Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 5, 2020

Nail biter (but seriously, don’t bite your nails)

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

I know I didn’t write about the parcel tax campaign at all which is very unusual since I’m typically a fairly big parcel tax booster. Personally, it seemed as though the campaign was taking a rather low key approach to campaigning which signaled to me that maybe they knew something I didn’t know, that quietly turning out supporters would be better than a loud and noisy campaign that would signal to the opposition to vote against the measure.

Given that there was no formal opposition to the parcel tax this should have been — well not easy because parcel tax campaign are never easy — but definitely less complicated then years when someone has waged an opposition campaign.

There were a bunch of other parcel taxes up for votes on Tuesday night, based on the numbers from 2:00 AM on election morning Albany is sailing to victory with 80.29%, Berkeley with 81.83%, and Emery(ville) at 71.12%.

In the column of not doing that well is Castro Valley at 60.13% and Fremont at 52.36%.

We’ll see if Alameda ends up with Albany, Berkeley, and Emery or with Castro Valley and Fremont.  Here are the numbers from 2:00 AM on Wednesday’s drop:

2am

But the trajectory looks good given the 12 AM drop:

Alameda elections guru Mike McMahon gives Measure A a 60% chance of passing.

 

63 Comments »

  1. The number of ballots to be counted will be key … I have not done the math work, and trust Mike’s #. If there are less than 8,000 it will be very tough to get there … if there are above 12,000 I’d guess Mike would increase his % probability of passage.
    An impossible suggestion for those working hard on it … RELAX, do something to divert your attention and wait for Friday evenings numbers to look.
    I never could do it, but in hindsight wish I had been able.

    Comment by Ron Mooney — March 5, 2020 @ 7:23 am

    • p.s. The one thing I miss so of election campaigns is Barbara Kahn , both when we agreed and disagreed … great lady …

      Comment by Ron Mooney — March 5, 2020 @ 7:25 am

    • Great advice, difficult to relax!

      Comment by Margie — March 5, 2020 @ 4:36 pm

  2. Total rip off. I know a A math teacher at Encinal who makes $90,000 a year and that’s a “School” year and brags about it.

    Comment by Jack — March 5, 2020 @ 7:54 am

    • How long has that math teacher been teaching? Nobody makes $90K starting out, or for their first decade or two even. Anyhow, good for them. Teaching is a hard job.

      Comment by Kristen — March 5, 2020 @ 8:37 am

    • Jr software engineers get on average $90K with a few weeks of bootcamp. What’s your point?

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 5, 2020 @ 8:45 am

    • Also that teacher probably has to pay all his medical benefits from his salary. My sister who teaches in Sydney earns well over $100,000 per year and she does NOT have to pay any health care costs or money into retirement. She gets over 3 months off per year too and NO ONE in Australia ever is resentful of a teacher (public school teacher BTW) earning this salary.

      Comment by saraholaes1 — March 5, 2020 @ 11:14 am

      • Average base salary
        $55,076
        per year
        The average salary for a high school teacher is $55,076 per year in Alameda, CA.

        15% higherthan national average
        Most common benefits

        image for Food Provided
        Food provided
        image for Retirement Plan
        Retirement plan
        image for Health Insurance
        Health insurance
        image for Flexible Spending Account
        Flexible spending account
        image for Vision Insurance
        Vision insurance
        View more benefits

        Comment by Jack — March 6, 2020 @ 10:19 am

  3. If there are 12,000 uncounted ballots, those 12,000 have to run 69.75% yes or higher for Measure A to close the gap and get to 2/3 yes. If one of those number is higher, the other can be lower.

    The first batch of votes posted Tuesday was well below 69.75% yes. All the subsequent batches posted Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were over 70% yes. Time will tell.

    Comment by FYI — March 5, 2020 @ 8:08 am

  4. Election Update Day 1
    The ROV has not tabulated any ballots which is normal the first day after an election.
    They have updated the outstanding ballots to be counted and the count is above 12,000.
    Of the 12,000+ ballots to be counted over 70% of them are Democratic voters.
    With those 12,000 ballots my model shows a 90% confidence level that Measure A will pass.
    The first batch of unprocessed ballots will be tabulated tonight. My model projects the Yes on Measure to move up to 65%.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 5, 2020 @ 8:29 am

    • I don’t think jack voted for it.

