Measure LCF Passes With 71% Approval

With overwhelming support, Measure LCF passed Tuesday. According to preliminary figures, the $149 million general obligation bond garnered approval from 71.33% of voters; it needed at least 55% to pass.
“We’re honestly blown away by the support,” said Josh Epstein, co-chair of the Yes on LCF campaign, adding that turnout in La Cañada Flintridge eclipsed totals reported elsewhere in L.A. County.
Of the approximately 13,000 registered voters in LCUSD boundaries, 3,341 — about a quarter of them — cast a ballot on the bond measure, according to preliminary results posted by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder. As of Wednesday, 2,383 votes were tallied in favor of Measure LCF.
“It tells me people care about the schools,” Epstein said. “This wasn’t an election that was going to generate a lot of news, it wasn’t a big political election, but people still showed up because they think these kinds of things are important.”
The funds generated by the bond are to be used to repair and modernize classroom and school facilities, including fixing roofs and plumbing, improving student safety, and supporting advances in technology and curriculum.
“All these projects are so important and needed, and really, this was the only way they were going to get funded,” said Stephanie Fossan, co-chair of Yes of LCF. “We’re really looking forward to seeing how it all comes to fruition.”
In addition to expressing concerns about the bond’s amount, critics said they felt its objectives were too vague.
Supporters said they were purposely broad, which LCUSD Governing Board president Dan Jeffries, who won re-election Tuesday, said he explained to concerned voters during the past few weeks.
“I tried to explain the background, that we have to have flexibility because we don’t have the final designs for anything yet,” he said. “And people understood that.”
Jeffries said he looks forward to getting to work on defining the projects and developing more concrete plans at each campus.
“And we need to get active in putting together a bond oversight committee,” Jeffries said. “We want to get the most value for our dollar, so we’ll be assembling that group of people to help us oversee the project and make sure the bond money is spent wisely.”
Fossan said that committee will present another way for interested community members to stay involved. Already, “dozens and dozens” of them chipped in on phone banks and door-to-door campaigning for the measure, including all day Tuesday with one last get-out-the-vote push.
“We made hundreds and hundreds of phone calls and knocked on hundreds of doors over the last several months,” she said. “I’m just so grateful that all those people were willing to put in their time and effort.”
Part of their pitch, Epstein said, was to explain to voters that passage of the bond would extend but not increase their current tax rate of about $60 per $100,000 of assessed value of taxable real property within the district.
“Not for one second do we think people in La Cañada are not smart enough to understand they’re going to be paying for this,” Epstein said. “We weren’t trying to hide it, but telling someone what your property tax is today is the same as it’s going to be next year is a selling point because people like what they know.”
Jeffries said he was pleased by the community’s support of the bond, but he wasn’t shocked.
“From walking the community over the past couple of months, it’s clear how much our community cares about our schools,” he said. “And it’s not just the people you’d expect. It’s not just the PTAs and the people who have kids. It’s so many people who are retired, or whose kids have gone through. The fact that they’re willing to tax themselves to improve the schools is phenomenal. I’m really impressed with our community.”

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