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Ventura County Focus | CONEJO VALLEY, MOORPARK

Bond Measures Renamed for Election


New campaigns have led to new identities for school bond measures in Thousand Oaks and Moorpark that will go before voters for a second time this spring.

The Conejo Valley Unified School District's $97-million bond initiative will be listed on the April 14 ballot as Measure V and Moorpark Unified School District's $16.2-million bond will be Measure W.

In the November election, where both measures lost by just a few percentage points, they were identified as Measure Q and Measure U, respectively.

School bond measures in California must pass by a two-thirds majority, although Gov. Pete Wilson unveiled a proposal this week that would change that to require only a simple majority.

"If that ever happens, it will be very beneficial to school bond measures," said Gary Mortimer, a Conejo Valley assistant superintendent.

Conejo Valley's special election is expected to cost about $100,000, and the district still owes $57,500 for last year's failed campaign, said Bruce Bradley, the county's elections chief. The Moorpark school district, which still owes $12,800 from November, will have to pay an estimated $25,000 for the April election.

Both districts say they would use the bond money for modernization, electrical wiring for computers and other renovations and repairs not covered in their annual maintenance budgets.

A Conejo Valley committee of parents and district staff is meeting this week to discuss goal-setting and leadership roles in the renewed bond campaign.

"We don't know much yet, but we're meeting to get the wheels rolling," said Patti Yomantas, who helped spearhead the same group in the fall.

Changes the committee might make this time include publicizing a comprehensive, itemized list of repairs and upgrades needed for the Conejo Valley district's 26 campuses, she said.

In Moorpark, the school bond committee plans to target absentee voters much earlier in the campaign, said Mindy Yaras. The group also plans to send out more mailers and hold a greater number of events to let people know what kind of improvements the bond measure would buy.

"When people hear and understand what will transpire, they have a better knowledge and will make better choices," Yaras said.

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