      Comment by trumpisnotmypresident — March 5, 2020 @ 11:54 am

    • Thanks Mike for the stats, always very helpful when you break it down to numbers and percentages. Fingers are crossed. Hopefully, you will have news for us before the weekend.

      Comment by Margie — March 5, 2020 @ 4:35 pm

  5. I voted no on Measure A because we pay nearly $20,000 in property taxes. With my property tax bill the enclose a page telling you where your Taxes go. 41% goes to schools and community colleges within the County to fund education. We never had or will have kids. I want good schools but we already pay more than most and it is not based on your parcel it is based on the sqft of your house. If everyone had to pay the same amount for a parcel tax it wouldn’t bother me as much.

    Comment by joelsf — March 5, 2020 @ 4:55 pm

    • If your total tax bill is ~20,000 there is absolutely no way 41% (approx $8000) is going to education. Not possible.

      Check your bill again:

      https://www.acgov.org/ptax_pub_app/RealSearchInit.do?showSearchParmsFromLookup=true

      Comment by dave — March 5, 2020 @ 5:12 pm

      • I said we pay nearly $20,000 in property taxes of which 41% is going to education…which you are correct would be approx $8,000. Go back a read my comment. Of the total tax bill, 18% goes to cities within the county, 26% goes to special districts within the Count, including the Successor Agencies to Redevelopment, BART, AC Transit and EBMUD to fund those agencies, 15% goes .to Alamedty county itself which mostly goes to public protection and social services; also public works, par, and general government. I just didn’t type all that out before – we pay approx $8,000 for educations, whereas some people who actually had or have kids pay hardly anything.

        Comment by joelsf — March 5, 2020 @ 11:26 pm

        • Read your bill again.

          Comment by dave — March 6, 2020 @ 5:29 am

        • Dave, I have read my bill. I this information from a flyer they enclosed with my bill, you most likely received one also. I posted the flyer on Nextdoor but I don’t know how to download a picture on this site.

          Comment by joelsf — March 6, 2020 @ 11:28 am

        • There are 4 line items for education on your bill. Add the following:

          2 on the left side: debt service for AUSD and Community college
          2 on the right side: AUSD Measure B1 and Peralta Measure B

          Divide that subtotal by your total bill which on the right side above the blue shaded area. The quotient you will get is nowhere close to 40%. It’s approx 15% for most people who have bought in this century and for more recent owners it’s less. It’s nowhere near 8 grand unless you own in a large commercial building.

          It’s your right to complain about it, but at least do so accurately.

          Comment by dave — March 6, 2020 @ 1:13 pm

        • Dave, I thought you were in finance, Measure B1 is only for Alameda not for Alameda County. According to the ‘Alameda County SercureProperty Tax Statement Information’ Pamphlet they inserted in the same envelope with my property tax bill it is 41% goes to Alameda County for education and that doesn’t include Measure B1. For further information the say you can e-mail them at ttaxpublicmail@acgov.org. I am just transmitting the information they provided on their informational pamphlet. I am sure everybody got it but nobody reads it. I don’t care if you don’t believe me go get educated.

          Comment by joelsf — March 6, 2020 @ 3:58 pm

        • I am indeed in finance. I can also read and do basic arithmetic. Using those skills plus a bit of googling, I looked up the county’s budget. You can see it here:

          Click to access cafr18-19.pdf

          Jump to page 8 where you will see that the county’s total revenue last year was about 3.3B, including 647MM in property taxes. Education expenses were about 34.5MM, a bit over 5% of property tax revenue.

          That 647MM is the base 1% countywide property tax rate. If you live in Bayport, and bought in ’05 or ’06, your base rate is probably $11-14,000. Check your bill and calculate 5% of that line item. Add that to the 4 line items noted above and then come back here and let us all know that it’s nowhere close to either 40% or 8 grand.

