Rep. Mia Gregerson, who also serves as the appointed Mayor of SeaTac, released a statement this week endorsing a simple majority for school bonds.

Currently, a supermajority of 60 percent is required to pass school bonds in the state of Washington.

The Highline Public Schools bond on the Feb. 10 ballot is failing with 54.76% approval – a percentage that some think should be enough to pass the bond.

A new law – House Bill 1941 (download PDF here) – is being proposed to change this law, and would apply to November elections. Voters would have to approve the revision before it would become law.
In addition to Rep. Gregerson, Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines) and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) are also sponsors of the bill, along with over 40 others.

A public hearing is scheduled in the House Committee on Education at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, with an executive session scheduled for Feb. 19.

Here’s Gregerson’s statement:

“I was greatly saddened to see yet another school construction bond fail this week. The Highline School District’s buildings are overcrowded and in desperate need of repair.
Here are the numbers:

  • 1,500 new students in the last five years, with more coming
  • 60 portable classrooms now in use
  • 232 school construction bonds have gotten more than 50 percent of the vote from 1999 to 2013, yet they all failed because of the supermajority requirement

The current system is broken. Why is 54.6 percent a landslide for a politician, yet a failure for our public schools?

The majority of voters in the Highline School District said yes to a new school construction bond. Yet it won’t happen.

Our children deserve better. Our children are worthy of learning in real classrooms and schools, not converted broom closets and leaky trailers. Real classrooms don’t have wheels.

It’s time for a change. That is why I and large group of my colleagues have introduced new legislation, HB 1941, to allow school bonds to pass on a simple majority in November Elections.

I believe all voters deserve to have their voice heard in our democracy. November Elections have greater turnouts than special elections. And 50 percent plus one is democracy. A simple majority was passed for school levies in 2008. Today, simple majority for bonds makes sense given new mandate to reduce class size.

I look forward to a productive conversation at the public hearing of this bill on Monday, February 16th at 1:30 in the Education Committee. I am confident I can work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important bill for Washington’s children.”

We’re wondering what YOU think – should this law be changed or not? Please take our poll:
[poll id=”86″]

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

101 replies on “POLL: Should school bonds be passed by a simple majority or not?”

  1. Mia! Do you think it is really our responsibility to educate the world? Do you think I should go to work to just pay taxes and fees and licenses that the bureaucratic thugs demand I pay?
    I already pay over half my wages in various taxes. No mas.

    1. A community is a lot like a family you may not like all your relatives but if they come to you for help you give it. Don’t treat your community like an enemy that only takes, a rising tide liftlifts all boats!

  2. This is a sad solution to a school district in distress. I hope the electeds in Olympia will look beyond the cliche’s and rhetoric and find that this is not going to incentivize the school districts to do a better job by their students and voters. Just one blatant example of misguided policy from the Highline School District:
    School District Public Relations Budget Percent of Total Budget
    Issaquah $346,342 .18%
    Kent $553,857 .16%
    Renton $296,235 .18%
    Bellevue $488,728 .21%
    Seattle $500,189 .07%
    Highline $985,828 .43%
    43% of the budget to SELL THE BOND and any other incidental PR the district does this year. Kids were inundated with expensive, redundant material to bring home. 9 mil could go a long way for reduced admin staff, or even a new building or a consultant to come in and help the district identify how to spend money wisely, etc. etc.

    1. I believe you meant 900k would go a long way. Great points.
      I received four, four color mailers in the days leading up to the election. I had already cast my NO vote.

      1. Did that come from the school district or Highline Citizens for Schools? Because if it was HCS (and I suspect it was) as much as you’d like to, you can’t tell a private non-profit how to spend their money.

          1. Hi Kathleen… I wasn’t very clear. I was referring to the 4 color mailings received in the mail in my comment. The yellow and black ones from Highline Citizens for Schools. I’m not doubting your link, but I would like to know – and this is a question for the district – if the same line items are covered under the same budget categories in each district. It’s important to know if we are comparing apples to oranges. It would be great if someone who is interested could dig in to that.

      2. Good point on the four color brochure, which is about standard for any type of printing these days and hardly extravagant. It should have been a blurry blue mimeograph to reflect the real age and state of our schools, thanks to the well organized anti-tax minority.

      3. Yep, I made a mistake – first one today! NOT Thanks for the correction. Can’t figure out where the Edit button is either so this will have to do. Its actually $985+ million.

    You can’t change the rule just to get what you want.
    I don’t understand why they don’t present a sensible budget for the voters to approve.

