The Los Altos School District's Measure GG got a lot of support from just about everywhere in the final days of the election season, according to campaign finance reports released at the end of January. Real estate companies, architects, legal firms, construction and engineering companies, electricians and even a fencing company -- often from cities outside of Los Altos -- all poured money into the campaign to get the measure passed, with a few contributions rolling in after election day.
The Measure GG campaign committee reported raising just over $18,000 from Oct. 23 through the end of the year, adding up to a grand total of $123,540 for 2016. Unlike earlier filing periods, which were dominated by active parents, school board members and $5,000 contributions from individual school PTAs, the final influx of campaign cash came from a long list of companies. Among them is Gelfand Partners Architects ($2,500), which helped design several school facilities in the district, as well as Blach Construction ($1,000), Fs3 Hodges ($1,000), Duran and Venables ($500) and CSDA Design Group ($500) -- all Bay Area-based construction, engineering and architect firms.
Other campaign contributions include $1,000 from Mountain View legal firm Burke, Williams & Sorensen, $500 from San Jose-based electrician Best Electrical Co., and $1,000 from SRGNC CRES, LLC, a division of the real estate development company Sares Regis Group of Northern California. Steve Sordello, president of the San Jose-based fencing company Interstate Fence Co. also contributed $500.
Major donations from individuals include $2,500 from Joe Seither, an active parent in the Los Altos School District who served on the district's Citizens' Advisory Committee for Finance and a member of the Huttlinger Alliance for Education. School board member Steve Taglio contributed $1,500, and Bullis Charter School board member Francis La Poll contributed $500.
The campaign committee received $2,500 from Bullis Charter School's foundation, the Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation, on Nov. 9 -- just one day after the election. The committee also received post-election contributions from William Sawyer, senior director of the real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield ($200) and from Scott O'Brien, a Los Altos resident and real estate broker with the same agency.
Almost all of the campaign spending happened between Oct. 23 and the end of the year. A whopping $88,566 in bills were paid for during the reporting period, adding up to $115,852 in overall expenditures for the year.
A vast majority of the money went to TBWB Strategies, the district's campaign consultant for Measure GG, which paid for both consulting services as well as mailers, postage and online video ads supporting the parcel tax.
Measure GG passed in the Nov. 8 election last year with 70.9 percent of the vote, meeting the needed two-thirds majority vote by a comfortable margin. The board recently acknowledged the campaign committee for its hard work canvassing and phone banking to get the measure passed.