          Comment by dave — March 6, 2020 @ 4:57 pm

        • Dave, you are somewhat correct but our base rate it approx 14,841.98. My total bill is actually $18.513.58. But I still pay approx $8,000 which is a number you gave me. I went back and read the pamphlet again so it says of the 1% in the middle of your tax bill (which is the 1st line item on the left side of your tax bill- Countywide tax)- 41% goes to education ($12.582.22 in my case of which 41% is $5,158.71) I also pay school unified $1,303.52 and Comm Coll 323.36 plus the B1 which is $1.197.76 plus B which is $48.00. So I actually pay:

          Countywide tax $12,582.22 41% $5,158.71 Lower left of tax bill
          School Unified $1,306.52 $1,306.52 Lower left of tax bill
          Comm Coll $323.36 $323.36 Lower left of tax bill
          Measure B1 $1,197.76 $1,197.76 Upper right of tax bill
          Measure B $48.00 $48.00 Upper right of tax bill
          Total $8,034.35

          I worked with SF City Auditors on a daily basis for 7 years so hopefully, this makes sense now. I use to have to show the auditors where all the numbers came from and read and understand contracts. In my case, it comes out to 43% of my total tax bill. $8,034.35 divided by $18.513.58. It would be much higher if you took out the Bayport CFD bonds and some of the other extras in the top right corner of my bill. It would be more like 50% which I can do a details chart of if you want. If anyone wants to figure out their tax bill let me know. Thanks to Dave I have a very good understanding of it now. There are basically 3 parts to your tax statement.

          Comment by joelsf — March 6, 2020 @ 10:36 pm

        • I had it all alined but when I posted I lost the alinement and it makes it harder to read.

          Comment by joelsf — March 6, 2020 @ 10:40 pm

        • Ok Mr. Seven Years of Auditor, break out Alameda County’s audited financials, in the link above, and show us all where and how 40% of the base rate goes to education.

          While you’re digging through that, keep in mind that approx 85% of AUSD funds come from the state, a proportion that with some variance applies to every school district. Keep in mind also that community college funds are separate line items on your bill and separate from county GF.

          Go ahead. I’ll wait. Take all the time you need to find actual evidence instead of a pamphlet you clearly didn’t understand.

          Why do I persist in this? Fair question. I saw someone who voted no on an item of critical importance to the community based on a bullshit notion. Bullshit is right up there next to hypocrisy on the list of things that annoy me.

          Comment by dave — March 7, 2020 @ 8:45 am

        • Dave let it go. I voted no because I pay enough. I don’t know if you own your house or rent but if you own your house you got the pamphlet also. I showed you where all the numbers came from. I posted the pamphlet online on Nextdoor and so don’t call it bullshit. Look in your tax bill if you have one and pull out the pamphlet which has blue on the top and a blue border around it. I not going to respond to any more of your emails because you haven’t even taken the time to see if what I said is true. I gave you an ACGOV email address to find out if what I said is true. I have the right to vote how I want.

          Comment by joelsf — March 7, 2020 @ 1:46 pm

        • Also I provided you with backup, where does it say 85% comes from the state? You seem to just throw out #s. I am your auditor so give me the backup. I did for you.

          Comment by joelsf — March 7, 2020 @ 1:54 pm

        • 85% is A) common knowledge and B) in the district’s audited financials. Use your 7 years audit experience if you think that’s wrong.

          Comment by dave — March 7, 2020 @ 2:23 pm

        • Dave, I am having to much fun with you, 85% is not common knowledge. I asked you for backup. I provided you with backup and you just tell me that I am wrong and throw out numbers. I gave you all the information and told you where it comes from but you just keep telling me I am wrong. I even provided you with an email address to the acgov.org and I am sure you just tell me I wrong without asking them. If they get 85% funding from the state and my $8,034.35 and everyone 41% else of property tax they should be fine. They are currently building like 1 to 2 thousand new homes and most people buying them don’t have kids. At Alameda Landing the people who live there if they have kids they are all babies or toddlers. They were talking about closing one of the high schools most and merging them. People don’t have 4 kids anymore. I believe you only have 1. Oakland is growing but they are laying off teachers and maybe consolidating some schools. People don’t have big families any longer.

          Comment by joelsf — March 8, 2020 @ 7:44 am

        • State funding is common knowledge to anyone who is paying attention. It was all over Next Door during pre-election debate. You say you posted something on ND but did you read anything on that page?

          You ask where does it say state is 85% of funding? Why, it’s in the district’s audited financials! Surely a guy with 7 years of auditor experience would immediately grasp that.

          AUSD’s State funding is 81% of total revenue, 85% of unrestricted revenue, close enough for this conversation. Total revenue pctg. has been as high as 85% in recent years. Jump to pages 12/13 in the link below, but by all means, look throughout. The only county funding you will see is the LCFF property tax (that’s the 5%) and the parcel and debt service taxes, for which the county is merely a conduit and which show as separate line items..