    1. You’re right, the voters have spoken, and a majority of them wanted the bond to pass. This artificial “60%” rule is a hurdle placed by those who apparently don’t care about their community or about education.

      1. The majority of them? What majority? The majority who are ambivalent about ever finding how the city spends its money or those who educate themselves through active research and passing through memory lane every now and then.
        How educated is the modern day voter? I would say more so here than in the city but still…there are a lot of people that don’t care and just follow the lead of the loudest mouth.
        Humbly drinking the best coffee.

        1. From reading this it appears that you would support some kind of voters test so only people who think like you can vote. It is simple math, the super majority rule gives the no votes more power than the yes votes. With the first bond as close as it was, every no vote counted as 1.2 votes and the yes votes counted as only .8 of a vote. I understand why you don’t want to see the rules changed, I’d like my votes to count for more than yours too.
          In the poll above a less than simple majority are in favor of keeping the rules the same, but I guess the majority should be out voted by the minority’s choice of changing the law.

          1. I don’t trust teachers either. My son’s spanish teacher forgot to show a video so the he and his fellow students received 0/30 on their exam because they couldn’t take the exam for the video the teacher didn’t show! I was the only parent who contacted the school regarding this matter. This happened again in his art class.
            And you ask why I want to educate the voters? Not to think like me. There can only be one me. I want people to not just follow because they hear the loudest whiner but to understand the reason behind their vote. I want them to qualify themselves to vote they way they do. Knowledge and understanding should go a long way in this world but unfortunately those armchairs are very comfy and people just don’t want to move beyond their self schema.
            My son came home from school and told me I should vote yes on the bond and levy. I asked him why. He said that he was tired of the school always being so hot. It was old and it needed to be replaced. He got a mini-lesson in poli-sci that day.
            I wonder why…why in this wonderful innovative area of Seattle can we not think of alternative methods to rebuild a building without sourcing extraneous material with little qualification? Do we not have any Green state contractors?
            Putting cream in my coffee…I’m that rattled.

          2. It should be more difficult to raise taxes than just a simple majority! Especially regarding the extravagant spending habits of Highline, to what end? Crappy education.

  4. Hmm, just seems like sour grapes. This seems to happen often after unsuccessful bond votes. A revision to the law is proposed, but it ends up dying before it makes it out of committee.
    The 60% supermajority forces proponents to work extra hard for the measure. And if the measure is successful, then the 60+ is more of a mandate of the people.
    In all honesty, how hard did the “Yes on Bond” group actually work for this measure? Besides bulk mailers, how many volunteers actually put feet to street and went door-to-door and met voters face to face. What other efforts were done to ensure this measure would pass?
    I have heard that not much was done beyond bulk mailers. Seems like not enough effort. If that’s the case, then it’s on the proponents for not doing enough to ensure successful passage of such an important measure.

    1. Not only did they forego door to door conversation, the proponents actually took measures to keep voters in the dark. It is up to the District to request Voter’s Pamphlets be sent out from King County Elections. If you all noticed, we did not receive them. The pamphlets contain the actual language of bonds, levies, initiative, etc., so voters can educate themselves on what exactly they are voting for. That little breakdown on the ballots does not show where the money actually goes. Nor do the colorful mailers. Not everyone knows to go to King County’s web site to find that information, and the proponents certainly did not mention that!

      1. That is part of the targeting your voters strategy.
        The idea is to suppress the opponents and get your voters to vote for your measure.
        First, the district runs some survey presumably to get your opinion and slips in questions about construction of schools. That goes into their database. Then they run their election in an off cycle month not likely to have as many ballots cast as the General Election would. Targetted voters make it easier to overcome the percent of voters that cast the no ballot., One needs to keep voters in the dark and push your likely voters to cast their ballot.
        In our recent example, 30% of eligible voters decided the outcome. The yes levy easily won.

  5. This is just further proof that Susan Enfield and her Board Members have no desire to work with the community or let alone to even listen in coming up with a bond that we all can afford and agree on and get passed, she told us that much in her post election statement, instead she has decided to go straight to her friends, our so called elected leaders and have them change the election laws for her.
    This is the great state of Washington Mia Gregerson Not Wisconsin, that time has come Mia for you to put That “R” in back of your name because thats exactly what you have become.

  6. With the super majority rule:
    41 people decide for 100 people
    4 people decide for 10 people
    2 decide for 5 people
    The 41% no votes count as 1.2 votes and the 59% yes votes only count as .8 of a vote.
    Getting rid of the super majority rule would make all votes equal to one vote.

