County of San Benito, County Clerk & Recorder

Measure R (2020) – Cabrillo Community College District

Cabrillo Community College District
Ballot Question
CABRILLO COLLEGE TECHNOLOGY, JOB TRAINING, CLASSROOM REPAIR MEASURE. To repair/upgrade classrooms to better prepare students, veterans, workers for good jobs/university transfer by modernizing aging classrooms, technology/science labs; upgrading outdated wiring/ sewer lines; acquiring, constructing, repairing sites/facilities/equipment, shall Cabrillo Community College District’s measure authorizing $274,100,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying $19/$100,000 assessed valuation ($17,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding be approved, with audits, no funding for administrators, and all funds used locally?
What your vote means?
A “yes” vote on Measure R is a vote to authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $274,100,000 to be financed by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property in the District.   A “no” vote on Measure R is a vote against the issuance of the proposed bonds.
What will you find in this pamphlet?
County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis
Tax Rate Statement
Argument in Favor
Rebuttal to Argument in Favor
Argument Against
Rebuttal to Argument Against
Full Text of Measure
Under the California Constitution, school districts may issue bonds if approved by at least 55 percent of voters within the boundaries of that district. These bonds are sold to the public and constitute a debt of the district. They are repaid by the levy of an ad valorem tax, which is calculated based on the current assessed value of each property.

The Board of Trustees of the Cabrillo Community College District (“the District”) proposes the sale of bonds in the amount not to exceed $274,100,000. The District anticipates that these bonds would generate approximately $17,000,000 million annually.

The boundaries of the Cabrillo Community College District extend across three county lines: San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties.

As limited by law, the funds from the sale of these bonds shall only be used for specific purposes related to school site facilities, buildings, and classrooms. The law does not allow these bond funds to be used for teacher and administrator salaries or other operational expenses.

The District has submitted a Bond Project List within the full body of the measure. The types of projects funded may include, but are not limited to:
  • Upgrading career and vocational classrooms;
  • Updating science, technology, engineering, and math labs;
  • Providing facilities for student support services, tutoring, and counseling;
  • Replacing outdated electrical wiring and sewer lines;
  • Improving accessibility to classrooms for persons with disabilities;
  • Improving energy and water efficiency through the campus; and/or
  • Upgrading college safety and security systems, such as fire alarms and cameras.
As required by law, the District must follow certain accountability provisions to oversee the funds collected and expended, including the establishment of an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and the annual completion of Performance and Financial Audits.

At the time of filing, the School District has provided the best estimate of the highest tax rate to be levied at approximately $18.85 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year.

Measure R was placed on the ballot by the District.

A “yes” vote on Measure R is a vote to authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $274,100,000 to be financed by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property in the District.

A “no” vote on Measure R is a vote against the issuance of the proposed bonds.  

BARBARA THOMPSON, County Counsel  
By: s/JOEL ELLINWOOD, Assistant County Counsel  
An election will be held in the Cabrillo Community College District (the “District”) on March 3, 2020 to authorize the sale of $274,100,000 in general obligation bonds. If such bonds are authorized and sold, principal and interest on the bonds will be payable only from the proceeds of tax levies made on the taxable property in the District. These estimates are based on projections derived from information obtained from official sources and other demonstrable factors. 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 following information is submitted in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the California Elections Code.
  1. The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of bond debt service, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.01885 per $100 ($18.85 per $100,000) of assessed valuation.
  2. The best estimate of the final fiscal year in which the tax required to fund this bond issue is anticipated to be collected is fiscal year 2052-53.
  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 $0.01885 per $100 ($18.85 per $100,000) of assessed valuation, which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year the bonds remain 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 $569 million.
Based upon the forgoing and projections of the District’s assessed valuation, the timing of the bond sales and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the needs of the District and other factors. Actual assessed valuations will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the assessment and the equalization process.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property in the District as shown on the County’s official tax rolls, not on the property’s market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.
Dated: December 3, 2019s/ Dr. BRADLEY D. OLIN
Assistant Superintendent/Vice President
Cabrillo Community College District
Have you ever taken classes at Cabrillo College – or know family or friends who have? Cabrillo has sixty years of success serving our community, whether your goal is job preparation, continuing education, English as a second language or transferring to a UC or another four-year college. Today, Cabrillo College’s future is at risk.

Drive along Soquel Avenue and you see the newest and nicest buildings on the Cabrillo campus – the result of past bond measures.

