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Malibu Councilman Skylar Peak Backs Bond Measure ES

The Malibu City Council has not taken a position on the measure, which includes a provision to give 20 percent of the funds to Malibu schools. The Santa Monica City Council voted to back the measure at an August meeting.

Malibu City Councilman Skylar Peak on Monday endorsed a $385 million school bond measure that will go before voters this November.

"I think education is one of the most important things we have in the community," Peak said, adding that he believes the bond measure will provide needed funds to provide technology to Malibu schools.

Measure ES is meant to provide a portion of $1 billion of needed improvements at schools in Santa Monica and Malibu, according to assessments by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The proposed bond would cost home owners an average $185 per year for up to 30 years, at a rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed value. So for Malibu homes worth $1 million, the cost would be about $300.

The monies would only be used for public works projects and facility improvements. The bond could not be used to fund teacher or other employee salaries.

Peak spoke during the public comment section of Malibu's City Council meeting.

The Malibu City Council has not taken a position on the measure, which includes a provision to give 20 percent of the funds to Malibu schools. Advocates for Malibu Public Schools also has not taken a position on the bond measure.

The Santa Monica City Council voted to back the measure at an August meeting. 

Two other education measures are on the ballot for this November, including Gov. Jerry Brown Proposition 30 and activist Molly Munger's Proposition 38. If both tax initiatives do not pass, the school district could face up to $10 million in additional cuts next year.

Editor's Note: More information has been added to clarify the possible cost for Malibu homeowners.