          Click to access 3568031474915582057.pdf

          Note that the 80-85% area holds throughout the county, but I’m sure a guy with 7 years of auditing experience already knows that.

          You cite community colleges at part of your now legendary 40% so it might be worth looking at the community college district. Take a look here:

          Click to access Peralta-CCD-Final-Report-2019.pdf

          In the early pages you’ll see 94MM in property taxes, about 64MM for debt service and 30MM for ops/parcel tax. Jump to page 30 where it explains the debt service line item on left side of bill and the ops item on the right side. Nowhere else in that doc will you see a mention of county general fund or base rate property taxes, because they don’t exist.

          Lastly, take your vast audit experience back to the county’s doc cited above, conveniently re-linked for you here:

          Click to access cafr18-19.pdf

          Again, I refer you to page 8, where it’s noted that 5% of general property taxes go to education. Do a word search through the doc for things like school district or any other operative term and you will not find evidence to back your claim. What you will find are items like page 149, which breaks out debt service line item, and individual districts’ overlapping debts in the pages thereafter, but you will not find a shred of proof for your claim.

          Are these notes from audited financials sufficient to trump a claim from a propaganda flyer that you may have seen? One would think a guy with 7 years of audit experience would concede.

          Comment by dave — March 8, 2020 @ 11:30 am

      • Go to Nextdoor and look for the subject Tax, Tax, Tax and scroll down until you see my name Joe Stephens and the pamphlet is posted there.

        Comment by joelsf — March 8, 2020 @ 4:08 pm

        • The pamphlet is not accurate and its claims are not demonstrated in any way by the audited financials.

          If you think they are, show your work as I have.

          Comment by dave — March 8, 2020 @ 4:19 pm

        • Awful quiet, Joey.

          You claim 7 years experience with SF auditor and you ask for back up and evidence. I give you evidence from *audited financials* which you very obviously have not read, instead pinning your entire case on a scrap of paper that is not proven, backed up nor borne out by the audited financials.

          Thank you for unwittingly demonstrating society’s need for well funded schools.

          Comment by dave — March 9, 2020 @ 1:24 pm

  6. Election Day 2 Update
    ROV has not updated totals. First update will be tonight.
    An additional 1000+ ballots received from Alameda ballots with over 70% being Democratic voters is an encouraging trend.
    Confidence level of 90% that Measure A will pass.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 6, 2020 @ 8:16 am

    • I usually return my ballot super early but I waited this year (I put it in the box on Oak St. Sunday night) since the Democratic field was still in flux. So I’m hoping lots of my fellow last-minute voters also supported Measure A!

      Comment by trow125 — March 6, 2020 @ 8:46 am

      • Yes with 13000 ballots to be processed compared to 10000 ballots processed on Election day many voters were like you.

        Comment by Mike McMahon — March 6, 2020 @ 9:30 am

        • if you go on the ACGOV website the say 100% precincts reported and it is down by over 3% to pass. My friend lives overseas and their ballot may not have come in yet, but they should all be counted by now. I would say it 99% sure it did not pass. I may not understand it all so I may be wrong. I would have voted for it if they made it the same for all parcels but you have to pay by sqft of your house. Mike, you have been to my house and it is big, but why should I pay more than the smaller house down the street. We don’t have kids whereas they may have 3 or 4. My parents had 6, my mom’s parents had 16 but they all went to private school. They are like building on the homes on base, more at Delmonte, some at Southshore by Office Depot, the Marina, and each place will be valued most likely over $800,000 for market-rate and 1/2 of that for the affordable. With 41% of your property taxes going to the education they should be fine without the parcel tax.

          Comment by joelsf — March 6, 2020 @ 3:39 pm

        • “I may not understand it all so I may be wrong.” Joelsf is correct, he doesn’t understand it all. Votes are still being counted. California homeowners pay about 79% of what the average American pays for property tax, and as a result we fund schools at about 72% of what other states do. Prop 13 means we underpay and underfund; if we want to have decent schools and live in a well-educated community, we have to make up the difference through local taxes.

          Comment by Ron Parodi — March 6, 2020 @ 7:09 pm

  7. Election Day 3 Measure A Update

    Not good. 7,000 votes tabulated and they are not near the 70% level to pass Measure A. (Election Day voters voted Yes at a 70% rate.)

