Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Cardiff Elementary School District
Measure GG Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

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Election Results


3,994 votes yes (65.94%)

2,063 votes no (34.06%)

To improve the quality of education with local funding that cannot be taken by the State; modernize/construct classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; repair/replace roofs; renovate deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems; upgrade inadequate electrical systems; make health, safety, and energy efficiency improvements; and replace portables with permanent classrooms; shall Cardiff Elementary School District issue $22 million of bonds at legal interest rates, have an independent citizens' oversight committee, and have NO money used for administrative or teacher salaries?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $22,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 

NO vote means

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $22,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 


San Diego County Counsel

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the Cardiff School District (“District”). 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

San Diego County Counsel

This measure, if approved by 55% of the votes cast on the measure, will authorize the District to issue and sell $22,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The sale of these bonds by the District is for the purpose of raising money for the District, and represents a debt of the District. In exchange for the money received from the bond holders, the District promises to pay the holders an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the bonds on the expiration date.

Voter approval of this measure will also authorize an annual tax to be levied upon the taxable property within the District. The purpose of this tax is to generate sufficient revenue to pay interest on the bonds as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure may be used by the District for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities.

The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, could not exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 40 years after the date the bonds are issued as determined by the District.

The tax authorized by this measure is consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution. The California Constitution permits property taxes, above the standard one percent (1%) limitation, to be levied upon real property to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for, among other things, the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if:

(1) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified,
(2) the District, by evaluating safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs, has approved a list of specific projects to be funded,
(3) the District will conduct an annual, independent performance audit, and
(4) the District will conduct an annual, independent financial audit.

If a bond measure is approved, state law requires the District to establish an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The District has made this ballot measure subject to these requirements.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the District that are the subject of these bonds will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. 

Tax rate

Superintendent, Cardiff School District

An election will be held in the Cardiff School District (the “District”) on November 8, 2016 to authorize the sale of up to $22,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The following information is submitted in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $.02575 per $100 ($25.75 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2017-18.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $.02575 per $100 ($25.75 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2020-21.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing this statement, is $.02575 per $100 ($25.75 per $100,000) of assessed valuation. This vote is projected to apply in each fiscal year that the bonds are outstanding.

4. The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold will be approximately $45,952,885.

These estimates are based on projections derived from information obtained from official sources. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary depending on the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold at each sale and actual increases in assessed valuations. The timing of the bond sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the needs of the District. Actual assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined in the assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: July 7, 2016


Jill Vinson
Cardiff School District 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



Our schools are the most important assets in our community and should be our highest priority. Quality schools improve student achievement, prepare students for an innovative future, create a greater sense of community and increase property values. Our teachers and staff do an exceptional job educating our Cardiff children. However, many classrooms and buildings in the Cardiff Elementary School District are outdated and do not adequately provide students with the opportunities they deserve to reach their full potential.

The District’s first school, Cullen School, was built in 1913. Thirty-seven years later, it was rebuilt as our current Cardiff School. Ada Harris, our second school was first built in 1960 and was rebuilt 42 years later in 2002. Cardiff School classrooms and buildings are now between 55-65 years old and no longer meet 21st century safety, education, and technology standards. With more than 100 years of success in providing quality education, the time has come to rebuild Cardiff School.

Voting YES on Measure GG will:

  • Replace leaking roofs, deteriorating plumbing, electrical, and sewer systems
  • Make energy efficiency improvements
  • Replace deteriorating, temporary portable classrooms
  • Make health and safety improvements, including security and earthquake retrofits
  • Construct new classrooms and other school facilities to replace 55-65-year old buildings

Measure GG makes financial sense and protects taxpayers:

  • By law, spending must be reviewed and audited annually by an independent citizens' oversight committee.
  • All bond funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State.
  • Funds are required to be spent only on schools, not for administrator or teacher salaries.

Measure GG rebuilds old and inadequate classrooms and school facilities, improves the education of local children, and maintains the quality of our community. That's something we can all support. Please join us and VOTE YES ON MEASURE GG!


President, Cardiff School Board

Owner, Cardiff Seaside Market

Founder, Rob Machado Foundation

President, Cardiff Elementary Teachers Association

President and CEO, San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST



Vote No on Measure GG

The proposed new Cardiff Elementary School Facility Bond is unnecessary and a total waste of taxpayer’s money. No legitimate justification has been presented for heaping $22 million ($46 million with interest) more in debt on local taxpayers. The District is wealthy. Its facility problems are management problems, not money problems.

The District has historically made building maintenance a low priority. Consequently, facility concerns abound. The District’s maintenance consultant recommended that approximately 9% of its income be allocated to building maintenance. The District only budgeted 1½%. Not one of the District’s 106 employees is dedicated exclusively to performing building maintenance and repair.

