LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Return excess Edison bond funds to public

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In the editorial column on May 30, the U-B suggested the Walla Walla School Board should return excess Edison funds to the public by paying down the bond debt.

I completely agree with the U-B position on this matter. We voted to build a new Edison School. Updates on other school property should come from the multi-million dollar maintenance and operations funds that are approved by the voters.

The School Board has purposefully inflated school bonds and used the excess money for other purposes for years. Print on the ballot gives authority to use excess bond money on other capital projects. It doesn't give authority to purposely inflate bonds to increase available funds for unregulated district use.

I disagree with the U-B's assertion that the school district made the public aware of excess bond money usage in the past. Before mail-in ballots we became aware of the permissible use of excess bond money at the voting booth. This practice was exposed during the Edison bond election.

The Edison bond inflation, including the state matching dollars, was $5 million dollars. The $3.4 million state matching dollars have been committed to another project, even though that project was rejected by the voters May 16, 2006.

This practice of bond inflation by the district to acquire extra funds for capital improvements with no public oversight or input must be stopped.

Because I agreed with the U-B editorial, I had decided to stay silent on this issue until I read a letter to the paper on June 1.

This letter accuses the U-B of "constantly striving to bring about great discord between the educational process and the community of voters and taxpayers."

It seems the letter writer missed the point of the U-B editorial. The editorial said the excess money from the Edison bond should be paid on the Edison bond.

The Edison bond was advertised to build Edison. Excess bond money should be used for debt reduction.

The letter writer seems to suggest: We have the money in our hands. We need it. Let's spend it. Disregard the source.

I have written letters through the years opposing school projects. Almost without exception the U-B editorial writers have encouraged passage of the projects I have opposed.

Maybe the letter's criticism is aimed at the wrong party.

I'm unaware of the U-B opposing legitimate school needs.

Vern Filan
Walla Walla

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