Cuesta College’s bond Measure L passes
Updated Nov. 5, 8:48 a.m.: San Luis Obispo County voters yesterday approved Measure L, a $275 million local education bond measure, paving the way for Cuesta College to address longstanding facility, infrastructure and technology needs. The bond required a 55 percent approval of SLO County voters to be successful; it achieved 61.73 percent.
To pay for the bond, property taxes are set to rise by $19.45 per $100,000 assessed property value. The tax will show up on tax bills for the next 34 years for property owners in San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County in the Cuesta College School District.
This is the first local education bond Cuesta College has passed in 40 years. “To say I am thrilled with the passage of Measure L is an understatement,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Dr. Gil Stork. “The passage of Measure L is a vote of confidence in the educational opportunities and workforce preparation Cuesta College provides to the county. The voters saw that modern facilities are an integral component in successful education, and now we will be working immediately to respond to this vote of confidence in our institution.”
“All of us who recognize the tremendous value that Cuesta College provides for our county are extremely gratified that the voters recognized the criticality of community support for the capital needs of Cuesta College,” said Bob Wacker, Measure L campaign chair and Cuesta College Foundation Board of Directors president. “We celebrate the increased access to an affordable 21st century education for the thousands of future students who will benefit from this vote.”
According to Dr. Stork, Measure L’s passage was largely attributed to broad-based community support, including chambers of commerce, city and county leaders, various partners in education, the Cuesta College faculty union and senate, classified union, management union, Associate Students of Cuesta College and hundreds of volunteers.
Measure L funds will be used for temporary classroom replacement and new classroom facilities, repairs and upgrades to existing facilities, 21st century technology upgrades, creation of a job and career training facility on the North County Campus and debt retirement for capital/construction projects.
“The new classroom facilities and technology upgrades will make a huge difference to the quality of teaching and learning at Cuesta College,” said Kevin Bontenbal, president of the Cuesta College Academic Senate and library faculty member. “Our students and our faculty will benefit from them daily.”
Many of the county’s 9-1-1 emergency first-responders are educated at Cuesta, and the passage of Measure L will now enable Cuesta College to continue playing a vital role in keeping our communities healthy and safe by upgrading facilities to train and educate our area’s paramedics, nurses, emergency medical responders and other healthcare professionals. Additionally, the passage of Measure L will improve facilities for training in automotive technology, agriculture trades, early childhood education, law enforcement, welding, construction, engineering, technology and architecture, among others.
The Cuesta College Board of Trustees will immediately begin the process of forming a citizens bond oversight committee made up of San Luis Obispo County residents with expertise in construction, procurement and finance, as well as representatives of business and taxpayer organizations. The committee would monitor use of funds; strict fiscal accountability will also be provided via independent annual financial audits.