MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#18 – #10) — October 12, 2018

This is the second of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts (for the first, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018). This is the middle third of school districts based on their Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state. It’s the piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat. No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote. If the name is in bold, I have endorsed (which I have not done in this grouping). If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has four districts with no candidates this cycle. The blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

Letters to the Editor in support of Proposition 6 and giving me a polite shout out continue to appear around the state. The second piece is from the Los Angeles Daily News. The third is from Calaveras County’s The Pinetree.net.

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LA-Daily-News

OPINION

Vote yes on Proposition 6:

Letters

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/10/11/vote-yes-on-proposition-6-letters/

Vote yes on Proposition 6. For years, politicians in Sacramento have been raiding existing gas-tax revenue to pay for pet projects and general fund spending — not to fix our terrible roads and infrastructure.

State Senator (and CPA) John Moorlach released a report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax funds go to roads, and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

And as with most supplemental taxes, we can’t help but suspect this one indirectly offsets debt accumulated from unsustainable public-employee pensions.

Don’t be fooled by the misleading ballot title: “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.” The Prop. 6 title should read: “Gas tax repeal initiative that sends a message to our state government: it’s time for fiscal accountability.”

— Kathy Bence, South Pasadena

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Vote Yes on 6 to Repeal an Unfair, Regressive Tax ~ Al Segalla

http://thepinetree.net/new/?p=68424

Copperopolis, CA…The cost of living is already too high in California, and the Gas and Car Tax hikes hurts working families that already struggle to pay bills. Estimates suggest the new increase in Gas Tax total will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year. This is about what a family spends on Christmas and two years of school lunches at a public school, or a year of college textbooks.

• The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread and everything in between.

• On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.
The gas tax hike will NOT fix our roads – because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains NO GUARANTEE that even a penny will go to roads.

• For years, the Sacramento politicians have been raiding the existing Gas Tax funds to pay for their pet projects and general fund spending rather than fixing our terrible roads and infrastructure.

• By voting Yes on 6, you send a message to the Sacramento politicians that Californians want raids of our existing gas tax funds stopped immediately.

• Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Senator John Moorlach – a CPA – released a stunning report showing that only 20% of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

• A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5x national average on roads.

• All the road projects that the politicians are claiming are being paid for by this most recent Gas Tax could be paid for if the politicians used the existing gas tax revenue for doing what it was supposed to do – repairing California’s infrastructure.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100% of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla
Calaveras County Taxpayers Association

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MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018

Welcome to the first of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts. The first group is the bottom third of school districts, having the largest Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state, is the first piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat, two asterisks (**) means they are declined to state, and four asterisks (****) signifies they are a registered Libertarian.

No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote (with one exception). If the name is in bold, I have endorsed. If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has two districts with no candidates this cycle. One district has no Republican candidates. Other blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

For Irvine USD, I would advise against voting for the Republican candidate. He would attend Board of Supervisors meetings every week when I served and based on my observations, I am not sure he is up to the job.

The second piece is from KFI AM 640 and is a review, including a podcast, of Proposition 1 (also see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018).

The third piece is a letter to the editor supporting Proposition 6 from State Historical Landmark Number 296, Copperopolis, in The Union Democrat.

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LOCAL NEWS

Propositioned – Prop 1 – How Do We Fund Affordable Housing?

posted by RJ Johnson @rickerthewriter

https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2018-10-11-propositioned-prop-1-how-do-we-fund-affordable-housing/

Propositioned - Prop 1 - affordable housing on the ballot

Welcome back to Propositioned! Hosted by KFI’s Kris Ankarlo, this limited series podcast is back to take a look at the 11 different propositions you’ll see at the ballot box this November 6!

Now in its third season, Propositioned is a chance for both sides on each question to make their case to you, the voter. Then you can take that information with you to the voter booth.

Today’s episode deals with Proposition 1, a general obligation bond that would authorize up the government to sell $4 billion in bonds to fund existing housing programs.

Supporters say the money could be a big help for families who have always dreamed of buying a home in California, but were unable to until now. Habitat for Humanity Orange County Chapter Vice-President Chris Biochi says Prop 1 could help 50,000 families and veterans realize that dream.

“Among families, the house is the single greatest vehicle for inter-generational wealth transfer,” Biochi told KFI’s Kris Ankarlo. “And that changes things for a family. I’m proud to work for an organization that does that on a daily basis and I think this proposition is a chance for us to start heading in that direction as a state, to start giving that opportunity to others.”

