer

Vallejo school board approves bond measure for site repairs – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

There will be a $194 million bond measure on the November ballot, as the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees voted for it 4-1 on Wednesday.

Trustee Ruscal Cayangyang was the only dissenting vote.

It was the second vote at the same meeting for a bond to get the money needed to repair crumbling school facilities. Even this is nowhere near the amount needed to do everything that needs to be done, district officials say.

Cayangyang offered a compromise measure, for a $50 million bond, since the nearly $200,000 one had failed once before but, no trustee would second that motion. Following several comments from other trustees and community members, Cayangyang amended the amount to $100 million and then, $110 million, which got a grudging, provisional second from trustee Tony Ubalde. But the alternative lost in a 4-1 vote, with Cayangyang the only “Yes.”

Source: Vallejo school board approves nearly $200 million bond measure for school site repairs

$1.6M in Measure A, Prop. 39 contracts on VUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, are expected to approve several large Measure A and Proposition 39 contracts totaling more than $1.6 million, plus pass a resolution calling for “full and fair funding of California’s public schools.”

The seven-member governing board will OK, in order, three Measure A contracts, including 1) a $272,000 agreement with Johnson Mechanical to replace the heating, ventilation and air condition systems in the Wood High administration building; 2) a $65,000 contract with American Asphalt & Resurfacing Co. for the seal coating projects at Vacaville High and Jepson Middle School; and 3) a $629,000 agreement with Sunterra Solar Inc. for solar panels atop the newly built E and M buildings at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus.

Source: $1.6M in Measure A, Prop. 39 contracts on VUSD agenda

Vallejo trustees get first look at proposed $194 million bond – Times Herald

By John Glidden

It’s an election year, so the quest by the Vallejo school district to get a school bond passed is in full swing.

Trustees will get their first look Wednesday at the district’s newest proposal: Placement of a $194 million school bond on the November ballot.

Bond proceeds would be used to repair classrooms, update science, computer, and technology labs, and improve security, fire safety and electrical and plumbing systems, according to the draft ballot language.

In addition, bond monies would be allocated to the independent charter school Mare Island Technology Academy for site improvements.

District staff estimates the Vallejo City Unified School District requires about $750 million for school facility needs and improvements.

Source: Vallejo trustees get first look at proposed $194 million bond

School board to hear update on Measure S bond progress – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Unified School District is currently discussing how best to use the remaining funds in the Measure S budget. A quarterly update on the Measure S bond will be delivered at Thursday’s school board meeting.

Measure S is an initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding for renovation and upgrades of school facilities. As of now, 11 projects funded by Measure S have been completed, including playground upgrades at all the elementary schools, repairing the roofs at Benicia Middle School and Mary Farmar Elementary School, upgrading the phone systems at all schools, replacing the softball field bleachers at Benicia High School, replacing the fire alarms at Benicia Middle and Benicia High, and renovating the Benicia High stadium.

Source: School board to hear update on Measure S bond progress

Fairfield-Suisun board to consider cuts to scope of Measure J work – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Members of the Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board will meet Tuesday for a study session to consider how rising costs may whittle away at future Measure J projects.

The notion of “something for all schools” – a foundational element to the campaign that led to Measure J’s passage – may fall by the wayside as a result.

Natural disasters and what a district staff summary describes as unprecedented levels of construction associated with local bonds in California are contributing to an increase in the cost of materials and labor across the state.

Bids for current district facilities projects are up to 40 percent higher than estimates from just a few months ago, according to the staff summary.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board to consider cuts to scope of Measure J work

Business pilot program up for discussion by SCC board – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several updates — on the 2017-18 budget, a business program pilot and the Solano County Sheriff’s Department — are on the agenda when Solano Community College leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Robert V. Diamond, vice president of finance and administration, will update the governing board about the status of the Solano Community College District budget.

However, the agenda neither included any supporting documents about the 2017-18 budget nor any information about revenues, expenses and funding balances projected for the two outlying years. There was no explanation in the agenda documents.

Lucky Lofton, the school’s executive bonds manager, will update trustees about the Measure Q Small, Local, and Diverse Business Program, including the starting of a two-year pilot program. Its purpose is to establish equity, inclusion and outreach guidelines and promote diversity by offering contracts to small businesses and those owned by ethnic minorities, women and disabled veterans in Solano County and the city of Winters. (Measure Q was the $348 million bond passed by Solano County voters in 2012 to upgrade SCC campuses.)

Source: Business pilot program up for discussion by SCC board

Measure Q spending plan update goes before Solano College board – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano Community College’s board of directors will review an update of the Measure Q spending plan when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The public session will follow a 6:35 p.m. closed session, during which board members are scheduled to receive a labor negotiations update, discuss a matter of employee discipline and hear a matter of potential litigation, the agenda documents state.

The board meets in the Denis Honeychurch Board Room 626 in the Administrative Building at 4000 Suisun Valley Road, in rural Fairfield.

