Guest Column: Vote ‘no’ on CK construction levy
February 4, 2011 · 5:50 PM
By TAMARA GORDY
I am writing to explain the three “no” votes from this household and the steps the Central Kitsap School Board could have taken that would have earned three “yes” votes instead.
First, let me explain that we are not among the voters who out of disgust with government waste, or concern about ever growing tax burdens, automatically vote “no” on tax and levy proposals. We have supported school levies in the past, and believe that healthy schools are an investment in our community.
Like any person who is asked for money, we want it to be spent wisely. We have very few tools to evaluate the district’s performance, so we rely on what we have. In this case, we see a district willing to waste other people’s money by not participating in the November general election, and sticking taxpayers with the cost of a special election just to ask for more money. By this, the district advertises its wasteful attitude. Special elections represent a 100 percent avoidable cost to taxpayers, and are, by definition, a wasteful use of taxpayer money.
Second, in an apparently misguided step, the Kitsap County Elections Division decided not to mail a printed voter’s guide with the ballot. They compounded their poor judgment by not letting anyone see the voter’s guide unless they share personal information. People who want to read the full proposal, including statements for and against, rebuttals and see who the sponsors are, are directed to Kitsap County’s website. Here, the percentage of voters with readily available internet access, can only view the voter’s guide after sharing their first and last name and birthdate with the county.
It gets worse. People who are not registered to vote in the affected district cannot see the voter’s guide at all, even if they do allow the intrusive and unjustified invasion of privacy. This includes out-of-district parents and guardians, reporters, real estate agents, watchdogs and any other person who lives outside the district and, for whatever reason, is interested in the voter’s guide.
In summary, the three of us generally support schools, but are voting against this $58 million dollar levy because of the wasteful special election tactic, and because the county restricted access to the voter’s guide. We encourage other voters who share our concerns to do the same.
Gordy lives in Bremerton.