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Measure P falls short
November 06, 2013, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Funding for an expansion and rebuild of a Foster-City middle school and reopening of a San Mateo elementary school did not receive enough votes to pass.

Measure P only received 46.6 percent approval, short of 55 percent voter approval it required, according to semi-official election results from the San Mateo County Elections Office.

The San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District Board of Trustees placed the $130 million bond measure on the ballot this summer. The bond’s aim was to rebuild and expand Bowditch Middle School to add Foster City fifth graders and reopen Knolls Elementary School in San Mateo for the 2016-17 school year, following a design process and construction of about three years. It would have cost property owners $19 per $100,000 assessed property value.

Those on the opposition campaign, No on P, were led by Heidi Bowman, former treasurer of the voter-approved 2008 Measure L, and Trustee Ellen Mallory Ulrich. The campaign could not be reached for comment.

Yes on P, on the other hand, was backed by those such as board President Lory Lorimer Lawson, Superintendent Cynthia Simms and Measure P co-chairs Daniela Relaford and Doug Stoveland. The Yes on P committee could not be reached for comment.

Controversy was sparked back in September over the measure after San Mateo Mayor David Lim and Deputy Mayor Robert Ross made it clear they would not recommend that the City Council support Measure P. After the meeting concluded, Simms allegedly refused to shake the mayor’s hand as he had it extended out in thanks for her presentation.

The measure would have allowed Knolls in San Mateo, which has been used as a temporary overflow school, to reopen for the 2016-17 school year. This would have happened following a design process and construction of about three years, taking about $18 million. About $60-$80 million would have gone to Bowditch in Foster City expanding from 1,000 to 1,500 students, adding a floor and expanding on the ground level to address growing enrollment.

Voters previously approved Measure L, a $175 million bond measure in 2008. There is still $70 million in funds left from Measure L, Lawson previously said.

In other school ballot measure news, voters approved an extension of Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District parcel taxes of $174 per year that were due to expire soon. Measure R received 71.4 percent approval votes and expires in 10 years, according to the semi-official elections results. It required a two-thirds majority approval.

The Yes on R committee was pleased with the results, stating it is grateful for the community’s support.

“People worked very hard and elections are hard to predict,” said board President Robert Tashjian. “People spent a lot of time and effort.”

An independent citizen oversight committee would continue to oversee district expenditures, according to district officials.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: measure, school, would, mateo, million, foster,

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