Whidbey News-Times


Calling levy ‘a scam’ is shameful | Letters

November 14, 2012 · Updated 3:08 PM

Bill Burnett’s Nov. 9 letter labeling the school district’s maintenance and operations levy “a scam” is shamelessly inaccurate.

First and foremost, property taxes will not “double” should the levy pass. The owner of a $250,000 home will see an increase of about $20 per month.  The school levy is about 10 percent of all of the property taxes that a property owner pays. Whereas it is true that the February levy request is an increase, it is about as close to doubling a property owner’s taxes as Burnett ever gets to the truth.

I know that in some quarters it is fashionable to beat up on public unions — especially those that represent teachers. Unions help secure fair compensation, benefits and working conditions.

Oak Harbor’s children are better off because of the Oak Harbor Education Association’s unrelenting efforts to lower or maintain class size, secure supplies, materials, textbooks and technology for the classrooms, and bargain reasonably attractive salaries to attract and retain high-quality professionals.

Burnett claims that teachers are supporting the levy because they have been promised a 39 percent raise should the levy pass. On what planet is Bill living on? The planet Make Believe where gravity and reality are both suspended? It would be a violation of law if any bargainable issue, such as salary, were conducted outside of the negotiations process. Teachers are supporting the levy because they see the needs every day.

Please visit the school district and levy campaign websites, and attend school board meetings for information.

Peter Szalai

Oak Harbor Education Association


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