UPDATE: Measure N’s Victory Finalized

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

There wasn’t much more to tally as we suspected.  Nevertheless, the final 22 votes counted punctuated the victory.  21 of those went to the Yes side with only a single vote going to the No side.

That pushed the final tally of yes votes from 14502 to 14523.  The no tallies went from 6758 to 6759.

The final percentage was 68.24, surpassing the 68.05 that the parcel tax registered in 2020 despite what seemed to be more vocal opposition to the measure.

These are the final results.  The Yolo County Elections Office was set to certify these results on Friday afternoon but has yet to officially announce that certification.

Previous: Measure N Wins – Surpasses 2020 Percentage

Tuesday’s tally shows Measure N winning.  The last counted batch of votes push the vote total over 68 percent with 66.67 percent needed for passage of the parcel tax.

The bulk of the DJUSD parcel tax is now permanent and will be reassessed annually to account for inflation, ensuring a level of certainty and security for the fiscal budget of the local school district.

While the result will not be certified until Friday, the election office shows that they have just over 300 uncounted ballots in the entire county—all of them in some way questionable.

But even if all the ballots were located in Davis and all went to No on Measure N, it would not change the result.

Vanguard Analysis

The Vanguard may have additional and more in-depth analysis later.  However, there are a few points that bear reiterating at this time.

In 2020, the parcel tax garnered 68.05 percent of the vote.  With the final tally, Measure N has now exceeded that with 68.21 percent of the vote.

This result occurred against two separate backdrops.

First, as noted, former Councilmember Michael Harrington spent a sizable amount of time and money attempting to defeat the parcel tax.

He argued that the current enrollment data did not necessitate a permanent and increasing parcel tax.

“(M)ake them bring back a more reasonable proposal with a sunset clause so we can be sure the district properly addresses the demographic crisis in enrollment,” he argued.

His contention was, “The School Board has completely ignored the massive student enrollment decline while they ask all of us to pay ever increasing taxes, indefinitely!”

But while it is true that the district faces the prospect of declining enrollment, Harrington ignored the problem that the district faces which is the gap between what it takes in through ADA thanks to LCFF and what it spends on programs.

That’s not impacted by declining enrollment and exists independently from it.

The second problem is conflating an inflation inflator with an increase in the parcel tax.  By making a parcel tax, which is a flat tax, permanent, it becomes vulnerable to decline over time due to inflation.  By attaching an inflator to the yearly amount, you avoid that problem.

In the end, the result suggests that the voters largely rejected this argument despite Harrington’s Independent Expenditure mailer making the point.

The second issue raised—in the ballot argument is the anti-transgender positioning of Beth Bourne and Thomas Coleman Randall.

They argued, “The days of glory of this District are gone. They are more interested in indoctrinating kids with gender-sexual ideology and anti-parent policies than teaching the basics Civics, English Math and Science.”

That argument doesn’t seem to have any traction in Davis either—and as we will argue in a piece later this week, it doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of traction anywhere in California.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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1 Comment

  1. Walter Shwe

    This represents a great victory for our public schools and a clear defeat against private religious school welfare and right wing groups like the Moms for Liberty.

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