CITY OF SAUSALITO
MEASURE F: City of Sausalito No-Tax-Increase Park Improvement/Safety Measure. To bring Robin Sweeny Park, Southview Park, Dunphy Park and the MLK site to current health/safety standards; repair unsafe children’s playground equipment, upgrade safety lighting, pathways and play courts; add needed restrooms; restore wetlands/natural areas, shall the City of Sausalito enter into an agreement with the Sausalito Financing Authority and permit revenue from the MLK site to be used as revenue financing, with no increase in taxes?
CITY ATTORNEY’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE F
COMPLIANCE WITH ORDINANCE NO. 1128 –
APPROVAL OF A LEASE OF THE CITY OWNED MLK SITE TO THE SAUSALITO FINANCING AUTHORITY AND
THE USE OF LEASE REVENUES FROM MLK TO FINANCE CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION
The City Council of the City of Sausalito placed Measure F on the ballot to ask the City’s voters, in an advisory vote, to approve the leasing of the City-owned MLK Site (the former public school at 110 Ebbtide and 610 Coloma) and permit the revenues to be used as revenue financing to fund safety improvements and upgrades to the MLK Site, Robin Sweeny Park, Dunphy Park and Southview Park. Measure F does not impose any new tax or raise any existing tax.
The revenues from the MLK site would finance Certificates of Participation (COPs) specifically to fund improvements to the City’s MLK Site and Robin Sweeny, Southview and Dunphy Parks. This type of financing mechanism is commonly used by local jurisdictions. On June 30, 2015 the Sausalito City Council approved the issuance of COPs in the amount of $8.5 million to finance these park improvements. As security for the COPs, the MLK Site will be leased by the City to the Sausalito Financing Authority and immediately leased back to the City. City Ordinance No. 1128, which was adopted by the City Council in 1987 in response to a citizen’s initiative, generally requires that leasing of the MLK Site, except for certain commercial leases, be approved by the voters. The COPs have the same expiration date as the leases for the three largest tenants at MLK.
The $8.5 million from the issuance of the COPs will be used for improvements and safety upgrades to three City parks – Robin Sweeny, Dunphy and Southview – and the MLK site. The improvements will bring the parks up to current safety codes and standards and improve playgrounds, safety lighting, pathways, play courts, wetlands and natural areas.
A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve leasing of the MLK Site to the Sausalito Financing Authority and the use of revenues from the MLK Site to finance the COPs. A “No” vote is a vote not to approve leasing of the MLK Site to the Sausalito Financing Authority and the use of revenues from the MLK Site to finance the COPs. Measure F will be approved if it receives a simple majority of “Yes” votes.
City of Sausalito
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE F
Vote YES on F – FIX LOCAL PARKS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!
Sausalito’s parks are old and need significant repairs/safety upgrades. Hundreds of residents collaborated with the City to plan improvements to Dunphy Park, Robin Sweeny Park, Southview Park, and the MLK Site, which are treasured but deteriorating public assets. Many projects are “shovel ready” and can start immediately.
YES on F funds these critical park repairs now, while interest rates remain low and before project costs escalate. Measure F does NOT create any new taxes and does NOT raise any existing taxes.
YES on F authorizes the City to fund essential park improvements through a standard financing method used by dozens of cities and local agencies. Independent fiscal experts recommend this financing mechanism, and the City Council has already approved it.
YES on F updates Sausalito’s parks and public spaces – making them safe and up to the standards of neighboring communities:
• YES on F brings parks up to today’s safety standards.
• YES on F replaces unsafe playground equipment.
• YES on F upgrades safety lighting.
• YES on F improves tennis/basketball courts, sports fields.
• YES on F adds restrooms.
• YES on F repairs leaky roofs/deteriorating buildings, hillside retaining walls.
• YES on F restores wetlands/natural areas.
Residents of all ages deserve BEAUTIFUL, SAFE PARKS for community events and recreation, where our children can play and exercise in a fun, healthy environment within their local community.
YES on F ensures that our parks remain vital community gathering spaces that make Sausalito special and that all generations can enjoy together. Upgrading our parks enhances the livability of our extraordinary community, improving property values without raising taxes!
