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Update: School Board Calls March 1 Special Meeting for Decisions on Real Estate, Voter Pamphlet

The Mercer Island School Board will meet for a special meeting at 7 p.m. in the MISD school district administration building board room.

Update, 3 p.m. March 5: Following the March 1 vote by the Mercer Island School Board to participate in the King County Voters' Pamphlet, Myra Lupton returned her name to the list of endorsements for the proposed school bond issue on the April Special Election ballot.

Lupton, a community activist and former school teacher, publicly withdrew her support and — along with several other residents — urged the school board reconsider using the voter guide. The calls were heeded, said Mercer Island School Board president Janet Frohnmayer.

"We're a small-enough community that we can get an interchange of views," she said. "If we get new information we will listen, and respond to the community."

There are currently 758 names that have declared their support for the school construction bond.

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Update, 9 p.m. Feb. 29: Mercer Island resident Myra Lupton, a former high school english teacher and local League of Women Voters member, said she is withdrawing her support from the school bond in a Feb. 28 letter addressed to the school board and copied to Mercer Island Patch (see the full letter attached to the right of this story).

" I value equally both support of our schools and transparency in the actions of my elected officials," she wrote. "I am simply incredulous that the MI Board did not choose to use that publication to inform us."

Lupton urged the board to reconsider the use of the Voters' Pamphlet before a March 2 deadline to appoint pro and con committees.

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Original Story: The announced a March 1 special meeting has been called by the school board to discuss the possible purchase of real estate and reconsider an earlier decision on .

The MISD is seeking to acquire more land for expansion of facilities — both for and for a potential sixth school building. The district signed a preliminary agreement to purchase land late last year as a bus lot, but backed away from the deal last month.

The school board is also reconsidering a decision to not participate in the King County Election Voters' Pamphlet and publish information about voter-approved school construction bonds to be placed on the April ballot. Board members made an initial decision to not publish information in the Voters' Pamphlet for the April Special Election at a Feb. 23 public meeting.

The following is from a Mercer Island School District Press release: 

Board President, Janet Frohnmayer, and Vice-President Adair Dingle met with Superintendent Gary Plano to finalize the March 1, 2012 special board meeting agenda. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the board room. Following an executive session to review matters concerning the possible acquisition of real estate, the board officers have decided to place an action item before the board to reconsider, and act upon as appropriate, its decision to not fund a Voter’s Pamphlet for the April 17, 2012 election. The agenda for the special meeting can be found here.

Kendall Watson March 01, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I just talked to Myra Lupton, local community activist and a former leader of the local League of Women Voters organization. She informed me (paraphrasing) that she was unable to endorse the school bond issue because the lack of participation in the voters' guide was not an exercise in transparency. She said she had prepared a letter to the board, urging it to reconsider their decision before the March 2 deadline to appoint pro and con committees. I'm working on getting her letter and will update the story when I do.
Robert P. Browne March 01, 2012 at 05:25 AM
This new bond mirrors the 1990 bond in many ways. Both asked for a bond larger than many before them. Both asked to tear down and rebuild or create a new school. Both had and have plans to update the science department; "the buildings needed extensive plumbing and electrical renovations to meet technological education demands - outlets to safely run a bank of computers, sinks for chemistry experiments, storage for materials to demonstrate physics concepts." - Seattle Times 2/28/1990. Both also have many opposed voters because of either lack of trust in the variability of projections, or the responsible use of taxpayer money. However, I believe that the initial reluctance by many board members to include the pamphlet was because they feared a rejection for the ballot, just like last time in 1990. The pamphlet is a very useful informational guide, and is very important to an "informed voter".
Kendall Watson March 01, 2012 at 07:16 AM
I've updated this story with Lupton's letter, giving her reasons for withdrawing support from the school bonds.
Kris Kelsay March 05, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Kendall, you'll want to update your story again. Myra has once again given her endorsement for the bond, given the boards reversal to include it in the voters pamphlet.
Kendall Watson March 05, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Thanks for the heads-up, Kris! Will do.
Kris Kelsay March 15, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Also, the online version of the voter's pamphlet is out. PRO authors are Rand Ginn, Susan Blake and Emmett Maloof. The CON authors are Michael Finn, Trevor Hart and Marty Finn. You can get my perspective and links to it here: www.whatifitfails.wordpress.com.

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