Wa-Hi bond headed for defeat

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A proposal to renovate Walla Walla High School was headed for defeat Tuesday based on preliminary election results.

The Walla Walla County Auditor showed initial returns of 5,056 in favor and 4,430 against. With a maximum of 128 votes left to count, according to the Walla Walla County Auditor's website, the measure had no hope of passing.

The $69.6 million project would have renovated the high school’s main buildings and improved safety and accessibility throughout the campus. Residents were asked to cover $48 million of the project, with $21.6 million expected in state matching dollars.

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Comments

briandohe says...

It's unfortunate that a super-majority was required to pass this much-needed renovation of WA-HI. 53.30% of voters approved the measure, 46.70% rejected it and yet it fails.

Posted 12 February 2013, 8:37 p.m. Suggest removal

writewinger says...

Thank Goodness for the Super Majority. It should still be the law for voting on levies too. Just the voting support of a large District Staff and extended families has a major impact on the outcome of school elections and at least the Super Majority system affords the rest of the property tax paying voters a little bit of leverage. Does it concern you Mr. Dohe that over 52% of registered voters didn't care enough about this bond to bother to vote? I have no way of knowing what difference a better voter response would have made but it is kind of a shame so many don't care one way or the other. It may send a message however.

Posted 12 February 2013, 9:19 p.m. Suggest removal

Chas says...

We know now that the Washington State Constitutional Convention considered super-majority votes—and *did purposely not require them.*

Posted 14 February 2013, 4:17 p.m. Suggest removal

sneakerhead says...

Not surprising and not unfortunate! If you want a new school, open enroll in College Place!

Posted 12 February 2013, 9:10 p.m. Suggest removal

Doceo says...

Congratulations are in order for the communities of Richland and Touchet. This was an unfortunate loss for the citizens of Walla Walla. At some point a bond will pass to renovate the high school. I hope that interest rates and construction costs per square foot won't be too much higher at that time.

Posted 12 February 2013, 9:34 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

For those of you who said, "Now is not the time," please remember in a year or two or three when this bond comes up again that you have already used that excuse. Between now and then, the windows won't get any thicker, nor the classrooms any larger, and the science labs won't fix themselves.

Posted 12 February 2013, 9:58 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

I agree about the windows etc. But I dont agree about next time.... UNLESS the economy gets better........ Now is the time to pay off some bills....

Posted 13 February 2013, 4:26 p.m. Suggest removal

Chas says...

I suggest the district ask the public to build a **great** Sciences building. That is the greatest need.

It's time to consider building to a storm-severity measure, *ie:* no asphalt shingles/ flat roof. (Does the Green Park Library or Sharpstein atrium, or Blue Ridge still leak?) Many schools built with flat rooves were later trussed.

Posted 13 February 2013, 5:55 p.m. Suggest removal

sneakerhead says...

Yeah but the school will be less crowded by 400 plus students! Who are you kidding dude!

Posted 13 February 2013, 8:01 p.m. Suggest removal

namvet60 says...

It's very fortunate for the 60% majority vote and should be prevalent on all high dollar bonds and levies. I really am amazed at how disheartened people are about not getting it passed but not worried about the entire amount of people that had to end up paying for it. It's rather obvious that there were quite a few people that thought about there well being and how it would be affected.

Posted 13 February 2013, 6:03 a.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

It's because you are a grown-up, namvet. I figure you can find a way to endure the hardship associated with an extra $8 per month. Our kids, on the other hand, are stuck with what they've got and have no recourse without our help. If we don't provide science labs for them, then they simply don't learn those skills. That's why I'm more concerned with the thousands of kids over the upcoming years that will be disadvantaged than I am with your $8 per month. Easy choice for me.

Posted 13 February 2013, 4:37 p.m. Suggest removal

ImJustSayin says...

wow, "...find a way to endure the hardship..." is your answer to those who most likely are on a fixed income? how about we put the onus back on you..... if overcrowded classrooms are an issue, quit having so many kids.

Posted 13 February 2013, 5:42 p.m. Suggest removal

Chas says...

When the second gym was built a bone was tossed (to the non-jocks) to build the lecture hall. It lacked a Green Room, make-up rooms, rest rooms in the back-stage areas from the beginning. It was then over-sold/marketed as a theater/ performing arts building. Some portion of these monies were to fix that 1990s omission.

I'd recommend the district ask the public for a state-of-the-art Sciences building. Technology is advancing so quickly that classroom teaching as we know it may be significantly different. (If I could have tested as fast as I read I'd have finished the history/civics portion of my education by 15)

Show us a **great** project involving smaller monies and bring it in on budget and on time.