Join Mayor Thomas Theodores, Sausalito City Council members, parents, seniors, and parks/environmental advocates in voting YES on F!
Questions? Visit www.ci.sausalito.ca.us.
Chair, Yes on F Campaign, Chair, Parks/Recreation Commission, 21-Year Resident
s/SHELBY VAN METER
President, Sausalito Beautiful and 41-Year Resident
President, Willow Creek Academy Board of Directors, Parent, 20-Year Resident
Past President, Sausalito Village and 25-Year Resident
Friend of Dunphy Park and 53-Year Resident
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE F
Let’s fix the parks without the debt.
Parks renovations should be funded with a “pay-as-we-go” approach.
• Let the $1 Million/year sales tax increase we approved last year partially fund parks improvements, as promised.
• MLK currently generates over $900,000 in annual revenue. This should be spent directly on parks.
• Robin Sweeny Park's playground equipment can be upgraded within a year – without new taxes or massive new debt. Other improvements can be fixed during the next 5 years while living within our means.
• Over 5 years, even without additional fundraising, this approach would produce the same funds for parks as Measure F without wasting fees, interest or debt reserves.
• Community fundraising is a part of Sausalito's history, and should be used, if needed, instead of borrowing from Wall Street.
Measure F is a financing scheme designed by, and for the benefit of, consultants and lenders.
• Proponents claim Measure F is a "standard financial method” but proponents don’t give details. Why? Because well over $3 Million in fees and interest will go to consultants and lenders, not to our parks or our city.
The assertion that “many projects are shovel-ready” is unsubstantiated. NO park proposal has been priced by contractors. Only Sweeny Park plans have been approved, and many other park improvements are not yet designed.
We do deserve beautiful, safe parks. We also deserve prudent fiscal management, not this expedient “financing mechanism” and huge debt.
Join us - VOTE "NO" on F
s/CHARLES I. DONALD
Former Planning Commissioner, Sausalito;
37-year resident of Sausalito
s/DOROTHY ELIZABETH GIBSON
Former Chair of the Planning Commission;
s/VINCENT EDWARD MAGGIORA
60+ year Sausalito resident
s/BARBARA A. HANSEN
Former School Board Trustee; 53-year resident;
Former Sustainability Commission Member;
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE F
We treasure our parks! But this flawed Measure F financing scheme is a bad deal for Sausalito. City Staff sees our largest park as a treasury to be raided and wants to borrow $8 Million using projected income from the MLK property as collateral. It’s like approaching a pay-day lender on income not yet earned.
If repayment problems arise, Mellon Bank of New York could assume control over the entire 17 acre MLK recreation area, schools, artist studios and dog-park.
Measure F is a risky gamble with MLK revenue reminiscent of the CDO’s (Collateralized Debt Obligations) that caused the 2008 financial collapse. Now Staff wants us to approve a similar complex financing scheme for a quick cash infusion.
Last November we voted for the Measure “O” sales tax increase. City mailers promised that the proceeds would go to “upgrading deteriorating neighborhood parks.” Where is that money going? Why are we borrowing $8 Million more?
According to the Staff presentation, at the end of 15 years, we will have paid $11 Million. Less than 40% will go to Robin Sweeny, Dunphy and Southview Parks. Almost $3 Million will fund MLK building repairs. More than $3 Million will go to debt service and fees, almost as much as we will be spending on parks improvements.
There is no financial accountability included in Measure F, such as the Citizens Oversight Committee used in prior funding measures.
Finally, none of this money is for ongoing park maintenance, the lack of which is the primary cause of the “deterioration” asserted by Staff.
We support our parks! Just say NO to Measure F: it’s a risky, unnecessarily expensive financing scheme. Let’s build community, not debt. There are better ways to renovate and enhance our parks.
s/LINDA J. PFEIFER
Resident and Former MLK Manager
s/JANET FAY DEAN
Original Sponsor 1987 Citizen’s Initiative,
Sausalito Resident, Grandmother
s/PATRICIA CAREY BACON
Former Financial Consultant
s/PATRICIA A. ZUCH
Former Parks & Rec Commissioner, Former Planning Commissioner, Chartered Financial Analyst
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE F
YES on F is a fiscally-responsible way to IMPROVE SAUSALITO’S PARKS NOW, WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!
