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Measure S gets strong showing as voting returns trickle in overnight

March 06, 2013
  • Supporters of Measure S listen to former mayor and Measure S campaign manager Marsha Ramos' speech during election night, which took place Gordon Biersch in Burbank on Tuesday.
Supporters of Measure S listen to former mayor and Measure… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

With little more than absentee ballot returns to go on overnight Tuesday, supporters of Measure S, the $110-million school bond, were full of optimism for a campaign they said reflected the best of grassroots work.

The education community was firmly behind the bond measure. That support was reflected in the crowd of about 30 who gathered at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in downtown Burbank to watch the results come in.

Among them were school board members Larry Applebaum, Dave Kemp, Roberta Reynolds and John Dilibert. All five school board candidates gathered as well, as did former candidate Armond Aghakhanian, who failed to gain enough votes to move past the city's primary election last week.

As of midnight, 2,425 voters showed support for the bond and 1,613 were against it. That tally got Measure S off to a strong start, with about 60% of voters in support.

The bond needs 55% voter approval to pass.

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The voter turnout and support for the bond impressed Applebaum, president of the Burbank Unified school board.

“This is way better than I thought it was going to be,” he said of the results favoring the bond.

Earlier in the day, Applebaum said he walked neighborhood streets one last time to target parents.

“That was a good demographic to go after,” he said.

The $110-million bond comes 16 years after voters approved the 1997 bond, which allowed BUSD to update its facilities. That bond was fully expended by 2005.

Measure S, if approved, promises to fund overdue upgrades to deteriorating campus roofs, asphalt and plumbing, and could fund a new technological infrastructure and energy saving projects.

Because state law required the school board to hold the balloting during an election that employs polling stations — something the city, with its all mail-in ballot system, doesn’t do on its own — Measure S was scheduled for Tuesday’s Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees election.

District officials reported facing a $6-million structural deficit by 2013-14 and estimated having about $1 million left in a dwindling maintenance account by the end of this year.

The district would have no choice but to use General Fund dollars to provide routine maintenance, repairs and upgrades to schools, officials said.

The Burbank Teachers Assn. and the Burbank PTA Council joined others in endorsing the bond.

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