Measure PV, the $389 million bond measure intended to improve school campuses in the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District, appeared to be headed toward defeat, based on semi-official results from the Tuesday, March 3, election.
The ballot measure that asked voters to approve an increase in property taxes saw 63% of voters reject, according to the results, which the L.A. County Registrar’s Office released shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The results could fluctuate as the registrar counts outstanding ballots, which includes provisional ballots and vote-by-mail ones that arrive by Friday. Because of delays at polling places, voting continued until late Tuesday night and many ballots of all types remain uncounted.
The next update is set for between 1 and 4 p.m. Wednesday. Results won’t be official until the registrar certifies the election. Results are not final until the registrar certifies the election, still days away.
Measure PV would authorize a bond that would go toward modernizing the district’s aging campuses and sports fields. To pass, the measure needs at least 55% approval.
The district laid out a list of 23 projects the school district has prioritized, including major renovations to Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, which hasn’t had significant improvements for roughly 60 years, according to Superintendent Alex Cherniss.
The bond measure was supported by the League of Women Voters, Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Realtors.
Janet MacLeod, interim president of the the league, said two forums did not take place for “reasons beyond our control.”
“The PV League has completed a study on our local schools and our resulting position includes support for adequate funding for school facilities,” MacLeod wrote in a letter to the editor.
Measure PV would be paid back through property taxes, adding $38 per year for every $100,000 of assessed home value based on when the owner bought the house. It will take 37 years to payback the loan, costing roughly $778 million. Currently, Palos Verdes homeowners pay $23.59 for $100,000 of assessed value based on bond measures passed nearly 20 years ago. A parcel tax also collects $448.60 per property, which goes toward the school district.
Opponents of the bond measure argued that property owners already pay enough tax and have questioned whether the district could adequately manage spending under the measure. Although opponents did not submit a ballot statement, several residents have organized against the bond measure.
“This is a ridiculous amount of debt, half of it going just to pay the interest payments and only a small amount allocated to some school sites, with very little of this money spent on ‘safety,’” resident Jennifer Jordan said.
A ballot statement in favor of the bond measure said the renovations were badly needed.
“Voting YES on MEASURE PV will maintain the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District’s excellent schools,” the statement reads, “attracting young families and leading to higher property values, thereby protecting our investments in our community and making it a great place to live.”
Replacing two main classroom buildings at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School would be among the biggest projects. Other projects would include installing heating and air conditioning, bathrooms that need remodeling, fixing leaky roofs, re-piping, seismic upgrades and new electrical wiring.