By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal
Voters in the Garden Grove Unified School District made history Tuesday when they gave approval for a $250 million bond issue for the repair and modernization of local public schools.
Unofficial final results Wednesday morning from the Orange County Registrar of Voters showed that Measure A had passed by a margin of 59.2 percent to 40.8 percent. In order to be enacted, the measure needed to reach 55 percent.
It was the first bond issue approved by Garden Grove voters since the Sixties.
The last bond issue proposal in the GGUSD was put forward in 1970. It won a majority of votes, but failed to meet the then-required threshold of a two-thirds majority.
Tuesday’s vote will allow the GGUSD to tap existing state school rehabilitation funds that otherwise would go elsewhere.
The typical single family homeowner will see an increase in property tax assessment of about $7.17 a month.
Measure A was supported by various school employee groups as well as the Garden Grove Journal. There was no organized opposition to the bond issue, except for an editorial in The Orange County Register voicing opposition.
With the passage of Measure A, the GGUSD – which serves most of Garden Grove as well as parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster – can proceed with plans to fix outdated plumbing and electrical systems in a wide variety of campuses, as well as update heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.
Most GGUSD schools are 50 years of age or older; Garden Grove High School was established at its present site in 1923 and has buildings that date back to the Twenties and Forties.
Another matter settled by Tuesday’s voting was the final cast for what could be an epic Congressional race in the 47th District.
Incumbent Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) will face off against challenger Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa), a former Garden Grove councilman.
Tran finished first in the Republican primary with 50 percent of the vote, besting Katherine Smith (29 percent) and the 2008 Republican nominee, Tan Nguyen (20.9 percent).
The 47th District, including most of Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster, has more Democrats than Republicans, but is considered in play this year because of the large number of independents and the general “anti-incumbent” trend seen in some elections so far this year.