I hear of virtually no one who is against the Operations Levy. The reality of what the state is NOT providing is clear for all to see. Take 25% of our General Fund away and watch the bottom drop out of our district.
In case you missed it, there are several loose groups against it but interestingly, none of them have joined forces. Depending on your point of view, this could be a good thing because there is not a focus or widespread message. (And the media seems oblivious to this fact which is interesting. Either there are some lazy people or they don't really want to cover the issue in a real way. I don't know for sure.)
It seems that a lot of the issue around BEX falls into two camps - poor decision-making/misuse of funds and "the district needs to be sent a message."
There is some irony that I am the one explaining why this is a bad idea at this point in time, given my previous stances in the past.
But there is a time to send a message and this is not it.
I had a reader write to me about why she and her husband were so torn about BEX. How upsetting it was to NOT be able to see where the capital dollars go (except for the district's cheerful but detail-free capital building updates). To know that the district refuses, as does Schools First, that the district has NOT always come in "on budget and on time." To know that the district has overbuilt in some places even as there was need all around.
I hear that and, of course, understand that.
If there was not the staggering capacity management problems of today, I might consider it myself.
But these issues and needs DO exist and folks, as Kellie LaRue and I say, this is just triage. The need is beyond BEX. But, without BEX, according to Director DeBell "there is no Plan B."
Now I know the stats. The off-year, single issue elections, especially for schools, overwhelmingly pass. The people most likely to know about the election and actually vote are those who will vote yes. Both levies are extremely likely to pass.
But the district also has a lot of unhappy people out there who are unhappy for a lot of different reasons. That could be a problem. And, sure you can bring the levy back but what would the district change in it that would woo voters back? What gets cut because the district has to spend another $1M on another election? And which issue would the district be trying to address?
Transparency, accountability, people who don't want money to go to any charter school, people with issues about leadership? (Look, there's an election coming up in the fall so THAT'S the time to address that one, not now.)
The time to have "sent a message" to the district? That was the Supplemental Levy. That would have been the perfect and great time (and fyi, they didn't spend that money like they said they would). But no, it passed.
And now we have opposition where there is so much need? Take a principled stand by all means but understand that it will hurt a lot of people. Hold their feet to the fire after the vote (because it really is a vote for a pot of money and not a plan).