Voters across Riverside County generally showed no inclination for property tax increases connected to school bond measures and multimillion-dollar park improvements, but backed measures on term limits and changes in mayoral protocols, according to results released Wednesday from Tuesday’s primary.
The Riverside Community College District’s Measure A appeared bound for defeat, though only one-fifth of votes had been tabulated as of Wednesday morning.
The measure seeks approval of a bond issuance potentially totaling $715 million — the largest on the ballot countywide. The sale would have to be backed by property tax increases of about $20 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually, impacting all property owners within the district, according to election materials.
Officials said the funds would pay for upgrades to security systems at Riverside City College, Moreno Valley College and Norco College. The borrowed money would also fund roof replacements, modifications to electrical systems and the expansion of job training facilities, officials said.
Votes against Measure B in the Beaumont Unified School District were double the number of affirmative ballots, about one-third of which had been tallied. The measure is a proposed $98 million bond issue for the construction of STEM-focused classrooms, the replacement of roofs and energy improvements at 13 facilities. The taxes required to support the bond sale would amount to about $50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually on properties in the district.
Measure C in the Val Verde Unified School District was fairing better, flirting with the 55% approval needed for passage, with 15% of ballots counted. The proposal calls for the potential sale of $192 million in IOUs for the modernization of classrooms and labs. The annual property tax increment to support the measure would be roughly $115 per homeowner, according to the district.
In the Jurupa Unified School District, Measure E was not mustering support for passage. Returns showed that with just over one-fifth of votes counted, the no votes were solidly ahead of the affirmative ones. The proposal would permit the sale of $192 million in bonds for classroom renovations, new safety and security systems and the potential acquisition of new sites for facilities, according to the district. The tax burden on property owners within the district would be about $42 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, officials said.
Measure G in the Coachella Valley Unified School District was in the toss-up category. It seeks authorization for a $230 million bond sale to fund construction of an elementary school in North Shore, as well as pay for repairs to rain gutters, replace ceilings and floors and totally refurbish Coachella Valley High School.
The tab would add about $56 per $100,000 in assessed valuation for property owners until the bonds are amortized, which could take 30 years.
The school bond measures all require 55% voter approval.
The Jurupa Area Recreation & Park District’s Measure H was on the road to rejection. With one-fifth of votes tabulated, the `no’ votes were ahead comfortably, making it highly unlikely the two-thirds needed for approval would materialize. The measure seeks an $860 million bond sale so more money can be allocated to “improve water and energy efficiency and plan more family-friendly activities like concerts and movies in the park,” according to election materials. The cost to impacted property owners would be about $30 per parcel annually.
The city of Indian Wells had two measures before voters — I and J — and each requires a simple majority for ratification.
With about 50% of votes processed, Measure I was on a victory glide, with nearly double the number of votes in favor compared to against. The proposal would alter City Council protocols so that any member designated mayor pro tem — essentially the second-highest ranking position behind mayor — would have to be active for at least a year before receiving the appointment.
Measure J was also garnering sizable support. It would impose lifetime term limits, barring any resident from serving more than two consecutive four-year terms. The existing term limits regulatory scheme specifies that no one can serve more than two back-to-back terms. However, if an individual takes a two-year hiatus, he or she can run for council again.
Supporters wrote in campaign literature that traffic, public safety and financial issues require a fresh look by new members from time to time.
“Indian Wells is blessed with an abundance of talent that we can draw on to craft solutions to these important issues,” according to campaign statement.
Opponents wrote that “government should not control in any way the public’s right to choose who represents them.”