Posted 13 February 2013, 5:27 p.m. Suggest removal

namvet60 says...

I think the editorial hit the nail right on the head! The project needs consensus of the public and obviously the public did not agree that Walla Walla needs a Taj Mahal for a high school as if these children are not spoiled enough already. There are people that are encased in tunnel vision fixated on a mirror. Then there are other people that consider the entire issue and project to see if they are compatible for there living circumstances. Obviously common sense held together.

Posted 13 February 2013, 6:33 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

Taken from another post....

I also believe there should be a official spokesman (to be indentified as such) on these blogs... Not one who makes the bloggers feel degraded or "ANTI-CHILDREN'' for feeling like your questions and/or feelings were something different from what he/she feels! I am sure some people voted the way they did because of these constant be-littling entry's. I am sure that the constant bantering between some of the bloggers (Sorry to say, I am included in this group) were a turn off for a lot of people! I am truly sorry for this.

Posted 13 February 2013, 8:56 p.m. Suggest removal

jace12 says...

I agree with barracuda 100%. I am glad someone felt the same. There needs to be a representative that is more respectful of others opinions. Administsration and the superintendent should not allow this type of behavior. This is not good representation for not only Wa-hi but for the entire Walla Walla school dictrict. Shame on them for allowing this to go on so long.

Posted 14 February 2013, 10:53 a.m. Suggest removal

loplover says...

It was simply too much money. Once the College Place students are gone, the needs should be re-evaluated. A number of school district's our size---Boise, Idaho is one example---have plans to improve several schools with a similar sum.

Posted 14 February 2013, 1:14 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

As I wrote in another post, I agree with barracuda that it would be good to have a district spokesperson online to address questions and provide factual information. As for jace12's comment "shaming" the district for "allowing" pro-bond supporters to engage as they have in this online debate, I'm not sure what you would have the district do.

To my knowledge, the district doesn't know who we "pro-bond" folks are. I can't speak for the others, but I wasn't writing my comments in coordination with anyone (even though I was accused of having a script). I was just going off of what Mr. Miller presented and what was posted online. So, how would you propose the district censor people it doesn't know?

And I have to say that if you were to review the tone of the anti-bond letters and comments and compare them to the pro-bond letters and comments, I think you will find overwhelmingly that the pro-bond writers tried to stick to the issues, whereas many - though certainly not all - of the anti-bond writers were claiming conspiracies and deceit and all sorts of hyperbolic stuff....again, not all, but a lot of them. Did I always succeed in avoiding sarcasm? Not 100%, but I just clicked on my screen name, went back to review my comments and am pretty pleased overall with my attempts at logic and civility. I certainly tried.

Where I think some of us reacted the strongest was when someone would write a letter or make a comment attacking a person, rather than criticizing the issue. The other frustration was the number of letters from folks who had obviously not read the bond or done their due diligence before going public. It is their right to say what they want, but as a supporter of the bond it was frustrating fighting some of the misinformation out there.

In the end, though, the effort failed. Was it the too-slow-to-recover economy? Was it confusion over the CP bond and its impact on Wa-Hi? Was it a failure to fully communicate why a full remodel of Wa-Hi costs what it does? Was it a perception that the track and the tennis courts and parking lots were "wants" and not "needs"? Was it pro-bond letter writers and bloggers like me who were too argumentative? (I doubt it.) Was it that our conservative-leaning community was suffering from post-Obama inaugural blues and was in a heightened anti-tax/anti-government mood? Was there a preponderance of attitudes, such as were expressed in this forum, like this: "My kids have graduated, so tough luck for the rest of you"? Was it the perception that we should only be paying on one bond at a time (even though on 10-year bonds for 10 schools that would mean 100 years between school remodels)?

I don't know. I do know that the majority voted "yes," and that each of the issues this bond addressed are issues that won't magically go away. I have to believe that with some tweaking, and perhaps an improved economy, it will pass the next time...which I hope will be soon.

Posted 14 February 2013, 2:20 p.m. Suggest removal

namvet60 says...

As I posted previously - I apologize to all of the individuals and those individuals children who I missed in offending which means I must work a little harder at achieving what everybody feels is offensive. :) That's all I can do is smile!

Posted 14 February 2013, 6:59 p.m. Suggest removal

pdywgn says...

namvet, you might only be able to smile, but you've got me laughing!!

Posted 17 February 2013, 1:42 p.m. Suggest removal

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