Meridian Minority of Minority Prevails

Rebranding the Meridian School District to be called the West Ada District apparently didn’t help when it comes to bond debt votes.

Voters in the district turned down a proposed $104 million bond debt which requires a 2/3 majority, or 67% approval. The tally was 63 % in favor and 37% opposed.

Opponents of the “super majority” say bond debt is almost impossible to obtain.

In reality the super majority is a safeguard for elections like Tuesday’s where only 10% of registered voters bothered to cast ballots. Without the protection of the super majority rule, a mere 6% of registered voters would have been able to impose their will on 100% of the electorate.

Citizens of West Ada need to stand up and be counted.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Dale Gribble
    Aug 27, 2014, 9:08 am

    Vote against debt! The state needs to do their job and fund the school districts properly. “it wouldn’t reduce classroom sizes, a chief complaint by district parents. That would require hiring more teachers, and the district says it doesn’t receive enough money from the state for that.” (Idaho Statesman)

    This would have been a 20 year bond. What happens in another 10 years when we are in the same boat?

  2. You are exactly right, Dave, in your analysis. (You must be, since I agree! Ha!)

    Opponents of the “super majority” say bond debt is almost impossible to obtain.

    Then they’ll have to explain how Wilder and New Plymouth both passed their bond elections yesterday. (Hopefully the “majority of the minority” in both of those communities accurately reflect the will of the property taxpayers in general.)

  3. Really need to move ALL such elections to November only.

  4. Good point Guardian. But taking it a step further, is it really proper in a free society to have certain people voting to forcibly appropriate the property of another? Does this not make “democracy” in fact, two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner? We just accept the notion that is is permissible and proper to raid our neighbors property, looting their rights to self ownership and free association, without even thinking what it means in the land of the free. Good this bond failed. Property taxes preclude all of us from real ownership of our own homes. We should find other ways to fund schools, that do not obliterate the right to free and clear title to ones own castle. Furthermore, forcing people out of a lifetime residence due to the inability to afford paying off the taxman is obscene. The Idaho Constitution needs to be changed.

  5. 2/3 is a wonderful law!! Apparently there used to be smart people running Idaho.

    Thank you to those who voted.

    Thank you to those who got the word out about another stealth election.

    The local media did their best to confuse and bias the issue in favor of passing. They also kept it very low key until Thursday. SOP style for the Meridian district and their local liberal media friends.

    Now why is it we need to build new schrewels anyway? Where are all the kids coming from? The birth rate is fairly low… (at least it is for those not on welfare and/or here unlawfully). So somewhere in the country there are low enrollment numbers and schools closing?… Can the feds send us money from those districts instead? And, how about some massive cost cuts over at the district HQ. So many layers of staff and management, so many personal offices, so many company vehicles, and cellphone plans etc etc.

    Non-profit my backside! Lots of personal profit at the HQ. Do you think it’s possible to build a district ratings website? Like the one we can use to evaluate charities?

    Prepare for round-2. There will be a media storm of epic gnashing and whining about the suicide of voting this down… followed by a very quiet re-attempt after they’ve educated each and every soccer mom.

    And let’s get some legislation past at the statehouse which forces all elections on to one day per year in November. One place, one ballot, one election.

    And for goodness sake, don’t elect the liberal to be Governor.

    And, Our teachers are under-paid and under-recognized. This is not about the teachers… this is about their sell-out union officials and the education management leaders who’ve spent decades building a ridiculously expensive and under-performing baby-sitting system.

    It’s not about spending more… the schools in expensive states suck too. And there are kids who go to school barefoot on a dirt-floored school all over the world that outperform. It’s about the need for a total overhaul of a failed concept.

    All of this is so obvious that it is becoming apparent that American leadership is failing intentionally?

  6. I have changed my mind about levys for school districts. I absolultely support tax increases to fund education. However, local levies are not the answer as they take the legislature off the hook for doing job – funding and providing for infrastucture. Furthmore, levies create districts of have and have nots. The have’s produce great results and skew the numbers overall for the state.