Don’t be fooled by scare tactics!
Hundreds of cities, counties and districts throughout California and the nation routinely use Measure F’s STANDARD, SAFE and SECURE financing. Residents of all ages have been involved in planning for Sausalito’s park improvements for years, and the accompanying financing has undergone a thorough financial review and Council approval process. Now is our opportunity to make these park improvements a reality – VOTE YES on F!
Here are the FACTS:
• STANDARD & POOR’S, a leading independent credit ratings agency, has ALREADY analyzed Measure F’s financing transaction and given it a very strong ‘AA’ rating.
“We view the City’s management as strong, with good financial policies and practices.”
– STANDARD & POOR’S Measure F financing report
• Sausalito has received numerous awards for responsible, transparent budget practices at state and national levels.
• Only the City and our Taxpayers will own/operate MLK. It’s ridiculous to suggest a well-run City like ours would be subject to asset seizure. Sausalito has NEVER defaulted on debt. Measure F includes protections to ensure ongoing payments.
• Critical storm drain/street repairs have already begun, as Measure O promised. While some park repairs are funded, Measure O cannot address these major park improvements, which are urgently needed.
Opponents present no solutions to fix our parks. Through a fiscally-sound, common practice, Measure F fixes Dunphy, Robin Sweeny, Southview and MLK Parks NOW, without raising taxes.
Visit www.YesOnFSausalito.com – join us in voting YES!
CPA, Business Advisory Committee, 20-year resident
Friend of Dunphy Park, Former Sausalito Mayor,
Retired Officer – Dean Witter, 65-year resident
Former Sausalito Mayor, 20-year resident
FULL TEXT OF MEASURE F
RESOLUTION NO. 5536
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAUSALITO CALLING AND GIVING NOTICE OF THE HOLDING OF A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 3, 2015 AND REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF MARIN CONSOLIDATE SAID ELECTION; AND AUTHORIZE THE CITY CLERK OR DULY AUTHORIZED OFFICERS AND AGENTS TO CARRY OUT ALL NECESSARY PROCEDURES FOR SAID ELECTION SUBMITTING TO THE VOTERS A MEASURE TO APPROVE THE LEASE OF THE MLK SCHOOL SITE TO THE SAUSALITO FINANCING AUTHORITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF GENERATING REVENUE (WITH NO TAX RATE INCREASE TO VOTERS) FOR LOCAL PARK UPGRADES AND IMPROVEMENTS AND SETTING THE BALLOT LANGUAGE
WHEREAS, on December 16, 1997, the City Council adopted an initiative Ordinance No. 1128 regulating the sale, lease, or disposition of Plaza Vina del Mar, Gabrielson Park, the Martin Luther King site and Parking Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4; and
WHEREAS, the intention of Ordinance No. 1128 is that the City seek voter approval for certain activities related to the Martin Luther King property; and
WHEREAS, City of Sausalito constituents have long expressed community interest in safe, up-to-date and properly maintained parks and open space; and
WHEREAS, the City and park users have identified significant improvements needed on the Martin Luther King (MLK) campus and Robin Sweeny, Southview and Dunphy Parks to bring these well-used assets to today’s safety codes and standards, improve pathways, restrooms, wetlands, play courts and natural areas among other needs; and
WHEREAS, the City seeks to address these significant infrastructure needs now—without imposing any tax increase on local voters -- while interest rates are low and before projects become more expensive in the future; and
WHEREAS, the use of certificates of participation are a commonly used public funding mechanism used by scores of California cities and other public agencies to fund projects such as but not limited to, site improvements, roofing, exterior enclosure, plumbing, electrical systems and equipment upgrades; and
WHEREAS, the City’s independent fiscal experts have recommended use of this funding mechanism, secured by revenue from the MLK site as the most prudent manner of funding these park and recreation improvements; and
WHEREAS, to keep costs of a Special Election down, it is desirable that any ballot measure seeking voter approval for such use election be consolidated with the statewide election to be held on the same date and that within the City, the precincts, polling places, and election officers of the two elections to be the same; and
WHEREAS, it is desirable that the County Election Department of County of Marin canvass the returns and that the election be handled in all respects as if there were only one election on November 3, 2015.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Sausalito does hereby resolve as follows:
Section 1. That the foregoing recitals are true and correct and are hereby incorporated by reference.
