If November’s levy had been run as bond, failure was a ‘drubbing’

Gig HarborJanuary 22, 2014 

The Jan. 15 Gateway editorial asked the question “ ... does the (school) board need to rebuild trust, or do they just need to sway a few more voters? It’s not like the election was a drubbing.”

Really? Think that one through again and be honest with the public.

Construction projects are normally put to voters as a bond package that requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. The school district knew it could never reach that threshold after the $78 million bond failure in 2012, so to guarantee a win, they disguised the construction bond as a construction levy.

Even though the school board had just received voter approval for an $87 million operations levy in 2011, they simply assumed they could rely on the we-always-get-the-levies-approved generosity of the district voters to approved yet another levy.

The trick here is that levies only require a 50 percent voter approval instead of the 60 percent required by bonds. Last November’s levy only failed by 662 votes out of the almost 25,000 votes cast by district voters.

However, if you use the 60 percent threshold normally required for construction bonds, the levy actually failed by 2,817 votes.

Now that’s a drubbing, and the school board does need to rebuild trust with the voters of this district.

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