Backers promise big campaign for $219 million school bond

February 21, 2012

Issaquah City Council President Tola Marts addresses about 100 people gathered for the kickoff of the campaign promoting passage of an April 17 school bond. By Tom Corrigan

The coming push for passage of a proposed $219 million school bond issue that will appear on an April 17 ballot, may be the biggest campaign ever mounted in the name of the Issaquah School District, campaign co-chairwoman Lesley Austin said.

Austin is probably in a worthy position to make such a statement. A former Issaquah School Board member, she has worked on numerous bond and levy issues for the local schools. But Austin and others said the coming bond campaign is going to be different for a couple of reasons.

“It’s because it’s a bond and it’s a complex bond,” Austin said.

Speaking to a crowd of about 100 residents and officials — virtually all supporters of the bond — the campaign committee, Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, held a campaign kickoff Feb. 2 at the King County Library Resource Center on Newport Way Northwest.

With about $45,000 already in hand, the group hopes to raise $90,000 to help promote the bond issue, which would fund replacement of four schools, along with maintenance and refurbishing projects at other buildings in the district.

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Issaquah School Board is unanimous in support for coming bond issue

January 10, 2012

Probably to no one’s surprise, at its last meeting of 2011 on Dec. 14, the Issaquah School Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting a $219 million capital bond issue that will go before voters in April.

The board voted in October to put the question on the ballot. At that point, board member Chad Magendanz voted against the issue.

Magendanz, elected board president Dec. 14, said despite his earlier vote, the bond issue has his total support. Magendanz said his earlier “no” vote was the result of a procedural issue, that he felt the board should have put off the final vote on floating the bond until a later meeting.

A campaign to promote the bond barely has left the starting blocks. Still, board member Suzanne Weaver said she has received many questions about the proposed rebuilding of Tiger Mountain Community High School.

In the original bond proposal put forth by Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, rebuilding Tiger Mountain High was interconnected with rebuilding Issaquah Middle School and Clark Elementary School. The total cost of the interrelated Tiger Mountain projects was $86 million.

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Months before election, school district bond campaign gears up

November 29, 2011

Voters will have until April 17 to decide the fate of a $219 million capital bond issue supporting the Issaquah School District.

Still, those running the bond campaign are starting to put the groundwork for it in place.

In the meantime, the Issaquah School Board approved the ballot language for the measure at its regular meeting Nov. 9.

The question asks voters to approve the sale of bonds to support various capital improvement projects in the district. The projects listed in the actual ballot include the rebuilding of Clark Elementary and Issaquah Middle schools. The language also addresses the relocation and expansion of Tiger Mountain Community High School.

Those projects are the largest, and possibly most controversial, included in the bond package. In the original bond program proposed by Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, the total cost of the interrelated projects was given as $86 million.

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Issaquah, Port of Seattle candidates answer questions

October 13, 2011

Councilman Fred Butler (right) answers a question as council candidates (from left) TJ Filley, Joshua Schaer, Stacy Goodman and Paul Winterstein listen during a candidate forum Thursday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.

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Issaquah School Board delays bond ballot question

October 4, 2011

Officials also shuffle project priorities

After roughly four hours of discussion, the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to place a revamped $219 million capital improvement bond package before voters.

But in a decision that came earlier in the course of their regular Sept. 28 meeting, the board voted unanimously to mount the levy in April instead of February as previously planned.

The issue will appear on ballots for an April 17 election. In 2014, voters also may decide a capital improvement levy — not a bond issue — to pay for some items removed from the original proposal for the 2012 bond question.

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Voters are asked to approve school levies

January 26, 2010

Editor: This story contains corrected information, indicated by a red asterisk.

The Issaquah School District is asking for voters to approve three levy replacement measures to supplement the district’s budget with more than $214 million by 2014. To pass, 9,908 ‘yes’ votes are needed by the Feb. 9 deadline.

The levy package includes a $172.5 million maintenance and operations levy, a $1.7 million transportation levy, and a $38.4 million technology and critical repairs levy.

“Levies are mandatory for our school district to operate,” said Kelly Munn, co-chair of the pro-levy Volunteers for Issaquah Schools organization. “They were created to provide enhancements to schools, extra things. Over the years they’ve become the bread and butter. They pay for teachers and books.

“If we weren’t to have it, it would be devastating to the education system in Issaquah because such a huge amount, around 20 percent of our budget, is made up of the levies,” she said. “That is huge.”

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Issaquah School District opted not to include levy information in voters’ guide

January 22, 2010

NEW — 12:40 p.m. Jan. 22, 2010

The voters’ pamphlet mailed by King County Elections baffled Issaquah School District voters when the guide arrived in mailboxes earlier in the week. The mailer contained no information about the three district levies on the Feb. 9 ballot.

The lack of information, however, was not a mistake. District officials opted not to include information in the guide to save money.

But the pamphlets confused voters because the elections office included information about other school districts’ ballot measures. Klahanie voters, for instance, received pamphlets with information about the Vashon Island School District levy.

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Lack of school levy information in voters’ guide surprises Issaquah voters

January 21, 2010

NEW — 7:40 p.m. Jan. 21, 2010

The voters’ pamphlet mailed by King County Elections baffled Issaquah School District voters when the guide arrived in mailboxes earlier in the week: The guide contained no information about the three district levies on the Feb. 9 ballot.

The district stretches from Sammamish to Newcastle, and includes Klahanie, Preston and other parts of unincorporated King County.

Four Lakes voters, for instance, received a pamphlet with information about the Enumclaw and Tahoma school districts’ levies, but nothing about the local levy. Four Lakes is part of the Issaquah district.

Meanwhile, voters in Klahanie received pamphlets with information about the county library levy and the Vashon Island School District levy. The seven-page guide mailed to residents in the ZIP code contains no information about the Issaquah district levies.

Guides mailed to Issaquah district voters also included information about the King County System Library levy lid lift — another measure on the February ballot.

A King County Elections spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

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School levy campaign work begins

December 29, 2009

Volunteers needed for phone banks, sign waving Read more

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