Measure X, the $225 million school bond aiming to renovate campuses in the Fresno Unified School District, was approved in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial returns.
With all precincts reporting, 63.6 percent voted in favor of the bond measure. Measure X required 55 percent of votes to pass.
Late absentees and provisional votes are still to be counted, but the trend for passage should remain.
Measure X will maintain the current tax rate and will go toward upgrading classrooms, career-tech programs and arts and athletic facilities, according to preliminary plans.
In a rare move, Fresno Unified school board members Brooke Ashjian and Carol Mills actively campaigned against the bond’s passage in the weeks leading up to the election, alleging district leaders were not transparent enough about how the money would be used.
Fresno Unified is currently under federal investigation for the use of funds that came from Measure Q – a bond passed in 2010. The district was subpoenaed last year regarding no-bid contracts paid for with that money.
Ashjian’s tone on Wednesday was different, though, and he said he was not disappointed by Measure X’s success.
“I would not call it a failure. … I’d call it a win for the taxpayers of Fresno and the kids, too,” he said. “Now it’s time to be more communicative and transparent from the beginning of projects going forward.”
School board race
With all precincts reporting for FUSD Trustee Area 2, Jonasson Rosas had 65.4 percent of the vote, beating Yuritzy Villasenor, who had 34 percent.
With all precincts reporting for Trustee Area 6, Cazares had 54.7 percent of the votes to defeat Jack Jarvis, who polled 44.9 percent.
Jonasson Rosas, who works as a liaison and community engagement director for the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, will represent the Roosevelt High area. She says she will focus on career-tech education and increasing parent involvement.
“I’m feeling really good,” she said. “I’m really proud of the work I did and the work our campaign did.”
Jonasson Rosas is in a relationship with outgoing school board president Luis Chavez, who was on his way to winning a seat on the Fresno City Council. Chavez also represented the Roosevelt High region.
Cazares, a project manager for Granville Homes and a mother of three students in the district, will represent the Hoover High area.
“I’m definitely ready,” Cazares said. “I think that unifying the board is key. I want to be that middle ground that finds a solid voice for our children. We need to show our children how we can come together to solve problems for them.”
Mills, an attorney who represents the Fresno High area, ran unopposed in the election. She has been on the board for 12 years.
The new board members will be sworn in in December.