New measures to appear on the ballot this November

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Voters will have a say on several measures set to appear across Kern County ballots this November. From education to medical marijuana, ballot measures are garnering significant attention, respectively.

Two county-wide measures are proposing to lift the ban on medical marijuana shops throughout the Golden Empire, while one is proposing a reversal on the ban solely within the City of Bakersfield. The county-wide ban, which took effect last year after Kern County Supervisors made it illegal to sell marijuana for any use, has faced fierce opposition.

Bakersfield attorney, Phil Ganong, co-wrote two of the pro-medical marijuana measures set to appear on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot. “The smart move is to regulate,” Ganong, a practicing attorney for more than 30 years, said, adding each measure could generate four to $10 million annually. “It makes for a safer community and creates jobs,” he added.

Of the three pro-medical marijuana measures, one measure gives the county the power to determine where dispensaries can set up shop, whereas the other county-wide measure calls for the state to make those decisions. If both measures pass in Kern County, the measure with the most votes will become law. Meanwhile, the City of Bakersfield’s “Cannabis Measure” would overturn the city’s ban of medical marijuana shops. All three of the measures need a simple majority to pass.

The “Panama-Buena Vista Union School Bond Measure” is also garnering attention throughout Kern County. The $90 million bond measure, which needs 55 percent or more to pass, would help fund the construction of three new schools in the district. More than 18,000 students attend K-8 schools throughout the district, making it one of the largest in the county.

If approved, the measure would be paid over the next 10 years. The rate of annual assessed valuation would occur at a rate of roughly $30 per $100,000 annually.

If passed, property owners in the district will likely pay off the bond through 2038, and could expect to begin paying higher property taxes for for the bond in early 2019.

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