Letters To The Editor - Governmental threats not appreciated

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The Walla Walla School District in the 2012 levy information packet wrote the following two statements.

Page one in small print it wrote, "The voter-approved 2008 Replacement Levy expires in December 2012 and this levy would replace it." This statement is true.

In the middle top of pages two and three, in large bold print they wrote, "This is NOT A NEW TAX! -- renews expiring 2008 Levy." This statement is false.

The first quote above says the old tax levy expires in December 2012. Any tax levy after that is a new tax. I'm unaware of laws that allow school districts to "renew" expired tax levies, as stated in the second quote.

Our school officials continue to be less than candid with us. Remember the multi-million dollar inflating of the Edison School Bond and using excess funds on a building project the voters rejected earlier without another vote? This is called the "Edison Debacle."

Recently, in a U-B letter, I meticulously showed the school district had wasted $300,000 or more in recent years on consulting fees, architectural fees and superintendent and staff time on those projects. This extravagant waste was paid from levy funds.

The School Board wants us to approve a $42.47 million tax levy without restrictions.

The old axiom seems applicable. Fool me once shame on them. Fool me twice shame on us.

Before we approve any new levy, the School Board should publicly apologize for misguided management in the Edison Debacle and promise to adequately maintain facilities and eliminate wasteful spending. Let's reject the levy until it does.

The School Board and the Walla Walla City Council both practice what I call governmental threats.

Examples:

School officials: Pass this tax levy or say goodbye to sports, music, etc.

City Council: Pass a new street tax or streets will be neglected as usual.

City Council: After maintenance neglect, the City Council closed the swimming pool.

It said, pass a tax for a new pool or no pool.

The voters wisely called its threat and voted no. The voting district boundaries were manipulated for better results. The second vote was still no. The threat backfired.

Some Council members who closed the pool are still in office; some are not.

If our officials can't handle their jobs without raising taxes for everything, they should step aside for someone else.

We don't take kindly to governmental threats.

Vern Filan
Walla Walla

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