However opponents say borrowing money isn’t the right way to solve the affordable housing crisis in California. Republican state senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) says these types of projects should be paid for out of California’s general fund.

“I think the big tragedy is, is that, this year we’ve actually had what we would quantify as a budget surplus. We’ve had a little bit more in revenue than normal – $12 billion more in fact,” Moorlach said. “Well, why didn’t we go use a third of that to go ahead and pay the $4 billion?”

In the next episode of Propositioned, Kris takes a look at Prop 2, which also deals with housing – but this time for people with mental illness.

Listen to yesterday’s episode on the history of propositions in California here!

Here’s what the ballot says Proposition 1 will do:

Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $170 million annually over the next 35 years.

Here’s what a YES Vote Means:

A YES vote on this measure means: Allows the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Here’s what a NO Vote Means:

A NO vote on this measure means: The state could not sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Photo: Getty Images

Vote Yes on 6 — Repeal an unfair, regressive tax

https://www.uniondemocrat.com/opinion/6588716-151/letters-to-the-editor-for-october-11-2018

To the Editor:

Estimates suggest the new increase in gas tax will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year.

On Nov. 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year — striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.

The gas tax hike will not fix our roads — because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains no guarantee that even a penny will go to roads.

Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Sen. John Moorlach — a CPA — released a stunning report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5 times the national average on roads.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100 percent of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla

Copperopolis

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Housing Bond Audit — October 5, 2018

This past Tuesday, I was back up at the Capitol to participate in the Joint Informational Hearing of the Senate Transportation & Housing and Governance & Finance Committees, as I sit on the latter. The title was “Housing for Working Families: How Do We Pay for It?” It was the first of two hearings. As this hearing dealt the housing shortage and financing, the market forces actually causing this crisis will be the topic of the next hearing to be held in November in the city of Long Beach. (If it were up to me, the regulatory dynamics unique to the California real estate market should have been addressed first.)

The first panel, addressing the topic “California’s affordable housing crisis by the numbers, recent actions to close the housing gap, and new ideas for future investments,” included Lisa Bates, Deputy Director of Financial Assistance, California Department of Housing and Community Development.

It gave me the opportunity to ask Ms. Bates about the recent State Auditor’s audit report on her department and its shortcomings (see the fact sheet at https://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/factsheets/2018-037.pdf and full report at https://www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2018-037/index.html). The Chair of the Transportation & Housing Committee, Senator Jim Beall, thanked me for the inquiry, as he too was concerned about the report.

A few thoughts. There is a $4 billion housing bond measure on the November ballot, Proposition 1, that this department would oversee (also see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018). It would be more reassuring if the audit report praised Housing and Community Development. Consequently, voters are likely to approve another massive bond with minimal oversight.

Our State Auditor does great work. Regretfully, no one seems to care. Have you heard any reaction to the audit report from the Governor? From Alexis Podesta, the Governor’s Secretary at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency? I didn’t hear a peep from her.

Now you can see why I authored SB 1297 this year to establish the office of a Chief Operating Officer (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-1297-state-chief-operating-officer). No one seems to be running the show in Sacramento (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1297 – COO — April 19, 2018).

Fortunately, The Bond Buyer permitted me to vent a little on these two concerns in the piece below. Note: The reference at the conclusion of the piece should be to Proposition 63 (2004).

California is better at authorizing housing bonds than administering them

By Keeley Webster

https://www.bondbuyer.com/news/audit-problems-with-california-housing-bond-administration?brief=00000159-f607-d46a-ab79-fe27f2be0000

LOS ANGELES — California’s housing agency exercises inconsistent oversight of programs funded by state housing bonds.

That’s the state auditor’s conclusion in a report that was released a few weeks ahead of the November election, in which state voters will be asked to authorize $4 billion of new general obligation bonds for housing.

The Department of Housing and Community Development’s oversight of bond funds remains inconsistent, said California State Auditor Elaine Howle.

The audit of the Department of Housing and Community Development is State Auditor Elaine Howle’s fifth in a series tracking results from the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Acts of 2002 and 2006.

The agency’s “oversight of housing bond funds remains inconsistent and HCD has failed to follow through on half of our recommendations from previous reports,” Howle wrote in a letter to state lawmakers attached to the 41-page report released in late September.

