Residents in the Old Adobe Union School District of east Petaluma have a choice of where to send their children to school. Each of the five elementary campuses — La Tercera, Miwok, Old Adobe, Sonoma Mountain and Loma Vista — have a different specialty for students interested in performing arts, science and technology, Spanish language immersion and other topics.
While the instruction inside the classrooms is among the best in the North Bay, the classrooms themselves need some TLC. Some of Old Adobe’s schools were built in the 1960s or earlier and have leaky roofs, outdated heating and cooling systems and need disability access.
District voters in the past have been very generous to the schools, approving in 2012 a $26 million bond measure for campus improvements. But that was less than half of the $60 million in upgrades that the district identified at the time. The plan was always to pursue the bonds in two phases, so as not to hit the taxpayers all at once.
East Petaluma voters this November will see Measure L for the Old Adobe school district on the ballot, and should vote “yes.” Measure L is a $38.5 million bond issue that would take care of the rest of the work needed to bring Old Adobe’s schools into the 21st century.
Each campus would see benefits from the bonds and the 1,900 students across the district would see improved access to technology. It would be the last time the district asked voters to open their pocketbooks for awhile and it would only add $30 per $100,000 of assessed value to each property owner’s annual tax bill, a small sum for a large benefit.
Officials in the Old Adobe district, including the school board and superintendent, have proven to be responsible managers of taxpayers’ money. They have made great strides with the last bond issue, and they have a specific spending plan in place for the new revenue. In addition, there will be an independent citizens’ oversight committee to ensure the money is spent where it was intended.
There is no public opposition to Measure L, and we see no reason why voters should not support it. Measure L would allow the Old Adobe Union School District to upgrade its campuses to match the first class instruction inside.
The Argus-Courier recommends a “yes” vote on Measure L for Old Adobe schools.