But take a campus tour and you’ll find that chronic state underfunding is negatively impacting the quality of education students receive.

Many buildings are inadequate to meet the needs of our students in a changing world. When a sewer line broke recently, it created a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of damage.

The State provides no funding to update aging buildings – and some of them remain untouched for 50 years. That’s why we need Measure R.

Measure R includes:
  • A new science building to meet student needs for critical high-demand gateway lab-based classes
  • Upgraded classrooms to give students training for 21st-century careers
  • Providing students the tools to transfer to four-year universities
  • Giving returning veterans the educational resources to prepare for the workforce
  • Training local firefighters and police at a new Watsonville public safety training center
  • Allowing people with disabilities greater access to college classrooms
  • Modernizing aging classrooms, upgrading technology and replacing outdated wiring and sewer lines
Cabrillo College has also refinanced prior bonds, saving the average homeowner $164 and taxpayers $29.5 million in total.

Measure R has the unified support of Cabrillo College’s trustees, faculty senate and labor unions.

State Senator Bill Monning, Assemblymember Mark Stone and Supervisors Bruce McPherson, Ryan Coonerty and John Leopold all support Measure R.

Call (831) 479-6302 to tour the Cabrillo College campus yourself to assess the need. See the expenditure plan at
Retired Superintendent of County Schools
Co-Founder, Valley Women’s Club
County of Santa Cruz
Latino Affairs Commission
Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust, Program Officer
We agree that Cabrillo College serves a purpose in our community, we DISAGREE with having to pay more and more additional taxes to support it. There are currently two bonds on our property tax bills for Cabrillo College, one lasting until 2039! This would be yet another 30+ year tax to all property owners, lasting until at least 2051.
  • Currently Cabrillo College has fewer than 12,000 students enrolled with less than 12% actually graduating in 2019. The student enrollment has been decreasing and is projected to continue to decrease with fewer new families moving into this area.
  • With the growing move to offer many online classes, actual and additional classrooms are becoming unnecessary.
  • Cabrillo College needs to do a better job of budgeting money to update and maintain the school’s infrastructure, just as we do with our homes and businesses. Why does Cabrillo keep coming back repeatedly to the property owners asking for more money?
  • This bond would raise housing costs for homeowners and renters alike, further reducing affordability in our community and hurting those in need the most.
  • Seniors are not exempt, causing them to fear for their financial future and sense of security.
  • Cabrillo College appears very top heavy in management, many making over $200,000 per year with benefits, depleting money from the school’s overall budget.
Why are property owners always the solution to fixing budget problems? It’s irresponsible to tax future generations.



s/ LENNOX SMITH, Small Business Owner-Aptos
s/ REBECCA (BECKY) STEINBRUNER, Active Citizen/Aptos Resident
s/ CARMEN BERNAL, Senior/Capitola
s/ CHERYLE BROWNFIELD, Accounting Manager
s/ KRISTEN COLLISHAW, Executive Director Nonprofit/Scotts Valley
We urge you to Vote No on Cabrillo College’s attempt at yet another money grab of $274,100,000, requiring payments of approx. $550,000,000 at the end of 30 years of economic uncertainty.
  • Measure R is yet another tax for 30 years. Cabrillo College currently has two bonds (taxes) that all commercial and residential property owners are still paying. One will tax you another 20 years (until 2039) and the other until 2024.
  • Measure R does not exempt Seniors, who are already struggling to stay in their homes. Landlords will pass this tax onto their renters, causing rents to go higher.
  • Cabrillo College enrollment numbers are flat and declining at the rate of about 20%. However, this bond would not build any on-campus housing to encourage or support Cabrillo College students or staff and thereby boost enrollment, as several other Community Colleges have done successfully in California.
  • This bond debt burden would spend $23 million to buy more land in Watsonville to create a new Fire and Police Training Facility. This is unnecessary and misguided when the main Cabrillo Campus enrollment is declining and facilities are not used. Further, most students who would graduate in this field will most likely leave the area either because the pay is better in other counties, or they cannot afford the high cost of housing here. You will be burdened with debt but the professionals trained will be elsewhere.
  • Why hasn’t Cabrillo College budgeted money for building maintenance? Where has all of the money provided by other bonds gone?
  • Can you and your family really afford more debt that will last for 30 years, with an uncertain economic future on the horizon? You have to live on a budget, why can’t Cabrillo College do so as well?


s/ KRIS A. KIRBY,Small Business Owner/Aptos
s/ CARMEN BERNAL,Senior/Capitola
s/ GLADYS JIMENEZ, Homeowner/Watsonville
s/ WILLIAM R. MENEFEE, Homeowner/Aptos
Cabrillo College is a jewel for our community, but aging classrooms and inadequate labs hold our students back. Lack of space and outdated technology force students to take longer to graduate and achieve their dreams. Measure R will fix that.

