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Measure A

Education and affordable homes are critical to our Valley’s success.
Sadly, these important building blocks of a strong economy and community are often pitted against each other. That is exactly what has happened in North San Jose with Measure A.
Measure A is a ballot measure before the voters of North San Jose within the Santa Clara Unified School District. It would place a tax on housing in order to pay for education costs. I have supported many tax and bond measures to fund schools, however, this tax is too high. It will stifle new construction jobs and put a significant economic development plan at risk. This is particularly alarming because North San Jose has been tagged by the region as an important growth area. Due to its central location to job centers and proximity to the airport and transit infrastructure, it is viewed as an appropriate location in which to direct future growth and economic development.
We can have our cake and eat it too – quality schools, homes for our workforce and a strong economy. There is no doubt that we need to plan for and fund future school needs but Measure A is not the right way to do it.”

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Mr. Guardino, with all due respect, I need to reply as a parent of a child at Don Callejon School. This school has just gone through a very tedious exercise regarding what happens when area development and school capacity explode. Don Callejon School was built through developer's fees and a donation of property by the Rivermark builders. As the newest school in Santa Clara in 40 years, it attracted families from all over. The school reached capacity within the first year prompting the pre-school to have to be moved and programs to be dropped because there wasn't space for them. Communities were at the effect of all this causing a lot of mistrust amongst neighbors and the school district. I agree that growth is good but with growth is going to come more families. The SCUSD district expects to grow exponentially in the next 20 years as a result of all this growth. Infrastructure (i.e., schools) are needed. The K-8 and high school planned for the Old Agnew Hospital site will offer a relief to schools in Santa Clara. Unfortunately, they cannot be built soon enough because we need them now. Once the homes start to be built in North San Jose, the children will need to go to school and SCUSD overcrowding issues will become worse. Parents are already subsidizing their children's public school education. Is $19 a year really too much to pay for a good education? Parents in SCUSD unanimously voted to pass the last Measure H bond because we know that if our children are to succeed in this life, we need to put our money where our mouth is. The builders and businesses of San Jose need to consider how they WILL benefit from the development on-going and will continue to grow in North San Jose. My family and I see it now each weekend when we go to the Target on North 1st Street.

  2. Dear Runningmom,

    Thanks for weighing in with your perspective. This is why we have elections so that all sides can be heard and voters can make informed decisions on the merits of an issue.

    In this case, I absolutely agree with you that development should help pay for education needs. The question comes down to the amount of the tax. As you mentioned, a reasonable $19 per year is levied on existing homes but there is also a tax of $6,500 up front and $1,960 annually for new homes. That’s the part of the proposal that concerns me.

  3. I hope SVLG can help SCUSD address this issue now that Measure A has been put to bed (6 feet under).
    That the SCUSD Business Manager was, per this morning's SJMN, "shocked" at the results is evidence of a significant disconnect.
    That their "verbal agreement" with the San Jose RDA last year for up to $75M was reneged upon, per Supt. Stavis's assertions also shows serious communication problems between the school district, businesses and other government entities.
    Fixing these problems of course demands immediate action on the part of the District, but hopefully that will include coordination and advice that SVLG can provide. A failed school system does not bode well for anyone seeking sustainable growth in the Valley.

  4. This topic of discussion has never left my thoughts which is why I’m coming back to it. Here we are 2-1/2 years after the failure of Measure A and the North of Bayshore is booming with all kinds of residential activity. That is great for the area but what about the school that never materialized because people were worried about the $6500 upfront and $1960 annual tax for new homes. What amazes me is that I don’t see homes – just apartments. Lots of them. Lots of apartments that are going to house a lot of kids becuase of their proximity to the school that needs to be built. Bob Wieckowski has done a phenomenal job by filing AB503 so that SCUSD could acquire the Agnews Property for below or fair market value. The school district came up with $64M to purchase the property. No one else has bid on it. So what happened at the last Senate Appropriations Committee deciding the fate of AB503? It failed! Why? Because the State of CA was going to lose too much money on it. We are talking about education! I thought CA cared about education? No one has bid on the property. Cisco had right of first refusal and passed on it. Now the area is in bad need of a library – a FREE library so the residents don’t have to hike to Milipitas to pay $80 a year for a library card. The library is built – in Rivermark to service the whole of North of Bayshore area and it is now held up because the State and County want the RDA money back from the City of Santa Clara. So instead of providing the core services that are necessary to provide for the future of our children – services that make areas desireable places to live which then grow tax revenues – the people that we look to for support and leadership have dollar signs in their eyes. Shame on them. I attended a town hall meeting in North San Jose in January 2013 to speak about the library along with then Superintendent Bobbie Plough from SCUSD and all the developers building all those properties. After the meeting, the residents wanted to talk to two people – the Superintendent and myself because they were concerned about their families needs. I wish we could do Measure A over again. Especially now with all these families moving in.

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