Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on School Levies and Bonds


It’s odd many well educated people can’t grasp the voters of Lewis County are not as dumb as our politicians and educators think. The failures of the school levies are their fault. Many of those complaining earn three to four times the average salary of those they expect to foot the bill.

I agree with Winlock Mayor Brandon Svenson. The teachers’ unions along with the state have incentivized going to school over learning to teach. The more the education, the higher the salary.

Superintendent Chris Rust in Toledo claimed we were getting a tax holiday but expected to get another $3 million to essentially build a new stadium. Had he offered to use the leftover money from the first bond to pay for a portion of the stadium, his new bond may have passed. Giving us holidays without us actually seeing any benefit is an insult. Telling us the tax will be 90 cents per $1,000 in assessed value on the voter pamphlet and then showing 1.09 on the actual website is disingenuous. Taxes are proportional and increase as portion of an increased assessment. My property taxes have gone up $600 since last year with no increase in income. Whether these oversights are intentional or just oversights, it’s still wrong and we as voters see it.

The top 11 school employees in Centralia earn almost $1.2 million dollars a year. I believe this is more about egos than about the students. I saw the same attitude in Yelm. We approved a $40 million dollar high school which fell short on capacity, then they needed mobile classrooms. In Yelm, after spending the $40 million with an excellent track and stadium, the students are still sent out to run on Yelm Avenue sidewalks, so shin splints are a red herring.

The solution is simple — post a full accounting of all monies provided and an expenditure of each with cost projections on the school’s website. Some of us really do want to know where our money goes.

In the Army, when we were drawing down and money was tight, we used a multi-faceted decision matrix to sell our projects. A facility had to be multi-functional and show a return on investment. We needed to show how the facility would be used to offset future cost while not serving in its original intended capacity.

In Europe, the government rents spots at highway rest areas to small vendors then collects a portion of the revenue plus a rental fee. The hatcheries set up school visits. Unlike here, they have very few employees to maintain the fish. The hatchery has vending machines on site and the children buy the food to feed the fish. The sports complex we had was multifunctional and capable of hosting two to three events simultaneously. 

I realize most people are not as well traveled but what is needed is the ability to think outside the box and stop assuming you’re right and everyone else doesn’t understand.


Ray Anderson