Wednesday, November 14, 2012
After a public meeting with a small handful in attendance (mainly school employees), a decision was reached, detailed in the following paragraph.
The Walla Walla School Board is proposing to spend $69.6 million to modernize and update Walla Walla High School. It says any excess funds from this bond would go toward Lincoln High School improvements.
Is this like the police station bond refund promise? Promises, without performance.
This proposed Wa-Hi bond sounds like a repeat of the Edison School bond debacle with one difference.
In the Edison bond, the School Board seemed to purposely inflate the bond amount by millions of dollars and used the excess to build the bus garage without a taxpayer vote authorizing such a project. The one difference was it tried to do it in a stealth-like manner until it was exposed.
In this proposed Wa-Hi bond, it seems as if School Board announced in advance the bond is more than needed for Wa-Hi. It looks like the board is purposely inflating the bond by millions with the intent to use the excess to rebuild Lincoln without a taxpayer vote on that project.
After the Edison bond debacle was exposed, our former school superintendent (June 2008) wrote a letter to the U-B. He said the state rewards communities with matching dollars for passing school bonds. According to him, if we taxpayers tax ourselves to build new schools the state will reward us with matching dollars they've already collected from us. Sounds like double-talk baloney.
Is that thinking prevalent in this proposed bond?
Taxpayers think state matching dollars should build schools they're allocated to.
The College Place passage of a high school bond eliminated the overcrowding problem at Wa-Hi.
On March 15, 2011, our superintendent told me we had 412 College Place students attending Wa-Hi. Officials now say there are about 350 students involved. Which figure is accurate? College Place population continues to grow.
Are we told a smaller number now to justify the need for Wa-Hi expansion?
Or is this a display of the "Joneses Jealousy Syndrome?" College Place gets a new high school. We want one, too.
A few million will update buildings as needed.
Terminate the services of expensive architects. They've been a drag on the district expenses for too long. M&O levies could probably be reduced $100,000 annually if we quit wasting money on architects, consultants and related expenses.
Let's educate students instead of trying to spend $69.6 million on Wa-Hi.