proposal has been endorsed by the Seattle King County Realtors® (SKCR). The measure, which will appear on the Mercer Island ballots this April as "Proposition No. 1", seeks $196 million to fund an array of projects over the next seven or eight years.
Voters will decide the outcome on a special election scheduled for April 17. The bond requires a supermajority (60%+1) to pass.
Proponents of the measure, organized as The Committee for Mercer Island Public Schools (CMIPS), say overcrowding in local elementary schools and have reached emergency levels and are expected to worsen over the next 5 years and rebuilding the schools to accomodate growth will come at a relatively modest cost. The owner of a $1,000,000 home (just over the median of $958,000) would pay about $900 more per year, according to calculations.
David Crowell, SKCR’s director of governmental & public affairs, said there is a compelling need for funding. In a letter to Dr. Gary Plano, the district superintendent, he said Realtor members will be urged to vote “yes.” The association will also encourage its members who live and work in Mercer Island to help promote passage of the measures.
“Our association has endorse the Bond Proposition to modernize and expand current facilities that the ,” stated Crowell. The endorsement was made by vote of the association’s Governmental & Public Affairs Committee, which considered several factors in its deliberations. "Not surprisingly, there is very strong support for Mercer Island Schools among our Realtor members."
SKCR members — according to the endorsement — recognized the district faces challenges related to growing enrollment, lack of space in schools, and aging facilities. They were impressed by the district’s value for money (according to ), based on high student achievement, as well as achieving .
"Good schools are the first thing that homebuyers ask us about," the letter stated. "Good schools are critical for preserving the value of family homes. They are critical for economic vitality and job creation. Schools unify and define communities. But, most important, quality schools are crucial to the futures of the students of the MISD."
The association has also endorsed four other school funding measures — three scheduled for Feb. 14 (Auburn, Renton, and Tukwila school districts), and an April Issaquah construction bond vote asking for $219 million.
The Seattle KingCounty Realtors®, with more than 5,000 members, is a local board of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Its members adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and participate in matters at all levels of government that affect private property rights, housing supplies, affordability and homeownership opportunities. Membership is voluntary, and only members may use the term Realtor®, which is a licensed collective trademark.
—Information from the Seattle KingCounty Realtors