This week I have received both my school bond ballot and also the pamphlet from the Everett School District, and after having read the pamphlet, I immediately marked “Reject” on my ballot and turned it in. Why? The amount of some of the projects I felt were ridiculous, and I wondered if they were even put up for bids,and just who won the bids and how some of these outrageous amounts were arrived at in terms of materials and labor costs, and if any minority contractors were allowed to bid.
Here are just a couple of examples in the pamphlet that raised questions to me: The modernization of North Middle School for $41.2 million. I have driven by that school many times and even though it is 32 years old, it still looks like it has been kept up well. Sure, heating and ventilation and plumbing have to be updated at times, but $41.2 million seems excessive seeing that the new administration building “only” cost $26 million or so to build. Secondly, the addition of 40 elementary classrooms at a cost of $16.8 million. That is a cost of over $420,000 per classroom. That amount really seems excessive or am I hallucinating? I drive by Immaculate Conception School, and I realize it is private, but that building must be at least 60 years old and still being fully used and the students that go there seem to be doing very well in those facilities with very little done in terms of upgrades and finally, in closing, I can surely afford to pay the property taxes that passing this levy will bring, but I will not be fleeced!