Letters To The Editor - Funding of bus garage still a concern

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Thus far the Walla Walla School Board has refused to publicly acknowledge its misguided management in connection with the Edison bond.

A building bond for constructing Edison School and a new bus garage, plus additional buildings, was overwhelmingly defeated in May 2006.

A few months later a bond for Edison School (bus garage not mentioned) was passed.

This bond, when added to state matching money, was purposely inflated approximately $6 million by the School Board.

It appears the School Board inflated the bond with the intent to use the excess funds, plus additional state funds, to build the same bus garage the voters rejected a few months earlier.

Without voter approval the bus garage was built. After construction, excess funds from that garage project (approximately $1 million) were used elsewhere.

The Park Street bus garage was sold to the YMCA.

State law mandates that school districts, selling property valued over $70,000, must sell that property at public auction. It appears that wasn't done.

School district advertisements showed the school superintendent and YMCA director had agreed the YMCA would buy the bus garage, even before the 2006 election. If a public auction for the bus property was held, the district should show written proof.

Otherwise the law was violated.

Actions described above by public officials managing public funds and business is probably unlawful and unacceptable.

The election slogan "Do it for the kids" doesn't justify unethical actions from our School Board.

If the School Board is unwilling to change course from the Edison bond pattern and operate in an acceptable transparent manner, then we should reject this tax levy until it does. School Board members should remember they are working for the voters, not the superintendent at the time these decisions were made.

The present levy will fund us through 2012. We have time to do it right.

I'm sure some people think I'm beating a dead horse by repeatedly writing about this subject.

Read carefully the last paragraph of this statement.

If we, as voting taxpayers, see the School Board doing wrong (whether morally or legally) and do nothing to stop it, but continue to give it unrestricted levy funds, we then become complicit with its wrongdoing.

Vern Filan
Walla Walla

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