PORT ORCHARD — As expected, the Port Orchard City Council at its Sept. 25 meeting formally endorsed two South Kitsap School District capital projects measures on the general election ballot next month.
Council members unanimously approved a resolution supporting the district’s $184 million bond measure — Proposition 1 — to build a second high school just off Old Clifton Road and a second measure — Proposition 2 — to fund $21 million in capital projects to improve safety and security at school facilities, and other renovations and technology upgrades.
The City Council invited residents to a public hearing early last month to view a school district presentation by Superintendent Karst Brandsma that outlined the two propositions, as well as voice their opinions about the measures.
At the council’s regularly scheduled Sept. 25 meeting, Jeff Daily, who also spoke out against the measures at the public hearing, spoke during the citizens’ comments time to implore council members not to endorse the propositions.
“This is the fourth time voters are being asked to approve a second high school,” Daily said. “It’s not gaining support. This is the wrong solution.”
Daily asserted that 1,700 new homes are soon to rise in McCormick Woods neighborhoods, an area that would be served by a new high school.
“In four years, what are you going to do when you stand up in front of the Taj Mahal out there and say, ‘Oh, it’s full. There’s only room for 1,500 students. We have 1,700 or 1,800 [students] and it didn’t fix the overcrowding problems at South Kitsap.’ “
He said the school district’s claim that property taxes won’t rise is overridden by the fact that the [bond] would be paid over 25 years. “What you’ve done is taken the flexibility to add more levies [later].”
If the bond is approved, property owners will pay an estimated tax rate of $1.07 per $1,000 of assessed home value over 25 years. The capital projects levy will cost about $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed value over four years. Combined with the existing educational programs levy tax, the district said property owners will continue to pay the 2017 rate of $3.24, even after approval of the two measures in November.