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Ripon volunteers canvas city to push for support of $25M bond
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Supporters of the $25 million Ripon Unified school bond issue that will cost property owners $8.25 per $100,000 in assessed valuation listen to directions Saturday morning in a real estate firms parking lot across from Ripon Elementary School. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON — A small army of supporters of the Ripon School Bond Measure G spread out over the community Saturday morning contacting some 1,000 selected homes to further explain the $25 million bond.

School trustees, a principal, and a retired principal along with a cadre of Riponites joined in the walk with each having 50 addresses to contact.  A similar effort is scheduled to take place next Saturday with 1,000 more homes being targeted.

School board member Kit Oase organized the event and managed the volunteer effort throughout the morning that kicked off shortly after 9 a.m.   The bond will cost voters $8.25 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of their homes.  A $300,000 home would reportedly add $24.75 to a homeowners’ tax bill.

Consultants were used to prepare maps and information folders for the walkers and pinpointed the voters who they felt might need more information.  The walkers also urged voters – mostly with absentee ballots – that they must remember to sign the outside of the envelope when they send in their ballots.

The volunteers explained to homeowners that the funds are to be used to build new classrooms to replace outdated portables that were placed on the Colony Oak and Weston elementary school campuses as temporary solutions with a life span of some 20 years – far beyond that time frame.  The portables are said to be sorely in need of costly repair.

Science labs and libraries are in the planning for both permanent school structures with improved access to academic materials and expanded resources for students and teachers alike.

It will also provide a match with the State of California for $8 million in state grants.

The measure is expected to also be used to pay off a back debt involving the school farm that will reportedly save the school district some $6 million over time. The savings would help hire qualified teachers and protect the quality of classroom education.

School administrators have promised that the bond will be covered by annual financial and performance audits.  An independent oversight citizens’ committee will ensure that the money is used only for voter approved projects, and no monies will be used for administrative salaries.