FWHS remodeling: District simplifies ballot language
By GREG ALLMAIN
Federal Way Mirror reporter
July 27, 2012 · Updated 1:25 PM
The Federal Way School Board unanimously approved a resolution to send the Federal Way High School (FWHS) remodel levy to the voters in November.
The language of this new resolution for the levy should make it easier for Federal Way residents to have a clear picture of what the school district will do with the $60 million they’re asking voters to approve in November.
“The resolution has been revised from the one you adopted for the Feb. 14 vote, to be more specific about all of the three components of the capital project levy,” said Sally McLean, assistant superintendent of business services. “Federal Way High School, elementary playgrounds, and district security equipment.”
McLean said she and other FWPS staff went back to make the language clearer, after receiving feedback in the winter from residents.
“I worked with legal counsel to re-draft this particular resolution, so your explanatory statement can truly include things I consider explanatory for the public, whose only point of information might be the voter’s pamphlet they crack open,” she said.
Having clear, concise language in the district’s resolution is important because that language makes its way to the ballot and the aforementioned voter’s pamphlet.
Along with brevity in language, McLean noted that some of the numbers have changed in this new resolution, compared to the one put before voters in February.
“We also restructured the $60 million, so that it would be an even $10 million a year,” she said.
“There were some comments that came to us in a variety of different ways of ‘Why is this different every year, this makes it too hard to figure out what this is going to cost.’ There was no underlying financial need for me to make it that complicated, so I just simplified it to $10 million a year for each of the six years.”
The district’s top financial mind said the school district is mindful of deadlines this time around.
An important deadline was missed for the February election, when volunteer group Citizens for Federal Way Schools missed the deadline to get the “pro” statement for the levy into the voters information pamphlet and related materials.
“Given the various deadlines that are in the King County Elections department, this resolution, the explanatory statement, and the appointment of the pro or con committees will all be submitted to King County by Friday (July 27),” McLean said.
The proposed $60 million, six-year levy is primarily aimed at rebuilding FWHS. Along with that, some of the $60 million will be used to update the district’s elementary playgrounds, and also update and standardize the district’s security equipment. The February levy was voted down, with approximately 55 percent of voters saying no.
Contact Federal Way Mirror reporter Greg Allmain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-925-5565 ext. 5054.