Letter: Eight Years Later, District No Better off With Incumbent Board Member

This week’s SnoValley Star editorial resolves little to explain how we are better off with the incumbent board member.  The newspaper’s own reporting indicates examples of leadership in crises.

Policy creation, which leads to bond measures for improving our school system, has been dismal for several years.

First, it’s vote for a new high school with little thought to the public’s questions, yet alone a plan to convince the public on why and how this should be done.   Next we need a new middle school, which failed. Then our kids can get by with new portables at the high school, only to be told later we need a Freshman Campus at SMS.  SMS has to be remodeled and the new high school portables sit while the school district goes from three down to two (congested) middle schools.  Now we are being told that a new grade school needs to be built for state-mandated full-time kindergarten, which the district has known for years was coming.

What is the plan? Where is the policy? This is only the facility side of the equation.

Monetary policy has also been lacking – the impact fee debacle caused by the district cost the tax payer money.  The last Technology Levy (a few years back ) was disguised as primarily money used in the form of a raise to pay teachers. Labor unrest has literally come down to the last-minute before resolution is found.

Finally, on political policy, we have a lame duck superintendent who wants out and has a backup plan voted by the current board (4 yes and one nay) for a $510,000 buyout or golden parachute if he cannot find another job.

In the eight years Director Busby has been on the school board – are we, students, parents, tax payers, any better off?  I believe the record is very clear and to bring about change in leadership I plan on voting for David Spring.

~Chris Lodahl

36 year North Bend resident, two children K through 12 in the district, former elected Mayor and elected Councilmember


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  • I couldn’t agree more. My daughter is in 6th grade and I am beyond frustrated at the decisions of the district. As for needing another elementary school, how can that be? When my daughter left Opstad last year there were so many empty class rooms, thanks to the reduction of number of classes per grade. For example, when my daughter was in fourth grade there were four classes of fourth graders. In fifth grade it got reduced down to three classes of fifth graders and much larger class sizes and many empty classrooms. There are empty classrooms in the high school while the middle schools are packed in like sardines. I haven’t understood one decision the district has made. My daughter only gets one chance at her education and it will affect the rest of her life. I have no patience for whatever games are being played with our children’s education and I am beyond fed up. I hope that David Spring gets elected and is able to fix the mess, but no matter what happens from here on forward, what’s been lost for her can not be regained. There are many students that will succeed no matter what, it seems the district likes to focus on those successes while blatantly ignoring the negative statistics that speak volumes about their decisions.

  • A “$510,000 buyout or golden parachute” is a perfect example of the waste and excess in the system. This… this right here is why I vote no on school bonds – because the money goes to waste such as this. The system is corrupt and the teachers and our children suffer for it.

  • I agree with most of the points made above, except I do think another elementary *neighborhood* school is needed on the Ridge. I’ve long thought that elementary schools should be relatively close to where kids live (I don’t mind busing them farther away for the middle and high school years). Seems like most of the folks in the Snoqualmie Ridge I development area have kids attending Cascade View, which is nearby and a good thing, but homeowners in the newer SR II developments neighborhoods have to send their children to North Bend and Fall City, rather than in the neighborhood. These newer homes are adding $$ in new property tax receipts and new home fees. Aren’t there enough elementary kids who live on the Ridge to justify more elementary school capacity on the ridge?

  • Robert, bonds don’t pay for the superintendents salary, vote out the board members who keep extending his salary!

  • Regardless of how you feel about whether a change is needed or not, David Spring has demonstrated an inability to work with others and poor “research” skills. See: http://www.thecascadeteam.com/blog/snoqualmie-valley-school-bond-issues.html and his most recent claim of “20 empty classrooms” as excellent examples. Even an analysis of his (flawed) methodology and (flawed) results indicates 5 empty classrooms (when, in reality, there is only 1)… Mr. Spring chose to characterize his findings the way he did because he wanted voters to infer that there were literally 20 empty rooms gathering dust and cobwebs. In other words, he was deliberately deceptive. Why didn’t Mr. Spring contact Mr. Belcher or Mr. Newell for actual facilities usage information? Tavish McLean did so and Mr. Belcher was thrilled with the outreach. Mr. Spring rages about the overcrowding at Twin Falls and CKMS, but who was it that spearheaded the drive to defeat the middle school bond (a bond that had 59.9% support!)? And, not to mention the incredibly disrespectful and insulting messages he sent to me as a Fall City resident who disagreed with him.

    Opposing views are important and critical to democracy… but I can’t imagine Mr. Spring being able to have a productive, positive and collaborative relationship with the other members of the board. There is nothing inherently positive about change for the sake of change. Change should be effected when there are legitimately better options available. In this situation, that is not the case.

  • “Change just for the sake of change” was the same exact thing the past president of the Snoqualmie Valley Education association said when defending the union’s choice to endorse both school board incumbents in the 2011 election, yet Mr. Doy and Ms. Simpson have been excellent board members – serving their communities, working diligently and bringing about new education policies.
    Unfortunately, this election-time, the Republican Party chose to insert itself into a local non-partisan election to help preserve the status quo, so you may get your wish.

    1. All I have understood with regard to the Republican party inserting itself into this election was Brad Toft (r)’s endorsement of David Spring. This has nothing to do with party. Spring casts himself as a democrat and I tend to vote democrat these days, but I wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher. Did you take the time to read the link I provided with his past efforts at “research?” I have to conclude that he is either deceitful or ignorant… neither of which would be good for the School Board. I suppose it’s a matter of opinion as to whether or not Ms. Simpson and Mr. Doy have been excellent board members… but I never heard the things about them that I have heard about Mr. Spring, I never had one of them personally belittle me, and I don’t recall them attempting to use “data” that was of the “imaginary” variety. As I said somewhere else, having opposing ideas is healthy and I think that that is what Mr. Doy and Ms. Simpson have brought to the table. Nothing wrong with that. But a vote for David Spring is a vote for someone with exceedingly questionable ethics and integrity. All for the sake of “change?”

  • Living Snoqualmie