Hayward school district’s spring special election will cost $600k

Hayward school trustees Annette Walker and
Lisa Brunner during a press conference last year.
Both voted to put a $88 parcel tax measure 
on the special election ballot this May.

A Hayward school parcel tax that has generated more than $11 million since its passage four years ago is due to sunset at the end of June. But the cost of renewing the parcel tax will be costly in itself.

Last month, the Hayward school board narrowly voted to approve a special election set for May 2 that will cost taxpayers $600,000 to administer. The election will by vote-by-mail only with ballots arriving in mailbox sometime around the beginning of April.

Local jurisdiction do not typically wait for renewing revenue ballot measures so close to their sunset date. But a number of high-profile tax measures already on the November 2016 ballot gave school district officials pause over the possibility voters would feel overly burdened, said Hayward school trustee Luis Reynoso. In addition, Hayward voters were asked to renew the city’s Utilities Users Tax in June 2016.

Reynoso also believes the issue was put on the back burner last year as the school district grappled administrative upheaval after a series of controversies leading to the naming of an interim superintendent.

Meanwhile, voters in Berkeley are also participating in a rare special election this year. A similar vote-by-mail ballot is already in the mailboxes of Berkeley residents in advance of their March 7 special election to elect a replacement on the City Council for the seat vacated by new Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

Berkeley’s district election, however, contains a much smaller pool of voters than the city-wide Hayward election and the cost the Alameda County Registrar of Voters is charging to administer the elction is less expensive, estimated to be $158,500.

The measure before Hayward voter in May asks for approval of an $88 annual parcel tax for the next 12 years, and is an increase in both the amount and years before its sunset in 2029.

Measure G, which Hayward voters passed in 2012 with 71 percent support, helped the school district add more classrooms, improved funding for library services and retained teachers, said Luci Rogers, the school district’s chief financial officer.

Among school board members, there was little disagreement over seeking a renewal of Measure G, only differing opinions on cost and length of the parcel tax. Hayward school trustees Luis Reynoso and William McGee advocated for simply renewing the existing parcel tax for another five years at the $58 annual rate. When that failed, a motion in favor of the staff recommendation was approved, 3-2.

In recent years, Hayward voters have been one of the most generous in the entire East Bay when it comes to taxing themselves, both at the city and school district levels. Polling received by the school district in early January bolstered this reputation with 75 percent of registered voters surveyed backing the parcel tax renewal. A two-thirds majority is needed to passage.

However,despite a consistent willingness to support tax measures in Hayward, an off-year special election poses some risks due to the inherent and historical lack of voter participation.

Categories: Alameda County registrar, Berkeley City Council, hayward school board, hayward school district, Jesse Arreguin, Luis Reynoso, Measure G, parcel tax, schools, special election, vote by mail, William McGee

5 replies

  1. Wasn't the Utility User Tax was renewed 10 years before it was due to sunset? Remember that when city council says that they love Hayward Kids and want the best for them. Also the City of Hayward wants to pocket check residents again to pay for a new police station.


  2. By MW:

    In regard to the above post of 6:27, was the above supposed to in any way be a “temporary” tax?



  3. Hayward schools do on overall poor job of educating children, at least if state rankings are to be believed. Is more money the answer? I don't think so. I say don't pass the tax and start educating children at home with a overseeing teacher.


  4. I’m will not vote for any more taxes in Hayward, especially for the Hayward School District. This city has never been able to balance the budget and over spends 16.5 million annually. I did vote for the bond to fix the schools, but at the last school board meeting, the crooked contractors, with contingencies have now raised the school projects $25 million more. They can’t finish the projects they started. Too BAD!!!!!!
    Did those contractors low ball the bid, to get the job, and put something in the contract to raise the price by millions more then what they bided on? Is this legal?
    We are being ripped off.
    I would fire the contractors. Audit the school board’s money; investigate if Stan Dobbs hired these corrupt contractors and if Dobbs is getting a kickback on the contingencies’ debit. We are being played like a song. The students are failing math and obviously the board can’t count either. They need to work within their budget. Businesses can’t run in the red. The public should not be punished with more taxes because of the bad business dealings the Board made.
    Vouchers are the answer and get rid of the teacher’s union. Private schools do better than the public schools. The poor students will have an advantage to go to a better school with a voucher. Failing schools will close. We need teacher accountability and No Tenure.


  5. Fire the $2,000 an hour teacher from San Diego, who works 6 hours a month teaching some teens to register on line for college. It would be cheaper to hire a full time counselor and give the rest of the money for Special ED classes. Ask Dr. Reynoso , “ How much College Bound spent on lunches in the last two years for their three hour class, on Saturdays.” The district could have used that money for special ED or funded equipment for a real nice science lab. In real life, a three hour worker gets a ten minute break. No lunch. College isn’t going to give students a free lunch. Why doesn’t the school district give every graduating senior a $10 voucher for lunch, while they are registering on line for college? Make it fare for all. Why can’t they hire someone locally to help with registering on line? How much is that teachers plane fare to fly up here? That teacher also flew here many times, on a School Board Wednesday, to support Dobbs. Did our tax dollars pay for her to fly here? She supported a Dobbs who was fired for violence, making illegal contracts and cheating on his wife and hitting his lover. She helped brainwash the kids to support Dobbs, why??? Maybe the board will give her another thousand dollar and hour rise next year? College Bound is the greatest waste of money. Graduating students should be capable of registering online, if the schools taught them correctly. What is the problem and how many counselors does each school have? They need better programs for the graduating students to apply for college or trade school, with local instructors.
    The high schools all over the nation let their councilors give classes and have workshops, to help grads write their essays for applying. Why is Hayward so special to spend outrageous amounts of money, for a few students, and a teacher, who needs a plane to go to work? That is not GREEN or realistic.
    Why would you want to be taxed anymore for the money to go into the general fund and used for other things? They can’t maintain the schools and they work with 500 million a year.


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