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Added Ballots Push Measure K Over 2/3's without Pinole, Hercules

New votes added late Friday to the semi-official election returns indicate that the Measure K parcel tax for West Contra Costa schools would have passed without Pinole and Hercules, where support was weakest.

The addition of nearly 5,000 previously uncounted votes to the Measure K totals now show the proposed parcel tax for West Contra Costa schools would have passed without Pinole and Hercules, where support was lowest.

The new votes represent the bulk of the ballots that had not been included in the first . Some ballots remain uncounted, so final results are still pending. 

The measure failed to win the required two-thirds approval, receiving 64.59 percent of 30,559 votes that had been counted Wednesday, and school board President Charles Ramsey at the time by saying it's time to consider whether Hercules and Pinole, where support for the measure was lukewarm, should separate from the district.

The initial results Wednesday had shown the measure would have come closer to approval without Pinole and Hercules – with 66.61 percent – but not enough to pass. But the addition of 4,936 new votes late Friday by the Contra Costa County Elections Division showed that the measure would have received 67.92 percent without Hercules and Pinole, according to a Patch tabulation of precinct-by-precinct results.

Ramsey had noted that support by city council members was notably lacking in Hercules and Pinole (except for Pete Murray of Pinole) in contrast to endorsements in other cities. He noted also that the ballot argument against Measure K was signed by Sue Pricco, who led an unsuccessful attempt in 2005 for Hercules to secede from the district.

Asked if he had further comment following the new results Friday, Ramsey said by email, "I hope that the election spurs conversation and debate about local funding for schools. I value and appreciate the hard work put out by each community. It is just disappointing when you come so close, but fall short due to Prop. 13 requirements." 

"Although we lost," he added, "it was a great effort and I am proud of the work done by everyone on the campaign."

The new votes – which include Hercules and Pinole – pushed the total votes counted up to 35,495 and the approval rate up slightly to 65.22 percent, still short of the two-thirds needed to pass.

In the latest results, Kensington has the highest approval rate – with 82.04 percent – of the district's seven largest communities. El Cerrito is second with 72.34 percent. Richmond, which did not reach two-thirds in the results released Wednesday, is now one vote over the required two-thirds, with 66.67 percent. 

The lowest rate is found in Pinole with 54.19 percent, followed by Hercules with 54.9 percent. El Sobrante has 56.25 percent and San Pablo registers 65.20 percent.

Vote totals for Measure K updated late Friday, tabulated by Patch from precinct results released by the Contra Costa Elections Division:

Yes No Total % Yes Kensington 1731 379 2110 82.04 El Cerrito 4628 1770 6398 72.34 Richmond 8451 4225 12676 66.67 San Pablo 1381 737 2118 65.20 El Sobrante 1274 991 2265 56.25 Hercules 1955 1606 3561 54.90 Pinole 1952 1650 3602 54.19 All voters 23151 12344 35495 65.22

Note: the totals for all voters are greater than for the seven communities combined because they include unincorporated areas that are not part of these seven jurisdictions.

Giorgio C. June 14, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Tonight I attended the WCCUSD board meeting and then it dawned on me. Yes, I have problems with Mr. Ramsey's comments directed at Hercules, but I have even bigger problems with our Superintendent's management of our district. I will attempt to submit an editorial to the Patch. I am very concerned by how our district staff are managing our schools. Their approach is reactive, not proactive. Our district staff are not doing enough to ensure that our schools are performing at an acceptable level on a daily basis. In this district, a school can have serious quality problems for years before it is addressed. I do not blame the board for this because they are not the school management experts. The Superintendent is the qualified expert. It is time to review his performance.
Ira Sharenow June 14, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The process to form a new school district from the El Cerrito/Kensington area is a little different that the process to transfer the El Cerrito/Kensington area to the Albany USD. The following general description of the two processes outlines those differences. To form a new district: · The process is initiated by a voter petition (signed by at least 25% of the voters residing in the El Cerrito/Kensington area or by resolution of the governing board of the West Contra Costa USD. · The petition (or resolution) is presented to the Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools who will determine the sufficiency of the request (within 30 days). · The petition is transmitted to the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Organization, which will hold a public hearing(s) on the proposal within 60 days. · After the public hearings, the County Committee has 120 days to study the proposal and make a recommendation to approve or disapprove, which it then must transmit to the California State Board of Education (SBE). · The SBE will review the proposal and decide to approve or disapprove. Disapproval kills the proposal. · If the SBE approves the proposal, it determines the area that will vote on the proposal and notifies the County Superintendent to call an election in that area. · If the electorate approves the proposal, the new district becomes effective on July 1 of the subsequent year.
Ira Sharenow June 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
To transfer the area to Albany USD: · The process is initiated by a voter petition (signed by at least 25% of the voters residing in the El Cerrito/Kensington area) or by resolution of the governing boards of the West Contra Costa USD and the Albany USD. · The voter petition is presented to the Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools who will determine the sufficiency of the request within 30 days (governing board resolutions would be presented to the respective county superintendent of school with jurisdiction over the respective district). · The voter petition is transmitted to the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Organization, which will hold a public hearing(s) on the proposal within 60 days (governing board resolutions would be transmitted to each affected county committee on school district organization—the county committees which each hold public hearings in the areas for which they have jurisdiction [or they could hold joint public hearings]). · After the public hearings, the County Committees have 120 days to study the proposal and approve or disapprove the transfer. · If either of the county committees disapprove the transfer, the petitioners (or either district) may appeal the decision to the SBE (who will then decide to affirm or reverse the county committees’ actions).
Ira Sharenow June 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
· If both county committees approve the transfer, the petitioners (or either district) may appeal the decision to the SBE (who will then decide to affirm or reverse the county committees’ actions). · If both county committees approve the transfer, no appeal is filed, and the El Cerrito/Kensington area is less than 10% of the assessed valuation of the West Contra Costa USD, the transfer will be effective on July 1 of the subsequent year. If the El Cerrito/Kensington area is more than 10% of the assessed valuation of the West Contra Costa USD, the county committees will establish the area to vote on the proposal and direct the respective county superintendent(s) to call an election in that area. · If the electorate approves the proposal, the new district becomes effective on July 1 of the subsequent year. The above are general descriptions of the most typical activities involved…there are variations on most aspects of the process.
Ira Sharenow June 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
There is a Handbook on School District Organization available that explains the process in more detail and provides more background information. That Handbook is at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lr/do/. Additionally, I strongly recommend that you contact the Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools for any local requirements that you will need to follow throughout the process. Let me know if you have other questions. **************************************** Larry Shirey Charter Apportionments and District Reorganization California Department of Education 1430 N Street, Suite 3800 Sacramento, CA 95814 phone: 916-322-1468 fax: 916-324-4544 LShirey@cde.ca.gov http://www.cde.ca.gov/

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