By Josh Epstein and Stephanie Fossan
Special to the Outlook
On Nov. 7 you will have the opportunity to vote yes for Measure LCF. This ballot measure will provide funds to upgrade and modernize classrooms and infrastructure at each of the LCUSD campuses — Palm Crest, Paradise Canyon and La Cañada Elementary Schools, as well as La Cañada High School and 7/8. We believe this measure represents an incredible opportunity for the future of our district and are pleased that it is supported by a broad coalition of La Cañada parents, business leaders, seniors and civic leaders.
As co-chairs of the all-volunteer “Yes on LCF” committee, we have each talked to hundreds of voters in our community about Measure LCF. With every one of these conversations, we have learned a little more about the kinds of questions voters have about the measure and we would like to take this opportunity to share important facts regarding Measure LCF that our community should know:
• Measure LCF is a bond measure that will raise $149 million over the next 30 years to be spent on voter-approved capital improvements throughout our district.
• Measure LCF funds are required to be used locally — no money, by law, can be taken by the state.
• The tax rates you pay today will not change if Measure LCF passes. (As old bonds are paid off, new ones will be issued such that our tax rates remain flat.)
• The money cannot be used to pay administrators or for annual program expenses.
• The projects to be funded by Measure LCF were outlined during a yearlong Master Facilities Planning process with participation from more than 350 community members. These projects are listed on pages 17-18 of the Sample Ballot voters received in the mail. Some of the projects to be tackled that we’re personally most excited about, include:
• Improving campus security and seismic safety, an issue that cannot be overlooked;
• Replacing old deteriorating portables with new permanent classrooms;
• Overhauling and modernizing the arts and athletic facilities at LCHS;
• And even the essential but less glamorous work of fixing plumbing and roofing issues at each of the sites.
Through conservative management of annual funds, LCUSD has been able to maintain our schools and complete selected facility improvements. But there is simply not enough money in the annual budget provided by the state to cover all the important and needed upgrades at each of our school sites.
One of our campaign slogans is “Great towns have great schools!” This is especially true here in La Cañada where the schools are a big draw for new families. If we fail to keep our schools in good shape, that appeal could diminish, reducing our property values.
We feel that Measure LCF is a smart and responsible way to upgrade aging school facilities, preserve high quality education and protect our local property values — all without raising our tax rates beyond what we already pay. We hope to earn your Yes vote on Nov. 7.
Epstein and Fossan are co-chairs for Citizens for Modernizing La Cañada Schools – Yes on LCF.