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Another Record-High Levy For Lake Pend Orielle

RSVPs are unprecedented for levy meetings, as is choosing to limit the number of attendees.

Another Record-High Levy For Lake Pend Orielle

Another Record-High Levy For Lake Pend Orielle

LPOSD Levy Election March 14

by Anita Perry

The Lake Pend Oreille School District is running another two-year supplemental levy, which will come up for a vote on March 14.  It’s the only issue on that ballot, and the voting will be at your regular polling place.

This levy is for $17 million, which is about $1.3 million (7.8%) higher than the last two-year levy in 2015, and it is a record high in the supplemental-levy history of LPOSD.  Despite the District painting a doomsday scenario if it doesn’t pass, it is instructive to see what and who is being paid out of the levy: 26% of staff including six-figure administrative salaries, 110 coaches, all-day kindergarten, and more.

Before going to the polls, here is some background information to be aware of:

  • LPOSD has received a 15% state funding increase since 2015 and expects another 6.4% to 6.7% for 2017.
  • LPOSD’s student population has steadily declined since 2000 and is now about 600 students less.
  • Meanwhile, LPOSD’s supplemental levies have steadily increased since 2000 and are now 590% higher than in 2000.
  • Priest River School District, by contrast, is staying within its budget and shows no supplemental levy increase.  (Kudos to them!)

For more details, check out www.lposdlevy.com

As of last Friday, February 3rd, LPOSD Superintendent Shawn Woodward had not released his calendar to show where he is holding informational levy meetings despite a written request.  Meanwhile we learned that he did hold levy presentations at Sandpoint Kiwanis and a local realtors’ organization. One is left to surmise that he wants to control and limit the audience and message.

Within the last few days LPOSD did release a list of 12 informational meetings for the public but is limiting them to 10-12 attendees each, with RSVPs requested.  RSVPs are unprecedented for levy meetings, as is choosing to limit the number of attendees.  It means that no more than 144 residents total have the opportunity to hear about this levy in a public setting – out of the many thousands of residents in the LPOSD school district.

Furthermore, all 12 of these meetings are not publicized anywhere except the school district’s website.

Also, all of them are daytime meetings, preventing many working people from attending.  In response to an inquiry by a citizen questioning the limited number and size of the meetings, required RSVPs, and no evening meetings, Geraldine Lewis, one of the school board members and a proponent of the levy, advised:

“The goal is to get a smaller group of 10-12 people at each meeting (hence the rsvp) to allow for more “round table” discussion and question/answer time.
I also know he [Woodward] has said he will meet with people anytime if they ask,  so if someone needs an evening time they could work that out. But most days we encourage him try to keep within work hours.  He has a family also and this can be a very long month.  Most people get a lunch break so that might help with attending a mid-day meeting.”

No matter where you stand in relation to the levy vote, attending a levy presentation is important to learn through Q&A specifically why and how your ever-increasing school taxes are being spent.  If daytime meetings are inconvenient, ask for an evening time that is convenient for YOU!

Here are the dates, times, and locations of the 12 levy meetings LPOSD is holding.  Please RSVP to kelly.fisher@lposd.org.  It is my understanding that attendance is not allowed unless your name is on the RSVP list, even if there is space available.

LPOSD office, 901 Triangle Drive, Ponderay
Feb. 10: 8:30am, 10:15am and 11:45 am
Feb. 23: 1pm, 3pm, 4:30pm

Clark Fork High School
Feb. 16: 1pm, 3pm, 4:30pm
March 2: 8:30am, 10:15am, 11:45am

2 Comments on Another Record-High Levy For Lake Pend Orielle

  1. Simply put, I’m tired of the continued conflict and blatant harrassment that those that present as the ‘redoubt movement’ have brought to our community. While I can certainly appreciate the desire for transperancy in government spending, and also the desire to minimize taxes which get pulled from my paycheck the numbers that you/your movement continue to present are far from accurate. I have the real numbers and would be happy to present them to anyone. Heck, go to the LPOSD website and look at them yourself. We are talking about a .50/month increase in your taxes so our children have a better future, so our community has healthier and more informed citizens yielding a more productive and effective community. The reality is that ‘redobuters’ only care about their own interests, homeschool their kids, and don’t care about the greater whole so they are going to fight their .50/month taxation hand over fist. I have no doubt (pun intended) that this will never even get published, mainly because you don’t want objective information being presented and instead want to push a non-objective alt-right agenda which yields a narrow minded approach. And you know what’s sad the kids of our community suffer not you and your lame isolationist view point. A prime example is the following: “Furthermore, all 12 of these meetings are not publicized anywhere except the school district’s website.” So, they were published. Get over yourself and take your isolationist redoubt BS to where it belongs in the middle of the Alaska backcountry.

    • Yo David, you have missed the message entirely. This is’nt about fifty cents a month. Have you looked at your tax liabilities lately? Your dollar has approximately sixty-five cents taxation placed upon it by the various Government agencies. When you factor in inflation, your dollars real value is less than ten cents. I’ve lived in the same home for twenty-eight years, watching my taxes increase every time I turn around. I for one have had enough of this irresponsible out of control spending by appointed/elected workers. I do feel we have a duty to provide a academic education for the citizens residing in Idaho. The school district/board has lost sight of it’s mission. They are to provide an opportunity for a student to expand their mental capacity, to better understand the world they live within. As a tax payer/home owner it is not my obligation to pay for extraordinary entertainment, that is the parents obligation. I will vote NO!!! until my voice is heard…

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