Amy Young September 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM
To clarify -- the actual cost will be $30 per $100,000 of valuation. $185 average per year, as stated in the article, is based on a home value of $605,000. This amount is clearly not representative of Malibu property values.
Hans Laetz September 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
At yesterday's meeting between two SMMUSD members and parent activists, it was apparent that ES is largely opposed by Malibu residents. People I have seen give tireless efforts to our local schools, who have campaigned for every single bond or parcel tax, are NOT supporting this one. Neither am I. For the first time in my life, I am opposing a school financing issue. The bond was thrown on the ballot to rebuild Samohi. There has been no recent assessment of needs for Malibu schools. The old priority list -- which includes new classrooms in Malibu -- has been made out of date by declining enrollment. The fact is that Malibu schools are subsidized by sales taxes raised in Santa Monica. But that does not mean that Malibu should subsidize construction in Santa Monica. It means the district should divorce. Malibu needs to vote no on Measure ES to send that message to Santa Monica. Laura Rosenthal, who has worked more for SMMUSD causes than any Malibuite, was silent last night when Skylar endorsed ES. She is not alone. Every parent activist whom I have talked with has ... at best ... voiced great skepticism about this. I'll vote for Prop 38, to increase my taxes to pay for schools. But not ES.
Ann Tomkins September 25, 2012 at 03:15 PM
It was foolish to put this bond measure on the ballot in November. With so much uncertainty regarding the propositions for school funding and the possible separation of Malibu schools from the district, I really can't see voting for this.
Jessica E. Davis September 25, 2012 at 04:07 PM
The amount is an average provided by the district (which is why I noted in the article that Malibu would likely pay more). I've clarified in the article that the cost is $30 per $100,000 of valuation. Thank you.
Susan Tellem September 25, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Ann - I agree and frankly for elderly homeowners and those on fixed incomes, it is a hardship so I hope there is an exclusion for those over 65. Property taxes are already high enough for those people. Those over 65 who can afford it, however, can opt in.
Karen Farrer September 25, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I concur with the comments above. I, too, for the first time, am not supporting a local school bond measure. To put it in dollars: Malibu will put in $119 million and get back $77 million. This bond is just plain unreasonable. I cannot support it in good conscience.
Amy Young September 25, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Thanks, Jessica. I felt that the average the district provided was a bit misleading. Thanks for clarifying in the article. And, thanks for coming yesterday.
Amy Young September 25, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Bond measures do NOT have exemption provisions for Seniors by State law.
MIke Sidley September 25, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I applaud Skylar's courage in endorsing this school bond measure. Skylar's long time residence in Malibu gives him the unique historic perspecitve to truly evaulate what is best in the long run for our community and our schools. In endorsing this bond Skylar,along with the majority of those Malibu residents who are also supporting the bond but whose voices are not heard on these sounding boards, concluded that indeed support for this bond will make our schools a better place. I thank you Skylar for your courage and hope that it inspires others to speak out infavor of this bond as well.
Jackie Robbins September 25, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Sorry Malibu, I am also against this. I own 3 lots, and get taxed 3 times for one home! I'm already struggling to finance past school tax bonds. My property taxes have almost doubled in the past 10 years. It's just not fair, I'm a single person, that can't carry this kind of encumberment! There must be another way to finance our schools. Education, yes, but NO to Bond Measure ES. Not every homeowner in Malibu is wealthy!
R Y A N September 25, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I support our local schools and agree that bond measures do just that. But I also agree with Ann that this bond, this time, will NOT pass due to the timing and uncertainty of auxiliary funding sources being on the same ballot. And I agree with Hans (!) that it's time to stop French Kissing SMMUSD and file the papers that will achieve local and responsive representation, independence, and self-determination in support of MALIBU's youth.
Hans Laetz September 25, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Mike, I fail to see how sending $40 million from Malibu taxpayers to rebuild Samohi, while the board builds unneeded classrooms in Malibu, equals support for local schools. Skylar may have jumped the gun here. When people like AMPS (a true groundroots Malibu education group) are still neutral, and activists like Karen Farrer are saying "not this time" ... that says a whole lot more to me than a comment from a freshman councilman.
Kevin September 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Your complaining your not wealthy enough because you own 3 lots in malibu? sell one.
Ken Griffen September 25, 2012 at 10:17 PM
California has the highest state taxes in the nation. Increasing local taxes just piles on further taxes. Start cutting public pensions and I would consider this bond measure.
Malibu Girl September 26, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I've lived here as long as Skylar... Not sure I'm qualified to evaluate this bond and decide what's good for Malibu... How can a councilperson with five months experience possibly be so qualified? I do have kids and do own a home here. Does Skylar? Will he be paying for this bond? AMPS seems to be taking the lead on educational matters in our community and they're neutral so far. Does Skylar know more than they know? Does he attend AMPS meetings and know what's going on in the world of education? I'm really not convinced how Skylar is able to take a lead on this when so many other experienced, long time residents are sitting on the fence.
Kelli September 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Wait a minute -- don't we already pay taxes for the schools? I don't have any kids, and I'm supposed to potentially bolster the schools further for other people's kids? Why not tax people at a higher rate whose kids go to school - public OR private. I'd vote for that bond measure.
Vaguely Worried September 26, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Wonderful to see local Californians actually questioning a bond measure. For many years, I never saw a bond measure on the ballot that Californians wouldn't vote 'yes' on, especially if the verbiage mentioned kids or schools. Of course, most of the money doesn't go to kids or classrooms, rather admin pensions and the ridiculous cost of our huge education bureaucracy... Carry on.
Ann Tomkins September 27, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Kevin, often times in Malibu small lots are combined to allow building but the lots are separately taxed and can't be sold separately. That is the case with my property, where my house is actually built on two lots. It isn't necessarily a problem for me with Bond measures that are based on value, but parcel taxes are a killer. It is one reason why I believe the current school district representation or lack of representation for Malibu residents is a problem. Objections to the idea of forcing long-time residents to sell their properties to pay rising tax bills was the rationale for Proposition 13. I agree with Jackie about tax increases in the last 10 years. For long-time residents, this voted indebtedness becomes a much larger percentage of their tax bill and can make staying in their home unaffordable.
Karen Farrer September 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Please remember to vote November 6th. This item is at the end of the ballot. And it's very important to know: School bonds pass with 55 percent of the vote, unlike parcel taxes which require 66-2/3 percent.

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