President of the United States
It’s hard to fathom that, at this point in the election season, anyone would be on the fence about who they are going to vote for. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney couldn’t be any more different from each other. And what makes them different? Obama has remained consistent on his policies while, well, we don’t know what Romney’s policies are. He’s so wishy-washy and hypocritical that it’s truly amazing any conservatives supported him for the primary election. Now that we have come this far, Romney is their only choice, and it’s a poor one at that. Maybe 2016 will be their year to have a truly strong and viable candidate. But not voting for Romney isn’t the only reason to vote for Obama.

There are several words that come to mind as reasons why Obama should remain in office: auto industry, recovery, unemployment rate, jobs, gay rights, universal health care, Dream Act, Iraq, plus many more. While some of his administration’s actions have been questionable, such as the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the president to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects, not closing Guantanamo and the large number of undocumented immigrants deported under his administration compared to other presidents, he has truly made some amazingly progressive strides in moving this country forward.

For the few out there who haven’t made up their minds, it’s an easy choice. If you care about humanity and the positive growth for everyone in this country, Vote for Barack Obama for president.

24th Congressional District
For the 2012 primaries, we endorsed incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara. We did this because of her dedication to protecting our civil rights, the environment, education and women’s rights. She advocates for universal health care, ending the wars and clean energy. We also endorsed her in the 2008 election for the same reasons. Her steadfast commitment to bettering our society as a whole keeps her the standout candidate to represent our voice in D.C. Her opponent, former Assemblyman and Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, just doesn’t have the track record to compete with Capps, and he needs to sort out his IRS issues before trying to take on Congress.
Vote for incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, for the 24th Congressional District.

26th Congressional District
Up until six months ago, Julia Brownley wasn’t a familiar name to many area residents. The assemblywoman was based in Santa Monica, though she represented much of Oxnard, Camarillo and some parts of East County in the 41st district. When the new congressional district lines were mapped out, she was recruited by Democrats to take on former Assemblyman and state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks. And that was after county Supervisor Steve Bennett dropped out of the race to fight to keep his seat on the Board of Supervisors.

While we don’t condone carpetbagging — something Strickland’s wife did in an effort to take the seat of incumbent Supervisor Linda Parks — we understand Democrats needed a formidable opponent to compete against Strickland and his strong name recognition. And as far right as Strickland is, Brownley represents her party with a similar fierceness. Her voting record shows a solid stance on supporting laborers’, women’s and gay rights. She also advocates for renewable energy, protecting the environment and education. In the end, however, it really boils down to one fact: Strickland does not represent the voice of those who need him most, though he represents those who already have wealth and a great abundance of power. It’s simple. Blue or red. We choose blue. Vote for Julia Brownley for the 26th Congressional District.

27th State Senate District
Nothing has occurred since the June primaries that would turn us away from endorsing Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, for the newly drawn 27th State Senate District. As an incumbent, Pavley’s voting record is too good to be ignored, and we’re certain she will continue to be a champion for the environment and a leading voice in issues relating to groundwater management, water rights and conservation. While her challenger, Republican Todd Zink, a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, has suggested that Pavley won’t reach across the aisle in making legislative decisions, we think she goes above and beyond such a claim. She recently brought together Navy and state officials as well as representatives from alternative energy companies to pass her bill the Energy Security Coordination Act of 2012. Applauded with bipartisan support, the bill aligns California and the Department of Defense in the commercialization of clean energy and ensures the state government’s role in fostering the growth of the clean energy industry, which will expand growth and jobs in the energy sector. Vote for incumbent Democrat Fran Pavley for the 27th State Senate District.

19th State Senate District
A former deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County, Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson represented the 35th Assembly District from 1998 to 2004. During her tenure, she authored a wide variety of bills, most notably those aimed at increasing public safety, upholding the financial privacy of consumers, preventing domestic violence and restricting pesticide use near schools. Jackson has also been an advocate for environmental issues, education and women’s health issues, garnering her “Legislator of the Year” designations from both the California League of Conservation Voters and the National Organization for Women.

Though she has been here before, ending up short of the state Senate seat by only 857 votes in 2008, Jackson has the political chops and a level of depth regarding social and environmental issues that her opponent, Republican Mike Stoker, cannot match. His three-pronged approach of reform, reform, reform shows that his focus is aimed in only one direction.

