The Mountain View-Whisman School District covering most of Mountain View is seeking voter permission to borrow $259 million by selling "general obligation bonds that would need to be repaid, with interest, from higher property taxes.

The amount of interest depends upon the rate of interest when a group of bonds is sold. Currently, interest rates are low, and the total repayment would about double the $259 million to be borrowed. However, if the bonds are sold over many years, the total interest and repayment may be much higher.

Until Proposition 39 in the year 2000 was approved by California voters, a local school bond measure needed two-thirds of those voting to pass.

Proposition 39 lowered the percentage of approval needed to 55% of those voting PROVIDED THAT the bond measure contains some accountability provisions - including that it specifies the purposes for the money will be used. Whether this bond measure meets the requirements for approval at 55% may be disputed.

School bond measures usually are approved. The GAME PLAN often is to promote school needs in mailers from the district, select a low-turnout election date, line­ up supporters and then get special business interests with money at stake to finance much of the local campaign.

Voters last approved a bond measure for this school district in 2012: $198 million. The local weekly newspaper reported on September 2, 2019, that the district had not only spent that money - but another $64 million to boot. The measure now proposed purports to authorize use of the next-borrowed money on projects that were supposed to be accomplished under the 2012 bond measure.

In any event, proponents properly have the burden of explaining to voters how the last $262 million was spent and why another $259 million is needed.

Also endorsing a NO vote:

Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County

Attorney Gary Wesley

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