    1. The United States is a Republic not a pure Democracy.
      Super majorities are in place in all levels of government.
      There are very good reasons for requiring a super majority.
      One is that, any, level of government will have to make a VERY convincing argument, before we give them the power to raise taxes.
      Making it easier for government to raise taxes is a sure recipe for abuse and excessive taxation (and guess who’s paying the bill?)
      I also think it may be unconstitutional for this law to supercede a referendum by the people. I thought it could only be overturned by another proposition or bill put before the people. If Olympia rams it down our throats that says a lot about who we have representing us and it maybe its time for a change?

      1. The hearing on House Bill 1941, if and when it passes out of committee will go to the general electorate in November.

    2. My favorite teacher is our Math Teacher. His logic bests all the anger and accusation and ridicule that a small handful here thrive on. Good for you Math Teacher. You deserve a raise.

      1. You may very well like and agree with his logic, but his logic is not the issue at hand. The issue is that the super majority is the current law. You (and others) may not agree with it, but it is the law at the moment. Those who don’t like it, can testify at the hearing pertaining to HB 1941 (if it actually gets a hearing).

    3. That makes perfect sense. If you don’t ante you shouldn’t have a vote. If you don’t have a w2 should you decide what the tax dollars are used for? It is easy to spend someone else’s money.Susan has a career built on it.

      1. Ohhhh my friend! your line of argument is a slippery slope indeed! What about all the folks who only receive a 1099? Or what if you are a stay-at-home parent with no W-2… Still no vote for them?
        This kind of gross oversimplification is very dangerous.
        Many would agree that true equality does not exist in this country. Voter equality, however irksome you may find it, is still the law of the land and an ideal we should continue to aspire to.
        ” One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all”

    4. Well think of the math this way, with a simple majority, one single vote could raise the taxes of over 49% of the people against their wishes. How is that better?

  7. Ha ha by the survey at this time, a minority of people say yes change the law, but less than 60% say no. Guess those people would be ok if the law changed.

  8. All I can think of is that brand new fire station in Burien. Uninhabited for how long I don’t know. But it sits there as an example of how well our politicians do their business.
    Kudos for wasting my money. I wish I could do the same.

    1. The fire station has nothing to do with Highline School District, nor the City of Burien, so what’s the point exactly?

    2. Way to include something that has absolutely no bearing on the current discussion. The Fire Station 28 issue has nothing to do the with the City of Burien or the Highline School District.

      1. The reason I mentioned the brand new fire department that is not being used is to illustrate the misuse of funds and how little we should trust politicians. This isn’t just about the school buildings but how politicians can’t be trusted to use our money properly.
        I believe that if we as citizens chose to build the school buildings ourselves using our own money then the buildings would be built to code and habitable.
        Out of the armchair, drinking coffee

        1. What makes you think the money used to build the new fire station wasn’t used properly? What do you know for FACT? Ever think to consider that the fire department is rejecting the building as is, because it was not built to specifications, and the fire department–and the elected officials (the fire commissioners) who are the representatives to the people–are actually looking out for the best interests of the citizens?
          You’re painting with too broad of brush on this one.

          1. Oh, the legal battles over what should be mine versus what isn’t yours. Ego against ego and who loses? The voters. Who wins? STATE CONTRACTORS.
            I have never met a state contractor that I liked. When sourcing for a position I found that state contractors charge twice the amount than a private party. They charge more because of the regulations imposed upon them. We have to do something about that. Policy, law, regulations oh my. Sounds like a great game, doesn’t it?
            I suggest we just squander the Highline School Budget and vote yes on the remain bonds. See you again in 2050 when people again get fed up with the schools never being built.
            Coffee gone. It’s whiskey now – just shy a whisker.

    3. Tightbelt says-
      Are you even aware of the actual story behind the fire station? By most accounts that was contractor negligence and the station sits empty while the fire district refuses to take possession and remains in a legal battle to force the contractor to fix the problems or pay for it to be done. It is not an example of the City or School district being wasteful. Or really anyone doing their business poorly or being wasteful other than the negligent contractor.
      It has nothing to do with this issue. You clearly are simply trying to “stir the pot” with more inflammatory rhetoric, when the truth is there will never be a bond you will approve because you simply don’t like the fact that there is a cost to living in a community.
      Yes!-ask questions and demand answers and hold folks accountable… but at least take the time to learn what you are talking about and be relevant.

