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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

Capistrano Unified School District
Measure H - 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


9,741 votes yes (44.2%)

12,318 votes no (55.8%)

100% of precincts reporting (30/30).

22,059 ballots counted.

To repair aging classrooms and facilities at schools serving San Clemente and Capistrano Beach, fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing/electrical systems, and upgrade/construct classrooms/labs, and technology to support college and career readiness in math, science, technology, arts, and skilled trades, shall the Capistrano Unified School District (SFID #2) measure authorizing $120,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying approximately 3¢ per $100 assessed value ($7 million annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, with citizen oversight and all money staying local?

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 School District to issue and sell $120,000,000 in general obligation bonds.


NO vote means

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the School District to issue and sell $120,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board (“Board”) of the Capistrano Unified School District (“School District”) for voters ithin School Facilities Improvement District No. 2 (SFID No. 2). This measure, if approved by 55 percent of the votes cast on the measure within SFID No. 2, will authorize the School District to issue and sell $120,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The sale of these bonds by the School District represents a debt of the School District.

Voter approval of this measure will also authorize an annual tax to be levied on taxable property within SFID No. 2 to generate revenue to pay principal and interest on the bonds. The School District’s stated best estimate in its tax rate statement of the average annual tax rate required to fund the bonds is $34 per $100,000 of assessed value. The School District’s best estimate of the highest annual tax rate required to fund the bonds is $34 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure may only be used by the School 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 within SFID No. 2. A complete list of the projects and allowed expenditures, which bonds proceeds may be spent on, is included in the full text of the measure. The Board has certified that it has evaluated student health and safety, class size, and information technology needs in developing its project list.

The California Constitution provides that proceeds of school district bond measures cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other operating expenses and requires independent annual performance and financial audits. State law requires the establishment of an independent citizens oversight committee for ensuring that bond proceeds are expended as specified in the measure and as provided by law.

Approval of Measure H does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure H will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure H. The School District’s proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.

A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the School District to issue and sell $120,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the School District to issue and sell $120,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

Tax rate

District (“District”) on March 3, 2020 to authorize the sale of up to $120,000,000 in bonds to finance facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in multiple series. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property located within SFID No. 2. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 to 9404, inclusive, of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate from official sources of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors, is estimated to be $0.03 per $100 ($34.00 per $100,000). The final fiscal year in which the tax is anticipated to be collected is 2048-49.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on assessed valuations available at the time of filing this statement or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors, is estimated to be $0.03 per $100 ($34.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation, which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding.

3. 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 $205,000,000, considering the assumptions set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) above. This estimate results in a debt service ratio of 1.7 to 1, which is less than the maximum ratio of 4.0 to 1 allowed by Education Code Section 15144.1.

If the bonds are approved, the duration of the tax levy shall continue until final payment of all bonds issued pursuant to the authorization. The tax shall be levied in an amount each year sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on all outstanding bonds issued pursuant to the authorization. Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the Orange County 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. 

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that while the foregoing information includes conservative projections and estimates of assessed value, market interest rates, and the timing and amount of bonds issued in the future, the District will only issue bonds if the tax rate is at or below the maximum set forth above. The County Assessor is responsible for determining assessed value, the County Auditor-Controller is responsible for setting tax rates, and the County Treasurer-Tax Collector is responsible for the collection of taxes. The actual tax rates may vary over time based on changes in assessed value, and actual debt service may vary based on market interest rates and the timing of when the bonds are issued. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on bond market conditions at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within SFID No. 2 as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process. The District is responsible for the timing and amount of bonds to be issued, which the District will only undertake if tax rates meet the parameters set forth in the above tax rate statement.

s/ Clark Hampton

Deputy Superintendent

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on H to keep San Clemente and Capistrano Beach schools among the best in California.

Our schools were built more than 50 years ago and need to be modernized. To succeed in college and careers, graduates need a solid background in science, math, engineering and technology. Students who don’t go to college need modern career and technical training to compete.

Growing needs for safety in our schools is critical to keep children safe in an everchanging world. Additionally, aging school buildings don’t meet earthquake safety standards and must be retrofit or replaced.

Voting Yes on H addresses essential upgrades and modernization of facilities and technologies as well as repairs to ensure our schools continue to serve our community for decades to come, including:

• Providing upgraded classrooms, modern science labs, engineering labs, and career training facilities to prepare students for college and careers in healthcare, biomedical, computer science and robotics

• Replacing outdated facilities and equipment to meet academic and safety standards

• Repairing and replacing damaged roofs, support beams, plumbing and electrical systems as needed

Measure H funds will be used to improve San Clemente and Capistrano Beach schools only. These funds can’t be taken by the State or diverted to other schools. Yes on_ helps our schools qualify for millions in State matching money that will otherwise go to other school communities.

