Following are some frequently asked questions about this petition. If you've got a question that hasn't been answered here yet, please contact us.
Q: Why are we doing this?
- To help bring about a viable levy, not ‘No Levy’. A viable levy is one that reflects the community’s values and one the whole community can support.
- The current plan is too big, too costly, and can’t win the support of the majority of voters.
- Unless we redirect this process towards a more affordable alternative, next November we will have a failed levy, schools in even more dire need of attention, and a community divided by this issue. That’s a lose-lose-lose proposition we can’t afford.
Q: Why can't the current plan win the support of the majority of voters?
- 100% of the cost of any capital improvements and ongoing maintenance will have to be funded by the residents and businesses of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff. As a small, demographically-diverse community, the economic impact of the $50 million plan that has been recommended would be greater than any initiative seen to date and have a dramatic effect on the community.
- Coming on the heels of huge increases in property valuations, and at the end of a decade during which local property taxes rose five times faster than residents’ wages; the economic reality is that most of our households simply cannot support a $50 million project.
Q: If the current plan is too much, how much is right?
- One that offers the right balance of costs, benefits, savings, and trade-offs, and is presented in a thorough, transparent, and easy-to-understand manner. The right price tag is an amount the whole community can get behind.
- The least expensive option brought to the community during the facilities process was $35 million. Even that is an extraordinarily high number for a small community like ours. The community deserves a more detailed explanation of what less expensive projects would yield in terms of addressing badly needed repairs and improving the quality of our education.
Q: The recommended plan is the product of a multi-year facilities planning process that included broad community engagement. What was wrong with that process?
- The pursuit of this project has been justified by the need to address the “$44 million in deferred maintenance”. That number came from the HPG assessment, which actually was a study of what it would take to bring all buildings up to current codes and standards as though they were built today. If those standards were applied to our own aging homes, no doubt the costs would be exorbitant – maybe even enough to warrant demolition. That has nothing to do with deferred maintenance and is an inappropriate threshold to use.
- Though the district has advertised the process as transparent, the Facility Task Force not only met in private dozens of times, but the district also refused to make minutes from those meetings public. That’s not the transparency the community was promised – or deserves.
- Those who participated in the process recognize that the surveys and exit tickets were designed to minimize open-ended discussion and steer the process toward a narrow range of possible outcomes. Due to this bias, the surveys could not accurately capture the opinions and desires of the community. We are very concerned that the Board and the Superintendent are moving the process forward based on flawed information.
Q: Do you believe that our buildings are fine as they are?
No. Anyone who has spent time in our school buildings knows that they are in need of repair and renovation. These are historic buildings and, like the old homes in our community, they require regular upkeep and maintenance.