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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections

City of Whittier
Measure L - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


4,278 votes yes (66.45%)

2,160 votes no (33.55%)

100% of precincts reporting (17/17).

$22,000,000 in Bonds to Improve Whittier Central Library
— undefined

To expand 58-year-old Whittier Central Library to meet 21st century needs, including: providing a children's area for story times, parent/child reading, and children's book collections/technology; improving senior/disabled access; expanding/updating computer/technology center; space for up-to-date book/resource collections; relocating the Veterans Resource Center for better service; and related improvements; shall the City of Whittier issue $22,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, requiring independent citizen oversight, and all funds for Whittier Central Library only?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Whittier City Attorney

Approval of Measure L by Whittier voters would authorize the City of Whittier (“City”) to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $22,000,000 to pay for the following improvements to the Whittier Central Library (“Central Library”): an expanded children’s area for story time, parent and child reading, and children’s books; improved senior and disabled access; an expanded computer and technology center; a homework center with 30 computers; relocated Veterans Resource Center; expanded community and meeting rooms; installation of energy efficient lighting; and additional parking to accommodate library users.

The Central Library located at 7344 Washington Avenue, Whittier, CA was originally constructed in 1959. Over the past 58 years, the Central Library’s collection has grown from 80,000 items to 230,000 items. Additionally, the Central Library currently circulates 450,000 items, receives 750,000 “hits” on its website and accommodates 600,000 visitors each year.

On August 8th, 2017, the Whittier City Council adopted an ordinance that would place on the November 2017 ballot the question to Whittier voters whether to authorize the City to issue bonds to pay for the Central Library improvements.

If approved, Measure L limits the principal amount of the bonds to no more than $22,000,000 and sets a maximum interest rate, with the actual amount determined at the time the bonds are issued. The bonds would be repaid over 15 years by an ad valorem tax on the assessed value of real property within the City. The best estimate, based upon currently available data and projections, is that the average cost to each property owner to repay the bonds over 15 years is approximately $24 per $100,000 of assessed valuation (not market value). The average assessed valuation for single-family residences in the City is $335,630. For single-family residences assessed at the average value, the annual cost per single-family residence would be approximately $81 per year over 15 years.

Proceeds of the bonds may only be used on the expansion and renovation of the Central Library. Proceeds of the bonds will be deposited into a Library Improvement Fund to be held by the City and the City Manager is required to file an annual report to the City Council which contains information regarding the amount of funds collected and expended, as well as the status of the project. Measure L also requires the creation of a citizens’ oversight committee which is required to report to the City Council.

In order to pass, Measure L must be approved by two-thirds (66 2/3%) of Whittier voters who cast ballots at the November 2017 election.

A “yes” vote would be in favor of authorizing the City to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $22,000,000 for the purpose of expansion and renovation of the Central Library.

A “no” vote would not allow the City to issue bonds for the Central Library expansion and renovation.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure L. Copies of the measure are available at the Whittier Central Library, Whittwood Branch Library, City Hall, and on the City’s webpage – Please contact the City Clerk Department at (562) 567-9854 if you have questions or want a copy of the measure mailed at no cost to you.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on Measure L to protect, improve and expand our 58-year-old Whittier Central Library to meet 21st-century needs and continue the role the library plays in supporting the educational and economic vitality of our community.

Built in 1959, our aging library is in poor condition compared to other nearby libraries. Significant improvements are needed to upgrade electrical capacity, inadequate lighting and Internet and technology services to ensure everyone has access to 21st-century information resources.

Our community library provides multiple critical programs that are relied on by children, teens, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Built to serve 55,000 visits a year, our library has grown to over 600,000 yearly visits and the space has outgrown current community demand.

Measure L is only part of a well-designed, multi-level funding stream for our library, which includes private donations and responsible use of City funds – ensuring residents will not shoulder the costs alone.

Your Yes Vote on Measure L will:

- Provide improved access for seniors and disabled residents

- Expand the computer & technology center, and update wiring to accommodate new technology

- Provide a children’s area with space for reading space with parents, story times, book collections and age appropriate technology

- Expand the Veterans Resource Center to improve services to veterans and their families

- Provide an enhanced homework center with more computer workstations for students

Fiscal Accountability Required

- All funds must only be used for our Whittier Central Library and cannot be taken by the State

- An independent citizens’ oversight committee and annual audits ensure funds are spent as promised

Measure L is a responsible way to transform our Central Library to meet 21st-century needs and help residents of all ages and backgrounds learn to read, prepare for jobs, use computers and succeed in school.

Join us and vote YES on Measure L.

          Mayor, City of Whittier

          President, Whittier Public Library Foundation

          Retired Superintendent, Whittier Union
          High School District

          Board Member, Whittier Public Library

          Small Business Owner

Arguments AGAINST


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