    Yes % moved from 63.1% on Election Night. The new number is 64.3%. The post election Yes votes is only 66% and since we started at 63.1% it is not high enough.

    Confidence level of passing has plummeted to 90% to 10%.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 7, 2020 @ 5:26 pm

  8. Measure A Day 4 Update

    Well there is incredibly close all of a sudden. 7500+ more ballots were tabulated and the Yes on Measure A is within striking distance of 66.67% The current number is 66.30%.

    So now the question will be how many provisional ballots there are to count for Alameda voters. I have no idea.

    The math is this: If they unprocessed ballots are the same as today or 71% Yes there would need be to be 2100 Alameda city ballots left.

    Confidence level of passing is now: 25%

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 8, 2020 @ 5:56 pm

  9. Measure A Update Day 5

    Another 1250+ ballots tabulated. This group was was 68%. As a result, the Yes percentage moved from 66.39% to 66.46%.

    Next update in 24 hours.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 9, 2020 @ 5:01 pm

  10. Measure A Update Day 6
    While there were additional ballots tabulated in Alameda County, no additional ballots were tabulated for Alameda city.
    As a result, Measure A stays at 66.46% yes.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 10, 2020 @ 5:12 pm

    • Alameda county Registrar of Voters reports there are reporting there are 40,000+ provisional ballots to process.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — March 10, 2020 @ 5:49 pm

  11. Measure A Update Day 8
    Measure A Yes % dropped from 66.46% to 66.44% when 298 ballots were tabulated.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 12, 2020 @ 8:33 pm

  12. While there is not official statement from the Registrar of Voters, it appears processing of ballots has been suspended. With no updated reports since last Thursday it certainly appears processing has halted. In past elections, all of the processing of ballots was done within 14 days of the election day.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 17, 2020 @ 9:20 am

    • Hey Mike, I want good schools but hopefully, it doesn’t pass. Why should new homeowners pay for all this when they can’t barely afford a down payment. Put your energy in getting rid of prop 13 instead of making more unfair taxes. I already pay nearly $20,000 a year in property tax and others pay nothing. This was our 1st house. Why should I have to pay more in property taxes than my neighbor who owned the house longer? I was 45 when we bought my 1st house with no kids, why should I pay more than my neighbor who has 3 kids and owned a previous house so pays 1/2 the property taxes I do. Get rid of prop 13 and do not add more props to my tax bill. If it was based on a fixed dollar a parcel and not sq ft I may have voted for it but just because our house is bigger we have to pay more. We have no kids. There is a difference between social responsibility and social liability. We struggled with the payments at first. When it comes to property tax time the first payment is made on a credit card then we file our taxes and pay off the 1st and pay for the 2nd. If it ends up passing this time next time it won’t pass because you will have a couple thousand more 1st time owner who struggle. Why should I pay more because my house is bigger than yours sort of speak?

      Comment by joelsf — March 17, 2020 @ 5:20 pm

      • 1) Whose fault is it that you bought too much house?
        2) Number of kids in a given household is irrelevant for a host of reasons, most probably beyond your ken.
        3) You’re right, P13 should go, but you have no understanding of how it works, such as a belief that owning a previous house cuts your neighbors tax.
        4) You really should stop posting on this subject if you want to retain a shred of credibility.

        Comment by dave — March 18, 2020 @ 6:25 am

        • Dave, I’m a little uncomfortable with your responses to Joel. Joel is a really nice person expressing his opinion like everyone else. It’s ok to disagree — but some of your responses to Joel on this issue are close to bullying. Just let it go.

          Comment by Karen Bey — March 18, 2020 @ 9:47 am

        • Sorry, Karen, I should have realized his specious reasoning and repeated erroneous statements are not his fault.

          Comment by dave — March 19, 2020 @ 10:20 am

  13. Measure A Update Day 14
    With an additional 1700+ ballots and 74% voting YES, Measure A is PASSING at 66.91%.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 17, 2020 @ 8:34 pm

  14. Measure A Update – Final???
    Another 700 ballots at 74% Yes moves Yes on Measure A over 67%.
    This should be the last update of any consequence.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 18, 2020 @ 8:54 pm

  15. At some point enough is enough. No offense to all the parents here… but as someone who does not and chose not to have offspring it sort of pisses me off that somehow the approximately 30% of my property tax supposedly goes to local schools- which BTW, I have no problem with- isn’t enough? And when we’re talking about people like me, who bought 10 years ago and hence pay a lot MORE than say- a lot of the older folks here.

