‘Edison Deception’ still hangs in the air


The Walla Walla School District’s quandary is self-inflicted! The School Board needs an extensive timeout for reparations!

School Board chatter: Walla Walla High School bond defeated! Public input needed! New, slightly smaller bond for just part of the defeated February Wa-Hi bond! New bond recommended by the committee!

Reasons given for high bond amount: More expensive construction now! Higher bond interest now!

Do the second and third paragraphs sound familiar? They should. We’ve heard them almost word for word from a previous Walla Walla School Board in its infamous action known as the “Edison School Deception” a.k.a. the “Edison Debacle”.

Surveys after the Wa-Hi bond defeat suggest School Board distrust is a big reason. Why distrust?

A short review of the “Edison Deception” — Edison and the bus garage were part of the 2006 Wa-Hi bond that was overwhelmingly defeated.

A few months later, after so-called “public input,” an inflated Edison-only bond was presented. This bond was approximately $8 million higher (including the state-matching dollars) for Edison than was allocated for Edison in the defeated earlier bond.

The bond passed and part of the excess millions were spent to build the bus garage the voters had just rejected.

It looks to me like the Edison bond was purposely inflated by millions with the intent to use part of the excess millions to build the bus garage without authorization from the voters.

Purposely deceiving the public about a multimillion-dollar unauthorized bus garage expenditure is most likely fraud.

Unwillingness to apologize for past fraud and unwillingness to promise corrective action to prevent future fraud causes School Board distrust.

School Board distrust causes school bond failures.

Thus far, the School Board hasn’t publicly apologized for those deceptive practices, nor has it pledged to cease and desist from actions of this kind in the future.

We, the taxpayers, should not pass any new school bonds until the School Board acknowledges its wrongdoings and proves by its actions and words that it has changed.

The School Board actions described in the second and third paragraphs suggest it liked the “Edison Deception” results.

Just follow advice from the school committee and if it doesn’t work, blame it. Slightly lower bond cost! Lot less construction!

Does it sound like the “Edison Deception?”

Are we willing to be duped and hoodwinked again by a School Board unwilling to apologize for previous wrongdoings?

Let’s show the School Board we won’t tolerate deception.

Vern Filan

Walla Walla


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