Election 2010 | School district levies on the way to passing, bond failing

It appeared that the news for Lake Washington School District (LWSD) ballot measures in a special election was a mixed bag of good and not-so-good, according to Wednesday night voting results.

The two levies on the ballot look to be passing, but the biggest of the three measures, a $234 million bond, was failing as of Wednesday evening.

Although 54.38 percent of the voters have approved Prop. No. 3, a general obligation bond measure to raise $234 million, a super-majority approval of 60 percent would be needed to pass the bond measure. If passed, this measure would allow the LWSD to construct and/or modernize schools to address anticipated overcrowding and to facilitate a switch to four-year high schools.

So what are the next steps for LWSD? How will issues such as overcrowding, much-needed modernization at Juanita High School and the desire to create four-year high schools be handled?

“The district has just started the process,” of making such decisions, said LWSD communications director Kathryn Reith. “We need to do some listening to our community to better understand any objections they may have had about the bond measure. Do we put another bond package on the ballot at a later date? Juanita High School still could be on the bond package for 2014. That was the original idea — we had moved it up,” said Reith.

She said overcrowding would be handled on a case by case basis.

“Maybe we could run another bond to deal with specific issues,” she noted. “We may be ordering more portables for Rosa Parks Elementary,” she added, “although nothing has been determined for sure. At this point, we have more questions than answers but we don’t want to overshadow the good news that the levies have passed. Without that, the impact would have been astounding. … Technology and roofs and heating systems will be kept up. We don’t want to lose sight of that.”

Prop. 1, an operations levy to replace existing educational programs and operations, was passing easily with 59.91 percent voting in favor. The levy only needs a simple majority to pass.

Prop. 2, a levy to replace existing capital projects that are scheduled to expire, is also passing easily with 57.61 percent of voters casting ballots in favor of the measure.

“The two levies passing are very important for all students in the district,” Reith said. “Those two were critical for us.”

Also of importance to voters in Redmond and throughout King County, it appears that the King County Library System will be saved from making budget cuts in 2011 as Prop. No. 1, which will restore the King County Library System’s property tax levy rate to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for collection in 2011, looks to be passing with 51.13 percent of ‘yes’ votes.

King County Elections will update the voting results daily through Wednesday, Feb. 24 when final results will be posted.

LWSD funding measures

With 28.76 percent of votes counted (28,101 ballots cast out of 97,716 registered voters), Wednesday night’s results for the LWSD’s levy and bond measures were as follows:

Proposition No. 1: Replacement of Existing Educational Programs and Operations Levy

YES: 16,720 or 59.91 percent

NO: 11,190 or 40.09 percent

Proposition No. 2: Replacement of Existing Capital Projects Levies

YES: 15,149 or 57.61 percent

NO: 11,149 or 42.39 percent

Proposition No. 3: General Obligation Bonds — $234,000,000

APPROVED: 14,204 or 54.38 percent

REJECTED: 11,918 or 45.62 percent

King County Library System levy

As of Wednesday night, 31.03 percents of votes had been counted (200,780 ballots cast out of 647,133 registered voters) as follows:

Proposition No. 1: To restore the King County Library System’s property tax levy rate to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for collection in 2011

YES: 101,858 or 51.13 percent

NO: 97,344 or 48.87 percent

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