    This is apparently what happens when you live in area full of hand-wringing parents, where ANY new tax that is deemed necessary for their precious children is of course automatically passed hell or high water.

    I’ve got a better idea: How about all of you folks who decided to have kids in the first place pay more yourselves? Your kids are your responsibility and just because some of us decided not to have them means we too have to pay for your kids too. Just saying.

    Comment by john doe — March 24, 2020 @ 1:09 pm

    • First, the state constitution explicitly states that public education will be free for students, meaning it’s not legal to make parents pay.

      Second, if you went to public schools, your education was paid for with tax dollars, some portion of which was paid by childless people.

      Third, nowhere near 1/3 of your property taxes go to education. Read upward in this thread the exhaustive documentation, including audited financials, to underscore this point.

      Fourth, if you bought 10 years ago your property value has likely doubled and a fair portion of that almost entirely untaxed windfall stems from the value of public schools.

      Last, it costs money to live in a solid and upwardly mobile community. If you think solid public education is expensive, you’ll be shocked by the costs of poor or no public education.

      Comment by dave — March 24, 2020 @ 3:54 pm

      • Your first comment: Its called taxation and guess what? Taxes can and are often directed to specific age, income, or when it comes to commerce- the kinds of product sold. As such its not at all out of line to suggest people who have children should also have that same level of financial accountability. Simply put- if you have children, nobody made you and it seems to me that since parents around here as giddy as a school girl ( pun intended) then they should be eager to pay a tax for their children which of course would go to their public educations. Seems perfectly fair to me,

        Second point: Yes- you are correct. I will admit I read my tax bill wrong.

        Fourth: What’s your point? I still pay a shit-ton in taxes. Want to know how much I pay for a 1300 sq foot home? $8,000 a year.

        Last point: I actually came from a much poorer, less affluent part of the country. My question is if your gauge of success is how upwardly mobile an area is then I would naturally assume this would be reflected in the area’s infrastructure. The schools back where I came from are mostly newer, modern and still have all of the programs ( Band, art classes, shop, etc etc) I have found are now seen as luxuries in the Bay Area. If this were such an “Upwardly mobile” area then why are most of the school buildings in Alameda ancient? As in all of the schools around where I live are from the 40’s and 50’s and in some cases parts of the classrooms are in prefabbed buildings. The irony? So back home we had basically hardly any property tax but higher retail taxes. Seems to me that maybe, just maybe instead of just taxing the crap out of homeowners, which as I have alluded to have not equaled what I would consider world class educational infrastructure then perhaps that isn’t working? Yeah…. maybe not…. But whatever. Guess the solution around here seems to be simply to slap on more property tax just to do the bare minimum most other states have figured out.

        Comment by john doe — March 24, 2020 @ 5:20 pm

        • Taxes are indeed often directed as you suggest, but allow me to repeat the operative point: free public education is in the state constitution*. If you want to discuss different taxing methods & goals, knock yourself out, we still have free speech. I suggest, however, not wasting too much energy discussing a plan – such as making parents pay – that is explicitly and permanently unconstitutional.

          Want to know how much I pay for an 1815 foot house? $14,000. On a house worth about 1.5MM (or it was before the virus…..) that’s just a bit under 1%. Taxes in most of the country are above 2%. The first house we owned, in a nationally recognized public district in the Midwest, it was over 3% and we didn’t have kids while we lived there. Your point falls flat.

          I also come from a less affluent part of the country (rural Deep South, NEVER going back) and in my professional capacity as a bond guy have observed and directed numerous financings of school buildings. I’ve seen gleaming, first class facilities in areas much less wealthy than here, with better overall infrastructure. The reasons for those first class facilities vis a vis what we have here are local control and, most importantly, a willingness to pay for quality. As my dad likes to say: it costs money to live in a nice town.

