There is, once again, an election – at least for those of us who live in the South Whidbey School District. If you’re outside the district, pardon the intrusion. I don’t know how to separate out subsets of my email distribution list.
In order for your vote to count:
1. Get your ballot in the mail by Monday, February 11 so it will be stamped by Tuesday, February 12. Remember that you don't need to put a stamp on it.Or:
2. Drop it in one of the ballot drop boxes before 8:00 pm on Tuesday, February 12. They are located at:
Island County Elections Office
400 N Main Street Coupeville
Trinity Lutheran Church
18341 Hwy 525 Freeland
Ken’s Corner Shopping Center
4141 Hwy 525 (at Langley Road) Clinton
Langley Post Office, front patio
115 2nd Street Langley
Marianne’s regular disclaimer: I would never presume to tell you how to vote. That is very much your business. I’m merely telling you how I intend to vote and why. You can make your own decisions from there.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I take voting very very VERY seriously. If you don’t vote you can’t complain. And that goes even for this single issue school levy.
Here are the 2 issues on the ballot:
South Whidbey School District Replacement Levy for Educational Programs/Operations
The Board of Directors of South Whidbey School District passed Resolution No. 638 concerning a replacement levy for education. This proposition would authorize the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy to support the District’s educational programs and operations which are not funded or not fully funded by the State:
Levy year collection year levy amount estimated levy rate per $1000 of
2019 2020 $4,017,000 $0.95
2020 2021 $4,018,000 $0.95
2021 2022 $4,019,000 $0.95
As provided in Resolution No. 638. Should this proposition be approved?
I will be voting YES
This is a regular maintenance and operations levy. It has to be renewed every few years and this is one of those renewal years. This maintains existing programs in food services, special ed, athletics, music, art, and bus services. All pretty basic stuff which really should be part of the basic funding. It is not, which means that we have to pick up the slack.
South Whidbey School District Technology, Capital Improvements and Safety
The Board of Directors of South Whidbey School District No. 206 adopted Resolution No. 639 for capital improvement levies. This levy funds the renovation, upgrading and modernization of District educational facilities, including safety, security and technology improvements and authorizes the following excess levies on all taxable property within the District:
Levy year collection year levy amount estimated levy rater per $1000 of
2019 2020 $2,250,000 $0.52
2020 2021 $2,250,000 $0.51
2021 2022 $2,250,000 $0.50
2022 2023 $2,250,000 $0.49
2023 2024 $2,250,000 $0.48
2024 2025 $2,250,000 $0.47
As provided in Resolution No. 639. Should this proposition be approved?
I will be voting YES
This is the capital improvements levy. It covers renovations, upgrades, modernization, safety, security, and tech upgrades. Again, these things should all be part of the basic funding, but is not. So we pick up the slack with local levies.
For more information:
To misquote the old saying: “if you don’t like paying for education, consider the cost of ignorance.” I am not privy to the internal workings of the South Whidbey School District. Maybe there is room for tightening the budget or re-aligning priorities. And maybe there is not. What I hear from teachers is that they could do so much more if only they had the resources. I wish we could give them those resources. The least we can do is not deprive them of the resources they have to date.
I checked with the county elections office and these levies require a simple 50%+1 majority to pass, and there is no minimum number of ballots. Still, it would be good to let the school district know that we support them. You've got your ballots by now (if you don't, check with the county elections office to find out why not), so fill them in and get them returned while you're thinking about them.