Tax measures may not pass
Willows voters may have considered local tax measures more favorably than those proposed statewide, but it may not have been enough to pass Measure P and Measure Q on Election Day.
While voters in large numbers opposed Proposition 30 — a statewide sales tax increase — their votes were more evenly split for Measure P, a 14.7 million school bond, and Measure Q, an increase from 10 to 12 percent in the Willows Transient Occupancy Tax
Still, the school bond required a 55 percent favorable vote to pass, which was not achieved by the time early voting and all three Willows precincts reported on Tuesday.
Election results are expected to be finalized by the end of the week after all the vote-by-mail ballots dropped off on Tuesday are counted.
As of 10 p.m., Measure P was ahead by only 52.77 percent of the vote.
Measure Q was leading in the polls with 52.85 percent of the votes.
Jim Lambert and the Yes on Measure P committee have been walking the streets trying to garner support for the bond, which would allow the Willows Unified School District to make necessary improvements, including handicapped accessibility, and by replacing antiquated heating and air conditioning units with modern energy efficient equipment and improving student access to computers and modern technology.
"We need to fix our schools," Lambert said Tuesday. "This is how you do it."
Lambert got involved in the bond committee after a similar measure failed in 2008.
He believes that updating 60-year-old schools is a community issue, not a school issue.
"We all benefit from improving our schools," he said. "Bonds is the way we do that, unless somebody comes up with a better way or a different way. "I just don't see that happening."
On Tuesday, Murdock Elementary School teacher Wendy Farnworth and mother Lottie Farnworth climbed the steps of Memorial Hall primarily to support Measure P, but also to support Proposition 30.
If approved, Proposition 30 would increase by one-fourth of a cent and impose an income tax surcharge on Californians who earn more than $250,000 annually.
The sales tax increase would expire after four years, and the income tax component would last for seven years.
Wendy Farnworth said she supported both because Measure P and Proposition 30 would do so much for the schools and the students in Willows schools.
"We have a lot of need," she said.
If Measure P fails, Lambert said the committee will not give up trying to get a bond passed in the future.
"We are going to wake up tomorrow with the same problems," he said. ï¿½