    The legislature needs to wake up and properly fund schools through out the state. Levies take the heat off of them.

  7. Guardian,

    Thank you for keeping up on the actual participation level of this election.

    I, for one, appreciate that a “Super Majority” is required to encumber my home for ten, twenty, or thirty years with a bond issue.

    I may be in a minority; but, I have no problem with a 50+% vote if the debt would only be for one year or less. Of course, if given the opportunity to numb our senses with 50+% debt; the school districts might blur the issue for larger debt and for longer periods.

    How often have the news outlets and promoters told us that there would be no increase in payments because one debt replaces another bond that is paid off? Thus, reducing our payments if a new borrowing is not happen.

    I kind of like the idea that debt is paid in full and not replaced with another borrowing.

  8. Maybe the answer is to only let property owners vote on bonds. Kind of remember that is the way it used to be…

  9. Grumpy ole Guy
    Aug 27, 2014, 7:23 pm

    One can not limit the franchise to one group, such a property owners, or parents of school-age children, or right-handed pencil users. However, one could, and perhaps should limit the election dates to primary or general election dates in an attempt to get higher turn out. That will not ensure a more highly informed electorate, just a larger turn-out. Barring that, perhaps there should be one date, state-wide for ALL school elections, bonds, levies, school board trustees. Such an arrangement would, at least, mean that all information would get an equal amount of publicity and eliminate confusion about who should vote when about what. I think that, that date should be during the school year, when attention in more likely to be focused of schools and education.

  10. If I buy a house in Meridian and live in Nampa, I do not get to vote on bond issues affecting my property in Meridian.
    If I have a business or other real estate in Meridian and live in Boise I do not get to vote on issues affecting my property–In fact I cannot vote for the people who are taxing my business.
    Of course Walmart doesn’t get a vote either–Not all things are fair

  11. Two points made by most of you bear repeating:

    –school bond votes must be held on the general (or primary, as a less-attractive alternative) election schedule; and

    –legislature needs to provide adequate schools funding; this patching by local districts is patently unfair (e.g., to smaller districts) and results in an unequal physical plant and instruction program across the state.

    As it is, the legislature has just shifted the burden to property taxes. I’d argue it’s the job of the state to fund education…state-wide. Maybe they should consider impact fees on large developments?

    Until these bonds start to fail the legislature won’t deal with the problem. Send them a message.

  12. Dale Gribble
    Aug 28, 2014, 2:49 pm


    “Maybe the answer is to only let property owners vote on bonds.”

    Wow. What’s next, an IQ test and don’t allow women or blacks? You can’t go down that elitist path and call this a democracy.

  13. Cowpoke twice removed
    Aug 28, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Your premise is flawed Dave. No matter which side prevailed it wouldn’t change the fact that a small number of people imposed their will on 100% of the electorate. The super majority requirement just allowed 3.7% of the electorate to decide for the 6.3% and everyone else.

  14. Dale Gribble
    Aug 28, 2014, 3:42 pm


    “a small number of people imposed their will on 100% of the electorate.”

    It was an open election. 100% of the electorate could have showed up. How can you blame those that actually did? Do you have any other suggestions?

  15. Cowpoke twice removed
    Aug 28, 2014, 5:08 pm

    Dale G

    I was not aware that I blamed anyone. I just pointed out that his premise is flawed.
    No matter what happened a small minority would decide the outcome. In this case a very small minority bested a larger minority due to the way the law is written. I have to wonder why that is better than a minority beating an even smaller minority of voters.

  16. Columbo-Just one more question...
    Aug 31, 2014, 7:46 am

    I’m all for education receiving the amount of $$ it takes for a first class education. But continuous debt schemes that recycle inflation for a system that can’t even teach kids where money comes from honestly is not just a ripoff, but a slap in the face. It just never ends. Banker designed financing is the ruin of this nation, if not the world.

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