Although the November elections steal all the attention, voters in Aptos will go to the polls tomorrow, Tuesday June 7th, to vote on a number of issues of considerable importance. The June ballot is also called the primary election, when voters, for example, make their party’s choice for President, but there are a number of other important measures on the ballot tomorrow as well.
There are two ballot measures that Aptos voters are being asked to weigh in on: Measure Q, and Measure S. Measure Q requires 55% of voters to approve it in order to pass, and Measure S requires a 2/3rd Yes vote to pass.
Measure Q is the more controversial of the two. It seeks to raise $310,000,000 through the sale of bonds, to be repaid through a special assessment on property taxes. The amount of tax would be $23 per $100,000 of assessed value, per year (that’s $184/year for a home with an $800K assessed value). The funds are to be used:
To repair/upgrade classrooms to better prepare students, veterans, workers for good jobs/university transfer by upgrading aging classrooms, technology/science labs, repairing outdated, deteriorating wiring, sewer lines, improving campus safety, handicapped accessibility, increasing water conservation/energy efficiency, and acquiring, constructing, repairing sites/facilities/equipment, shall Cabrillo Community College District issue $310,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, no funding administrators’ salaries/pensions, requiring independent audits, and all funds used locally.
That all sounds great, however, there is significant opposition to this ballot measure. You may have seen the “No on Q” signs sprouting up. Opponents – led by Ray Kaupp, a Cabrillo College professor – have built a very nice web page explaining their opposition to the measure.
Measure S appears to have considerable support in the community. In fact, on the county’s web site which details the measures on the June ballot, there were no arguments made against Measure S. Measure S will authorize the sale of bonds totaling $87,000,000 which will be repaid through a $49.50 tax assessment per single-family and multi-family residential parcel and $86 per agricultural, commercial, or recreational parcel. The funds are to be used for:
Special Tax proceeds are to be used for purposes of and relating to modernizing, upgrading and repairing local libraries in County of Santa Cruz, including but not limited to Aptos, Boulder Creek, Branciforte, Capitola, Downtown Santa Cruz, Felton, Garfield Park, La Selva Beach, Live Oak and Scotts Valley, but excluding library facilities in the City of Watsonville. This shall include, without limitation, new construction, building renovations and service model upgrades such as separate areas for teens and children, flexible spaces and/or meeting rooms and study rooms, flooring, painting, shelving, furniture, technology, and power/data to support other upgrades.
Aptos voters will also be asked to choose who they would like to be the 2nd District County Supervisor. We’re given three choices: incumbent Zach Friend, owner of the SeaBreeze Tavern Rich McInnis, and Becky Steinbruner, resident who is well-known as leading the opposition to the Aptos Village redevelopment project.
Although he is not without his detractors, Supervisor Friend enjoys deep and wide support from the community, and is expected to win in a landslide.
While voting is easy, it is of course easier not to vote. Please don’t succumb to laziness – GET OUT AND VOTE! Your vote definitely matters, and the choices which we will be presented with will affect our quality of life in many ways for decades to come.