This district needs a representative who’s also capable of looking forward and has a track record of addressing social needs, in addition to a platform of fiscal responsibility. Vote for Hannah-Beth Jackson for the 19th State Senate District.

37th Assembly District

This one is simple: If you think climate change is a farce, “gay therapy” for minors to change their sexual orientation is a good practice, green energy is an inefficient industry and that California should adopt a personhood amendment criminalizing abortion, then Republican Rob Walter is your guy.

If you believe in common sense, Vote for incumbent Democrat Das Williams for 37th Assembly District.

44th Assembly District
In the polarized democracy we now live in, it’s always refreshing when a Republican and a Democrat actually reach across the aisle to get something done. Over the summer, Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, joined forces for their “Gold Team” effort to recruit companies to come back to California. It’s an amazing bipartisan move that comes at a time of great division in this country.

Though he has been back from his tour in Afghanistan for only a few months, the dozen or so bills he have voted on has been in lockstep with the Republican Party, such as opposing same-day voter registration, expansion of cash assistance for pregnant teens and the prohibition of excessive detention of undocumented immigrants. But we will look past the obvious loyalty to the party because of his partnership with Newsom and hope that he will become more open and malleable and make decisions by crossing the aisle more often. Vote for Republican incumbent Assemblyman Jeff Gorell.

Ventura County Supervisor, 1st District
As Election Day nears, the race for Ventura County Supervisor has devolved into a heated debate over which candidate is, or will be, drawing the larger pension. Challenger and former Ventura County Fire Chief Bob Roper has drawn attention to the fact that incumbent Steve Bennett has amassed a six-figure pension from his years as a teacher and supervisor. Roper has done this despite the fact that his own pension is nearly $250,000, roughly twice the size of Bennett’s current total.

But Bennett has the bigger résumé, having served the county as both supervisor and councilmember for nearly two decades. During that time, he’s racked up an impressive list of accomplishments, such as increasing the county’s budget reserve, improving the county’s credit rating, and co-authoring the Save Open-Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) initiatives. Bennett has a firm grasp on the extent of what one can do at the county level and has worked effectively within those limitations.

There is one point of complaint regarding Bennett. Supporters and fellow Democrats are still suffering from the whiplash caused by his last-minute withdrawal from the 26th Congressional District race earlier this year. Despite this, there is no reason to think Bennett won’t continue to keep Ventura County in the green, both financially and environmentally. Vote for Steve Bennett for Ventura County Supervisor.

Steve Bennett for Ventura County Supervisor, 1st District.

Ventura County Community College District board
The Ventura County Community College District has had a rough time of it lately. From budget cuts to being put on probation, and then the early retirement of Chancellor James Meznek, the proverbial chess game of putting the right leaders in positions to handle such issues is a difficult one. And so is choosing the right candidates to steer this massive ship in the right direction.

With two seats up for re-election, incumbents Larry Miller and Bernardo Perez are campaigning to keep their positions, while candidates Larry Kennedy and Ash Givargis are trying to snag them. The difference between Miller and Perez is their tenure on the board. Miller has been on the board for nine years, while Perez just came to office in December 2010. The difference between Kennedy and Givargis is, Kennedy brings his experience working as a current educator in the district, witnessing firsthand the evolving world of higher education, while Givargis’ work in the public sector has been on the state level and in social services. Givargis currently works for the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

Based on what we have seen so far, Miller had been on the board when certain problems started occurring and we feel he could have done more to proactively prevent the district from being put on probation. Perez, however, was placed in a position with a steep learning curve and in the middle of turmoil that had little do with him. While Givargis is a nice enough guy and has support from every conservative politician and group in the county, we feel that Perez should keep his seat for another four years and use the experience he has gained on the board thus far to keep the district moving forward. Kennedy, in comparison to Miller (a retired 32-year-veteran district educator), will bring a fresh perspective as a current educator. Vote for candidate Larry Kennedy and incumbent Bernardo Perez.

Camarillo City Council
Five candidates are running for Camarillo City Council, which has only two open seats. Kevin Kildee, the lone incumbent, has served on the council since 1996 and has done so in an effective, fiscally sound manner.