Rather than spending its operating money correcting Cardiff School problems, the District is proposing the demolition of structurally sound, fully functional buildings and rebuilding them using a massive new bond tax on property owners.

Be aware, the buildings scheduled for demolition may have been built in the 1950s and 60s but they are not old. They were modernized, at great taxpayer expense, to meet the District’s strict education program/specification standards and accepted just 13 years ago. Building repairs and air conditioning can be completed with District money on hand or budgeted.

According to District standards space is available for 30% more students than currently enrolled. Therefore, the District could/should remove the portable classrooms from both schools and not replace them.

The cumulative fiscal impacts of multiple school district improvement bonds on property owners is staggering. If both the proposed MiraCosta and Cardiff 2016 bonds pass and their fees added to the 2012 San Dieguito and the outstanding 2000 Cardiff bond fees, Cardiff School District taxpayers will be obligated to pay off their share of approximately $2 billion in school bond taxes over the next 30 years.

Stop the waste - Vote No on Measure GG


Technical Director, Citizens for Quality of Life (CQL)

Past President Park Place Bluffs HOA

President Cardiff Kids 

Pres. Of the Cardiff Taxpayers Assoc.

Past President Cardiff Town Council

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR



Cardiff Property Owners


The proposed Cardiff School Bond is ill conceived, completely unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money.

The Cardiff School District’s ballot argument failed to appropriately address the following facts:

  • That a viable alternative to the Districts facilities improvement plan exists that requires no new bonds.
  • That the District is currently 30% overbuilt.
  • That student enrollment has continued to decline to just 716 students.
  • That the District could someday close Cardiff Elementary and move all students to Ada Harris.

A. Improve efficiency
B. Reduce Costs

  • 1. Administration, operation and maintenance 

C. Provide District income potential.

  • That structures the District now wants to demolish were modernized just 13 years ago with 2000 bond money and taxpayers still have 9 more years to pay to retire this bond.
  • That property owners would face triple taxation, if another Cardiff bond is passed.

1. High property taxes to pay for operations and facilities
2. Modernization costs of 2000 bond
3. Demolition and rebuilding costs in 2016 bond

  • That the cumulative repayment costs of all bonds is significant.

1. With the proposed 2016 Cardiff and MiraCosta bonds, the 5,000 District property owner’s school bond obligation will probably double from today’s already substantial school tax assessments.

Bond, Year Approved, Original Amounts

  • Cardiff, 2000, $11 million
  • San Dieguito High, 2012, $450 million
  • Cardiff, 2016, $22 million
  • MiraCosta, 2016, $455 million

Total $938 million

The overall taxpayer repayment cost, including principle and interest, could approach $2 billion.

Stop the Waste
Vote No on Measure GG


Technical Director, Citizens for Quality of Life (CQL)

Past President Park Place Bluffs HOA

President Encinitas Taxpayers Assoc. 

Pres. Of the Cardiff Taxpayers Assoc.

President Cardiff Kids 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



Quality schools are key to providing an excellent education, preserving property values, and maintaining our great community.

Don't be misled by arguments against Measure GG.

Consider the facts:

FACT: The District has successfully maintained classrooms and facilities for students for decades dedicating a substantial portion of its budget annually to keep classrooms in good condition. However, severely outdated schools need major renovations, upgrades, and new construction; not minor maintenance. 55 to 65-year-old classrooms and facilities ARE old and have long outlived their useful lives.

FACT: The last local school improvement measure was approved by over 80% of Cardiff voters to rebuild a school that was 42 years old. Today’s classrooms and buildings that will be replaced are 55 to 65 years old.

FACT: The District conducted extensive community research process to determine what’s best for Cardiff kids and taxpayers. The District worked with the San Diego County Office of Education, conducted surveys of registered voters and parents, held focus group meetings, and presented the proposal to the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. The overwhelming feedback from the community is to rebuild Cardiff School.

FACT: The typical Cardiff homeowner will see an increase of approximately $10/month to improve local schools. This is affordable, not “staggering”, and a prudent, long-term investment in our community’s greatest assets - local children and the schools they attend.

For over 100 years, Cardiff children have received a quality education in clean, modern, and safe schools. The time has come to reinvest in those schools.

Vote YES on Measure GG!


Owner, Cardiff Kids Cottage Preschool 

Owner, Cardiff Seaside Market 

Former Trustee, Cardiff School Board

Professor, San Diego Miramar College /
Trustee, Mira Costa College

JON COHEN President, Cardiff Soccer / Author / Journalist 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure GG

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure GG

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (2)

Cardiff school bond faces little opposition — October 6, 2016 The Coast News Group
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