The savvy Meridian school administration pulled off another victory at the polls Tuesday when voters authorized a $140 million bond for new schools.
Despite an attempt by a taxpayers group to undermine voter confidence with a brochure listing all salaries of teachers and administrators–by name– about 72% of the voters said YES to a new school bond.
The GUARDIAN figured–wrongly as it turns out–the voters might take a “time out” as a protest aimed at slowing the rapid growth in the district. The administration campaigned on a platform of “growth will pay” for the bond.
The anti forces mail campaign was ignored by the mainstream media, but now the election is over, you might hear mention of their tactics. The sad part of the attack on teacher’s salaries was the bond pays for BUILDINGS, REPAIRS, and BOOKS–not salaries.
The refreshing signal to officialdom was that while voters hold the purse strings, they are willing to loosen their hold when the right cause comes along.
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Sep 21, 2005, 8:35 am
Dearest over-taxed Idaho,
I have a some money saving ideas for public schools.
Cut all transportation.
Cut all school sports (club sports will work)
Change the school days to start later and end later. (9:15-4:30, schedule changes will help with transportation issues)
Have students bring their own lunches.
Privatize the facilities management.
Half the amount of adminstrators.
Yes, its harsh. Public Education has become quite overweight. Much like its students.
Budget Slasher’s kids are going to have a tough time making honor roll and he will never be a member of the teacher’s union!
Sep 21, 2005, 11:06 pm
With a Realtor/Appraiser and the President of the Chamber of Commerce on the School Board, we should know the direction they want. Unchecked, unfunded, unbounded and unassailable growth will be the norm in Meridian and beyond. I am disappointed the bond passed, but it’s hard to fight the tactics used by the District. They have announced their plan to ask for bonds every two years or until our quality of life becomes so Californicated, they all flee for the next patch of farmland to subdivide in a “used to be” nice place to live.
I’m shocked that nobody in a position of authority (City Council, Mayor, or P & Z)has blown the dust off of their library card and done a keyword search for Urban/Suburban Sprawl and actually checked out and read case history on our current situation. I have, and I will tell you that it’s not good for anyone. Not good for anyone exept for maybe the upper crust that can cut and run. At least when they go bankrupt they will have large sums of money loop-holed. Not like the chumps that bought their twig framed houses in their sprawling subdivisions when they find out the realtor was off a bit in the amount they could afford based on debt to income ratio and their property taxes don’t stop the steady climb.
It’s beyond time to demand the developers sponsor their hordes. And no, you can’t put a school in your drainage area!
Sep 21, 2005, 11:49 pm
I live in the Meridian District and have occasionally bragged about always voting in favor of school bonds, in spite of having no family member of my own in any public school in Idaho for more than 20 years. I couldn’t bring myself to vote no however, I had many reservations about voting yes and so took the easy way out and went grocery shopping instead. (Shame on me.)
I am sure there is much waste in the school building fund, as do my neighbors, who voted against the measure in spite of having two young children. Why, for instance, are all new schools surrounded by acres and acres of land which, other than being watered and mowed regularly, seem to have no function….one never sees children playing on these enormous schoolyards which land is not taxed. The planners must have had some use in mind when deciding how much land is necessary for each school. Would someone please tell me the reason for this wastefulness? Thanks.
Sep 25, 2005, 7:48 pm
A brochure listing teachers and administrators by name and their salaries? How crass. No wonder it passed, even in the heart of conservative western Ada County. Next time opponents may want to try some more effective tactics rather than personal attacks.
Oct 1, 2005, 9:49 am
The other day, I went to my kids’ elementary school in Nampa. It happens that the school has scheduled an open house and “fun day” for the parents to attend on Oct. 11. Now, you may ask — as I did — why the school would choose Oct. 11 — the day after Columbus Day — to host such an event. The reason is that that school board picked Oct. 11 — the day after Columbus Day — to hold a bond election.
It is absolutely mind boggling that as Idahoans revolt against property taxes, a school board would pick the worst possible occasion for voter turnout to hold an election. Schools have become exceptionally good at planning school events to lure the voter who is most likely to support a bond while, at the same time, picking the date most likely to mitigate the turnout of those who would opposes such bonds. I’ll take full blame for failing to attend the school board meeting where this decision was made. I’ll spread some of the blame to legislators for failing to consolidate election dates, and the teachers’ union for insisting that public policy is best forged in the dark and that taxes are best raised in the cover of night. I support the school bond. I don’t support the methods used by the school community. I plan to vote no, and withhold a positive vote for the day when the school district holds a proper election.
Oct 1, 2005, 9:47 pm
I am still hoping that someone – maybe you, Mr. Guardian – will explain the vast amount of land that is being withheld from the tax rolls by reason of putting each school in the middle of what used to be enough acreage to contain a small farm – unused, untaxed, and requiring water all summer and fall. Or tell me whom I should call with this question. Thanks.