Many students earn their degree affordably by attending Cabrillo before transferring to a four-year university. Measure R will bring Cabrillo into the 21st century, maximizing access for students by allowing the college to upgrade classrooms and better prepare students for transfer degrees and modern careers.

Funds from Measure R will also allow us to develop a public safety training center in Watsonville so we won’t have to send our police and fire cadets outside our county to get the instruction they need. This will help local fire departments and law enforcement agencies save on critical training costs.

Always building on our successes, Cabrillo will make sure its educational bond dollars are spent on classrooms, labs and campus improvements. Meanwhile, Cabrillo partners with the County and Second Harvest Food Bank to provide ground-breaking emergency housing and food assistance to struggling students. And, student and staff housing will be considered by the college’s governing board using future public-private partnerships.

Cabrillo’s board has always been a responsible steward of tax dollars. Regular audits and citizens oversight ensure that bond funding is in line with ballot measures’ published spending plans. The college recently refinanced old bond debt, consolidating it into one line on next year’s tax bill – saving local taxpayers $29.5 million.

Vote yes on Measure R!

s/ EDWARD K. BANKS, Board Member
s/ DONNA ZIEL, Board Member
s/ MATTHEW E. WETSTEIN, President, Cabrillo College

The Board of Trustees of the Cabrillo Community College District, to be responsive to the needs of its community, evaluated Cabrillo College’s urgent and critical facility needs, and its capacity to provide local students and veterans with support and job training facilities, an affordable education and prepare them for success in college and careers. 21st Century job training, safety, enrollment, class size and class offerings, and information and computer technology infrastructure were each considered, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. In developing the scope of projects, the faculty, staff, students and community have prioritized local job training, particularly in business, technology, nursing and other high demand careers, as well as facilities available to support an affordable education, so that the most critical needs that will make Cabrillo College an effective place for learning and college transfer, would be addressed. Based on Board, faculty, student and community input, it was concluded that if these facility needs were not addressed now, the Cabrillo College would be unable to remain competitive in preparing students for jobs in high demand industries and university transfer. In approving the Projects, the Board of Trustees determines that Cabrillo College MUST:
  1. Invest in providing local students with high-quality, affordable education and job training; and
  2. Provide upgraded classrooms and technology to prepare students and workers for JOBS and CAREERS; and
  3. Prepare students to transfer to four year colleges and universities; and
  4. Update science, technology, engineering, and math labs; and
  5. Ensure that every penny from this measure benefits Cabrillo College, and that no funds can be taken by the State.
    The types of projects which are authorized to be funded at Cabrillo College campuses include:
Academic Facility and Technology Upgrade Projects
To Help Students Transfer to Four-Year
Universities or be Trained For 21st Century Jobs and Careers

Goals and Purposes: Students can earn their degrees at a lower cost by taking core classes at Cabrillo College and then transfer to a four-year university. This measure will ensure Cabrillo College can continue to provide a high-quality education in foundational subjects.

Cabrillo College students are among the State’s highest performers in nursing and other healthcare training programs. This measure will provide up-to-date technology needed to enhance these programs so that students continue to succeed.

This measure will allow Cabrillo College to update career training facilities in business, science, technology, engineering, math and healthcare and ensure that our students are ready for 21st-century jobs.

  • Upgrade facilities which prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
  • Upgrade career and vocational classrooms to better prepare students and workers for good-paying jobs and careers.
  • Improve educational resources for returning veterans.
  • Update science, technology, engineering, and math labs.
  • Upgrade classroom technology for 21st-century learning.
  • Provide facilities for student support services, such as tutoring and career counseling.

    Basic Repair Projects Needed To Make
    Cabrillo College a Safe Place for Learning

    Goals and Purposes: Because the U.C. and Cal State systems have become so expensive and are hard to get into, many students rely on community colleges, like Cabrillo. This measure will allow us to invest in Cabrillo College so it can provide students with high-quality, affordable education, and job training.

    Many of Cabrillo’s classrooms and buildings have not been updated in over 50 years. This measure will address urgent and basic repairs to make our local college clean and safe for learning.

