Pasco non-profit raising money for school bond recount
PASCO, Wash. - David Jones with Pasco Citizens for Better Schools said a vote recount on Pasco School District's $99.5 million bond could go either way.
"We're still not sure whether pursuing a recount is the right course of action, and that's why we wanted to democratize the decision."
Jones said the nonprofit opened a crowdfunding campaign on Saturday to give folks the chance to vote, with their money, on whether or not a recount should happen.
The bond requires a 60% super-majority to pass but the latest numbers, updated Nov. 13, said they were just short.
Jones said it's obvious that a majority, 59% of voters, want more schools,
"I think it's so close because people don't want their taxes to be raised and I certainly understand that. I'm a taxpayer, I'm a homeowner in Pasco. My taxes will be affected by this. What many voters don't understand is that taxes will be going down due to the levy swap, and we're asking votes to use some of that savings to build schools."
He said projections show most homeowners will find that their taxes go up a bit in 2018, and then "go way down" in 2019, with or without the bond.
Meanwhile, he said his third grader is in a portable classroom at Maya Angelou Elementary,
"Adding portables is a decent temporary solution but we need a permanent solution. More houses are going in every day."
Voter Andrea Luther lives in Pasco and said she sometimes substitute teaches for the district.
She said she and her husband donated $100 to the campaign,
"I feel so strongly about Pasco Schools. I've chosen to raise my family here. I want to sow back into the community … if I could afford to do more than $100, I would."
She said it would be a shame for the bond to fail by one vote,
"Pasco schools are important. Our kids need this, our schools are super overcrowded."
Election Administrator Ashley Heyen with Franklin County Auditor's office said 72 ballots, first challenged because the voter did something wrong, are fixed and will be included in the final count released Tuesday afternoon.
The Pasco parent group has until Midnight on Monday, Nov. 27 to raise the funds before the election is officially certified and closed.
Jones said if the bond passes or if they don't raise enough to fund the recount, the campaign's donations will help support the next bond Pasco Schools introduces,
“Because the school district has to build more schools, the only option they have is to just keep putting bonds out. Our schools are bursting at the seams.”
For more information about the crowdfunding campaign, visit pascobond.org/donate
For more information about the levy swap, visit pascobond.org/taxes