“We found problems related to how HCD is monitoring some bond programs, whether its housing bond database can perform key functions, and how it is ensuring that it does not exceed administrative spending limits,” Howle wrote.

“HCD generally provided adequate monitoring of its loan‑based programs by performing on‑site visits and reviewing required reports. However, it did not adequately monitor its grant‑based programs,” the audit report said. “As a result, it cannot be certain that award recipients for these programs used the funds to assist target populations with homeownership or home rehabilitation.”

State Sen. John Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican, called Howle “the real deal,” who has been willing to take on the same issues he has hammered as a senator – primarily what he sees as poorly run state agencies.

Though Howle has issued five reports questioning oversight of housing bond funds, nothing has changed, she wrote.

The accountability in Sacramento is negligible – and bonds continue to be approved by voters, Moorlach said.

“Howle writes these reports and no one gets fired, nothing gets modified and no one gets retrained,” he said.

Moorlach authored a failed bill asking that the state create a chief operating officer position to make sure criticisms raised in audits are addressed.

The state’s November bond measure comes on top of more than $10 billion in housing bond measures that have been approved by voters statewide and in individual cities and counties over the last two years.

San Jose, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz in northern California are following the lead of other coastal cities that got voter approval for housing bond measures, and are placing measures on November’s ballot.

Issues raised in audits — particularly around the use of bond funds — don’t seem to affect the rate of voter approval on bond measures.

“I think 90% of the bond measures on the state ballot have been approved,” Moorlach said. “People don’t realize there is a cost. They don’t realize it is going to raise taxes. They don’t understand debt.”

Reports by Michael Coleman of the California League of Cities bear out Moorlach’s comments on approval rates for state bond measures. School district bond measures and city tax measures have an even higher approval rate.

The state’s $4 billion Proposition 1 would fund a variety of existing programs, including $1.5 billion to support apartments for low-income residents and $1 billion for loans to help veterans purchase farms and homes.

Many of the recent spate of city and county housing bond measures have been aimed at tackling homelessness.

It’s a case of trying to fix a symptom while not dealing with the underlying problem, said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, LLC, an independent research and consulting firm.

While very visible, Thornberg said, the homeless population in California is a minuscule percentage of the overall population. In Los Angeles County, it’s 45,000 people in a county of 10 million.

“The idea that the housing shortage is best discussed in the context of homelessness is like saying an elephant is best discussed on the basis of its tail,” Thornberg said. “Politicians are making a big deal out of homelessness and it’s distracting from the real problem, which is the failure to clean up the zoning issues or allow a proper degree of development by failing to push back against the NIMBYs.”

“We view California’s housing shortage as an important, though difficult to quantify, long term headwind to the state’s economic growth prospects,” said Gabriel Petek, an S&P Global Ratings analyst.

There’s an economic cost: the price of housing, both rental and for-sale, has soared in the Bay Area, for example, as housing inventory failed to keep pace. Between 2011 and 2015, the Bay Area added over 500,000 jobs, but only 65,000 housing units, according to the Bay Area Council, a business group.

S&P Global Ratings has been including the state’s housing shortage in ratings reports for several years.

“We view California’s housing shortage as an important, though difficult to quantify, long-term headwind to the state’s economic growth prospects,” said Gabriel Petek, an S&P Global analyst.

“For example, notwithstanding that California boasts strong income and wealth indicators—per capital income is 116% of the nation for 2017—it’s also plagued by an above average poverty rate,” S&P wrote in an Aug. 23 report, when it affirmed California’s AA-minus GO bond rating. “After accounting for the cost of living, the state’s poverty measures look even worse. Nowhere is this more evident than in the state’s real estate market, where a chronic shortage of affordable housing, especially in its large metropolitan areas, undercuts the state’s business climate.”

The California League of Cities supports Proposition 1.

It also supports Proposition 2, the No Place Like Home measure, which would ratify a plan to allow the state to use an income tax surcharge to support mental health programs to back bonds to fund housing for homeless people with mental health problems.

In 2016, Brown signed legislation allowing up to $2 billion of bond proceeds to be backed with revenue from the so-called millionaire’s income tax imposed in 2004’s Proposition 62.

That plan has been tied up by a lawsuit contending Proposition 62 does not authorize the use of bonds. Proposition 2 would remove that ground for the suit.

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