FORESHORTENED — Want to read the full text of Measure B, the high school parcel tax? You won't find it in the Voter Information Guide, due to a submission error.

Several local voters have noticed that the language of Measure B, the high school parcel tax, in the Voter Information Guide seems unusually short and devoid of the usual legalese and exemption provisions that accompany most local ballot measures.
There’s a reason for that.
When the district submitted the text of Measure B to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters on Dec. 5, it was missing the final two pages that included the full text of the measure.
The district’s lawyer’s office forgot to include the final two pages in the package they sent to the high school district, and the school district’s secretary submitted the packet she received from the lawyer’s office unopened.
The mistake wasn’t discovered until after the Registrar of Voters’ five-day grace period for making changes had passed.
According to West Sonoma County Union High School District Superintendent Toni Beal, this led to several phone calls between the district office and the Registrar of Voters office at the end of December.
At first the district was told that the additional information could be added. Then they were told that since it was past the deadline, no additions could be made, but that everything would be fine.
“I was told, ‘No worries, it’s all good,’” said Beal.
When the voter information guide came out, Beal was surprised and disappointed to discover that it contained the shortened version without any mention of the allowed exemptions for senior citizens, contiguous parcels, social security exemptions and otherwise exempt parcels.
If you look at the county’s impartial analysis of the Measure B in the Voter Information Guide, however, it includes references to the exemptions and other sections of the measure that are missing from the guide.
Registrar of Voters Deva Marie Proto said that since the mistake was discovered after the grace period, no changes could be made to the voter guide, but she confirmed that Measure B is still perfectly fine and legal, since the complete version was approved by a resolution of the school board.
“The resolution (on Measure B) that was passed by the board is what really counts,” said Proto, who is both the registrar of voters and the county assessor. She said all the required information was included in the measure that the school board approved.
In fact, Proto said the Voter Information Guide is not actually a legal document.
“It’s for information purposes only,” she said.
No one has suggested that there is anything nefarious behind the misprint in the Voter Information Guide. Everyone agrees that it was simply an error. But advocates for the measure are concerned the mix-up will give voters second thoughts about voting for Measure B, a parcel tax that is vital to the financial health of the high school district.
In fact, the district and Measure B Chairperson Jim Walton put off talking publicly about the issue until this week for that very reason. (See Walton’s commentary on page 5.)
A lot is riding on Measure B. In addition to maintaining electives, like art and music, and supporting the library, career training, and school counseling services, Measure B will also help fund a 3% increase in teacher salaries.
Including this salary increase in the language of Measure B was instrumental in bringing an end to the teacher’s strike, which rocked the high school district in 2019.
“Quite honestly, if this thing doesn’t pass, it’s going to be a disaster,” Walton said. “I am seriously concerned that if it doesn’t pass it will lead to a serious degradation of the district.”
It’s a bit unusual to include a teacher salary raise in a parcel tax measure, but Walton said the district has no other choice.
“Our teachers deserve to make a living wage,” he said. “and this was the only viable way to do that.”
Walton urged people to read the full text of the measure on the district website — Measure_B_Full_Text — and then vote as if their and their children’s futures depended on it.
The full text of Measure B can also be found in the sidebar of this article.

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