Thursday, March 6, 2014

Concerned citizens tell school board why they voted No on the bond

There were several concerned citizens who made public comment to the LWSD school board last Monday about why they voted against the bond.   One was Rick Whitney who's father was an elementary school principal his whole life, a pro schools person, and this was the first time he voted against a school bond in his life. 

Rick said the cost of new schools is excessive and the ever increasing tax burden put on us is unacceptable.  He agreed with the levy committee's statement that the district has a consistent record of accountability and stays within budget but with one exception.  Rick said "One key thing is missing in that statement. The school district needs to strive for cost efficiencies to deliver high performing schools at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers.  That's what I think is missing and the disconnect that caused you to lose this bond vote." 

Mike was the second speaker to the podium, a father of two children who went to Peter Kirk and Lake Washington High School.  He was Chairman of the "Yes on 1 &2 Not 3"sign campaign organized by businesses.  As a real estate developer Mike was surprised to learn that Monroe High School could be built for 23 million dollars vs. the 94 million dollars it took to build Lake Washington High School.  He couldn't believe that Peter Kirk is scheduled for a tear down saying "it had centuries" of life left with proper maintenance.  He said the tearing down and rebuilding must end and a committee of citizens, architects and professional could find solutions.   Mike also had experience with the City of Kirkland Growth Management Committee that put together the Comprehensive Plan and Capital Facilities Plan years ago.

Reported by Bob Yoder  


Anonymous said...

This is the second time in a row that voters denied LWSD the ability to borrow money to "modernize" schools. How long will it be before Dr. Pierce and the school board figure out that voters no longer support their form of modernization?

Dr. Pierce and friends claim that remodeling an existing building costs more than to build new. This is perhaps the case if they want to remodel to Taj Mahal standards and replace everything. But everything doesn't need to be replaced.

I invite Dr. Pierce and school board to look at how other districts remodel as a cost savings and apply that to our schools. I bet they'd get a lot more support at the polls!

Judy East said...

Anonymous, it appears that Dr. Pierce and the school board DID listen to voters which is why the bond is now reissued at 404 million and focuses primarily on building desperately needed NEW schools in the district. The only rebuild on the measure is for Juanita High School which needs to incorporate 2 other schools on the same campus. The district is growing by the rate of 1 school per year and there is simply no arguing that without more schools there won't be anyplace for those students to go. The growth in Redmond is wonderful to see and it is a credit to our city council and mayor (and taxpayers) that we have created a city that is attracting so many new families. To ensure that trend, it is vital that our schools and the educations they offer stay competitive. It is well worth the investment in our city and property values, if not for the education of future WA State citizens.