    4. The fire station is uninhabited due to contract issues with the contractors. They are not moving in until it is sorted out and has nothing to do with wasted tax payer monies.

  9. I would be all for changing it to a simple majority as long as only property owners can vote for it. After all, they are on ones footing the bill.

    1. Well actually, even those who do not own property but rent do pay the tax through their landlord…. and we all pay it in the form of higher prices eating out at restaurants or buying goods or services from local retailers or restauranteurs who either own or lease their storefronts. This has been pointed out here in the comments throughout the debate of this issue several times. If you actually think that the landlords DO NOT pass on the cost of the taxes to their renters, I have a bridge I would like to sell you…
      You seem to be suggesting that we revert to some kind of feudal system with Lords and serfs. Yikes!

      1. Incorrect. The taxes are paid by the landlord or business. The landlord receives the revenue from the renter and pays tax as his business expense. Yes, a portion of the revenue will go toward the property taxes but no where close to the magnitude a homeowner does. They pass a cost on to the renter but the landlord is always responsible for the taxes.
        If you want to change it to a simple majority seek consensus from the people who pay and are responsible for the tax regardless on how the revenue is generated. If not, keep it the way it is…60 percent majority. Or better yet, find a different more equable revenue stream to fund schools.

        1. Well Lord Joe… I am not incorrect just because you want to spin it that way. We all pay this tax in one way or another it is a simple fact. And YES I pay property taxes, so I would have a vote in your system.
          Your rhetoric puts you in alignment with the very powerful minority in this country (1%ers) who appear intent that we should have a ruling class and a large pool of working folks to provide them the revenue, (in whatever the magnitude) to continue to keep them at an unfair disadvantage.
          Watch out serfs. What’s next Lord Joe? a Poll tax?

          1. I don’t even know how to respond to your logic so I’m not going to try. I said my point in my original comment and will let it stand. I don’t support changing to a simple majority.

      2. Are you suggesting then that we continue to reward those who blissfully continue to bring children into the world they cannot afford to support?
        As a tax payer I should keep my mouth shut and be happy my tax money is being spent rewarding bad behavior. Ethically FAMILY PLANNING is not being used in many of these households due to religious prohibitions against birth control.
        So in effect as a tax payer I am paying to clothe educate house and feed these freeloaders because its against “their” religion to be fiscally and ethically responsible?

    2. It is a myth that property owners were all against the bond.
      My precinct has no apartments in it and “for rent” signs are seldom seen, yet we gave the original (November) bond a 56% majority.
      In fact every single precinct in Burien gave that bond at least a simple majority. Out of the 170 or so total precincts in the HSD only 9 didn’t (6 in Des Moines, 2 in Normandy Park, and 1 in SeaTac).

      1. Thanks for that information. Looks like you did some meaningful research (which is easily obtained on KC’s website).

      2. Enough of us were against it that it failed to pass. And that was a GOOD thing because it was a badly written bill with very little independent oversight of how the money was going to be spent.

  10. The threshold for passing a school bond should be no different than that for an athletic facility……..

  11. The point of the fire station and the school district is that we are not anti tax fanatics. We pay and pay and pay, taxes, fees, licenses and numerous other names for government bureaucracies taking our money.Often times wasting it through mismanagement and even corruption. I have seen it up close and personal in my work. Example after example of waste and fraud, and politicians asking for more and more and more. Crony capitalism at the expense of the middle class.
    I am not an anti tax fanatic. I am a lower middle class American who is tired of paying 50% of my take home pay in taxes by a hundred different names. Thank God for Scott Schafer, without him and his blog I would have never known about the bloated bond and the sneaky way it was being pushed through.

  12. Mia Gregerson lives on Angle Lake waterfront property and I’d like to know how she got her money for it.

  13. Well, this is how “they” play the game. They loose and can’t accept that, so they just work on changing the rules! Pretty disgusting. Anyone want to bet that the losers will try to change the rules and then resubmit the identical bond package for the third time? I surely wouldn’t. I’m just saying……

    1. With that said, it makes be ponder why? we all should question who is advising? who is the school district spending our tax dollars on as their consulting source?
      Why did Superintendent Susan Enfield and her Political Action Group resort to such a unethical game of nasty and dirty politics this second time around with their campaign?
      Why was so much information kept from the voters? Why are we being asked to approve so much money at one time? Just my thoughts..

