California State Assemblyman, and recently declared independent, Nathan Fletcher endorses Proposition Z. Assemblyman Fletcher dropped from the Republican party in March and came in third in the June primary for San Diego Mayor. Proposition Z is a $2.8 billion bond measure for San Diego Unified schools' infrastructure. Fletcher has made it a point to advocate solutions to issues instead of abiding by party lines.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher made this statement on October 16th with his endorsement:
"This is a critical issue that affects the entire community. It is gratifying to see Republicans, Democrats and Independents all coming together to support our schools and our kids. I am proud to join with Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, 7,000 Classroom Teachers, the PTA and San Diego Taxpayers Advocate in support of Proposition Z."
As Assemblyman Fletcher lent his support to the bond measure, he commended its taxpayer safeguards. He also stated that he is "very pleased that the School District unequivocally banned the use of high-interest, long term bonds." Capital appreciation bonds have been a point of contention since Poway Unified's $105 million bond measure. Proposition Z will establish an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (ICOC) to ensure that taxpayers approve of future spending.
The Proposition Z campaign stated, "Nathan Fletcher understands that Proposition Z is a positive step for the future of San Diego and for our children. We are pleased to have his support.”
The bond measure would be paid through increased property taxes. The tax rate for the bond, "will not exceed $60 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property." This is the budget allocation for Proposition Z:Credit: sandi.net
Proposition Z is intended to sustain the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) with repairs and renovations to its facilities. The average age for SDUSD buildings is forty-three years. The district's past bond measure, Proposition S, was approved in 2008 for $2.1 billion. However, during its assessment, the district identified $7 billion of deferred maintenance. For more details on Proposition Z and its specifics, you can view the bond resolution here.
Proposition Z has also been endorsed by long-time Republican and San Diego Unified school board trustee Scott Barnett. Trustee Barnett participated in a debate at Politifest 2012 advocating the bond measure. His opposition was Lani Lutar who is the CEO of San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a position held by Barnett in the past.
Assemblyman Fletcher represents the California's 75th assembly district which encompasses areas of Poway, Fairbanks Ranch, and Escondido. He has recently reached out to Democratic port commissioner Scott Peters and city council hopeful Republican Ray Ellis to support their respective races.
The Republican party and tax measures do not always mix well. However, Assemblyman Fletcher shows that proposed solutions do not have to be categorized along partisan definitions.