Razor-thin Margin for Measure D May Not Hold

Fewer than 20 votes separates Measure D from failure, and absentee balloting holds the key to victory or defeat


of polling in Sonoma County yesterday were released this morning on the Registrar of Voters website, but the polling booths don't tell the whole story. At this point Measure D - the bond measure - has reached its 2/3 threshold for passage, with 66.9% voting "Yes" in favor of the measure, and 66.6 required for passage.

But that tiny difference is not enough to guarantee passage of the measure.

"We were still pulling ballots out of the mail bags this morning," said a spokesperson at the Sonoma County Registrar's office. "And we still have a couple boxes to go."

"We get so many vote-by-mail ballots these days, it's impossible to call an election that's this close," said County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Janice Atkinson.

By law, the county registrar has 28 days to certify the final results of an election. For now, they don't  have an accurate figure on how many absentee or provisional ballots were submitted - though that number could come as early as Friday. How they line up, , is another matter.

"We're cautiously optimistic," said CRPUSD superintendent .

"According to the feasibility study we believed that we had 2/3 support, certainly at the $89 amount, but in an election like this it really comes down to turnout," said Dr. Haley.  "It was very low. So hopefully what will be shown when the absentee ballots are counted is that those were voters who were turning in ballots to support Measure D. "

The official figures for the measure from the County Registrar of Voters shows final polling results as Yes 5,545 (66.9%);  No -  2,748 (33.1%). Since the exact number of absentee ballots from the Cotati-Rohnert Park area are themselves not known, it's difficult to know the chances one way or another of the measure's outcome.

One percentage point of the total 8,293 votes is only 83 votes; two-tenths of that, the amount that the measure is currently passing by, is about 17 votes. At this point, that's the margin of victory for Measure D.

"Getting any group, even an electorate, to agree at rate of two-thirds is always a difficult task," said Dr. Haley. "If you look at around Sonoma county, there were a number of school districts, and other agencies that had measures on the ballot [as] bond elections, and those are 55% [for passage] now under the Prop 39 rules."

School bond measures passed in Healdsburg, Guerneville, Sebastopol and the Wright School District (Santa Rosa), all with support well in excess of 55%.

"If we were operating under those rules, we would have won in a landslide. But with parcel taxes, the bar is set very high and getting 66 2/3 is a difficult task."

It's going to be a couple of nail-biting weeks for both supporters and opponents of Measure D, as it's estimated that final results may not be known for three weeks.  

"I advise anyone [concerned about the results] to take a vacation for three weeks," joked Atkinson. "I hear Mexico is nice this time of year."

Dr. Haley was not amused by the comment. "We hope her office counts them carefully and accurately, and when they have it done they have it done," he said.