      1. John, Good questions. The highest tier answer would be simply, “Follow the money”. Interesting how most issues that have a “smell” factor to them always end up driven by money. Money for influence, money for contractors, etc. Alas…. money = power. Sorry for being too cynical, but 60 years has shown me that altruism most often looses to money. This is the main reason our ability to vote is so important! It’s the original check & balance system.

      2. This coming from Laura and John Castronover of the Sensible Spending on Our Schools.
        Also know as the liers that slam this blog and most other news outlets in the area with nonsense and use fake names and occupations to try trick people in to thinking that there different people.

          1. Tbc Are you making these while your at work because I think your employer would find it rather shocking that you are making rude comments about a disable person.If you like I am pretty sure I have figure out who you are and I could call your employer and have check your Internet history on your work devices . So if you like lose your job for trying to be anonymous jacka** on the Internet while on the clock. Then go a head make your comments and see what happens .

  14. Look at the pole results above so far.. Does that indicate anything?
    Maybe we should also change the criminal justice system where a jury can not convict unless the higher threshold is met “beyond the shadow of a doubt “vs a civil trial.. Go change that next….Bunch of children after the bond failed…Got a feeling that a third time around would result in even worse results against after watching this behavior.IMHO

  15. Good grief. The slime in Burien has taken over this blog. I don’t even want to read it anymore due to the nasty comments. The same story can be on the other blogs and get no comments but people here turn out in disgusting numbers. Seriously people, get some help with your issues.

  16. Thank you Mia for heading this up! I’m having a hard time living in Burien when the community won’t pass a school bond when the physical state of some the schools is dire. Low neighborhood taxes are great if you want to live somewhere cheap, like the ghetto. I do not. I believe in public education, and the buildings the children go to school in should not be a hazardous place to be.
    Thank you to Susan Enfield for trying to elevate the Highline School District to be all it can be. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed by many in the neighborhood. It is obvious the buildings will continue to decline unless we change the super majority or find another way to pay for badly needed new schools.
    Also thank you to generation who came before me and paid for my wonderful public school education in the Highline School District. I am grateful for you for valuing the education of me and my peers. I am here to support the next generation in having a safe, healthy and educational environment. Any school bond or levy has my support! The cost to not supporting a healthy public school system is detrimental to our community.

    1. Jana; Please don’t thank Mia. As we SeaTac residents know, she’s only doing this to advance her political career. (In the Voter’s Pamphlet, she described herself as “a rising star”.) She’s horribly irresponsible fiscally. She was warned her policies would financially compromise SeaTac, but rather than reassess her spending, she hit us with the highest utility tax possible without a vote. (You see, she really does not want votes or citizen input as that might go against her agenda.)
      While the proponents of both bond and levy call we opponents “anti-school” and “anti-children”, that’s far from the case. We are against throwing our hard-earned dollars away to people with no accountability. If I give a gift, I do not question how it’s used. However, when someone comes to me with a business proposition, I want to see business–i’s dotted and t’s crossed. If you can’t show me proper business, don’t complain when I say “nope.” If you have a questionable track record, you better justify, highly justify, while this time will be different.
      Mia ran on a campaign of “Vote With Your Heart.” Well and good if you don’t care how your money gets spent. But many of us believe in voting with our heads.

      1. Janice, I am sorry you are not happy with Mia, however I do believe that when voting for a politician I am voting for them to be a leader. Sometimes leaders have to do difficult things, like raise taxes in order to pay for services. Based solely on the outcome of the bond and it not passing, I assume raising taxes in Seatac would not be a popular thing to do and had she asked the constituents they would have voted “no”. That said, I know people like things like roads, street lights, schools, libraries, police, court houses and other services that taxes pay for. Sometimes it is necessary to pay a tax. Mia has been popular enough to be elected twice to city council; serve as mayor as well as state representative. Such ambition and a track record sounds like a super star to me. If Seatac doesn’t re-elect Mia I hope she moves to Burien!

