Wednesday, April 2, 2014

City Council makes decision to support the LWSD bond - many citizens speak up at meeting

The Mayor and City Council were very busy at last night's Regular Business Meeting hearing comments from numerous citizens.

Parent Lisa Lang got up with a clutch of Redmond El students thanking the Mayor and Councilmember David Carson (and numerous others) for their participation in the Spaghetti fundraiser.  She said they now have enough funds to build a new playground at the school this summer.

Former Mayor Chris Himes and John Couch (her Parks Director) got up to celebrate Chris 85th birthday and all the accomplishments of the Redmond Historical Society.  The Parks Bond measure of 1974 drew Himes into her race for Mayor.  Couch gave Himes flowers. 

Two "frequent flyers" to the podium got up to grind their axes:  Zimmerman an oppositional and defiant speaker to anyone associated with government, especially King County.  And David Warton grinding his ax about pollution from Watson Asphalt Company of SE Redmond.  Another citizen negotiated for more than 4 minutes to address council about recurrent car accidents on a curve on West Lake Sammamish. 

Four citizens got up to encourage Council to vote in favor of Proposition One, the LWSD bond measure.  Superintendent Traci Pierce lauded the district's AAA bond rating and emphasized how fast the district is growing.  She clarified for Councilmember John Stilin that two new elementary schools in Redmond were proposed for the $404 million bond -- one in North Redmond and one in Redmond Ridge.  School Board member Siri Bleisner explained:  the bond is specifically designed to address over-crowding in schools, that extra space is designed in the new schools to create room for art, music, etc, that the district has a track record for building on time and on budget and that the cost of the bond will be about $125/year for an average home. 

Councilmember Byron Shulz gave a long speech about the importance of schools to Redmond and at the end of the meeting suggested that council work directly with the school board to improve the district.  Councilmember Margeson and Stilin agreed to a closer association with the district governance.  Council voted 5-2 (Carson/Myers) to approve a Proposition One resolution for the school bond.  Carson and Myers usually always vote No based on the principle the voters are responsible to decide for themselves what's best.

Reported By Bob Yoder


AbleApril said...

Student enrollment is the largest factor in facility planning, and the Lake Washington School District has a history of accurate projections (within a 3% margin of error district-wide). This level of accuracy requires careful research and relies on information from multiple sources. The District tracks housing construction, birth rates, and other factors that affect enrollment. They know where developments are planned and keep in touch with developers to ensure that we have the latest information on their timeline for building and sales. They track local births and know how many of those children likely will show up in our kindergarten classes in five years’ time. So to wonder why these news schools and modernization is needed, seems a bit out of touch given all of the growth happening in this area. Just look around you, and you will see how quickly this area is growing and the impact it is having on our schools. Please vote Approve for the April 22nd Bond Measure to help alleviate overcrowding in our schools.

Bob Yoder said...

Able, this is all the more reason why growth should pay for growth by adjusting the impact fees upward on those developments that are attracting growing student populations. The district needs to revise their impact fee calculations.