With all precincts reporting, Measure A—the $49 annual parcel tax to be assessed on residents in the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District—passed Tuesday evening during a mail-in election.
The measure received 10,346 "yes" votes, or 72.6 percent, and 3,906 "no" votes, or 27.41 percent. Beginning July 1, all school district residents will pay a $49 annual parcel tax.
The parcel tax will raise $800,000 a year for six consecutive years, totaling $4.6 million, a big boost to the district that saw the same amount stripped from schools during the past two years, with an additional $1 million on the horizon for the next school year.
Three other school districts in the county that are struggling with the same type of budget cuts appeared to have won their similar parcel tax elections last night.
According to Elma Rosas, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters spokeswoman, the voter turnout for the district was 44 percent, which is about the average turnout for Los Gatos and Saratoga residents, despite an off-year election.
The registrar's office issued approximately 31,139 ballots for Tuesday night’s election, Rosas said.
Yes on Measure A Campaign chairwoman Robin Mano praised her town for the strong show of support.
“What a great town Los Gatos is,” Mano said. “We came through and supported our local schools. It will support our teachers as well as core academic programs like math, science and English.”
According to Mano, the Yes on Measure A campaign raised roughly $115,000 and recruited more than 300 volunteers to phone bank on behalf of the measure or knock on doors in the community.
A number of community leaders and organizations also supported the measure, including Carl Guardino, a Los Gatos resident who is president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
“As a father of two young girls, ages 2 and 6, I was proud to vote yes on Measure A,” said Guardino. “Los Gatos has great schools, excellent teachers, committed parents and a supportive community. With state budget cuts, we cannot risk the success of our local schools falling under the budget knife in Sacramento. Measure A helps to ensure our local schools remain strong through local funds.”
Some mandates of passage of the measure are to establish a citizen oversight committee made up of Los Gatos and Saratoga residents to follow the parcel tax funds, and the money can't go to pay administrators’ salaries.
In Santa Clara County, voters also weighed in on proposed measures that will benefit the Sunnyvale School District, the Cupertino Union School District and the Los Altos Elementary School District.
The Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District also includes part of Santa Cruz County, requiring some of those residents to vote on Measure A.
Of the 3,350 registered Santa Cruz County voters participating in today's election, 43.8 percent cast ballots, and 64.1 percent of them voted in favor of the parcel tax.
In Santa Clara County, 147,036 registered voters could participate in the election, with 44.9 percent electing to do so.