David Schlangen is an attractive choice among challengers, bringing a desire to eliminate redundancy among city departments and to proactively market Camarillo to new businesses. He has professed a commitment to maintaining an open door policy, and as he has a finger firmly on the pulse of Camarillo, serving on both the Camarillo Arts Council and the Camarillo Citizens Advisory Committee, he is certainly in a position to do so.

Former City Manager Bill Little is, however, also contending for a seat. Little brings to the table an impressive résumé that includes righting Camarillo’s financial ship, facilitating the construction of Camarillo’s Premium Outlets and helping designate Camarillo Ranch as a historical site. If elected, Little would be able to contribute a level of experience and wisdom that would be nothing short of invaluable.

Kildee seems to consider his re-election a foregone conclusion, and that level of complacency is never a good thing when it comes to political office. Given that several of the current council members have held their positions since the 1980s, the notion seems to be contagious.

Little and Schlangen provide a two-pronged attack of experience and ambition and would contribute two new voices for a Camarillo of the future. Vote for Bill Little and David Schlangen for Camarillo City Council.

Oxnard City Council
Of the 13 candidates vying for the two open seats on the Oxnard City Council, we believe the most informed and competent candidate is Bert Perello.

Perello, 61, is on record for discovering the $300 monthly perk, officially known as the supplemental post-retirement benefit, that now-suspended City Manager Ed Sotelo illegally created for top employees. The perk has been eliminated largely due to Perello’s diligence.

Perello, a postal worker, was able to uncover the scam from the position of a constituent, and as a constituent, he has proven over the years that he works tirelessly on behalf of Oxnard residents. Aside from having served as chairman of the Inter-Neighborhood Council Forum and Southbank Neighborhood Council, Perello has been somebody that some residents already turn to for facts and figures concerning city business. He, at times, seems more informed about an issue than elected officials. It’s time for Perello to be a decision-maker for the city.
We feel he would serve the city of Oxnard with excellence. Vote for Bert Perello for Oxnard City Council.

That leaves us with 12 more candidates. Lone incumbent Bryan MacDonald is facing the tough task of asking voters to give him another shot on the Council. MacDonald didn’t figure into the District Attorney’s investigation, and shouldn’t carry that Scarlet Letter when it comes time for voters to decide. His voting record, however, was often in lock-step with Mayor Tom Holden and Councilwoman Irene Pinkard, which we feel wasn’t best for the city, most notably in approving SouthShore Project in June 2011.

We think another fresh face on the Council would be best for the city’s image and direction. Of the remaining candidates, we’d be happy to see Rudy Salvio, Vince Behrens or Orlando Dozier be elected. Salvio, 37, brings representation from La Colonia and has proven to be an effective community leader and organizer. Behrens, 53, is a local business owner, approachable and served as the Chair of Oxnard Downtown Management District. Dozier, 49, is a budget analyst with the Navy, a skillset that would be invaluable to the City Council. He has also served as a River Park Neighborhood Elected Board member. We feel that each of these three candidates offers the Council a unique voice and we support them equally. It’s your choice. Vote for either Rudy Salvio, Vince Behrens or Orlando Dozier for Oxnard City Council.

Oxnard Mayor
City Council members Carmen Ramirez and Tim Flynn have been seen as allies on the Council based on their voting records, and we hope one of them is elected to serve as mayor. But when it comes to being the face of Oxnard, we feel that Ramirez would be the better choice.

Considering the legal mess that has buried Oxnard’s progress for the past several years, having a lawyer at the helm seems like a good strategy. Oxnard also has roughly 75 percent Latino population, and Ramirez’s previous outreach and legal work within that population shows that she will keep in mind what is in the best interests for the cultural majority of the city. Ramirez says she will end the “old boys” culture in City Hall that gives preferences to out-of-area contractors, and put a stop to no-bid contracts. Her record so far indicates she will. Vote for Carmen Ramirez for the mayor of Oxnard.

Camen Ramirez for Mayor of Oxnard and Julia Brownley for the 26th Congressional District.

Santa Paula City Council
Martin Hernandez is one of the challengers for the two open Santa Paula City Council seats. He is currently the chief of staff for Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long and has worked in her office for more than a decade, giving him experience at the county level. Hernandez has called for increased transparency and greater public participation in City Hall and would provide a distinct voice on a Council that too often sounds the same.