    2. Jana, your comments are pretty far off base. You make it seem that the people who comprise the Highline School District do not support public education. Facts though, clearly show that the voting public has overwhelmingly (and repeatedly) voted in support of the HSD and public education.
      I am growing wearing of the hyperbole and shallow rhetoric that is coming from those who are saying that things like, “I’m ashamed to live in Burien” or “I can’t believe people voted no against the kids. What’s wrong with people?”
      Here’s some facts to counter these ridiculous assertions:
      April 1998-HSD M & O Levy Reauthorization passes with 63%
      March 2000-HSD Educational Programs and Operations passes with 61%
      Sept 2001-HSD Bond Measure narrowly loses with 59%
      March 2002-HSD Bond measure passes with 61%
      April 2003-HSD M & O Levy Reauthorization passes with 68%
      March 2006-HSD Bond measure passes with 64%
      March 2007-HSD M & O Reauthorization passes with 65%
      Feb. 2011-HSD M & O Reauthorization pass with 62%
      Nov. 2014-HSD Bond measure fails with 59%
      Feb. 2015-HSD M & O Reauthorization passes with 58%
      Feb. 2015-HSD Bond measure failes with 54%
      Yes, look at the long history on NON-support. Sheesh….

  17. Well the Snoqualmie school district got their 60 percent so it can happen. The fact that the levy got more yes votes than the bond should prove that the voters are not against the school kids, just this particular bond, and what it was to be used for.
    I was tipping towards yes, after voting no before, until I listened to the community meeting held at Highline high, the one that the audio was posted on the blog. After hearing the conditions of Tyre and Evergreen, sounds to me like they should be rebuilt first. Of course they are in poorer areas, is that why they are being left till last? I hope not.

    1. Rosanna,
      Mostly the reason the district passes levies, in additional to the lowe 50% restriction, is school employees won’t pass taxes on their homes. They do pass levies because they benefit from new taxes.

    2. Sounds like you did you homework (as did I). The Tyee and Evergreen communities were completely marginalized. The Tyee campus has pretty-much been stuck in time and has practically not changed on iota since it was built.
      The thing that sealed the deal for me, was the lack of detailed financials on how they came up with the 159 million dollar price tag for Highline High. That, juxtaposed next to the Auburn and Federal Way high school projects that were (are) being built for much less.

  18. The real problem is that the state hasn’t stepped up to its state wide obligation and has pushed it to the local districts. Washington school districts with lower wage levels just have a tougher time getting their local citizens to “vote yes” than school districts in areas that are better off. In extreme cases, school districts just don’t have big enough tax base of commercial and industrial property to levy off of which is why Highline’s levy rate total levy is already quite a bit higher than other school districts BUT still can’t deliver enough dollars to its schools. Olympia need to fix this (McCleary)

    1. No,
      There is plenty of money spent on the schools. The problem is the teacher’s union and administration is forcing purchase of more services than we need on the taxpayers.
      The Superintendent ought to scrub the employee roster examining each job for it’s efficacy and usefulness to eliminate work that can’t be justified. Begin with the oversized PR department that is more devoted to passing bonds and levies using school resources.

  19. As the un-elected Mayor of SeaTac, Gregerson and Council clan just shoved a 6
    percent utility tax down our throats with nary a SeaTac Citizen vote. Now she
    wants to shove school bonds right after that in her double dipping role as
    legislator. We are choking already and she wants to make sure we in SeaTac gag
    on her power trip.
    Further, where are the 1,500 new students coming from?
    Are they anchor babies just now coming to school age?
    Is there another refugee program we don’t know about?
    Do we have a South King County breeding program where the parents have children
    they can’t afford and want taxpayers to foot the bill some more?
    Being a “Sanctuary County” for illegal immigrants (thank you former King County
    Council member Julia Patterson-Gregerson’s neighbor) our systems, schools,
    budgets, and resources are overwhelmed not to mention certain refugee families
    arriving with an average of 6 or more children.
    The only way budget blind Gregerson can stay in office is if we don’t vote,
    however, she does keep importing those who lock step behind her. Gregerson
    is/was bad for SeaTac and now she is intent on destroying all of South King
    County in her zealous drive for more power.

    1. When I look at the records in Olympia, Education Superintendent of Public Instruction, the records for Highline School District list an average of 17000 students. The number has been constant for many years. I know that is a favored element to threaten voters with but I don’t see much change at all.
      What is more likely, is the demand for taxes by government will cause a catastrophic occurence of the economy and comcomitant loss of jobs forcing people here to return to their birth states and families for shelter and family support
      Watch the progress of the McCleary case before the Legislature this session of the legislature involving a constitutional crisis between the legislature and Supreme Court.

  20. Went to the hearing today on this. Would like you to know that even though Superintendent Enfield said she had heard us loud and clear with the second reject of the Bond and will work with what we have, good ole Bernie Dorsey was there pleading with the legislators to change the rules for them again and remove the 60% Supermajority requirement. You can fill out this form and indicate why you do not want this to be removed or amended as it is the last line of defense against an excessive tax burden that would be placed upon us:
    Also here is an interesting article regarding Pierce County that passed almost half a billion dollar bond/Levy package. The average amount of a homeowner’s 2015 tax bill that was voter-approved comes to 45 percent of their total tax bill. Read the comments.