Measure H requires strict accountability including a Citizens’ Oversight Committee and independent audits to ensure funds are spent properly. No money can be used for teacher or administrator salaries or pensions.

Supporting local schools is a wise investment. New modern facilities and upgrades increase home values and quality of life in our community. Please join parents, teachers, seniors, elected leaders and business leaders and vote Yes on H for San Clemente and Capistrano Beach schools.


s/ Joe Anderson

Former City Council Member & Mayor

36 year resident

s/ Chris Carter

Principal San Clemente High School

s/ Jim Holloway

Former San Clemente Community Development Director and

32 yr. resident

s/ Toni Nelson

Retired CPA/Finance Executive

s/ Jim R Sigafoos

Retired Business Executive

42 year San Clemente Resident

Arguments AGAINST

Orange County residents already are among the highest taxed in America - Measure H seeks to increase our taxes by $120 Million ($205 Million with Interest)! We urge you to oppose this bond and to VOTE NO ON MEASURE H! 

Here’s why:

A bond works like a government credit card -- paying off that credit card requires the government to raise your taxes. The increased taxes we’d be forced to pay would be IN ADDITION TO THE OTHER TAXES RESIDENTS ALREADY PAY, including:

• Property Taxes

• Existing CUSD School Bond Taxes

• State School Bond Taxes

• Income Taxes

• Sales Taxes

• Utility Taxes

• Gasoline Taxes

Aren’t we taxed enough already? What would this property tax increase likely mean for you?

• Property Owners: will be forced to pay increased property taxes.

• Many Renters: will suffer rent increases as landlords pass on the costs of higher taxes.

• Customers: will see higher prices as businesses pass on the cost of higher taxes.

San Clemente and Capo Beach residents can’t afford a $120,000,000.00 tax hike ($205,000,000.00 with interest)!

Just eight years ago, California voters approved Proposition 30’s “temporary taxes”. Proposition 30 raised income taxes and sales taxes. Then via Proposition 55 in 2016, most of those same “temporary taxes” were extended twelve years! Both times the teachers’ unions promised “billions in funding for our schools”.

Measure H would now raise your property taxes. What tax will they raise next?

NO MORE TAXES -- tell education bureaucrats they need to live within their means (instead of relying upon over-burdened taxpayers to pay ever increasing taxes)!


s/ Dawn Ann Urbanek

Concerned Citizen

s/ Wendy Shrove

Concerned Citizen

Replies to Arguments FOR

It is the responsibility of the CUSD Board of Trustees to ensure that students and staff have facilities that are safe and well maintained. Trustees are responsible for maintaining and repairing facilities within the annual operating budget.

Much of what is proposed in the bond language are repairs to bring CUSD facilities up to minimum health and safety standards. As taxpayers, we rely on the Board of Trustees to be our voice to the State of California. We rely on the Trustees to make use of any and all tools at their disposal to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

For instance, the Williams Settlement requires that schools be kept in “good repair.” It provides a mechanism that school districts can use to obtain the necessary funds to ensure that all students have access to school facilities that are clean, safe, and functional (working plumbing, roofs that do not leak and HVAC systems that are operational).

In our opinion, taxpayers should not be required to come in “after the fact” and finance repairs in the form of a long term (30 years) bond measure.

It is not good governance to finance what should have been short term repairs into long term debt.

s/ Dawn Urbanek

Concerned Citizen

s/ Wendy Shrove

Concerned Citizen

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Opponents ignore these indisputable facts:

• San Clemente and Capistrano Beach schools were built decades ago and need urgent repairs and modernization to keep students safe and to support high quality education with competitive facilities.

• No other funding exists to complete all necessary vital improvements. Without Measure H, our schools will continue to deteriorate. Waiting only makes repairs and upgrades more expensive.

• Quality schools promote strong property values, but our school facilities are falling behind. Independent research shows sound investments in local schools result in measurable increases in property values.

• Measure H helps efforts to capture our fair share of state matching funds. The State has distributed billions to schools in other communities, but we missed out because we did not have required local matching funds. Without Measure H, we will keep losing our fair share.

• Measure H is estimated to cost a homeowner with the average assessed value just $11 per month. We believe this wise investment will keep our schools and neighborhoods attractive to families, thereby increasing home values by much more than the cost.

• By law, no Measure H funds can be taken away by the State or diverted to schools outside San Clemente and Capistrano Beach. No funds can be used for administrator or teacher salaries or pensions.

Support our kids and community. Vote Yes on H to keep our schools and homes among the most desirable in Orange County.


s/ Mark McGuire

Attorney, SCHS Graduate, Triton

s/ Steve Litchfield

Chief Financial Officer/Technology Executive; 18-year resident

s/ Heather Arnwine

PTA President, San Clemente High School; SCHS Graduate; Triton

s/Mike Dollar

Retired Fire Captain, SCHS Graduate, Triton

s/ David Hatoff

M.D., 34-year resident

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