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Why Did the School Bond Fail?

Tell us why you think the April 17 Special Election School Bond issue failed at the ballot box.

Mercer Island voters appear to have school construction and modernization bond on Tuesday night according to early returns from King County Elections.

How come?

Both sides appear to agree that overcrowding is an issue, but a majority of voters seem to think a better solution is in the offing.

Take our poll below to indicate what you think was the top reason why the bond failed to pass.

Jon H April 18, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Good poll question. I supported the measure, but I can also understand folks who decided otherwise. The real issue going forward is to determine what the 'tipping' issue was as presented/developed and how to overcome that with the next iteration. I hope action is swift and that a new bond can be presented to the voters quickly (that addresses the fatal flaws). My family and I moved to the Island this past year and a large driver was the quality schools. For the sake of our kids, property values and community something is needed and I think there is a majority here that feels the same.
Jim Krieg April 18, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I find it interesting, and not at all surprising, that the last two choices account for the majority of opinions. Neither points to specific issues regarding the plan/bond. Rather, the poll points out that for many it is really about the process, and not the particulars. Sadly, we live in a time in which it is all too common for debate to be consumed by straw man attacks and verbal sparring, rather than considered discourse. There is no easier role to play in than that of critic. The problem is that simply being critical is not a solution to any problem. To all those who so loudly opposed this plan, I anxiously await your proposed solution to this very real problem. You've got the spotlight, now use it for a constructive purpose. Let's hear it.
Ray Burt May 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM
So many people have written and stated things to this effect: "I've lived here 30+ years and this is the first time I've voted against schools. I support education, just not this bond." Well, 22 years ago a similar bond failed by a similar amount (60-40% against). So, if these many people are taken at their word, they all voted FOR a school bond in 1990 that 60% of residents said was the wrong bond, too expensive, not well planned and doing unnecessary things. 22 years later that voted AGAINST a school bond where the opponents said the same basic things. So, one can conclude the only thing that changed in those 22 years is that they no longer have students in the school system so their vote went from YES to NO. Is there any other logical explanation for folks who say they supported the failed 1990 bond but were against the (eerily similar) 2012 bond -- when the opponents claimed the exact same reasoning?
Ray Burt May 27, 2012 at 06:12 PM
But tearing down a building in 1990 (Lakeridge) that wasn't near end of life did? The ..the logic between 1990 NO and 2012 YES fails with such reasoning.
Ray Burt May 27, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Sorry..meant 1990 YES and 2012 NO votes by the same people -- the logic and your reasoning fails the test of fact.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 27, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Tearing down our relatively recently redone school buildings rather than simply further updating them made no sense to a lot of us. J-
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 27, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Tearing down our redone schools makes no more sense than it ever did. The thing to do is rebuild on what was done before, remove only the bad stuff. J-
Ray Burt May 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Your logic is fine. However, this doesn't address my point. Folks who follow your logic would have voted AGAINST both bonds. However, many have said they've lived here 30 years and the 2012 bond is the first school vote they voted NO on. I'm just trying to figure out why -- and the only logical answer is that they dont' have kids in the schools any more. I'm looking for other logical reasons someone who believes what you said would have voted YES in 1990 and NO in 2012.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 28, 2012 at 01:56 AM
. Not having kids in the schools is no reason to vote against teardowns versus redoing- it's just common sense, financial prudence.
Ray Burt May 28, 2012 at 05:32 AM
I would love you to respond to my point -- what is the difference that caused folks to vote YES in 1990 and NO in 2012 when the reasons to vote NO (e.g. wasteful to tear down) were the exact same? What changed for these folks between then (1990) and now (2012)?
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 28, 2012 at 04:21 PM
. Ray- Well for one thing, in 22 years, things changed quite a lot for people on Mercer Island- & elsewhere. Jerry-
Ray Burt May 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I believe you have confirmed my thesis.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 29, 2012 at 03:54 AM
. Like many others of us who have lived on Mercer Island, Ray, for lotsa years, we want those following after us to have good schools for today's children. ReBuilding on what we have now makes our dollars go farther as those of us who voted against the unwise "tear-down" proposal realized. J-
Ray Burt May 29, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Based on what I read, that is exactly what the opponents said in 1990. But in 1990 the folks who voted YES, decided to vote NO this time -- despite the same argument made to the same basic solution. Again, thesis proved -- people don't have kids in schools view school issues differently (remember, 1990 all those YES voters were voting to tear down a "perfectly good" school back then)....
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA May 29, 2012 at 11:37 PM
. What matters now Ray, is how today's voters vote- today. How about filling out your "PatchProfile" a bit more so we can know more about you and where you're coming from?

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