    1. Laura,
      Will names be made public who comment against this bill? Unfortunately, as a HSD employee, I am fearful of my opinion being used against me. Sadly, employees opinions are only valued if they agree with the school district’s opinions.

    2. I challenge the HSD board to cite 3 failing school systems which were “turned around” as a result of building new schools.

  21. Hey P,
    You are on the right track, but the big, big, big train coming down the track that is going to wipe everything out of it’s path is public union pensions. Woo Wooooooo.
    Including teachers unions and school administrators pensions.
    Not going to be much left over after this hits. Not even for a carbon tax.

  22. I don’t care how reasonable the numbers presented by the district are next time. I’ll be lucky if I’ll be able to afford groceries. I just saw my new property taxes and they are a 19 percent increase over last year. Well so much for planning for the future. When is somebody going to start thinking about the senior citizens especially those on fixed incomes. No type of any government entity has ever done me any favors. My wife is right, they have turned me into a grumpy old man who is going to vote no on everything from now on.

    1. Murray R,
      I don’t think you are grumpy at all. I think you are worried and you have every right to be.
      Not only is government (School District, cities, et al) raising taxes at an increasing rate. Remember they need new money every year because of built in increasing demand for taxes. This is what is happening on a down economy. New service costs can only exist on an economy that can pay for them.
      Compounding living expenses is the interest rate you planned to live on from your savings. The Federal system has inhibited market rate interest that you would have received and gave it to the banks by selling government securities on credit added to the National Debt. A frightening debt of $18Trillion. And that doesn’t include the States with retirements, medical and more expenses to be paid that are shorting the payments to the fund. That is great for gamblers on the stock exchanges but terrible for the country and the economy.
      I am worried for us all.

  23. You see that voting up there?. Democracy in action. You noticed the no vote total? And yet people here refuse to believe that its true or that it doesn’t matter. Well it does. Those are real people, real homeowners, that are being run out of their homes. If your pulling in say 230 k a year or more and probably wont stay in the community for several more years you probably don’t care. But my grandparents sure do.

  24. IF you even GET the chance to vote on anything. I got the wrong ballot, and now I am being called an idiot by the Election Department because I called them on it. They said they COULDN’T have sent the wrong ballot to me even though it was the ONLY one sent to me. Believe me, I am going to be making copies of my unvoted ballots from now on so that I can prove it. First I can’t vote on the levy or the bond; now it won’t even matter HOW I would have voted because the school district will get what they want …. one way or the other!

  25. Just wait… The district will re-schedule the bond repeatedly until enough voters that want a fiscally responsible school district miss the special election. Like the last time.

    1. The goal is to indebt the community to the maximum the law allows. Read past discussions of the school board minutes.
      if they have “debt capacity” available, they will try to fill it.
      You better be mindful of changes to the law concerning increasing debt ceiling, laws about vote requirements like supermajority etc.
      The District doesn’t care about cost. They will run the bond whenever they can. Twice a year now comes to mind.
      It is imperative to elect Board members you trust to get the job done. If you wait for your elected official to be selected by default by Public Employees Unions you will lose control of your institutions. Look at the past election for the power plays.

  26. P. Willoughby, The unions of Highline School District did not hire the HSD central administration. The school board hires the superintendent. The superintendent appoints the administration – even though there should be a hiring process, according to school board policy. Our school board approves the hiring of all employees, so they are approving staff to be hired even when their own policies are not followed. That cannot be blamed on any union. All over this country, unions are blamed. Everyone needs to remember that the front line staff (union employees) are not making the overarching decisions of any organization. Highline School District board and administrative staff have created the situation that we are all working in and experiencing right now. There were decisions to decrease facility staff, so now we have buildings that were neglected. The school board decided to NOT print a voter’s pamphlet. Our school bond was turned down by the voters. Some of the buildings are causing students and staff to have health problems. When people in power are not really interested in doing what is best for the common good – this is what happens. Maybe someday, someone in power will ask the rest of us how to be successful at truly addressing what would be good for everyone…. But, that is probably just wishful thinking.

