No support for proposed school district levies | Letter to the editor

Posted 1/28/22

A flyer was recently prepared (at taxpayer expense) by the Port Townsend School District regarding two proposed replacement levies. 

The flyer is chockablock with psychobabble such as …

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No support for proposed school district levies | Letter to the editor

Posted

A flyer was recently prepared (at taxpayer expense) by the Port Townsend School District regarding two proposed replacement levies. 

The flyer is chockablock with psychobabble such as “enrich and deepen students’ learning experiences,” and ambiguous references to “refresh student technology devices.” Vague and subjective phrases like these would be sufficient — or so the school board mavens had hoped — to justify the money grab. Apparently the school board believed that approval of the levies was a foregone deal, because little or no time was provided for public discussions on the merits of either proposed levy before the flyer was printed and mailed.

A special election — also at taxpayer expense — was hastily organized, perhaps in an effort to forestall public debate. Ballots were mailed a day or so ago. An “Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet” accompanied the ballot, but did not provide the usual pro and con discussions. The county auditor advised voters to check it out for themselves.

But there isn’t time for voters to do their own research, because the flyer announcing the levy proposal landed in mailboxes on Jan. 18. Ballots arrived two days later! And the election will occur on Feb. 8, a few short days from the day this letter appears, hopefully, in The Leader.

The school board had to know that the existing levies would expire in December of this year, yet kept their plans in the dark — until now! It seems to me that there would have been ample time to (a) propose the levy, (b) earmark specific amounts to specific line items in a forthcoming budget, (c) conduct public hearings, and still utilize an election in the normal election cycle, thus not requiring voters to pony up the additional costs of a special election. VOTE NO!

Paul Cahill
PORT TOWNSEND

Comments

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  • TomT

    I totally agree that these levies were planned with as little public exposure as possible "in an effort to forestall public debate. " Shameful behavior, undeserving of public support.

    VOTE NO!

    The Salish Cost school should have been no more than $30 million. Instead, due to the incompetence and failures of judgement on the part of the school district administration -- at all levels, up to and including the Board -- the thing cost more than $40 million and even then didn't include important things like solar panels and adequate soundproofing.

    Instead, they "value engineered" and put on a roof that will now have to be completely redone to allow solar panels to be installed.

    Solar panels will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gasses because our BPA electricity is already 98 percent "green". Put money into buying electric buses that will actually do some good.

    The levy also proposes to pour more money into the old high school building. WRONG.

    It needs to be replaced with a new building that will be centrally located and will eventually serve a combined Chimac u m / Port Townsend education program.

    Saturday, January 29 Report this

  • TomT

    Speaking of "at taxpayer expense", the Port Townsend School District chose to run an election with their two levies being the only things on the ballot.

    That means that PTSD will bear the entire cost of this election.

    If PTSD had, instead, just waited a couple of months until the next regular election, they would have saved a great deal of that scarce taxpayer money that they insist they need.

    But of course that's not how this board and superintendent think -- more people tend to vote yes when a levy is on a ballot with few items, and playing the odds that way by putting schools' levy measures on their own ballot is a very cynical tactic.

    Friday, February 4 Report this