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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oakland Tribune Says Emeryville 'Measure J' Is Too Expensive

Re-printed from the Oakland Tribune Sept 19 2010:

Measure J, Emery Unified School District

Amount borrowed: $95 million

Total cost with interest: $383 million

Financing analysis: The district plans to repay these bonds over 47 years, resulting in very high interest costs. The ratio of the repayment cost to the original amount borrowed is 4.0, which is unacceptable. Moreover, the repayment schedule makes aggressive assumptions about development in the city of Emeryville producing new tax revenue. If the growth does not materialize, that would mean higher tax rates for existing residents or delays in issuing some of the bonds and extension of the Measure J tax beyond the projected 47 years.

Under the district's scenario, it would seek bridge financing if some of the bonds were delayed, an option we find unacceptable. As for the advertised tax rate of $60 per $100,000 assessed valuation, it doesn't account for repayment through 2022 of the district's existing bonds. The combined tax rate would be about $74 in 2011.

How the money will be used: The district, which serves about 800 mostly low-income students, is proposing to rebuild its two schools at adjacent sites. The new schools would be part of a community center project, planned with financial contributions from the city, that would also include other community service programs. While the project is interesting, the school district's share of the cost requires an excessively expensive bond program.

Recommendation: No.


  1. every voter and taxpayer in emeryville should read the two editorials in today's oakland tribune.

  2. The Oakland Tribune admits the project "interesting", which then suggests a state-of-art solution. It is important to also mention that the current building, used by staff, students and parents fails just about every life cycle, functionality and structural analysis. The new costs reflect an investment which may support a wider use of activities which also incorporates multiple groups for elderly, arts and similar specialized groups which may bring both Emeryville and Oakland to a global level. There is also mentions of establishing methods to offer unique virtual "grids" to other parts of the world. Even parking solutions are studied to be a model for other upcoming retrofitted and new urban projects with density considerations. With the right kind of re-thought project in mind, there is potential to spark interests with private enterprise.
    This project is not slated

  3. Nice gesture if the mega-corporations in the city donated the monies for the school project. After all, they have gained so much from the citizens of e-ville through the redevelopment agency funds. And we, the citizens of e-ville still have those r. a. bonds to pay off! How many years are left on those? And, we are just about to add more to that debt by giving Madison Marquette another extension on bay st b, and when they are ready subsidizing another shopping mall.

  4. Tito Young brought up an interesting point: "Even parking solutions are studied to be a model for other upcoming retrofitted and new urban projects with density considerations."

    From this sentence it appears as though Emeryville tax payers will be using public money to buy a parking garage for private interests.

  5. If Emeryville would make the business pay their fair share of taxes, they would have all the money they need for ECCL, which is just a pipe dream, 10 years and not one single shovel of dirt has been turned for the project. How many thousands of dollars have been wasted on this non project so far? And now they want to bilk the homeowner for even more?

    The only city building that is decent is city hall (go figure). Rec Center is a joke of a portable, as well as the Day Care. The Senior Center is in desperate need of a remodel. But of course, the city doesn't even have the money to provide decent facilities for basic services.

    When you have companies like Pixar, Peets, Novartis, you shouldn't have such dire income problems.
    Really, is money SO tight at the city they can't even erect a proper building for the day care?