Q: What is Measure B and why was Measure B placed on the ballot?
A: For years, the City has been working with the community to evaluate El Cerrito’s Library service priorities and potential funding of a safe, modern library. In 2016, over 2,000 community members provided their feedback about their priorities for our library, including an energy-efficient library that meets earthquake and fire codes, and updated wiring to accommodate computers and technology.
To address community priorities for an up-to-date, 21st century library identified in a public discussion extending over 10 years and two city wide polls, each of which showed broad support for a safe modern library, the El Cerrito City Council placed a revenue measure, Measure B, on the November ballot to fund an earthquake-safe library that meets our community’s needs, for years to come.
If enacted by the voters, Measure B allows the City to issue up to $30M in general obligations bonds to fund a 21st century library.
See also City Attorney Impartial Analysis.
More information is included in the tax rate statement and will also be included in the County’s official Voter Guide.
The existing library does not meet current standards for libraries and two separate assessments completed in 2006 and 2014 demonstrate that El Cerrito needs to build a safe, modern library to meet current library standards for a community our size.
Q: Why is the bond for $30 million?
A: $30 million is the not to exceed total cost and it would cover the costs of purchasing a site, design, environmental review, construction oversight, actual construction, and fixed furnishings. Also, just because Measure B authorizes $30 million in bonds, it doesn’t mean that much will be borrowed unless it is actually needed.
Q: How can voters be sure Measure B funds will be spent as promised?
A: Measure B includes strict fiscal accountability provisions including independent citizen oversight, provided by the EC Financial Advisory Board, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports to the community.
These provisions will ensure all funds are spent as promised. No Measure B funding can be used for City administrator salaries. Measure B requires that all funds be spent locally and, by law, cannot be taken by the State.
Q: What will it be the approximate cost to property owners?
A: Using $500,000 only as the example based on the average assessed value of an El Cerrito home, the average annual tax rate from the cost of Measure B for a homeowner would be $13 per month or $155 per year. ($31.07 X $500,000/100,000 = $155/yr.)
Source: City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis of the Measure B. and the tax rate statement.
Q: What is wrong with our current Library?
A: The current Library located on Stockton Avenue was built in 1949, and does not currently meet today’s earthquake safety standards or energy-efficiency standards for libraries built today. When school gets out, the Library is packed with school children and is simply too small for what our community needs. Library visits have increased 20% since 2006 alone and circulation is up over 27% and the floor space of the library is about 25% of what we need for a city of our size today.
El Cerrito residents needs a safe, modern library that meets the community’s educational and informational needs for residents of all ages:
- More public access computers and free wi-fi
- A computer learning center
- A larger children’s area with space for story times
- Improved access for seniors and disabled residents
- Library programs for children and teens, including homework help and reading resources, that are critical to providing our students with the resources they need
Review the two prior Need Assessments.
Q: How can I find out more information?
A: To find out more about the needs of our library, please visit the City’s website at www.el-cerrito.org/MeasureB or contact Assistant City Manager Karen Pinkos at 510-215-4302 or KPinkos@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.
Q: How do I get involved?
A: Please share this FAQ with your friends and neighborhoods. Donate as much as your can either to the Yes on B for El Cerrito Library campaign or the Library Foundation. Visit the Yes on B’s endorsement page to view who is supporting the bond measure and consider adding your support to this page.
A safe, modern Library for El Cerrito will not be possible without strong community support!
Q: How do I contact the campaign, the city, or the Foundation?