You may have started to hear the buzz about a proposed $450 million dollar bond election that the Superintendent of the Denver Public School wants to put on the ballot for this November. Also proposed for the ballot is a $45 million side car, in the form of a mill levy. These would show up as two different “questions” on your ballot, should the Board of Education approve these measures this week. The vote is scheduled for this Thursday, August 23.
After a lot of my haggling and demanding (even waxing like Kruschev for a moment there…almost), the district condescended to have three meetings in the community to gauge the public’s reaction to the proposal as it stands now. This brought the sum total of instances of community engagement around the bond and mill levy to a whopping TWO MEETINGS. I had been insisting all along that there was no way I could vote on this proposal without properly hearing from my community first (that means you).
Our neighbors from SW Denver were very clear about what they thought about this proposal. To paraphrase Mr. Giron, a Lincoln parent, the bond package still does nothing to alleviate the overcrowding at his daughters’ school (and my alma mater, as you know). Maggie, a Kennedy/Traylor/Henry parent, pointed out that Kennedy waited 30 years for new bathrooms, thanks to the 2008 bond, and that somehow whatever our community needs gets relegated to the back of the line.
I also spoke to members of the Grant Ranch K-8 community over the weekend, who reminded me that their building is not fully completed, either. They reminded me of the need for more ECE classrooms (there is a substantial waiting list), of completing the top floor so that the 5th graders can move upstairs, etc., etc. For some reason, this situation has never been addressed in any of the bond planning committee meeting notes I have seen.
So you see, to me, this is more of the long-standing neglect of our community in southwest Denver. In real numbers, the district is slating barely 20 percent of this half-billion dollar bond for our community, and yet, we have to bear a disproportional financial impact to our household budgets for the privilege.
On Thursday, I will be voting no, absent any substantial changes to the package for southwest Denver. I invite you all to share your thoughts in person by signing up for public comment at Thursday’s meeting. The public comment session will begin around 5 p.m. You have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to sign up, and you can sign up by calling 720-423-3210. Alternatively, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your name and the topic you want to address when you do contact.