Update On School Levy Elections

We have received several comments from readers regarding the Tuesday School Elections. First are allegations that Boise’s ballot language disguises the fact they are seeking $70,000,000 which is broken down into $14,000,000 every year for 5 years. One reader claims the Meridian ballot is much clearer, adding the Boise cost pegged at a mere $7 a month on average, really amounts to nearly $500 over the 5 year course of the levy.

We have also been informed the “IDAHO VOTES” link previously posted is no good. Ada County Clerk and chief election officer, Chris Rich, told the GUARDIAN Monday voters in Tuesday’s levy elections should vote where they voted last fall. Polling places are not changing for the Tuesday election, in which school levies in Meridian and Boise school districts will be decided. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You call the Ada County Elections office at 287-6860 for specific polling information.

Judge the ballot language for yourself.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Meridian’s language is to the point, Boise’ is like an advertisement, and the language is questionable. I am not sure if I am voting on a $14M or $70M item, and it makes a difference to me.

    Also my kids attend Boise schools, and I am tired of school functions being used as a pulpit to support the levy vote. School districts should be able to inform the public about the vote, but not petition for its success.

    At a recent boise school musical performance, a school staffer commented how it was no accident all these performance occur the couple weeks before a levy vote.

  2. I think it’s pretty clear to me that it’s $14 million per year. What I don’t like is the non-neutral language. Do you want low class sizes, quality programs, and college prep? Or do you want to be a jerk and vote “no.” The Meridian wording is much more neutral, and, truth be told, I would be very suprised if this money went into any kind of separate fund that’s trackable. The money will go into a big pot and you can’t claim that it will be spent only on particular things. The last ACHD ballot measure suffered from the same flaw…language on the ballot that was not neutral and money into a big pot. Nobody reviews ballot language for neutrality unless it’s an initiative where both sides get to present a case. There was a bill before the legislature to require a neutrality review for ACHD a couple years ago. It was conceived as a start toward other language review such as for the language we find here. Senator McGee (I am sure at the request of ACHD–whether formal or informal) held the bill without a hearing.

  3. Voting No !
    Mar 12, 2012, 2:55 pm

    I vote for the Meridian language. It’s very clear how much they are asking for, for what purpose, and for how long. Unlike the Boise language, you don’t need to do any math.

    As to the Boise language, just what does “low class size” and “preserving quality programs” really mean?

    And just how will the Boise District “guarantee” its Patrons this levy will only be used to preserve low class size and quality programs and not administrative costs?

    An annual independent audit is mentioned. Will that be an annual independent audit separate from the regular annual independent audit? My guess it will be the regular audit and that audit won’t delve into whether or not these funds are used for administrative purposes. If it does I’m voting it will say everything is hunky dory.

    Ballot language just became another reason for me to vote NO on this levy.

  4. The only number that means anything to me is how much I will be taxed per $100K of net taxable value. All the gobbledegook about average this and that mean nothing.

    I can do the math and figure to the penny how much these levy elections will cost. Anything less is obfuscation of the actual costs and when I see this kind of smoke and mirrors I am inclined to vote NO. You want my money be clear about the costs and what it will used for.

  5. VOTE NO!
    Meridian is $115 per $100,000 property tax increase!
    You want lower tax then get off your tush and vote!

  6. Boise’s is written by the PR department! It is clear that Boise is not as “up front” as Meridian and that they have to “sell” the idea. The language is just short of dishonest.

  7. Boise’s is written like a 7 grade story problem. You gotta figure out the relevant information to solve the problem and filter out the rest. You gotta hand it to them on getting the sales pitch into the voting booth.

    There should be a standard format for any levy/bond election similar to Meridian’s language.

    I don’t think Boise’s language will sway anyone into voting one way or another.

  8. “No” voters disenfranchised?

    We hear a big fuss about how Republicans nationally are trying to disenfranchise traditionally Democratic voters by requiring state issued photo ID’s.

    Well it looks like there is an attempt to disenfranchise “no” voters in this school bond election.

    None of the media can tell me where I should vote. We hear that the “Vote Idaho” web site has erroneous information.

    You can bet that every student in the district took home specific instructions as to where their parents should vote!

    So we are supposed to vote where we did last fall? I am 71 years old and can’t recall what I did yesterday, let alone last fall. Or we can call the elections office and hear a busy signal?

    In the mean time the polls are being dominated by parents and others who have received inside information.

  9. No, Idaholic, the students have not brought home information on the issues and where to vote. I suggest you talk to friends and find out the facts before posting erroneous information!
    Idaho sure could use a facelift on how the information is distributed for elections so that you have something to review well before the elections. I have been here 17 years and still have to search to find election information. I sure wish it was pushed to those who are registered.

  10. Surprisingly no, we didn’t get specific voting locations from my kids in the Boise school district. But we got hit up at every performance the last few weeks. I had to skip one of my kids performances, because they scheduled a music festival the night of the GOP caucus, nice.

  11. I see your point about deceptive numbers and wording. Must be more of the same old Boise machine’s business as usual because of all the “Dees” (Ds) behind the names and titles of Boise’s ruling elitists.

    Of course your rulers could be like Melba’s wherein you would have been bombarded with blatantly deceptive low and erroneous levy rate figures that were not corrected upward until after the bond passed.

  12. I was provided by the school district specific instructions on where to I was to vote, but it was an email blast, not brought home by kids. However when going to the school for events, there have been posters encouraging us to vote yes on display, and people in the building to discuss with us the importance of a yes on the levy vote. While I assume they were volunteers, they have certainly coordinated with the school to use their building, tables and chairs, coordinated with school events, etc.

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