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Measure MB Supporters Claim Victory; Election Turnout High

Mar 14, 2024 08:17AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Measure MB Campaign Committee members on Election Night, from left to right: Samantha Maynard, Jen Dohner, co-chair Tyler Morant, Michael Unton, co-chair Nathalie Rosen, Madeline Kaplan.

UPDATE: 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).

With the vote count nearly complete, supporters of Measure MB, a measure to renew the current $225 parcel tax for Manhattan Beach schools, have claimed victory.

As of Wednesday afternoon, March 13, the latest vote count showed Measure MB at 67.68% on the "yes" side (8,406 votes) to 32.32% (4,015 votes); just above the 2/3 vote required to pass.

"A super-majority of our community voted yes to renew Measure MB - that is a big statement about our shared values," Measure MB Committee Co-Chair Tyler Morant told MB News. "Putting MBUSD in a much better financial position was the fiscally responsible thing for our community. It benefits our kids - mine included - and our entire community. For that reason, I am forever grateful for all of my neighbors that united together to preserve the legacy of quality education at MBUSD. I want to thank every supporter and volunteer who committed their time, their resources, and their vote to renew Measure MB."

(Supporters of Measure MB on election night included Mayor Pro Tem Amy Howorth, Tyler Morant, Heather Dallas, Mayor Joe Franklin, Nathalie Rosen, and Michael Unton. Photo credit: Nina Tarnay.)

“Being involved in the Measure MB campaign was inspirational in so many ways," co-chair Nathalie Rosen told MB News. "We have a terrific community with many resources, and I’m so grateful to everyone for coming together for the benefit of our children. This was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m proud of our community and our community should be very proud of itself.”

Voter Turnout High in Manhattan Beach

Voter turnout in Manhattan Beach hit an impressive high for the March 5 election, according to the most recent election data.

Overall, the March 5 vote reflects a 50% voter turnout in Manhattan Beach (13,155 ballots returned out of 26,381 ballots mailed), according to PDI's California voter data. That compares with 29% voter turnout for L.A. County and 34% turnout for California as a whole. 

Voters over age 65 showed up in large numbers, with a whopping 73% turnout, comprising 39% of the total votes received.

(Supporters of Measure MB on election night included Elissa Unton, Dana Lupton, school board president Cathey Graves, Councilmember Steve Napolitano, Jim Rosen, and school board member Bruce Greenberg. Photo credit: Nina Tarnay.)

Voters of parent age more than doubled their turnout numbers since the last parcel tax election, according to the Measure MB committee.

"The community spoke, they spoke at every level, and they spoke in favor of schools," said Measure MB committee member Jen Dohner. "This really makes me proud to live in Manhattan Beach."

Measure MB Would Extend Current Parcel Tax

The "yes" vote on Measure MB extends 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.

(Supporters of Measure MB on election night: Left to right: Madeline Kaplan, Carrie Wetsch, Diana Skaar, Amy Howorth, school board member Jen Fenton, MBEF executive director Hilary Mahan, school board member Tina Shivpuri, Christine Daviduk, Susy Werre, Nina Tarnay.)

Meanwhile, MBUSD is facing budget cuts. The school board has 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.

(Kids helped spread the message about Measure MB.)

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 across a wide swath of the community, from both supporters and opponents of Measure A.

(Measure MB "staff" oversee an election information table.)

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

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