Though both incumbents, Fred Robinson and Jim Tovias, assert that their votes are not for sale, they have acknowledged receiving contributions from the CrisCom Company, a lobbying firm that represents Crown Disposal. Last year the City Council awarded Crown Disposal a $3 million trash collecting contract. This, combined with the apparent mishandling of the dismissal of Police Chief Steve MacKinnon, leaves the current Council with a distinctive shady hue. Robinson and Tovias are also running on a slate, making it even more difficult to distinguish between the two.

Given that he voted against awarding the contract to Crown and supports (albeit reluctantly) passing Proposition 30, Robinson appears to be the safer bet. Vote for Martin Hernandez and Fred Robinson for Santa Paula City Council.



Propositions 30, 38 — sales and income tax increases to fund education
It seems to be a contentious time to ask a struggling public for more money, aka to raise taxes, but the reality of the situation is, if we don’t focus on building our state’s education system now, we will be paying dearly for it down the road — education serves as the best solution to crime prevention. While some may argue that education was too bloated in the first place and now we are operating an efficient system, California legislators are counting on at least the passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30 to cover a $6 billion shortfall that would directly impact K-12, community colleges and public universities. With $20 billion in state budget cuts to education over the past three years, resulting in bigger class sizes, fewer teachers and burgeoning tuition (among other education-related problems), another $6 billion in cuts is just a nightmare a progressive society should do everything to avoid.

While we feel that the governor must scrutinize every aspect of government to cut back on waste, now is not the time to quibble over the governor’s tax increase proposal. At a one-fourth cent sales tax increase, we can all pitch in to stabilize our education system. While we don’t necessarily believe that the rich should be taxed more, as Prop. 30 would do, the 1 percent to 3 percent increase on individuals making annually between $250,000 and $1 million, and higher, doesn’t seem like too much to ask for. Prop. 38, however, would increase income taxes for those whose annual incomes start at $7,316, well below the poverty level. At this time of looming crisis, we support Prop. 30, while opposing Prop. 38. The reasons are obvious. Vote YES on Prop. 30. Vote NO on Prop. 38.

Proposition 31 — two-year state budget; shifts in control for state and local government
At first glance, Proposition 31 seems like a step in the right direction. It requires a two-year state budget and requires state government to make the proposed state budget available for public review for a minimum of three days before a vote.

Unfortunately, Prop 31 also extends the governor’s direct control over state spending and lays the burden of distributing money from state-funded programs and property taxes on local governments. This could lead to certain areas having access to a much greater portion of revenue than others, with no real guidelines for how shifts in the current allotments can or will be implemented.

Both state and local governments will need to set up systems for implementing and monitoring each of the proposed changes, with the costs estimated at millions to tens of millions annually. The overall impact of passing Prop. 31 is unforeseeable, and there are just too many variables riding beneath the pretense of budget accountability.

What is certain, however, is that state and local governments don’t need additional bureaucracies and unnecessary expenses. Vote NO on 31.

Proposition 32 — prohibits payroll-deducted funds for political purposes

All is fair in love and politics. Wait, scratch that. All is fair in love and war. And right now, the political arena has become one of the biggest battlefields our country has ever seen. At this point in the game, the average citizen would probably love not having to endure the endless commercials, mailers, e-mail blasts, phone calls from polling places and whatnot, but the shakedown necessary to get money out of politics hasn’t happened — neither in the form of legislation nor in ballot initiatives. Enter Prop. 32, the initiative to shut down unions’, aka public servants’ and skilled laborers’, voices in politics. Of course, the proposition’s authors try to be fair — while the initiative would prohibit unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes, it would also prohibit corporations from using payroll-deducted funds for the same purpose. The big question here is, how many corporations deduct funds for the sole purpose of protecting the company’s best interest? Too few to even bother answering this question.

Let’s call a spade a spade. This initiative is nothing more than an outrageous attempt to quiet unions and take away workers’ rights. Vote NO on Prop. 32.

Proposition 33 — Insurance premiums based on driver’s history of coverage
Here we go again — insurance companies trying to find another way to gouge consumers. Prop. 33 means, basically, if you have had continuous insurance coverage since you first purchased insurance, you get a discount. But if you have ever let your insurance lapse for any reason, despite a perfect driving record, up and up and up go your rates. We said before to vote no on giving insurance companies more control over our rates, and we are saying it again: Vote NO on Prop. 33.

