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Measure MB Looks to Be a Nail-Biter

Mar 06, 2024 08:47AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Supporters of Measure MB gathered outside a City Council meeting in February to show support for the measure.

UPDATE #7: As of Friday, March 15, the latest vote count showed Measure MB at 67.70% on the "yes" side (8,432 votes) to 32.29% (4,022 votes).

UPDATE #6: Election returns at 4:40 p.m. on March 13 show Measure MB at 67.68% on the "yes" side (8,406 votes) to 32.32% (4,015 votes), remaining above the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

UPDATE #5: Election returns at 3:59 p.m. on March 12 show Measure MB now at 67.36% (7,695 votes) to 32.64% (3,729 votes), remaining above the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

UPDATE #4: Election returns at 4:14 p.m. on March 11 show Measure MB now at 66.92% (7,036 votes) to 33.08% (3.478 votes), just above the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

UPDATE #3: Election returns at 5:12 p.m. on March 9 show Measure MB now at 66.82% (6,768 votes) to 33.18% (3,360 votes), still just a smidge above the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

UPDATE #2: Election returns at 4:35 p.m. on March 8 show Measure MB now at 66.87% (6,569 votes) to 33.13% (3,255 votes), remaining just a hair above the 2/3 vote needed for passage.

UPDATE: Election returns at 4:17 p.m. on March 7 show Measure MB now at 66.73% yes (6,212 votes) and 33.27% no (3,097 votes); just a notch above the 2/3 vote needed for passage. 

Supporters of the parcel tax renewal measure known as Measure MB were on pins and needles on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, as the election remained too close to call. 

At press time, results showed Measure MB just shy of the 2/3 vote required for passage. The latest returns from L.A. County show 65.11% voting yes (4,648) and 34.89% voting no (2,491).

A "yes" vote on Measure MB would extend the current parcel tax at the fixed rate of $225 per parcel for six additional years to benefit Manhattan Beach public schools.

The original Measure MB, a locally controlled funding source for Manhattan Beach schools, was passed in 2018 with 68.32 percent of the vote. The funding generated by Measure MB has yielded approximately $2.5 million per year, sustaining more than 20 teaching and staff positions, as well as essential programs. The parcel tax will automatically expire in June 2024.

Meanwhile, MBUSD is facing budget cuts. Last week, the school board approved a series of resolutions that included the layoff of more than 39 full-time equivalent positions in the district. (The district is required to give preliminary layoff notices by a March 15 deadline.) MBUSD Superintendent John Bowes cited the state's worsening budget condition along with other uncertainties, including the unknown fate of the current parcel tax.

Measure MB comes at the heels of an earlier attempt to renew the parcel tax that would have raised $1,095 per year, per parcel over 12 years. That effort, known as Measure A, was soundly defeated in June 2022. However, many Measure A opponents had said that they would support a renewal of the property tax at the current rate. This year's Measure MB had garnered endorsements from both supporters and opponents of Measure A.

One earlier attempt at passing a parcel tax, in 2003, was unsuccessful. 

Votes Pour In on Closely Watched Races

Among other closely watched races in Manhattan Beach, L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell glided to an easy re-election with 65.17% of the vote.

City Councilmember Steve Napolitano was locked in a tight three-way race with two other candidates for L.A. County Superior Court Judge, seat 39. Napolitano has 30.2%, compared with 29.06% for Jacob Lee and 28.63% for George A. Turner Jr., respectively. The top-two vote-getters will face off in November.

Meanwhile, the vote on statewide Proposition 1, which had drawn opposition from local homelessness nonprofit MB SAFE, was too close to call with 50.2% voting yes and 49.8% opposed.

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