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

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Measure X Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


97,061 votes yes (53.8%)

83,366 votes no (46.2%)

To repair classrooms/labs, prepare veterans, workers/students for technology, business, science/ other jobs, construct Workforce Training Center, support East County economic development, remove asbestos/lead paint, repair gas, electrical/sewer lines, repair, acquire, construct facilities, sites/equipment, shall Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District issue $348,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, no money for administrators' salaries, independent audits, citizen oversight, all funds used locally?

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 $348,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 

NO vote means

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $348,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 


San Diego County Counsel

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College 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 $348,000,000 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 community college facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of community college facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for community college 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

Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

An election will be held in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (the “District”) on November 8, 2016, to authorize the sale of up to $348,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance facilities as described in the measure. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest on the bonds will be payable only from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors. Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District’s assessed valuation, the following information is provided:

1. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on a projection of assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.025 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) for fiscal year 2018-2019.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on a projection of assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.025 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) for fiscal year 2027-28.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on a projection of assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.025 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $25.00 per $100,000 of assessed value), which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding. 

4. The best estimate 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 is approximately $651,232,875.

Voters should note the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County’s official tax rolls, not on the property’s market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner’s exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual debt service, the tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The date of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on the need for project funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of sale. Actual future assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.


Dr. Cindy Miles
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



East County/Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges Affordable College, Job Training, Campus Repair, Veteran Support Measure.

Make College Affordable.
Local students rely on Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges for college credits and job skills at a reasonable cost and transfer to 4-year colleges and universities.

Assist Veterans Re-Entering the Civilian Workforce.
Thousands of veterans – many returning from war zones – face challenges, including stress and disabilities. Measure X expands Veterans Services and job training to provide support our veterans need.

Train Workers for 21st Century Careers.
Measure X will build new state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, expand access to training programs, and help students learn new skills and find jobs in business, technology, early childhood education, public safety engineering or health care.

Accountability & Transparency.

  • Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.
  • No funds for Administrators’ Salaries.
  • Funds must be spent locally.
  • Annual, Independent Audits posted online.
  • Detailed Public Expenditure Plan.

A+ Bond Oversight Transparency – San Diego Taxpayers Association

Critically-Needed Repairs.
Many college buildings, classrooms and labs are old and run-down. Measure X repairs deteriorating classrooms, removes asbestos, insures earthquake safety, upgrades electrical, gas/sewer lines, fixes leaky roofs, and replaces outdated plumbing.

An Economic Engine for East County.
Measure X is part of an innovative public-private partnership to bring “New Tech”/21st Century jobs to East County. Presently, East County doesn’t have enough good paying jobs or economic opportunities. Many students leave the area to find work.
Prop. X will build a Workforce Training Center as the centerpiece of an economic development zone near Gillespie Field. A skilled workforce on site will attract technology, health care, engineering, biotech/life sciences, and advanced manufacturing firms, providing an economic engine for East County that will create thousands of good paying jobs.

Interest rates and inflation are at record lows. It will only cost more if we wait.
Careers and Affordable College Education for East County

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Middle Class Taxpayers Assn.

Former Grossmont-Cuyamaca Student Trustee
Marine Veteran of Iraq War


— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST



Vote No on Measure X.

This is too much money, too soon, to give to the politicians on the governing board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. Here is why, in our opinion, East County voters should VOTE NO on this tax increase.

EXPENSIVE – Through bond measures in 2002 and 2012, the District raised property taxes for East County property owners and would do so again through this measure. Unlike other school bond measures which maximize the value and return for taxpayers, interest and principal on these bonds will total over a BILLION DOLLARS that will be paid off by generations over the next thirty years with limited value and returns. This debt is PREMATURE and UNFAIR.

PREMATURE – The District has not yet completed all of the projects that were approved in its previous measure. It is now seeking funds to complete new projects instead of making spending adjustments in other areas. Let’s not add this EXPENSIVE and UNFAIR debt on the back of homeowners.

UNFAIR DEALS – The District went back on a promise to the San Diego County Taxpayers Association that it would not negotiate any deal that favored union construction workers over nonunion workers. Language in this new measure also indicates plans to negotiate another agreement with union workers, which does not promote fair and open competition in the construction bidding process and could increase costs. The District’s Citizen Bond Oversight Committee advised against these types of unfair labor deals, but the politicians ignored their own oversight board.

PLEASE VOTE NO. This District should honor its past promises before it receives new money.

San Diego County Taxpayers Association, President & CEO

Grossomont-Cuyamaca [sic] Bond Oversight Committee, former member

Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year Winner

Mayor of Santee

La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR



This is my personal story about how this bond, and the hidden deals behind it, harm me and my small business in East County.

My name is Mary Smith and I own Interpipe Contracting, Inc. We started in East County 31 years ago. We employ 36 people, most of whom live in East County. My daughters went to college in this District. We helped build the Health and Sciences Complex at Grossmont College and the Student Center at Cuyamaca College.

Despite our past success, and our commitment to pay prevailing wage and provide excellent benefits, this District wants to shut out my workers on this bond. Why? Because buried deep in the paperwork of this bond is a political deal to mandate a unionized workplace.

This political deal prevents my employees from working in their own community simply because they choose not to unionize. It’s not fair to discriminate against hard working qualified construction workers based on union status. If this type of discrimination spreads, we will be forced to lay off our local workers. Back-room political deals like this hurt local businesses and motivate industrious young people to leave California.

Please don’t endorse this type of discrimination with your vote. Send this bond back to the drawing board and tell these politicians to fix it to include all local workers. We all deserve the right to work in East County.

Please Vote No on Measure X.



Owner, Interpipe Contracting, Inc.
Santee, California 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



The Opponents have their facts wrong . . .

The Grossmont Cuyamaca-Community College District has been widely lauded for its past bond programs. This summer, the District earned 100% Transparency Rating from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

In Measure X, Ironclad Taxpayer Safeguards have been built in:

All funds, by law, must be spent locally.
Annual, Independent Audits account for every penny.
Independent Oversight Committee, with Taxpayer Representation, insures all funds spent as Promised.
NO funds for Administrators’ salaries.
Funding Sacramento CANNOT take away!

That’s why the Middle Class Taxpayers Association (San Diego’s largest taxpayer organization) supports Measure X.

East County’s Affordable College
For 50+ years, East County residents have been able to obtain an affordable path to college or careers at Grossmont College (since 1964) and at Cuyamaca College (since 1978). For tens of thousands of our neighbors, Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges have been a vital step up the ladder into America’s Middle Class.

21st Century Education
Measure X will enable Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges to better prepare students for 21st Century careers. Measure X will renovate and upgrade classrooms and build state-of the-art science and computer labs. Measure X will build a new Workforce Training Center to help East County attract high-demand tech jobs.

Skills and Counseling for Veterans.
Measure X will help Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges provide skills and counseling for veterans returning to the civilian workforce.

YES on Measure X
Careers and Affordable College Education for East County.


President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 
East County Schools Federal Credit Union

Board Member, East County Economic Development Corp.,
Aerotropolis Steering Committee

Council Chair, 
Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges

Rear Admiral, 
U.S. Navy (retired)

Captain Chaplain Corps,
US Navy (retired) 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure X

Organizations (2)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure X

Organizations (4)

Elected & Appointed Officials (2)

More information

News (4)

Three college bond measures focus on vets — August 23, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune
College district to put $348M bond on ballot — July 20, 2016 San Diego Union-Tribune

Contact Info

Yes on Measure X
Not available.
No on Measure X
No on X - East County
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