Proposition 34 — Abolishes the death penalty
There are several good reasons to abolish the death penalty. 1.) The death penalty as a punishment is supposed to act as a deterrent to homicide, but according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 88 percent of the country’s top criminologists don’t believe it does. 2.) There are several cases in the United States where new evidence has overturned capital punishment convictions. Murdering the innocent is unacceptable. 3.) Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978, California has spent more than $4 billion on death penalty cases, from trials to appeals and incarcerations. If the governor commuted the sentences of those currently on death row to life in prison, the state would save $170 million per year and $5 billion in 20 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. 4.) Data varies on the justice that families of victims feel when perpetrators are put to death. If justice was served for everyone every time, maybe the death penalty would make sense. But we are a civilized society, not a barbaric one. Murdering one person who murdered another may just make it worse for the families. The death penalty serves no greater good for the whole and it is in fact crippling our society in more ways than one. It is time to abolish the death penalty. Vote YES on Prop. 34.

Proposition 35 — requires tougher penalties on human, sex trafficking
At first glance, voters may be enticed to vote in favor of Prop. 35. If all it did was enhance protection for victims of human trafficking and slavery, we’d be all for it. Instead it mainly focuses on loosely expanding the definition of human and sex trafficking and making harsher prison terms for offenders. But the language of the initiative doesn’t target the root of the problem, but rather expands the list to include nonserious offenders, such as just being involved in the erotic services industry. Such a dangerous and delicate subject should be left to state and federal authorities. Human trafficking and exploitation is a serious offense, and the proper way to deal with it shouldn’t be to decide once and for all in a ballot box.

The language in the proposition is misguided and much too broad for a ballot measure. Vote NO on Prop. 35.

Proposition 36
— Revises the three strikes law
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But fool me a third time, you will be locked up forever — even if you stole a bike this time instead of committing some egregious violent or serious crime. And that just about summarizes the flawed three-strikes law in California. While it is easy to take a firm stance against crime, especially when an offender has already committed two serious or violent crimes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to penalize two-strikes offenders for a third strike offense that should be considered a misdemeanor. And not only are we warehousing 8,800 three-strikes offenders since the law was enacted in 1994, the Stanford Three Strikes Project estimated that nearly half of them are incarcerated for life for non-serious, nonviolent crimes. At $47,000 to house one inmate per year, it is estimated to cost $188 million each year for these nonviolent third-strike offenders. Reforming the three-strikes law to apply the third strike only for serious and violent offenses would mean less of our taxpayer dollars going to prisons, fewer inmates and less overcrowding. Vote YES on Prop. 36.

Proposition 37 — Requires the labeling of genetically modified foods
Consumers have the right to know if the ingredients of the food they consume are genetically modified, just as they have the right to know if the product contains transfat, MSG, artificial flavoring and so on. If you support free market capitalism, you should support an initiative that calls for honest and transparent labeling.

The opposition to Prop. 37, which includes Coke, Nestle, Kraft, Kellogg and world’s largest biotech seed and chemical giant, Monsanto, has contributed more than $34 million to defeat your “right to know” because it’s likely that consumers will buy more organic products if given the informed choice. Companies want us to trust their products but are now doing what it takes to refuse a simple label. The “no on prop 37” campaigns are misleading voters with ads suggesting the initiative favors special interests because meat doesn’t have to be labeled. The truth is, California law only allows one issue to be addressed by ballot propositions, which is why meat from livestock fed with genetically engineered feed isn’t included. Perhaps there will soon be another initiative calling for labels on livestock that was fed with GMOs. For now, let’s see how Prop. 37 does.

You have the right to know. Vote YES on Prop. 37.

Proposition 39 — closes tax loophole for multistate businesses in order to fund clean energy, energy efficiency

Proposition 39 would force multistate businesses to calculate their California tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California, eliminating an option that allows them to use the location of their sales, property and employees to formulate a lower payout.

This change will increase annual state revenues by roughly $1 billion, with half — capped at $550 million — going to a new state Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for the first five years and the remainder going into the state’s general fund.

The Clean Energy Job Creation Fund will be used to support projects intended to improve energy efficiency and expand alternative energy in coordination with the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. With these projects come new jobs.