          *Article IX, Section 5:
          https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&division=&title=&part=&chapter=&article=IX

          Comment by dave — March 25, 2020 @ 7:21 am

  16. You are free to repeat yourself all you want but just because you don’t like my suggestions doesn’t mean you have to get yer’ feathers all in a rough. Actually, the more I think about this the better I think my plan is. I propose Measure O… Measure O as in Offspring. Let’s just do some basic math… so let’s imagine that for each child had would yield a $2,000 a year tax which in turn would be used to fund their educations. Now figure there’s roughly 30 students per classroom and there you go: $60,000 right then and there which would fund teacher salaries, build newer facilities, and bring back more extra curricular activities. You scoff? Well seems to me that amount pales to the amount of money the average bay area parent spends on fertility treatments, REI branded strollers, Audi SUVs and educational European wooden toys for their children. Everybody wins: Parents can rest assured their children’s educations are well funded. See? Ain’t that simple? I say we call up city hall and propose this right away. And of course it will pass. Because ALL measures that are proposed for the benefit of offspring always passes here in goodle’ Alameda.

    And indeed- you too are blowing lots of dough on property taxes. Hooray. I suddenly feel a kindred spirit with my fellow tax paying brethren. So that you too feel the pain are you pleased with the fact that getting out on 880 is more like playing a video game, trying to avoid potholes? I mean its ridiculous: The world’s 5th largest economy with some of the most taxed citizens in the country and the infrastructure is more like a 3rd world country. I bring this up because clearly the finances of the state are being grossly mismanaged.

    Oh so you’re a Southern guy too huh? Not sure exactly where you’re from but have you been back at all lately? Where I came from was indeed sort of a shithole when I left 20+ years ago. But now? The nearby city is now more or less “Portland 2.0” complete with around 20 microbreweries, art galleries, a cornucopia of fine eating establishments ( One recognized by James Beard) and the prerequisite number of hipsters. It ain’t the same old South in many areas now. Who knows? Perhaps the same is true from your origins?

    Comment by john doe — March 25, 2020 @ 8:06 am

    • Born 9th Ward New Orleans. Roots in Sunflower County MS. Much of younger years in Rapides Parish LA. Quite a bit of time over the years spent in Kentucky and South Carolina.

      Your points about value for money are valid, but that is primarily an issue of local control vs. centralization in Sacramento, as well as willingness to pay. You are not alone whining about results while complaining about the price.

      Measure O sounds great. Enjoy changing the state constitution and overturning Props 13 and 98, the Serrano decision and a plethora of other ironclad precedents. Knock yourself out.

      Comment by dave — March 25, 2020 @ 8:47 am

      • Look- I hope you see I was being rather tongue in cheek. Of course Measure O would never happen. But the “real” measure that just passed- Measure A- won’t put even a tiny dent in the issue at hand: Teacher pay.

        I actually come from a family of school teachers. My mother retired 2 years ago after 40 years and now ( thankfully) has a pension. Teaching has been and unless the overall national attitude towards it changes- will continue being a low paying profession… which makes absolutely zero sense. What is the very first thing parents look for when they get ready to buy a home? How good are the schools. And then if they’re buying right now they’re looking at paying over a million bucks for a 2 bedroom house. I just looked up what the average pay is for a teacher in Alameda: Around $50k. That is abysmal. The harsh reality of the bay area tends to require at least a $150,000 a year salary to live to the same levels as what equals a middle class living situation elsewhere.

        So what exactly did Measure A do? It raises teacher salaries 9%… to a median of $54,000 a year. The idea was to attract more teachers. I’ll tell you one thing which is that if I were a teacher there would be no way in hell I would consider teaching here. Earlier in my career I made somewhere around that amount and it wasn’t exactly easy to live off of that and this was 15-16 years ago. $4,000 isn’t going to make a hill of beans when looking at the overall bigger picture, which is that cost of living considerations have failed to keep up with reality. This is primarily why I take issue with measures like these. They are simply too little, too late, and in the end simply adds more and more to the monthly nut that everyone has to pay. The bigger picture solution is for state-mandated reallocation of funding. Education already gets a huge chunk of the taxpayer pie. So clearly something is very wrong here: the richest people on the planet in the richest state in the country paying an enormous quantity of taxes only for the beneficiaries- the kids and teachers- getting about the same amount of pay and funding as any other less wealthy states.

        We can’t simply nickel and dime this stuff to death when bigger broader solutions are needed.

        Comment by john doe — March 25, 2020 @ 11:19 am

        • Agree with you completely re: teacher pay. It needs to be increased substantially. At same time I am flummoxed by your whining about a small local tax that at least tries to address the issue. A parcel tax is the only way for a district in CA to raise operating funds. Do you want teachers paid or not?

