District shouldn’t have promoted ‘yes’ votes | Letter to the Editor

During the 2015 Enumclaw school bond campaign the school district arranged private meetings with 22 businesses and organizations within the district to do sales pitches for the upcoming election (District officials told me that these organizations asked for Mike to come and give the pitch for the bond. This sounded highly unlikely). When I went to the organizations the superintendent spoke with, I asked the people there: “Was Mike Nelson here to get a yes vote?” They all said yes.

During the 2015 Enumclaw school bond campaign the school district arranged private meetings with 22 businesses and organizations within the district to do sales pitches for the upcoming election (District officials told me that these organizations asked for Mike to come and give the pitch for the bond. This sounded highly unlikely). When I went to the organizations the superintendent spoke with, I asked the people there: “Was Mike Nelson here to get a yes vote?” They all said yes.

Washington laws are clear on this subject. I filed a complaint with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission about my concerns. After months of getting no determination from the PDC, I went to their office in Olympia to find out what’s taking so long and a PDC employee told me that the PDC has had terrible mismanagement.

A month later the PDC found no wrongdoing. Go figure!

How they came up with this determination is beyond me.

Public Disclosure Commission’s own documents says: “In no case will the PDC view a marketing or sales effort related to a campaign or election as normal and regular conduct.”

This is a direct quote from the PDC document titled: Guidelines for School Districts in Election Campaigns. Under the “Not Permitted” column: regarding school employees on the clock, “Shall not coordinate informational activities with campaign efforts, in a manner that makes the district appear to be supporting or opposing a ballot measure.”

At several of those meetings the chairman of the Vote Yes committee was coordinated by the district to attend and encourage everyone to vote yes to giving the district $86 million. How can this be legal?

And now we find out that what the district sold us, and is taxing us for, is far short of the sale pitch. The district is short $22 million on a $63 million project. And no one at the district confirmed what a consultant said they would get from the state and it’s also several million dollars short.

Again, how can this possibly be legal?

The school district won the election by four votes.

At the next school board meeting they held a big celebration and gave out gifts to the two co-chairmen of the Vote Yes committee and went on bragging about how much time and effort the district and the Vote Yes committee put into the win. They were bragging about selling the taxpayers new classrooms, a fancy new gym and a brand new, state-of-the-art performing arts center that the whole community can use.

How many voters would not have voted yes had they known the district hoodwinked them for their vote only to find out they don’t get the fancy new gym or the state-of-the-art performing arts center? I’m guessing a lot more than four voters.

This is utter incompetence or simple deceit from the Enumclaw School District.

Again, how can this be legal?

Ted DeVol

Enumclaw

 

More in Letters to the Editor

Promote the common good by ensuring individual liberty

Citizens following their passions and dreams improve the lot for all.

Carbon pricing won’t help environment, but will hurt taxpayers

How would a Washington carbon tax make a difference in the world “climate?”

It’s never enough

Based on numbers from the legislature, Enumclaw School District will be receiving huge funding increases from the state. Yet here we are with Enumclaw and a bunch of other districts telling the taxpayers, give us more, we need more.

Why are trailers allowed at Expo Center?

When my husband and I moved to our home in 2001 and for every year after the Expo Center grounds have always been pleasant to look at on your way to our home. No longer is this true.

Columnist sheds light on Koch brothers

Our economy, along with our political system, is broken and indeed destroying our democracy.

Letter writer cites no evidence for claims

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Don’t label all Trump supporters as racist

While the column correctly points out that Trump supporters are happy with his performance and still enthusiastically support him, Mr. Elfers had to inject the liberal “lie” that Trump supporters are racist.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.

Former fan finished with disrespectful NFL players

I lived off the grid for 15 years and the one thing I missed the most was watching pro football.

Thank you everyone who made ‘Make A Difference Day’ a success

I want to thank everyone who makes every day a “Make a Difference Day” in Black Diamond.

Nationwide infrastructure needed to combat Alzheimer’s

Too often Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are treated as a normal aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.

Children of illegal immigrants should stay

You are not “making America great again.” You are just making it more intolerant to diversity.