    1. Oh good. We are hearing from someone that is on the inside of the system. I welcome you.
      Let’s see if we can agree about the condition that is extant beginning with your outline. The construction is an idealized description of the dynamic that depends upon ethical people:
      Here is how it should work which is very much as you describe. The people elect the School Board of Individuals who then hires the Superintendent and she hires her staff with Board approval. The Superintendent represents all the citizens of the community protecting her employers – the property owners that own the District. The Superintendent is to bargain adversarial with the union protecting the best interests of her employers – us. There is to be no collusion of employer and labor to the detriment of us.
      Unfortunately, we almost never have an ideal system. We the people too often trust our public employees with the job to be done. We give them the money and say we are busy working to pay the bills and we trust you. We don’t often vote at every election or oversee the people we appointed. And we don’t run for political seats on councils and school districts as well as other elected offices. In an ethical system, it works. If ethics are abrogated the results are chaos. Not taking part in elections and running for office is our fault and will lead to loss of our schools, jobs, and homes.
      Contemporarily we don’t have an ethical system. Frankly, it smells.
      Let’s consider unions. Your emphasis describes the ideal. But what if the union and administration collude harming their employer – us? Rather than adversarial, perhaps they are symbiotic? How about the character of unions?
      We really have two unions as a group of collectives in our country. One is a commercial group meaning they are employed by commercial businesses in an economy along with their employer and must compete together in the market to survive. That imperative to survive in common regulates union demands. We have a real example right here.
      Boeing has left its birthplace relocating to Chicago and moving production to other states. Sad but that is the way it works.
      The second union group is a collective of Public employee unions that do not compete in the market and depend upon controlling our politics to advance their demands for salary and benefits. Simply, Public Employee unions depend upon their ability to control legislatures; school boards, city councils, et al. In many cases, public employees serve on elected legislative boards. By law, they must forgo voting on any items that are a conflict of interests. Practically, they rarely excuse themselves.
      A public employee unions need to control politics causes the introduction of corruption into the public service sector. The lack of market controls and ethics over union demands frees who can control and elect politicians. A non-competitive contest for seats in government allows occupancy by default that unions gladly fill. Many are in consultation with the school district. Many elected seats in government are occupied by government employees. In practice, the community has a tough job electing anyone to the school board without the approval of the union-administration system.
      I will endeavor to keep my writing short but one other matter of ethics and law is important.
      Ethical conduct dictates the administration represent their employer – all of us. Some of us don’t agree with the district. Our voices need to be protected. The District is not to inundate us with campaign literature, promotional harangues at public meetings and similar devices to affect the election they devise.
      Recollect the budgeted amount of money for public relations – reaching toward one million dollars – and consider this from the Public Disclosure Commission:
      “Note that this PDC guide declares one publication announcing the election is appropriate.Also note RCW 42.17A.555 defines normal and regular distribution. That means no special mailing is allowed. The flyer (four fold color) is blatantly outside what is normal business and is a campaign flyer intended to promote the bond.
      Now this is important in the last paragraph: “If the agency distributes more than this jurisdiction-wide single publication, the agency must be able to demonstrate to the PDC that this conduct is normal and regular for that agency.” The flyer is not “normal and regular. It is specifically a unique special communication to induce the vote they want, namely, pass the bond.”
      The consequences:
      The District needs new money every year because a system of actuating increases is built into the budgets. Increases rise exponentially and are added to because of other events. Foregoing a complete explanation, for brevity, understand that the consequences of those costs result in collapse of the economy devoid of a rising economy.
      Ironically, the unions are costing themselves out of their jobs. Moreover, other government agencies will be starved for funding to satisfy teacher demands.
      To summarize:
      Our system isn’t ideal.
      It has no market controls that regulate excesses.
      Costs are regulated by a corrosive political system.
      Management and labor collaborate to achieve a common goal to enrich them.
      The District collaborates with the Political action Group Highline Citizens for Schools to pass measures.
      Our people don’t take control of their future by voting and running for office.
      The community is mired in nostalgic visions of yesterday’s little red school house when they are locked in death grip politics they aren’t winning.
      We are being forced to purchase more services than we need or want.
      Shall we proceed from here?
      P. S.,
      The best public relations department for education is the principal at each school interacting with community members they serve.

  27. I would be happy with a simple majority ONLY if property owners can vote. That seems fair since it’s the property owners that pay the property taxes.

  28. Mia’s pics look so good I just want to hug her…Oh how sweet, caring, and inviting.
    I think she’s a very personally ambitious wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  29. The final day for the House to pass policy bills out of their assigned committee was February 20, 2015. The committee did not move HB 4210 on to the next stage of the process.

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