    • Replace outdated electrical wiring and sewer lines.
    • Improve access to college classrooms for people with disabilities.
    • Improve energy and water efficiency throughout the entire campus.
    • Upgrade college safety and security, including fire alarms and cameras.

        In addition to the listed types of projects stated above, the types of authorized projects of the measure also include the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including interim funding incurred to advance fund projects and the refinancing of outstanding lease obligations, payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, fiscal reporting, facility studies, assessment reviews, facility master plan preparation and updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring), design and construction documentation, and temporary housing of dislocated college activities caused by construction projects. In addition to the projects listed above, repair, renovation and construction projects may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: renovate student and staff restrooms; replace aging electrical and plumbing systems; repair and replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; acquire vehicles; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies including the installation of solar panels or arrays; repair and replace worn-out and leaky roofs, windows, walls doors and drinking fountains; replace or remove outdated buildings and classrooms and construct new classrooms and support buildings; provide training facilities in Aptos and Watsonville for public safety jobs; upgrade wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrade facilities to meet current environmental sustainability, State compliance standards and earthquake safety; repair and replace fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; upgrade, resurface, replacing or relocate hard courts, fields, turf and irrigation systems; replace turf on athletic fields; upgrade classrooms; build new or renovate existing facilities such as a science building, career and technical education building, child development center, student union and support services buildings, [bookstore, parking structures; build new sports fields, gymnasiums and other athletic facilities; upgrade, resurface and recondition existing parking lots, roads and sidewalks; improve vehicular access and circulation; improve drop-off zones; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; replace water lines and valves and sewer lines; construct, upgrade, acquire or expand, multi-use classrooms and labs, expand and improve outdoor learning spaces, swing space, student resources center, student library, outdoor classrooms/performance space, interdisciplinary community center, fine/theater and visual arts, music and performing arts facilities, field lights, bleachers, press box, track replacement, collaborative office suites and administrative offices, purchasing and maintenance facility, and public safety facilities; improve water conservation and energy efficiency; acquire land; replace existing window systems with energy-efficient systems to reduce costs; improve insulation, weatherproofing and roofs to reduce costs; improve access for the disabled; install and repair fire safety equipment, including alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency lighting, and fire safety doors; replace broken concrete walks, deteriorated asphalt; replace/upgrade existing signage to reflect better wayfinding, install electronic signage, bells and clocks; demolition of unsafe facilities; install or upgrade new security systems, such as security (surveillance) cameras, burglar alarms, handrails, outdoor lighting, safety bollards, fencing, landscaping, gates, gateways and classroom key cards/door locks; replace sewer lines and improve drainage systems to prevent flooding; upgrade roadway and pedestrian paths and pathways and bridges for improved safety and access for emergency vehicles, site parking, utilities and grounds. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, upgrading classroom technology, expanding wireless internet access throughout all Cabrillo College campuses, acquire portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, information systems, printers, digital white boards, upgrade voice-over-IP, communication systems, audio/visual and telecommunications systems, call manager and network security/firewall, Internet connectivity, wireless systems, technology infrastructure, and other miscellaneous software and IT and instructional equipment, DATA storage, fiber/copper infrastructure, phones, identity access cards and the construction and installation of a data center in the cloud for District’s enterprise systems, such as resource planning, websites, domain name systems, cloud applications and information security.

        The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program/project management, staff training expenses, a customary contingency, and costs associated with the Total Cost of Ownership of facilities and equipment. The allocation of bond proceeds may be affected by the final costs of each project. Some projects may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District’s control. The final cost of each project or decisions will be determined as plans and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final budgets of projects or on the then current priorities of the District, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be undertaken. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach In addition to the listed types of projects stated above, the types of authorized projects of the measure also include the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational would be more cost-effective in creating more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary on-site and off-site improvements, site preparation and restoration, including the acquisition and installation of temporary facilities (swing space) may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, widening streets, installation of traffic signals, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to bond projects. Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the types of projects and purposes identified herein. The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code Section 53410.
    * * *
     This bond measure has strict accountability requirements including:
  • All money will benefit Cabrillo College campuses and CANNOT BE TAKEN BY THE STATE.
  • NO MONEY can be used for ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES or pensions.
  • Require CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT and yearly reports to the community to keep the College accountable for how the funds are spent.
  • NO ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher, faculty and college administrator salaries, pensions and other operating expenses.


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