Who’s Paying to Convince Voters in the West Contra Costa Unified School District to Break the $2 Billion Debt Burden Threshold by Approving Measure E?

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The Contra Costa County Elections Division has not posted the Form 460 finance report for the period from October 1 to October 20 of the campaign to support the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s $360 million Measure E. This campaign committee is known as “For the Children of West County.” Someone is going to drop by the county elections office in Martinez to obtain the paper copy of the report for me to analyze and provide to the public on this blog.

The county has posted the list of contributions since the June 5, 2012 election (for the period ending June 30, 2012 and the period ending September 30, 2012) to this perpetually-operating campaign committee. They total $608,650. Apparently a lot of people care about the children of West County! See the list below.

No one seems to care about the taxpayers of West County. Currently, they owe $1.77 billion in debt service for money borrowed by the West Contra Costa Unified School District through bond sales authorized by five previous ballot measures (see page 15). Here’s the history of bond measures that this school district has brought before voters since 1998.

Bond Measures for West Contra Costa Unified School District

Authorized Bond Amount. Does Not Include Interest and Fees

Date of Election

Ballot Designation


$40 million June 2, 1998 Measure E Approved by 76.0% of voters
$150 million November 7, 2000 Measure M Approved by 77.5% of voters
$300 million March 5, 2002 Measure D Approved by 71.6% of voters
$450 Million September 16, 2003 Measure C Rejected in a special election because only 59.1% of voters approved the bond measure, which needed two-thirds voter approval
$400 million November 8, 2005 Measure J Approved by 56.9% of voters
$380 million June 8, 2010 Measure D Approved by 62.6% of voters
$1.27 billion Total from five bond measures from 1998 to the present.
$360 million November 6, 2012 Approved for consideration by district voters through a resolution of the school board on August 1, 2012

As you might guess, a school district of 27.500 students (see page 53) willing to accumulate debt of this magnitude despite the economic distress of the district’s residents is also eager to require its construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of working on its projects. West Contra Costa Unified School District was the first educational district in Northern California to include a Project Labor Agreement in bid specifications (beating out Vallejo City Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, and East Side Union High School District in San Jose.)

Project Labor Agreement Policies for West Contra Costa Unified School District

May 3, 2000 Board votes 5-0 to approve a policy that the school board will consider a Project Labor Agreement for each individual construction project of $1 million or more. (An administrative regulation for this policy was implemented on August 2, 2000.)
December 6, 2000 Board votes 5-0 to approve its first Project Labor Agreement, for the construction of a middle school.
July 11, 2002 Board votes 5-0 to amend its Project Labor Agreement to put the responsibility on the contractors (instead of the unions) to find local apprentices.

Here’s the list of contributors to the campaign to pass Measure E, through September 30, 2012.

WLC Architects Architect $195,000
Deems Lewis McKinley Architect $50,000
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 302 Construction trade union $35,000
Fred Powell, architect with Powell & Partners Architect $35,000
The Seville Group (now rebranded as SGI Construction Management) Construction management $30,000
Quattrocchi Kwok Architects Architect $25,000
Hibser Yamauchi Architects Architect $20,000
Interactive Resources Architect $15,000
Baker Vilar Architects Architect $15,000
Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 104 Construction trade union $10,000
Hamilton + Aiken Architects Architect $10,000
Lathrop Construction Associates Construction contractor $10,000
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Construction trade union $10,000
Orbach Huff & Suarez Law firm for school districts $10,000
District Council of Ironworkers of the State of California and Vicinity Construction trade union $7,500
Employers’ Advocate Construction labor relations $7,500
HMC Architects Architect $6,950
Northern California District Council of Laborers Construction trade union $5,000
Interface Engineering Engineering $5,000
GCR Law firm for school districts $5,000
Jack Schrader & Associates Consultant for developer fees $5,000
John P. Grossman and Associates Architect $5,000
KNN Public Finance School financing consultant $5,000
Powell & Partners Architect $5,000
Amanco Construction management $5,000
Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo Law firm, works for WCCUSD $5,000
AE3 Partners Architect, engineering $5,000
AEKO Consulting Information technology installation $5,000
Kam Yan & Associates Engineers $4,500
Davillier-Sloan Construction labor relations $4,000
Arcala Land Company Affiliated in some way with Davillier-Sloan $4,000
Carducci & Associates Architect $3,500
CBX Technologies Information technology installation $3,000
Brelje & Race Consulting Civil Engineers Engineering $2,500
Cal Communication Service Company Construction contractor $2,500
[Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union No. 159] TRICO Pipes Union-affiliated labor-management cooperation committee $2,500
Del Monte Electric Construction contractor $2,500
H&M Mechanical Group Engineering $2,500
O’Mahony & Myer Engineering $2,500
ZFA Structural Engineers Engineering $2,500
Contra Costa County Electrical Industry Trust Union-affiliated labor-management cooperation committee $1,500
Vallier Design Associates Architect (landscape) $1,500
Total School Solutions School district administration consultant $1,500
Thornton Tomasetti Engineering $1,500
Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices Local Union No. 483 Construction trade union $1,250
WHM Engineering $1,200
Cammisa and Wipf Consulting Engineers Engineering $1,000
15000 Incorporated Engineering $1,000
Bay Area Consulting Engineers (BAC Engineers) Engineering $1,000
Skinner for Assembly 2012 Politician $1,000
Kleinfelder West Engineering $1,000
ISSA Structural Engineering Engineering $1,000
McCracken & Woodman Engineering $1,000
Mechanical Design Studio Engineering $1,000
PMC School finance consultant $1,000
Security by Design Engineering $1,000
Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group Engineering $750
David L. Gates & Associates Architect $500
Brokaw Consulting Electrical Engineering Engineering $500
Bricklayers & Allied Craftsworkers Local Union No. 3 Construction trade union $500
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard Law firm for school districts $500
Ingraham DeJesse Associates Engineering $500
Miller & Associates Construction contractor? $500
Sally Swanson Architects Architect $500
Alexander Murdoch, executive with School Facility Consultants School finance consultant $500
Matthew Pettler, executive with School Facility Consultants School finance consultant $500
Luk and Associates Engineering $300
SOHA Engineers Engineering $250
RGA Environmental Hazmat consultant $250
Willie Robinson Construction management $250
Alan Kroop & Associates Engineering $250
Ninyo & Moore Engineering $100
KPFF – San Francisco Engineering $100
Not itemized $0
TOTAL $608,650


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