TRUCKEE, Calif. - There will be lots of decisions to make when you vote on November 6 - from President of the United States to state and local measures and candidates.
I want to encourage those of you in the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District to vote "YES" on Measure J. Measure J is an $8.52 million long-term bond to help finance a much-needed aquatic center and performing arts center in our community. The Rec District will add another $7 million saved during construction of the new and hugely successful community center.
Both projects have been pared down from original plans so the resulting facilities provide a lot of bang for the buck. Hundreds of locals have been involved in the planning process.
The benefits to a community of a public pool and aquatic center and performing arts facility are enormous. It could be argued that your modest annual payment is more than offset by the increase in property values received when a community hosts broad-based recreational facilities.
My friend Rolf Godon wrote recently in his "My Turn" column: "Beware of the Fine Print in Bond Measures." Good advice.
I read the fine print - and the large print - of the entire Rec Bond proposal. By the way, bond fine print is excellent bedtime reading for insomniacs - like most legal writings, e.g. the "Law Review."
My take is that the Measure J estimate of $6.91 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) of your property is conservative. Apparently, on average that's about $20 a year per parcel. Unlike the hospital bond (which created world-class health facilities, remember), let's hope we are at the bottom of recession-adjusted property values.
And, the economic projections used to estimate cost per assessed values also seem conservative to me. But, read the bond fine print yourself, and read the arguments For and Against in your Sample Ballot.
Ironically, this is a good time to pass a long term bond measure. But, it takes a two-thirds vote.
This is our community. Let's make it even better. Your annual payment goes a long ways - much farther, I contend, than your federal tax payments. And, the benefits of an aquatic center and performing arts center will be ours to use and enjoy.
This is a difficult economic time which makes a "YES" on J vote even more appreciated.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. He was the Governor's appointee to the California Fair Political Practices Commission and McPherson Commission, both involving election law and the Political Reform Act. Jim's practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOAs, contracts, foreclosures, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at email@example.com or at the firm's website www.portersimon.com.