SoCo School Bonds – Are District Trustees Withholding Information from Voters?

Are Sonoma County School District Trustees hiding from voters information about prior bonds while campaigning for new ones?  Five school districts (Healdsburg, Guerneville, Sebastopol, Old Adobe and Wright) are seeking approval of school bonds and a sixth (Rohnert Park-Cotati) is seeking a parcel tax on the June 5 ballot.  Yet in reading through the election materials supplied to the County Registrar of Voters Office by these districts, one finds no reference to existing bonds, interest rates or other financing costs, factors voters should know while considering the approval of additional debt.  Further, no reference is made to the payoff period for these bonds (other than to say they will be paid off in periods up to forty years, or in the case of Healdsburg, up to 25 or 40 years).  What consumer would agree to a mortgage not knowing these crucial elements?  Why are voters being kept in the dark?

The issue came to light while reading of a case in the East Bay.  The Mt. Diablo School District Trustees (Contra Costa County) while seeking approval for a new school bond are misleading voters about the existence of prior bonds.  The Trustees have failed to disclose in voter pamphlets and other election materials the existence of prior bonds or repayment plans for those bonds.  The idea seems to be that voters are more likely to approve a bond measure if they don’t know about existing bonds already in the queue.  Is the same thing going on here in Sonoma County?  To read about the situation in Contra Costa, click here.

Dan Drummond, Executive Director

Comments are closed.