Excess revenue from Prop. 39 will increase funding for public schools and community colleges as a result of Prop. 98’s minimum guarantee, which typically takes 40 percent of the general fund. The increase in school funding is estimated to be $500 million annually, for the first five years, and more than $1 billion thereafter.

The mandatory “Single Sales Factor Method” that Prop. 39 imposes has been successfully adopted by other states, and the increases in funding for both education and clean energy can only be beneficial. Vote YES on 39.

Proposition 40 — redistricting referendum

This is a tricky one, so we are going to keep it as simple as possible. If you like the newly drawn state Senate district maps, vote yes on Prop. 40. If you don’t, vote no.

Unfortunately, this initiative was created by some upset Republicans who wanted to change the newly drawn district maps before the November election this year. The initiative would now have to fail in order to benefit those Republicans, but it would be too late in the the game to be of any consequence for this election. And now, the same Republicans want the initiative to pass. Its failure would mean the lines would be redrawn by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court. The problem is, for these same Republicans, the newly drawn maps favor the GOP in the 2014 election. Conversely, the new maps favor Democrats this election.

It’s complicated. We understand that. So now that we have explained the gobbledygook of this proposition, Vote YES on Prop. 40. In so doing, you are agreeing with the maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, something that shouldn’t have been questioned in the first place.



Measure L — Thousand Oaks City Council term limits
There is nothing like fresh blood in leadership positions. Such people typically bring forward new ideas and have more moxy in proving themselves worthy of their positions in their first or even second terms. After the third, fourth or even eighth term, like Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan, things can seem to get a little dry. Not that we are criticizing Monahan, but at some point, voting for someone just for the name recognition may prove to be a disservice to one’s community. We urged a yes vote on Measure T in 2008, which was passed and consequently limited Ventura County supervisors to serve no more than three consecutive terms (starting in 2009). We feel it was right then, and we feel it should serve as a standard in the political arena. Only one caveat, though: in passing initiatives that limit politicians’ terms in office, notable and diplomatic community leaders must rise to the occasion to fill the position of these longtime politicians. It’s a risky bet, but one worthy putting our money down on. Vote YES on Measure L.

Measure M — Proposed Santa Paula Unified School District
Santa Paula ranks seventh in total population out of 10 major cities in Ventura County, with just fewer than 30,000 residents. Oxnard, the largest city in the county, hovering around 200,000 residents, has four school districts. Yet Santa Paula has five school districts. It’s time to put the money into students and not administration. Vote YES on Measure M.

Measures P, Q, R, S, T — various bond propositions and a parcel tax to fund education
School officials are doing everything they can to prepare for the worst. It’s been an extremely rough few years for education, and it’s no big surprise to see such measures to serve as fallback methods when state funds slowly dry up. With another big scare on the horizon should the governor’s tax initiative fail, resulting in another $6 billion to be cut from education, local educators are scrambling to prevent a further decline in the quality of our children’s education.

Five school districts are seeking voters’ approval on funding measures: Measure P, Ocean View School District bond proposition, which would allow the district to borrow $4.2 million and would cost property owners an additional $21 annually per $100,000 of assessed value; Measure Q, Ventura Unified School District parcel tax, which would create a $59/year parcel tax for the next four years starting in July 2013, and would generate about $2.7 million during each of the four years it will be in effect.; Measure R, Oxnard School District bond proposition, which would allow the district to borrow $90 million and would cost property owners a maximum of $30 a year per $100,000 of assessed valuation; Measure S, Somis Union School District bond proposition, which would allow the district to borrow $8 million and would cost property owners $30 annually per $100,000 of assessed value; and Measure T, Hueneme Elementary School District bond proposition, which would allow the district to borrow $19.6 million and would cost property owners $25 a year per $100,000 of assessed property value.

All of the funds from bond propositions would mainly go toward capital improvements and new classrooms, while funds from Measure Q for Ventura Unified would go toward science, math, reading, writing, arts and music programs. The money from Measure Q would also stabilize class sizes and would fund computer technology.

While no one likes the idea of higher bills for any reason, the punitive cost of not paying a little more might likely result in tougher times for everyone. A quality education is not only beneficial to our children, but to our future as well. It is important that our kids join the workforce well-equipped. Vote YES on Measures P, Q, R, S, T.