VotedNOonD June 06, 2012 at 11:33 PM
For a moment I thought Measure D passed, but I forgot about all the absentee votes. The good news is that there's still a chance Measure D will get rejected. Awesome!
VotedNOonD June 06, 2012 at 11:57 PM
If the majority of absentee voters vote for NO on D, in my mind they should be considered smarter than the majority of the people who went to the booth. I hope they were smart enough to realize that this tax doesn't make sense and it's unfair to homeowners; especially the ones with no kids. Hopefully many "smart" absentee voters live in the outskirts of Rohnert Park, in their mansions(since they're so smart and business savvy), and just didn't have time to make it to the booth to vote NO on this. We'll hopefully also see NO votes from our retired/senior citizens ( who no longer have kids in school), and had a hard time physically going to a booth. ----------------------- PAY FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL IF YOU DON"T LIKE THE SYSTEM!
Knowthedifference June 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
You act as if having no kids In the school district is the only reason one would care about local schools? If you own real estate in the districts boundaries this issue affects you wether you have kids or not, your real estate should be a concern as to the quality of our schools, and you call other dumb!!! The elderly can get an exemption so they are a non issue and hopefully people like you didn't confuse them with incorrect information. it a short quick fix for the states deficits and not a lot of money!!
Janette Brown June 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Oh wow ......I will do the happy dance if measure D does not pass !!!!!!
Janette Brown June 07, 2012 at 05:10 PM
No on D .....no more taxes ...I am a senior and I am not confused....NO on D...dont be stupid people ...dont listen to the junk going around...its plain and simple more taxes on the middle class !!!
SooQue June 07, 2012 at 05:24 PM
To all and any hostile Vote No on D persons: Do you own a home in Rohnert Park? Are you in fact paying property taxes? If not, shut up. If you are a non-hostile voter that voted No, I can respect that, and that is your choice. To all you others, you are using this forum to spew your anti-government, anti-tax, anti-social baloney.
Maybe June 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The RP district wasted several hundred thousand dollars needlessly changing the name of a school to Jones. They need to get rid of incompetent administrators and learn to live within their budget and not waste money like they did. I voted no and I hope that D does not pass!
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Yes, I pay my property taxes, which already includes a Cotati-RP Unified Bond Tax($298), which I have to pay with AFTER TAX dollars. If you add on the additional $89 for Measure D, it brings my "education taxes" close to $400! Dont forget about the school funding coming from the state. I also pay my state taxes, which partially gets re-routed to the school system. I will be joining Janette on her happy dance a soon as this Measure gets rejected!
Janette Brown June 07, 2012 at 07:01 PM
We are not hostile...yes we own a home ....been in Rohnert Park since it began in the 60's !!! Yes we pay property taxes...any more questions? Still NO ON D ...NO more taxes to the middle class !
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 07:04 PM
We all know they will be using Measure D revenue for Raises/Promotions/Bonuses/Retirement at the expense of all the homeowners. You might argue that Measure D money can't be used for salaries/raises/bonuses/etc per the ballot, but what will happen is this: 1) The school system will use up their existing annual budget for promotions/raises/bonuses/pensions. 2) they will use Measure D money for replace that same money, they took out from their operating fund, to run the schools. 3)They are hopeful that the economy will improve within the 5 year period, so that they can continue living their lavish lives with more raises and promotions at the expense of homeowners! I'm an accountant, so I know all these strategies.
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The governor will also be asking for MORE tax money for the schools this November...
CommunityValues June 07, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I have worked as a teacher in the CPRUSD for ten years and I certainly wish these raises/promotions/bonuses were a reality, but they are not. Our school year has been cut, costing students valuable instruction time and cutting salaries across the board. If we want a thriving community we need to provide excellent schools with great programs. I live in Rincon Valley where NO school days have been cut and my kids have access to excellent (and costly) programs. Value community. Value education. Value children. My fingers are cossed that D passes!
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 09:28 PM
...And that high salary made it possible for you to live in Rincon Valley. Come live in Rohnert Park. Thanks for proving my point. You're just like the other teachers who complain about not "making enough money". I don't "make enough money" either, but I'm not asking voters to hand ME more money.
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Obviously there's more money floating around in Rincon Valley, to pay for these program. Rincon Valley is a totally different community...you just can't compare. It's one thing to pay taxes, and know that it will be spent wisely; it's another to pay taxes and know that it will most likely be misspent.
VotedNOonD June 07, 2012 at 09:44 PM
CommunityValues - Why did you become a teacher, if it's common knowledge that they "don't make enough money"? I grew up hearing teacher repeat that line over and over. I just don't get it. That's why I didn't become a teacher. Students currently going to school to become teachers- Don't become teachers unless you really care about the kids, and not so much about money! We don't want to hear you complain about money being an issue for you once you're a teacher!
