I read with interest last week’s discussion by supporters and opponents of the Tollgate bond levy regarding future plans to put the bond before voters again. Several supporters of the bond even suggested not only a November vote, but if that failed, a February vote. Herein lies the problem: How many times is enough?
I’m sure supporters and opponents of the Riverview stadium bond asked themselves that question many times. After all, the proposal was a tax increase, but the direct benefit was to district children.
If the measure fails again in November and the council decides to put it on the ballot again for February, it will interfere with the possible maintenance and operations levy for the Snoqualmie Valley School District. February has long been a traditional time to vote on school levies. I would hate to see the council decide that after a second failure, they need to muddy the tax-request monies by running the Tollgate levy a third time.
But beyond the February M&O levy for the school district are potential capital facilities and technology levies, sports facility upgrades, technology upgrades and possibly new schools. Do we really want a Tollgate bond to perhaps interfere with any of these measures?
And why isn’t anyone in the decision-making loop taking into account a very stagnant economy? Do we really want to push more taxes on voters when many may possibly be faced with unemployment? The situation has changed dramatically from when the council decided to pursue the bond. A latte a week now becomes gas in the car, or food on the table.
I would urge the council to limit its running of the Tollgate bond to November. If it fails, the will of the voters needs to be considered; for our educational system’s sake, one more time is enough.
This gives supporters six more weeks to get their message out and despite concerns about disinformation (the Record provided many pages of coverage and opinions on the topic), I do think voters were informed. And the fact that the vote was validated should allay any concerns about a lack of voter turnout due to the tragic events facing our country.
One thing is for sure, we will continue to follow this issue, providing facts and opinions for and from Valley residents.