          AUSD’s per student funding is a bit below the national average (though such numbers vary widely depending on the agenda of the number poster) while operating in an environment much more expensive than the national average. In real/relative terms we are deeply underfunded. Why do you propose increased funding and then bitch when the funding gets increased?

          Comment by dave — March 25, 2020 @ 12:13 pm

        • Because the measure that passed is completely ineffective. It is merely a token gesture that does the equivalent of dropping some spare change in the bucket. So do you really think a $4,000 increase to a $50,000 salary is going to have teachers running to fill out applications? My Mom made more then that in a state where a nice house on actual acreage is $150,000. This needs to be addressed by the state if anything actually meaningful were to happen. I would have less of a problem paying more taxes if it actually made a difference. But as it is all this does is cause me to piss away more money on not addressing underlying chronic underfunding.

          The state needs to evaluate how its allocating its funding. The state, as we speak, is awash in money. Money that is probably being wastes on who knows what. Furthermore if a marginal increase in taxes state-wide were to roll out this in turn would be more effective than local jurisdictions trying to overcome it with measures that don’t even come close to budging the needle.

          Measure A was a “Feel good” measure for a better term.

          BTW, I went to New Orleans for a business trip a year ago. I had one hell of a great time there. Its is a national, cultural treasure and if not for the heat would have no problem living there. If you haven’t been back in a long time you really should go.

          Comment by john doe — March 25, 2020 @ 2:13 pm

        • I’d personally pay a lot more for the express purpose of raising teacher salaries but given the razor thin margin of passage, it’s fair to say that the recent measure was literally the best that could be achieved. More is obviously needed, and local control would be a huge improvement over state funding, but we must work in reality rather than in dreams, doing what is possible rather than what is hoped.

          Props 13 and 98 and various other laws and policies are objectively bad for education and bad policy in general but tilting at that windmill is wasted energy. We have students that need to be educated now and we need to do our best now, and for now, that is a parcel tax, and a modest one at that. You can sit on the sidelines and complain it isn’t enough while doing nothing. I’ll work for what can be done.

          New Orleans is a fun place to visit but a hard place to live. Each time I’m there (more frequently these days due to parents’ health) I stop by my favorite local pub in Mid City, far from the tourists.

          Comment by dave — March 25, 2020 @ 3:31 pm

  17. Post election analysis of Measure A by precinct. During the tabulation I noticed a correlation between Sanders voters and Measure A Yes votes. The better Sanders did, the closer Measure A got to passing. So I created a report show how Measure A did by precinct with results of how Sanders did. In a vast majority of precincts when Sanders voters were higher than the city wide average, Measure A did better than the city wide 67.1%. Given the small margin of victory, the get out the vote by Alameda Sanders campaign was a strong contributor to getting Measure A over the finish line.

    Click to access Measure2020PrecinctResults.pdf

    Comment by Mike McMahon — April 5, 2020 @ 12:54 pm

    • One thing I noticed while precinct walking was that houses with a Bernie sign out front were almost always negative about the measure. Some said so explicitly but even when they didn’t give a verbal NO, their tone was unmistakable. When a person rolls their eyes and curtly says “I’ll read your brochure, good day” or some such other chilly brush off, it’s a pretty good indication they aren’t inclined to support. I’ve walked a lot of precincts over the years and it’s not hard to tell when a yes answer is sincere.

      The obvious disclaimers are sample size (one guy walking one zone) and the fact Sanders voters obviously outnumbered Sanders sign wavers.

      I found this puzzling. One would have thought a supporter of an avowed socialist and champion of pro-worker measures would have been strongly on board with an effort to increase teacher pay. At the time I concluded they were in favor of socialism where others pay but against it when they pay. In hindsight, perhaps it’s related to Bernie’s turnout problem: people who say they support don’t actually vote for him.

      In any case, I’m very, very happy the measure passed and pleased to have been wrong in my guess about Bernie voters.

      Comment by dave — April 6, 2020 @ 6:31 am

    • WordPress did not like the url I posted and ended up creating blank space. Try this: The PDF is on my website

      My website is www dot mikemcmahon dot info/ then add Measure2020PrecintResults dot pdf

      Comment by Mike McMahon — April 6, 2020 @ 8:26 am

  18. Click to access Measure2020PrecinctResults.pdf

    Comment by Mike McMahon — April 5, 2020 @ 12:55 pm


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