Section 2. That pursuant to Elections Code section 9222, the City Council of the City of Sausalito hereby calls and orders an election at which it shall submit to the qualified voters of the City a ballot measure which if approved would approve the Lease of the MLK School Site to the Sausalito Financing Authority and the use of revenues from the MLK School Site to pay off the Certificates of Participation
Section 3. That pursuant to the requirements of Section 10403 of the California Elections Code, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin is hereby requested to consent and agree to the consolidation of said election.
Section 4. That the City Council, pursuant to its rights and authority, does order submitted to the voters at the November 3, 2015 election the following question:
City of Sausalito No-Tax-Increase Park Improvement/Safety Measure. To bring Robin Sweeny Park, Southview Park, Dunphy Park and the MLK site to current
health/safety standards; repair unsafe children’s playground equipment, upgrade safety lighting, pathways and play courts; add needed restrooms; restore wetlands/natural areas, shall the City of Sausalito enter into an agreement with the Sausalito Financing Authority and permit revenue from the MLK site to be used as revenue financing, with no increase in taxes?
Section 5. That the vote requirement for the measure to pass is a majority (50% +1) of the votes cast.
Section 6. That pursuant to California Elections Code section 9280, the City Clerk shall transmit a copy of the measure to the City Attorney who shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure in accordance with said Section 9280.
Section 7. That arguments for and against said measure may be filed in accordance with applicable provisions of the law. That the Council does not authorize the Council as a body or any individual member of the Council to file a written argument or any rebuttal argument for or against the measure. The City Clerk shall consider other arguments and rebuttal arguments filed by bona fide associations or individual residents who are eligible to vote in accordance with Elections Code Sections 9282, 9285 and 9287. Pursuant to Section 9285 of the California Elections Code, (the provisions of which are hereby adopted), when the City Clerk has selected the arguments for and against the measure which will be printed and distributed to the voters, the City Clerk shall send copies of the argument in favor of the measure to the authors of the argument against, and copies of the argument against to the authors of the argument in favor. The rebuttal arguments shall be filed with the City Clerk not more than ten (10) days after the final date for filing direct arguments. Rebuttal arguments shall be printed in the same manner as the direct arguments. Each rebuttal argument shall immediately follow the direct argument, which it seeks to rebut. The text of the measure shall be printed on the ballot in the voter information portion of the sample ballot.
Section 8. That the County Election Department is authorized to canvass the returns of said election. The election shall be held in all respects as if there were only one election, and only one form of ballot shall be used.
Section 9. That the Marin County Board of Supervisors is requested to issue instructions to the County Election Department to take any and all steps necessary for the holding of the consolidated election.
Section 10. That the City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Resolution and enter it into the book of original resolutions.
Section 11. That the polls for the election shall be open at 7:00 a.m. of the election and shall remain open continuously from that time until 8:00 p.m. of the same day, when the polls shall be closed, except as provided Elections Code section 14401.
Section 12. That in all particulars not recited in this resolution, the election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding municipal elections.
Section 13. That notice of the time and place of holding the election is hereby given and the City Clerk is authorized, instructed, and directed to give further or additional notice of the election, in time, form, and manner as required by law.
Section 14. That the City Clerk is hereby directed to file a certified copy of this resolution with the Marin County Board of Supervisors and the Election Department of the County of Marin.
Section 15. The approval of this resolution is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) as it is not a qualifying project pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378(b)(4).
Section 16. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED at a special meeting of the City Council of the City of Sausalito on this 4th day of August, 2015 by the following vote:
AYES: Councilmembers: Weiner, Pfeifer, Withy, Hoffman, Mayor Theodores
NOES: Councilmembers: None
ABSTAIN: Councilmembers: None
ABSENT: Councilmembers: None
Mayor of the City of Sausalito
Deputy City Clerk