– Yelm voters speak: No new construction bond taxes – four separate ballots all denied proposed projects.
– Unofficial Results from the office of Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall
* Yelm CS Prop. No. 1 YELM COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Replacement Maintenance & Operations Levy)
Vote for One 1
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,315, 56.95%
No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,750, 43.05%
Levies require a simple majority to pass.
* Yelm CS Prop. No. 2 YELM COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (New Construction, Renovation & Safety Bond)
Vote for One 1
Approved. . . . . . . . . . . 2,141, 52.33%
Rejected. . . . . . . . . . . 1,950, 47.67%
Bonds require a 60% majority to pass.
– Editor’s Note:
As with the Yelm Community Center Bond, the Yelm Community Schools Construction Bond failed to pass twice within a year. Yelm voters are clearly making a strong voice heard – they do not want to underwrite construction bond taxes and to carry the subsequent maintenance expenses associated with operating the new buildings. City of Yelm voters voiced their consternation that the City of Yelm made an end-run around them on the Community Center and got a grant to fund the construction of that structure anyway, regardless of the voters say. Yet, the operation and maintenance of that facility will now be born by City of Yelm tax payers.
Yelm Community Schools Superintendent Andy Wolf told Lisa Pemberton of The Olympian:
“It’s disappointing. You really want to do what’s right for kids. If you don’t see it every day, and you’re not at Southworth running seven lunch periods a day … I think it’s unfortunate. Class sizes will get larger because we don’t have places to put kids”
The Yelm Community Schools are bursting at the seams and will begin to plan some changes, as they need to address an “expected 900 unhoused students.” As Wolf explained in several advisory group sessions, this is the only way to alleviate the crowding without construction funding from public bonds. Portable classrooms do not allow the best environment for teaching and raise a unique set of campus security issues covered here previously. I have seen first-hand the issues of overcrowding and building reconstruction required just to maintain our schools in a proper operational condition and echo Superintendent Wolf that people are unaware if they do not see how they must operate seven lunch periods at Southworth everyday. Yelm citizens should know that the City of Yelm permitting construction for new housing in major developments on the west side of town have caused a burgeoning growth of students in schools in that area. With only more housing construction coming along there and two school construction bonds failing, no relief for schools is in sight!
Governor Jay Inslee was able to observe Yelm Community Schools campus conditions and crowding one year ago this week when he visited Fort Stevens Elementary and Yelm High School.
* “VIDEO: Olympia and Yelm school districts offer February levy measures”
By Steve Bloom, The Olympian.
Click here to see the issues with having Yelm Middle School students educated in 12 portable class buildings.
Blogger Klein is a Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools contributor and on the citizens advisory committee of the YCS Levy & Bond.