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  I Support Measure J
October 20, 2005

Measure J is the next bond issue to be used to upgrade school buildings in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.


Measure J is an opportunity for West County voters to upgrade and repair old and sometimes unsafe schools.  Funds will be used to:


         Repair leaking  roofs, decaying walls and ceilings;

         Rebuild and upgrade schools -- improving  student safety and achievement;

         Repair deteriorating restrooms;

         Reduce overcrowding by adding new classrooms;  and

         Replace portables with permanent classrooms.


Former bonds have paid to modernize Washington, Lincoln, Mira Vista, and Peres elementary schools (among others).  Measure J will allow the modernization of the remaining Richmond schools, including Kennedy High School, and Coronado, Ford, Grant, Highland, King, Nystrom, and Wilson elementary schools, as well as other schools that Richmond students attend.  DeAnza High School will be completely rebuilt.


All $400 Million invested by the community will be restricted to school facilities improvement and spent only on rebuilding and reconstruction.


State law requires that all expenditures are overseen by a Citizens' Advisory Committee which meets regularly and reviews annual audits.  The Citizens' Advisory Committee includes more community input than necessitated by state law and conducts audits twice a year rather than once a year.


According to the Voter Pamphlet, the initial cost to property owners will be $31.10 per$100,000. For a $400,000 home in Richmond (average price), the annual tax would be $124.40. That's $0.34 a day. For me, that's a good investment and a bargain. I donít know what else I could spend a little over a quarter a day on that would do more for the future of our city.


Is it worth that to me to finish upgrading or replacing all the schools in Richmond? My answer is "Yes."


For more information see the Measure J website: www.childrenofwestcounty.com.