McGinness’s statements that I “essentially campaigned on killing the bond” and that I’ve “voted against virtually every admin proposal” are demonstrably false. As to the former, my campaign position is the same one I have now:
The district will need to ask the voters to pass a bond to follow through on the district’s facilities plan. We need to make sure the proposal makes sense and that the voters trust the district with the money. Passing a bond requires not cheerleading or groupthink but transparency, candor, inclusiveness, and critical thinking.Some might prefer the cheerleading approach, but that is hardly campaigning on killing the bond. In my view, what risks killing the bond is having it cover capacity expansions—some of which are up to seven years out on the timeline—without any indication that future enrollment will justify them.
As for the statement that I’ve “voted against virtually every admin proposal,” I just reviewed all the votes at our regular board meetings: I have voted “no” 29 times and “yes” 231 times (and that’s not even counting consent calendar items separately). At 60% of the meetings, I did not cast a single “no” vote. Not all the “yes” votes were supporting administrative recommendations, but a whole lot of them were. Again, some people want board members to vote “yes” more than 89% of the time, but that’s hardly voting against every administrative proposal.
McGinness says that my blog contains intentional misstatements, but since he doesn’t cite any, I can’t refute the charge or correct any errors.
As for Sullivan’s Gazette piece, it was pretty faithful to what I said to him when he called me. One arguable inaccuracy in his piece is that the bond wouldn’t “fund a replacement for Hoover Elementary,” at least if that’s meant to refer to Hoover East, which is not bond-funded and which does not actually “replace” Hoover. Sullivan cites my blog (which cited this) for the statement that the plan would put elementary capacity at 1600 seats more than projected enrollment; the district has since revised its capacity numbers, and then revised them again, but that figure is still pretty close to what the district’s own documents show. (Compare Column O with Column M.) In general, my concern is that the enrollment projections are speculative enough that we shouldn’t use them to justify commitments that are years out on the timeline; more on that in an upcoming post.
The bond vote is still four and a half months away. There is lots of time for making arguments and counterarguments before anyone has to vote. When I make my arguments, I try always to include links for any factual assertions. My advice to voters is: take your time and consider both sides. If the proposal is as strong as its supporters contend, they should have nothing to worry about.