Janette Brown June 08, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Do what I did and take care of your own children !! Back in the day if we wanted a better education for our kids we paid for it ourselves not to ask the whole community to pay for our child's education. Everyone does not need to pay for this ... WE do not need more taxes put on the middle class...sorry but you will have to get your symphony somewhere else. NO ON D....
Janette Brown June 08, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Thank you !!!!!!!!! You have made some excellent points....I just hope the people listen to reason.
G Man June 09, 2012 at 03:24 PM
This response is Soo interesting. Your "shut up" demand insinuates that people who don't own a home have no business criticizing Measure D. Did you ever consider those who don't own homes might have no business voting for a parcel tax they won't have to pay?
G Man June 09, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Does anyone else wonder who paid for all those PRETTY "yes on D" signs around town? How much they cost? Inquiring minds would like to know...
G Man June 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Teachers won't see much, if any, of this "new" money. I know b/c I used to be a teacher. Just as with any other funding, by the time it trickles down to the classroom, teachers will be lucky to get a new pencil sharpener. Yes, that's how bloated and corrupted school districts work. The money enters the system at the top and administrators grab gobs of the money with both hands to pay for their little projects and monuments to themselves. Money gets diverted to pay for things that are not even remotely related to education. Lots of the dough goes to unnecessary projects and those projects always get awarded to union cronies who overcharge the district.
G Man June 09, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Why ONLY $89? Based on your logic, money is what makes a good education. If that is the case, why stop at $89? If 89 bucks will buy a better education, how much would it cost for a GREAT education? Let's make it $250, $500, or $1000. Hell, let's make it ten thousand and we will have SUPER smart kids, right? The bottom line is that money does not equal a good education. As a former teacher, I always heard other teachers lamenting that if they only had X, Y, or Z, they could teach better. A good teacher can teach with little more than books, chalk, and chalkboard. No matter how much money we throw at public schools, administrators will ALWAYS find new ways to WASTE it.
VotedNOonD June 09, 2012 at 06:05 PM
agree with g man. "It's always greener on the other side of the fence". "If only we had X amounts of dollars more we could have...". That's why I voted NO on D. I wish I would have been more involved in(or created) an anti-measure d group to educate some people about how unfair measure d really is. Of course people would have looked down on me and called me a kid hater, but people on this message board have brought up some really great points. Sales taxes would have been a better way to raise tax revenue. Why should homeowners be punished with a tax to(in many instances) help support other people's kids? Another name for Measure M is income redistribution.
troy June 10, 2012 at 04:13 AM
The thing about Neasure D is this....people spend more on beer in a year than they are willing to spend on their local schools. Rancho is badly in need of upgrades. Go to other high schools in Livermore, Stockton, Elk Grove, American Canyon, just about anywhere, and those schools are great. Their communities obviously care about their students. Rancho is almost an embarrassment compared to those. The bad thing is this, if Masure D fails, the district is going to do as they say...cut into core academic programs. Hopefully that doesn't mean art and music are cut, because the Rancho band is one of the best in the county. Rancho is one of the few schools that still has a well-rounded high school experience for our students. Aand even if you don't have kids, you still benefit from supporting public schools. Remember, that dentist or doctor or engineer or some other person you need probably went to a public school.
Tom June 10, 2012 at 09:35 AM
I keep hearing the same thing, give more and things will get better. Which I find hard to believe....because they keep saying the same thing, and nothing changes! By the way, What ever happened to the lottery money? That was going to fix everything! Here are some questions ....If improvements are needed why didn't they budget for them? and How does a new building improve education? Because the way I see it, my life won't get better by moving into a new house, it would only put me further in debt. Here are some ideas, Maybe they should turn High Schools into trade schools, so the kids will have some real skills to enter the real world. Or maybe they go to a voucher program to put a little competition into educating the kids. But really, to say that cuts to the core programs will be made, sounds like a threat and that they plan to stop educating the kids, which I believe they are already being paid to do. You see, I don't know how they budget the money they already get, but I think it's about time they really take a look at where the money is spent and cut what's needed now, so it will be easier later, because it may be awhile before the economy improves...... just my thoughts
Janette Brown June 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Cuts to core education is a threat....all they say on YES to D is to scare you into forking up more taxes and Tom ..everything you say is correct. You had some good ideas. Again I am praying D does NOT pass.....hope we know soon
Janette Brown June 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Troy.................read Tom's comments .............again NO ON D people !


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