Source: Measure Q spending plan update goes before Solano College board

School board to hear quarterly bond update at Thursday’s meeting – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

As Measure S bond projects continue to move along, attendees of this Thursday’s school board meeting can get a greater understanding of which projects have been completed, which ones are nearing completion and which projects will be taken on next. The discussion will be presented by Bond Director Roxanne Egan.

Measure S was a ballot initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 aimed at providing $49.6 million in bond funding for improvements at each of the Benicia Unified School District’s seven schools. As of Dec. 31, 11 projects had been completed, technology infrastructure upgrades at all the schools, playground modernizations at the elementary schools, fixing the roofs at Benicia Middle School and Mary Farmar Elementary School, painting the exteriors at Benicia High School and renovating Benicia High’s stadium.

Egan also identified 10 approved bond projects in progress. These include fire alarm replacements at Liberty High School and the District Office as well as Mary Farmar, Joe Henderson and Robert Semple elementary schools, a fire alarm upgrade at Matthew Turner Elementary School, a modernization of Benicia Middle School’s campus, miscellaneous infrastructure upgrades, alternative education improvements and repairing the gym floor at Benicia High. Another approved project is improvements to Benicia High’s Performing Arts Building, which Egan said is part of the district’s efforts to apply for a Career Technical Education grant for the building. If the grant is awarded, then the district will be required to match up to a maximum of $3 million in local funding. If the grant is not awarded, then a minimum amount of $400,000 will be allocated for PAB improvements.

Source: School board to hear quarterly bond update at Thursday’s meeting

Vallejo school board receives bond survey results – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A polling consultant informed the Vallejo school board on Wednesday that the district is in a unique position after survey results revealed residents support a possible school bond but they don’t trust the district.

At least 61 percent of the 601 interviewed by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) said they would support a Vallejo City Unified School District bond.

However, just 29 percent of the same people surveyed said they have a favorable view of the district while a majority of the participants, 57 percent, said they have an unfavorable view of the VCUSD.

This is the third survey conducted since June 2013 to ascertain the public’s views on a possible school bond.

Prior to Wednesday’s results, the last bond survey held in January 2016 concluded confidence in the district was around 37 percent with about 40 percent of those surveyed viewing the district unfavorably.

Source: Vallejo school board receives bond survey results

Vallejo school board to review polling results – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school district’s biennial tradition continues Wednesday as trustees review survey results regarding the community’s interest in supporting a school bond for the upcoming election.

This attempt to get a school bond measure approved by voters may be more difficult.

According to the survey — conducted between Nov. 30 through Dec. 9 last year — the public’s confidence in the district has eroded since 2016, according to results provided by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3).

Polled in January 2016, just 37 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the Vallejo City Unified School District. That number dropped to 29 percent, with 57 percent stating they did not have a favorable view of the district.

Source: Vallejo school board to review polling results

Measure A transforms Sierra Vista – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Without public fanfare but certainly with excited students and teachers, Sierra Vista leaders on Jan. 8 opened two new seventh- and eighth-grade science classrooms, part of continuing Measure A expenditures at the Vacaville school, bringing the teaching of basic biology, genetics, plant and animal life cycles and more into a 21st-century learning environment.

The construction, its completion somewhat delayed, Principal Catherine Bozzini said Tuesday, was funded by Measure A, the $194 million bond passed by Vacaville voters in November 2014, of which at least $9 million has been set aside by Vacaville Unified to pay for upgrades and new buildings at the Bel Air Drive campus, a K-8 school.

Source: Measure A transforms Sierra Vista

New home for math at Vaca High – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

It was a mammoth and desired present ready to use after the Christmas holidays.

Vacaville High School students, teachers, support staff and administrators ushered in the new year with a newly built $9 million, 15-classroom mathematics building, part of Vacaville Unified’s continuing districtwide campus upgrades under Measure A.

The two-story structure, which opened Monday when classes resumed, further enhances the West Monte Vista school — one of the district’s oldest at 66 years — coming five months after completion of the campus’ new and similar English building.

Source: New home for math at Vaca High

Measure Q spending plan, contracts, change orders on SCC agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A revision to the Measure Q spending plan, and several large change orders and contracts are on the agenda when Solano Community College leaders gather tonight in Fairfield for their last meeting of the year.

Trustees are expected to approve the Measure Q revision, taking $305,000 from one account (net interest earned and unallocated) to another (energy), to boost the budget for the Fairfield substations No. 1 and 2.

Lucky Lofton, the school’s executive bonds manager, will make the request, the eighth revision since the measure, a $348 million bond passed by county voters 2012.

Likewise, the seven-member governing board is expected to award a $2.4 million contract to McCuen Construction, a Loomis-based firm, for the renovation of classrooms in the Vacaville Annex at the college’s Vacaville Center on North Village Parkway.

Source: Measure Q spending plan, contracts, change orders on SCC agenda