I am voting “no” on the Peninsula School District’s capital levy measure, and these are my reasons:
If conditions at Artondale Elementary are truly unsafe, it should be started before the new school instead of two years or more later. The students’ safety should come first.
To quote the school superintendent: if the funds are not available after the new school is built, “the district will have to adjust its scope.” If the building of a new school exceeds the estimated budget, it’s possible Artondale would have to wait, or not be finished, at least not without another levy or more funding. With the wording of the proposition, the district is not required to start or finish anything.
There are no approved designs, plans or blueprints for the new schools. No real estimates from contractors have been received. Much like bills that pass Congress, the attitude is, “We’ll figure it all out after we pass it.”
A levy only requires 50 percent of the vote, but it requires 100 percent of property owners to pay for it. A bond requires 60 percent of the vote. If this is going to cost all property owners more money, at least 60 percent should have to agree to it.
Passing a levy means people who move into the district after the four-year levy is paid will get the new school without paying for the cost of it, and that hardly seems fair. The district needs to come back with a real plan in a special election in February 2014 and ask for a reasonable bond with real estimates and let the voters back something that will actually work.