Politics Mayor Nickels Hates Kids!
…I’m kidding, but Team Nickels accused the Stranger edit board of just that when we came out against their $117 million Family & Ed levy back in 2004.
We weren’t convinced that spending on non-core functions for the school district was the right use of our tax dollars—when basics were going unmet. We wrote:
This is a $116.8 million property tax levy that, its supporters claim, will fund programs that “support academic achievement.” In other words it’s a huge package that will pay for shitloads of small-bore measures.
The Stranger Department of Homeland Security is urging a “no” vote because we hate children. They run around in restaurants and their diapers clog landfills.
Actually, we don’t hate children. We love the little shits. Which is why we’re annoyed by the latest levy from the Good Intentions Brigade. The problem with our schools are large class sizes and low teacher salaries. Sinking tens of millions of dollars into this levy prevents us from spending this kind of money—big money—where it really matters and could make a difference. Vote “no.”
I never heard the end of this “No” vote from the folks over at Team Nickels.
Well, listen to Team Nickels today…as they come out against I-87—a 6-year, .39 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value tax that will raise $40 million a year for teachers and smaller class rooms:
The Seattle School District is struggling to get its fiscal house in order and improve student achievement. But this measure and its companion proposal, Initiative 88, do not solve those problems.
As written, the initiatives would require the district to increase
spending on new programs and teachers, not address the growing $20
million budget gap it is already facing. Throwing money at the wrong
problems will only make matters worse.
First of all, I-87 creates a dedicated fund, so, Team Nickels is wrong—we wouldn’t be siphoning money away from the budget. Second of all, isn’t it inconsistent of them to condemn I-87 for addressing the wrong problem, when their Family & Ed levy missed the real problem? (Meanwhile, I’d argue that I-87 addresses the right problem.)
Here’s what I think is going on w/ Team Nickels: They don’t want a property tax levy on this year’s ballot because they don’t want to compete with it. They’re floating their $1.8 billion transportation levy this fall, and they also might have to go the voters to defend their $4 billion tunnel project. They don’t want their legacy projects being matched up against the kids. The more money requests there are on the ballot, the more voters just reject them all.